Wednesday, May 02, 2007

After 9/11...

* Digby:
"After 9/11 the whole world was open to US leadership and willing to work together as never before to deal with our common challenges. Imagine if we'd had a visionary in the presidency instead of what we had. Think of how we could have parlayed this international goodwill into comprehensive renewable energy agreements, nuclear non-proliferation with teeth and common security goals. Instead he treated the world like he owned it, was disrespectful and rude and when it came time to get his allies on board with his misbegotten war, there was no more goodwill left.

And the American people are left with the bill, both finacial and moral, not that we don't deserve it. But it is still galling beyond belief that the man who was in the white house on that fateful day was not the man a majority of the American people really chose to lead them. And it continues to gall that the American press pumped up this character from the moment he came on the scene and gave him the rope he needed to hang us all."

* rimone:
"no time now to get into shite details apart from my T-shirt test run (parading my ’suspected terrorist’ T-shirt up and down the aisles an hour before we hit JFK) was thwarted when some dude had the utter audacity to die somewhere in the back of the plane. i’m sitting up front, practically paws up and panting with anticipation when the co-pilot asked for a doctor, then quickly amended his query to announce we’ll be making an unexpected landing in New Foundland."
rimone is back home in the uk, and will no doubt be making trouble hither and tither. fingers crossed.

* LATimes:
"NO MATTER how many members of Congress lose confidence in Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales, President Bush is unlikely to let him go. If Gonzales resigns, the vacancy must be filled by a new presidential nominee, and the last thing the White House wants is a confirmation hearing.

Already, the Senate is outlining conditions for confirming a Gonzales successor. Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has said that his panel would not hold confirmation hearings unless Karl Rove and other White House aides testify about the firing of U.S. attorneys to clarify whether "the White House has interfered with prosecution."

All this is reminiscent of the Watergate scandal.
Aspects of this history could easily repeat themselves. The Senate could demand, as it did in 1973, that a new attorney general appoint a special prosecutor, and this could again have dire consequences for the White House.

A new special prosecutor would have many questions to investigate.
Rather than face such scrutiny, the White House may prefer keeping a drastically weakened Gonzales in place. But doing so exacts a high price for the Justice Department and the nation. It damages department morale and credibility, undermines its ability to recruit and could affect perceptions of federal prosecutors, jeopardizing important cases. By retaining Gonzales to preempt Senate action, the president has signaled that this is a price he is willing to make the nation pay."

* miZgin:
"In Turkey, both stability and tranquility resemble democracy in the fact that neither exist. I can't help but think that this hyper-emotional appeal on Erdogan's part is a sign of the level of desperation to which he's succumbed. After all, it's got to be pretty scary when the Turkish General Staff is able to muster hundreds of thousands of demonstrators against your candidate . . . and that's what this is really all about, isn't it? It has as much to do with democracy as a tapeworm has to do with democracy.
Remember the 2003 parliamentary decision which kept the US from entering Iraq along a northern front? That was probably the first time that anything resembling a democratic decision was ever made in Turkey, and the US administration, great democracy that it is, certainly didn't like that, did it?"

* jeff@ larisa's:
"You can safely bet a Halliburton executive's paycheck that the White House will call in every marker it's handed out to make sure Condi doesn't have to sing for Waxman's committee. If Congress can crack a Cabinet Secretary, it can crack anybody in the executive branch below that level (which is everybody in the executive branch except for Bush and Cheney). And brother, the minute all these loyal Bush appointees get the notion that their options are to a) face real jail time or b) take immunity and spill the beans, Congress will have a pot full of high crimes and misdemeanors to slap Bush and Cheney upside the head with."

* amy:
"UK Officials Admit MI6 Tracked Subway Bomber in 2004
In Britain, survivors of the July 7, 2005 subway bombings are calling for a new investigation into what the government knew about the suicide bombers before the day of the attack. Up until this week the British government had maintained the bombings came out of the blue and that intelligence officers didn't know any of the men involved. But it was revealed on Monday - at the conclusion of an unrelated trial - that the ringleader of the subway bombing was under MI5 surveillance in 2004. In the trial, a jury sentenced five British citizens to life in prison on Monday for plotting a series of bomb attacks. The government case rested largely on intelligence gathered in what has been described as Britain's most intensive surveillance operation ever. Investigators bugged more than 90 phone lines, sifted through 27,000 hours of video and audio intercepts and logged more than 33,000 hours watching the men."
* amy:

Israeli Whistleblower Vanunu Convicted For Speaking to Media
The Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu might be heading back to jail soon for speaking to the international media. In 2004 Israel released Vanunu after he spent18 years in jail for disclosing information that proved Israel had a stockpile of nuclear weapons. After he was released, Israel barred Vanunu from speaking to the foreign press but Vanunu defied the order. He spoke to several foreign outlets including Democracy Now. [Listen to 2004 interview: Pt. 1 || Pt. 2] On Monday an Israeli court convicted him of violating the terms of his release from jail. This is Vanunu's attorney Michael Sfard.

  • Michael Sfard: "Today, in 2007, a person was found guilty of being in contact with other people, not for the content of what he said to them, but for the mere fact that he was talking to other people. This is not something that a liberal democracy in the 21st century should be doing and this is a very frightening situation, almost Orwellian situation, every Israeli has to fear."
Vanunu will be sentenced in two weeks. After the court's ruling, Vanunu spoke with reporters outside the courtroom.
  • Mordechai Vanunu: "Today we have heard the verdict, says that Israel has atomic weapons. Everything is published here. And now the Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Shimon Peres can say to the world that Israel have atomic weapons producing plutonium, neutron and hydrogen bomb. All the bomb that Israel refusing to accept and to admit that they have the bomb is here. But Israeli state, but Israeli court, this judge today say that I say that Israel has atomic weapons and he's finding me guilty of saying this is true so you and everyone in the world can say that Israel have atomic weapons, they have plutonium, neutron bomb and hydrogen bomb, it is writing here."


rimone said...

Luke: rimone is back home in the uk, and will no doubt be making trouble hither and tither. fingers crossed.

lol, where to begin? things are weird but at least Chris is coming over on saturday to stay until monday and we're off to Cardiff to see Capt. Paranoid play sunday night. my 6 days or whatever in nyc was a total disaster, day in and day out, trainwreck style, beginning w/the dude dying on the plane, poor guy.

Kax said...

Rimone, Good to see you're baaaaaack. Sounds like a new adventure is brewing for you. Don't forget to take care of yourself.

Speaking of poor guys dying, my next door neighbor fell off the cliff and died this past Tuesday.
His wife said he'd been beaten up by a homeless person in the park in town, but didn't go to the hospital or report it to the police. When he got home, he rode his bike down the street to a favorite vantage point to collect his thoughts. He had done a lot of work with the homeless, so he was emotionally distraught about the incident. Anyway, he must have gotten dizzy or fainted and fell to his death.

Needless to say, the whole neighborhood is in shock and trying to console his wife and little girl. We've had some drunks drive off the cliff over the years, but this is the first pedestrian.

lukery said...

kaxx - that's HORRIBLE