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Politics, Paranoispiricies, neologisms, diary, creative, ruminations

Monday, February 20, 2006

3 Presidents' Day Proposals

In honor of Presidents’ Day, I would like Congress to please consider these three things with regard to the current administration’s abuse of powers.

First, I would like you to explore impeachment of the President and Vice President for the following reasons:
1. Incompetence with regard to fighting Al Qu'aida and the Taliban, allowing the leaders to continue operating.
2. Lying to Congress (during the State of the Union 2003) and the American people about the link of Iraq to Al Quaida and WMD.
3. Violating classification and national security by outing CIA WMD expert Plame for political and revenge purposes.
4. Abusing intelligence agencies NSA and DIA to spy on Americans and peaceful anti-war groups.

Second, I am alarmed that the President has sealed access to previous administrations’ records, especially the Bush41 administration. Several principals from this administration play rolls in the current administration, so these records, which are public property, are relevant to both political scientists and historians. This abuse of secrecy makes the Executive Branch less accountable. We need legislation to make Presidential papers quickly accessible to the public, and we need the Freedom of Information Act strengthened.

Finally, I would like to see legislation that limits the Presidential Pardon, especially for current and former administration officials. We have seen how after more than five years and millions of dollars spent, Independent Counsel Walsh’ responsible work uncovering the Iran-Contra abuses were swept away by a Bush41 pardon in the final days of his administration. Justice was thwarted, accountability was avoided, and the public’s right to know about this scandal was ignored. I fear that this is going to happen with regard to the current Plame/Fitzgerald Prosecutions of Libby, Rove, and Cheney. The result of a Bush43 pardon of the Plame Affair players would be that national security is abused without recourse or accountability and that millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money will again be wasted without justice being served.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Finally, the media feel they have Cheney's Smoking Gun

The Dick Cheney hunting accident shooting isn't all that significant in the big scheme. He hunts with lobbyists and connected fat cats frequently, and nearly a hundred hunters die annually in accidents in Texas. Cheney's policies have led to tens of thousands of people dying during his current reign, too. But all that's too nuanced for the press to grasp.

Finally, "WE HAVE A SMOKING GUN!" the Press intones. It is the search for the smoking gun, like the Watergate Tapes, or whatever physical symbol the press needs, that have obsessed the media since the age of the atomic bomb, intercontinental ballistic missiles, television dominated news and social interaction, and terrorism. Consequently, there seems to be a nearly impossible hurdle to hold the imperial Executive Branch accountable.

In this incident, we have the mean-faced sneering Cheney shooting his friend at close range in the face and chest. All at once we have a physical and public manifestation symbolizing an administration's homicidal and reckless impulses.

Was Cheney hunting while drunk? If he can't hunt responsibly, can he be trusted to a heartbeat away from the Presidency? If he wasn't drunk, then how can he make such an Elmer Fudd like mistake? Is he "Dead Eye Dick"? Is he part of the "Gang that Can't Shoot Straight"? 2005 was a bad year for the Bush-Cheney regime, and now 2006 is shaping up to be another bad year for them.

This is reminiscent of Bush 41 throwing up at a Japanese state dinner. The Presidency is a grueling job, with lots of travel and exposure to people (and their viruses), but somehow the seemingly effete Bush puking on the Prime Minister partially handed the Presidency to a more vigorous Bill Clinton who had no pretentions of partrician manners.

Back to Cheney, this incident also symbolizes his administration's penchant for secrecy, coverup, and lying, combined with double standards between the administration and everyone else. Why hasn't the Vice President or his office faced the nation about this incident? Why does it take a day for an annoucement to come at all, and then it comes from his lobbyist friend who owns the ranch (and not the Whitehouse)? Why does the victim's heart attack news announcement get further delayed? These questions don't get answered, but their silence implies what is becoming obvious to everyone: these guys aren't careful, they don't care, and in short they are incompetant.

We can get our emails and phone calls tapped in real time. If you are in a Quaker Peace Group you can have your meetings under surveillance. If you are a suspected terrorist you can be disappeared for years at a time without legal representation. But if you work for the Bush-Cheney regime, you're loyalty to almost genocidal policies is rewarded and you continue to get paid by the government and pursue your agenda. While the rest of us wonder who will help us in the next disaster, or if we'll get mysteriously arrested.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Behind the Muhammad Cartoon Conflagration

What is missing from the analysis and debate on the Danish Muhammed Cartoons Controvery is some background and research on who is benefiting from and perhaps exacerbating this conflict.

It is striking how these cartoons were published in September 2005, but are recently becoming a major global debate and conflagration months later. The origin of the cartoons was in response to a children's book author being unable to find an illustrator for a book about Islam. The illustrators were afraid for their lives. The newspaper asked several cartoonists to illustrate the situation.

My sense is that the author's issue or even the cartoons are not what is behind this global terror-reaction. This is because the inappropriate over-reaction to the cartoons actually bolsters their meaning and matrix.

It may be coincidence, but since the Danish cartoons were published, there was a massive earthquake calamity in Pakistan that seems to be a humanitarian failure of catastrophic proportions. But this is largely off the world's radar screens, except for Pakistan's. Pakistan is a poor muslim nation that depends a great deal on Saudi aid, much of it in the form of education grants and educational litature and propaganda provided to ultra-religious rote memorization madrassas that are like their sibling talibans.

Much more recently, and almost as usual again, hundreds of pilgrims have again died making their Haj pilgrimmage to Mecca. The cartoons' controvery and violent reactions began in earnest after the Haj ended this winter. My sense is that certain extremist and pro-violence elements are taking advantage of Islam to turn attention away from the failure of Saudi Arabia to peacefully and efficiently manage the Haj and safeguard the holy sites of Islam for all muslims to safely and equally worship.

It is much easier to incite spectacular protests and violence to distract the public from the failure of a nation to safeguard its pilgrims, and the failure of the world to assist desperate Pakistanis in their time of need while oil economies reap record windfall profits due to the war in Iraq.

Meanwhile, rightwingers in Europe and the U.S., as well as liberals, get to cluck-cluck about how our civilizations are inevitably clashing. The real clash is rapacious greed, using propaganda to distract and divide the publics of the world to the benefit of the security-military-oil-industrial-complex, while the rest of us pay higher prices in war blood or money for higher commodity costs. Meanwhile poor muslims are regularly stomped and snuffed out while trying to 'stone the devil' in Mecca due to poor crowd control and insufficient hospitality.

According to BBC radio today (Feb. 7, 2006), the cartoon protesters also have fake cartoons depicting pigs in association with muslims, further inciting people, since pigs are dirty animals in Islam. This is reminiscent of the cartoons of pigs and jews that are often used to incite the public in Saudi Arabia and Egypt through their state controlled media. I hope the press is able to investigate the origin of these pig cartoons, and to see if they come from the Saudi-Wahhabi/Salafi nexus.

One hand washes the other. The Saudis profit as war crisis pricing revenues gush in. Their partners in religious extremism profit from Saudi largesse in exchange for spreading inciteful propaganda which can possibly unite muslims across the world against common enemies. Saudi customers, such as military companies, provide them with expensive goods. Right-wingers in Europe get to shut their countries to immigration or to restrict muslims, and the US for a change gets to get a lot of negative attention away from it while the Iraqi war lumbers on expensively and we seem to be stumbling into war with Iran and maybe Syria in 2006-2007 in time for the Congressional elections and the ensuing Presidential primaries.

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