Digby says that the Bushies have known about the new bin Laden tape for a while but tried to suppress it. I agree with Digby's
analysis of how the Bushies are trying to play it: "a modified 'Mary Cheney' --- shock and outrage that Kerry allegedly politicized
the issue, when he actually didn't . . . . The Bush campaign is going to try to wrap Kerry in a straightjacket with one of
their phony, sanctimonious coordinated fits of the vapors."
I just saw Chimpy speaking live on MSNBC. There's a lot of tension behind his face.
The Chimp is not good at hiding his emotions.
David Talbot, writing in Salon, says Richard Holbrooke won the first round in the spin battle.
The video, Holbrooke told Wolf Blitzer, "raises the troubling question about
why this grotesque mass murderer is still out there" thumbing his nose at America. As Blitzer tried to counter by pointing
out that polls show most Americans think Bush will do a better job of protecting them against terrorism, Holbrooke quickly
shot back, "If Bush is so much more effective, why is bin Laden still on the loose?" ...
For a response from the Bush camp, Blitzer turned to the AEI's Danielle
Pletka, who seemed overwrought and unable to look directly at the camera. The Bush advisor took immediate exception to bin
Laden's hurtful taunt that the president had spent a bit too long listening to the story of the pet goat on the morning of
Sept. 11. "I'm glad to hear that Michael Moore is giving aid and comfort to the enemy," she snapped, her eyes darting everywhere
but at the camera.
To tell you the truth, I don't think the video is going to make
much of a difference on Tuesday. Some on the Right Blogosphere are now rallying around the notion that Osama's video amounted
to a surrender. I don't think most Americans are that fond of Kool-Aid, however.
As I see it, the only down side of the video for Kerry is that it is taking
attention away from the missing explosives. Via Suburban Guerrilla, the Boston Globe says UN weapons inspectors pressed the U.S. "coalition" for permission to return to Iraq and monitor weapons sites. Permission
Be of Good Cheer Department: The New York Times
has a story about voters switching sides from the last election -- People who voted for Bush in 2000 now voting for Kerry;
people who voted for Gore in 2000 now voting for Bush. Kerry is ahead in the "switcher" poll, 11 percent to 7 percent. And Democratic pollster Mark Mellman says many more people are switching from Bush to Kerry than
the other way around. And this Kos diarist analyzes the polls and predicts an Electoral College victory for Kerry, 311 to 227, with a narrow popular vote win also.
I've got some new Tara O'Brien photos, but you'll have to come back later
to see them.
Update:This guy predicts Kerry 307, Bush 231, and a popular vote win for Kerry.
This is what happens when your brain is replaced by a Karl Rove implant.
After being so certain for the past three years that Osama bin Laden had
been atomized by the blast of a daisy cutter in Tora Bora, I admit to some disappointment that he’s still consuming oxygen
and frightening small children.
But look on the bright side. Instead of never knowing the truth, now we may
get to see this creature captured or killed for good and all.
If Bush is re-elected.
The author has a brain disease. That's the only rational explanation for
thinking that after three years of failure, Bush is somehow the only man on the planet who can bring bin Laden to justice.
Here we see some kind of delusional paranoia:
Osama’s latest speech was an eerie echo of many of John Kerry’s campaign points;
the “My Pet Goat” reference, the references to Bush “deceiving America,” etc. So far I’ve only seen excerpts from the speech;
I’ll bet that when a full transcript comes out there will be even more examples of this disturbingly parallel viewpoint.
What's he saying here? That Kerry and bin Laden have the same speech
writer? Vast numbers of us have been going on about "My Pet Goat" for months, years even. Are we all in cahoots
with bin Laden? There are some who say bin Laden must've seen Fahrenheit 9/11, or at least read about it, which is possible.
I don't know if bin Laden speaks any English.
But what we're looking at with this blogger is not partisanship. It's pathology.
The new Osama bin Laden video is all over the news. I'd like to see a
transcript, although frankly I'm less interested in what bin Laden says than in what effect, if any, his reappearance might
have on voters.
The media narrative is gelling that this bin Laden tape totally benefits
Bush. Chris Matthews and the bunch have that glassy eyed, pre-orgasmic, reach-for-the-codpiece look and they are very excited
about the prospect of Bush doing another metaphorical landing on the carrier. The security moms are panting with barely leashed
desire. My gorge rises with every minute of this.
Chris Matthews and the bunch thought Bush smashed Kerry in the second debate, too.
Seems to me this serves as a reminder that Bush didn't fulfill his September 11 promise
to get bin Laden and "bring him to justice"? As Atrios says, "Nice job with the whole 'dead or alive' thing."
Does the appearance of the video help or hurt Bush? It is a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, it is a painful reminder that Bush dropped the ball, left the fight against al-Qaeda half-finished, and ran
off to the Iraq quagmire, so that Bin Laden is still at large 3 years after he killed 3000 Americans and hit the Pentagon
itself. That can't be good for Bush. On the other hand, because so many Americans confuse Bush's swagger and aggressive instincts
with being "strong on terrorism," any big reminder that al-Qaeda is out there could actually help W. It shouldn't, but it
I think liberals trying to argue that this bin Laden tape won't
help Bush are probably fooling themselves. Bush will be helped, it's pretty obvious that Bush will be helped, and OBL is certainly
aware that this stunt will help Bush. This is because, of course, OBL likes Bush in office just fine. Not especially because
of anything relating to Tora Bora, but because the Bush administration's policies have, at every turn, served bin Laden's
agenda of increasingly unifying disaffected folks throughout the Islamic world around jihadist ideology while fragmenting
the western powers. OBL is not an idiot. On the contrary, he's long ago emerged as the greatest propagandist and opinion-manipulator
of the 21st century and he's trying to get what he wants.
I don't see it, though. Bin Laden might have good reason to want to keep Bush, but
that doesn't tell us anything about how American voters will react. Josh Marshall is skeptical, also.
But Billmon speaks! I'm happy to see him post a blog, even if I don't entirely agree. He writes,
By plastering his face over every TV in America for the next couple of days,
he's given Bush a priceless gift -- a boogeyman with which to frighten that last sliver of undecided voters into rejecting
change. Al Qaeda, it seems, has evolved into one hell of an effective 527 organization.
Steve Soto at The Left Coaster thinks Kerry needs to air a new ad about the video.
You guys must hit this hard in time for the weekend chatfests and to steer
the focus towards the fact that this guy is still alive and quite healthy. I know that you have already shot your last round
of commercials, but can them, and cut together an immediate 30-second spot for distribution in all the battleground states.
It doesn't have to be anything fancy. I would suggest a 30-second spot which opens with the new tape of Osama today, and with
a voice over which asks the question "Why Is This Man Still Alive?", and then a morphing into a video of Bush saying that
he doesn't spend much time thinking about Osama. The commercial will close with a on camera statement from Kerry saying that
"He shouldn't have been allowed to escape at Tora Bora. And invading Iraq obviously did nothing to stop him. If I'm elected
president, Osama won't have much time to shoot any more videos."
Bruce K says to watch this video of the Pentagon's press conference today. It really is pathetic. One wonders why they bother.
Except ... rightie bloggers and rightie newsies have predictably taken up that pathetic,
threadbare little scrap of an excuse as a collective butt cover. The point of that mid-day Pentagon farce was to keep the
True Believers in line. So that's why they bothered.
One rightie blog known by the initials LGF and to which I prefer not to link, complained
A rather curious fact is noted by LGF reader Art2Gecko; despite the Pentagon’s
press conference more than an hour ago revealing that up to 200 tons of ordnance was removed and disposed of at the Al-Qaqaa
ammo dump by the US Army 3rd Infantry, I can’t seem to find any mention of the press conference on the front pages of CNN.com, CBSNews.com, MSNBC, or ABC News.
This is called "paranoia," I believe. All of those news pages linked
to the story. MSNBC carried it live, I'm pretty sure. Basically, LGF is pissed because the newsies didn't hype the story as
much as the righties want it hyped. But considering how embarssing that press conference seems to anyone but a Kool Aider,
not hyping it amounts to doing the Bush Regime a favor.
Sea Raven recommends this op ed by Jonathan Chait in the Los Angeles Times. Chait discusses the "morbid hilarity" of Bush's ever-changing excuses
for the lost explosives.
On to the question of "Assam the American" and whether he's Karl Rove in disguise
-- does anyone have any photos? :-)
I don't have a transcript of the Pentagon's most recent explosives excuse,
but this news story explains it. Juan Cole says the press conference was embarassing to Bush. Josh Marshall points out that the White House and career military are not pushing the same talking points.
The story of Al Qaqaa has brought out the worst in a campaign dedicated to
the proposition that the president is infallible - and that it's always someone else's fault when things go wrong. Here's
what Rudy Giuliani said yesterday: "No matter how you try to blame it on the president, the actual responsibility for it really
would be for the troops that were there. Did they search carefully enough?" Support the troops!
But worst of all from the right's point of view, Al Qaqaa has disrupted the
campaign's media strategy. Karl Rove clearly planned to turn the final days of the campaign into a series of "global test"
moments - taking something Mr. Kerry said and distorting its meaning, then generating pseudo-controversies that dominate the
airwaves. Instead, the news media have spent the last few days discussing substance. And that's very bad news for Mr. Bush.
On the one hand, the ruling party really doesn’t believe in democratic norms.
They’ve been trying to rig the election in a number of ways, and they’ve rolled out [the idea] that a vote for John Kerry
is a vote for the terrorists, in effect. That’s a deeply undemocratic thing, and if they win, they will try to institutionalize
that. On the other hand, if they lose and the records are opened—it’s pretty obvious that it will be devastating. So it’s
a weird moment. You feel like people are noticing the nakedness of the emperor—finally—but either just at the last minute
or maybe not quite in time.
Be sure to read what
Professor Krugman says about the Bush budget.
The Right Blogosphere remains in denial, of course. I've yet to find
one rightie blogger who has admitted Bush blew this one. This fellow came close, but managed to wiggle out of it. Kos documents that the Bushies themselves are campaigning in denial mode. News Hounds ("We Watch Fox So You Don't Have To") comments on the Bushies' continually changing spin.
Day 1: Diminish importance (380:400,000) Day 2: Question motives of IAEA
and NYTimes Day 3: Repeat 1 and 2; question existence of weapons at location to begin with Day 4: Reinforce doubt of
weapons' existence at the location, claim Saddam moved them, (where?), mock Kerry for believing NYTimes and IAEA and not the
Bush gang. Obfuscate, smear, deny, stall. Unfortunately we're going into the weekend and there's no news done on the weekend
in America, and by Monday we'll be bombing the sh*t out of Fallujah.
I agree with that last sentence. If Bushies'
internal polls over the weekend show him losing, Fallujah is toast.
Update: I believe the Pentagon is about to trot
out some evidence that the al Qa Qaa exolosives were destroyed. I am about to head out the door and can't stick around to
monitor. Will be back later.
The Associated Press Friday, October 29, 2004;
LONDON - Researchers have estimated that as many as 100,000 more Iraqis
- many of them women and children - died since the start of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq than would have been expected otherwise,
based on the death rate before the war.
Writing in the British-based medical journal The Lancet, the American
and Iraqi researchers concluded that violence accounted for most of the extra deaths and that airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition
were a major factor. [Read more.]
About the methodology: In September, investigators went to 33 neighborhoods spread evenly around Iraq. From these, they randomly selected
clusters of 30 households to sample. Of these, 808 households participated. Each household was asked how many people lived
in the home and how many births and deaths there had been since January 2002. The numbers were compared to birth and
death rates in the 15 months before the invasion.
I noticed that infant mortality is considerably higher since the invasion.
Just thinking about giving birth and caring for a newborn in a war zone makes me weep. A newborn who dies because his stressed-out
mother isn't lactating and can't get formula is just as dead as one killed by bombs, but probably wouldn't
be counted as a "war" death in the Official Numbers.
Does someone want to explain again how the people of Iraq are so much
better off now because we invaded them?
Zogby has been going around telling anyone who'll listen that this is Kerry's
election. I had friends at the Daily Show taping today, and Zogby was on. To great cheers in the studio audience, Zogby declared
Kerry the winner.
Pollster John Zogby surprised the political world back in April with a long-range
prediction that John Kerry would defeat George W. Bush for president. On Monday this week, Zogby told me, he changed his mind.
He now thinks the president is more likely to be re-elected because he has reinforced support from his base, including married
A U.S. District Court judge in Ohio killed the GOP's scheme to deprive 35,000 newly registered voters of their right to vote.
There may be no greater indicator of a struggling Bush campaign than the fact Shrub's
been reaching out to Democrats for their votes. Until very recently, the Bushies seemed to think they only needed to energize
their base. Suddenly, the base seems to be wobbly.
More astrology -- I don't keep close track of astrological happenings
as a rule and had no idea what an unusual time this is. A few hours after tonight's lunar eclipse we'll be treated to
an extremely rare phenomenon called a Grand Quintile. A Grand Quintile occurs when five planets (or the moon) at about the
same distance from each other form a circle, resulting in a pentagram. The last Grand Quintile formed in 1941, which we might
recall was a significant year.
It is unfortunately the case that people who write about astrology churn out prose
that is murkier than swamp water. I've been reading astology sites until my head hurts to find out which planets are involved
and where they will be positioned. I finally found a chart for tomorrow for New York City (scroll down, right-hand chart).
Looks like moon in Taurus in the first house, Saturn in Cancer in the third
house, Jupiter in Libra in the sixth house, Pluto in Sagittarius in the eighth house, and Uranus in Pisces in the
eleventh house. The houses, of course, are different in different parts of the world.
Mars and Venus are conjunct Jupiter, which must be significant because
all of these astrology sites keep going on about it. There was a Grand Quintile on October 1 also (left-hand chart), which
was a better Grand Quintile because that was my birthday. On the left-hand chart there are a bunch of planetary things
bunched up in Libra, but that's broken up a bit in the right-hand chart.
A Grand Quintile occuring so soon after an eclipse is very rare. The last
one occurred in the year 141 CE.
Some astrologers have noted there was a partial solar eclipse in mid-October, in
between the two GQs, which they thought was significant. I'd like to know if there were ever any GQs in the same year as a
Transit of Venus? Seems rare to me.
If you go back to the "Mundane Implications" page sited above, under the charts there
is a discussion of the GQs and the presidential election. The author says that these GQs represent "outworkings" of the Uranus-Pluto
conjunction of the mid-1960s. Hmmm.The author also says, "The key axis in these GQs is represented by Saturn opposed to the
midpoint of Uranus and Pluto."
I found a natal chart for John Kerry, which is interesting as nearly everything on it is in the upper, "public" part of the chart. The boy's got sun in Sagittarius,
moon in Gemini, Sagittarius rising. But lookee at Saturn conjunct moon and opposite sun. Hmmmmm.
Bush's natal chart is lopsided in favor of the left side, which signifies something but I can't remember what it is. Bush has Saturn
conjunct sun in Cancer in the twelfth house. Moon is in Libra in the third house, Leo rising.
I'm not sure what all this signifies, but it's interesting.
I just heard Bush say this on CNN (may not be an exact quote, but it's
"A person who jumps to conclusions without knowing all the facts is not
someone you want as commander in chief."
Can we say "cooked intelligence"? "Aluminum tubes"? "Mushroom
cloud"? "Uranium from Africa"?
This was Bush's first remark on the missing explosives. His excuse amounts
to "we don't know what happened and maybe the explosives were gone before the invasion," and "Senator Kerry is being mean
and criticizing our noble troops for losing the explosives."
Update: I just heard a replay -- here's a correction to the wording of the
"A political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts
is not someone you want as your commander in chief."
I supported President Bush's decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein. At Wolfowitz's
request, I helped advance the case for war, drawing on my work in previous years in documenting Saddam's atrocities, including
the use of chemical weapons on the Kurds. In spite of the chaos that followed the war, I am sure that Iraq is better off without
It is my own country that is worse off -- 1,100 dead soldiers, billions added
to the deficit, and the enmity of much of the world. Someone out there has nuclear bomb-making equipment, and they may not
be well disposed toward the United States. Much of this could have been avoided with a competent postwar strategy. But without
having planned or provided enough troops, we would be a lot safer if we hadn't gone to war.
Bush likes to answer criticism of the war by saying the world
is better off without Saddam Hussein in power. (You can see it, can't you? Bush leaning over the podium, jaw jutted out, face
contorted by that bullying leer, proclaiming that the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power. But, 'scuse
me -- is that not an example of a "global test"? We have to do this because it's good for the world, never mind what
it costs or what American priorities might be? Maybe somebody should tell Shrubby the world thinks it would be better off without HIM in power. Maybe he would do the right thing and resign.)
But I digress. Mr. Galbraith says he went to see Paul Wolfowitz in 2003
and told him there was a massive security problem in Iraq. Materials known to be dangerous, from uranium to vials of black
fever virus to weapons-making machinery, were being looted and carried off while U.S. troops stood nearby, without orders
to stop it.
Mr. Galbraith doesn't say how Wolfowitz reacted, other than "Pentagon
leaders did nothing."
Mr. Galbraith does say a lot of the looted stuff probably ended
up in Iran, "which has had allies and agents in Iraq since shortly after the US-led forces arrived."
I've done some web surfing and some channel flipping, and so far my sense
of things is that the explosives scandal (boomgate?) is getting the public's attention.
NBC and MSNBC, and I understand CNN also, keep trying to slip some excuses for
the Bushies under the door. For example, they've floated the theory that the explosives were removed before the invasion,
possibly by Saddam himself; therefore, the Bushies are not responsible.
Two separate questions: First, is this claim credible? Second, even if it isn't credible,
will it be believed?
Josh Marshall has noted in several posts that U.S. troops who moved through the area in April 2003 didn't search for the explosives
and cannot say if the explosives were there or not. Apparently it's a large, complex facility, and all kinds of stuff could
have been there in April 2003 without anyone noticing.
The IAEA is certain the explosives were in place on March 8, ten days before
the invasion began. Moving the explosives would have taken a fleet of large trucks and probably more than ten days. Surely
prewar surveillance would have noticed such an enterprise, especially since the facility was suspected of housing WMDs.
So it's unlikely the explosives were removed before April 2003, but even if they
were, they'd probably still be at al Qa Qaa and under IAEA supervision were it not for Bush's stupid invasion.
(Today's Altercation reviews the Bushies' incredibly casual attitude about securing dangerous materials in Iraq. There are clever sixth
graders who could have planned better than the "best and brightest" in the Bush Administration.)
It's too soon to say if this scandal is having an impact on swayable voters.
However, that combined with the news of the additional $70 billion? Drip,
drip, drip ...
Liberal Oasis thinks the Bushies are panicking and mishandling the damage control.
While channel flipping today I caught a glimpse of Pat Buchanan implying that the
New York Times and CBS News were stirring up the explosives controversy to hurt President Bush. Can't teach an old
dog new tricks, eh, Pat? He seemed to be complaining that Sixty Minutes would air a report this Sunday, but there's nothing
about it on the Sixty Minutes web page.
You can see the new Kerry ad about the missing weapons here.
I've been struggling with an opinion piece I want to send to Scoop of New Zealand. I want to explain how George W. Bush could possibly be in position to win an election
after his disastrous record as President. This is what I've got so far.
As I write, George W. Bush is
up by one to eight points in most national polls, depending on which poll you choose to believe. I understand that Bush’s
popularity in the U.S. has astonished the world, who cannot see what Americans see in him. For the
record, I don’t see it, either. In a rational world, Bush would be a week away from a crushing defeat. But in a rational world,
by now vast mobs of torch-carrying citizens would have besieged the White House and demanded Bush’s head on a pike.
For four years I’ve watched for
a tipping point – a moment at which public opinion would finally turn against Bush. Instead, there’s been only a slow erosion
of Bush’s formerly sky-high popularity. Pollsters say that a majority are unhappy with the direction of the ship of state
and dissatisfied with Bush’s performance.
Yet Bush is up by one to
eight points in national polls.
For four years I’ve watched damning
news stories about the Bush Administration break upon the electorate like ocean waves pounding a granite cliff. Revelations
of open and obvious corruption and incompetence steadily roll in, one after another. Yet the cliff stands. I no longer expect
The question is, of
course, why do so many Americans have their heads up their butts and can't see what's going on?
We all know that Bush's bedrock
of support comes from religious nutjobs and right-wing jingoists. But that's not the whole story. Those people by themselves
could swing a few southern states, but IMO by themselves they couldn't give Bush a 50-50 chance of winning an election.
I think there's a fuzzy muddle
of voters who are neither holy rollers nor hard-core superpatriots but who sorta kinda think they will vote for Bush, anyway,
maybe. Or maybe not. This is partly because they don't follow news enough to know what's going on, and of course news media,
especially television, does a lousy job of educating voters, anyway.
By means of disciplined, mind-numbing
repetition of talking points -- Kerry is a flipflopper; Kerry is too liberal; Bush has resolve -- the Right has been
able to imprint their basic message onto this group. And the Swift Boat campaign didn't help.
But consider this: For the past
few days, I've been hearing that increases in Bush's overall popularity numbers have been coming out of states that were going
to go for him, anyway. Instead of getting 55 percent of the vote in Georgia, for example, maybe now he's at 60 percent. But
in the battleground states where Kerry is actually competing, and the various 527s and PACs are running ads, Kerry has been
IMO what's happening is that Red
State voters are still getting the Bush message. They're getting it from Faux (and other) News and radio ranters like Limbaugh
and Ingraham. But they're not getting Kerry's message unless they get it through blogs or Air America radio.
But in states where the voters
actually get a chance to look at Kerry directly -- not through right-wing news filters -- they're moving in his direction.
This leads me to more questions.
Why is it so hard for the candidate of one of the two dominant political parties to present himself to the American people?
I read from several sources that many voters saw Kerry for the first time during the debates. But the man has been running
for president for months. He's been the nominee-presumptive since at least early March. Why hadn't people seen more of him?
Is it because the voters weren't paying attention? Or because news media ignored him? Is it the fact that most political coverage
is done by party hacks and not journalists?
Several recent news stories revealed that Bush supporters are less likely to understand current events than Kerry voters. What does that say about Bush
supporters? What does that say about news media?
You are a bright group, and I hope
you will share your thoughts.
The U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice is hospitalized with thyroid cancer,
CNN says. He's in intensive care right now. No word yet on whether he plans to retire from the court soon. However, he's
80 years old, and it's a good bet he's going to retire eventually.
This is a big reminder of why our futures depend on a Kerry victory next week. Justice
Rehnquist won't be the only SCOTUS member to retire in the next four years.
This is a follow up on yesterday's "Why We're Screwed" post on the missing 350 tons of high explosives:
This story has the potential to break the presidential race wide open,
if it’s reported. So, is it being reported?
I flipped on the “Today Show” this morning to see now N BC News would deal
with it. The answer is, not well. After several minutes of campaign news, Ann Curry read a couple of sentences about the explosives
that implied the explosives were stolen recently and it was Iraq’s fault. She made no connection between the explosives and
recent insurgent bombings that killed both U.S. soldiers and Iraqis.
On the positive side, the New York Times has a big, in-depth,
above-the-fold front-page story about the explosives. The Times makes it clear the explosives were stolen some time last
year because there were insufficient U.S. troops to keep them secure.
The huge facility, called Al Qaqaa, was supposed to be under American military
control but is now a no man’s land, still picked over by looters as recently as Sunday. United Nations weapons inspectors
had monitored the explosives for many years, but White House and Pentagon officials acknowledge that the explosives vanished
sometime after the American-led invasion last year.
The White House said President Bush’s national security adviser, Condoleezza
Rice, was informed within the past month that the explosives were missing. It is unclear whether President Bush was informed.
American officials have never publicly announced the disappearance, but beginning last week they answered questions about
it posed by The New York Times and the CBS News program “60 Minutes.”
(I didn’t see “60 Minutes” last night, but I haven’t heard that the program
had a segment on the missing weapons. Before the election, maybe?)
Most other news outlets, such as the Washington Post and CNN,
picked up an Associated Press story on the weapons. The opening grafs of the AP story give the impression that,
somehow, Iraq lost the explosives recently – “The Iraqis told the agency the materials had been stolen and looted because
of a lack of security at governmental installations.” You have to read a few paragraphs further to find out that the explosives
were stolen some time last year while the U.S. was supposedly in charge.
As of this writing – Knight Ridder, which has given us some excellent reporting this year, doesn’t have it yet.
Reuters doesn’t have it yet.
If you go to the MSNBC website, the headline on the al Qa Qaa story reads:
“Paper: Iraq tells U.S. of missing explosives.”
… The material seems to have been missing since some time shortly after the
US invasion of Iraq in March/April 2003. So this isn’t something that just happened. It probably happened some eighteen months
What’s more, the Times piece notes explicitly that Iraqi officials say they
told Jerry Bremer about this last May. By definition, that means that the US government knew about this almost six months
ago, and while it was still the occupying power.
And all this on top of the fact that IAEA officials have told journalists
from several news outlets, including the Nelson Report, that the Bush administration not only failed to notify the IAEA of
this while the US was still the occupying power but has pressured the Iraqis not to inform the IAEA both before and after
the July 1st handover of power.
Are those facts covered by “Iraq tells U.S. of missing explosives"?
The New York Times makes it clear that this was another Bushie
The International Atomic Energy Agency publicly warned about the danger of
these explosives before the war, and after the invasion it specifically told United States officials about the need to keep
the explosives secured, European diplomats said in interviews last week. Administration officials say they cannot explain
why the explosives were not safeguarded, beyond the fact that the occupation force was overwhelmed by the amount of munitions
they found throughout the country.
You have to read the Times story to appreciate the various excuses the
Bushies are throwing out, including “we don’t think this is a nuclear proliferation problem” and “there was a lot of other
stuff we didn’t lose.”
The IAEA called it “the greatest explosives bonanza in history.”
We can hope that more details will get into news coverage today.
This story from the Los Angeles Times deserves a close reading.
El Shrubbo pulled off some faux military helicopter-landing
stunt in Lakeland, Florida, yesterday. From there he went to Lakeland, Melbourne, and Jacksonville. Note this a few paragraphs from the top:
All four cities are in Republican areas, suggesting the campaign was aiming
its message less at undecided voters than at the party faithful working to turn out Bush voters on Nov. 2.
workers estimated the crowd in Jacksonville at 50,000; however the stadium, which holds 76,877, was only half-full.
A crowd of 35,000 or so is still pretty impressive, I suppose.
But yesterday Big Time bombed, big time:
At a sparsely attended rally in Farmington, N.M. — about 500 people
left a high school gymnasium half-empty — Cheney said that 20 years ago, Kerry proposed "doing away with many of the major
weapons systems that Ronald Reagan used to win the Cold War…. So, if John Kerry had been in charge, maybe the Soviet Union
would still be in business," the vice president said.
(I'm going to overlook the fact that Dick's slippin' the old
tether to reality. One of these days he's going to float away entirely, sparks fizzling out of his ears. I hope somebody's
there to film it when it happens.)
GOP officials who talked to Bush-Cheney campaign leaders said the
leaders have grown more worried about Ohio, Florida and other key states where Bush lacks a lead with just 10 days until the
election. ... The Republican official said polling for Bush showed him in a weaker position than some published polls have
indicated, both nationally and in battlegrounds. In many of the key states, the official said, Bush is below 50 percent, and
he is ahead or behind within the margin of sampling error -- a statistical tie.
"There's just no place where they're polling outside the margin
of error so they can say, 'We have this state,' " the official said. "And they know that an incumbent needs to be outside
the margin of error."
One enormously underreported fact of Election 2000 is that at 9:26 pm
eastern time, just after polls closed in Florida, Mercury came out of retrograde.
(Note: if "Mercury retrograde" doesn't mean anything to you, you might want to skip
the rest of this post.)
I'm not saying the planet Mercury is responsible for the Florida fiasco, but it can't
have helped, either. That was an unusually unstable moment, astrologically speaking.
I've been looking at a retrograde chart for 2004 for possible influences. The only remarkable aspect I see is that Uranus is retrograde in Pisces now and will be so until
November 11. I interpret this to mean that nothing is as it seems. The election results could be a big surprise. On the other
hand, Pisces might keep the results murky for a while.
There's an astrological chart for the 2004 election here. I don't see anything alarming, but maybe I'm missing something. Venus and Jupiter are conjunct in Libra in the second house,
which might tell us that the outcome of the election will be beneficial for the economy. Sun in Virgo in the third house
is trine moon in Pisces in the eleventh house, which seems to me to be a good thing. Maybe election day will be more harmonious
than we anticipate.
"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.