mitt gets his eastwood on

portrait of an idiot

Speaking to press onboard his campaign plane, the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, says that he would press for an indictment of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on charges of inciting genocide. Romney spoke to the press moments after a phone conversation with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, where the two discussed Iran’s nuclear capabilities

if i was the democrats, i’d jump on this like a meth head on a trampoline …
the whole world is trying to come to some sort of an agreement with awkmadinnerjacket and the iranians about their nuclear program, it’s about as sensitive and important a negotiation as the world has ever seen, and this desperate, wannabe, uninformed bozo, in his latest attempt to sound important, let’s rip with another one of his “i have no fucking clue what i’m talking about, but here goes anyways” spiels …
not a moment’s thought or respect for the fact that actual important, informed and relevant people are hunkered down in serious negotiation and dialogue on the situation …
and that every word and every nuance MUST be thought out to ensure that the tenuous and critical balance between ALL the parties involved is NOT upset in any way …

what a typical republican/neocon war monger response …
just throw out some inflammatory “sound bite”, sound threatening, and hope for the best …
thump on your chest and swagger around like it’s you that will make the threats come to life …
like you’re the guy who’s actually going to go over there and teach that freakin’ mahmoud a lesson …
and if the whole thing goes south (see: iraq, afghanistan, libya, etc.), then screw it,  just send some more of your kids to their death in some ill-conceived (but profitable) war, and bomb the shit out of whoever gets in your way in your march to spread “freedom” and “democracy” around the world …
who cares if thousands of your kids, and many thousands of innocent civilians get killed? …
who cares if the country goes broke financing another criminal and asinine endeavour? …
and who gives a shit if americans have to go without health care, education, infrastructure, their financial security and food, air, water and workplace safety if it means mitt and his neocon buddies can sound tough?

just score a couple of quick political points with the “war is our economy” crowd and the low information, faux noise fuelled idiots you call your base, and move on to the next photo-op …
just like you did with the libyan debacle mitt …
you can always find some bizarre and factually deprived reason to blame it on obama when it all blows up in everyone’s faces, right mitt? …

i think it’s time we took his wife’s word for it …
this guy isn’t mentally fit to be president …
and now, again, he and his actions and words are nothing short of dangerous …
there is NO WAY america can afford to have this man, and the zealots and war mongers he is sure to put in positions of power, be anywhere near the levers of power …
it’s way past time for this whole charade to stop …
america is better than that …
it must be better than that for the sake of america …
and it must be better than that for the sake of the world …
 

and here’s the rambling, barely coherent, word salad offering from mitt in it’s entirety …

note on video:
well, i’ll give mitt this, he knows how to not answer a question …
every time i hear this asshole’s utterances, i flash back to alaskan barbie and her word salad answers …
the rambling, no punctuation allowed, breathless non-sequiturs and endless, pointless rants of an idiot …

why does EVERY answer he gives sound just like that drunk guy at the bar who is trying to sound like he knows what the fuck he’s talking about, and drones on and on aimlessly, yet gets to the end and you’re still wondering wtf he he meant? …
how very sarah indeed …
i’m only surprised he didn’t drop a couple of “patriotic patriots” or “founding fathers” in there …
maybe even a “freedom lovin’ american wantin’ to take our country back” or two …
or how about a few “911” references mittens? …
always works for sister sarah …
it’s like michele bachmann is writing this guy’s scripts …
or liz cheney …

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

the beat goes on … and on … and on …

between the republican presidential wannabes, and the usual self motivated miscreants from the repug congress and senate’s constant and ever escalating call for war against iran, and those same war monger’s cries of doom and gloom and “oh you better all be scared as shit” wailings, it’s starting to seem a lot like the lead up to the iraq war again …
it’s getting so you can’t get through a day lately without some right wing idiot (and more than a few left wing ones too) rolling out the “threat of a mushroom cloud coming to a neighborhood near you” …
or yammering on breathlessly and excitedly about how iran’s nuke program is “so close to bearing nuclear fruit” that we “must act now and we must act with as much force as possible” “or else we’re all fu%&ing doomed” …
really? …
the united states can’t afford to fix it’s bridges and roads, or provide health care (according to those exact same zealots), or afford to educate it’s youth, or pay for contraception, or find jobs for the millions of hard working americans who just got robbed blind by wall street, or look after their own citizens who are suffering more than at any time in the last 100 years, and yet, let’s just get the bombers loaded up and take out some more of those “islamic terrorist fanatics before they get us”…
let’s “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb iran!” …
the congress is more interested in stomping all over women’s rights and starting yet another war …
sweet jumpin’ jesus man, did no-one learn anything from the last ten years? …
doesn’t anyone remember iraq? … or afghanistan? …
or how the country got in the mess it’s in in the the first place …
or “W” and lil’ dick and their constant lies and treachery as they pushed the country towards another haliburton sponsored and mega profit making conflict? …
or rummy the dummy’s “we don’t know what we don’t know” ego maniacal,condescending mocking and self aggrandizing blatherings? …
how about colin powell and his fake charts and pics showing the u.n. and the rest of the world just how absolutely close iraq was to it’s own nuclear and biological dominance? …
did the public forget about all those wmd’s that no-one can find ‘til this day? …
did the entire country just develop collective amnesia? …
what the hell is wrong with everyone? …
why aren’t the american people as a whole screaming “I CALL BULLSHIT ON THIS ONE!” …

well … “I CALL BULLSHIT ON THIS ONE!”
tell me I’m wrong …

following are excerpts from the article he was referring to in the above video:

In 2009, The New York Times‘ David Barstow won the Pulitzer Prize for his two-part series on the use by television networks of retired Generals posing as objective “analysts” at exactly the same time they were participating — unbeknownst to viewers — in a Pentagon propaganda program. Many were also plagued by undisclosed conflicts of interest whereby they had financial stakes in many of the policies they were pushing on-air. One of the prime offenders was Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who was not only a member of the Pentagon’s propaganda program, but also, according to Barstow’s second stand-alone article, had his own “Military-Industrial-Media Complex,” deeply invested in many of the very war policies he pushed and advocated while posing as an NBC “analyst”:

Through seven years of war an exclusive club has quietly flourished at the intersection of network news and wartime commerce. Its members, mostly retired generals, have had a foot in both camps as influential network military analysts and defense industry rainmakers. It is a deeply opaque world, a place of privileged access to senior government officials, where war commentary can fit hand in glove with undisclosed commercial interests and network executives are sometimes oblivious to possible conflicts of interest.

Few illustrate the submerged complexities of this world better than Barry McCaffrey. . . . General McCaffrey has immersed himself in businesses that have grown with the fight against terrorism. . . .

Many retired officers hold a perch in the world of military contracting, but General McCaffrey is among a select few who also command platforms in the news media and as government advisers on military matters. These overlapping roles offer them an array of opportunities to advance policy goals as well as business objectives. But with their business ties left undisclosed, it can be difficult for policy makers and the public to fully understand their interests.

On NBC and in other public forums, General McCaffrey has consistently advocated wartime policies and spending priorities that are in line with his corporate interests. But those interests are not described to NBC’s viewers. He is held out as a dispassionate expert, not someone who helps companies win contracts related to the wars he discusses on television.

Despite Barstow’s Pulitzer, neither Brian Williams nor anyone else at NBC News ever mentioned any of these groundbreaking stories to their viewers (even as Williams reported on other Pulitzer awards that year); the controversy over the Pentagon propaganda program was simply suppressed. And NBC continued to feature those same ex-Generals as “analysts” — including McCaffrey — as though the whole thing never happened.

Apparently, not only does NBC continue to present McCaffrey to its viewers as some sort of objective analyst, but NBC News executives use him as some kind of private consultant and briefer on the news. On January 12, 2012, McCaffrey presented a seminar to roughly 20 NBC executives and producers — including NBC News President Steve Capus — entitled “Iran, Nukes & Oil: The Gulf Confrontation.” We’ve obtained the Power Point document McCaffrey prepared and distributed for his presentation, and in it, he all but predicts war with Iran within the next 90 days: one that is likely to be started by them. The first page of the breathlessly hawkish document is entitled “Iran & the Gulf: Creeping Toward War,” and the first sentence excitedly proclaims:

Most of the report emphasizes the likelihood that Iran — not the U.S. — will act aggressively and trigger a war:

He adds: “We should not view the Iranian rhetoric as empty threats. They are likely to further escalate. There is great opportunity for miscalculation on their part. . . . They will not under any circumstances actually be deterred from going nuclear. They will achieve initial nuclear capability within 36 months.” About a war with Iran, he says: “Israel would welcome such a confrontation. They have an existential threat to their survival looming in their very near future.” Among his conclusions:

The last page of his presentation pointedly notes what he called “The American People: A Crisis of Confidence in Institutions.” The accompanying chart showed that 78% of Americans have faith in the military — by far the most admired institution in America — but near the bottom was “television news,” with 28%.

While McCaffrey’s office failed to return several calls seeking comment — I was particularly interested to know whether any of his ample consulting clients would benefit from a war with Iran — Lauren Kapp, an NBC News spokeswoman, confirmed the existence of this meeting. She said: “We regularly host editorial board meetings with our editorial board staff,” and besides McCaffrey: “we have heard from top ranking current and former US Government officials” (she also says that they once heard from an Iranian ambassador to the U.N.). She added:

We are exhaustive in our conversation with people from various perspectives and expertise when we over a story of this magnitude. And we are confident in the level and breadth of the conversations we are having with representatives from all viewpoints.

Council for foreign relations, etc….

Not just current and former U.S. government officials and Generals, but also members of the “Council for foreign relations”: the diversity of viewpoints is staggering.

It is interesting to see the sources on whom NBC News executives rely to develop their understanding of the world, and it’s even more interesting to learn what they’re being told about that. The reason Barstow won a Pulitzer Prize for his two stories is because it revealed the merger between the the American media and the military establishment, many of whose members have all sorts of vested interests in Endless War. This meeting and document provides a nice glimpse for how this process continues to function.

read entire article here          from salon.com

…………

the war that should have never been, ends … finally

last u.s. troops leave iraq, ending bloodiest u.s. war since vietnam

from abc news

In the end, there was no decisive battle, no peace treaty. The United States’ bloodiest conflict since Vietnam ended with a border crossing.
After nearly nine years, $800 billion, 4,500 American dead and an estimated 100,000 Iraqi dead, the war in Iraq is over — at least for the U.S. military. At just after 7:30 a.m. local, the last U.S. combat troops crossed from Iraq into Kuwait along the same roads the United States used to invade the country in 2003.

ap kuwait troops iraq lt 111218 wblog Reporters Notebook: The Last Convoy Out of Iraq

from the new york times

Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom were brought to an unceremonious close today with a quiet announcement by the Department of Defense that troops would be home within weeks.
“This is the best face we can put on the most unfortunate adventure in modern American history,” Defense spokesman Kevin Sites said at a special joint session of Congress. “Today, we can finally enjoy peace — not the peace of the brave, perhaps, but at least peace.”
As U.S. and coalition troops withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, the United Nations will move in to perform peacekeeping duties and aid in rebuilding. The U.N. will be responsible for keeping the two countries stable; coordinating the rebuilding of hospitals, schools, highways, and other infrastructure; and overseeing upcoming elections.
The Department of the Treasury confirmed that all U.N. dues owed by the U.S. were paid as of this morning, and that moneys previously earmarked for the war would be sent directly to the U.N.’s Iraq Oversight Body.
The president noted that the Iraq War had resulted in the burning of many bridges. “Yet our history with our allies runs deep,” he said, “and we all know that friends forgive friends for anything. Or nearly.” A spokesperson for the French Ministry of Defense confirmed that France would assist the U.S. withdrawal. “The U.S. helped the Soviet Union defeat Hitler. We do recognize that.”
In conflict zones worldwide, leaders and rebels pledged peace.
On Wall Street, reactions were mixed, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 84 points, to close at 4,212. While KBR stock was quickly downgraded to a “junk” rating of BBB-, defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grummon started up.
“Now that the war’s over, we’re going to get to go back to developing exciting new weapon systems, instead of just trotting out the ones that are proven to work,” said a visibly excited Robert Stevens, Lockheed C.E.O., before a reporter informed him of the Senate moratorium on new weapons systems development.
“Oh,” said Stevens, looking flushed, and quickly excused himself.
General David Petraeus had a distinctly ashen look as he attempted to put a good face on the situation. “I’ve been trying to make sense of all this, and I have to say that in perspective, we did pretty well,” Petraeus told reporters.
“It turns out that in 1917, the British made exactly the same mistakes we did,” Petraeus noted. “They told the Iraqis they had come ‘not as conquerors but as liberators, to free you from generations of tyranny.’ Like us, they were surprised the Iraqis didn’t feel quite the same. The insurgency against the British started in Fallujah too, and like us, the British Prime Minister warned against leaving Iraq on the grounds that there would be civil war.”
Petraeus smiled wearily. “I guess it’s never too late to learn.”

from cnn.com

Early Sunday, as the sun ascended to the winter sky, the very last American convoy made its way down the main highway that connects Iraq and Kuwait.
The military called it its final "tactical road march." A series of 110 heavily armored, hulking trucks and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles carrying about 500 soldiers streamed slowly but steadily out of the combat zone. 
A few minutes before 8 a.m., the metal gate behind the last MRAP closed. With it came to an end a deadly and divisive war that lasted almost nine years, its enormous cost calculated in blood and billions.
Some rushed to touch the gate, forever a symbol now of an emotional, landmark day. Some cheered with the Army’s ultimate expression of affirmation: "Hooah!" 
Once, when hundreds of thousands of Americans were in Iraq, the main highway was better known as Main Supply Route Tampa and soldiers trekked north towards Baghdad and beyond, never knowing what danger lurked on their path. 
On this monumental day, the Texas-based 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division’s main concern was how to avoid a traffic jam on their final journey in Iraq. 
Staff Sgt. Daniel Gaumer, 37, was on this road in August 2003. It was his first time at war. He was frightened.

read entire article at cnn.com

from cbs news

KHABARI CROSSING, Kuwait – The last U.S. soldiers rolled out of Iraq across the border to neighboring Kuwait at daybreak Sunday, whooping, fist bumping and hugging each other in a burst of joy and relief. Their exit marked the end of a bitterly divisive war that raged for nearly nine years and left Iraq shattered, with troubling questions lingering over whether the Arab nation will remain a steadfast U.S. ally.

The mission cost nearly 4,500 American and well more than 100,000 Iraqi lives and $800 billion from the U.S. Treasury. The question of whether it was worth it all is yet unanswered.

Capt. Mark Askew, a 28-year-old from Tampa, Florida who was among the last soldiers to leave, said the answer to that question will depend on what type of country and government Iraq ends up with years from now, whether they are democratic, respect human rights and are considered an American ally.

"It depends on what Iraq does after we leave," he said, speaking ahead of the exit. "I don’t expect them to turn into South Korea or Japan overnight."

The war that began in a blaze of aerial bombardment meant to shock and awe the dictator Saddam Hussein and his loyalists ended quietly and with minimal fanfare.

U.S. officials acknowledged the cost in blood and dollars was high, but tried to paint a picture of victory — for both the troops and the Iraqi people now free from tyranny and on a path for democracy. But gnawing questions remain: Will Iraqis be able to forge their new government amid the still stubborn sectarian clashes. And will Iraq be able to defend itself and remain independent in a region fraught with turmoil and still steeped in insurgent threats.

The soldiers left behind an Iraq free from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, inching toward democracy and vowing to be a good neighbor in the region.

Many Iraqis, however, are nervous and uncertain about the future. Their relief at the end of Saddam, who was hanged on the last day of 2006, was tempered by a long and vicious war that was launched to find non-existent weapons of mass destruction and nearly plunged the nation into full-scale sectarian civil war.

Some criticized the Americans for leaving behind a destroyed country with thousands of widows and orphans, a people deeply divided along sectarian lines and without rebuilding the devastated infrastructure.

read entire article here

 

and finally, from  july 4th, 2009
a little late condy …
but a piece to remember …

Ex-Secretary Apologizes for W.M.D. Scare

300,000 Troops Never Faced Risk of Instant Obliteration

By Frank Larimore
Published: July 4th, 2009

Ex-Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice reassured soldiers that the Bush Administration had known well before the invasion that Saddam Hussein lacked weapons of mass destruction. 
“Now that all of you brave servicemen and women are returning, it’s important to us to reassure you, and the American people, that we were certain Hussein had no W.M.D.s and that he would never launch a first strike against the U.S.,” Ms. Rice told a group of wounded soldiers at a Veterans’ Administration hospital yesterday. “I want you to know that if we had had the slightest suspicion that Saddam could use W.M.D.s against you, we never would have sent hundreds of thousands of you to be sitting ducks on the Iraqi border for several months.”

read entire article here