The MSM is the Lunatic Fringe

What is the problem with the MSM?
"Sometime Monday afternoon, after Congressman Kucinich took a commanding lead in ABC's own online 'Who won the Democratic debate' survey, the survey was dropped from prominence on the website."

But reduced prominence apparently wasn't sufficient. By Monday afternoon Kucinich was winning handily, so ABC replaced the original survey with a second one, perhaps hoping the candidates the network is hawking would be more successful.

For a time, they were - U.S. Senator Barack Obama took the lead in early voting Monday afternoon and evening - but by late Monday / early Tuesday, Kucinich regained the lead by a large margin in this second survey.

Both Ron Kaul and Denis Kucinich can't get a fair shake in this game for the simple reason that the establishment media and their favourite candidates in both the Democratic party and the Republican won't allow them.
'George, I've been standing here for the last 45 minutes, praying to God you were going to call on me," joked Rep. Dennis Kucinich, in answer to a question on prayer.

The crowd, and the moderator, erupted with laughter.

"You have a direct pipeline, Congressman,' joked Stephanopoulos.

Unfortunately for America the media is the biggest joke in American politics...

There is a very simple reason that the corporate owned and controlled media won't give guys like Kucinich a shot:
Many of us are familiar with the Political Compass. Some at MLN even had their compass score in their signatures for a while, and even took the time to chart some of their own personal scores in March. But do you know where the 2008 Presidential Candidates sit on this political chart?

You should:

My kingdom for a real progressive candidate!

Perhaps you've heard of the Political Compass website, where you can take a test that places you on a grid based on the degree to which you are "left" or "right" on the economic scale as well as how socially libertarian or authoritarian you are.

I'm damn near as moonbatty as it gets: -6.50, -6.67, which puts me in, for lack of a better term, the "deep Southwest" of the grid.

Anyway, thanks to a recent article on London's TimesOnline, we can see how the 2008 U.S. presidential candidates fit on the grid.

This should worry those on the left, and I know that many at MLN scored even further left than I did (I am a Liberal, but I am a moderate Liberal), as they watch the next candidate chosen for the Democratic party who is nothing less than a conservative. That is, if they chose anyone other than Kucinich or Gravel. And right now they aren't even counted in the top 3 contenders.

This is where the Democratic party is failing miserably. They are not really providing any different ideology than the GOP, just a moderate version of it, if they choose any of those conservative candidates on that chart.

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden... They are all conservatives, as moderate as some of them may be, they are conservatives nonetheless.

Welcome to America! Where the government is considered a tool for corporations to rob the citizens of the world for the benefit of the few in the establishment.


TPM said what?

Fascism... It ain't just for the tin foil clad Bloggers anymore:

I guess 'pull[ing] the rug' is a kinder, gentler Americanized version of 'stab in the back'. But the core message is the same. There are the troops on the one hand and their domestic enemies at home. And who will win? Andrew Sullivan has a good post on this today. Also look at Jon Chait's piece in The New Republic on Bill Kristol and The Weekly Standard.

Militarism and proto-fascist thinking isn't just something to be studied about the 1920s and 1930s. You can see it today as a growing part of our political discourse, even as the support for it in absolute terms diminishes. It is all of a piece. You cannot separate the bogus war for democracy abroad from the war against democracy and the rule of law at home.
--- Josh Marshall

It is more than just a few turns of the word, though that is always a part of it. It is, unfortunately, the actions that speak louder than any words ever could.

It is not that long ago that this nation was shaken to its core by some hard cold truths and the constant barrage of theories concerning the American government's alleged ties to groups and individuals that should never have had the chance to wield such power over the political directions of this nation:
A subtext in Talbot’s argument is that John Kennedy was killed for his opposition to the militarism that led to Vietnam, Granada, Iran-Contra, and finally the Sunni Triangle of Iraq. Obviously the mixed record of JFK’s foreign policy—with its deployment of special forces and covert operations in places like Indochina and the Caribbean—contradicts the thesis that Kennedy was killed only because he believed in pacifism. But it is impossible to read Talbot’s account of the Bay of Pigs or the Cuban missile crisis and believe that JFK would have given the Joint Chiefs a blank check in Vietnam. He quotes a 1954 statement that Kennedy made on intervention: “I am frankly of the belief that no amount of American military assistance in Indochina can conquer an enemy which is everywhere and at the same time nowhere, an ‘enemy of the people’ which has the sympathy and covert support of the people.”

The fact that I am loitering with skepticism near the Grassy Knoll or reviewing the confessions of E. Howard Hunt and James Files does not mean I am ready to blame JFK’s death on the mob, the CIA, Lyndon Johnson, anti-Castro elements, J. Edgar Hoover, Clay Shaw, right-wing extremists, or Lee Oswald. (Sadly, we need all the government documents and yet another investigation, with the most modern forensics. This time the Internet guys can run it.) At the same time, Talbot’s book has let me embrace the empiricism of the conspiracists, who bring to the democracy something absent in the Warren Commission: common sense and inquiring minds.
We will never really be truly certain about much of what happened in those times until all of the "Top Secret" information is finally cleared to released to the general public, and even then there may be gaps left to fill in. The longer we wait , the harder it will be to define what the real truth is.

But we can take what little information about today's politics, the bits and pieces that aren't classified, and make our best judgments based on the facts available to us. Some common sense and inquiring minds...

Take the aims of this new Clergy oriented Federal program:
When the fuck does this get taken seriously by the opposition party?
The video to your right is a shocking KSLA news report which confirms that so-called "Clergy Response Teams" are being trained to by our federal government to "quell dissent" in the event of a declaration of martial law. Pastors and other religious representatives could become secret police enforcers who teach their congregations to "obey the government" and how to participate in property and firearm seizures, mass vaccination programs and forced relocation.

Now I'm not a fan of many clergy. I've known a few who were rat bastards including the minister who fucked his teenage congregants, the boss' minister father who has sooooo saddled her with baggage that she lives her life in incredible fear, the Catholic priest who took in my boyfriend when he had to get out of his parents' house, only to try to convince him that god's will was guiding him to express his love physically for the 18 year old kid.....Pat Robertson, James Dobson, that smiling freak Joel Osteen, Creflo "Show me the money" Dollar, shall I go on?
This is an action that is here and now, and documented. The melding of the government and the church is a strong sign of fascism on the move, and a sign that we dare not ignore, especially when it is having an corrupting threesome of "quelling dissent" under a martial Law power orgy.

Past actions that should raise alarm bells, as well, as we watch them repeat themselves in the current corrupt administration are well documented throughout the internet, but rarely used as references by our corporately owned and obedient media. They would prefer to stick to the corporate scripted versions that paint beautiful hues of Democracy, Freedom and Nation Building, which are little more than codewords for empire and fascism when they are actually put into action by this government.

Check out the long, but informative, video look at some of the "Democracies" the USA has encouraged and thwarted in the past and present:
Since the American revolution, democracy has been said to be the best form of government. The notion of 'democracy' strengthened in the 20th Century as authoritarian regimes were imposed in Russia, Germany, and Italy. So, 'democracy' became a common refrain, not only during the run-up to our current Iraq war, but throughout the exercise of our foreign policy since the end of World War II. The truth is that America does not support democracy. Our foreign policy hasn't changed--it's the same as it's been for decades. Propping up dictators in Latin America didn't end in the 50s or the 70s.

It ain't a pretty picture... But as the first excerpt from TPM - from a Blogger that is only slightly to the left of the average American politician - shows that fascism ain't just a word to be used by the tin foil Bloggers anymore. It has gone mainstream with it's resurgence in today's faux Conservative politics and pretty much defines the GOP's neoconservative movement.

But, then again, so do so many other nasty words that could be used to define what has happened in American politics in the last six and a half years:
Sit back and think real hard about the ramifications of such a policy, effectively taking away all rights of Congress to create the law and putting it in the hands of presidential appointees to rewrite as they see fit.

Colin McEnroe was 100% correct. These are the actions of a tyrant, a dictator, A despot.
July 4th is a good day to start calling it what it is -- "absolute Despotism." When you use "signing statements" to gut the meaning of new laws, you're a tyrant. When you hold people in prisons without even telling them what they're charged with, you're a tyrant. When you appove the use of torture by agents of the government, you're a tyrant. When you use your armies to attack another nation that has not attacked you, you're a despot. When you mislead your people about the reasons for a war, you're a despot. When you ignore a law you find inconvenient, you're a dictator. When you send your henchmen out to destroy your legitimate critics, you're a dictator. When you overturn the work of a rightful judge and jury to protect one of those henchmen, you're a tyrant.

Let's use the right words from now on. George W. Bush is not a knave or a fool or a bully. He is a tyrant, a dictator, a despot. He has ruled as a king on the soil of a democracy. His instincts are those of a cruel and perfidious monarch.

We now have a DiC that refuses to listen to the American people.

And to this day, bush still refuses to act on the will of the American people... And the criminal bush administration constantly redefines the boundaries of how bad the American government can be in the hands of the the most corrupt when allowed to by the easily corruptible. The worst that America has to offer. And all the while, the citizens of America are losing more and more rights, and the government is giving more and more control of the levers of power to the corporations. And in the meantime the corporations are bankrupting our economy and, even more importantly, both the government and corporations are morally bankrupting our nation.

You may as well cue the fucking Taps and burn the flag so you can bury it properly along with the icon of freedom that this nation used to provide if things don't change real soon.

Taps performed at Kennedy's Funeral

Shays Tries to Control Message

Moron Chris Shays dictating to the new media:

Your inability to grasp how we are emerging as a major force in the new media is as disturbing as your many two-faced positions concerning the occupation of Iraq.

There is no doubt that we are better than the press in many ways, and that will remain the case until the American press decides that it will represent the people of America and the world the way they used to do.

Your days of controlling the message through the MSM are over Shays. Ignore us at your own peril. Scarce has more of Shays complete ignorance at MLN.

Double Mint Bob Walks the Walk

It appears that Bob Adams (aka CtBob), sending a message to Senator Chris Dodd and the rest of Congress, can do two things at once:

Notice how he delivers biting political commentary AND leaves you walking away laughing at the same time... If only Congress critters were this skilled.

Why hasn't Bush hired this Aussie?

(H/T Mock, Paper, Scissors)

Australian Senator Discusses Oil Spill - Watch more free videos

He really would fit in well with this misadministration...


Quebec Provincial Police Blink on Montebello

the Sûreté du Québec Blinks:

Quebec provincial police admitted Thursday that their officers disguised themselves as demonstrators during the protest at the North American leaders summit in Montebello, Que., denied allegations its undercover officers were there on Monday to provoke the crowd and instigate violence.

"At no time did the police of the Sûreté du Québec act as instigators or commit criminal acts," the police force said in French in a news release. "It is not in the police force's policies, nor in its strategies, to act in that manner."

"At all times, they responded within their mandate to keep order and security."

Here is the video again so you can decide if the police were being disruptive before their fake arrest:

The earlier post on this can be found here...

{update] Les Enragés adds in comments at my previous post:

Two Members of Parliament from the New Democratic Party have called for an inquiry.

Gotta go write a new post. And surprisingly, it won't be Friday Night Cat Blogging. ;)
Great! Now, what the heck are the cats going to do? And now you can see what a third party can do when you aren't stuck in a failing two party system.

The Iraq Blame Game Continued

As per usual, the tiny minority of whack job right wingnut bush supporters and warmongering neoconservatives are still out to blame everyone else and refuse to, ya know, Look in the fucking mirror for the real criminals concerning all of the failures in Iraq.

The activists, most of whom have been correct every step of the way:
I could feel it coming long before Bush said it today. The Republicans are going to blame those that opposed the war, and forced its conclusion, for the bloodbath and the instability that ensue when we leave. They are going to say that we are the ones that didn't care about Iraqis.

Let me say in advance of this bloodbath that I really do care about Iraqis. I care a lot. I cared before we bombed, invaded, and broke their country. And I care now.

The Iraqi people are like a grandfather that has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. You have six months to a year to prepare yourself and manage your grief. When the day comes, you are sad. But you knew that day was coming. You are not distraught.

Those fucking Liberals and their facts!

The Maliki government, which is just a bush sock-puppet but, apparently, doesn't have enough bush hands up his sock-puppet ass to satisfy the modern day conservative:
The powerful Republican lobbying group of Barbour Griffith & Rogers is plotting an effort to displace Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and supplant him with former interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. IraqSlogger reported:

BGR’s work for Allawi includes the August 17 purchase of the Web site domain Allawi-for-Iraq.com.

In recent days, BGR sent hundreds of e-mail messages in Allawi’s name from the e-mail address DrAyadAllawi@Allawi-for-Iraq.com.

BGR’s staff is stacked with conservative operatives with extremely close ties to the White House. Its president is Bush’s former envoy to Iraq, Ambassador Robert Blackwill. Philip Zelikow, a former Counselor to Condoleezza Rice, serves as a senior adviser to the firm. Lanny Griffith, chief executive officer, is a Bush Ranger having raised at least $200,000 for Bush in the 2004 presidential election. And Ed Rogers, chairman and founder of the firm, has been a reliable political ally for the Bush White House.

The right-wing has long had a fascination with Allawi, largely because he has proved to be compliant with the Bush administration’s agenda. Allawi was ceremonially anointed Iraq’s leader in June 2004 by then-Coalition Provisional Authority chief administrator Paul Bremer.

While serving as interim Prime Minister, Allawi repeatedly rejected calls for U.S. troop withdrawals. During the height of the 2004 presidential election campaign, Allawi delivered a strong defense of Bush’s “stay the course” strategy in much-hyped Rose Garden appearance. Later, media reports revealed that Allawi had been “coached” by the administration prior to his appearance:

[A]dministration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the prime minister was coached and aided by the U.S. government, its allies and friends of the administration. Among them was Dan Senor, former spokesman for the CPA who has more recently represented the Bush campaign in media appearances. Senor, who has denied writing the speech, sent Allawi recommended phrases. He also helped Allawi rehearse in New York last week, officials said. Senor declined to comment.

Allawi has been described as “Saddam lite.”

Bend over Allawi... Conservatives are coming for you.

Blame the Brits! Yeah... Really... They do:
Yesterday, Ret. Gen. Jack Keane, who was vice chief of staff during the 2003 Iraq invasion and remains a key adviser to the Bush administration, went on BBC radio and sharply criticized the UK for planning withdrawal from Iraq. He argued that they should instead add more troops, similar to President Bush’s escalation in Baghdad.

“They have never had enough forces to truly protect the people, a mission similar to what the coalition forces are taking on in Baghdad, but I think there is a general disengagement from what the key issues are around Basra,” said Keane.

Keane’s comments echo those of another U.S. officer close to Gen. David Petraeus, who recently said of the British: “Quite frankly what they’re doing right now is not any value-added. … The situation there gets worse by the day. Americans are disappointed because, in their minds, this thing is still winnable. They don’t intend to cut and run.”

These statements blame the British for not reducing violence in Basra, a task that the United States has also been unable to achieve in the rest of Iraq.
Those fucking Brits are turning all liberal on us.

And, of course... Blame Iran! FOX propaganda is running full tilt on that one, aided and abetted by neoconservative and uber bush lover Joe republican Lieberman:

FOX news is trying to further cement its position as the neoconservative jukebox of propaganda you need to watch in order to get everything wrong. The best source for "Rinse and Repeat lies."

One Connecticut Republican, Chris Shays, appears to be confused (as per usual) about whom to blame, where, first, he appears to blame the Maliki critics, then goes on to critic Maliki:
Shays criticized "others" for calling publicly for President Maliki to step down (I have not seen these calls, and he didn't name names), saying that it's an insult to people who are very sensitive to being slighted. These critiques should be made privately, he believes.And then he said that he thought Maliki should step down. (In a room full of reporters, no less.)

In other words... In another of his typical "all over the map responses" he gets so confused and blames himself. He is likely too confused to know it. Will the reporters be too confused, as well?

China Made Booty Crosses Deity

"A pillar of fire touched down today in Chongqing Province as God began his recall of religious artifacts manufactured in China."


Three Amigos Arrested at SPP talks in Montebello

Notice something odd about these three protesters that are on the ground while being arrested during the protest of the Security and Prosperity Partnership meetings between the Three Amigos (Bush, Harper and Calderon) in Montebello, Quebec?

Click on Pics For Larger Image

While you think about it watch this video of protesters in Montebello for all of the story:

Now that you know what the real protesters are talking about... Take another look at the same pic with circles around parts of two of the "arrested protesters" and one of the arresting police officers:

Click on Pics For Larger Image

This story is hitting the Canadian Blogosphere like lightning, and even the Canadian MSM has picked it up:

Police accused of using provocateurs to
spark violent confrontations at summit

The three are confronted by protest organizer Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. Coles makes it clear the masked men are not welcome among his group of protesters, whom he describes as mainly grandparents. He urges them to leave and find their own protest location.

Coles also demands that they put down their rocks. Other protesters begin to chime in that the three are really police agents. Several try to snatch the bandanas from their faces.

Rather than leave, the three actually start edging closer to the police line, where they appear to engage in discussions. They eventually push their way past an officer, whereupon other police shove them to the ground and handcuff them.

Late Tuesday, photographs taken by another protester surfaced, showing the trio lying prone on the ground. The photos show the soles of their boots adorned by yellow triangles. A police officer kneeling beside the men has an identical yellow triangle on the sole of his boot.

The Toronto Star actually ran the story as well. There are records of four arrested protesters at the summit, and none of these three alleged police officers are among those arrests according to the news reports.

Here is the other CUPA photo that shows the boots of the third protester being arrested, just so you can see it and decide on your own:

Click on Pics For Larger Image

To myself, it is pretty obvious from the photo and video evidence that they are cops and that as soon as they realized their cover was blown they moved to the safety of their fellow police officers. And they purposefully walked right into their own arrests, putting up little to no real fight for supposed shit disturbers, rather than have their faces on the national news if they had been unmasked. And given the police issue boots they are wearing they certainly walk the walk.

If they are doing this in Canada, and this is pretty good proof that they are, IMHO, then do you have any doubts about them doing this here in the good old US of A?

[update] skippy the bush kangaroo offers up some more links on this:
addendum: anonymous tells us you can find more about this at reddit, at cbc news, at the globe and mail (including a video), and les enrages.

Also of note is that when they are on the ground being arrested none of the police officers are really at the ready, batons drawn, and one of the protesters just lies there compliantly with his hands behind his back AND has no visible cuffs (or ties) on his wrists. Yeah... Real shit distuber protesters, huh?

And then the police finally walk them off, cuffed, BUT without removing their hats or bandannas. Like that is real. Are they hiding something? DUH! The identity of their fellow officers.

[update deux] Hey Canada! Does anyone recognize this guy? Well, other than his fellow police officers, eh?

And the ruthless liberal Bloggers are on a manhunt up north...

[update trois] The Sûreté du Québec Blinks and admits the three amigos are cops...

It is the Suits, Not the Pajamas

The other day I posted on the Wiki scandal unearthed by the new Wikiscanner software that backtracked ever-changing entries to the source. Bloggers were digging up all kinds of changes that were corrupting the truth. Alternet provides some insight into why this is so big, and why it will likely never get any serious coverage in the corporate owned media:
Griffith created Wikiscanner for a frankly political reason. As he told the Times of London, he did it "to create minor public relations disasters for companies and organizations I dislike." In the process, however, he's revealed something far more fundamental than the fact that acolytes of Pepsi and the CIA will stop at nothing to propagandize on behalf of their employers: he's undermined the myth of the anonymous blogger in the basement.

It turns out that the people who are hiding behind anonymity online for nefarious or selfish reasons are not little guys in pajamas but the very bastions of accountability that haters of the Web have deified. It's not a mean dude with a grudge who is spreading lies on Wikipedia but rather a member of the federal government or a journalist at The New York Times.

Geez... Who knew I was supposed to be wearing pajamas? I guess I'll have to give up Blogging naked.

I have never hidden the fact that this Blog is about 75% snark. I have said that often, in posts and in comments. But contained within every post is roughly about 50% fact, and 49% fact based opinion. The other 1% of the opinion is conspiracy theory stuff that is fun to look at and consider, but clearly marked as such. I can't afford to lie on my Blog because I am not an anonymous Blogger, and I am neither in my basement nor my pajamas... But that is besides the point.

Even if I should chose to start wearing pajamas and hang out with the spiders downstairs while I Blog, I promise that they will be reality based pajamas and that they will continue to reveal nothing more than the naked truth. Though, I can't promise the spiders will still be around because they will disappear faster than the information in a Wiki post on bush family scandals...

Here is the original post from last Friday, just in case you missed it because you were too busy staring at me in shock while I was Blogging:
Sue, at MLN, recently reported on propaganda spammers filling the CFL Wiki pages with garbage:

Well, someone who is doing the nasty work for one SKorchin was easily traced to Fema.gov.

If you've been reading Dailykos, here and here, watching Keith Olbermann, or listening to NPR, you would know that an IP address can now be traced on Wikipedia.

This might help explain why the Katrina victims are still waiting for competent assistance.

Fema.gov vandalizes Lieberman opponent's biography page
by Sue
Fema.gov vandalized the John Orman, chairman of the CFL party's Wiki page. came back as- Multi-RBL check (poker-2.fema.gov) using Robtex. FEMA, of course, is under Homeland Security, which the senator runs.

I also traced another vandalizing IP address to Courtyard Hartford in Cromwell (Mr. Korchin's home town), but that's another story.

Crooks and Liars has the goods on Diebold and FOX "news" playing the propaganda game for their own benefit:
Via Salon:

“Diebold Election Systems” are three words synonymous with the aggressive pursuit of failure. Not only did the company badly implement a dubious concept — unverifiable electronic touch-screen voting machines — but it did so with determined flourish, letting its code and internal communication leak out onto the Web; employing as a chief executive a man who declared he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year”; abusing copyright law in an attempt to quell its critics; and, among many other caught-red-handed indiscretions, deleting criticism of itself from Wikipedia.

No wonder, then, that Diebold Election Systems has decided to steal a page from the playbook of that paragon of corporate responsibility Philip Morris (aka the Altria Group): Diebold will erase its sorry history with a simple name change!

Henceforth, when reaching for an example of mind-boggling incompetence, please say “Premier” rather than “Diebold,” because Diebold Election Systems is now Premier Election Systems.

The name change, the company says in a press release, “signals a new beginning” and a “fresh identity” — though in the same release the firm concedes that it will still be making and pushing the same sorry voting machines (machines that, as Princeton computer scientist Edward Felten and his colleagues showed last year, are actually vulnerable to a virus-based attack). Read more…

It seems Diebold has teamed up with FOXNews in an attempt to re-write history. We have to stay on top of this sort of trickery, especially with the crucial 2008 presidential election on the horizon. Let’s review - Diebold Election Systems is now PREMIER Election Systems.

But, now, even the CIA and the FBI are getting into Wiki propaganda game, adding a governmental censorship twist to the game:

People using CIA and FBI computers have edited entries in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia on topics including the Iraq war and the Guantanamo prison, according to a new tracing program.


WikiScanner revealed that CIA computers were used to edit an entry on the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. A graphic on casualties was edited to add that many figures were estimated and were not broken down by class.

Another entry on former CIA chief William Colby was edited by CIA computers to expand his career history and discuss the merits of a Vietnam War rural pacification program that he headed.

Aerial and satellite images of the U.S. prison for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were removed using a computer traced to the FBI, WikiScanner showed.

There is nothing like a Grand Old Propaganda war being carried out by GOP wingnut arm chair warriors, corporations, and the government here in the US of A.

Face the facts wingnuts...

There are too many of us in the reality based world, and too few of you in the slimmest of minority GOP propaganda spinners, for you to get away with your kind of propaganda, censorship and yellow jopurnalism anymore.

Just another war you right-wingnuts will lose.

All Spin Zone has a list of the most active government agencies that are messing with Wikpedia, and a useful reader beware warning:

Want to know what agencies in the U.S. government are making changes to Wikipedia? Try this “top 25″ list on for size (from Government Executive Tech Insider):

1. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (nasa.gov) 6,846
2. Department Of Veterans Affairs (va.gov) 4,210
3. Forestry And Fire Protection (ca.gov) 4,148
4. Dept Homeland Security (dhs.gov) 4,081
5. Information Systems U.S. House Of Representatives (house.gov) 3,736
6. National Institutes Of Health (nih.gov) 3,019
7. U.S. Courts (uscourts.gov) 2,869
8. U.S. Dept. Of Agriculture (usda.gov) 2,435
9. City Of New York (nyc.gov) 2,404
10. Salem Public Schools (ct.gov) 2,398
11. U.S. Dept Of Justice (usdoj.gov) 2,189
12. Information Services Division (nd.gov) 2,140
13. U.S. Senate Sergeant At Arms (senate.gov) 1,809
14. Federal Aviation Administration (faa.gov) 1,706
15. NOAA Aircraft Operations Center (noaa.gov) 1,590
16. Dotrspavolpe Center (dot.gov) 1,566
17. Lawrence Livermore Laboratory (llnl.gov) 1,456
18. U.S. Department Of Labor/Employment Standards Admin (dol-esa.gov) 1,449
19. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (epa.gov) 1,449
20. Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov) 1,290
21. National Park Service (nps.gov) 1,214
22. Library Of Congress Information Technology Services (loc.gov) 1,142
23. Social Security Administration (ssa.gov) 1,134
24. U.S. Patent And Trademark Office (uspto.gov) 1,097
25. Virginia Information Technologies Agency (Vita) (virginia.gov) 1,047

Obviously, some of the changes being made were probably benign, in order to correct some factual error - but it’s easy to imagine that the vast majority of changes from government internet domains are being made to change perception. In other words, massaging the propaganda to fit a particular agency’s agenda.

I’ve always maintained that there’s a lot of good info on Wikipedia, but due to the open source nature of the site, it’s important to take what you find, and corroborate it through second and third sources. However, it’s interesting that government agencies have been sooooooooo active in altering entrys into on of the web’s most accessed information sites.

As with all things online, caveat emptor. Multiple sources are your friend.

In other words:
"Trust, but verify!"

The same kind of due diligence and protection that the FISA courts used to provide in the case of spying on Americans until Reid and Pelosi handed the criminal bush administrations the keys to our liberty, but that is a whole other Blog post.

Via the Government Executive Tech Blog:
WikiScanner provides "Wired's list of salacious edits" on a stand alone page. The list provides some of the more troublesome edits and from where they originated, including some from government agencies


Armed terrorists licensed to visit nukular weapon sites

Fucking clueless preznit:
"I have a great idea. Let's give folks licenses to run around nukular weapon sites with guns... Just don't mention it to the ter'rists."
Free Dumb... And bush wants to spread it everywhere. Even a card carrying NRA gun lovin', GOP ass-feeding conservatard has to have a problem with the complete and total annihilation of logic in the preznit's most recent Royally fucked up Decree:
Although the order explicitly covers national forests, wildlife refuges and range lands, it also applies to all federal agencies that have a measurable effect on land management, such as military bases and nuclear weapon reservations. These federal agencies must now evaluate the effect of [their] actions on trends in hunting participation [and] consider the economic and recreational value of hunting in agency actions.
We already knew that bush would ensure that our enemies are always well armed...

American officers acknowledge that it is arming some groups that are suspected to have been involved in American attacks as well as link to Al Qaeda. Some American officers maintain they are simply arming both sides of a civil war.

"With an American troop drawdown increasingly likely in the next year, and little sign of a political accommodation between Shiite and Sunni politicians in Baghdad, the critics say, there is a risk that any weapons given to Sunni groups will eventually be used against Shiites," reports the Times. "There is also the possibility the weapons could be used against the Americans themselves."

How else is he to be assured of endless war?

But now bush feels that they need more armed access to sensitive US targets in our country. And, sadly, there is still a slim minority out there that can stand by this idiot and his equally asinine GOP party. Republicans are a freakin' Homeland Security nightmare.

Hey Murphy! Dodd Needs A Friendly Hand

clammyc at ePluribus Media thinks that Democratic party Presidential campaign hopeful and Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd needs some help from some friends in the House:

Follow through, or don't even bother investigating

Investigations are nice. Investigations are warranted. Threats are also good, especially when there has been no indication of compliance or cooperation for years. But, toothless investigations and threats of the "just wait until your father gets home" variety aren't going to do much other than waste time, energy and resources.

Actually, I take that back - it will also (1) piss off those who demand accountability because we see the toothless threats time and again and are getting tired of it and (2) give fodder to those on the right who accuse the Democrats of partisan witch hunts or "playing politics".

Before you dismiss the second point above - just remember who controls the message.

The other day, Senator Dodd, a Presidential candidate who I am liking more and more, had the following to say about impeaching Gonzales:

"Alberto Gonzales - I gotta tell you, if your question would have been just about Alberto Gonzales, I would've been a little less secure in my answer to you," said Dodd, who said he didn't support pursuing impeachment of Bush or Cheney. "The president and vice president of the United States, I just don't want to go down that road. Gonzales - I'm open to you convincing me that this is one we might want to move on."

Now, as much as I am liking Dodd more and more, this is just an unbelievable statement. He is open to being convinced about impeaching Gonzales???? A man who is an attorney (and supposedly bound by a professional code of ethics) and is caught lying time and time again. To Congress. The nation's TOP attorney, who either can't get a handle on the most basic as well as the most controversial high profile things going on in his own Justice Department, or who is pulling the strings and lying about it. A man who crafted the support for torture. And lord knows what else.

Before anyone says that impeachment comes from the House and he can only vote to convict, I say that I am sure that Dodd has many friends in the House and as someone who is running for President, should be able to take a leadership role here in forcing the issue.

I think he may be talking to people like you, Rep. Chris Murphy...

If your party hasn't got the leadership skills needed to protect the Constitution now, while you control both the Senate and the House in Congress, than why the hell would we ever give any of you the keys to the White House?

Building a Parallel Alternate Universe

Look up north, to Montibello, Quebec, and see what is going on as Canada, Mexico and the USA hold the Security and Prosperity Partnership meetings to the dismay of many Canadians.

Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, of Canada, emulating a typically bush response in a propaganda type effort to minimize the protests:

"I heard it's nothing... A couple of hundred. A hundred. It's sad."

As you get further into the story the reporter actually refutes those facts by disclosing that there were nearly a thousand protesters there. Too bad American reporters don't have that kind of integrity. And HEY! Canadian protesters refuse to get herded into little free speech pens, so they are hidden out of view, and march kind of like real free people. They have got a lot of nerve exercising those rights to free speech and assembly, eh? It is hard to remember exactly what free people actually look like after six years of a bush policed state. Here is a clue to jog your memory:
Some of the demonstrators went to designated protest areas — one in an empty field and the other a picnic area — while others chose to walk down Route 148 toward the hotel.

Some protesters decried the use of designated protest areas, calling them "protest pens."

"They're like cages and they want to keep people in an area where they can manage them," said Trevor Haché, who was part of a caravan of cyclists who rode from Ottawa to join the protest. "We're going to protest where we want to protest. It's our democratic right."

It is also nice to know that while Canadian conservatives are paralleling the Rovian spin doctrines applied generously in this country, with the complicity of the American media, it is at least being questioned and fact checked by Canadian Media, and the evidence broadcast on national television newscasts for your own lyin' eyes to ogle and decide...

Of note, as well, is the fact that they had tried to negotiate some common sense ideas to speed up border crossings between the USA and Canada. BUT which local Connecticut politician's department walks away from the table on this issue?

Joe Lieberman's Department of Homeland Security.

Just another case where Joe republican Lieberman fails to do his job. He has yet to provide any meaningful oversight after the failures to provide any help to the NOLA victims after Hurricane Katrina.

Also of note here is the fact that Mexican President Felipe Calderon actually left the talks early to help his country prepare for Hurricane Dean.
Calderon announced he would be cutting his visit to Canada short to return home on Tuesday as the potentially catastrophic Hurricane Dean headed toward the Yucatan Peninsula...

When Hurricane Katrina hit the US... Nero fiddled.

I would like you to take note of bush's middle finger while pretending to strum a chord in San Diego on August 30th.

Got the message America?

Just quick recap of what George Bush was doing as New Orleans was about to be crushed by Hurricane Katrina via the ThinkProgress Katrina time line:

Friday, August 26


GULF COAST STATES REQUEST TROOP ASSISTANCE FROM PENTAGON: At a 9/1 press conference, Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, commander, Joint Task Force Katrina, said that the Gulf States began the process of requesting additional forces on Friday, 8/26. [DOD]

Saturday, August 27



GOV. BLANCO ASKS BUSH TO DECLARE FEDERAL STATE OF EMERGENCY IN LOUISIANA: “I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments, and that supplementary Federal assistance is necessary to save lives, protect property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a disaster.” [Office of the Governor]

FEDERAL EMERGENCY DECLARED, DHS AND FEMA GIVEN FULL AUTHORITY TO RESPOND TO KATRINA: “Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.” [White House]

Sunday, August 28



MORNING — LOUISIANA NEWSPAPER SIGNALS LEVEES MAY GIVE:Lafayette Daily Advertiser] “Forecasters Fear Levees Won’t Hold Katrina”: “Forecasters feared Sunday afternoon that storm driven waters will lap over the New Orleans levees when monster Hurricane Katrina pushes past the Crescent City tomorrow.” [

9:30 AM CDT — MAYOR NAGIN ISSUES FIRST EVER MANDATORY EVACUATION OF NEW ORLEANS: “We’re facing the storm most of us have feared,” said Nagin. “This is going to be an unprecedented event.” [Times-Picayune]

AFTERNOON — BUSH, BROWN, CHERTOFF WARNED OF LEVEE FAILURE BY NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER DIRECTOR: Dr. Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center: “‘We were briefing them way before landfall. … It’s not like this was a surprise. We had in the advisories that the levee could be topped.’” [Times-Picayune; St. Petersburg Times]

4PM CDT — NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES SPECIAL HURRICANE WARNING: In the event of a category 4 or 5 hit, “Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks, perhaps longer. … At least one-half of well-constructed homes will have roof and wall failure. All gabled roofs will fail, leaving those homes severely damaged or destroyed. … Power outages will last for weeks. … Water shortages will make human suffering incredible by modern standards.” [National Weather Service]

LATE PM — REPORTS OF WATER TOPPLING OVER LEVEE: “Waves crashed atop the exercise path on the Lake Pontchartrain levee in Kenner early Monday as Katrina churned closer.” [Times-Picayune]



Monday, August 29


7:30 AM CDT — BUSH ADMINISTRATION NOTIFIED OF THE LEVEE BREACH: The administration finds out that a levee in New Orleans was breached. On this day, 28 “government agencies, from local Louisiana parishes to the White House, [reported that] that New Orleans levees” were breached. [AP]

8AM CDT — MAYOR NAGIN REPORTS THAT WATER IS FLOWING OVER LEVEE: “I’ve gotten reports this morning that there is already water coming over some of the levee systems. In the lower ninth ward, we’ve had one of our pumping stations to stop operating, so we will have significant flooding, it is just a matter of how much.” [NBC’s “Today Show”]

11:13 AM CDT - WHITE HOUSE CIRCULATES INTERNAL MEMO ABOUT LEVEE BREACH: “Flooding is significant throughout the region and a levee in New Orleans has reportedly been breached sending 6-8 feet of water throughout the 9th ward area of the city.” [AP]

MORNING — BROWN WARNS BUSH ABOUT THE POTENTIAL DEVASTATION OF KATRINA: In a briefing, Brown warned Bush, “This is, to put it mildly, the big one, I think.” He also voiced concerns that the government may not have the capacity to “respond to a catastrophe within a catastrophe” and that the Superdome was ill-equipped to be a refuge of last resort. [AP]

MORNING — MAYFIELD WARNS BUSH ABOUT THE TOPPING OF THE LEVEES: In the same briefing, Max Mayfield, National Hurricane Center Director, warns, “This is a category 5 hurricane, very similar to Hurricane Andrew in the maximum intensity, but there’s a big big difference. This hurricane is much larger than Andrew ever was. I also want to make absolutely clear to everyone that the greatest potential for large loss of lives is still in the coastal areas from the storm surge. … I don’t think anyone can tell you with any confidence right now whether the levees will be topped or not, but there’s obviously a very very grave concern.” [AP]

MORNING — BUSH CALLS SECRETARY CHERTOFF TO DISCUSS IMMIGRATION: “I spoke to Mike Chertoff today — he’s the head of the Department of Homeland Security. I knew people would want me to discuss this issue [immigration], so we got us an airplane on — a telephone on Air Force One, so I called him. I said, are you working with the governor? He said, you bet we are.” [White House]


11AM CDT — MICHAEL BROWN FINALLY REQUESTS THAT DHS DISPATCH 1,000 EMPLOYEES TO REGION, GIVES THEM TWO DAYS TO ARRIVE: “Brown’s memo to Chertoff described Katrina as ‘this near catastrophic event’ but otherwise lacked any urgent language. The memo politely ended, ‘Thank you for your consideration in helping us to meet our responsibilities.’” [AP]

LATE MORNING — LEVEE BREACHED: “A large section of the vital 17th Street Canal levee, where it connects to the brand new ‘hurricane proof’ Old Hammond Highway bridge, gave way late Monday morning in Bucktown after Katrina’s fiercest winds were well north.” [Times-Picayune]

11AM CDT — BUSH VISITS ARIZONA RESORT TO PROMOTE MEDICARE DRUG BENEFIT: “This new bill I signed says, if you’re a senior and you like the way things are today, you’re in good shape, don’t change. But, by the way, there’s a lot of different options for you. And we’re here to talk about what that means to our seniors.” [White House]

4:30PM CDT — BUSH TRAVELS TO CALIFORNIA SENIOR CENTER TO DISCUSS MEDICARE DRUG BENEFIT: “We’ve got some folks up here who are concerned about their Social Security or Medicare. Joan Geist is with us. … I could tell — she was looking at me when I first walked in the room to meet her, she was wondering whether or not old George W. is going to take away her Social Security check.” [White House]

8PM CDT — RUMSFELD ATTENDS SAN DIEGO PADRES BASEBALL GAME: Rumsfeld “joined Padres President John Moores in the owner’s box…at Petco Park.” [Editor & Publisher]

8PM CDT — GOV. BLANCO AGAIN REQUESTS ASSISTANCE FROM BUSH: “Mr. President, we need your help. We need everything you’ve got.” [Newsweek]


Tuesday, August 30


MIDDAY — CHERTOFF CLAIMS HE FINALLY BECOMES AWARE THAT LEVEE HAS FAILED: “It was on Tuesday that the levee–may have been overnight Monday to Tuesday–that the levee started to break. And it was midday Tuesday that I became aware of the fact that there was no possibility of plugging the gap and that essentially the lake was going to start to drain into the city.” But later reports note that the Bush administration learned of the levee breach on Aug. 29. [Meet the Press, 9/4/05; AP]

PENTAGON CLAIMS THERE ARE ENOUGH NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS IN REGION: “Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said the states have adequate National Guard units to handle the hurricane needs.” [WWL-TV]

MASS LOOTING REPORTED, SECURITY SHORTAGE CITED: “The looting is out of control. The French Quarter has been attacked,” Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson said. “We’re using exhausted, scarce police to control looting when they should be used for search and rescue while we still have people on rooftops.” [AP]

U.S.S. BATAAN SITS OFF SHORE, VIRTUALLY UNUSED: “The USS Bataan, a 844-foot ship designed to dispatch Marines in amphibious assaults, has helicopters, doctors, hospital beds, food and water. It also can make its own water, up to 100,000 gallons a day. And it just happened to be in the Gulf of Mexico when Katrina came roaring ashore. The Bataan rode out the storm and then followed it toward shore, awaiting relief orders. Helicopter pilots flying from its deck were some of the first to begin plucking stranded New Orleans residents. But now the Bataan’s hospital facilities, including six operating rooms and beds for 600 patients, are empty.” [Chicago Tribune]



Wednesday, August 31

1:45AM CDT — FEMA REQUESTS AMBULANCES THAT DO NOT EXIST: “Almost 18 hours later, [FEMA] canceled the request for the ambulances because it turned out, as one FEMA employee put it, ‘the DOT doesn’t do ambulances.’” [Wall Street Journal]

11:20 AM CDT — FEMA STAFF WARNED BROWN THAT PEOPLE WERE DYING AT THE SUPERDOME: Three hours later, Brown’s press secretary wrote to colleagues complaining that Brown needed more time scheduled to eat at a restaurant: “He needs much more that (sic) 20 or 30 minutes. We now have traffic to encounter to go to and from a location of his choise (sic), followed by wait service from the restaurant staff, eating, etc. Thank you.” [AP]

NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS ARRIVE IN LOUSIANA, MISSISSIPPI, ALABAMA, AND FLORIDA: Troops arrive two days after they are requested. [Boston Globe]

TENS OF THOUSANDS TRAPPED IN SUPERDOME; CONDITIONS DETERIORATE: “A 2-year-old girl slept in a pool of urine. Crack vials littered a restroom. Blood stained the walls next to vending machines smashed by teenagers. ‘We pee on the floor. We are like animals,’ said Taffany Smith, 25, as she cradled her 3-week-old son, Terry. … By Wednesday, it had degenerated into horror. … At least two people, including a child, have been raped. At least three people have died, including one man who jumped 50 feet to his death, saying he had nothing left to live for. There is no sanitation. The stench is overwhelming.”" [Los Angeles Times, 9/1/05]

PRESIDENT BUSH FINALLY ORGANIZES TASK FORCE TO COORDINATE FEDERAL RESPONSE: Bush says on Tuesday he will “fly to Washington to begin work…with a task force that will coordinate the work of 14 federal agencies involved in the relief effort.” [New York Times, 8/31/05]

JEFFERSON PARISH EMERGENCY DIRECTOR SAYS FOOD AND WATER SUPPLY GONE: “Director Walter Maestri: FEMA and national agencies not delivering the help nearly as fast as it is needed.” [WWL-TV]

80,000 BELIEVED STRANDED IN NEW ORLEANS: Former Mayor Sidney Barthelemy “estimated 80,000 were trapped in the flooded city and urged President Bush to send more troops.” [Reuters]

3,000 STRANDED AT CONVENTION CENTER WITHOUT FOOD OR WATER: “With 3,000 or more evacuees stranded at the convention center — and with no apparent contingency plan or authority to deal with them — collecting a body was no one’s priority. … Some had been at the convention center since Tuesday morning but had received no food, water or instructions.” [Times-Picayune]

PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY DECLARED FOR ENTIRE GULF COAST:WCBS-TV] “After a natural disaster, short and long-term medical problems can occur. Diseases like cholera, typhoid, hepatitis and mosquito-borne illnesses tend to break out under these conditions.” [

BUSH SURVEYS DAMAGE FROM AIR FORCE ONE:Fox News] President Bush flew over New Orleans on Air Force One. “During the 35-minute tour, Bush clearly saw from his vantage point the damage to the football stadium in New Orleans as well as the flooded neighborhoods, wiped out bridges and slabs of foundations where houses used to stand.” [

CHERTOFF “EXTREMELY PLEASED WITH THE RESPONSE” OF THE GOVERNMENT: “We are extremely pleased with the response that every element of the federal government, all of our federal partners, have made to this terrible tragedy.” [Department of Homeland Security]

EARLY AM — BLANCO AGAIN TRIES TO REQUEST HELP FROM BUSH: “She was transferred around the White House for a while until she ended up on the phone with Fran Townsend, the president’s Homeland Security adviser, who tried to reassure her but did not have many specifics. Hours later, Blanco called back and insisted on speaking to the president. When he came on the line, the governor recalled, “I just asked him for help, ‘whatever you have’.” She asked for 40,000 troops.” [Newsweek]

4PM CDT — BUSH GIVES FIRST MAJOR ADDRESS ON KATRINA: “Nothing about the president’s demeanor… — which seemed casual to the point of carelessness — suggested that he understood the depth of the current crisis.” [New York Times]

7PM CDT — CONDOLEEZZA RICE TAKES IN A BROADWAY SHOW: “On Wednesday night, Secretary Rice was booed by some audience members at ‘Spamalot!, the Monty Python musical at the Shubert, when the lights went up after the performance.” [New York Post, 9/2/05]

8PM CDT — FEMA DIRECTOR BROWN CLAIMS SURPRISE OVER SIZE OF STORM: “I must say, this storm is much much bigger than anyone expected.” [CNN]

Thursday, September 1

7AM CDT — BUSH CLAIMS NO ONE EXPECTED LEVEES TO BREAK: “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.” However, as former FEMA Director Michael Brown told CNN, “the president knew from our earlier conversations that that was one of my concerns, that the levees could actually breach.” [Situation Room, 3/2/06]

CONDOLEEZZA RICE VISITS U.S. OPEN: “Rice, [in New York] on three days’ vacation to shop and see the U.S. Open, hitting some balls with retired champ Monica Seles at the Indoor Tennis Club at Grand Central.” [New York Post]

STILL NO COMMAND AND CONTROL ESTABLISHED: Terry Ebbert, New Orleans Homeland Security Director: “This is a national emergency. This is a national disgrace. FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control. We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims, but we can’t bail out the city of New Orleans.” [Fox News]

2PM CDT — MAYOR NAGIN ISSUES “DESPERATE SOS” TO FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: “This is a desperate SOS. Right now we are out of resources at the convention centre and don’t anticipate enough buses. We need buses. Currently the convention centre is unsanitary and unsafe and we’re running out of supplies.” [Guardian, 9/2/05]

2PM CDT — MICHAEL BROWN CLAIMS NOT TO HAVE HEARD OF REPORTS OF VIOLENCE: “I’ve had no reports of unrest, if the connotation of the word unrest means that people are beginning to riot, or you know, they’re banging on walls and screaming and hollering or burning tires or whatever. I’ve had no reports of that.” [CNN]

NEW ORLEANS “DESCEND[S] INTO ANARCHY”: “Storm victims were raped and beaten, fights and fires broke out, corpses lay out in the open, and rescue helicopters and law enforcement officers were shot at as flooded-out New Orleans descended into anarchy Thursday. ‘This is a desperate SOS,’ the mayor said.” [AP]

CONDOLEEZZA RICE GOES SHOE SHOPPING: “Just moments ago at the Ferragamo on 5th Avenue, Condoleeza Rice was seen spending several thousands of dollars on some nice, new shoes (we’ve confirmed this, so her new heels will surely get coverage from the WaPo’s Robin Givhan). A fellow shopper, unable to fathom the absurdity of Rice’s timing, went up to the Secretary and reportedly shouted, ‘How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!’” [Gawker]

MICHAEL BROWN FINALLY LEARNS OF EVACUEES IN CONVENTION CENTER: “We learned about that (Thursday), so I have directed that we have all available resources to get that convention center to make sure that they have the food and water and medical care that they need.” [CNN]

Friday, September 2

ROVE-LED CAMPAIGN TO BLAME LOCAL OFFICIALS BEGINS: “Under the command of President Bush’s two senior political advisers, the White House rolled out a plan…to contain the political damage from the administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina.” President Bush’s comments from the Rose Garden Friday morning formed “the start of this campaign.” [New York Times, 9/5/05]

I'll end this where the Rovian spin machine kicked into high gear so that, instead of actually doing something meaningful for New Orleans, President bush could continue campaigning against the interests of America and her citizens. You can find the rest of the Katrina time line here. Meanwhile, you can still find America here:

[ed. note] minor updates for links'n'stuff - cm1


1 Million Deaths in Iraq?

According to this report from The Real News, we may be closing in on 1,000,000 deaths in Iraq that were caused by the invasion and occupation.

Taken from The Real News YouTube video description:

Independent group uses Lancet study to project Iraq death toll


Last year, the medical journal The Lancet published an estimate of 650,000 excess deaths in Iraq based on a demographic study conducted by field workers questioning people in clusters throughout Iraq.

The group Just Foreign Policy has taken that number and projected it using Iraq Body Count, which tallies deaths reported by Western media sources. This leads to a rough estimate that one million Iraqis have now been killed in the conflict since the U.S.'s 2003 invasion and occupation.

When The Lancet published the 650,000 estimate, President George W. Bush said: "600,000 or whatever they guessed at is just, it's not credible."

We speak to Les Roberts, now at Columbia University, who is co-author of The Lancet piece "Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional cluster sample survey." Roberts has studied other conflicts, including in Congo, where his estimates have been widely accepted.

We also speak with Robert Naiman of the group Just Foreign Policy.

Why the disparity between the Iraq Body Count numbers and The Lancet study? Patrick Ball of the group Benetech has noted: "Methods such as media reports typically capture violence well when it is moderate, but when it really increases, they miss a great deal." (Ball is a co-author of the book State Violence in Guatemala, 1960-1996, and wrote the chapter "On the Quantification of Horror: Field Notes on Statistical Analysis of Human Rights Violations" in the book Repression and Mobilization.)


US Soldiers Call Out US Politicians on their BS

Via the NY Times, more soldiers are calling out all those BS artists in DC again:
VIEWED from Iraq at the tail end of a 15-month deployment, the political debate in Washington is indeed surreal. Counterinsurgency is, by definition, a competition between insurgents and counterinsurgents for the control and support of a population. To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched. As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day. (Obviously, these are our personal views and should not be seen as official within our chain of command.)

The claim that we are increasingly in control of the battlefields in Iraq is an assessment arrived at through a flawed, American-centered framework. Yes, we are militarily superior, but our successes are offset by failures elsewhere. What soldiers call the “battle space” remains the same, with changes only at the margins. It is crowded with actors who do not fit neatly into boxes: Sunni extremists, Al Qaeda terrorists, Shiite militiamen, criminals and armed tribes. This situation is made more complex by the questionable loyalties and Janus-faced role of the Iraqi police and Iraqi Army, which have been trained and armed at United States taxpayers’ expense.

A few nights ago, for example, we witnessed the death of one American soldier and the critical wounding of two others when a lethal armor-piercing explosive was detonated between an Iraqi Army checkpoint and a police one. Local Iraqis readily testified to American investigators that Iraqi police and Army officers escorted the triggermen and helped plant the bomb. These civilians highlighted their own predicament: had they informed the Americans of the bomb before the incident, the Iraqi Army, the police or the local Shiite militia would have killed their families.
The letter was written by these active duty, serving in Iraq soldiers:
Buddhika Jayamaha is an Army specialist. Wesley D. Smith is a sergeant. Jeremy Roebuck is a sergeant. Omar Mora is a sergeant. Edward Sandmeier is a sergeant. Yance T. Gray is a staff sergeant. Jeremy A. Murphy is a staff sergeant.

I encourage you to read the entire letter if you still don't get the point... Oh yeah, and our allies, the Brits, have had enough too:
The UK Indpendent reports that the British military command wants to get out of Iraq as soon as possible.

Senior military commanders have told the Government that Britain can achieve "nothing more" in south-east Iraq, and that the 5,500 British troops still deployed there should move towards withdrawal without further delay.

Last month Gordon Brown said after meeting George Bush at Camp David that the decision to hand over security in Basra province – the last of the four held by the British – "will be made on the military advice of our commanders on the ground". He added: "Whatever happens, we will make a full statement to Parliament when it returns [in October]."

Two generals told The Independent on Sunday last week that the military advice given to the Prime Minister was, "We've done what we can in the south [of Iraq]". Commanders want to hand over Basra Palace – where 500 British troops are subjected to up to 60 rocket and mortar strikes a day, and resupply convoys have been described as "nightly suicide missions" – by the end of August.

I have a bad feeling that the Brit's experience in the south of Iraq is a precursor for an even more dangerous and humiliating scenario for the American troops to their north.

The soldiers are telling you the truth, and meanwhile political hacks in Washington just don't get it, or refuse to accept the truth:
A soldier puts up a challenge to Congress and the pResident:
Spc. Vassell, 2nd Platoon Apache Company Strykers:

I challenge anybody in Congress to do my rotation. They don't have to do anything, just come hang out with me and go home at the times I go home. And come stay here fifteen months with me.

Veteran activist jimstaro at ePluribus Media Youtubed an ABC report covering this story I blogged about on Saturday:

Spc. Vassell, 2nd Platoon Apache Company Strykers:

We're supposed to be on the way home right now. We were supposed to be flying home in six days. Six days. But because we have people up there in Congress with the brain of a two-year old who don't know what they're doing. They don't experience it. I, I challenge the President or whoever has us here for fifteen months to ride along, alongside me. I'll do another fifteen months if he comes out here and rides along with me every day for fifteen months. I'll do fifteen more months. They don't even have to pay me extra. I just want him to come out here and ride with me another fifteen months.
The politicians all sit there in their cushy offices or their comfy little places on the floor of the House, The Senate, and in the White House. They do not have a fucking clue what they are doing to the soldiers. They do not have a fucking clue how stressed out the military is. How the policies they are all pushing for are breaking the military.

YOU all say YOU support the troops. What a fucking load of crap. If YOU aren't there in Iraq along side them in this endless war that YOU support...

Don't ever fucking tell me YOU support the troops.

That goes for all of you war cheerleaders, Republican and Democratic party alike, that continue to fund this endless disaster. The same thing goes for all of you keyboard and armchair warriors that cheer on the occupation of Iraq but are too hypocritical to spill your own blood in Iraq's desert sands.

Via the NY Times:
More soldiers and their families are speaking up against the Iraq occupation.

sptmck at 1%More Conscious has 100% more well chosen words concerning the soldiers that are mad about the longer deployments and the others that no longer believe in the mission in Iraq.

And this ABC video aired later in response to the original report:

There were other soldiers telling you the truth at the same time as Vassell, last month:
It is pretty plain and simple. You either support the troops by bringing them home... Or you don't support the troops at all. Cut and dry. There are no shades of gray in this.

When soldiers come right out and tell you shit like this it is a serious matter. They must have absolutely no confidence in their leadership or the mission they are being given if they are willing to risk the penalties of speaking out against their orders.

Beth Pyritz, an Army wife in Virginia,
has joined an antiwar group.

“I backed this war from the beginning, but I don’t think I can look my kids in the eyes anymore, if my husband comes home in a wooden box, and tell them he died for a good reason.”

Military Families Speak Out, one such group, which was started in the fall of 2002, now has about 3,500 member families. About 500 of them have joined since January.

Nancy Lessin, a founder of the group, said it was noteworthy that about a hundred military wives living on bases had joined in the last three months. Wives living on bases, she said, are more reluctant than parents of soldiers to speak out.

For Beth Pyritz, 27, who recently joined the group, the turning point came last month when her husband, an Army specialist, left for Iraq for his third deployment.

So it seems that it is going to be up to Congress to actually support the troops by ending the bushies' authorization to wage endless wars. bush won't do it. He never has supported the troops. It remains to be seen if Congress can finally do the right thing here.

Congress is on vacation now, and has yet to do the right thing when it comes to Iraq...

If you are in the minority party of warmongers and are about to try and spin the Iraq occupation with a fake Petraeus report in September, written by the White House, STOP... STOP THE FUCKING BULLSHIT NOW! We The Majority of The American People already don't fucking believe a word you say anymore. And neither do the soldiers. And if you are in the majority party in Congress, STOP PLAYING POLITICS AND START ENDING THE OCCUPATION NOW!

If you haven't got the leadership skills needed to end the occupation now, while you control both the Senate and the House in Congress, than why the hell would we ever give any of you the keys to the White House?