Fear-Mongering with Mushroom Clouds

Booman goes over Murray Waas' must-read National Journal article on the president's knowledge of those notorious high-strength aluminum tubes and what it has to do with the outing of Valerie Plame. Seems the tubes were more important than the Niger forgeries because there was a clear document trail proving that Il Duce knew well and good the evidence was disputed. (Via C&L.)

More Good News for New Orleans

The day after we find out that the Corpse of Engineers underguesstimated flood protection costs by $6B, there's this from the Christian Science Monitor:
Hurricane Katrina's devastating strike on New Orleans last fall highlighted shortcomings in the city's levee system. It also focused attention another long-term problem: The city and the region around it are sinking.

New research suggests, however, that at least for nearby Michoud, La., the dominant driver pulling the region under may not be among the usual suspects: oil extraction, pumping groundwater to the surface, or diverting the Mississippi for navigation.

Instead, the King of Slump may be a deep fault that cuts across southeastern Louisiana and under Michoud. During the 1970s, the fault appears to have contributed from 50 to 73 percent of the subsidence in this section of Orleans parish, depending on the time period measured. If sustained over a century, that would equate to as much as a six-foot sea-level rise, independent of any increase tied to global warming.
The rest here.


Ripping off Blogs Is Apparently Routine

Seems TPMmuckraker's had the same problems as Raw Story.

UPDATE: A little headway.

Where's the Good News?

I am sickened at the MSM's coverage of everything they deem "newsworthy." Not only do they not report the schools being built in Iraq and the stray dogs being adopted into loving homes, but they also neglect good news stories the world over. Here's a provisional list:

Darfur. Yes, yes, people are being killed, starved, driven from their homes, but lots of them are getting fed by the UN. And the Sudanese government, via their terrorist Janjaweed proxies, are clearing land for Arab settlement and thinning the herd of poor, dark-skinned people. C'mon, MSM, do your job!

Belarus. Oh, sure, the media gloms onto the gloom, telling us how the election was stolen, how anti-government campaigners were arrested, how protest is being suppressed. So dreary. As Barbara Bush told Diane Sawyer in an interview on the eve of Iraq's liberation, "Why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" Where are all the stories of Belarussians picking themselves up by their boot straps and taking positions of authority in the government so they can establish income streams based on their insider position and provide for their families? What about all the good things the government has done, like paying its employees? What about the steadfastness and resolve of Belarus's leader to "stay the course"?

Iran. Our leader, President Bush, has repeatedly stated that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. But the media just spins that to say that Iran is a threat to the United States. Even the normally calm, thoughtful Neil Cavuto recently said on his Fox News show that we may already be at war with Iran. Aren't two wars enough? Please, MSM, why must you force our beleaguered president into another conflict?

New Orleans. Katrina was last August, and yet the media insists on pushing the meme that the city is in danger from a weakened and underdesigned flood-protection system and that most of its homes are unoccupied. What about the miles of functioning city along the river? That's 20% of the city!


The Next Blog You Should Be Reading

Spectral City.

Assrocket's (not so) Strange Aesthetics

Power Line's Assrocket is promoting the spankin' new blog of long-time reader Dafydd ab Hugh, a Star Trek™ novelist. I love hate to pick, but he and quasi-literate Bush beastie Roger Simon raise significant questions about the connection between intelligence and taste. Adding weight to my unfounded evolving hypothesis that low-wattage Bushbots are aesthetically challenged, Assrocket's comment that Dafydd ab Hugh's new blog, Big Lizards (nice homoerotic imagery there), is "one of the most graphically spectacular...sites on the web." Now, given the source, I took that assertion with a mineful of salt. But never did I imagine that Mr. Assrocket's aesthetics could keep pace with his reasoning skills in their sprint to the bottom. I won't add a screenshot. Go look for yourself.

NYT, Better Late than Never Edition

The New York Times finally gets around to reporting on the latest Downing Street Memo widely reported in the UK several weeks ago. Thank you, NYT, for doing your job. We know you're a bit slow, and in the case of the series of earlier Downing Street memoranda, ahem, extra super duper slow, but thank you just the same. (By the way, you might want to check into whether the World Trade Center was demolished with explosives and whether any of those 19 hijackers are still alive. But we don't want to rush you.)

NOTE: As one of our mystery reporters has often said, it's common for stories to be held, pending confirmation(s), analysis, etc. This may be the reason for the NYT delaying the most recent DSM story. Of course, that's no reason for their dearth of coverage of the slew of memos widely unreported in the US last year.

BONUS: In the NYT story, a NSC spokesbot claims that the misAdministration's public and private comments about the then upcoming sequel Gulf II: Invasion were entirely consistent. Today the Finger Puppet* reinforced the meme. But as anyone who recalls the runup to the war knows, it's total bullshit. As late as March 6, 2003, the president asserted that he hadn't made up his mind yet--a bald-faced lie (as if his sudden love for "regime change" in early 2003 didn't amount to "I really want to invade Iraq").

*Disinformation Secretary Scott McClellan

He's Alive

Always nice to know my cousin in Iraq is alive and in one piece, especially after a suicide-bomber attack:
Just wanted to send out this quick e-mail to calm concerns. Yes, the suicide bomber attack did happen where I'm at, but no Americans were hurt. He did it at the front gate, where we were screening potential new army recruits. Yes, I did know several of the casualties.


The AP Rips off Raw Story

If this isn't a breach of journalistic ethics, I don't know what is. You may have noticed the recent AP article on the changes Stephen Hadley made to guidelines for security clearances. The article came out several days after Raw Story's originally researched one. Turns out that GLBT groups brought Raw Story's article and information to the AP and demanded the story be covered. So they plagiarized Raw Story, attributing nothing to them. Larisa Alexandrovna reveals the AP's mindset:
We contacted an AP senior editor and ombudsmen both and both admitted to having had the article passed on to them, and both stated that they viewed us as a blog and because we were a blog, they did not need to credit us.
Funny, because the Associated Press proclaims on their blog website:
...we insist on the highest standards of integrity and ethical behavior when we gather and deliver the news.
It means we don't plagiarize.
Except when they do.


NOT EXACTLY UPDATE: I meant to add this at posting time but I was trying to get out the door. Anyway: Is the AP ignorant or just full of shit? Anyone who's perused a handful of blogs can tell that Raw Story is as much of a blog as the New York Times or Salon. That's probably why they have a sub-category on the front page called "blogs." If Raw Story's a blog, then so are Debkafile, Buzzflash, Consortium News and Counter Punch. Would the AP plagiarize their original reporting as well?

UPDATE: Larisa has the latest on the AP's antics.


A Free Press: Who Needs It?

The Associated Press fired a long-time Vermont correspondent. Why?
Emerson Lynn, editor and publisher of The St. Albans Messenger, said one clue to Mr. Graff's departure might have been The A.P.'s having told him this month that it was inappropriate for him to have posted a column by Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, on the wire.

Mr. Lynn said that for the last two years, The A.P. had prepared a package of articles about Sunshine Week, in which media organizations advocate openness in government. Senator Leahy had written a column highly critical of the Bush administration on the matter for the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

The column said, for example, that "the foundations of our open government are under direct assault from the first White House in modern times that is openly hostile to the public's right to know."

On March 8, Mr. Graff posted Mr. Leahy's column on an advance wire that carries material that can be used at a later date. He had attached an editor's note saying Mr. Leahy "was asked by the American Society of Newspaper Editors for his thoughts on the status of the right to know for use in Sunshine Week, organized by media organizations and other groups to combat government secrecy and bring attention to the public's right to know."

The A.P. removed the column from the advance wire within an hour and advised newspapers not to run it.

Mr. Lynn said Mr. Graff called him and told him he had been criticized for posting a column that The A.P. said had compromised the integrity of the wire service.

Mr. Lynn said Mr. Graff was surprised because he had posted a similar column from Senator Leahy last year during Sunshine Week and had not heard any criticism and because Senator Leahy had held a hearing last year on the matter and Walter Mears, a former A.P. executive editor and vice president, had testified.
The article doesn't mention (and I'm not saying it should, though it would've been nice) that this unforgivable act followed a curiously skewed AP story last month that twisted itself in knots trying to tie Abramoff to Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV).

So what's going on with the AP? Scared shitless, apparently, like the Washington Post.

Let's just get this clear: While the United States has a legally free press, overall the press is far from free. We live in a mediasphere that's a new, improved version of China's. The big difference is that the people who run the country discovered long ago that you don't have to deny freedom of speech and freedom of the press to influence the public's perception of reality. That's why most Americans are severely uninformed and a full one third of voters live in an outright fantasy land.

BONUS: Lest I be accused (not that anyone would bother) of being unfair, it's worth noting that the AP also let the famous "straw man" article, which analyzed Bush's addiction to straw man arguments, go on the wire.

Iraq, Read to George Edition

Anyone who works for the president might want to sit him down and read him Juan Cole's latest article in Salon.


Saddam's APB for Zarqawi

Remember how Zarqawi's presence in the part of Iraq Saddam didn't control was supposed to "tie" the Baath regime to Al-Qaeda? No, it didn't make any sense to me either, but now we have this: "Iraqi documents collected by US intelligence during the Iraq war and released by the Bush administration...[include] one the administration said showed that Iraqi intelligence officials suspected al Qaida members were inside Iraq in 2002."

Gotcha, lefties! Oh, wait:
However, one of the documents, a letter from an Iraqi intelligence official, dated August 17, 2002, asked agents in the country to be on the lookout for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and another unnamed man whose picture was attached.
We're sure that's because he was late for a meeting with Saddam or something. Maybe, you know, Zarqawi hadn't called recently and Saddam was getting antsy. "Abu...[wringing hands] Where is my Abu...?"

Juan Cole (our source for this beauty) follows up with this:
The September 29, 2002 Denver Post paraphrased Cheney, "He said the evidence presented against Iraq will be long and persuasive, including more details of a relationship between Hussein's forces and the al-Qaeda terrorist network."


Poem of the Day

the rifle lay between us
i looked at it then
up at him
he looked at it
then up at me
i lunged first
but felt his hand when
mine reached the
who would be first to pull
the trigger?


Sombody, Stop Me

Your government at work:
The Alabama cow is believed to be at least 10 years old, which would mean it was born before the government's 1997 ban on the gruesome and disease-spreading practice of using the remains of cows as an ingredient in cattle feed. Yet the Food and Drug Administration, after announcing in 2003 that it would ban such practices, still allows cattle blood to be fed to calves and bovine remains to be fed to chickens (after which the leftover feed is scooped off the floor with the chicken manure and added--you guessed it--to cattle feed). Not only does that make a mockery of the ban, it goes against the common sense that a grazing herbivore wasn't meant to be a cannibal.
(Emphasis mine.)

The LA Times article quoted above arrived from LNS with strings of exclamation points and a portion of the text in red. Since this was the only time in years of exchanging email with LNS that anything was so colorfully typed, I assumed it was important. Thanks, USDA*, or should I say Mistuh President? Who's in charge up there, the former lobbyist for the Cattlemen's Feed Association?

NOTE: The article requires registration. To get around it, try bugmenot.com.

UPDATE: Your gov't responds to the recent discovery of a third mad cow by...reducing testing. According to Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, that's because testing isn't a food safety measure, it's "for surveillance.... It was to get an idea of the condition of the herd." Ah, okay. So, like, testing random birds for West Nile isn't a public health measure, it's to get an idea of the condition of a flock. That opens up a whole array of legal defenses, come to think of it. If, for example, I fired a shotgun at Mr. Whittington Johanns from 30 yards away, it wouldn't be to kill him, just to find out whether my gun works.

*A previous version of this post listed the FDA, not USDA.

Ah, So...

See those lights in the windows of realitique™ HQ? We weren't burning the mid-morning oil working, no, we were feverishly debating why Il Duce seems so, well, passive. He's the least active president...ever. Yes, we knew he likes to play CEO (a game for the whole family!), but we didn't know he was focusing only on two issues. According to Insight,
President Bush has decided to stay out of the lion's share of decisions made by his administration.

Sources close to the administration said that over the last year, Mr. Bush has chosen to focus on two issues, leaving the rest to be decided by Cabinet members and senior aides. They said the issues are Iraq and the Republican congressional campaign in the 2006 elections.

"Lots of important issues that deal with national security are never brought to the president because he doesn't want to deal with them," a source familiar with the White House said. "In some cases, this has resulted in chaos."
Now I love hate to pick, but what, exactly, is he "doing" about Iraq? From here (deep within the bowels of Sav-A-Center, in our nuke-proof bunker) it sure looks like all da Preznit's doing is talking a lot--and without specifics. He's not doing anything. 87 bodies in Baghdad? Bombing religious shrines? Give a speech. And the 2006 erections? What is Bush doing, crunching numbers? Has he noticed his are falling? Give a speech. If Bush didn't breath recirculated bubble air, he might notice that the speeches aren't working. CEO? Yeah, like Ken Lay.

For more insight into the bungling that was the Dubai debacle, read the rest of the article here.

(Via American Street via Daou.)

BONUS FOR BUSH: He might want to consider that pesky, precipitous not-quite-civil-war here and the latest Abu Ghraib investigation here.


A View from Mid-City

Times-Picayune columnist Chris Rose on how Mid-City's doing. It's one of those huge parts of town that is pretty much ignored--like so much inconvenient, undramatic information--by your friendly national news media. Rose could collect his post-Katrina columns under "Lamentations." He always makes me cry. (Via Harry Shearer in the HuffPo.)

Feingold Argues for Censuring the President


Oops: Did Slobie Accidentally Kill Himself?

In a delightfully ironic twist, the Guardian reports that Milosevic may have taken a drug to "negate the effects" of his high-blood-pressure meds, hoping to get sent to Moscow:
Donald Uges, a toxicologist from Groningen University, told Reuters that tests he conducted two weeks ago on Milosevic's blood showed traces of rifampicin, a drug used in treating leprosy and turberculosis that would have made other medicines ineffective.

He suggested Milosevic had taken the drug in the hope the UN war crimes tribunal would agree to his requests to go to Moscow for treatment if his condition did not improve.

"I don't think he took his medicines for suicide - only for his trip to Moscow. When he was in Moscow he would be free. That is where his friends and family are. I think that was his last possibility to escape the Hague," Dr Uges told Reuters.


Fuck Prosecute the Corpse of Engineers

  Posted by PicasaA ruined home beside the 17th St. canal breach near in NW New Orleans. A sign in front reads "Hold the Corps [of Engineers] Accountable." Photo taken 3/11/06.

The Army Corpse of Engineers is guilty of negligent homicide. But you wouldn't know that from their recent self-exonerating white wash report. Their purported "investigation" is reminiscent of the White House's Katrina report, entitled, It Wasn't Our Fault. As the Times-Picayune notes:
When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commits to a major flood-protection project in greater New Orleans, actual physical improvements can take forever and a day to materialize. Because of legal problems, money shortfalls and bureaucratic delays, the agency took decades to build some of the levee projects that were promised after Hurricane Betsy in 1965. Even now some parts of that plan have yet to become reality.

Because of the glacial pace of progress, the agency had plenty of time to adjust its designs to the latest facts.

Doing so ought to be standard practice. But that's not what the corps did. Agency officials didn't just authorize the construction of floodwalls in unstable soil along the 17th Street Canal. The corps also used old, inaccurate information to determine specifications for post-Betsy projects in this area, work by researchers at the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center suggests.

After the 1965 storm, Congress instructed the corps to protect greater New Orleans from "the most severe meteorological conditions that are considered reasonably characteristic of the region." To design those improvements, the corps relied on a 1959 study of storms that affected this area between 1900 and 1957. The Weather Bureau, the forerunner of today's National Weather Service, used the data to come up with parameters for a hypothetical severe hurricane. The corps used those paramaters to draw up plans for a variety of improvements. Officials there presumed that they needed to protect the area against a storm that would produce sustained 100 mph winds.

But construction of some parts of the project didn't begin until after 1982. And by that point it had been clear for a decade that the 1959 statistics were flawed.

According to the LSU researchers, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 1972 updated its description of the hypothetical storm. Based on a better data set, the so-called "standard project hurricane" was now expected to produce sustained winds of up to 114 mph. A 1979 report was even grimmer; the standard hurricane it described had winds of up to 140 mph.

But even as design work on post-Betsy flood-control projects continued into the 1980s and 1990s, the corps did not require that the new structures be built to stand up to the stronger standard project hurricane. If such a requirement had existed, greater New Orleans would have a had a far stronger flood-protection system on Aug. 29 than it did.

Granted, the corps might still have bungled the job. During Katrina, some structures, including the 17th Street Canal floodwalls, failed under conditions they were designed to withstand.

But if the LSU researchers are right, the corps went ahead and built floodwalls and levees designed to standards that it knew to be inadequate and out-of-date.

Perhaps corps officials now can't speak to what their predecessors did or didn't do back then. But one corps engineer suggested recently that the agency can't do more than lawmakers authorize them to do. The suggestion is that, in sticking with the 1959 data, the corps was only abiding by the wishes of Congress.

This contention is ludicrous. The 1965 legislation didn't direct the corps to protect this region against the phantom hurricane described in 1959; instead, the corps was supposed to consider the "most severe meteorological conditions."

Unless Congress starts approving detailed technical specifications in addition to whatever laws it passes, the corps will always have some room for interpretation. And as scientists came to understand more about what those conditions might look like, the corps should have incorporated that new information into its work.
(Emphases mine.)

According to Louisiana state law:
§32. Negligent homicide

A. Negligent homicide is the killing of a human being by criminal negligence.

B. The violation of a statute or ordinance shall be considered only as presumptive evidence of such negligence.

C. Whoever commits the crime of negligent homicide shall be imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than five years, fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both. However, if the victim was killed as a result of receiving a battery and was under the age of ten years, the offender shall be imprisoned at hard labor, without benefit of probation or suspension of sentence, for not less than two nor more than five years.
Too bad punishment doesn't include sticking offenders heads on pikes.

When will prosecution commence? Come on, you city attorneys, you state attorney general. Those responsible for not incorporating the most recent available meteorological data into levee designs belong in jail. The blood of 1,080 people is on their hands.

DISCLAIMER: "Those responsible" means, literally, "those responsible," i.e. the decision-makers, whoever they are.

BONUS: For more information or to find out what you can do, visit levees.org

Slobie's Dead

Slobodan Milosevic has been found dead in his jail cell. Boy, do I feel sorry for the prosecution.


Laugh While You Can, Monkey Boy

Schroeder reviews Bush's recent visit to our fair city.

Side Note: It appears from Schroeder's post that Laura Bush may actually be as vacant as she looks (sad--I'd held out hope).

Repeating History?

A reader sent us this tidbit.

...I'm reading The Guns of August, Barbara Tuchman's history of the first month of WWI, and I run across this description of Tsar Nicholas:
The regime was ruled from the top by a sovereign who had but one idea of government -- to preserve intact the absolute monarchy bequeathed to him by his father -- and who, lacking the intellect, energy or training for his job, fell back on personal favorites, whim, simple mulishness, and other devices of the empty-headed autocrat.
She also writes that when a telegram was brought to him about the destruction of the Russian fleet at Tsushima in 1905, he stuffed the paper in his pocket and went on playing tennis.


Tuchman adds this lovely description:

"... the impression of imperturbability he conveyed was in reality apathy -- the indifference of a mind so shallow as to be all surface."


In response to this recent post, CENTCOM was kind enough to let me know they have a "cense" of humor (get it? nudge, nudge):
Hi, Rob:

Sorry if we've injudiciously scattered exclamation points across the US Central Command website. If it's any consolation, I think you'll find our use of the semicolon to be moderate, and our use of the schwa to be restrained, indeed, prudent.

Seriously, though, I'm glad you've found our site to be informative. We're working out the details of the "Ask CENTCOM" section, but it's going to be a Q & A section. As for Podcasting, at present we're adding audio and video from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. For the most part, these have been interviews with high-ranking officers and leadership, as well as produced news segments. You're welcome to use anything on our site that you want. If you'd like to be signed up for the weekly electronic newsletter and monthly Coalition Bulletin, just ask.

We've also been trying to spread the word about our site, and if you could add a permanent link on your blogroll, that would be great. Thanks!

SPC C. Flowers

CENTCOM Public Affairs
I'm be sure SPC Flowers is being sincere (cough, cough), and the offer of using "anything" on the site "I want" flows from the same font of public service that, you know, all that regular, useful, apolitical gov't stuff flows from. Plus, the mention of the lowly schwa was witty and welcome. And have I mentioned how much I love not just CENTCOM but also SOCOM and the NSA, NRO, CIA, indeed, the entire structure of the US national security apparatus?

UPDATE: SPC C. Flowers adds:
To clarify, although I have personally used schwas as a civilian, my military work has not yet called for it.

I saw your post and, yes, you REALLY ARE -- Yes, sincerely -- free to use materials from the CENTCOM site. Anything we create for the webpage is copyright-free. Obviously, attribution to CENTCOM would be appreciated, but if there's something you find of interest, go for it.
Noted. Thanks.


Think Progress on the Kansas Kocksucker

Not that I'm against fellatio, just against Pat "Memory Pill" Roberts giving it repeatedly to the entire population of the White House. (Don't forget the little fellas, Pat.) The good folks at Think Progress have a "comprehensive report" on the many and varied ways in which the Kansas Kocksucker's kovered up for his favorite fellatee (is that a word?). I'll tire of insulting Mr. Roberts when his knees give out--and that's not gonna happen soon (hey, Pat, remember "Phase II"?).


Michael Ledeen Interview, Part II

Raw Story's posted the second part of Larisa Alexandrovna's interview with Iran-Contra, Nigergate heavy Michael Ledeen. Part one is here.

How Low Can Bush's Dick Go?

With his approval rating at a mere 18%, Dick Cheney's popularity is, well, nonexistent. If only he could get those numbers up and keep them up. Even O.J. Simpson and Michael Jackson are more popular than Dick Cheney. The only celebrity less popular? Paris Hilton. (Via Raw Story. I'd link to the WaPo piece about Dick's loss of, shall we say, heft, but their site's inaccessible right now. In any case, Dick should know that firm approval ratings, while easily attained in the flower of youth, inevitable decline, or sag, with age. As Dick ages, his blood flow decreases, and it becomes harder to sustain the big, firm numbers he needs to please the American people.)


And the Winner Isn't

Crash didn't deserve anything. Anything. Pretentious, heavy-handed swill. If you haven't seen it, spare yourself.

Fun with Search Engines

Well, not exactly. I thought it amusing that somebody had chanced upon my recent post "Frist Threatens to Remove the Intelligence Committee's Remaining Testicle" via a search engine. Then I looked at what they were searching for: "willing to sell testicle."

Fun with Levees

Looks like this hurricane season should be even more fun than the last one, since the levees will protect us even less than last time. NPR reported that a while back; this just confirms it. I'm crossing my fingers that those flood gates will be up in a few months, but for some reason I'm skeptical....


While We're on the Subject of Dubai Ports World

Why not revisit a curious report from a French intelligence official, that a CIA agent met with Bin Laden in an American hospital in Dubai during the summer before 9/11?
Bin Laden is reported to have arrived in Dubai on July 4 from Quetta in Pakistan with his own personal doctor, nurse and four bodyguards, to be treated in the urology department. While there he was visited by several members of his family and Saudi personalities, and the CIA.

The CIA [station, I think -Ed.] chief was seen in the lift, on his way to see Bin Laden, and later, it is alleged, boasted to friends about his contact. He was recalled to Washington soon afterwards.

Intelligence sources say that another CIA agent was also present; and that Bin Laden was also visited by Prince Turki al Faisal, then head of Saudi intelligence, who had long had links with the Taliban, and Bin Laden. Soon afterwards Turki resigned, and more recently he has publicly attacked him in an open letter: "You are a rotten seed, like the son of Noah".

The American hospital in Dubai emphatically denied that Bin Laden was a patient there.

Washington last night also denied the story.

Private planes owned by rich princes in the Gulf fly frequently between Quetta and the Emirates, often on luxurious "hunting trips" in territories sympathetic to Bin Laden. Other sources confirm that these hunting trips have provided opportunities for Saudi contacts with the Taliban and terrorists, since they first began in 1994.
Read the full article here.

And let's not forget the biggest whopper of all: that it was through a Dubai bank that Omar Saeed Sheik paid alleged hijacker Mohammed Atta ~$100,000 on behalf of General Mahmud Ahmad, the head of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence. The same General Ahmad who was meeting with high-level US government officials, including Bob Graham, Porter Goss, George Tenet and Colin Powell in Washington the week of 9/11. On the morning of September 11 2001, Ahmad (or Ahmed) was having breakfast with Representative (and former CIA official) Goss and Senator Graham--then heads of their respective Congressional intelligence committees--who would later chair the joint inquiry into 9/11.

Stare into the Hellmouth

Because it just keeps getting worse.

Frist Threatens to Remove the Intelligence Committee's Remaining Testicle

As America tumbles further into the Bush™ abyss, with each day bringing a fresh outrage, now there's this:
The Senate Intelligence Committee was created in 1976 and, from the beginning, it has been unique in its structure and operation. Due to the urgency of ensuring that our country has nonpartisan and non-politicized oversight over the Government's intelligence activities, the Intelligence Committee is structured so that -- unlike every other Senate Committee -- the majority is unable to dominate the Committee's operation and agenda, and the minority has much greater powers than it does on any other Senate Committee.

With the March 7 vote looming on Sen. Rockefeller's motion for the Committee to finally hold hearings to investigate the scope and nature of the Administration's NSA warrantless eavesdropping on American citizens -- and with several Committee Republicans indicating their intent to vote for hearings -- Majority Leader Bill Frist threatened the Committee yesterday and warned it not to hold any hearings.

Frist specifically threatened that if the Committee holds NSA hearings, he will fundamentally change the 30-year-old structure and operation of the Senate Intelligence Committee so as to make it like every other Committee, i.e., controlled and dominated by Republicans to advance and rubber-stamp the White House's agenda rather than exercise meaningful and nonpartisan oversight.

(Via Sully.)
I'd be apoplectic if my jaw wasn't permanently resting on the floor. These people seem bent on destoying the country, and they don't have far to go now. Frist: Taking the "republic" out of "Republican." Read the rest of Greenwald's post here.


Katrina: the Video

As if New Orleanians weren't pissed off enough, the new AP video of Bush is raising our blood pressure yet again. Question for Bush: WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU DOING AFTER THE STORM, JERKING OFF? As if a fake "War on Terror" isn't enough, this unmitigated disaster of a man insists on NOT GOVERNING, unless by "governing" you mean "giving speeches," "lying," or "arrogating as much uncalled-for power as humanly possible." Is there no bottom at all for him to reach? Is there only an abyss?

UPDATE: C&L has the video (thanks, Scott).

Bush Lied, Thousands Died

Just in case there was any doubt that Preznit Chucklenuts lied America into Iraq, Murray Waas furnishes proof. The biggest question is why anybody believes anything he says anymore. (Via C&L.)