Saturday, September 02, 2006

Keith Olberman Puts Rumseld in His Place

Keith Olbermann: a special commentary, indeed. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann delivered a particularly impassioned "special commentary" last night in response to this week's speech by Secty. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Here's a partial transcript of Olbermann's response on "Countdown":
[A]bout Mr. Rumsfeld’s other main assertion, that this country faces a "new type of fascism." As he was correct to remind us how a government that knew everything could get everything wrong, so too was he right when he said that - though probably not in the way he thought he meant it. This country faces a new type of fascism - indeed.
Although I presumptuously use his sign-off each night, in feeble tribute… I have utterly no claim to the words of the exemplary journalist Edward R. Murrow.
But never in the trial of a thousand years of writing could come close to matching how he phrased a warning to an earlier generation of us, at a time when other politicians thought they (and they alone) knew everything, and branded those who disagreed, "confused" or "immoral." Thus forgive me for reading Murrow in full:
"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty," he said, in 1954. "We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear - one, of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of un-reason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men; Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were - for the moment - unpopular."Link to QT/WMV video and transcript. Text and WMV-only video also here on Olbermann's MSNBC blog. Over at the Guardian UK's blog, Gary Younge has this analysis. (Thanks, Susan, and many others)

And what penalty will Bush, Cheney and Rumseld, the architects of this madness, get?

PHOENIX, Arizona (AP) -- An Army investigator has recommended that four soldiers accused of murder in a raid in Iraq should face the death penalty if convicted, according to a report obtained Saturday by The Associated Press.

Lt. Col. James P. Daniel Jr. concluded that the slayings were premeditated and warranted the death sentence based on evidence he heard at an August hearing. The case will now be forwarded to Army officials, who will decide whether Daniel's recommendation should be followed.

The soldiers, all from the Fort Campbell, Kentucky-based 101st Airborne Division's 187th Infantry Regiment, are accused of killing three Iraqi men taken from a house May 9 on a marshy island outside Samarra, about 60 miles north of Baghdad.

Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard, Spc. William B. Hunsaker, Pfc. Corey R. Clagett and Spc. Juston R. Graber have claimed they were ordered to "kill all military age males" during the raid on the island. According to statements from some of the soldiers, they were told the target was an al Qaeda training camp.

Hunsaker told investigators that he and Clagett were attacked by the three men, who were being handcuffed, and shot them in self-defense. Clagett said he was hit in the face, and Hunsaker claimed he was stabbed during the attack.

Prosecutors argue the soldiers conspired to kill the men and then altered the scene to fit their story. They contend Girouard stabbed Hunsaker as part of the killing plot.

Clagett, Girouard and Hunsaker also are accused of threatening to kill another soldier who witnessed the slayings. Girouard, the most senior soldier charged, faces several additional charges, including sexual harassment and carrying a personal weapon on duty.

Paul Bergrin, Clagett's civilian attorney, said he was surprised that Daniel recommended the case be taken to trial at all.

"I'm extremely disappointed and disheartened," Bergrin said Saturday. "They are being used as pawns in the war on terror. They followed the rules of engagement. They were confronted with violence by a known al Qaeda training camp member."

Other lawyers in the case, several of whom are deployed to Iraq, did not immediately respond to e-mail requests for comment.

The soldiers are expected to be tried at Fort Campbell. They have been jailed in Kuwait since their arrests this year.

The U.S. military has not executed a soldier since the 1960 hanging of a soldier convicted rape and attempted murder.

Hillbilly George in the White House

From talking Points Memo:

I was alerted to another gem from Bush in the Brian Williams interview. When asked about reading The Stranger, Bush explained: "I was in Crawford and I said I was looking for a book to read and Laura said you oughtta try Camus, I also read three Shakespeare's."

Three Shakespeare's?

It's as if Jethro from The Beverly Hillbillies were President--not a real hillbilly, which I wouldn't much begrudge someone, but a Hollywood spoof of a hillbilly.

They write letters....

One of my closest friends and I each had letters published in the Fresno Bee today!

'Put America first'

(Updated Saturday, September 2, 2006, 5:44 AM)

My son took a train from Portland, Ore., to Fresno. It was nine hours late! I have read with interest the letters pleading for adequate rail service. We should have a reliable conventional rail system from San Diego to Seattle, at least.

Yet, Republican stalwart Michael Der Manouel Jr. advocates endless war against Islam ("Insane fascists" July 19). I doubt if he is raising cannon fodder for that Apocalypse Future. With economic conscription and no draft, the wealthy can avoid that gritty duty. If we weren't involved in a war in Iraq based on neo-con chickenhawk lies, wasting taxpayers' money and precious lives, we could have our railroad. I'm sure the dead and maimed would rather be building a railroad, if they had a choice.

With our National Guard collapsing under combat pressure, with our brave soldiers killed for lies, I have nothing but contempt -- polite words -- for those gung-ho about war without serving a day in harm's way.

Maybe some would apply "insane fascists" to the present administration. This combat zone veteran says, "Put America first!"

Dirk Van Gelder


And here is mine.....

Smoke screen

(Updated Saturday, September 2, 2006, 5:47 AM)

I was puzzled to see your headline Aug. 29 trumpeting the fact that "Karr fails JonBenet DNA test." Given that he was exonerated by the DNA analysis, wouldn't it have been more correct to state that John Mark Karr "passed" the test?

My guess is that the only people who viewed this as a "failure" were the manic members of the mainstream media who were frothing for more of the tabloid pablum that gives them an excuse not to cover the many reasons for impeaching Vice President Bush and President Cheney -- or did I get that backward?

Jeffrey W. Eisinger


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Say it ain't so....

WEDNESDAY Aug. 30 2006
There will be no Mike Malloy program today - or any day - on Air America Radio as we have been terminated. We are told its a financial decision.
We are as shocked as you are, especially since as recently as last Tuesday we were told we had the go-ahead to announce our return to NY airwaves and that our contract was "on the way."
We are told its a financial decision.
More details to follow as we hear them ourselves.

Those dopes at Faux are at it again...

From Hype To Hysteria: Fox News Selling Preemptive War Against Iran
Tomorrow marks the deadline for Iran to comply with U.N. demands to suspend portions of its nuclear program. Fox is using the opportunity to sell another preemptive war.
Today Fox has aired multiple segments featuring pundits who claim that a U.S. military attack on Iran is both essential and imminent. Fox anchors repeatedly parrot these arguments.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Interesting chart on the coming housing crash

Monday, August 28, 2006

Have you had enough?

Great song by the incomparable Rickie Lee Jones!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Legislating Sin

Separation of Church and State? Forget about it!

If you are not electing Christians, tried and true, under public scrutiny and pressure, if you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin. - Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL)