Archive for August 17th, 2008

By- Suzie-Q @ 4:30 PM MST

Pastor From Jenna Bush’s Wedding Rails Against McCain

ABC |   August 15, 2008 12:49 PM

The pastor who officiated Jenna Bush’s wedding in May recently criticized John McCain for his comments at a biker rally earlier this month. ABC has the story.

“Well, I don’t know a lot about John McCain’s family history, I do know, however, that as recently as last week I think it was, the Senator made a comment in South Dakota regarding his wife entering some Buffalo Chips contest which is this topless deal and if she were to enter she would probably win it and my personal opinion and based on my understanding of the Christian faith, that’s not not, N-O-T, not the type of expression that a presidential candidate, or anyone for that matter who is a follower of the Christian faith, ought to make,” said the Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell. “I don’t know if that is a perfect case in point, but it surely does help to juxtapose the DNA of Senator Obama, if you would, versus the DNA of Senator McCain.”

Caldwell, a close personal friend of President Bush, is the senior pastor at Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas. Caldwell made his comments on a conference call with reporters sponsored by the Matthew 25 Network, a liberal Christian Group. Matthew 25 is planning to air a pro-Obama ad on Saturday during the Rick Warren forum with Obama and McCain. The ad will air on CNN and possibly MSNBC, according to the group’s spokesperson.

Related: McCain Suggests Wife Participate In Topless Contest
Related: Rolling With McCain In South Dakota

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By- Suzie-Q @ 2:30 PM MST

Will: Lieberman’s Office Says He Was ‘Wrong’ To Vote Against Alito In ‘06

Think Progress- By Matt at 11:26 am

Earlier this week, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said he wouldn’t rule someone out as a potential vice presidential running mate just because they are pro-choice. On ABC’s This Week today, former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson called Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) “the best of the pro-choice candidates,” but added that it would be “a major problem” that Lieberman had voted against Samuel Alito’s Supreme Court nomination.

Conservative columnist George Will then broke in, saying that Lieberman’s office told him this week Lieberman now believes “he was wrong” to have voted against Alito and that “now he likes Alito”:

WILL: Well, I called Lieberman’s office this week and said, “why did your man vote against Alito?” And they said, “he was wrong, now he likes Alito.”

STEPHANOPOLOUS: Did they really say he was wrong? That the vote was wrong?

WILL: He said that now that having seen Alito in action.

Watch it:

In January 2006, when Lieberman voted against confirming Alito, he issued a statement saying that he was “left with just too many doubts” about Alito’s “judicial philosophy.” As an example of why he was voting against him, Lieberman pointed to Alito’s record on “equal opportunity and fair treatment“:

For example, in civil rights cases, Judge Alito has repeatedly established a very high bar, an unusually high bar, for entrance to our Courts for people who believed they’ve been denied equal opportunity and fair treatment based on race or gender.

In light of his stated reasons for opposing Alito, it is confusing as to why Lieberman now believes he “was wrong,” considering how Alito has voted since joining the court. For instance, Alito wrote the majority opinion in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire Co., which “made it harder for many workers to sue their employers for discrimination in pay.”

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Was 9/11 an Inside Job?

Sudhan @19:45 CET

By Mark H. Gaffney | Information Clearing House, August 15, 2008

The following is an excerpt from Mark H. Gaffney’s forthcoming book, THE 911 MYSTERY PLANE AND THE VANISHING OF AMERICA, to be released in September 2008.

Regrettably, there is considerable evidence that elements of the Bush administration were complicit in the 9/11 attack, and may even have helped stage it. Let us now examine some of what I regard as the most compelling evidence. However, the following discussion makes no claim to be comprehensive.

We know that within minutes of the “worst terrorist attack” in US history, even before the collapse of WTC-2 at 9:59 am, US officials knew the names of several of the alleged hijackers. CBS reported that a flight attendant on AA Flight 11, Amy Sweeney, had the presence of mind to call her office and reveal the seat numbers of the hijackers who had seized the plane.[1] FBI Director Robert Mueller later said, “This was the first piece of hard evidence.”[2] In his memoirs CIA Director George Tenet emphasizes the importance of the passenger manifests, as does counter-terrorism czar Richard A. Clarke.[3] All of which is very strange because the manifests later released by the airlines do not include the names of any of the alleged hijackers. Nor has this discrepancy ever been explained.

According to MSNBC, the plan to invade Afghanistan and “remove Al Qaeda from the face of he earth” was already sitting on G.W. Bush’s desk on the morning of 9/11 awaiting his signature.[4] The plan, in the form of a presidential directive, had been developed by the CIA and according to Richard Clarke called for “arming the Northern Alliance…to go on the offensive against the Taliban [and] pressing the CIA to…go after bin Laden and the Al Qaeda leadership.”[5]

A former Pakistani diplomat, Niaz Naik, tells virtually the same story. During a BBC interview, three days after 9/11, Niak claimed that senior American officials had informed him in mid-July 2001 that the US would attack the Taliban “before the snows start falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.”[6] Niak said he received this information in Berlin at a UN-sponsored international contact group on Afghanistan. He also predicted, correctly, that the US attack would be launched from bases in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. But how could US officials know in mid-July that American forces would invade Afghanistan in October unless they had foreknowledge of the attack?

Foreknowledge probably also explains why General Richard Myers, the acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs on 9/11, announced at the first post-9/11 meeting of Bush’s National Security Council, held on video-conference the afternoon of the attack, that “there are forty-two major Taliban bombing targets.”[7] But how did Myers come to have such detailed information about military targets in Afghanistan, so soon after the 9/11 attack? This important detail belies oft-repeated claims that the US military was not prepared to attack Afghanistan, and points to extensive war planning before 9/11. Journalist Steve Coll arrived at a similar conclusion while researching his 2004 book, Ghost Wars, an excellent history of the period leading up to the 9/11 attack. Coll interviewed two Clinton administration officials who informed him that ”the Pentagon had been studying possible targets in the same spring [i.e., 1998] that the CIA had been drawing up its secret plan to raid Tarnack Farm,” located near Kandahar, Afghanistan, where bin Laden had taken up quarters at the invitation of Taliban leader Mullah Omar.[8]

According to Clarke, at the same meeting on the afternoon of 9/11, CIA Director George Tenet informed the president that “Al Qaeda had committed these atrocities.”[9] But, again, how did Tenet know this so soon after the attack, especially given that “security failures” had occurred, unless he had foreknowledge?

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Spare a thought for those who’ll never walk again

anthony @ 18:10 BST

American gymnast Shawn Johnson was a credit to her country today, being the first to perform in the Women’s Floor Exercise, and clearly enjoying every minute of it, competing as much for the sheer fun of it as for getting a medal; then, sitting down and watching with equal enjoyment the performance of competitor, Chinese gymnast, Jiang Yuyan, and being the first to greet her with a congratulatory hug as she came off the floor after her performance. The smile never left her, even when she was robbed of gold at the last moment by the eighth and final competitor, Romanian gymnast, Sandra Izbasa.

There was a spirit of camaraderie amongst these girls, not just within the individual national teams, but across national team boundaries that was truly beautiful to behold.

But there is a darker side to this sport, as the following sad cases reveal:

Alexandra Huci, who passed away at age 12 after collapsing during training,
Yelena Mukhina paralyzed performing a Thomas salto, her death at the age of 42 caused by “complications”,
Julissa Gomez, who broke her neck after a Yurchenko vault and died after a period in a vegetative state, and
Christy Henrich, who died of anorexia after a judge told her to lose weight.

So, by all means, enjoy the grace, the athleticism and the sheer beauty of this sport, but spare a thought for those who’ll never walk again.

May God rest their souls.

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DOJ Sent Target Letters To Blackwater Guards

By- Suzie-Q @ 8:45 AM MST

Justice sends target letters to Blackwater guards

Raw Story- Andrew McLemore
Published: Sunday August 17, 2008

Almost a year after a Baghdad shooting that left 17 civilians dead, federal prosecutors are taking action against the six Blackwater Worldwide security guards many deem responsible.

The US Justice Department sent target letters to the guards being investigated, The Washington Post reported Saturday. Although not identified by name, the guard were described as US military personnel.

Target letters often are a prelude to indictment, but allow the suspects to defend themselves by telling the court their own version of events. A federal grand jury has already heard the testimony of dozens of witnesses, including US and Blackwater officials and Iraqis.

The US attorney’s office, the Justice Department and the FBI all declined to comment in the Post’s article.

A spokesman for Blackwater said the company believes the guards fired in defense and added that it is closely watching the investigation.

“If it is determined that an individual acted improperly, Blackwater would support holding that person accountable,” Tyrell said in a statement. “But at this stage, without being able to review evidence collected in an ongoing investigation, we will not prejudge the actions of any individual. The company is cooperating fully with ongoing investigations and believes that accountability is important.”

The shooting has become a source of anger in Congress because no one has been held accountable for the Iraqi deaths and added to the general dissatisfaction many Washington politicians feel towards private security contractors in Iraq.

The shootings began when a Blackwater convoy, which was responding to a Baghdad car bombing, entered the Nisoor Square traffic circle, the Associated Press reported.

Blackwater says the convoy was ambushed by insurgents, touching off a firefight. Iraqi witnesses, however, described an unprovoked attack in which security guards fired indiscriminately, killing motorists, bystanders and children in the square.

Soon after the incident, it appeared that the investigation led by the FBI was ignoring evidence that would hold the guards at fault. The agency was further criticized for allowing Blackwater to guard the probe into its actions, a bias the FBI eventually acknowledged by dropping Blackwater as its security escort “to avoid even the appearance of any conflict.”

Iraqi leaders have asked repeatedly in negotiations over renewed US/Iraq security pacts that the all security contractors be subject to Iraqi law, a request that the US military continues to resist.

Wire services contributed to this report.

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Oh, What a Lovely Neocon War!

There are two sides to every story, and the Western media has been showing the Georgian side, while ignoring that the NATO/Israeli backed georgians started this war with atrocities committed against ethnic Russians in the breakaway province of Ossetia. Here are some articles giving the “other side of the story” by paleoconservative, Patrick J. Buchanan, former Reagan official, Paul Craig Roberts, liberal commentator, Bill Boyarsky of Truth Dig, and former Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev speaking on Russia Today. I’ve also included a video of the moving final scene of the Attenborough film, Oh, What a Lovely War!


Bear-Baiting Blowback

Patrick J. Buchanan | Taki’s magazine | August 15, 2008

Mikheil Saakashvili’s decision to use the opening of the Olympic Games to cover Georgia’s invasion of its breakaway province of South Ossetia must rank in stupidity with Gamal Abdel-Nasser’s decision to close the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships.

Read more…

Gorbachev: ‘Signs of a Cold War Are Present’

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev appeared on “Larry King Live” Thursday to give his read on the Georgia-Russia conflict, asserting that Georgia was definitively the first to attack, in “a barbaric assault” on Tskhinvali, and that “there was support and protection” for Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili from … elsewhere in the world.

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Former Reagan Official: White House Sanctioned Georgia-Russia Conflict

Paul Craig Roberts, who was assistant secretary of the treasury during Ronald Reagan’s presidency, sees the Georgia-Russia conflict differently than the Bush administration does: “Americans themselves have nothing to gain,” Roberts said Friday; “What is operating is the dangerous ideology of the American neoconservatives whose goal is to assert American hegemony over the entire world.”

Read more…

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Olympic Glory

anthony @ 12:41 BST

Taki Theodoracopulos | Taki’s Magazine | August 13, 2008

Just after the Berlin wall came down, I flew to Berlin with my German-Austrian wife and traveled around the city and its eastern parts. On visiting the Olympic stadium I told the taxi driver that my uncle, a hurdler, was the first athlete the Führer’s gaze fell upon as the parade of the 1936 games began, because we Greeks always go in first, having started the games back in 776 B.C., and because my uncle was the flag carrier. The taxi driver did not seem impressed in the least.

It might seem politically incorrect to say this, but the Berlin Olympics were the best ever staged, the last time white American and European men and women competed on an equal level with blacks, despite the great feat of Jesse Owens in winning four gold medals. The first games after the war, the 1948 London Olympics, were a festival for pure amateurs, as were the Helsinki and Melbourne games that followed. The best postwar Olympics were the Rome ones (1960). Europe had rebounded from the catastrophe of World War II, and Germany had been invited to compete. I remember them well. The crown prince of Greece, now ex-King Constantine, won a gold in the dragon-class sailing in the bay of Naples. Ari Onassis, the original Greek tycoon, came into the shower room where the prince was cleaning up after he and his crew had been dunked into the filthy waters of Naples—my father was crewing for him—and got into the shower fully clothed, kissing the prince and congratulating him. That night there was a great ball in the palazzo of the duke of Serra di Cassano, with most of Europe’s reigning royals attending. For a 23-year-old, it was quite impressive stuff.


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