Posted by: quiscus | October 12, 2008

October 12, 2008

1. Why the 9/11 Commission was no more trustworthy – and no more accurate – then the Warren Commission that investigated the CIA’s murder of JFK:

“[O]ne of the things that the Warren Commission teaches you about the 9/11 case is that you don’t look to the government for justice. You don’t look to them to solve this, to put people in jail, to put people on trial… there’s a cover-up. That’s what a cover-up means. You don’t ask the fox to guard the henhouse.”

2. Obvious conflict of interest and coverup by the 9/11 Commission:

“Bermas also addresses the matter of the head of Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence agency Mahmud Ahmed having authorized the transfer of $100,000 to hijacker Mohammed Atta just prior to the attacks. Ahmed was in Washington on September 11th, where he met with his CIA counterpart, George Tenet. He was having breakfast as the planes crashed into the towers with Bob Graham and Porter Goss, who would later chair the Congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11. This was a vital piece of the puzzle that had been grievously excluded

the numerous military and intelligence exercises that were taking place on the morning of 9/11, including drills which simulated the hijackings of airplanes, and shows evidence of how these exercises served to confuse FAA flight traffic controllers and to delay the NORAD response. Bush is shown saying, “No one in our government … could have imagined flying airplanes into buildings [pause] on such a massive scale.” Bermas does a good job of demonstrating the absurdity of that statement as well, including by showing that one or more of the drills held on 9/11 actually simulated that exact scenario.”

3. Since our puppet in charge of Afghanistam, Hamid Karzai, does nothing without our approval, if he is offering peace to the Taliban, why exactly are we over there killing people?

“Afghan president offers Taliban a role in governing country”

“Bush troop surge to stem rise of Taliban”

4. With an Army Brigade already stationed in the US for the first time ever, still questioning whether a martial law police-state is already in effect?

“Army Orders Pain Ray Trucks; New Report Shows ‘Potential for Death’

“As a consequence, the ADS provides the technical possibility to produce burns of second and third degree. Because the beam of diameter 2 m and above is wider than human size, such burns would occur over considerable parts of the body, up to 50% of its surface. Second- and third-degree burns covering more than 20% of the body surface are potentially life-threatening – due to toxic tissue-decay products and increased sensitivity to infection – and require intensive care in a specialized unit. Without a technical device that reliably prevents re-triggering on the same target subject, the ADS has a potential to produce permanent injury or death. ”

Dr. Altmann notes that “the present analysis has not found convincing arguments that the ADS would be immoral or illegal in each foreseeable circumstance,” and that acceptance will depend very much on how it is used. If the ADS prevents small boats from approaching a U.S. vessel without harming anyone, then it will be seen as a humane option. If it is used to clear protesters out of the way it may be seen differently.”

5. Could McCain/Palin possibly be running a worse campaign?

“Though McCain didn’t bring it up in the debate, since then, they have followed Kristol’s advice, talking about Ayers more than any other single topic. But now that it is conclusively clear that these attacks are failing — that they are actually backfiring and making Obama more popular and McCain and Palin more unpopular — Kristol went on Fox News today and attacked the McCain campaign for running what he called a “stupid campaign” and “a pathetic campaign” because the attacks ”haven’t worked” and they’re “doing things that don’t work and they keep doing them” — without ever bothering to mention that he, Kristol, was one of the loudest and most vocal advocates for relying on these character attacks against Obama:

That’s typical Bill Kristol — not only chronically wrong about everything, but far worse, completely incapable of acknowledging mistakes. He just suppresses them, pretends they don’t exist, and in that regard is the perfect face for the right-wing movement that is dying a painful, harsh and profoundly well-deserved death in front of everyone’s eyes. What we’re seeing in this video is just the start of the angry recriminations in this movement as they seek to blame each other for what has happened. As John Cole puts it: “The coming circular firing squad is going to be fun.” It’s also likely to be protracted, bitter and brutal. Looking around at the utter destruction they’ve sown, that is the only just outcome.”

a speech she heard delivered to gathered McCain volunteers by the Chairman of the Virginia Republican Party, Jeffrey M. Frederick — no “low-level party activist” he:

With so much at stake, and time running short, Frederick did not feel he had the luxury of subtlety. He climbed atop a folding chair to give 30 campaign volunteers who were about to go canvassing door to door their talking points — for instance, the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden: “Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon,” he said. “That is scary.”

This is why it is so disgraceful for reporters and pundits to minimize and dismiss what the McCain/Palin campaign, and Republicans generally, have been doing as they become increasingly desperate. Here is the top Republican official for the State of Virginia comparing Obama to Osama bin Laden and provoking claims that he hates the flag and isn’t really even American. The raw tribalism and resentments that are being stoked here, and the pure hatred against Obama based on his Terroristic Foreignness, is unprecedentedly ugly and dangerous, and reporters who dismiss and minimize it all through false equivalencies and other justifications are doing nothing less than aiding and abetting it.

Virginia blogger Lowell Feld has more on this, noting: ”this wasn’t some offhand remark by Frederick; he said it knowing that a reporter from TIME MAGAZINE was in the room taking notes for a story! Imagine what he says when the media isn’t present?!?”

Spending your nights socializing with the most vicious GOP operatives or your weekends cooking with John McCain and giving flowers to his wife won’t have any impact at all on your ability to cover what they’re doing or investigating and skeptically scrutinizing their claims.

* * * * * *

Yesterday, Digby wrote about the ongoing reverence for Karl Rove from our political and media establishment and, quoting a great new piece by Matt Taibbi on that topic, noted that Rove’s popularity among the media is not in spite of his flagrant contempt for law, ethics and rules, but due precisely to it:

Because this generation of Americans has become so steeped in greed and social Darwinism that it can no longer distinguish between cheating and achieving, between enterprise and crime, and can’t bring itself to criticize winners any more than it knows how to be nice to losers.

That echoes what NYU Journalism Professor Jay Rosen observed last year about the media’s ongoing reverence for Rove himself and his band of disciples — that the modern journalist, above all else, reveres and desperately wants to be close to the ”unprincipled winner”: those who engage in bad acts, ones which everyone knows are bad, and — most importantly of all — gets away with it through flagrant indifference to law and rules:

Savviness! Deep down, that’s what reporters want to believe in and actually do believe in— their own savviness and the savviness of certain others (including operators like Karl Rove.) In politics, they believe, it’s better to be savvy than it is to be honest or correct on the facts. It’s better to be savvy than it is to be just, good, fair, decent, strictly lawful, civilized, sincere or humane.

Savviness is what journalists admire in others. Savvy is what they themselves dearly wish to be. (And to be unsavvy is far worse than being wrong.) Savviness—that quality of being shrewd, practical, well-informed, perceptive, ironic, “with it,” and unsentimental in all things political—is, in a sense, their professional religion. They make a cult of it. And it was this cult that Karl Rove understood and exploited for political gain.… What is the truest mark of savviness? Winning, of course! Everyone knows that the press admires an unprincipled winner.

It’s hard to overstate the extent to which “journalists” — and especially those who, like Martin, cover campaigns — identify with, socialize with, and revere the very operatives whose purpose is to manipulate and deceive them. It’s hardly possible to go any lower or get any sleazier than Tim Griffin — or Karl Rove. But not in the eyes of our intrepid journalists. Being close to them, spending the night shoving your face full of ribs while being feted by them, is as good as it gets —- even better than doing that with John McCain on his ranch. Unsurprisingly, the great speech by McClatchy’s John Walcott contains exactly the description of this sickness:

Why, in a nutshell, was our reporting different [in the run-up to the attack on Iraq] from so much other reporting? One important reason was that we sought out the dissidents, and we listened to them, instead of serving as stenographers to high-ranking officials and Iraqi exiles. I’m afraid that much the same thing may have happened on Wall Street. Power and money and celebrity, in other words, can blind you. Somehow, the idea has taken hold in Washington journalism that the value of a source is directly proportional to his or her rank, when in my experience the relationship is more often inverse.

That brings up a larger point, and one that I think is another part of what went wrong back in 2002, and what may have gone wrong on Wall Street. Instead of being members of the Fourth Estate, too many Washington reporters have been itching to move up an estate or two, to become part of the Establishment or share in the good times.

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