I got an invitation from Bush Cheney '04, Inc., to become a Charter Member
of their New York Team!
If this is an indication of the quality of the GOP's mailing list, John
Kerry is a shoo-in.
Let's see -- I got a cheap matt photograph with a computer generated "special, personal
inscription" just for me! It thanks me by name for being a Charter Member of their New York Team!
Help me out, here -- what should I write on this photograph when I send it back to
Bush-Cheney '04, Inc., in the postage-paid envelope? I should write something special to cheer them up, because they
are very upset that the Democrats have "relentlessly attacked the President, while liberal special interest groups are raising
hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat President Bush."
Clearly, these people need encouragement. Suggestions?
Bob Novak says that Charles A. Krohn, the U.S. Army's top civilian public
affairs officer, is about to go public with the inside story of how the Pentagon is spending the taxpayers' money in Iraq.
And it ain't pretty. In a story unsurprisingly parallel to that of former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, Krohn found that
his attempts to apply normal (and transparent) business practices were rebuffed by Rumsfeld's people in the Pentagon. As a
result, the reconstruction of Iraq is turning into one of the great boondoggles of all time.
That it's Novak revealing dirt on the Bush Administration is just as interesting
as the story itself. Stay tuned.
Whose Wedge Issue? The White House no doubt believes that
gay marriage is an issue that will splinter Democrats, but I'm seeing signs that just the opposite is happening. It's conservatives
who are splitting up.
Very basically, there are two kinds of conservatives on today's American Right: social
conservatives and political conservatives. And although they have been fellow travelers and Bush supporters for some time,
they really are two very different groups with very different philosophies.
Social conservatives want to use government to enforce their vision of morality and
"normalcy." They want government to ban gay marriage, abortions, most divorce, and the teaching of evolution. They want government
to indoctrinate conservative Christianity through prayers in public school classrooms and various "faith-based"
But political conservatives lean toward libertarianism and don't like Big Gubmint,
period. They've been Bush supporters because they like his tax cut plans -- they tend to be "starve the beast" proponents
-- and they support the war in Iraq. They are mixed on whether they approve of gay marriage -- some do, possibly most do not.
But they do not like people messing with the Constitution and are opposed to a gay marriage amendment. And they don't want
America turned into a theocracy.
The political conservatives are increasingly disenchanted with the Bush Administration
over what they see as out-of-control spending, and many are furious over his immigration "reform" proposal, even though that
misbegotten idea has a snowball's chance in hell of every coming to pass. The proposed amendment is a wedge, all right,
but it's one that splits Bush's base, not the Dems.
And one more thing: Are the homophobes sure they want to have their national
convention in New York City?
Ammunition. Yesterday Alan Greenspan told Congress that
Social Security benefits would have to be cut to reduce the federal deficit. Within nanoseconds, no doubt, the Democratic
presidential candidates had revised the stump speeches accordingly.
The Further Adventures of the 9/11 Commission. The Bushies
are still stalling, and Dennis Hastert is determined to end the investigation as early as possible. Let's face it -- we won't get an honest investigation of 9/11
as long as Bush is in the White House.
The President's announcement of support for a Gay Marriage Ban Amendment
caused a firestorm on the web, but most of the heat is on the Right.
Andrew Sullivan, of course, is against it -- read his passionate protest
here. But I was surprised yesterday at the extent to which the Right Blogosphere
is not lining up behind Bush on this issue.
The big-traffic blogs on the Right tend to be more libertarian than socially conservative.
They may not like gay marriage, but they like cluttering up the Constitution with wedge issues even less. Further, the Amendment
would take a power that seems to be reserved to the states and bring it into the federal sphere -- not good.
The White House must think they can use gay marriage to Bush's advantage in the fall.
But Bush can't stay in the White House on Religious Right votes alone, and the non-religious Right is getting more and more
This Alternet article makes the point that Ralph Nader's presidential bid is, in effect, an attempt to take over territory already covered by Dennis
Kucinich. And the author has, I think, a good idea:
Democrats should offer Kucinich and his supporters one big collective
hug and thank them for their efforts to strengthen the party. By embracing Kucinich as an important voice within the party,
Democrats will ensure that his supporters don't choose kamikaze support for Nader. Give Kucinich a leadership role in developing
long-term policy for the party. Make him the ambassador to disaffected Democratic voters and give him the power to bring them
back into the fold. Give him a slot for a major speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Not that I think Ralph will be much of a factor, but this could
neutralize him fairly effectively.
The Family Steering Committee believes that President Bush should provide
sworn public testimony to the full ten-member panel of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
. Collectively, the Commissioners are responsible for fulfilling the Congressional mandate. Therefore, each Commissioner
must have full access to the testimony of all individuals and the critical information that will enable informed decisions
Before an audience of the American people, the Commission must ask President Bush in sworn testimony,
the following questions:
1. As Commander-in-Chief on the morning of 9/11, why didn’t you return immediately to Washington,
D.C. or the National Military Command Center once you became aware that America was under attack? At specifically what time
did you become aware that America was under attack? Who informed you of this fact?
2. On the morning of 9/11, who
was in charge of our country while you were away from the National Military Command Center? Were you informed or consulted
about all decisions made in your absence?
3. What defensive action did you personally order to protect our nation
during the crisis on September 11th? What time were these orders given, and to whom? What orders were carried out? What was
the result of such orders? Were any such orders not carried out?
4. In your opinion, why was our nation so utterly
unprepared for an attack on our own soil?
5. U.S. Navy Captain Deborah Loewer, the Director of the White House Situation
Room, informed you of the first airliner hitting Tower One of the World Trade Center before you entered the Emma E. Booker
Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida. Please explain the reason why you decided to continue with the scheduled classroom
visit, fifteen minutes after learning the first hijacked airliner had hit the World Trade Center.
6. Is it normal procedure
for the Director of the White House Situation Room to travel with you? If so, please cite any prior examples of when this
occurred. If not normal procedure, please explain the circumstances that led to the Director of the White House Situation
Room being asked to accompany you to Florida during the week of September 11th.
7. What plan of action caused you to
remain seated after Andrew Card informed you that a second airliner had hit the second tower of the World Trade Center and
America was clearly under attack? Approximately how long did you remain in the classroom after Card’s message?
what time were you made aware that other planes were hijacked in addition to Flight 11 and Flight 175? Who notified you? What
was your course of action as Commander-in-Chief of the United States?
9. Beginning with the transition period between
the Clinton administration and your own, and ending on 9/11/01, specifically what information (either verbal or written) about
terrorists, possible attacks and targets, did you receive from any source?
This would include briefings or communications
• Out-going Clinton officials
• CIA, FBI, NSA, DoD and other intelligence agencies
• Foreign intelligence,
governments, dignitaries or envoys
• National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice
• Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism
10. Specifically, what did you learn from the August 6, 2001, PDB about the terrorist threat that was facing our
nation? Did you request any follow-up action to take place? Did you request any further report be developed and/or prepared?
11. As Commander-in-Chief, from May 1, 2001 until September 11, 2001, did you receive any information from any intelligence
agency official or agent that UBL was planning to attack this nation on its own soil using airplanes as weapons, targeting
New York City landmarks during the week of September 11, 2001 or on the actual day of September 11, 2001?
defensive measures did you take in response to pre-9/11 warnings from eleven nations about a terrorist attack, many of which
cited an attack in the continental United States? Did you prepare any directives in response to these actions? If so, with
13. As Commander-in-Chief from May 1, 2001 until September 11, 2001, did you or any agent of the United
States government carry out any negotiations or talks with UBL, an agent of UBL, or al-Qaeda? During that same period, did
you or any agent of the United States government carry out any negotiations or talks with any foreign government, its agents,
or officials regarding UBL? If so, what resulted?
14. Your schedule for September 11, 2001 was in the public domain
since September 7, 2001. The Emma E. Booker School is only five miles from the Bradenton Airport, so you, and therefore the
children in the classroom, might have been a target for the terrorists on 9/11. What was the intention of the Secret Service
in allowing you to remain in the Emma E. Booker Elementary School, even though they were aware America was under attack?
Please explain why you remained at the Sarasota, Florida, Elementary School for a press conference after you had finished
listening to the children read, when as a terrorist target, your presence potentially jeopardized the lives of the children?
16. What was the purpose of the several stops of Air Force One on September 11th? Was Air Force One at any time during
the day of September 11th a target of the terrorists? Was Air Force One’s code ever breached on September 11th?
Was there a reason for Air Force One lifting off without a military escort, even after ample time had elapsed to allow military
jets to arrive?
18. What prompted your refusal to release the information regarding foreign sponsorship of the terrorists,
as illustrated in the inaccessible 28 redacted pages in the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry Report? What actions have
you personally taken since 9/11 to thwart foreign sponsorship of terrorism?
19. Who approved the flight of the bin
Laden family out of the United States when all commercial flights were grounded, when there was time for only minimal questioning
by the FBI, and especially, when two of those same individuals had links to WAMY, a charity suspected of funding terrorism?
Why were bin Laden family members granted that special privilege—a privilege not available to American families whose loved
ones were killed on 9/11?
20. Please explain why no one in any level of our government has yet been held accountable
for the countless failures leading up to and on 9/11?
21. Please comment on the fact that UBL’s profile on the FBI’s
Ten Most Wanted Fugitives poster does not include the 9/11 attacks. To your knowledge, when was the last time any agent
of our government had contact with UBL? If prior to 9/11, specifically what was the date of that contact and what was the
context of said meeting.
22. Do you continue to maintain that Saddam Hussein was linked to al Qaeda? What proof
do you have of any connection between al-Qaeda and the Hussein regime?
23. Which individuals, governments, agencies,
institutions, or groups may have benefited from the attacks of 9/11? Please state specifically how you think they have benefited.
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the
president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is
morally treasonable to the American public." --Theodore Roosevelt, 1918
The War Prayer
I come from the Throne -- bearing
a message from Almighty God!... He has heard the prayer of His servant, your shepherd, & will grant it if such shall be
your desire after I His messenger shall have explained to you its import -- that is to say its full import. For it is like
unto many of the prayers of men in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of -- except he pause & think.
"God's servant & yours has prayed his prayer. Has
he paused & taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two -- one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of
Him who heareth all supplications, the spoken & the unspoken....
"You have heard your servant's prayer -- the uttered
part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it -- that part which the pastor -- and also you
in your hearts -- fervently prayed, silently. And ignorantly & unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these
words: 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is completed into
those pregnant words.
"Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also
the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!
"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our
hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved
firesides to smite the foe.
"O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody
shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown
the thunder of the guns with the wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire;
help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their
little children to wander unfriended through wastes of their desolated land in rags & hunger & thirst, sport of the
sun-flames of summer & the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of
the grave & denied it -- for our sakes, who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter
pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded
feet! We ask of one who is the Spirit of love & who is the ever-faithful refuge & friend of all that are sore beset,
& seek His aid with humble & contrite hearts. Grant our prayer, O Lord & Thine shall be the praise & honor
& glory now & ever, Amen."
(After a pause.) "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire
it, speak! -- the messenger of the Most High waits."
· · · · · ·
It was believed, afterward, that the man was a lunatic,
because there was no sense in what he said.