Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gonzales is toast

Ok, if I were a betting man, I'd say Al "waterboard" Gonzales is toast. I'm not able to watch the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, but from what I've heard and read so far, I'd have to say he's not doing well. Arlen Specter and Jeff Sessions have been merciless -- and they're Republicans. Coming into it Specter told Al, "As I see it, you come to this hearing with a very heavy burden of proof." Boy, he can say that again.

The best quote I've heard so far comes from Gonzales himself who told the Senators: "I now understand there was a conversation with myself and the president."

He now understands he had a conversation about the Federal Prosecutors?" He didn't understand it before? Wow, I know the guy is a lawyer, but that's a bit much. I'd speculate that sort of legalistic ducking and weaving isn't going to save his ass. He's got to go. I hope W. keeps standing behind him, that'll be fun.

The entire Prosecutor story has gone way beyond the AG at this point, though.

McClatchy papers had this amazing article today:

"For six years, the Bush administration, aided by Justice Department political appointees, has pursued an aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in ways that favor Republican political candidates. "

Not that that's news, but this article really goes into the mechanics of the thing. Among other details in the article:

"Career voting rights specialists in the Justice Department soon discovered that more than 2,000 elderly Indians in Arizona lacked birth certificates, and they sought their superiors' approval to request more information from the state about other potential impacts on voters' rights. Spakovsky and Sheldon Bradshaw, the division's top deputy and a close friend of top Gonzales aide Kyle Sampson, a former Bush White House lawyer, denied the request, said one of the former department attorneys. "

"[Toby] Moore] now the project manager for American University's Commission on Election Reform, said he believes that administration officials felt the Voting Rights Section was populated by 'recalcitrant, embedded, liberal Democrats ... and they were determined to plant their DNA, change the institution and bring it to bear on behalf of Republican interests.'"

Pretty heady stuff.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Iran and the Taliban

Charles Krauthammer (aka Davros) is a real joker, he writes:

"By the day, the debate at home about Iraq becomes increasingly disconnected from the realities of the war on the ground," the Democrats are so consumed with the losing the war that they "speak almost not at all about the first visible results of that strategy. And preliminary results are visible. . ."

I'll say!

AP reports today:

"Four large bombs exploded in mostly Shiite areas of Baghdad on Wednesday, killing at least 178 people and wounding scores -- the deadliest day in the city since the start of the U.S.-Iraqi campaign to pacify the capital two months ago. . . In the deadliest of the attacks, a parked car bomb detonated in a crowd of workers at the Sadriyah market in central Baghdad, killing at least 122 people and wounding 148, said Raad Muhsin, an official at Al-Kindi Hospital where the victims were taken."

Add this to the suicide bombing in the Iraqi parliament's cafateria in the "heavily secured Green Zone" last week and the up-tick in sectarian killings since al-Sadr yanked his cabinette ministers and I'd say the results so far are pretty visible.

Krauthammer writes that "The landscape is shifting in the two fronts of the current troop surge: Anbar province and Baghdad."

Yes, in Ramadi, the captial of Anbar, success is just around the corner. AP reports:

"Police in Ramadi uncovered 17 decomposing corpses buried beneath two schoolyards in a district that until recently was under the control of al-Qaida fighters. At least 85 people were killed or found dead across the country."

And as far as Baghdad goes; what drop in violence there has been is more than likely due to the fact that the insurgents have redeployed to Diyala province. The NYT reported on the 16th:

"While the "surge" plays out in Baghdad just 35 miles to the south, Baquba has emerged as a magnet for insurgents from around the country and, perhaps, the next major headache for the American military. . . It is impossible to say how many insurgents are in Baquba now. Using a broad definition that comprises not just those who actively fight, but also those who place bombs and others paid by insurgents, some military officials put the number around 2,000. It is a nasty stew that includes former members of the Saddam Husein army and paramilitary forces, the Fedayeen: angry and impoverished Sunni men: criminal gangs: Wahhabi Islamists: and foreigners. "

Hey, the Fedayeen, remember them? And I wonder where all these "Wahhabi Islamists" could be coming from? Iran perhaps? No, Saudi Arabia, our good, "moderate" ally. But that's not to say that Iran isn't at the bottom of every problem we have in Iraq.

Michael Gordon is at it again, beating the war drums, reporting today the US military says it seized weapons from Iran going to the Taliban.

Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, claims, "We have intercepted weapons in Afghanistan headed for the Taliban that were made in Iran. It’s not as clear in Afghanistan which Iranian entity is responsible." Gordon writes, "According to American intelligence officials, the support to militant groups in Iraq is so systematic that it could not be carried out without the knowledge of some senior Iranian officials," so this must go for the shipments to Afghanistan, too, right?

The fact than Iran is blood enemies with the Taliban and actually helped us oust them just makes this story even more beleivable. (Tell us the one about Saddman's WMD again Michael!) Gorodn writes:

"As relations between Iran and the United States have become more confrontational, some intelligence reports have indicated that the Revolutionary Guards might arm the Taliban in order to weaken and tie down the American military in Afghanistan."

Which "intelligence reports" are thoseI wonder? Gordon isn't back to looking over Cheney's shoulder for sources for his stories again is he? This entire thing just sounds really fishy. Yes, I could see the Iranians wanting to keep us off balance both in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I just don't see them supporting the Taliban. One reason is that the Taliban get all the weapons and support they need in Pakistan, from the Pakistani ISI. Why would they bother with doing business with the Persian infidel? Another reason is that the Taliban are buying their weapons with drug money, which is a social scurge in Iran.

Yassaman Taghibeiji at Iran and writes:

"Iran is having dismal results in its fight against drug trafficking, but officials predict that the struggle will only get much more difficult due to the conflict in Afghanistan and its aftermath. . . Mohammad Fallah, secretary of Iran's Anti-Drug Committee, says that whatever happens to the war in Afghanistan, 'the drug trade will find a way to live on'. But he adds that the influx of Afghan refugees into Iran is likely to help in the increased trafficking of drugs, and that the transit of illegal substances through this country will continue as long as Afghanistan remains impoverished. As it is, Iran is already struggling in its battle against drug trafficking as well as drug abuse. Numerous indicators reveal that despite all the arrests, imprisonment and executions of smugglers and distributors, the number of addicts and users is rising along with production and distribution of narcotic drugs."

Destabilizing Afghanistan and giving aid and comfort to people they consider apostates and drug dealers would be a crazy thing for the leadership in Tehran to do, even as crazy as they are.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Congratulations Revernd Moon and the Washington Times!

Wow, this is pretty mind bending: Bill Berkowitz writes in Asia Times Online that George W. H. Bush will be giving the "keynote address in honor of the 25th anniversary of the ultra-conservative Washington Times" in May. That's not so surprising since 41 has been providing cover for Jesus Christ's replacement since his CIA days when Moon was spying on the US for South Korea.

What is reallty mind blowing is that Moon is giving W. a few million bucks for his presidential library for a pardon! Berkowitz writes:

"The head of the Unification Church has a more varied agenda in mind, one that includes a pardon from current President George W Bush. In the 1980s, Moon served a 13-month jail sentence for tax evasion. He doesn't want to be a considered a convicted felon and is hoping for a pardon before Bush leaves office."

Unbelievable. Doesn't Moon own one of the biggets gun manufacturing companies in the US by the way?

Monday, April 16, 2007

More guns woulod have prevented this!

AP reports:

"BLACKSBURG, Va. - A gunman opened fire in a dorm and classroom at Virginia Tech on Monday, killing at least 21 people in the deadliest campus massacre in U.S. history. The gunman was killed, bringing to death toll to 22, but it was unclear if he was shot by police or took his own life."

I'm thinking I know where the next NRA convention is going to be held. You know, if each of those students and professors had been armed, this wouldn't have happened. That's what W.'s friends at the NRA think.

Dana Perino says W. is "horrified by the rampage and offered his prayers to the victims and the people of Virginia. The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed."

But all the laws were being followed weren't they? I mean, it's a birthright or something in Virginia to have as many guns as you want, right?
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