the last letter

A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran

To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young

I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.
I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.
I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.
Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.
I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues. Instead, this war has cost the United States over $3 trillion. I especially did not join the Army to carry out pre-emptive war. Pre-emptive war is illegal under international law. And as a soldier in Iraq I was, I now know, abetting your idiocy and your crimes. The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history. It obliterated the balance of power in the Middle East. It installed a corrupt and brutal pro-Iranian government in Baghdad, one cemented in power through the use of torture, death squads and terror. And it has left Iran as the dominant force in the region. On every level—moral, strategic, military and economic—Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences.
I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love. I would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.
I have, like many other disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much pretence of being a Christian.
But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins? I am not a Christian. But I believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you do to the least of your brothers you finally do to yourself, to your own soul.
My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.
To read Chris Hedges’ recent interview with Tomas Young,
click here.
letter reposted from truthdig …

rudy “911, fear, lie, terror, 911” giuliani slithers out from under his rock again

america’s “fear mongerer in chief ”rudy “911, verb, adjective, 911” giuliani is at it again with his usual bloviating, lying and all around creepiness …
the most desperate and hateful elf in the land is out on the trail for america’s grifter in chief, mittens the wonderbot, and bringing his all too familiar lies and fear to the gop faithful …
i guess now that his “15 minutes” and his political career is truly long gone and finished, rudy feels the need to get some attention …
but, does this slimy pile of crap have to do it in front of the rest of us? …
he’s like that creepy uncle who’s always playing with himself in public …
yeah, ya’ pay attention because a) yer’ related, and b) ya’ need to keep an eye on the truly creepy for the sake of everyone else, but jesus, why can’t he just do this shit at home, alone, in front of a mirror or something? …
every time this guy opens his greasy little pie-hole out pours more fear, hate, bigotry and factually devoid verbal spewage and i, for one, am completely sick of it …
and judging by the numbers the last couple of times he has attempted to run for anything prove, so is everyone else …
let’s be honest folks, he wasn’t much of a mayor before 911 and he sure as fuck wasn’t much of a mayor since that event …
all he has done since 911 is to milk a national tragedy for personal profit and gain at every opportunity …
more than a decade after that fateful and life changing day and still, every fourth word out of this douchebag’s mouth is either “terrorist” or “911” …
and now he’s blaming president obama for the deaths of four americans at benghazi …
really?!? …
pardon fucking me rudy?!? …
this coming from the same guy, who, if we use his standards, had over 3000 people die under his watch on that horrible day in new york …
and who has since turned those deaths into a career …
and he wants this president to resign over the tragedy at benghazi?? …
i don’t recall him calling for the resignation of the shrub, or lil’ dick, or rumsfeld, et al after 911 …
i don’t recall him even bringing up the fact that his war mongering, neocon, traitorous, war criminal buddies had even done anything wrong …
in fact, i clearly remember him calling out ANYONE who even questioned the illegal and immoral ways of his fellow neocons and chicken-hawks by labelling them as “traitors” and “unpatriotic” and now we get this shit? …
rudy, you need to slither back under that greasy bog-rock you live under and stfu once and for all …
i’m going to stop now, before i get rude …
plus, i feel like i suddenly need a shower …
 

Former New York City Mayor and 2008 GOP presidential candidate called on President Obama to resign over the nation’s 7.9 percent unemployment rate and argued that Mitt Romney’s experience in running the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics could have prevented the deaths of four Americans in Libya. Giuliani made the comments during a rally for Romney and Paul Ryan in Ohio on Friday.
“Our growth is at 1.2 percent. He should resign! He told us he would resign if he did poorly,” Giuliani shouted to the crowd, referring to a 2009 interview during which Obama promised to turn the economy around. He claimed that Obama is covering up the truth in the Libya incident and that his actions or policies have killed Americans who might otherwise still be alive:
GIULIANI: If [Romney] can have the same success for us that he had in running the Olympics, maybe something like what happened in Libya could have been avoided! Maybe if we had a president who was paying attention, we wouldn’t be going through all of this investigation of what’s being covered up about Libya!… You know of what happened in Libya is the result of at least of incompetence. You think if we had elected John McCain president of the United States, those people wouldn’t have had the full resources of the United States of America there in Benghazi trying to save them!? Well, we’ve got to change to right that wrong. We’ve got to elect a Commander in Chief who will not leave Americans behind! …
Millions of Americans have paid the price of being unemployed. I believe some Americans who might not have had to have died, may have died because we had incompetence in the White House.
from think progress                    read more here …

hip is everything salute
“fuck you rudy!”
”now, get back under yer’ rock”

the unspoken truth

following is a post by CoffeeCat from democratic underground …

a great post, worth the read …

pic from the rude pundit site
picture taken from the pit, october 6th, 2001

 

The trauma of buried, unspoken truths

posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012

I watched MSNBC’s replay of September 11, 2001. It was heart wrenching, of course, to contemplate the lives lost and the pain caused to untold families and friends who lost loved ones.
So much has happened in the past eleven years since this tragedy. During this time since September 11, we can now see painful truths and understand horrible realities about our nation, the neocons, and the Bush Administration.
But no one speaks these truths. Our silence is yet another round of pain and trauma–which is just as horrifying as the terrorist attacks.
Why does no one speak the truth about 9/11?
George Bush received a Presidential Daily Briefing on August sixth that read, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." The PDB goes on, "…consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks…"

Then, after September 11–the Republican neocons made a case for war with Iraq, capitalizing on our fear and shock. Clearly, that war was a mistake, and a colossal diversion that has played a significant part in bankrupting our nation and leaving us with a mountain of debt.
After September 11, George W. Bush dismissed the notion of capturing Osama bin Laden and stated that he, "Didn’t think about him very much" and that Bin Laden, "was just one person".

How come no one says it? How come no one describes 9/11 as an unprecedented failure of national security on the part of the Republicans and also an epic and devastating failure, in terms of the Republican-led response that rushed us into an unnecessary, tragic, lie-based war that did not have to happen? And furthermore, the Bush Administration failed to capture bin Laden, was cavalier about his capture—and that finally, it took a Democratic Administration and President Obama to take him down?
How do the Republicans get away with spearheading and creating the worst national security failures EVER perpetrated in this country? They failed to protect this nation when they had warnings. Their response was reckless, criminal and caused endless pain and suffering, not only for our nation and for our brave soldiers–but for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who were killed and saw their nation destroyed.

Not only do they escape accountability, the truth about what the Republicans have done–is never spoken.
That’s the real trauma for our nation. That this terrible tragedy happened and that we can’t even be honest about the facts of September 11.

..

how much bush really knew

The Deafness Before the Storm

By KURT EICHENWALD
Published: September 10, 2012

IT was perhaps the most famous presidential briefing in history.

On Aug. 6, 2001, President George W. Bush received a classified review of the threats posed by Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, Al Qaeda. That morning’s “presidential daily brief” — the top-secret document prepared by America’s intelligence agencies — featured the now-infamous heading: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” A few weeks later, on 9/11, Al Qaeda accomplished that goal.

On April 10, 2004, the Bush White House declassified that daily brief — and only that daily brief in response to pressure from the 9/11 Commission, which was investigating the events leading to the attack. Administration officials dismissed the document’s significance, saying that, despite the jaw-dropping headline, it was only an assessment of Al Qaeda’s history, not a warning of the impending attack. While some critics considered that claim absurd, a close reading of the brief showed that the argument had some validity.

That is, unless it was read in conjunction with the daily briefs preceding Aug. 6, the ones the Bush administration would not release. While those documents are still not public, I have read excerpts from many of them, along with other recently declassified records, and come to an inescapable conclusion: the administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed. In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it.

The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent,” although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible.

But some in the administration considered the warning to be just bluster. An intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat. Intelligence officials, these sources said, protested that the idea of Bin Laden, an Islamic fundamentalist, conspiring with Mr. Hussein, an Iraqi secularist, was ridiculous, but the neoconservatives’ suspicions were nevertheless carrying the day.

In response, the C.I.A. prepared an analysis that all but pleaded with the White House to accept that the danger from Bin Laden was real.

“The U.S. is not the target of a disinformation campaign by Usama Bin Laden,” the daily brief of June 29 read, using the government’s transliteration of Bin Laden’s first name. Going on for more than a page, the document recited much of the evidence, including an interview that month with a Middle Eastern journalist in which Bin Laden aides warned of a coming attack, as well as competitive pressures that the terrorist leader was feeling, given the number of Islamists being recruited for the separatist Russian region of Chechnya.

And the C.I.A. repeated the warnings in the briefs that followed. Operatives connected to Bin Laden, one reported on June 29, expected the planned near-term attacks to have “dramatic consequences,” including major casualties. On July 1, the brief stated that the operation had been delayed, but “will occur soon.” Some of the briefs again reminded Mr. Bush that the attack timing was flexible, and that, despite any perceived delay, the planned assault was on track.

Yet, the White House failed to take significant action. Officials at the Counterterrorism Center of the C.I.A. grew apoplectic. On July 9, at a meeting of the counterterrorism group, one official suggested that the staff put in for a transfer so that somebody else would be responsible when the attack took place, two people who were there told me in interviews. The suggestion was batted down, they said, because there would be no time to train anyone else.

That same day in Chechnya, according to intelligence I reviewed, Ibn Al-Khattab, an extremist who was known for his brutality and his links to Al Qaeda, told his followers that there would soon be very big news. Within 48 hours, an intelligence official told me, that information was conveyed to the White House, providing more data supporting the C.I.A.’s warnings. Still, the alarm bells didn’t sound.

On July 24, Mr. Bush was notified that the attack was still being readied, but that it had been postponed, perhaps by a few months. But the president did not feel the briefings on potential attacks were sufficient, one intelligence official told me, and instead asked for a broader analysis on Al Qaeda, its aspirations and its history. In response, the C.I.A. set to work on the Aug. 6 brief.

In the aftermath of 9/11, Bush officials attempted to deflect criticism that they had ignored C.I.A. warnings by saying they had not been told when and where the attack would occur. That is true, as far as it goes, but it misses the point. Throughout that summer, there were events that might have exposed the plans, had the government been on high alert. Indeed, even as the Aug. 6 brief was being prepared, Mohamed al-Kahtani, a Saudi believed to have been assigned a role in the 9/11 attacks, was stopped at an airport in Orlando, Fla., by a suspicious customs agent and sent back overseas on Aug. 4. Two weeks later, another co-conspirator, Zacarias Moussaoui, was arrested on immigration charges in Minnesota after arousing suspicions at a flight school. But the dots were not connected, and Washington did not react.

Could the 9/11 attack have been stopped, had the Bush team reacted with urgency to the warnings contained in all of those daily briefs? We can’t ever know. And that may be the most agonizing reality of all.

Kurt Eichenwald, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a former reporter for The New York Times, is the author of “500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars.”

reposted from the new york times

if mittens had his way

mittens - "[Obama] wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people."

mr. romney, please explain to me how and why america will be better off when more teachers, cops, and firefighters are unemployed …
and how the f*ck is it supposed to “help the american people”? …

"thank the gop" by hip is everything

and when he got cancer on 911, the republicans wouldn’t pay for it

rudy 9iu11ani is a lying sack of $h*t

rudy 911 giuliani at the latest koch ring of hate gathering …

you worthless, prevaricating, self important, consolidated mass of extruded post-diges­tive organic matter
and I don’t mean that in a nice way … just so we’re not confused …

p.s. …not enough war profits left to pay a real speech writer rudy? …
I didn’t hear yer’ usual
“911, adjective, 911, adverb,  verb, noun, 911”  lies and fear mongering …
at least, not as much of yer’ fear for sale crap as usual …
I mean dood, you got whole sentences off without a “911” …
wtf?!? … you slipping’ man?…

and if anyone out there needs a little more proof of this man’s lack of character…

rudy is that loser, asshole uncle at every wedding … you know the guy you have to invite ’cause he’s family but nobody really wants him … you know … mr. bigshot-bullshit-wannabe …totally out of touch with the real world around him … plus the loser would just crash the wedding anyways, just because he needs the attention so ya’ might as well just invite him …
less of a scene … if that at all possible …
if  rudy  were to run for president, he would make all the rest of the candidates look like rhodes scholars and political scientists  …
how the voters in new york could ever vote for this lying ass clown is completely beyond me … he has made his bones by profiting from the misfortune of others at every opportunity … 7 year old gavin cato lost his life in a tragic accident and
9iu11ani benefits from his death by using the speculation and civil unrest, praying on the public’s emotions surrounding his death, repeatedly, in his campaign for mayor … three thousand innocent people died on 9/11 in new york, and he uses that to make million$ in several different way$ and move himself up the gop political slag heap with the right wing zealots who created  the mess in the first place … he has always been contemptuous of anyone who has more or was higher placed, and cared little for his own family … his own son and daughter seem to  hate the man … always a good sign … I mean, think about it, when a filthy rich, really spoiled kid of privilege  hates their dad, well … you figure it out … dunno, just sayin’ … he tried to claim he didn’t know he had married his second cousin and then had the marriage annulled by a buddy over at the catholic church … after 14 years …
c’mon … an Italian family, in new york, one of them happens to be famous, and neither one of them knew that they were related? … really? … fo-gedda-boud-it, the man’s a lyin’, ratbag mook  …
whenever he opens his fear for sale, hate spewing pie hole, he lies like a lohan in a court room, throws in
some fear and at least three 9-11’s, and tries his utmost to promote whatever “plot to destroy america of the week” he’s trying to sell to his low information, bigoted, zealot, audience …
a total
fear monger profiteer and self-aggrandizer with the empathy of jeffrey dahmer, the intelligence of victoria teabaggin’ for hate jackson or donald gasbag trump (another low life, new york state of hind),  plus the charm of  a badly infected, gaping stomach wound … he truly is the consummate holier than thou, attention whore …
he even tried to re-write history when he
lied about the fact that 911 occurred on bush’s watch
now there’s some magical thinking for ya’ … what a “patriot” …
and the people in the crowd in the video above cheer this sniveling grifter …
unbelievable …
scary too …
this is what’s wrong with america in a nut shell …

in closing, I’d just like to say, that I know that no-one speaks on behalf of the occupy new york movement, but just for a minute, I’ll presume I can by saying …. on behalf of the 99% (everywhere) … fu*k you rudy!!! … go away and stay away … it’ll be better for everyone … and take your self-serving, “sycophant looking for a host to leech” attitudes and behaviors with you … oh yeah, don’t forget to grab yer’ ayn rand inspired ideologies/lunacies on the way out …  

and I’ll leave ya with his latest … the more complete text of the statement from the above video …

giuliani: I believe that Barack Obama owns the Occupy Wall Street movement. It would not have happened, it would not have happened but for his class warfare. And remember, as it gets worse and worse because it’s going to get worse and worse, where it came from. Barack Obama. He praised it. He supported it. He agrees with it. He sympathizes with it. And as it gets worse and worse, I believe this will be the millstone around Barack Obama’s neck that will take his presidency down.

As the American people look at Occupy Wall Street, what I believe that most of the American people say about Occupy Wall Street and all of its versions all over the country is: how about trying something different to help our economy instead of occupying Wall Street, and occupying Boston and occupying Oakland? How about you occupy a job. How about working? Working. Woo hoo, working. I know that’s tough. Woodstock is more fun, right? Woodstock is a lot more fun than working eight hours a day.

see? … I rest my case … a lying sack of sh*t …