Cheney's Pal


November 6, 2007 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Cheney, Dick, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Happy Halloween!


October 31, 2007 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Cheney, Dick, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Normalization of Totalitarianism

Do you ever watch "Without A Trace"?  Every week, Anthony LaPaglia (Agent Jack Malone) and his crack crew of FBI investigators track down people who have been reported missing by relatives or friends, solving mysteries and crimes as they go.

In other words, an adult American crime-free citizen decides to go silent for a while.  By having someone report them as "missing", this apparently gives the FBI the right to tear that missing person's life apart:  tracking bank accounts, credit cards, travel records, phone lists, interrogating friends and colleagues, interviewing doctors and psychiatrists.  And we cheer on their successes .

By what law can they do this?  Is a judge supervising them?  Isn't this the basest form of warrantless surveillance?

We applaud Jack Bauer in "24", as he uses whatever form of interrogation technique (i.e., torture) that he feels is required to obtain the information he thinks he needs.  The last Bourne movie was about nothing but the government's abilities to track individuals anywhere in the world. Wherever we turn, there are attractive images of lawmen breaking the rules to ensure that "justice" wins in the end.

As Chomsky and Herman's "Propaganda Model" of media shows, this is the normalization of totalitarianism.  If we accept -- neh, applaud -- these illegal actions on entertainment TV, we are more inclined to accept them in real life.  This is a not an accident.  This is what they want to see happen.  This is what they need to happen if their plans for control are to be accomplished. 

We need to fight back.  Write to each network and studio and ask them to explain how the law enforcement officers in their series and movies can operate so wildly outside the laws required for you and me.  Write, and write again.  It is the least we can do, to show that we care about our loss of freedoms.


October 20, 2007 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Capitalism, Cheney, Dick, Government Intrusion, Right wing, US Justice System | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Plan To Attack Iran

The wingnuts in the Bush Administration -- and outside it -- have clearly determined that an attack on Iran is required.  Norman Podhoretz (now Giuliani's foreign affairs mentor) almost demands it.  Bush in his press conference today talked of World War III.  They have just 15 months to get this done, though, before the next Democratic President sweeps into office.

But I don't think Bush will have the balls for it.  I think he will worry about his historical place, having already weakened the US military through his commander-in-chief blunders in Afghanistan and Iraq.  But I think he still wants to attack Iran.  A quandary, unless ... Bush resigns and allows Cheney to run the balance of his term. 

Cheney, of course, has nothing but a negative legacy to protect, so why would he worry?  On Day One he moves his furniture in, on day two he sends the Marines and the bombers into Iran.


October 17, 2007 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Campaign 2008, Cheney, Dick, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"A nightmare with no end in sight."

How about this as a headline in the Stars and Stripes newspaper's Middle East edition:

"Sanchez, former commander in Iraq, calls war 'a nightmare with no end in sight'."

The story is about a speech given by retired Lt.Gen. Ricardo Sanchez to a convention of military journalists on Friday. Sanchez commanded U.S. troops in Iraq from June 2003 to July 2004. His speech continued:

"From a catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan, to the administration’s latest surge strategy, this administration has failed to employ and synchronize the political, economic and military power."

Changes in military strategy will only “stave off defeat,” he said.  When asked why he didn't speak up when he was in power, even after he realized "there were serious challenges to the U.S. military’s strategy in Iraq", he waffled:

"The last thing that America wants, the last thing that you want, is for currently serving general officers to stand up against our political leadership ... I think once you are retired, you have a responsibility to the nation, to your oath, to the country, to state your opinion."

I must have it wrong.  I thought the taxpayers paid good money to these generals specifically to state their military opinions and to live up to their responsibilities to the nation -- not to any particular Administration.

Still, it is a sobering headline for the troops to read in the armed forces' classic newspaper.

October 12, 2007 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Cheney, Dick, Iraq | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Happy Anniversary

Today is the fourth anniversary of American tanks pulling into Baghdad, and pulling down the statue of Saddam.  Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld said the Iraqi people would be dancing in the streets to greet their liberators.  Is this what they meant?


April 9, 2007 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Cheney, Dick, Iraq | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Far Too Dangerous!

The US forces have lost more than 2,000 men and women in Iraq, and even more when Afghanistan is counted in.   These appalling figures would have been even worse had the Pentagon not privatized the war by hiring tens of thousands of mercenaries through "security companies" such as Blackwater and others.  Now, even the mercenaries are pulling out.

This week, Kroll pulled out its "bodyguard teams" saying "the business in the two countries wasn't worth risking the lives of their employees."  Bechtel -- engineers but mercenaries all the same -- have also cancelled all further work in Iraq with a senior official noting that "had Iraq been a calmer place while we were there, amazing things could have been done."

The rats are leaving, the rats are leaving!  Unfortunately for America's boys, their commander-in-chief is too stubborn and dumb to follow their lead.

November 1, 2006 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Cheney, Dick, Current Affairs, Iraq | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

By Any Other Name


On June 16th this year, Steve Howard and his 7-year old son were walking through an outdoor mall in Beaver Crook, Colorado, when they happened to come upon Vice President Dick Cheney.  The VP was conducting a phto-op with local supporters.  Howard and his son got to within three feet of the VP and Howard said out loud "I think your policies in Iraq are reprehensible," or words to that effect, then walked on.

If such a thing had happened in pre-war Germany, or pre-Glasnost Moscow, or present-day Pyongyang or Tashkent, we would correctly anticipate the swooping down of the jackbooted secret police and the seizure and arrest of the disloyal subject.  Guess what?  In Colorado in June 2006, the U.S. Secret Service swooped down on Steve Howard, arrested him on suspicion of "assaulting the VP", and hauled him away in handcuffs!

Totalitarianism is, wherever you live.

October 5, 2006 in Bush Administration, Cheney, Dick, Current Affairs, Right wing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mike Luckovich

Mike Luckovich of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is one of the most astute editorial cartoonists today.  The following are two of his latest salvos:



August 14, 2006 in Bush Administration, Cheney, Dick, Current Affairs, Iraq | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Plamegate Continues...

I have once again updated my Plamegate and Niger Forgery Chronology.  The latest 170-page version is available on the left sidebar, dated April 17.   

The latest filings in the Libby case have thrown up a few interesting nuggets, as did the Sunday Times reporting on Martino (although much was already known through Josh Marshall and Nur al-Cubicle).  In addition, I have added an extensive bibliography in two forms (alphabetical by author, and chronological).


April 17, 2006 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Cheney, Dick, Current Affairs, History, Iraq, Media, Right wing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack