Be sure to check out Len Hart's The Existentialist Cowboy blog. There are a few thinking people left in Texas after all. Link is on the left.
"The choice of colors in this divide is counter-intuitive to many international observers, as throughout the world, especially in Europe and Canada, red is commonly the designated colour for parties representing labor and/or leftist interests, which in the United States would be more closely correlated with the Democratic Party. Similarly, blue is used in these countries to depict conservative parties which in the case of the United States would be a colour more suitable for the Republicans."
The US has got to do everything differently, don't they?Blue Ibis
Mon, 15 Oct 2007 21:43 EDT
In the wake of 911, you could count critics of George W. Bush on one hand. Three courageous exceptions to the climate of fear are notable: Gore Vidal (The Enemy Within), Rep. Cynthia McKinney and, somewhat later, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer who proclaimed August 15, 2005 that the 9/11 committee investigation was either a cover up or a cover story.
Shaffer charged that his unit had warned the FBI about "terrorist cells" but was ignored.
"There is only one politically serious explanation of this now-indisputable fact: powerful forces within the US military/intelligence complex wanted a terrorist incident on US soil in order to create the needed shift in public opinion required to embark on a long-planned campaign of military intervention in Central Asia and the Middle East. Whether or not they knew the scale of the impending attacks and what the precise targets would be, they acted in such a way as to block the arrest of known terrorist operatives and allow them to carry out their plot."
--Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, Army intelligence officer
In August of 2005, the New York Times, at last, revealed that military intelligence had identified four of the alleged hijackers. They were said to have been Al Qaeda operatives "...working in the US a year before the 9/11 attacks." This should have set off alarm bells but didn't. After all, the CIA created al Qaeda. I would like to know: when did al Qaeda cease being anything other than the "dirty tricks" arm of the CIA? I also want to know why the Military's Special Operations Command prevented an intelligence unit from passing on that information to the FBI.
The best answer is that the new Bush administration, partner to the oil industry, wanted to build a pipeline through Afghanistan and needed a little war to "enhance" the negotiations. Just months before 911, US State Department officials had offered the Taliban a deal: " ...a carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs"! Gore Vidal takes up the narrative, making the only case that makes sense.
On 9 September 2001, Bush was presented with a draft of a national security presidential directive outlining a global campaign of military, diplomatic and intelligence action targeting al-Qaeda, buttressed by the threat of war. According to NBC News: 'President Bush was expected to sign detailed plans for a worldwide war against al-Qaeda ... but did not have the chance before the terrorist attacks ... The directive, as described to NBC News, was essentially the same war plan as the one put into action after 11 September. The administration most likely was able to respond so quickly ... because it simply had to pull the plans "off the shelf".'
Finally, BBC News, 18 September 2001: 'Niak Naik, a former Pakistan foreign secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October. It was Naik's view that Washington would not drop its war for Afghanistan even if bin Laden were to be surrendered immediately by the Taliban.'
Was Afghanistan then turned to rubble in order to avenge the 3,000 Americans slaughtered by Osama? Hardly. The administration is convinced that Americans are so simple-minded that they can deal with no scenario more complex than the venerable lone, crazed killer (this time with zombie helpers) who does evil just for the fun of it 'cause he hates us, 'cause we're rich'n free 'n he's not. Osama was chosen on aesthetic grounds to be the most frightening logo for our long contemplated invasion and conquest of Afghanistan, planning for which had been 'contingency' some years before 9/11 and, again, from 20 December, 2000, when Clinton's out-going team devised a plan to strike at al-Qaeda in retaliation for the assault on the warship Cole. Clinton's National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, personally briefed his successor on the plan but Rice, still very much in her role as director of Chevron-Texaco, with special duties regarding Pakistan and Uzbekistan, now denies any such briefing. A year and a half later (12 August, 2002), fearless Time magazine reported this odd memory lapse.
...Osama, if it was he and not a nation, simply provided the necessary shock to put in train a war of conquest. But conquest of what? What is there in dismal dry sandy Afghanistan worth conquering? Zbigniew Brzezinski tells us exactly what in a 1997 Council on Foreign Relations study called The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives.
But it was not only sand and strategy. It was oil. As Vidal points SOTTout, the "American Empire" has been at war since 1950. The historical precedents are legion. The Roman Empire, stretched to the limits of current technology, was hooked on conquest and booty as the US is hooked on oil. By the time the Praetorian Guard auctioned off the empire to Didius Julianus, Roman currency had already collapsed. [See: A Dream of Freedom ] Today --the US dollar has already embarked upon a steady decline to the detriment of working folk who are now increasingly dependent upon increasingly expensive imports. Bush is content to let the dollar slide, in effect, correcting the balance of trade deficit upon the backs of American workers.
Analogies to Rome are instructive. It's easier to be objective about evil empires of the past than about evil empires in which we live here and now. Writing history while living it is a tough, dirty job but somebody's gotta do it. Maureen Farrell has done an exceptional job of "fixing", summarizing what will one day be a multi-volume chronicle of how a slow witted albeit sadistic simpleton left the "intellectuals" of the loyal opposition non-plused and flatfooted. The rest of us are merely screwed! The final volume cannot be written now. It will prove to be the chronicle of one of the most heinous and criminal regimes in world history --that of George W. Bush and a gang of arrogant Neocons.
Following are excerpts [published in Buzzflash] from Top 10 'Conspiracy Theories' about George W. Bush, Part 1; Part II
In the aftermath of Sept. 11, a friend sent me an obscure book featuring predictions by a blind Native American shaman. It was a thoughtful, but annoying, gesture. For all I knew, this "seer" could merely be a James Frey-sized figment of the author's imagination and these so-called prophecies could be nothing more than a patchwork of hunches. A prediction that the Red Sox would win the World Series would have been impressive. But wars? Economic downturns? Environmental disasters? Yawn.
This was the age of forged Nostradamus quotes and apocalyptic visions, however, and, with debunking in mind, I plodded ahead. Some predictions, which were reportedly made in 1982, were decidedly silly. Others, however, don't exactly ring foolish. Among the more noteworthy:
Propaganda and terrorism will increase.
Religious zealots will use the courts to try to force their views upon the general public.
The Supreme Court will make unfortunate decisions that don't benefit the people.
Several undeclared wars will be waged simultaneously
There will be high-level secrecy and clandestine agreements between nations..
America will eventually become a police state.
The draft will be reinstated.
Americans will learn of government duplicity and cover-ups.
Whether or not this list is the result of guesswork, fabrications or something else, nearly a quarter of a century later, such musings have gone from the fringe to the forefront. Police state predictions? Check. Rumors of wars? Check. Clandestine agreements between nations? Check. Discoveries of government duplicity and cover-ups? Triple check.
The American right wing in cahoots with the big corporations have bent America over and screwed her silly. This pack of liars and crooks partnered with Ronald Reagan to outsource the very soul of this country. They waged war on all working Americans and small business. They conspired to create a corporate, fascist state. They conspired to destroy the labor movement. They divided the nation into haves and have-nots.
They stole the American air waves and gave it to the likes of Clear Channel, FOX, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. With help from the right wing media, they divided the nation along religious lines, rewarding fundamentalism with your tax dollars.
They built up an empire and called it a "war on terrorism" but, in fact, they made terrorism worse [See: Of Schadenfreude, Götterdämmerung and Bush's gestalt of failure, war crimes, and treason!]. In fact, the "war on terrorism" is a bloody fraud, terrorism is worse and former friends and allies now despise us.
They outsourced your job! They devalued the dollar. They created an America propped up by a world which cannot afford not to prop up the US economy. They have proven that they care nothing about global warming, and, in fact, deny science, reason and free inquiry. They destroyed, perhaps forever, the integrity of the electoral process.
Maureen Farrell counts down from ten to one a list of Bush's outrages all of which are consistent with the fact that George W. Bush seized the White House at the end of a fraudulent election in order to do all of the things that he has done in fact. Primarily, he replaced the US Constitution with rule by decree. He has suspended habeas corpus, due process of law and the protections of the Bill of Rights. He has ended the right of privacy along with the Fourth Amendment right to be safe and secure in our own homes. Our private records are no longer ours --but the state's. We are surveilled outside our homes and our phone conversations are now public property. If we are but deemed a "terrorist", we can be imprisoned indefinitely and anonymously. You don't get a phone call. You don't get a lawyer. You don't get a presumption of innocence. Everything you saw on Perry Mason is by the boards.
Some theories, however, have Tina Turner-strength legs. For your consideration:
10. A Second Terror Attack Will Allow the Bush Administration to Complete the "Coup" that Began on Sept. 11, 2001 "September 11, 2001, played into neoconservative hands exactly as the 1933 Reichstag fire played into Hitler's hands. Fear, hysteria, and national emergency are proven tools of political power grabs. Now that the federal court are beginning to show some resistance to Bush's claims of power, will another terrorist attack allow the Bush administration to complete its coup?"
-- Former Reagan administration official and Wall Street Journal and National Review assistant editor Paul Craig Roberts, Jan. 2, 2006
"The 9-11 attacks provided the rationale for what amounts to a Bush family coup against the Constitution."
-- James Ridgeway, The Village Voice, Dec. 30, 2005
Six years ago, anyone suggesting that the Bush administration would use terror to achieve pre-packaged goals would have been laughed out of Dodge. The signs were there, however, going all the way back to Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld's stints in the Ford administration through their participation in Reagan-era Doomsday drills.
Initially, there were vague murmurings over foreign airways. "There is a hidden agenda at the very highest levels of our government," a mysterious American told the BBC in Nov. 2001, regarding allegations that the FBI was told to "back off" the bin Ladens. "Unnamed sources" eventually morphed into real people, however, and by the time Pentagon insider Karen Kwiatkowski came forward with revelations about what she called "a coup, a hijacking of the Pentagon," and respected journalist Seymour Hersh proclaimed that "cultists" had "taken the government over," this theory gained traction.
Despite attempts to discredit true believers as "full-mooners," revelations continued. And now that a former Bush administration official is saying that a "cabal" led by Rumsfeld and Cheney "hijacked US foreign policy" and a former Reagan administration official is saying that America is now an "incipient dictatorship," the ideology of Loon Land is capital T Truth to some very smart people.
Gen. Tommy Franks, you might recall, famously predicted that another terror attack will militarize our society and obliterate the Constitution, former White House counsel John Dean has warned of "constitutional dictatorship" and Paul Craig Roberts has openly wondered if another terror attack will lead to a total usurpation of constitutional government and "allow the Bush administration to complete its coup."
Roberts, who served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Ronald Reagan, also believes that a "Jacobin coup" took place after Sept. 11 and that a "police state" is fast approaching. Joining the host of others raising concerns about questionable elections and a Supreme Court poised to give the executive branch unprecedented power, he sees "America's descent into dictatorship" as the "result of historical developments and of old political battles." But, he also contends that President Bush "is unlikely to be aware that the Constitution is experiencing its final rending on his watch."
Others are not so certain.
--Maureen Farrell, Part II
There is sufficient probable cause to arrest and charge George W. Bush for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes against the peace. I would suspect that there is now enough evidence, in the public record alone, to indict and convict George W. Bush of numerous counts to include violations of both the Geneva convention and US criminal codes. [See also: International Humanitarian Law - Treaties & Documents] In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the United States Supreme Court ruled that George W. Bush exceeded his authority. Neither the Congressional Authorization for the Use of Military Force, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), nor the so-called inherent powers give Bush a legal authority to set up military tribunals at Guantanamo.
Hamden v Rumsfeld addressed the question of whether the United States Congress may pass legislation preventing the Supreme Court from hearing the case of an accused combatant before his military commission takes place, whether the special military commissions that had been set up violated federal law (including the Uniform Code of Military Justice and treaty obligations), and whether courts can enforce the articles of the 1949 Geneva Convention.
"My friends, the government just didn't have prior knowledge of the September 11th al Qaeda attacks. They actually funded, trained, protected, coddled, and shepherded al Qaeda into this country. Trained many of the terrorists at Pensacola Naval Air Station, U.S.A., threatened F.B.I. and defense intelligence officers who tried to stop al Qaeda, threatened them with arrest. Bush signed now public document W199I two months before September 11, threatening them with arrest if they tried to stop al Qaeda."
If Bush's war on terrorism had been, in any way authentic, the FBI would not have been ordered to back off its investigations. The Saudi Royals would not have been given the royal and secret escort out of the country. Rather --they would have been investigated for their ties to Bin Laden. Likewise, WAMY --known to have funded "terrorist" cells --would have been investigated. Then, why are we surprised that Bushco has utterly failed to score a single "victory" in his war on terrorism?
We should not be at all surprised because the war on terrorism is a fraud, a hoax perpetrated by the most criminal regime since Adolf Hitler. The "War on Terrorism" is but a cover for Bush's dark agenda --world conquest and domination. The Reichstag Fire simplified things for Adolf Hitler, who, like Bush, aspired to dictatorship. The Reichstag Fire turned out to have been one of the most convenient coincidences in history. Without it, Hitler most certainly could not have consolidated his power, having already lost three votes in the Reichstag.
"Code named Operation Northwoods, the plan, which had the written approval of the Chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war."
--James Bamford, Body Of Secrets, Doubleday, 2001, p.82.
Culprits are expected to benefit from their crimes --at least in the short term. But the attacks of 911 have been disastrous for Muslim communities everywhere. Every good prosecutor will ask "who benefits" from a crime. In this case, only The Project for the New American Century, Bush's "supportive" oil industry, and a hand full of cronies and thugs have benefited.
For too long, Bush thugs, brownshirts and bullies have tainted the atmosphere in the US, just as Hitler had done in Germany. For too long, Americans, often called the freest people in the world, feared to speak an honest opinion. They did not fear to be wrong. They feared the consequences of being right.