Wednesday, August 31, 2005
While you're there ...sign it.
Not One of the Latest Bush Generation Eligible for Military Service Has Joined America's Armed Forces to Die for George's "Noble Cause" and Make the "Supreme Sacrifice of Patriotism." The Bushes Let the Poor, Middle Class and Rural Kids do the Dying for Them. Kids Like Casey Sheehan. They Always Have. SIGN THIS BUZZFLASH PETITION NOW: EITHER THE BUSH KIDS "SACRIFICE" TO FIGHT FOR GEORGE'S "NOBLE CAUSE," OR BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Fro the International Herald Tribune:
Bush invokes World War II in pressing role in Iraq
| By Brian Knowlton International Herald Tribune |
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2005
Wrong again you fuckin' idiot. There is no comparison between the two. Japan attacked our Naval Base. We declared war. Iraq DID NOT attack us.
Bush, you are a fuckin' fool. You wanted to out do daddy, so you had to be the "War President." You will go down in history, but not how you would like. You will be remembered as the asshole who tried to destory this country and the rest of the world.
Monday, August 29, 2005
Bunnatine H. Greenhouse, a civil servant with 20 years of contracting experience, had complained to Army officials on numerous occasions that Halliburton's KBR subsidiary had been unlawfully receiving special treatment for work in Iraq, Kuwait and the Balkans. The seriousness of her allegations prompted the U.S. Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Pentagon's inspector general to open criminal investigations that continue today.
The USACE oversees many aspects of Iraq's reconstruction, including reconstruction of the country's oil industry. It awarded KBR the largest troop logistics contract in history, worth over $11 billion in revenues for the company so far, mostly from Iraq.
"I can unequivocally state that the abuse related to contracts awarded to KBR represents the most blatant and improper contract abuse I have witnessed during the course of my professional career," Greenhouse told a congressional hearing last June.
In one of the many examples of abuse, Greenhouse said military auditors caught KBR overcharging the Pentagon by $61 million for fuel deliveries into Iraq. (Those overcharges eventually totalled $212 million. In one case, the overcharges exceeded 47% of the total value of the work order.) But, says Greenhouse, the USACE "took the unusual step" of issuing an illegal waiver to excuse KBR from explaining why its oil transport prices were much higher than competitor prices. She said USACE "simply asserted that the price charged for the fuel was 'fair and reasonable', thereby relieving KBR of the contract requirement that cost and pricing data be provided."
By issuing the waiver, said Greenhouse, USACE officials "knowingly violated" the law by "intentionally failing" to obtain her approval. That's because they knew she would have refused to approve the waiver request. "The evidence suggests that the reasons why I was intentionally kept from seeing the waiver request were politically motivated," she said.
USACE had also concealed from the public a number of audits by the Defense Contract Audit Agency which were critical of Hallburton's work in Iraq and Kuwait.
Amid the controversy -- on December 30, 2003 -- the Pentagon fired Halliburton from the gasoline importation contract and assigned it to an internal office known as the Defense Energy Support Center. The result was a 50 percent reduction in gasoline prices charged to US taxpayers.
Greenhouse said USACE officials repeatedly violated regulations designed to shield contract awards from unethical outside influences. At one point, KBR executives were present in a meeting of USACE officials who were deliberating whether KBR should be awarded a contract. The executives left the meeting only after Ms. Greenhouse urged them to leave.
"[T]he line between government officials and KBR had become so blurred that a perception of conflict of interest existed," Greenhouse's attorney, Michael Kohn, said in a letter to the acting Secretary of the Army. "Employees of the U.S. government have taken improper action that favored KBR's interests," he said. "This conduct has violated specific regulations and calls into question the independence" of the contracting process.
Greenhouse also complained when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's office took control of "every aspect" of KBR's $7 billion no-bid Iraqi oil infrastructure contract. "In reality, the OSD [Office of Secretary of Defense] ultimately controlled the award of the [oil] contract to KBR," she said. This arrangement was illegal since the law requires career civil servants, not temporary political appointees like the folks in Rumsfeld's office, to determine the winners of government contracts. The purpose of the law is to prevent political appointees from awarding contracts only to their friends in the private sector. Rumsfeld's office violated this rule by involving itself in awarding the Iraqi oil contract to KBR.
"She is being demoted because of her strict adherence to procurement requirements and the Army's preference to sidestep them when it suits their needs," Greenhouse's attorney, Mr. Kohn, told the New York Times. He also said the Army had violated a commitment to delay Ms. Greenhouse's dismissal until the completion of an inquiry by the Pentagon's inspector general.
USACE officials say Greenhouse, who has received excellent performance ratings in the past, was demoted for her performance and not in retaliation for any disclosures of alleged improprieties.
For more about the crooked dealings of VP Cheney's company, Halliburton Inc., go to the Halliburton Watch website at
Sunday, August 28, 2005
We Owe Pat Robertson and Ann Coulter a Big Thank You
Mark GreenAugust 27, 2005
We owe Pat Robertson and Ann Coulter a big thank you. These two American mullahs of the far (f)right are helping to expose how The Bush Team is in the extreme and we who question this war – most prominently Cindy Sheehan – are in the mainstream.
By now Ann Coulter should have reached a tipping point where serious journalists would stop treating her antics and comments seriously.
Suggesting that Timothy McVeigh should have blown up the New York Times building instead of the one in Oklahoma City should probably have been enough to ward Time magazine off its unctuous cover profile. Or perhaps it should have happened when she recently told an audience in Canada that they should be helping us in Iraq as they did in Vietnam (for which she was hooted down by Canadians who knew their history better than she).
But now that she has casually asserted that New Yorkers are cowards who would surrender to terrorists, it’s past time to call her for what she is – an ignorant parody of a right-wing nut who says things for effect and sales.
The Administration keeps arguing that the Iraqi insurgents are becoming more violent as America succeeds in Iraq. While that’s obvious nonsense, it does provide a reasonably good analogy for what war defenders are now doing in their Custer-like last stand. As all their arguments about the war have failed – both the reasons for invading and the reasons for “staying the course” – embarrassed proponents are increasingly retreating to the McCarthyism they are so skilled at. Hence all the desperate attacks on Cindy Sheehan and, now, New Yorkers. Blaming Richard Clark, Dan Rather, Newsweek’s Periscope or Dick Durbin was always the equivalent of blaming the radar gun for the speeder. But those polemical diversions did provide momentary relief for the chicken hawks. But now they’re forced to up the ante to both gain attention and justify their existence. Hence Coulter’s noxious crack.
I was 40 blocks north of the World Trade Towers at 8:46AM on September 11 – and saw a plane sticking out of Tower One five seconds after it hit. I happened to be running in a Democratic Primary for Mayor being held that very morning and so was in a position to watch New Yorkers that day and the next several weeks demonstrate unmatchable courage and compassion in the most tragic of circumstances. I spent hours handing out free food to firefighters and cops who were part of the rescue and recovery effort over the next few days, New Yorkers who were getting diseased lungs from unreported pollutants. I visited the hospital bed of a Port Authority police officer whose legs had been crushed, as he said, “Mr. Green, the building fell on me. But the terrorists didn’t stop me and they can’t stop us.”
There are thousands of such stories of quiet heroism, not to mention the unbearable fact that we lost more firefighters and police in the next 24 hours than we had in the prior 50 years combined. Are these the cowards who surrendered that Ann Coulter refers to?
So as she shuttles in limos between her sanitized cable appearances in a successful attempt to be the blondest blowhard in tv history, I would hope that assignment editors everywhere start exercising some news judgment. That includes Fox News. Hell, Murdoch and Ailes are New Yorkers. At what point do they and reasonable Americans turn their faces away in disgust? Indeed, at what point do reasonable Americans turn away in disgust from a President whose faith-based war has been blown up by reality and who can only wave the bloody shirt of 9/11 whenever he’s asked to explain what he’s doing to our soldiers and our country.
There will come a time – whether it’s in five months or 5 years or 50 years, I don’t know – when we’ll all have to answer the question of what we were doing when the Bush-Robertson-Coulter crowd tried to ruin America, just as earlier generations had to explain the mass hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials or McCarthyism. Cindy Sheehan and New Yorkers don’t need lectures from those that hate the values of a country whose flag they perennially wave.
The Lords of War
August 27, 2005
George Bush… “One dead American for every day in office”.
President Bush’s latest milestone in the war on terror has been predictably ignored in the mainstream media. Bush, who is now in the fifth year of his presidency, has served 1727 days in office. With the death toll in Iraq currently at 1873 servicemen, Bush can now boast that at least one American has died for every day he’s been in office; a sobering tribute to a man who wants to be remembered “a war president”.
Every day; another Casey Sheehan or some other faceless patriot dies in Bush’s war of choice.
The tragedy of the war cannot be fully grasped simply by listing the number of American casualties on Bush’s watch, but it’s a good place to start.
We should also be paying careful attention to the deteriorating situation in Iraq, which is lurching in an even more deadly direction.
The sudden breakdown in the talks on the proposed constitution is an ominous sign that the violence in Iraq is likely to escalate dramatically in the coming months. The Sunnis, who represent 20% of the population and the vast majority of the Iraqi resistance, have played a minor role in drawing up the constitution. The Shiites and Kurds have dominated the negotiations and composed a document that will divide the country into three nearly-autonomous regions; leaving the Sunnis in an area with miniscule oil resources.
The Shiites have managed to introduce Islam as the religion of the state and “a primary source of legislation”; ensuring that it will be an integral part of the legal system all the way up to the Supreme Court. American’s who may have thought that we were fighting for democracy in Iraq may want to read Article 2 of the constitution:
Paragraph 1 …Islam is the official religion of the state, and is a fundamental source for legislation. No law may be legislated that contravenes the essential verities of Islamic Law. “By specifying Islamic Law this text enshrines Shariah or Islamic Canon Law quite explicitly in the constitution and would allow religious jurists to question secular legislation” (Juan Cole; http://www.juancole.com/2005/08/coup-in-baghdad-unfinished.h
Cindy Sheehan has every right to ask if this is the “noble cause” for which her son died.
In just two years Bush has managed to achieve bin Laden’s dream of establishing an Islamic Theocracy and rebuilding the Caliphate. Who could have guessed that it would take the ham-fisted policies of the Bush administration to accomplish that goal?
Even more noteworthy, is the language in the constitution that provides for “vast autonomous regions” in the oil-rich north and south that will be controlled by the Kurds and Shiites respectively. That means that the central oil-poor region will be left to the Sunnis, who will lose political power accordingly.
Was the United States behind this strategy to divide Iraq into three parts?
In a word; yes.
Acting viceroy, Zalmay Khalilzad, is one of the founding members of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), and has been actively involved in the negotiations from the beginning. Khalilzad oversaw the writing of the Afghanistan constitution which, according to the New York Times, “declared it an ‘Islamic Republic’ in which no law could contradict Islam”. Khalilzad has played a similarly supportive role in Iraq and produced the very same results.
In view of this, it is absurd to say that the administration is committed to democracy in the Middle East. Quite the contrary, they are looking to duplicate the Saudi regime which has served American colonial objectives for over 50 years.
Does the Bush administration support the division of Iraq, as well?
Of course; it was the US that introduced the deceptive language of “federalism”, probably conjured up in a right-wing think tank, to disguise their real intention of breaking the country up into smaller, more manageable mini-states. The principle of “divide and conquer” is still the time-honored strategy of imperial powers. There’s nothing new here.
Two weeks ago, the Washington Post reported that “The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges.” It was an astonishing admission of failure in all the original objectives of the war. The constitution moves the US mission in Iraq from mere disappointment to catastrophe. It is the calculated partitioning of the country and the destruction of Iraqi society through civil war. The administration’s plan to break up Iraq will end the political process, energize the resistance and, ultimately kill more American soldiers.
Bush is now in a great position to smash his previous record for “more dead Americans than days served in office”.
The following story comes to you by way of Buzz Flash:
Senior Iran cleric hails “Islamic state of Iraq”
Friday, 26th August 2005
Tehran, Iran, Aug. 26 – A senior Iranian cleric welcomed on Friday the establishment of an Islamic republic in Iraq and hailed the country’s new constitution as one based on “Islamic precepts”.
Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, who heads the powerful ultra-conservative Guardian Council, told worshippers in Tehran’s Friday prayers, “Fortunately, after years of effort and expectations in Iraq, an Islamic state has come to power and the constitution has been established on the basis of Islamic precepts”.
“We must congratulate the Iraqi people and authorities for this victory”, he said.
Jannati, who is a top confidant of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that all justice-seeking counties of the world “have no model other than the Islamic revolution in Iran to turn to”.
“Lebanese Hezbollah and the state of Iraq are not the only supporters of the Islamic revolution”, he said.
Referring to the West as Global Arrogance, the hard-line cleric said, “No matter how many stones they throw in our path, they cannot prevent the spread of the Islamic revolution in the world”.
“We are the winners in the nuclear issue, too”, Jannati said. “The way is paved for our progress and we just need to work hard”.
Jannati said the rising oil prices had placed Iran on a sound financial footing. “We still have problems, but less than before”.
In comments directed against other factions within the clerical regime, Jannati called on the new hard-line government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to “purge executives who have been within our system, but who have been opposing our system and abusing people’s rights”.
“These executives must be purged as soon as possible”, the powerful cleric said.
He and his congregation...which is made up of family members, relatives, and in-laws...have protested and demonstrated against gays and lesbiens in various parts of the country.
This time, though, this fuckin' bastard has gone too far. Now he and his congregation of deluded morons went to the funerals of two Tennessee National Guard members to protest against the troops defense of gays.
Go to the following site to read the whole story on this latest protest by this SOB and his crew of idiots.
Church: God Punishing GIs Over Gays
What an asshole!
On the second anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, this letter is being sent on behalf of Veterans For Peace (VFP), a national organization of military veterans, to appeal for Congressional action to remove George W. Bush and Richard Cheney from the offices of President and Vice-President of the United States, respectively.
[. . .]
Stop by the Veterans for Peace website and sign the petition. Read the whole letter too. Thanks to the Roo for the link.
Go sign the petition, people. These Vets need OUR help, NOW!
Saturday, August 27, 2005
More here on this :
American Legion Declares War on First Amendment
Fuckin' fascist prick!
Sunnis Cite 13 Problems With Constitution
Four Sunni Arab Cabinet ministers and one Sunni deputy prime minister expressed reservations Saturday about the draft constitution, citing 13 points that they said in a statement need amending.
Although the five are not directly involved in the constitutional talks, such a statement by Sunni figures of that rank indicate grave problems trying to see the draft to the Sunni community without major changes.
The statement was issued by Culture minister Nouri Farhan al-Rawi, Minister of State for Women's Affairs, Azhar Abdel-Karim; the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Saad al-Hardan; Industry Minister Osama al-Najafi; and Deputy Prime Minister Abed Mutlaq al-Jbouri.
The points they listed as unacceptable include apportioning government posts by religious sect, postponing a decision on federalism "to a future period," allowing special status for the Kurds and removal of any mention of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party from the draft.
They also insisted that the constitution must preserve Iraq's "Arab identity." The current draft refers to Iraq as an Islamic — but not Arab — nation.
What an idiot Bush is.
Well I hope the Emperor Chimp is proud of himself. His grand idea of democracy in Iraq is about to blow up in his face.
The economy in Iraq is shot. The schools and hospitals have been destroyed. Industry is almost totally non-existant. Tens of thousands of orphans. Women's rights going down the tubes.
What the hell else can you do for the people of Iraq, Mr. Idiot in Chief?
Oh yeah, make sure the Sunnis are kept out of the first election and then work hard to keep them from influencing the drafting of a constitution. Get things stired up to the point that a civil war starts.
This fucking moron some people call their president has completely destroyed an entire country single-handed. Now his policies are pushing the people into a civil war.
You fool! Most of the insurgent attacks are coming from the Sunnis. The violence will increase. There will be more bombings and more kidnappings. Or is this all in his plan to have an excuse to stay in Iraq another 4, 8, or even 12 to 20 years.
Three different sects; Shiites, Kurds, and Sunnis, are arguing over how much religious influence there should be in the formation and operation of a new government.
These three sects for centuries have not gotten along. The best they ever got along was during the time Saddam was in power, they didn't have much choice.
The Sunnis did have it a little better at that time because Saddam and the Baath party both were of the Sunni sect.
As a result the Shiites and Kurds have formed a loose band to prevent the Sunnis from gaining to much power, if any. The Shittes don't like the Sunnis because of their Baath party connections and loyalty to Saddam. The don't trust either. The Sunnis because of the afore mentioned connections and the Shiites because they want Islam to dominate life in Iraq.
The Kurds and Shiites want their own separate states, autunomous regions, all to themselves, ruled by themselves. The Sunnis want the country under one central rule. They are in fear that the Kurds in the north and Shiites in the south would have too much control over the revenues from those oil-rich regions.
Read more about this here, Iraqi MPs to debate constitution
Sunni Arabs Rally to Protest Proposed Iraqi Constitution
Sunnis Offer New Proposals for Iraqi Constitution
The Dead-enders Club
Thirty-four percent of Americans believe in UFOs. Twenty-four percent believe in witches. And in the new AP-Ipsos Poll out today, 20 percent of Americans say they "approve strongly" of the way the Bush administration is handling the war in Iraq.
Another 16 percent say they "approve somewhat," taking the overall approval rating to 36 percent. Fifty-eight percent say they disapprove either "strongly" or "somewhat." And 53 percent of the public now says that the United States made a mistake in starting the war in Iraq. As the AP notes, that's about the same level of opposition measured for the Vietnam War in August 1968 -- which is to say, about 20,000 American deaths before that war ended.
And a few others you might find interesting:
Hitchens takes a beating
Jon Stewart lets Christopher Hitchens have it in a "Daily Show" debate on Iraq.
Chickenhawk: The other right meat
Cindy Sheehan's demand that war supporters pick up gun and fight has gotten under the skin of conservative pundits.
What happens in Crawford stays in Crawford
The president invites the press over for a party, but with one condition: Nodody reports what is said.
Next for Cindy Sheehan: A roadtrip
She'll launch a nationwide bus tour before moving her protest to a more permanent home in Washington.
It's late...early to some...and I need some sleep. Back at it later.
Friday, August 26, 2005
I thought you might want to hear about another example of the New McCarthyism. Senator Rick Santorum of gay-hating fame was appearing at a Barnes & Noble for a "book signing and discussion." But discussion was the last thing he wanted, and his people had a state trooper toss out a group of women who wanted to ask him a question before they even had a chance to talk to him!
And a little something for grins:
Etymology: Savage Love - 05/29/03
1. The frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Basham given in-state status
8/19/2005 4:12 PM
By: News 8 Austin Staff
Former Marine Cpl. Carl Basham is a real Texan.
On Friday, Basham submitted "additional documents" to Austin Community College to meet requirements for a waiver for in-state tuition. Basham was granted in-state status.
The school previously denied Basham the cheaper tuition rate because he lived in Louisiana for a year before joining the military.
He grew up in Waco and his parents have been in Austin for years.
He has a Texas driver's license and is a registered voter but all that wasn't enough for the school, following state rules, to call him a resident.
Basham's story inspired massive support from around the country. Many people offered money so that he wouldn't have to pay for school at all.
He's using the experience to develop a scholarship fund. He wants to help veterans facing similar problems.
"There's a lot of individuals trying to get into schools in their home state: California, Illinois is a big one, Texas, probably just this one. Hopefully everything will turn out for the best and it will spread out to other states as well," Basham said.
"The college is not an uncaring college, it's a great college, Carl made a super choice in picking ACC," ACC President Stephen Kinslow said.
Both Carl and Kinslow say they want a new law that would allow U.S. veterans to get in-state tuition, wherever they choose to go to school.
Monday, August 22, 2005
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Schoomaker said the Army is prepared for the "worst case" in terms of the required level of troops in Iraq. He said the number could be adjusted lower if called for by slowing the force rotation or by shortening tours for soldiers.
Schoomaker also said commanders in Iraq and others in the chain of command will decide how many troops will be needed next year and beyond. His responsibility is to provide them, trained and equipped. I wonder if this means as "well" equipted as they are not now.
There are about 113,000 U.S. Army troops, regular and reservists, and about 25,000 Marines, regular and reservists, making a total of 138,000 troops in Iraq at this time.
"We are now into '07-'09 in our planning," Schoomaker said, having completed work on the set of combat and support units that will be rotated into Iraq over the coming year for 12-month tours of duty. His comments come amid indications from the Emperor Chimp's administration and commanders in Iraq that the size of the U.S. force may be scaled back next year if certain conditions are achieved.
Among those conditions: an Iraqi constitution must be drafted in coming days, it must be approved in a national referendum, and elections must be held for a new government under that charter. The way things are going right now with all the infighting between the Kurds, Shias, and Sunnis it doesn't seem like that is going to come to fruition anytime soon. Looks like all of this will be used as an excuse to keep the troops there.
Schoomaker made no predictions about the pace of political progress in Iraq. But he said he was confident the Army could provide the current number of forces to fight the insurgency for many more years. In other words many more troops dying from IED's because they don't really know just who the "enemy" is. The 2007-09 rotation he is planning would go beyond the fuckin' chimp's term in office, which ends, finally thanks to the Constitution, in January 2009.
Isn't it surprising how these assholes in the White Whorehouse can make sure we have the troops for a long campaign, but they refuse to even try to set up a plan for the withdrawl of the same troops.
Sounds like the Emperor Chimp is planing on being in control of Iraq for quit some time to come. But then, I guess when one is building a colonial empire one never really pulls ones troops out completely. Just ask Great Britian. They didn't remove their troops until they were either forced out or thrown out.
Today, Mr. Rich has an excellant column on how the right-wingers tried, and failed, to bring down Cindy Sheehan.
Here's the link to Mr. Rich's column today:
Frank Rich: The swift-boating of Cindy Sheehan 8/21
Saturday, August 20, 2005
He's at it again with connecting 11 September 2001 with the invasion of Iraq. This fool doesn't realize that more than half the population of the US believe this crap that he keeps spewing.
The Idiot in Chief launched a counter-offensive against growing public discontent of the war in Iraq today, when he defended the war as a way of protecting Americans from another September 11 attack. He will reinforce this message when he takes to the road next week. I guess that means he'll be cutting the vacation short. Sure, the asshole can do that to stump for the war, but can't find the time to talk to a mother who lost her son in the same war. Looks like he's done with "getting on with his life" for now 'cause the war needs his attention.
"Our troops know that they're fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere to protect their fellow Americans from a savage enemy," Bush said in his weekly radio address.
"They know that if we do not confront these evil men abroad, we will have to face them one day in our own cities and streets, and they know that the safety and security of every American is at stake in this war," he said.
The security of every American is at stake both here and abroad because of this war.There are more terrorist and terrorist attacks now because we are in Iraq. That fuckin' idiot doesn't seem to understand that.
We already face evil men here in our own cities and streets. They are called republicans, neo-cons, the religious right, and anyone else trying to destroy the Constitution and take away our rights and liberties. This includes Dr. James Dobson, Rev. Pat Robertson, and Tony Perkins the head of the Family Research Council. All three of these fuckin' fascists want to change the Constitution to read what they want it to read. They don't want us to have a Democracy, they want us to have a Theocracy. Biblical rule, or in other words, ruled by the church, their church.
Now I'm ranting and rambling. Time to get back to that fuckin' idiot in the White House...oops, I mean Crawford, Texas.
This moron can't, or won't, separate 9/11 and Iraq. Most everyone knows that Saddam and Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. The asshole lied to get us into Iraq and continues to lie to keep us there. As far as I'm concerned, he has commited treason against the United States by lying to get us into an illegal war.
It's time for Congress to act. The Senate and the House of Representatives must act by taking back their Constitutional power to get this country involved in a war, and must use their Constitutional power to impeach the chimp and charge him and his fascist friends with treason.
Write your Senators and Representatives and tell them to take back their powers. They are there to listen to us. They are there to serve us not corporate America.
After Cindy Sheehan
Ugly acts of desperation
Feingold said the United States should set a target date of Dec. 31, 2006, to complete the military mission in Iraq and have all U.S. forces removed from the nation by then.
Russ announced his timetable proposal in detail Thursday at a town hall meeting in Green Lake County, Wisconsin. He told The Associated Press it is based in part on what has happened when other timetables were set in Iraq, effectively setting things in motion to transfer sovereignty, hold elections and prepare a constitution. He said the same thing can be true for the military mission.
According to Sen. Feingold, setting a clear time frame could spur actions by U.S. forces and the Iraqis to accomplish the goal. He also said it would undercut a key recruitment argument of terrorists that they're fighting a U.S. occupation that has no end in sight.
In response to Feingold's proposal Thursday afternoon the Emperor Chimp's spokeswoman Dana Perino said such a deadline would send the wrong message to the troops, the Iraqis and the insurgents.
Just what wrong message would we be sending to the troops? That they'll be able to come home to their families? That they won't have to worry about staying alive? That they won't have to be killing innocent, unarmed people? That they won't be responsible for making more orphans?
Perino said the Iraqis need to know the United States won't pull out of Iraq before completing its mission.
What mission? The chimp said "Mission Accomplished" back in May of 2003. So there's another mission they're talking about now?
If we bring the troops home, the so called insurgents...or are they patriotic freedom fighters... won't have a reason to be blowing things up. Remove the occupying forces and remove the reason to fight.
We need to bring all the troops home and leave Iraq to the Iraqis. Afterall, it is their country not ours. Help them rebuild with financial aid, but let them do it their way not ours. It is high time to let them be themselves.
Carl Basham, a decorated Marine, served two tours of duty in Iraq. Since his return from duty there he has learned that he is no longer classified as a resident of the state of Texas. Here's a brief story on this.
Texas Marine told he's not state resident, must pay higher tuition
AUSTIN, Texas A decorated Marine doesn't qualify as a Texas resident any more because of the time he spent serving in Iraq.That's what Carl Basham says officials told him when he tried to enroll in Austin Community College.He's registered to vote in Texas, has a Texas driver's license and does his banking there. But he says officials told him that's not enough to qualify him for the lower tuition Texas residents pay.That means he'd have to pay around 26-hundred dollars a semester in tuition, instead of about 500 dollars.Basham did two tours of duty in Iraq.Officials at the college will only say Basham didn't meet state requirements. They say privacy laws prevent discussing his case.
It looks like the Bush family has had too much influence in Texas for far too long. It seems like the entire state government is thinking and acting like that dick-headed asshole in the White House, you know the one I'm talking about. The fuckin' jackass who takes more vacation time than anyone else in the history of the world!
Typical Bushevik bullshit! Treat the returning vets like shit! Go serve your country, put your life on the line, loose a body-part or two, get your head permanently fuck-up, and then be told you can't get any government services because you were out of state too long. Oh, what great treatment our returning troops get!
But the chimp can't be bothered with things like this. He has to get on with HIS life, so fuck everybody elses.
There is another story I picked up on from a comment at Alternate Brain this week. There's this from someone by the name of Jon who left this comment.
"There's worse stories. There was a guy in the National Guard in New York. He was wounded in Irag, as a result he lost a lot of his equipment. When he got home he got bills for the equiipment that was destroyed in the IED blast that wounded him. I believe he was also billed for some of his transportation costs home. They then docked his disability pay or the end of his service paychecks to start the repayment of the bills."
Now that's a fucking kick in the ass! The guy got wounded while serving and now they want to charge him for his damaged and lost equipment. Bullshit! That's all it is, bullshit.
That fuckin' cock-sucker on vacation in Crawford doesn't give a damn about those returning troops. Of course why would he. That chicken-shit, piece of crap never served, should have but didn't. Motherfuckin', lily-livered, lyin' bastard start treating our vets the way they should be treated, with honor and respect!
Friday, August 19, 2005
They accused Met Police chief Sir Ian Blair of lying about aspects of the shooting, and of attempting a cover-up.
Sir Ian has "rejected utterly" the claims and said some of the disputed statements were never provided by his force. He has said he will not resign.
Mr Menezes was mistakenly shot as a suspected suicide bomber on 22 July.
Brazilian investigators are to fly to London next week for talks with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to clarify conflicting reports of how he died at Stockwell station.
The incident came a day after the failed 21 July attacks on the London Underground and a bus.
Investigation papers leaked to the media this week seemed to contradict initial police statements and eyewitness accounts of events.
And the IPCC has said Scotland Yard "initially resisted" the regulator's attempts to launch an investigation into the shooting.
Mr Menezes' cousin Alessandro Pereira said: "For three weeks we have had to listen to lie after lie about Jean and how he was killed."
Speaking at a press conference near Stockwell station, Mr Pereira said: "I want Ian Blair to think how it felt having to ring Jean's mother and father... and tell them their son was dead, that he was killed in such a way.
"The police know Jean was innocent and yet they let my family suffer."
He said lies had been told about his cousin such as that he was a suspected terrorist, that he looked like a suicide bomber, that he was wearing a big jacket and that he ran from police.
But Sir Ian Blair has strongly defended his actions and those of his officers in the aftermath of the shooting.
In an interview with the London Evening Standard on Thursday, Sir Ian said people had to be careful about attributing statements to the police.
"We have looked at what we have actually said about this incident. The number of features about heavyweight coats or hopping over barriers have never been said or confirmed by the Metropolitan Police Service.
"I did say there were direct links to the investigation and that is because he [Mr Menezes] came out of the house that we had under surveillance."
The BBC's home affairs correspondent Daniel Sandford said he did not think Sir Ian's position was at risk, but he would have to "sit it out" and take the criticisms.
He said it was important to note where the calls for Sir Ian's resignation were not coming from - and pointed out that no such call had come from the government, London Mayor Ken Livingstone or his employer the Metropolitan Police Authority.
Yasmin Khan, from the Jean Charles de Menezes' Family Campaign, said the family had witnessed a "Laurel and Hardy police operation" in recent weeks.
She said there were three issues to consider, the first being the "shoot-to-kill policy", and the second the "incompetence of the police on the day".
"Thirdly the attempted cover-up and misleading by Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police and with government officials colluding with this," she said.
She urged supporters to attend a vigil to be held outside 10 Downing Street at 1800 BST (1700 GMT) on Monday.
Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA), Len Duvall, said Mr Menezes' death was a "tragic loss" but added the officers involved would also be under "immense strain" and needed support.
"The MPA will do everything in its power to ensure that whatever the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of Mr de Menezes, the full facts and truth will be made known," he said.
Mr Duvall added London was facing an "unprecedented" potential threat to the safety of its inhabitants.
"This means calculated risks have to be taken, often by necessity in haste, and mistakes are therefore likely," he said.
Graphic photos of Mr Menezes' dead body lying on the floor of the Tube train have appeared in most of Brazil's newspapers.
The papers also reported claims from the leaked documents that the Brazilian electrician had not fled from police as initially claimed, nor had he hurdled a ticket barrier.
The Brazilian Foreign Ministry said the press coverage had heightened the government's sense of indignation at the shooting.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Police chief tried to intervene on fatal shooting inquiry
Officers must face murder charge, says family. Suspect was 'pinned down' before being shot
By Jason Bennetto, Crime Correspondent
Published: 18 August 2005
Sir Ian Blair, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, tried to halt an independent inquiry into the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes just hours after the innocent Brazilian's death, it emerged last night.
Scotland Yard said Sir Ian wrote to the Home Office permanent secretary, John Gieve, to ensure the terrorist investigation took precedence over any Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation.
Later the same day, the Metropolitan Police agreed to hand over the investigation to the IPCC.
Scotland Yard said last night that the letter, which was also sent to the IPCC, was "to clarify the role of IPCC if, as it then appeared, the shooting at Stockwell tube station involved a suicide bomber who had been involved in the previous day's incidents".
It was reported last night that Sir Ian was concerned about the possible security risk posed by an independent inquiry.
Mr de Menezes' legal team accused police of breaching their statutory duty yesterday by not immediately inviting the IPPC to start its inquiry. The family's lawyer, Harriet Wistrich, called for Sir Ian to resign. She is meeting IPCC representatives for the first time today.
With pressure growing for a public inquiry into the shooting after further details emerged of blunders in the police operation, Scotland Yard is also facing increasing criticism over their "shoot-to-kill" policy.
Former Cabinet minister Frank Dobson last night said that Sir Ian's position was "very difficult" because he was partly responsible for people being misled, including Prime Minister Tony Blair. "The public and everyone had been misled by the police not correcting the story that first came out," he told BBC2's Newsnight.
Leaked documents, believed to be from the IPCC inquiry suggest Mr de Menezes was sitting calmly in the Tube carriage, surrounded by surveillance officers, moments before police stormed in and fired eight bullets into him.
According to the documents, an officer grabbed Mr de Menezes, pinned his arms down, and pushed him back on a seat before he was shot. Mr de Menezes's cousin, Alex Alvez Pereira, said: "The officers who have done this have to be sent to jail for life because it's murder and the people who gave them the order to shoot must be punished."
According to a statement in the leaked report, one of the surveillance officers, codenamed Hotel Three, saw four firearms officers approaching the suspect at Stockwell station.
The witness statement said at least three surveillance officers were positioned. "I immediately identified these men as police [firearms] officers probably from SO19 and decided to identify the male in the denim jacket who I followed on to the Tube to them as they appeared to be looking into the carriage as if searching for someone."
Hotel Three stood up and walked to the carriage doors. "I placed my left foot against the open carriage door to prevent it shutting ... I shouted 'He's here' and indicated to the male in the denim jacket with my right hand. I then heard shouting which included the word 'police' and turned to face the male in the denim jacket."
The officer said Mr de Menezes then stood up and walked to within a few feet of him. "I grabbed the male in the denim jacket by wrapping both my arms around his torso pinning his arms to his side. I then pushed him back on to the seat where he had previously been sitting ... I then heard a gunshot very close to my ear and was dragged away on to the floor of the carriage." Mr de Menezes was shot eight times, seven times in the head, once in the shoulder. Three bullets missed him.
Statements from witnesses had said earlier that Mr de Menezes was followed from his flat in Tulse Hill on to the bus that took him to Stockwell station.
Mr de Menezes was mistakenly believed to be linked to the men who tried to detonate bombs in the failed July 21 attacks. Contrary to earlier police and witness statements he was not wearing a heavy jacket and did not run on to the platform.
The documents also reveal details of what officers describe as a " training camp" in north Wales linked to a suspected bomber. The " training camp" in the Cambrian mountains in north Wales is understood to have been used by some of the July 21 suspects for "bonding" sessions.
According to the material, obtained by ITV News, officers are investigating a possible link between the camp and Lampeter University. The university has an Islamic studies centre.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
An image leaked to ITV shows Mr de Menezes lying dead in a train
The papers, from the probe into Jean Charles de Menezes' death, and leaked to ITV, suggest he was restrained before being shot eight times.
Mr de Menezes, 27, was killed at Stockwell Tube station on 22 July.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has said it will not comment on its investigation.
The documents, including witness statements, also suggest Mr de Menezes did not hurdle the barrier at Stockwell tube station and was not wearing a padded jacket that could have concealed a bomb, as eyewitness reports previously suggested.
The family of Mr de Menezes has called for a public inquiry into his death.
His cousin Allessandro Pereira said: "My family deserve the full truth about his murder. The truth cannot be hidden any longer. It has to be made public."
He said the police should have stopped his cousin before he got to the bus stop after leaving home in Tulse Hill. "He would have helped the police," he said.
"They killed my cousin, they could kill anyone, any English person."
In a statement, the IPCC said it does not know where the documents came from and that its priority was to keep Mr de Menezes family informed.
The shooting occurred the day after the failed bomb attacks of 21 July.
The latest documents suggest Mr de Menezes had walked into Stockwell Tube station, picked up a free newspaper, walked through ticket barriers, had started to run when he saw a train arriving and was sitting down in a train when he was shot.
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, police said Mr de Menezes had been acting suspiciously.
Despite the eyewitness reports that Mr Menezes had worn a large winter-style coat, the leaked version suggested he had in fact worn a denim jacket.
The leaked version said Mr de Menezes was being restrained by a community officer when he was shot by armed police.
The IPCC would not comment on the details of the leak.
The commission said the family "will clearly be distressed that they have received information on television concerning his death".
Its statement added: "The IPCC made it clear that we would not speculate or release partial information about the investigation, and that others should not do so. That remains the case."
The commission said it operated a "very high degree of security" on all of its investigations.
Harriet Wistrich, solicitor for the family of Mr de Menezes, said the information the leaked documents contained was "terrifying".
She urged the government and police to review the shoot-to-kill policy.
"What sort of society are we living in where we can execute suspects?" she said.
"First of all it tells us that the information that was first put out, which was first reported in the news, is almost entirely wrong and misleading.
"There was no suggestion that this person was a suspect in any way, that he was running from the police".
She said it also suggested the information given to the pathologist who carried out the post-mortem examination on Mr de Menezes was incorrect.
Former Flying Squad commander John O'Connor told the BBC the leaked report would cause "great embarrassment" to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, adding he would be under pressure to "go".
He also said it was "very difficult" to blame individuals for the death of Mr de Menezes.
"Simply because it would appear that they were acting on information that this was a positive identification of Osman [Hussain], one of the suspect bombers.
"But had the normal procedures taken place in which a warning is given and officers wear specially marked clothing then this young man may not have been killed."Scotland Yard and the Home Office have so far said it would be inappropriate to comment.
Just what the hell are the British Police trying to hide? It looks like racial profiling is not only the thing to do here but also in Britian.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
This after the moron the other day firing gun shots into the air. Just how stupid can people be? It appears that there are quit a few idiots in showing up near Camp Casey.
There is a bright spot in all of this though. A distant cousin of the idiot who was doing the shooting the other day, has offered his property to Cindy Sheehan to use for her vigil. The property is much closer to the chimp's ranch, and is across from the church the chimp attends when he's in Crawford.
The following are two articles on the above subjects. Both are through Reuters News.
CRAWFORD, Texas, Aug 16 (Reuters) - A pickup truck ran over wooden crosses erected at anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan's campsite on Monday night, in the latest sign of tension over the peace vigil outside vacationing President George W. Bush's Texas ranch. Larry Northern, 46, of nearby Waco, Texas, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief in connection with the incident, Crawford Police Chief Donnie Tidmore said. Sheehan has pitched a tent on Prairie Chapel Road, which leads to Bush's ranch, and calls her site "Camp Casey," after her 24-year-old son, who was killed in combat in Iraq in April 2004. The small, white wooden crosses erected at the site are hand-painted with the names of soldiers killed in Iraq. Sheehan, of Vacaville, California, has demanded a meeting with Bush at which she said she wants to call for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq. While Bush has expressed sympathy for Sheehan's grief, the White House has declined a meeting. Sheehan previously met with Bush in 2004 but wants another meeting. Michelle Mulkey, a spokeswoman for Sheehan, said protesters were still awake on Monday night when a truck dragging a pipe and chains drove over a portion of the area where the crosses were standing. Sheehan's vigil has attracted anti-war activists from all over the United States -- many of them also relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq -- who arrived to cheer her on and join in rallies. But not everyone in this farming town of just over 700 people is happy about the presence of Camp Casey and the accompanying media circus. One resident, neighbor Larry Mattlage, fired shots into the air on Sunday from his ranch near Bush's 1,600-acre (648-hectare) property.
CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - Antiwar protester Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, is moving her camp closer to President George W. Bush's Texas ranch.
The piece of private property was offered by a relative of a man who had a fired shotgun in frustration over the protests, a source in the Sheehan camp said. The property owner is also a veteran.
"A neighbour of President Bush's has offered us his land," the source said. "It's got plenty of acreage for us, it's private land, we would have legal permission to be on it, it's much closer to the ranch -- in fact it's across the street from his (Bush's) church."
"We have taken him up on his offer," the source added.
Sheehan was not immediately available for comment.
Sheehan was expected to begin moving as early as Wednesday morning.
She is in the 10th day of her vigil on Prairie Chapel Road, which leads to Bush's 1,600-acre (647.5-hectare) ranch. She calls her site "Camp Casey," after her 24-year-old son who was killed in combat in Iraq.
According to the source, the land offered to Sheehan is owned by Fred Mattlage, who is a distant cousin of Larry Mattlage, a man who fired a shotgun over the weekend in frustration over the commotion caused by the vigil.
The source said Fred Mattlage made the offer saying "I'm a veteran, I support what you all are doing and I want to offer you my land."
Sheehan, of Vacaville, California, has demanded a meeting with Bush at which she said she wants to call for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq.
While Bush has expressed sympathy for Sheehan's grief, the White House has declined a meeting. Sheehan previously met with Bush in 2004 but wants to talk to him face-to-face again.
Sheehan's vigil has attracted anti-war activists from across the United States -- many of them also relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq -- who arrived to offer support, share a hug with Sheehan and join in her daily media events.
But in this quiet farming town of just over 700 people, many residents have found the activity disruptive.
In the latest sign of tension, a man in a pickup trunk on Monday night ran over crosses at Sheehan's campsite.
Some 800 white wooden crosses, bearing the names of soldiers killed in Iraq have lined the road near the area where Sheehan has pitched a tent. Witnesses said they saw a lorry dragging a pipe and chains drive over some of the crosses.
Larry Northern, 46, of nearby Waco, Texas, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief in connection with the incident.
Earlier on Tuesday, a group of residents showed up at a hearing of county officials to complain about the traffic caused by activists and reporters who shuttle back and forth to the camp site.
They brought a petition seeking to ban parking and camping along Prairie Chapel Road.
Displayed in front of one resident's house was a big sign that read, "We support our commander-in-chief."
So they support their chump-in-chief. Thats good cause he's gonna need all the support he can get once he's brought before the World Court for the war crimes he and the rest of his cohorts have commited.
Jefferson Would Have Stood With Cindy Sheehan
by Thom Hartmann
| Nationally, it was clearly a phenomenon when several truckers called into a radio show on Sirius Satellite to say that they were interrupting trips through central parts of the USA to head to Crawford, Texas. One even reported live as he experienced a (friendly) reception by the local sheriff, who helped him find a place to park his rig. Locally here in Oregon, it's not unusual to see cars with signs taped to their rear windows - printed in inch-high letters on an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper - that say variations on: "We're With Cindy!" or "Answer Her Questions!" |
Ambassador Joe Wilson represented a political threat to Bush by credibly exposing part of Bush's lie and its methodology, and so Wilson had to be taken out by destroying his wife's career. Cindy Sheehan now represents a similar political threat, and for this job right-wing hate radio, Drudge, and extremist bloggers have zeroed in on her. Meanwhile, thousands of patriotic Americans, tired of being lied to by the Bush regime, are heading to Crawford, or visiting www.meetwithcindy.com or www.crawfordpeacehouse.org.
Often history tells us how the future may turn out: Bush Junior isn't the first president to have lied to us about foreign affairs and war, or to use lies to justify eviscerating the Constitution. For example, Lyndon Johnson lied about a non-existent attack on the US warship Maddox in the Vietnamese Gulf of Tonkin. William McKinley (the presidency after which Karl Rove has said he's modeling the Bush presidency) lied about an attack on the USS Maine to get us into the Spanish-American war in The Philippines and Cuba.
But most relevant to today's situation were John Adams' version of Bush's Saddam stories when Adams sent three emissaries to France and criminals soliciting bribes approached them late one evening. Adams referred to these three unidentified Frenchmen as "Mr. X, Mr. Y, and Mr. Z," and made them out to represent such an insult and a threat against America that it may presage war.
Adams' use of "The XYZ Affair" to gain political capital nearly led us to war with France and helped him carve a large (although temporary) hole in the Constitution. Similarly, much like Bush's corralling of protesters at gunpoint into so-called "Free Speech Zones," and saying he has the power to lock up Americans (like Jose Padilla) without charges and without access to a lawyer, John Adams jailed newspaper editors and average citizens alike who spoke out against him and his policies.
At that time in the late 1790s, Adams was President and Jefferson was Vice President. Adams led the Federalist Party (which today could be said to have reincarnated as the Republican Party - thus the attempts by Republican historians to rehabilitate Adams' legacy and trash Jefferson), and Jefferson had just brought together two Anti-Federalist parties - the Democrats and the Republicans - into one party called The Democratic Republicans. (Today they're known as the Democratic Party, the longest-lasting political party in history. They dropped "Republican" from their name in the 1820-1830 era).
Adams and his Federalist cronies, using war hysteria with France as a wedge issue, were pushing the Alien & Sedition Acts through Congress, and even threw into prison Democratic Congressman Matthew Lyon of Vermont for speaking out against the Federalists on the floor of the House of Representatives. Adams was leading the United States in the direction of a fascistic state with a spectacularly successful strategy of vilifying Jefferson and his Party as anti-American and pro-French. Adams rhetoric was described as "manly" by the Federalist newspapers, which admiringly published dozens of his threatening rants against France, suggesting that Jefferson's Democratic Republicans were less than patriots and perhaps even traitors because of their opposition to the unnecessary war with France that Adams was simultaneously trying to gin up and saying he was working to avoid.
On June 1, 1798 - two weeks before the Alien & Sedition Acts passed Congress by a single vote - Jefferson wrote a thoughtful letter to his old friend John Taylor.
"This is not new," Jefferson said. "It is the old practice of despots; to use a part of the people to keep the rest in order. And those who have once got an ascendancy and possessed themselves of all the resources of the nation, their revenues and offices, have immense means for retaining their advantage.
"But," he added, "our present situation is not a natural one." Jefferson knew that Adams' Federalists did not represent the true heart and soul of America, and commented to Taylor about how Adams had been using divide-and-conquer politics, and fear-mongering about war with France (the "XYZ Affair") with some success.
"But still I repeat it," he wrote again to Taylor, "this is not the natural state."
Jefferson did everything he could to stop that generation's version of the PATRIOT Act, but Adams had the Federalists in control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and pushed through the Alien and Sedition Acts. Jefferson left town the day they were signed in protest.
Jefferson later wrote in his diary, "Their usurpations and violations of the Constitution at that period, and their majority in both Houses of Congress, were so great, so decided, and so daring, that after combating their aggressions, inch by inch, without being able in the least to check their career, the [Democratic] Republican leaders thought it would be best for them to give up their useless efforts there, go home, get into their respective legislatures, embody whatever of resistance they could be formed into, and if ineffectual, to perish there as in the last ditch."
Democratic Republican Congressman Albert Gallatin submitted legislation that would repeal the Alien & Sedition Acts, and the Federalist majority in the House refused to even consider the motion, while informing Gallatin that he would be the next to be imprisoned if he kept speaking out against "the national security."
But a new force arose.
When Adams shut down the Democratic Republican newspapers, pamphleteers - like those who had helped stir up the American Revolution - went to work, papering towns from New Hampshire to Georgia with posters and leaflets decrying Adams' power grab and encouraging people to stand tall with Thomas Jefferson. One of the best was a short screed by George Nicholas of Kentucky, "Justifying the Kentucky Resolution against the Alien & Sedition Laws" and " Correcting Certain False Statements, Which Have Been Made in the Different States" by Adams' Federalists.
On February 13, 1799, then-Vice President Jefferson sent a copy of Nicholas' pamphlet to his old friend Archibald Stuart (a Virginia legislator, fighter in the War of Independence, and leader of Jefferson's Democratic Republicans).
"I avoid writing to my friends because the fidelity of the post office is very much doubted," he opened his letter to Stuart, concerned that Adams was having his mail inspected because of his anti-war activities. Jefferson pointed out that "France is sincerely anxious for reconciliation, willing to give us a liberal treaty," and that even with the Democratic newspapers shut down by Adams and the Federalist-controlled media being unwilling to speak of Adams' war lies, word was getting out to the people.
Jefferson noted, "All these things are working on the public mind. They are getting back to the point where they were when the X. Y. Z. story was passed off on them. A wonderful and rapid change is taking place in Pennsylvania, Jersey, and New York. Congress is daily plied with petitions against the alien and sedition laws and standing armies."
Jefferson then turned to the need for the pamphleteers' materials to be widely distributed. "The materials now bearing on the public mind will infallibly restore it to its republican soundness in the course of the present summer," he wrote, "if the knowledge of facts can only be disseminated among the people. Under separate cover you will receive some pamphlets written by George Nicholas on the acts of the last session. These I would wish you to distribute...."
The pamphleteer - today he would have been called a blogger - was James Bradford, and he reprinted tens of thousands of copies of Nicholas' pamphlet and distributed it far and wide. Hand to hand, as Jefferson did with his by-courier letter to Stuart - was how what would be today's postings to progressive websites were distributed.
In the face of the pamphleteering and protests, the Federalists fought back with startling venom. Vicious personal attacks were launched in the Federalist press against Jefferson, Madison, and others, and President Adams and Vice President Jefferson were scarcely on speaking terms. Adams' goal was nothing short of the complete destruction of Jefferson's Democratic Party, and he had scared many of them into silence or submission.
"All [Democratic Republicans], therefore, retired," Jefferson wrote in his diary, "leaving Mr. Gallatin alone in the House of Representatives, and myself in the Senate, where I then presided as Vice-President. Remaining at our posts, and bidding defiance to the brow-beatings and insults by which they endeavored to drive us off also, we kept the mass of [Democratic] Republicans in phalanx together, until the legislature could be brought up to the charge; and nothing on earth is more certain, than that if myself particularly, placed by my office of Vice-President at the head of the [Democratic] Republicans, had given way and withdrawn from my post, the [Democratic] Republicans throughout the Union would have given up in despair; and the cause would have been lost forever."
But Jefferson and Gallatin held their posts, and fought back fiercely against Adams, thus saving - quite literally - American democracy. Jefferson and Madison also secretly helped legislators in Virginia and Kentucky submit resolutions in those states' legislatures decrying the Alien & Sedition Acts. The bill in Virginia, in particular, gained traction.
As Jefferson noted in his diary, "By holding on, we obtained time for the legislatures to come up with their weight; and those of Virginia and Kentucky particularly, but more especially the former, by their celebrated resolutions, saved the Constitution at its last gasp. No person who was not a witness of the scenes of that gloomy period, can form any idea of the afflicting persecutions and personal indignities we had to brook. They saved our country however. The spirits of the people were so much subdued and reduced to despair by the X Y Z imposture, and other stratagems and machinations, that they would have sunk into apathy and monarchy, as the only form of government which could maintain itself."
The efforts of average people like that century's Cindy Sheehans, and fearless politicians like today's Howard Dean, John Conyers, and Bernie Sanders, made great gains. As Jefferson noted in a February 14, 1799 letter to Virginia's Edmund Pendleton, "The violations of the Constitution, propensities to war, to expense, and to a particular foreign connection, which we have lately seen, are becoming evident to the people, and are dispelling that mist which X. Y. Z. had spread before their eyes. This State is coming forward with a boldness not yet seen. Even the German counties of York and Lancaster, hitherto the most devoted [to Adams], have come about, and by petitions with four thousand signers remonstrate against the alien and sedition laws, standing armies, and discretionary powers in the President."
Americans were so angry with Adams, Jefferson noted, that the challenge was to prevent people from taking up arms against Adams' Federalists.
"New York and Jersey are also getting into great agitation. In this State [of Pennsylvania], we fear that the ill-designing may produce insurrection. Nothing could be so fatal. Anything like force would check the progress of the public opinion and rally them round the government. This is not the kind of opposition the American people will permit."
Like Cindy Sheehan, Jefferson knew that peaceful protests had greater power than violence or threats.
"But keep away all show of force," he wrote to Pendleton, "and they will bear down the evil propensities of the government, by the constitutional means of election and petition. If we can keep quiet, therefore, the tide now turning will take a steady and proper direction."
A week later, February 21, 1799, Jefferson wrote to the great Polish general who had fought in the American Revolution, Thaddeus Kosciusko, a close friend who was then living in Russia. War was the great enemy of democracy, Jefferson noted, and peace was its champion. And the American people were increasingly siding with peace and rejecting Adams' call for war.
"The wonderful irritation produced in the minds of our citizens by the X. Y. Z. story, has in a great measure subsided," he noted. "They begin to suspect and to see it coolly in its true light."
But Adams was still President, and for him and his Federalist Party war would have helped tremendously with the upcoming election of 1800. In France some leaders wanted war with America for similar reasons.
Jefferson continued, "What course the government will pursue, I know not. But if we are left in peace, I have no doubt the wonderful turn in the public opinion now manifestly taking place and rapidly increasing, will, in the course of this' summer, become so universal and so weighty, that friendship abroad and freedom at home will be firmly established by the influence and constitutional powers of the people at large."
And if Adams' rhetoric led to an attack on America by France? "If we are forced into war," Jefferson noted, "we must give up political differences of opinion, and unite as one man to defend our country. But whether at the close of such a war, we should be as free as we are now, God knows."
The tide was turned, to use Jefferson's phrase, by the election of 1800. The abuses of the Federalists were so burned into the people's minds when Jefferson's party came to power, and he freed the imprisoned newspaper editors so reform-minded newspapers were started back up again, that the Federalists disintegrated altogether as a party over the next two decades.
All because average citizens and pamphleteers stood up and challenged the lies of a war-mongering president, and politicians of principle were willing to lead. Cindy Sheehan is the George Nicholas or Rusticus of our age. Jefferson would have stood with her.
America has been burdened by lying presidents before, and even one who tried to destroy our Constitution. But in our era - like in Jefferson's - we are fortunate to have radical truth-tellers like Cindy Sheehan and Joseph Wilson to warn us of treasonous acts for political gain, and bloggers and progressive websites to carry the truth.
If we stand in solidarity with today's truth-tellers, and politicians step forward to take a leadership role, then its entirely possible that with the elections of 2006 and 2008 American democracy can once again prevail.
Thom Hartmann (thom at thomhartmann.com) is a Project Censored Award-winning best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk show and a morning progressive talk show on KPOJ in Portland, Oregon. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection," "We The People," "The Edison Gene", and "What Would Jefferson Do?"