Saturday, April 25, 2009

Libby Lover Lands New Gig To Protest His Innocence

What is CNN doing, recomposing The Bush Grindhouse, or, a Reader's Digest-version of the White House Iraq Group (you remember, Andy Card's in-house ad agency charged with selling the lies to invade and occupy Iraq).

And, HER, of all people.

Among other atrocities, the chief fundraiser/letter-writer for the Scooter Libby Defense Fund.

Mary Matalin signs on as CNN contributor

Republican strategist Mary Matalin has signed on to serve as a CNN political contributor, the network announced Thursday.


"As one of the best-known and best-connected strategists in the country, Mary will join our line up of top Republican analysts including Bill Bennett, Alex Castellanos, and Ed Rollins," said Sam Feist, CNN political director and vice president of Washington programming. "We are thrilled that CNN viewers will be able to tap into Mary's vast political experience advising candidates and presidents from both inside and outside of the White House."

Matalin, a veteran political commentator, served as a senior White House advisor to both President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. She was a key strategist in President George H.W. Bush's 1988 campaign, and was appointed chief of staff for the Republican National Committee after his successful bid. She was also a key strategist in the 1992, 2000 and 2004 Republican presidential campaigns.
Nearly a year ago, John Mashek, in U.S. News and World Report, called Matalin "worst of the new breed of political consultants";
Matalin learned her politics from the late Lee Atwater, a gunslinger from South Carolina. In this cycle, Matalin signed on first with the presidential quest of then Sen. George Allen of Virginia before Allen imploded in his 2006 Senate race. She then moved over to former Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee, who was an early dropout.

This is the same Matalin who was a close adviser to Vice President Cheney in the controversial run-up to the war in Iraq and its disastrous aftermath.
I mean, Jesus, they almost have enough PartyofNoicans to filibuster Obama.

Something Steve Benen also bemoans;
Matalin not only joins the growing list of Republican analysts on CNN's political team (joining Bill Bennett, Alex Castellanos, and Ed Rollins), she's also the latest former staffer in the Bush White House to make the transition to jobs with major media outlets.

It's hard to keep up with them all. Michael Gerson (Washington Post), Sara Taylor (MSNBC), Tony Snow (CNN), Frances Fragos Townsend (CNN), Nicole Wallace (CBS News), Dan Bartlett (CBS News), Jeff Ballabon (CBS News), Tony Fratto (CNBC) and, of course, Karl Rove (Fox News, Newsweek, and Wall Street Journal) have all gone from working for Bush/Cheney to working for the mainstream media.
It was just last Fall, just before the election, that CNN added the #1 Cheney Fluffer to their ranks, Stephen Hayes.

I wonder, if she helps John King with his questions, will he let her play with his Magic Board.

The thing to watch is how often she brings up how completely innocent Scooter Libby was, working him into storylines, and her convoluted answers, of ignoring reality and pumping up the Bush Grindhouse.

One thing, for "the best political team on television" to make this a bit more easier to swallow, if that is, at all, possible.

Use their arsenal of High Tech Hijinks to do something with THAT VOICE of hers.

At least coach her to speak using her mouth, instead of her nose.

Or hire Fran Drescher, to balance it out.

This Date ... On The Garlic

25 April 2007... On The Garlic

Minced Garlic - New Keith Olbermann Special Comment Slams Giuliani: "Republicans equal life; Democrats equal death?"

Program Alert! - Bill Moyers "Buying The Media" Tonight!

Top Ten Cloves: Ways To Tell If You Have "Bush Fatigue"

Obit - Avis Founder Pulls Off The Road at 92

25 April 2005... On The Garlic

Thousands Overwhelm Justice Sunday Rally; Sick and Infirm Disappointed; Came Seeking Faith Healers

Overweight Protest New Study Results; Says Confused Over Health and Where Self-Esteem Should Be

Top Ten Cloves: Signs That You May Be A Fat Actress and Don't Know It

Friday, April 24, 2009

Top Ten Cloves: Dreams Larry Summers Had While Snoozing During White House Meeting

News Item: Larry Summers falls asleep during Obama’s meeting with credit card executives

10. Drifting off thinking about the days when he had that great part-time job

9. That he better stop using Craigslist for massages

8. Since it was a meeting with the Credit Card Industry, the Neiman Marcus catalog

7. What the market here would be for Anal Glue

6. Lunch, with Warren Buffet

5. With all the money he's dishing out, a baseball stadium named after him

4. That he was the one shaking Hugo Chavez's hand

3. Susan Boyle, singing love songs to him

2. Putting Liz Cheney through some SERE training

1. Wondering if the Swine Flu is named after himself

Larry "Mister Sandman" Summers

Summers Caught a-Snoozin’

Larry Summers' cat-nap at credit talks

Krugman: Reclaiming America’s Soul

Well, he is a Nobel Prize winner, and he's been more on-the-money about the economy, that he has not, and, today, he weighs in on pursuing The Bush Grindhouse, for their War Crimes.

And, it just so happened, that Paul Krugman's column today, shared the pages with, yet another, yet another, "My Sister/My Daughter" from President Obama;

Meeting with the Democratic leadership on Wednesday night, Mr. Obama said a special inquiry would steal time and energy from his policy agenda, and could mushroom into a wider distraction looking back at the Bush years, people briefed on the discussion said. Mr. Obama, they said, repeated much the same message on Thursday at a bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders.
So, it stands, starkly, in contrast to Krugman's position, in "Reclaiming America’s Soul";
What about the argument that investigating the Bush administration’s abuses will impede efforts to deal with the crises of today? Even if that were true — even if truth and justice came at a high price — that would arguably be a price we must pay: laws aren’t supposed to be enforced only when convenient. But is there any real reason to believe that the nation would pay a high price for accountability?

For example, would investigating the crimes of the Bush era really divert time and energy needed elsewhere? Let’s be concrete: whose time and energy are we talking about?

Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, wouldn’t be called away from his efforts to rescue the economy. Peter Orszag, the budget director, wouldn’t be called away from his efforts to reform health care. Steven Chu, the energy secretary, wouldn’t be called away from his efforts to limit climate change. Even the president needn’t, and indeed shouldn’t, be involved. All he would have to do is let the Justice Department do its job — which he’s supposed to do in any case — and not get in the way of any Congressional investigations.


Some of them probably just don’t want an ugly scene; my guess is that the president, who clearly prefers visions of uplift to confrontation, is in that group. But the ugliness is already there, and pretending it isn’t won’t make it go away

Others, I suspect, would rather not revisit those years because they don’t want to be reminded of their own sins of omission.


We need to do this for the sake of our future. For this isn’t about looking backward, it’s about looking forward — because it’s about reclaiming America’s soul.
Once again, as it has been done most of this week, especially by the pro-torturers, this is a matter of obligation.

It doesn't matter if his "policy agenda" takes a backseat, or that it will be a "distraction".

We are, as a country, legally, and morally, bound to the treaties we signed, to investigate (and prosecute, if necessary) War Crimes.

As Krugman notes, it's out there, not just here, but all over the world, and all eyes are on us, to see what we are doing to do.

Yeah, it's always easier, and better, when it is some other country's leaders that are the War Criminals.

The fact that we have War Criminals, that they are Americans, doesn't mitigate the responsibility.

Yesterday, we posted how, as more of this Bush Grindhouse Torture business comes out, the more it shows that it was designed to give cover to the lies, of invading and occupying Iraq.

Digby, over on her Hullabaloo, has more on that end of it;
Ron Suskind on Maddow yesterday:

And what‘s fascinating here, if you run the timeline side by side, you see, really, for the first time from that report that the key thing being sent down in terms of the request by the policymakers, by the White House, is find a link between Saddam and al Qaeda so that we essentially can link Saddam to the 9/11 attacks and then march into Iraq with the anger of 9/11 behind us. That was the goal and that was being passed down as the directive.

It‘s, you know, it‘s often called the requirement inside the CIA for both agents with their sources and interrogators with their captives. “Here‘s what we‘re interested in, here‘s what we, the duly elected leaders, want to hear about. Tell us what you can find.”

What‘s fascinating, in the Senate report, is finally clear confirmation that that specific thing was driving many of the activities, and mind you, the frustration inside of the White House that was actually driving action. The quote, in fact, inside of the Senate report from a major said that as frustration built inside of the White House, that there was no link that was established—because the CIA told the White House from the very start there is no Saddam/al Qaeda link. We checked it out. We did every which way. Sorry.

The White House simply wouldn‘t take no for an answer and it went with another method. Torture was the method. “Get me a confession, I don‘t care how you do it.” And that bled all the way through the government, both on the CIA side and the Army side. It‘s extraordinary.

Mind you, Rachel, this is important. This is not about an impetus to foil an upcoming potential al Qaeda attacks. The impetus here is largely political diplomatic. The White House had a political diplomatic problem. It wanted it solved in the run-up to the war.

And mind you, and I think the data will show this—after the invasion, when it becomes clear in the summer, just a few months after in 2003, that there are no WMD in Iraq. That‘s the summer of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame—my goodness, there are no WMD. Now, the White House is being hit with a charge that they took us to war under false pretenses. That‘s when the frustration is acute.

My question, the question for investigators now: Is how many of these interrogations were driven specifically by a desire to come up with the Saddam/al Qaeda link? It‘s essentially rivers coming together.
This isn't about policy differences, or ideology, it's about living up to the principles of this country.

Crimes were committed, War Crimes, and they need to be investigated, and prosecuted, as warranted.

It's as simple as that.

Bonus Links

Steve Hynd: Torture's Poisoned Chalice

Dan Balz: Confronting the Bush Legacy, Reluctantly

Joe Sudbay (DC): It's not "if" there will be a torture investigation in Congress, it's how and when it happens

MediaMatters: Conservative media claim prosecution of Bush administration officials will turn U.S. into "banana republic"

Glenn Greenwald: Three key rules of media behavior shape their discussions of "the 'torture' debate"

This Date ... On The Garlic

24 April 2008... On The Garlic

Retro Garlic: The Ultimate E Ticket

24 April 2007... On The Garlic

It's A Rovey Tuesday

Thursday, April 23, 2009

For The Want Of A Lie ...

It was clear, to a vast many, the lies told, repeatedly, and often, to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

However, it is now coming out, the yeoman's work The Bush Grindhouse (and in particular, the sadists, Rumsfeld and Cheney) went to build a foundation for those lies.

They created, endorsed, and pushed, a Torture Program.

Jonathan Landy, of the McClatchy Newspapers (one of the very, very few news organizations, that didn't drink the Kool-Aid, and were like dogs-on-a-bone as to The Bush Grindhouse) has the narrative today.

Report: Abusive tactics used to seek Iraq-al Qaida link

The Bush administration applied relentless pressure on interrogators to use harsh methods on detainees in part to find evidence of cooperation between al Qaida and the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's regime, according to a former senior U.S. intelligence official and a former Army psychiatrist.

Such information would've provided a foundation for one of former President George W. Bush's main arguments for invading Iraq in 2003. In fact, no evidence has ever been found of operational ties between Osama bin Laden's terrorist network and Saddam's regime


A former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation issue said that Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld demanded that the interrogators find evidence of al Qaida-Iraq collaboration.


"The main one is that everyone was worried about some kind of follow-up attack (after 9/11). But for most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabi and others had told them were there."


"Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people were told repeatedly, by CIA . . . and by others, that there wasn't any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam, and that no such ties were likely because the two were fundamentally enemies, not allies."

Senior administration officials, however, "blew that off and kept insisting that we'd overlooked something, that the interrogators weren't pushing hard enough, that there had to be something more we could do to get that information," he said.


The report, the executive summary of which was released in November, found that Rumsfeld, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and other former senior Bush administration officials were responsible for the abusive interrogation techniques used at Guantanamo and in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And, as to this Torture Program, is their classic Keystone Cops mindset, it came out yesterday, that no one in the Bush Grindhouse checked to see if such practices were effective, let alone, legal.
In a series of high-level meetings in 2002, without a single dissent from cabinet members or lawmakers, the United States for the first time officially embraced the brutal methods of interrogation it had always condemned.

This extraordinary consensus was possible, an examination by The New York Times shows, largely because no one involved — not the top two C.I.A. officials who were pushing the program, not the senior aides to President George W. Bush, not the leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees — investigated the gruesome origins of the techniques they were approving with little debate.
Hollywood would be hard pressed to write a comedy script of this magnitude.

A H/T to Larisa Alexandrovna, who included in her post;
The public is not stupid (unless you count those who are hooked into an IV drip of Fox News and worship Dick Cheney as a hero) and they are beginning to see just the level of criminality the Bush junta engaged in. If Congress and AG Eric Holder do not act, I fear pitchforks will be the only path people see as viable - because it will in fact be the only path left. Know your history and understand that as things build and build, and horror drips and drips into the psyche of the populace, a small, seemingly inconsequential spark can ignite this entire powder keg. I am hoping Mr. Holder will act to make clear to the public that he is in fact on the side of justice and an independent broker on behalf of the law.

My other concern is that Bush and Cheney will use every tool at their disposal to exploit these tensions and set off this powder keg. They don't care about this nation and they will burn it down if they have to in order to escape punishment. Something very bad is brewing and if justice is not swift, the time purchased by these people is enough for them to manipulate and distort, even to create their very own and very dangerous distraction.

Yes, the ball is, very much, in Attorney General Eric Holder's court.

And, it will remain, to be seen, whether we see courage, or just another succession of Crony Generals.

As a side note, yesterday, cable news was dominated by the spigot of flooding torture news, segment-after-segment, a bevy of talking heads (and yes, the old,stale, one Democrat, one Republican format) and, as we were watching MSNBC, not one person, not the anchors, not the talking heads, as they droned on-and-on, mentioned, or discussed, that the United States is required, is obligated, by way of the treaties we have signed, to investigate the War Crimes of Torture.

It's almost as if they all never heard of Jonathan Turley.

Countdown- Jonathan Turley and Bush Admin War Crimes

Yes, it is one of those times, again ...

Help Me Mr. Wizard!

Bonus Links

Harsh Methods Approved as Early as Summer 2002 ... Holder Declassifies Timeline of Actions by Top Bush Administration Officials Regarding Interrogation

dday: Building A Fact Pattern

Anonymous Liberal: No One Could Have Predicted...

Amanda Terkel: Torture architect John Rizzo is still serving as the CIA's acting general counsel

Meteor Blades: Rumsfeld Began Post-9/11 Torture Long Before Abu Ghraib

BJ Bjornson: How Many American Lives Were Lost Because of Torture?

What, No Anal Glue?

Well, no, that would be the Iraqis

This story takes place in the UAE, the United Arab Emirates.

They're more civilized there ...

It says so, right on their "Tourist Information" page;

The United Arab Emirates, one of the world's fastest growing tourist destinations, has all the right ingredients for an unforgettable holiday, sun, sand, sea, sports, unbeatable shopping, top-class hotels and restaurants, an intriguing traditional culture, and a safe and welcoming environment.
Key word here is "unforgettable".

ABC News Exclusive: Torture Tape Implicates UAE Royal Sheikh ... Police in Uniform Join In as Victim Is Whipped, Beaten, Electrocuted, Run Over by SUV
A video tape smuggled out of the United Arab Emirates shows a member of the country's royal family mercilessly torturing a man with whips, electric cattle prods and wooden planks with protruding nails.

A man in a UAE police uniform is seen on the tape tying the victim's arms and legs, and later holding him down as the Sheikh pours salt on the man's wounds and then drives over him with his Mercedes SUV.

In a statement to ABC News, the UAE Ministry of the Interior said it had reviewed the tape and acknowledged the involvement of Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al Nahyan, brother of the country's crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed.

"The incidents depicted in the video tapes were not part of a pattern of behavior," the Interior Ministry's statement declared.

The Minister of the Interior is also one of Sheikh Issa's brother.

The government statement said its review found "all rules, policies and procedures were followed correctly by the Police Department."
They also had this on 'Nightline' last evening, and you can view that report HERE.

If it wasn't so sickening, it would almost be comical.

In the 'Nightline' report, the person (also a UAE torture victim) who smuggled out the tape, shrugs in resignation, that the "whole government is brothers".

And, this torturous beating by Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al Nahyan, according to the 'Nightline' report, was over a business deal, the Sheikh believing he got screwed in a grain deal, worth about $5,000.

I guess the Sheikh was just exuding with some of that "traditional culture", in a "safe and welcoming environment".

No word yet, if this torture came out of the Bush Grindhouse Torture Memos, or, that the Sheikh was just improvising on his own.

I'm sure Addington, Yoo and Bybee would nod in approval, and say "Nice touch" with using the SUV.

Maybe we can bail out Detroit, by exporting all the SUV's to countries run by brothers, that like to torture people.

Like, say, the United Arab Emirates.

Maybe the Bush Clan, and their buddies in the Carlyle Group, can swing a deal.

Bonus Link

Derby Considers Child Jockeys From Qatar, UAE ... Bush Admn Offers No Child Left Behind Funding, Immigration Waiver

Run, While You Can Shep! ... Get Out, Now!

It is a fairly remarkable happening.

Not something you see every day, or, really, on any day, for that matter.

A Faux News anchor actually going against the talking points.

A Faux News anchor actually employing, using the "Fair and Balanced" thing.

Now, it will be interesting to see the reaction to Shepard Smith, from inside the chamber, of how many of his colleagues start dissing him (I think it will be a given and Hannity and The Loofah Man will locked-and-loaded), how the Flying Monkeys react.

We’ll have to keep a running check News Hounds today, because they "watch Fox News so you don't have to".

In fact, Ellen wants to give Shep a nod-of-the-cap;

"I hope you will all join me in giving Fox News host Shepard Smith a virtual standing ovation for his emphatic, no-holds-barred stance against torture. If you'd like to send some props to Smith, you can email his show at"

The QuietObserver also backs up Shep;

Fox News' Shep Smith has been known to show a bit of an independent streak once in a while, meaning that he seems less willing to regurgitate FNC's propaganda ...


Overall, he generally comes off as pretty rational (and yes, I do believe that rational conservatives are still in existence.) Smith could probably excel as a legit journalist if he were in some other medium.
What's all the fuss, we hear you cry?

Shepherd Smith drops F-bomb during Freedom Watch: We do not F%$&ing torture!!!


I wonder, if Faux News has, oh, I don't know, contingency plans for something like this.

They are not, necessarily, accustomed to such breakdowns.

They have to be worried, about the Flying Monkeys, and dwarfs, finks, phonies and frauds, who have heard this (or get pointed to the YouTube), who have been accidentally exposed to this piece of reality.

Roger Ailes, surely, knows how confused they must be today, the pain and anguish they are experiencing.

The switchboard could be on fire by now, all wanting to know, did Shep Smith just pull the curtain back, or did he, somehow, inexplicably, get abducted by aliens, and reprogrammed to speak like ... like ... like a ... oh God ... a Democrat!

We wouldn't bet against complete chaos at Faux News headquarters today.

Or maybe, it is something entirely different.

Maybe it is Shepard Smith, crying for help, attempting to get a message out, seeking assistance to getting out of the hellhole of Faux News.

Oh, is he shrewd.

He couldn't just blurt it out, as no doubt, the screen would cut-to-black, or a commercial, Faux News Security would swoop in, throw a net over him, and spirit him away, for reprogramming, or worse.

No, Shep's a smart cookie.

Take a hot issue in the news, let loose with a raw, emotional, honest response, knowing his signal will be heard, will be carried in the winds, will reverberate through the World Wide Web, and his rescue will come in swift time.

Just in case, run while you can Shep! ... Get out - Now! ...

Don't wait!

Ailes, likely, already as a team of people watching you, perhaps even the dreaded, fear-evoking Jesse Watters will ambush you, forcing you to recant, on-camera.

Run, Shep, Run ...

And, don't look back!

(Hmmm, maybe it's time for MSNBC - Hey, after all, they did hire a former Faux Newser, the world-wide-wonder, Rita Cosby - should give Shepard Smith shelter. They can lose that second-hour rebroadcast of Tweety, and plug in Shep, and go against their droning format of Host-Clips-Talking Heads, and have Shep man a round table, and, to be even more groundbreaking, instead of the same lapdog, MSM journalists, bring in bloggers, to chew over the days' issues ... I mean, if they're going to give Chucky T.a show ... )

Bonus "Three Cheers For Shepard Smith" Riffs

Emptywheel - Spotted: Aspen Trees, Turning on Roots

Andrew Sullivan: Shep Smith Tells The Truth

Nico Pitney - Shepard Smith Uncensored: "We Are America, We Do Not F**king Torture!" (VIDEO)

Tom Junod: Because They Hate Shepard Smith and Want Him to Fail

This Date ... On The Garlic

23 April 2008... On The Garlic

Skate, But Keep Your Head Up, Obama ...

23 April 2007... On The Garlic

Minced Garlic - Keith Olbermann, Paul Rieckhoff and Larisa Alexandrovna Expose Bush Giving Aid To The Enemy

Top Ten Cloves: Reasons President Bush Decided Not To Be Funny At WHCA Dinner

Retro Garlic ... Bonds Bashing and Landis Landing ... In The Lab ... Again

23 April 2006... On The Garlic

New Bush Theme Song - I'm The Decider

Weekend Special - Sautéed Cloves

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Yeah, Why Not!

We should have run this yesterday, it would have fit nicely with the Jake Tapper riff.

The title of this post signals our taking an affirmative position on the question Ana Maire Cox asked this past Sunday;

Why We Should Get Rid of the White House Press Corps

Yet too often, the White House briefing room is where news goes to die.

Name a major political story broken by a White House correspondent. A thorough debunking of the Bush case for Iraqi WMD? McClatchy Newspapers' State Department and national security correspondents. Bush's abuse of signing statements? The Boston Globe's legal affairs correspondent. Even Watergate came off The Washington Post's Metro desk.


But putting a horde of reporters on the site where the big decisions about the country's future are made is no guarantee of enhanced coverage. Instead of heaping more telegenic reporters into a single White House beat, break up the work among the corps of plugged-in journalists. When the president speaks out on AIG, let financial and labor reporters truth-squad him; when North Korea launches a missile, let defense and Asia specialists assess the White House reaction. Let the beleaguered journalism business prove its worth by providing something you can't get by watching the White House's YouTube channel.
Now, I feel confident, that in just writing this piece, Ana Marie ruffled a whole flock of feathers.

But it is not far-fetched, that some Managing Editor looks at this proposal, says "Hmmmmm", that would certainly be one way, for a newspaper, or television network, to, how-should-we-say, stand above the crowd, a bit.

We know of, at least, one White House correspondent, that won't be sad to leave the post, as it is likely, he would have been replaced at the next Presidential News Conference, anyway.

I mean, even the guy who writes the obituaries could probably come up with better questions.

Ain't that so, Chuck Todd?

Bonus Riffs

Top Ten Cloves: Reasons President Bush Decided Not To Be Funny At WHCA Dinner

WHCA Dinner - Hey, Check That Guy For A Pulse! ...Rich Little ... Frank Dell ... Frank Dell ... Rich Little

Dorothy Rabinowitz, You Didn't Listen ...

Oh boy, do we ever need that Ass-O-Matic.

Nearly two years ago, we warned, we cautioned, Dorothy Rabinowitz, she of the Murdoch Street Journal, as she raved and ranted on how innocent Scooter Libby was, that it wasn't safe, it wasn't practical, for her to go around with her head stuffed up her ass, and, judging by today's column, she just didn't listen.

Rabinowitz's column today, well, it's almost as if she played "Mad Libs" with a Rush Limbaugh transcript, or, perhaps, the daily talking points from the PartyofNoicans, or Faux News.

It's all the running meme of the past week ...

Obama's "Apology Tour" ... Obama is making the country unsafe ... First, by shaking hands with Hugo Chavez, and then, coming home and spilling the beans, releasing the Bush Grindhouse Torture Memos ...

About the only thing Rabinowitz didn't place in the article was a ripe one about Obama's Birth Certificate.

It's so lame, it's so over-the-top, I don't want to provide any snips of it.

You can thank me, for not wasting any seconds, or minutes, of your time.

So ... Dororthy ... Again ...

Either pull your head out of your butt, or explain how you can still drink the Kool-Aid, with your head so far up there ...

Would Rummy Call This "Stuff Happens"

Addington, Yoo and Bybee must be in despair today, bemoaning how could they ever leave something like this out of their memos;

Iraqi militias gluing anuses of gay men and inducing diarrhea to cause death

Relying on an International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission translation of a recent Al Arabiya story, the blog Towleroad reports that Iraqi militias have been engaging in some particularly brutal tactics toward gay men in Iraq:

"A prominent Iraqi human rights activist says that Iraqi militia have deployed a painful form of torture against homosexuals by closing their anuses using 'Iranian gum.' ...Yina Mohammad told that, 'Iraqi militias have deployed an unprecedented form of torture against homosexuals by using a very strong glue that will close their anus.' According to her, the new substance 'is known as the American hum, which is an Iranian-manufactured glue that if applied to the skin, sticks to it and can only be removed by surgery. After they glue the anuses of homosexuals, they give them a drink that causes diarrhea. Since the anus is closed, the diarrhea causes death. Videos of this form of torture are being distributed on mobile cellphones in Iraq.'"
And, why is it we need to keep our troops there?

This is the Democracy The Bush Grindhouse wanted to see flourish (and just think, if they had more years, how many more countries would they infect)?

And, it's "being distributed on mobile cellphones in Iraq"?

Maybe we can muster hundreds-and-hundreds of airplanes, and do a humongous "shoe" toss/drop on the entire country.

Jesus, these people are beyond fucking sick.

They are lower than "Sons of Dogs".

This Date ... On The Garlic

22 April 2008... On The Garlic

McGovern Straight Talks The Straight Talker

Where's That Apple Runner When You Need Her?

22 April 2007... On The Garlic

WHCA Dinner - Hey, Check That Guy For A Pulse! - Rich Little ... Frank Dell ... Frank Dell ... Rich Little

Move Over Fonzie, McCain Wants A Crack At That Shark ... The Results - The Garlic Weekly Poll

22 April 2005... On The Garlic

Frist In Dispute Over Dem Bashing Telecast; Says Only Promised to "View Tape" for 'Justice Sunday'

Surveys In: New Pope A Winner - And So Is Mortal Sin

Top Ten Cloves: Things NBC Will Do To Lift The Sagging Today Show

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Retro Garlic: Cirque de Military Analysts ... Pulitzer Prize Winner!

If we want to go Retro, in a STICKS-NIX-HICK-PIX way, we could have titled this as;

Propagandists Patter Produces Pulitzer

You can remember, just going back a year, or two, ago, when the Pentagon sprouted a cottage industry of dusting off, and sprucing up, their retired Generals, and such, putting them through vigorous training, to just stick to the Bush Grindhouse Talking Points, and then pointed them to every news, and cable news, studio, to go out and sell the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq, right?

And, those news networks, all of them, understood the wink-and-nod, giving those retired Generals, and such, titled, in reverence, as "Military Analysts", almost as much airtime as Pat Buchanan, even after it was brought to their attention that they were compromised, and propagandists, well, they weren't going to stand in the way of an army of old-times making a few bucks.

They had screens to fill, and endless airtime to keep churning out the Bush Grindhouse Talking Points, and who better to have beaming out of the nation's boob tubes, than a bunch of guys with a lot of ribbons on their chests and scrambled eggs on their epaulets, tossing around Militaryspeak, and keeping the morale of the country in full, technicolor, high-definition, jingoistic, flag-waving glory.

Well, pay day came this week.

But not for the propagandists, and, not for the networks.

It came to the investigative reporter, from the New York Times, who blew the cover off on this sweetheart sham-of-a-scam.

From Glenn Greenwald's "The Pulitzer-winning investigation that dare not be uttered on TV";

The New York Times' David Barstow won a richly deserved Pulitzer Prize yesterday for two articles that, despite being featured as major news stories on the front page of The Paper of Record, were completely suppressed by virtually every network and cable news show, which to this day have never informed their viewers about what Barstow uncovered. Here is how the Pulitzer Committee described Barstow's exposés:
Awarded to David Barstow of The New York Times for his tenacious reporting that revealed how some retired generals, working as radio and television analysts, had been co-opted by the Pentagon to make its case for the war in Iraq, and how many of them also had undisclosed ties to companies that benefited from policies they defended.
Jamison Foser, over on MediaMatters, asked (almost rhetorically), "Barstow wins Pulitzer for military analysts story; will networks notice?"

Greenwald details that answer, as does dday, over on Hullabaloo, in "See No Pulitzer, Hear No Pulitzer, Speak No Pulitzer";
Indeed, NBC and CNN's reporting on the Pulitzer winners carefully avoided any mention of Barstow's story. NBC even ran a separate piece last night using one of the "military analysts" of the type in the Pentagon pundits investigation. As Glennzilla asks, "Has there ever been another Pulitzer-Prize-winning story for investigative reporting never to be mentioned on major television -- let alone one that was twice featured as the lead story on the front page of The New York Times?"

Did I expect any different? No. But the parallel structure of the news these days - where the conversation in one corner bears absolutely no resemblance to the conversation in the other - is quite striking.
Oh yeah, here are The Retro Parts;

Empty Suits ... “I felt we’d been hosed" ...

Cirque de Military Analysts

Today's Must Read - The Military-Media Dog-and-Pony Show

Oh, and one more thing ...

Congratulations David Barstow!

Jake Tapper Liked His Shit Sandwich

Jake Tapper just couldn't help himself, apparently.

Why leave all the accolades as an ass-wiping Flying Monkey to Mike Allen?

It happened during the ABC World News last evening, in the story about President Obama's visit to CIA Headquarters, to explain the release of the Bush Grindhouse Torture Memos, and slap the CIA'ers upside the head, telling them to buck-up and drop the droopy faces;

“Don’t be discouraged by what’s happened in the last few weeks,” he told employees. “Don’t be discouraged that we have to acknowledge potentially we’ve made some mistakes. That’s how we learn. But the fact that we are willing to acknowledge them and then move forward, that is precisely why I am proud to be president of the United States and that’s why you should be proud to be members of the C.I.A.”
Tapper ended his segment with quoting someone, unnamed;
"One former CIA director said over the weekend that many CIA officers have told him that they're worried that America's enemies will use the methods detailed in the memos against CIA officers ..."

What a fucking suck-up, to either a source, some other former Bush Grindhouse crony, or a general nod to all the NeoNitWit, Flying Monkeys.

The CIA worries, quite certainly, about a lot of things.

I doubt, very much, that anyone in the CIA is worried, that, because of, as Tapper so seriously intoned, the release of the Bush Grindhouse Torture Memos, captured agents would be tortured in a similar fashion.

They would be tortured, first-and-foremost, because they are American CIA agents.

I would be surprised to find some terrorist, sitting around, totally fucking stumped, absent-minded, tabula rasa, of any daydreams, any thought, of how he could torture someone, let alone, needing to dig down deep to come up with the motivation to torture a captured CIA agent, just hoping, wishing, there was some kind of, oh, say, memo, out there, that could give him some ideas.

How, and where, we tortured terrorists, and other, at times, innocent suspects, has been out there, all over the world, on the World Wide Web, in newspapers and magazines, on television and blogs, just about any and all mediums, for about, the past five-years.

Not to mention, that torture has been around for a few centuries.

Tapper, adding that line into his report, was doing little more that carrying a big, ol' NeoNitWit jab at Obama, though, it wasn't in the camera shot, the flaming Right Wing Freak Show water bucket he lugged around for the report.

Maybe Tapper needs to learn how to use "The Google", or visit his networks' archives.

I mean, Jesus, Jake, you pissed all over yourself on this one.

You got spoon-fed a shit sandwich, and all you could do was say how great it tasted, and they pass it off on to your viewers.

Bonus Jake Tapper

Jake Tapper on MediaMatters

Nate Silver: What Jake Tapper Doesn't Know About What Obama Knew

Brad: Depressingly stupid goddamn journalism

John Cook: Jake Tapper Can't Keep His Objectivity in His Pants


Dan Amira: Jake Tapper Is an April Fool

Fairytales and American Idol The Standard?

Geez, with advice like this, Susan Boyle may just want to run back to her village and go into hiding.

Robin Givhan, the WaPo's Fashion writer weighs in today on the Susan Boyle Make-Over issue.

I guess, a whole lot of us are missing the mark, walking around as a fashion-version of 'Night of the Living Dead'.

I, for one, don't look to fairytales and American Idol to benchmark my looks, to take notes on what I should do for fashion.

But, alas, that's what Givhan suggests for Susan Boyle to do;

The transformation of Susan Boyle from a bashful Scottish villager with a lovely singing voice into an Internet star, U.S. media fixation and real-life Cinderella story brings with it a discomforting question. It's a query that usually is not broached in polite conversation because Americans like to pretend that appearance doesn't matter.
After emphatically saying "Yes" for Boyle to get a make-over, Givhan goes to the money shot;
As a result, even amateurs know they need to have a certain sizzle to succeed. Look no further than "American Idol" for evidence of what is required. The Idolettes are styled by professionals, and the judges regularly comment on their appearance, noting whether they look like the kind of stars they aspire to be. The "American Idol" success stories are filled with makeovers from Clay Aiken to Fantasia, from Carrie Underwood to Jennifer Hudson.
"Look no further ... "

That popped into my mind, as to considering not reading the rest of Givhan's drivel.

But there's more advice, for Susan Boyle to, essentially, just click her heels three times, and then climb into the pumpkin carriage that is sitting outside her door.
Transformation is always part of a good story. Cinderella didn't go to the ball in hand-me-downs. She went looking her best in a glorious gown and won the heart of the prince. The ugly duckling becomes a swan.

The tale of Susan Boyle will not be complete until the shy spinster blossoms. Those who have been entranced by her story so far should let Boyle's fairy godmother finish her work.
Or, let bone-headed fashion writers push her down a alley she doesn't want to go.

The stages have been filled with scores-and-scores of people (both men and woman) who were not "American Idol pretty", rather, they succeeded on their talent, which Susan Boyle has a boatload of.

Susan Boyle is a mature woman, and, I believe she will figure it all out, and do what is best for her, by her standards and judgment, not to the whims of a harping media.

Let's hope that's how it plays out.


Let From The "You Never Know" Department

More Susan Boyle ... And More WOW!

Tweety, The Head of the Democrats?

Please ...

It's enough to have him getting thrills up his legs, and fawning all over dubious guests.

Nora WD has a post up over on Open Salon, on Newt "Contract On America" Gingrich speaking at Fordham University last evening.

At Fordham, Gingrich compares Limbaugh to Chris Matthews

Among many gems, was this;

When asked if a more hospitable America is safer, he replied yes but quickly added that "you don’t gain respect by letting people walk all over you." The Obama administration, Gingrich said, reminds him of Jimmy Carter's administration (which Republicans would love given that Carter lost to Reagan in 1980). Gingrich, who's been divorced twice but just converted to Catholicism, told us that "to drive God out of public life is fundamentally destructive to America." One of my favorite moments of Gingrich’s speech had to be when he compared Rush Limbaugh to MSNBC's Chris Matthews, after being asked how he felt about conservative media stars such as Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. He proceeded to say that they are not politicians and are not running for office and given this we should not consider them to be representative or leaders of the Republican Party, just as no one considers Chris Matthews to be representative or a leader of the Democratic Party (he also referenced Al Franken here).
If Tweety were the head of the Democrats, hopefully that would finally drive it into his thick skull, to lose the phone number of The Rat Catcher.

Why on earth does he continue to bring on his program, the disgraced former Congressman from Texas, Tom DeLay?

Anyway, Nora WD also had a good Newt zinger in there, as well;
The other notable guest may only have been notable to me, given that we had a small run in at the end of the Speech. As I was leaving the auditorium with friends, we were discussing the beginning of Gingrich's speech in which he talked about traveling to Poland with his wife. We then proceeded to innocently (and privately) joke about how we should have asked him to clarify which wife he was referring to: the one he divorced while she had cancer, or the one he cheated on with his current wife, or his current wife. As we were joking about this, a man grabbed me by the arm and said “I know what you’re talking about.” Not really knowing where he was going with this and being a little angry that he thought it would be ok for him to grab a 19 year old girl by the arm, I gave him a confused and slightly dirty look. He then proceeded to ask me if I had heard of Monica Lewinsky, and if I would have still voted for Bill Clinton. I politely said yes and walked away.
Go check out At Fordham, Gingrich compares Limbaugh to Chris Matthews

Bonus Links

Bob Cesca: Step Away From The Constitution, Mr. Gingrich, And Put Your Hands Where We Can See Them

Top Ten Cloves: Reasons Leading To Newt Gingrich Deciding Not To Run For President

Clooney: Wouldn’t Cast Matthews In A Daydream ...When Pressed, Matthews Admits Miffed Not Cast in Clooney Film ...“Forget This Zelig Mishmash, I Could Have Played McCarthy … And Played Him Damn Good”

This Date ... On The Garlic

21 April 2008... On The Garlic

Snow Job

Crazy-Crazy Is Back, Pumping For McCain

Top Ten Cloves: Things Overheard In President's Limo, with Cokie Roberts Aboard, Going To See The Pope

21 April 2006... On The Garlic

Bolten Making The Keystone Cops “Look Organized” ... White House Flooded With High Tension, As President Undecided Today ...Early Morning Signs Leaned Towards Being “Uniter”; Bolten Having Second Thoughts About New Position

Top Ten Cloves: Ways Queen Elizabeth Plans On Celebrating Her 80th Birthday

21 April 2005... On The Garlic

Bush Weighs Move To Texas for Sadam Trial; Backs Iraqi Calls For Execution; Swift Delivery of Death Sentence If Guilty Guaranteed

Egypt Protests New U.S. Use of Pyramids

Top Ten Cloves: New Pope's Pet Peeves

Monday, April 20, 2009

Suspicious Mind

Bet On Blackmail.

It seems; oh, so deliciously ironic, that one of the top Democrats, part of the Blank Check Club, one who waved her pom-poms so high, with so much vigor and energy, for The Bush Grindhouse, and their illegal wiretapping, finds herself, today, in the middle of a soon-to-grow-bigger scandal, starring herself, and, on - c'mon, everybody at the same time - a wiretap!

We, of course, refer to California Congresswoman Jane Harman.

CQ Politics broke the story this morning, and it's been a feeding frenzy all day.

The Readers Digest version is Harman was working (or, let's say, "communicating") with AIPAC (The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee), or, somebody working as an "agent" with AIPAC, with lots of "winks and nods", about her helping AIPAC get a court case squashed, and this AIPAC contact would help Little Miss Pom-Pom Jane get the coveted chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee.

But wait, it's all on a legal wiretap (something, apparently like a magnet, regarding AIPAC), and the first Crony General got wind of it, and decided to make it all go away, as long as Little Miss Pom-Pom Jane put on her little cheerleading outfit, which she did, and coo for the Crony General, and Bush Grindhouse, even though she tried to duck out of it, saying, heard on the wiretap, "this conversation doesn't exist".

Oh, yes, it does, there, Little Miss Pom-Pom.

Let's just say this is stinkier that the stinkiest French cheese, on multiple levels.

But it would seem, layered in there, between the stinkiest parts (or, perhaps, the stinkiest part), is that the Crony General (and Bush Grindhouse) may have engaged in blackmail, purposefully, and intentionally, backing off prosecution (or, at minimum, investigation), in exchange for all that pom-pom waving.

The Anonymous Liberal has this angle;

Now, again, Stein likely does not have any evidence of such a communication, which is why he is very careful not to suggest that Harman was blackmailed by the administration. But given the overall facts of the story, it's really not that much of a stretch. There is enough smoke here to warrant official investigation. Eric Holder really should appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the circumstances of the decision not to proceed with charges against Harman. If that decision was driven by purely political considerations (which Stein's multiple sources clearly allege) that alone is worthy of investigation. But if the threat of prosecution was secretly wielded in order to influence the actions of a member of Congress, that is a serious crime and as blatant an abuse of power as you will ever see. I hope that's not what happened here, but further investigation is needed.
I mean, can't you just see it?

It is so Rovian, so Chenyesque, to have a Congresswoman pinned against the wall, in their hip pocket, relishing it all the more that she is a Democrat.

Now, we'll just have to see where this fits in with President Obama.

Is this something, looking through the windshield, out in front, on the road, or, does he just "tsk-tsk" it, waving it goodbye in the rear-view mirror, not bothering to talk to his Attorney General, and, you know, maybe, have him investigate it.

Let's hope Holder digs in this, and we don't hear soon that, for some inexplicable reason, the former Crony General gets immunity, or something.

And, all you wannabe Congressmen-types out in California, you've got ready-made campaign slogans, should you think it a good move to run against Harman (like "Did Jane Harman help throw the 2004 election to Bush?")

Hit it, Elvis!

Elvis Presley - Suspicious Mind

Lots Of Links To Wade Through

Josh Marshall: Must Read

Ryan Singel - Harman: It's Not My Fault I Couldn't Figure Out Domestic Wiretapping Was Illegal

Kim Zetter: DoJ Nixed Investigation of Congresswoman to Get Support for NSA Wiretapping

Greg Sargent: New York Times Exec Editor Denies Harman Helped Persuade Him To Hold Wiretapping Story

Emptywheel: Jane Harman: Stupid and Reckless, Not the Victim of Illegal Wiretaps

DougJ: The wages of wiretapping Jane’s sedition?

Libby Spencer: Harmon wiretap: explosive story or clever distraction?

Glenn Greenwald: Major scandal erupts involving Rep. Jane Harman, Alberto Gonzales and AIPAC