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On a Plane Ride Home From Paris Sitting Next to a Douchebag With an Ed Hardy Shirt Reading Glenn Beck’s Book

1441!

by John Tully
The New York Herald Sun
July 26, 2009

Whether it was Michael Wolff’s “piece” in Vanity Fair on Politico or the Paris tap water that produced the explosive diarrhea on a hot sweaty July night in the City of Lights, we’ll never know…

Time moves both slow and fast in these Dog Days of Summer and the memory hole of the past eight bloody years is fading and digging deeper.

I take you back to the city of D.C.

A few years ago…
A quaint city, soon to written about like Rome, gilded on their own lily and pathetic to boot.

Sucked in to television, watching the camera moves, editing, and heavy music to a story about a mom and a dad and a wife who lose their little/big man to a fiery explosion in Iraq. The soldier leaves a “just in case” final video for his bride, tells her of his deep love, and urges her to go on with life: “get married, have kids” It’s a noble gesture from a brave young man and the camera cuts to the weeping widow watching the tape.

The evening news comes on and the 80 year-old man who marched against Iraq in a February freeze watches a report on two dead Marines and 17 Iraqi dead civilians . Remember seeing that look on the face of the Marines’ mother or the site of yet another widow with two babies that finally punches the gut.

At this point in the war, President Bush hadn’t been to one funeral service for them.

Remember.

Remember banned television cameras at the arrival of the bodies from Germany, at the base in Delaware .

The cowering, obedient press corpse giving the President a free pass after 9/11 and the Administration using it to make the United States less safe, less secure, and spoil environmental and geopolitical progress for years to come.

Remembering Television and Freedom Fries and Terror Alerts here in Paris 6 years later, the mind once again boggles and crunches the serious, sad, mistaken war of choice that ignored all plans and warnings of consequences.

Powered by arrogance and breathtaking hubris and television’s Meet The Press and This Week With Will for the latest talking points of the day.

MR. RUSSERT: All right, this way: Should the blogs, talk radio, cable TV—should people lower their voices, and, and, and control their rhetoric?

Remember that very same week when the Vice-President poked a fat finger in the eye of Russia while the Bush Administration reflexively rejected the first written communication from Iran in seventeen years. Neither Vice President Cheney’s speech or the letter was ever mentioned on either program.

Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney had blown the cover of longtime C.I.A. agent Valerie Plame who it turns out was working on nuclear proliferation. Her contacts through front company Brewster Jennings were actively working the underground nukes world. That intel might have been helpful that very same week in dealing with Iran.

Instead, the latest Cool-Kids Media Club Memes emerged: “Anger on the Blogs”

That’s right. Three different allusions to blogs and anger on both Meet The Press and This Week complete with an obligatory question from Tim Russert to new/old ham Newt Gingrich.

Schmuck David Brooks, perpetual mealy-mouthed defender of the Bush administration throwing out his shoulder shrugging off the incident at Haditha in front of two shocked Marines: Mark Shields and Jim Lehrer.

Remember when columnist Tony Blankley said the war protests were organized by the communist party and the Press corps labeled Al Gore as Crazy for his pre-war criticism about invading Iraq.
How about when war hero Max Cleland was derisively compared to both Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein in a television advertisement by his republican opponent, Saxby Chambliss during their Senate race? Mr. Cleland lost his legs and an arm during Vietnam but the republican claimed the democrat was soft on National Security. Mr. Chambliss sat out the war with a bad knee.

Go back in time and recall when Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz had no idea how many Americans had been killed in Iraq and called the idea of two hundred thousand troops needed in Iraq as “wildly off the mark”

It’s apparent that there Was Not a massive intelligence failure and the administration indeed was warned about the vagueness of the information about Iraq.

Remember that classic “Everybody thought-even-France and Germany” song about W.M.D.’s.
The Memory-Hole pieces together the events of the past six years but can never illuminate fully how one of the most brilliant countries in history could now be cowardly defending war atrocities and blaming, as Mr. Blankley said that very same week about the incident at Haditha: “Over reporting by a gleeful media is more damaging than any single fact”

Come to think of it-maybe that gleeful, fluffy, Politico piece that completely failed to mention the publication’s Reagan connection was responsible for that gut bomb the other night.

Either way, I’m still sick as a dog.

JT

Paris, France

THE JAMES GUCKERT/ JEFF GANNON, FAKE REPORTER IN THE WHITE HOUSE QUESTION IS MOOT!

Peabody award-winning/not really

BY JOHN TULLY
THE LOS ANGELES SUN
FEB 23 2005

A weekend journalism-school reporter, using a fake name, was given access to the President of the United States at White House press briefings before he even worked for any news organization.

He claims that he has seen a confidential, so-called C.I.A. document which reveals the name of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s wife and shows her recommending him for the trip to Niger to investigate yellowcake uranium sales to the Iraqis.

It turns out that Secret Service has been waving James Guckert by the guardhouse for two and a half years and once inside, he became Jeff Gannon. He wrote for a fake website, Talon News, run by Republican strategist Bobby Eberle and the organization GOPUSA.

To understand how something like this could Not be a story, that this could happen to begin with, is to understand how The District of Columbia really runs. However, one can only watch and wait as the laws of physics begin to rear their ugly head. Try as they might and for whatever reason, The Mainstream Media (as good of a description as any) just can’t keep this monster down.

Howard Kurtz, the longtime and wise sage media critic with The Washington Post, trusted by little old Quaker ladies in Cleveland Park D.C. and lobbyists alike, just could not figure out what the big fuss was all about and immediately chalked it up to over-eager WWW types and their preoccupation with the salacious part of the story.
Oh that.

The Great Diversion and the reason why non-political junkies in America are apparently not talking about this story is that this fella’ publicly advertised his services as a male prostitute on numerous sites on the Internet and registered and launched numerous gay male pornographic websites.

Really.

CNN’s Aaron Brown, so brilliant in his earlier years on the old ABC overnight news program, pooh-poohed the scandal as a bit of “so what”. On Wolf Blitzer’s “Hard News” program, Mr. Guckert/Gannon was treated almost softly, as if not to upset.

The New York Times finally ran the story, deep in the back pages on Friday, Feb 11th, more than a week after website journalists began to fully reveal this fake journalist’s deceptions.The shockjock mentality came out instantly in the groupthink mainstream media with a curious mix of apathy and frat-boy jokes.

There was no outrage to be outraged over. Meanwhile, writers on web sites like The Daily Kos, David Brock’s Media Matters and John Aravosis’s America Blog, among others, had been doing their own journalism and found out that Mr. Guckert was not who or what he appeared to be. They started their dig after witnessing a press briefing by the President back in late January. A strange reporter asked a clearly partisan question / pronouncement that, among other things, stated that the Democrats were “divorced from reality”.

They got dirt all right.

Columnists Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd finally had to write cute pieces about the mess nearing the end of last week. Katie, Matt, and The Today Show eventually did a quick three- minute story in the first hour last Wednesday. Radio man Don Imus couldn’t get anyone to bite and wondered aloud about the titillating aspect of the thing.

This was now more than ten days since the story had broken, or hadn’t broken. No one was even discussing, outside of the Web, the nasty business of the C.I.A. memo that Mr.Guckert had claimed to have seen or knew about right there on Mr. Blitzer’s show.
Links to web sites where Mr. Guckert solicited clients for sex were widely available at the very same time Mr. Blitzer was tripping all over himself to give Mr. Guckert an Easypass.

Ultimate Washington insider Mary Matalin, Vice President Cheney’s sometimes consultant, told Imus that she just wished Ms. Dowd would just come in from the cold and get with the program.

Why did President Bush and Scott McClellan, the President’s spokesman, call on Mr. Guckert/Gannon so often in those two and a half years and how could other reporters not write about Talon News and GOPUSA ‘s illegitimacy? Veterans of the White House beat sometimes don’t see a question for years. Was he a plant?

But just like the high school sophomores that they are, the Washington press corps have hemmed and hawed and giggled their way for weeks now through a real-live genuine scandal unfurling at the White House. Waving their collective finger, they dismissed the whole affair in full. It was simply The Bloggers and their liberal retribution for the Rather/CBS assassination and a lurid fascination with the X-rated angle thrown in for good measure.

Now the simply idiotic Bush-Tapes story, along with a long weekend and a brilliant fake-outrage campaign over a congressman’s comments about Karl Rove, is threatening to bury forever a story that the entire profession of journalism would like to pretend was never born to begin with.

Everyone seems to be looking around at each other and tsk-tsking the lack of outrage on each other’s part, as if to say “This is terrible. Someone do some real reporting.

“Someone did – as Mr. Bush would say, on the “Internets”.

Stay Tuned.

© 2005 THE LOS ANGELES SUN

HYPOCRISY AND HUBRIS

“A pitiful week, which found Colin Powell apologizing for a fraudulent State Department report on terrorism that suffered from shockingly wrong statistics and apparent, er, printing problems”

BY JOHN TULLY
THE LOS ANGELES SUN
Jan. 25 2005

There are weeks on that tiny hill full of impressive buildings and important people when swirling winds truly collide. Halfway through 2004, the June sun was shining, the war was spiraling out of control, and nobody except maybe Joe Biden had the faintest trace of a viable plan to stop digging the hole .

It had been an extraordinary few days, one which brought William Jefferson Clinton back to the limelight that he loves so much. The former president’s book tour received a curious mixture of scoffing and slathering from the networks while they just about ignored a visit from the Special Prosecutor to the Oval Office, He was there to find out who gave Bob Novak the identity of C.I.A. agent Valerie Plame, which ruined her long undercover career.

A pitiful week, which found Colin Powell apologizing for a fraudulent State Department report on terrorism that suffered from shockingly wrong statistics and apparent, er, printing problems. The original report stated that terrorism acts in the world against America, for the year 2003, had gone down.

It hadn’t .

Terrorism acts actually went up for the year; what do you know? It turned out that they had only looked at part of the year and in fact attacks were up by a record amount.

A typical week, as the Vice-President was given a break by the Supreme Court when it sent the now infamous lawsuit about his energy policy meetings back down to the lower courts.

As usual the mainstream media got lost in the shuffle about Ken Lay and Big Oil running energy policy. Forgotten once again was the release in 2003 of curious Energy Task-Force documents that contained detailed Iraqi oil field maps, pipelines and terminals, and a list of “Foreign Suitors of Iraqi Oil Field Contracts”.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, it had been a long week for Congressman Henry Waxman who called for a Select House committee to investigate the abuses at a prison named Abu-Ghraib after weeks of outright stonewalling by the administration.

A partial and select document dump of memos late on a Tuesday evening by the White House, showed that the President had approved a document on February 7, 2002 approving a new set of interrogation techniques that fall outside the law of the Geneva Convention and could be used in future conflicts.

Now, six months later, the fellow who cleared those torture memos will be our new Attorney General, the head of the C.I.A. who claimed the intelligence about Iraq’s imminent threat was a “slam dunk” gets a medal, and the President’s adviser on national security for the past four years and two failed wars gets to head up the State Department.

Oy that Bush….

We Were So Naive

2005 THE LOS ANGELES SUN

Out Of The Loop: Red Truth VS. Blue Truth

BY JOHN S.TULLY
THE LOS ANGELES SUN
August 2004

John Kerry is really making a mess of this war in Iraq.

He brought this on himself after all, by completely screwing up the entire month of August. The Senator accused his fellow soldiers in Vietnam of torture and heinous acts while he bragged and boasted about his own alleged service.

Then he went windsurfing!

Wasn’t he a snowboarder just this past winter?
Make up your mind Mr. Kerry.

The liberal elite media won’t inform the people, as the president gladly did this week, that the “right track/wrong track” polling numbers are actually better in Iraq than here in America. Those people are dealing with kidnappings, hostage-taking, beheadings and car-bombings yet they are optimistic for the future and answer pollster’s questions.

It’s going to take the long lens of time to understand what really happened on the ground during the liberation of Iraq. History will be the final judge, so it’s best to continue on this path of unexamined patriotism, at least until the war on terrorism is over. If you want to take umbrage with President Bush, wait for about thirty years. After all, these people started it.

As usual, the Democrats are best at criticizing themselves, so they’re keeping Kerry on his feet and scared. After Zell Miller (and Karl Rove) eviscerated the Senator for being a weakling on security and defense, the talking heads, pundits, and subpar speculators in the lazy press started writing his obituary.

Even Cokie Roberts and Howard Fineman were plain old baffled at how poor a candidate Kerry was, and they know things. It seems that the candidate just doesn’t “get” the voters. Deep thoughts from the ?Cool Kids Media Club: “Who is John Kerry?”.

An English person named Katty Kay from the BBC said on a television program called “The Chris Matthews Show” that the Kerry and Edwards speeches at the Democratic convention were the only ones of any note. Clarence Page looked stunned. The British are very smart you know.

During August, the bloodiest month yet for the soldiers and Marines in Iraq, with combat injuries reaching 1100, CNN spent about fifteen minutes an hour on the Swift Boat Veterans. This month it’s as bloody as ever and they’ve got fifteen minutes an hour on IBM Selectric typewriters.
Robert Novak, the syndicated columnist, wants Dan Rather and CBS to reveal their document sources. The Dems just can’t win for trying.

The intellectuals stammered something faint about ill-prepared troops, lack of exit strategy, and a 25,000 page Army War College /CIA/ State Department plan for the war. More left-wing nuanced goo-gah; freedom, liberty and democracy aren’t always a walk in the park folks, and this is a messy business.

Should we have guarded the ammunition dumps? Youbetcha!
Was there a complete lack of intelligence and a credible plan for war?Sure!Were we forced to funnel resources and troops out of Afghanistan to mount the war in Iraq thereby leaving Osama Bin Laden uncontested at Tora Bora?
Hey!….scram kid!

The oxygen-loving lefties claim the president has used 9/11 as a pretext to get his legislation through Congress and point to rollbacks of various EPA regulations, corporate tax breaks, and drug company profits during his term. Protest, dissent, and hand wringing don’t make us safer.

Tell that to the Cassandras at the CIA, whose National Intelligence Estimate about the long-term outlook for Iraq was leaked this week. The best-case scenario for the country was described as “tenuous stability”. These naysayers and naer-do-wells squawk about “civil war” yet they got the 9/11 attack and Iraq’s weapons capability completely wrong. Why should we believe them now? The President rightly called it just “a guess”.

Republican doomsday-er Chuck Hagel of Nebraska said this week that Iraq was “beyond pitiful, beyond embarrassing, now in the zone of dangerous”. What did he think would happen, that we’d be greeted as liberators, with flowers thrown at us?

Perhaps General Jay Garner was correct so very long ago when he advocated quick elections and a hasty withdrawal. But this is George Bush’s war and once you take your hands off the bible you’re the Commander-in-Chief, boss.

If we’ve squandered our credibility and destroyed relationships with other countries when we need their help with the global war on religious fundamentalism, too bad, so sad. France and Germany were making money over there the whole time and besides, aren’t we all safer with Saddam in a jailcell?

It’s Fallujah or Cleveland buddy, so fire up Ebay and pass the Freedom Fries. It’s a fabulous disaster and a catastrophic success.


©2004 THE LOS ANGELES SUN

Gassed His Own People

By JOHN TULLY
The LOS ANGELES SUN
June 20 2004

One of the unfortunate things about doing things completely different
from the Clinton administration is that you’re bound to trip all
over yourself and skin your shins doing just that.

Richard Clarke, the counter-terror chief for President Clinton, kept
on by the Bush administration and whom Vice President Cheney claimed
was “out of the loop”, repeatedly warned of planes being
used as a weapon, probably by al Qaeda, in as late as summer of 2001
to anyone on the new team who would listen.

In fact, on 31 January of 2001, The United States Commission on National
Security concludes that we are not only unprepared for an attack
on American soil but specifically mentions the phrase “weapon
of mass destruction in a high-rise building”. The report basically
states that there is a real lack of coordination between our intelligence agencies and a fragmented system to deal with threats.The White House, disregarding even their own master of hand moves,
Donald Rumsfeld, stifles the call for hearings and sets up a task
force that meets a total of once, on September the fourth.

It’s not surprising then, that a memo in July of that summer from the
FBI doesn’t raise any eyebrows. Agent Kenneth Williams worries about
Middle Eastern men attending flight schools and German and Russian
intelligence has Arabic terrorists training to fly airplanes as weapons
against the U.S. and Israel. They are ignored or not coordinated.

Scarry with two R’s.

Think of the 9/11 commission and it’s sordid history as the perfect
metaphor for this administration and the sheer chutzpah of it’s officials.

Having thwarted the very creation of such a commission, they’ve monkey wrenched every single aspect of it from the start. The families of the deceased have entire web sites set up that document the complete unwillingness of the Bush administration to hand over even the simplest of file requests.

But can anybody ever, in their lifetime, forget the brilliant appointment of Henry Kissinger as the Commission’s first Chairman?

Certainly the honorable Tom Kean, former governor of New Jersey and
general good guy would be perfect for the job. Unfortunately, Mr.
Kean is a director of Amerada-Hess, a partner with an outfit called
Delta Oil Ltd. of Saudi Arabia. Delta is partly owned by Osama Bin
laden’s brother-in-law: financier Khalid bin Mahfouz, formerly of
that whole messy BCCI bank scandal. His partner in Delta is Mohammed
Hussein al Amoudi and both are thought to have funnelled many millions to al-Qaeda and it’s network.

Co- chairmen Lee Hamilton is widely known to have looked the other
way when confronted with the evidence that former Presidents Reagan
and Bush were very much “in the loop” during the secret
Iran-Contra covert arms transactions. One would assume that this
Trilateral Commission member would give the kid the same free pass.
He also sits on the President’s Homeland Security Advisory Council.The rest of the commission doesn’t instill in one the feeling of impartiality.

Democrat Richard Ben-Veniste, the scourge of the Right, is a former
lawyer for one of the drug runners during Iran-Contra. He still represents United Airlines.

Fred Fielding is a former Nixon crony who vetted cabinet members on
the Bush transition team and works for the law firm that lobbies
for United Airlines.

Commission member Jamie Gorelick is a former lawyer for two of the
American men, Clark Clifford and Robert Altman, most responsible
when the Bank of Commerce and Credit International robbed depositors
of $10 billion. It was an early nineties transcontinental giant ponzi scheme of a bank scandal. While she was the second in command at the Justice Department in the Clinton administration she was responsible for a memo suggesting a separation of counterintelligence and criminal
investigations and their record on infiltrating and weakening al-Qaeda can only be described as less than stellar.

Her law firm is representing Muhammed al-Faisal,
the Saudi prince who allegedly financed Osama bin laden. The plaintiffs are 9/11 family members.

Former Senator Slade Gorton has ties to Boeing who built all the planes that crashed on 9/11 and his law firm represents Delta Airlines.

Two days after the attack The Seattle Times reported that he said
to a public television audience that there was “nothing government
intelligence officials could have done to thwart the attack”

By far though, the most interesting of appointees to the National Commission
on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States; the 9/11 commission’s
official name, is it’s executive director, Mr. Philip Zelicow.
He served on the President?s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and
as a member of the Bush administration’s transition team, often briefed incoming security staff on Iraq and al-Qaeda. Of course his well known personal friendship with the President’s National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, with whom he wrote a book, is widely known.

He’s a member of the controversial Council on Foreign Relations and
The Aspen Strategy Group, a foreign policy think-tank that counts
Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and Ms. Rice as members. Mr. Zelicow
allegedly made the claim at UVA in the fall of 2002 that the real
Iraqi threat was not to America: “Why would Iraq attack America
or use nuclear weapons against us? I’ll tell you what I think the
real threat [is] and actually has been since 1990 — it’s the threat
against Israel.

Mr. Zelicow is also executive director of the National Commission on
Federal Election Reform and general editor of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center for Presidential Recordings Program that, among other things, transcribes presidential telephone conversations and meetings recorded during the fifties, sixties and seventies.

Unfortunately the transcriptions have been found to contain at least a hundred key mistakes that ironically have been attributed by Zelikow to his work on the 9/11 commission and have still not been corrected.

This week the commission issued it’s preliminary report, read by Mr.
Zelicow. Among other findings was the statement: “We have
no credible evidence that Iraq and Al Qaeda cooperated on attacks
against the United States” While Bin Laden was in the Sudan
he reportedly met with a senior Iraqi official after the man’s third
attempt. This was apparently at the behest of the Sudanese who wanted him to cease his support of anti-Saddam Islamists in the Kurdish north.

In case there might still be some confusion, the commission’s report
goes further and reads: “There have been reports that contacts
between Iraq and al Qaeda also occurred after bin Laden had returned
to Afghanistan, but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship”The next morning the President immediately chimed in, saying: “The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al Qaeda” is “because there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda.

The Vice President was outraged by the outrage and blamed the New York Times and it’s headlines as the culprit. He also derided the media in general for the confusion.

But there was Mr. Cheney just this past Monday crowing that Saddam “had long-established ties with al Qaeda.” and last fall when he said that Iraq was: “the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11. Most impressively though was the Vice President’s outright insistence Thursday night that the old battle ax herself, the “Prague meeting”, wherein Mohammed Atta, one of the nineteen highjackers, meets with Iraqi officials, actually took place. “It’s never been refuted.” he weakly snorted.

The Commission’s Staff Report 15 clearly states: “We do not believe
that such a meeting occurred.” Various intelligence has placed
Atta in Florida at the time and Commissioner Hamilton claimed Sunday
morning that the Iraqi spy wasn’t there either. Newsweek is now reporting that Commission staff members were “astonished” that the
Vice President still clings to this story.

Now that’s what you call Chuztpah.

Welcome to Dick Cheney’s America.

2004 THE LOS ANGELES SUN

Little Boys With Their Toys

Little Boys With Their Toys
September 22 2002
By John S. Tully

Los Angeles–It has become the age of “muddled thinking” around Washington D.C. and throughout this great nation. The debate about Mr. Hussein never materialized and now the war drums are beating hideously loud. No politician it seems is even questioning the administration’s stance that regime change must take place now. The non-debate is currently focusing on when to strike and whether the rest of the world will be cooperative.

This is a time when we are still actively engaged in Afghanistan, searching for remnants of Al-Quaeda amongst the Taliban regime; one that still has a viable presence in a country that our troops will be engaged in for many years to come. In this “War On Terrorism” Osama Bin Laden has not been found and dozens of military experts can still find no connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq. The Middle East peace process is in shambles; the two sides continue to tear one another apart and there are no concrete plans in place to change this paradigm. Indeed, Mr. Sharon has declared that he will strike back if Iraq launches scud missiles on Israel as it did during the Gulf War.

Meanwhile, both India and Pakistan have nuclear capability at a time of increased reports of Al Quaeda presence in both countries. There is serious uneasiness in the entire region about the ramifications of a power play in an Islamic country by a foreign power.

Administration officials asked the United Nations for permission to go back into Iraq and hold meaningful inspections of their weapons program; permission was granted unconditionally with disarmament being the ultimate goal. Now it seems that nothing short of a “regime change” will satisfy officials in the White House and the State Department.

Experts from the military, scholars of international diplomacy, recognized leaders of democratic countries have warned the United States that an attack on Iraq could be disasterous for the entire region and in fact the entire globe. Saddam Hussein is a very dangerous man in a very dangerous neighborhood. Evidence shows that he does have chemical and biological weapons. There is however absolutely no conclusive evidence of any kind that Mr. Hussein has “Weapons of Mass Destruction”

Young American men and women are about to go to a war with Iraq that may take more lives than that devastating day last September. With six weeks until the elections United States Congressman and Senators have fallen silent; their hollow echoes frightening the rest of the world.

Who will speak up?

©2002 The Los Angeles Sun

MR. ROVE’S WILD RIDE

MR. ROVE’S WILD RIDE

By JOHN S. TULLY

October 8 2002

Los Angeles — Politics is not a pretty thing. Look no further than this week in Washington D. C. Former Vice-president Albert Gore Jr. finally brought up the huge marsupial in the room. Criminy! folks, that’s gonna’ wake the whole herd up mate!

Senate Leader Tom Daschle, who seemed to have stashed his opinions in a lock box this summer finally blew his top on the Senate floor denouncing President Bush’s comment at a recent fundraiser that the “Senate” is more interested in “special interests” than in the Security Of Americans. That very same fundraiser pushed the President past Bill Clinton’s record of $126 million raised in one year and it’s only the last week of September.

Stepping right up to the plate this week was a small group of Senators who have been all too quiet this summer with any dissent of this administration’s dual War On Terrorism and Iraq. In fact the debate on war had bipassed “if” and went straight through to “when” and “who’s with us” by the time Mr. Gore finally cleared his throat Monday in San Francisco.

Actual questions were raised about our effectiveness in toppling Saddam and how to proceed post-war in Iraq among others. Sen. Robert Byrd paced and shook with disdain as he read Bush’s remarks from the newspaper on the senate floor. Sen. Daschle’s voice broke as he defended his colleagues, spoke of members who have served in the military and demanded an apology from the President. He also spoke of not politicizing the nation’s debate. It was a classic case of “too little,too late” Back in June an internal G.O.P. playbook, authored by White House political strategist Karl Rove got into the hands of the opposition. The Powerpoint presentation suggested Republican candidates play up the “War” to keep the political dialogue on their side of the fence.

The relative silence of the Democrats this summer only strengthened the resolve of the true hawks in the administration and a bipartisan resolution for war will almost definitely be passed by both houses. For GOP candidates however, the strategy might not pay off. A new poll released this week shows that while the majority of Americans are for action against Iraq, three out of five want our allies to sign on. Colin Powell would like to go back to the Security Council soon with a joint resolution from the United States Congress and it looks as if he will have it.

Unfortunately for the Republicans, this momentary truce focuses the debate back onto the domestic front where, as usual, it is the Economy…stupid. Crikey! The bugger just ate his own heed!

Politics is not a pretty creature.

©2002 The New York Herald Sun

This is Our Last Chance

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Rachel Maddow Unveils The Truth About The Lies About ACORN

CIA Ordered To Hand Over Information About Destroyed Torture Tapes

John Byrne

THE RAW STORY

torture_719b2The Central Intelligence Agency must turn over records regarding detainee interrogation tapes the agency destroyed in an alleged effort to protect the identity of its officers.

A federal judge rejected the CIA’s attempt to withhold records relating to the agency’s destruction of 92 videotapes that depicted interrogation of CIA prisoners in a ruling Friday afternoon. The tapes were said to have shown some detainees’ torture.

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing for the documents’ release under the Freedom of Information Act, and aims to have the agency held in contempt of court for refusing to provide them.

The ACLU has been remarkably successful at obtaining previously secret government documents. President Barack Obama was recently forced to release Bush administration memos which outlined torture techniques to be employed on detainees.

ACLU staff attorney Amrit Singh lauded the court’s decision.

“We welcome the court’s recognition that the ACLU’s contempt motion against the CIA must be promptly resolved,” Singh said in a release. “Recent disclosures about the CIA’s torture methods further confirm that there is no basis for the agency to continue to withhold records relating to the content of the destroyed videotapes or documents that shed light upon who authorized their destruction and why.

“The public has a right to this information and the CIA must be held accountable for its flagrant disregard for the rule of law,” Singh added.

In a release, the civil liberties group noted “the CIA had previously said it would only turn over documents from August 2002 that relate to the content of the videotapes. But U.S. District Court Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York today ordered the CIA to produce records from April through December 2002 that relate to the content of the tapes, as well as documents from April 2002 through June 2003 that related to the destruction of the tapes and information about the persons and reasons behind their destruction.”

“Judge Hellerstein also ordered the government to reconsider the extent of redactions it intends to make to the documents in light of last week’s release, also as part of the ACLU’s FOIA litigation, of four secret memos used by the Bush administration to justify torture,” the release adds. “In addition, the court ordered the government to explain whether contempt proceedings would interfere with a federal criminal investigation into the destruction of the tapes led by prosecutor John Durham.”

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