Recently in Terrorism Category

At least the 105 128 of you (thanks Larry), including my representative Marcy Kaptur, who stood firm against the lawless imperialism of the Bush administration and voted no on giving the Telecoms immunity in the FISA bill. (The yeas and nays are here, HT Hilzoy.)

Thanks as well to the sole republican brave enough to buck his party and vote against this travesty as well, Timothy V. Johnson (R-Illinios-15).

This vote effectively split the Democrats in half, 105 128 patriots who stood up for the rule of law against 128 105 capitulators, including the leadership, Pelosi, Hoyer, Emannuel. Those 105 128 are going to need all the help they can get. I'm not sure the Act Blue idea of punishing those who followed the leadership's cue is as important as supporting those who did the right thing -- cuz they're going to need it.

Or maybe they're just in safe enough seats they can afford to hold the liberal line. I know that the core Northern Ohio progressives, (Kaptur, Kucinich, Tubbs-Jones) are in no real danger of losing their seats, and Blue Dogs like Zack Space, a Democrat in a very conservative district, was never going to go along with anything that even hinted he was "soft" on terrists. None of this should be a surprise.

The reason is simple. other than the bumper-sticker mentality that has been mastered by the fear-mongering GOP, this issue simply doesn't resonate with the public at large. They don't know, like you should, why FISA matters so much.

Since all signs still point towards another wave election, and possibly a '32 type realignment, funding the liberal wing of the party may not be all that productive right now, but it's advance thinking (as the blogosphere always seems to do), putting in place a new framework to push for new leadership, or at least a new direction for 2010, and remaking the very sole of this nation by 2012.

Maybe that's even too short-sighted. The GOP spent 40 years institutionalizing the politics of fear and loathing.

I probably am conditioned by the loathing to loath sending up challengers against every Democrat who won't toe our progressive line as Glenzilla and the Kossacks advocate. My reflexes are even more attuned against dis'ing the party's nominee for his silence -- since just six months ago my rallying cry was Silence Is Betrayal.

John Edwards, recalling MLK's message of resistance to war:

As he put it then, there comes a time when silence is a betrayal -- not only of one's personal convictions, or even of one's country alone, but also of our deeper obligations to one another and to the brotherhood of man.

That's the thing I find the most important about the sermon Dr. King delivered here that day. He did not direct his demands to the government of the United States, which was escalating the war. He issued a direct appeal to the people of the United States, calling on us to break our own silence, and to take responsibility for bringing about what he called a revolution of values.

A revolution whose starting point is personal responsibility, of course, but whose animating force is the belief that we cannot stand idly by and wait for others to right the wrongs of the world.

And this, in my view, is at the heart of what we should remember and celebrate on this day. This is the dream we must commit ourselves to realizing.

To quote words even more familiar, while the Democrats struggle to gain a true majority, one both filibuster and veto proof, before they can solidify their gains, while they are still vulnerable enough not to take the progressives for granted . . .
If not us, who? If not now, when? ~RFK

Support the 105 128, and fight the capitulators. You want to send a message? This is how.

For those who refuse to grok what Publius put so well at Obsidian Wings, without Habeas Corpus, you could dress anyone up in a false nose and throw them on the fire, even if you're lying about being turned into a newt.

It's bad enough that we've got a bunch of Texas Torquemadas and other assorted war criminals shoving bamboo under the fingernails of terrorists, but some of these guys weren't terrorists, yet they got the fifth degree anyway. They had no way to show that someone strapped a carrot to their face and a funny hat, let alone the chance to prove they weighed less than a duck. 

And that ain't right.

When the War Crimes Trials commence, you know these bastards now calling us pansies and having a September 10th mindset (wa'ev) will file for a Habeas Corpus writ.

Every single one of them . . . at least the one's Bush doesn't pardon.

KSM sounds like he'd fit right in with the other religious fanatics at the Family Research Council board of governors:

"I consider all the U.S. Constitution and laws evil. They are allowing for same-sexual marriages and many things that are very bad … Do you understand what I said?"

Loud and clear, pal, loud and clear.

by Mark Adams

I remember it almost like it was yesterday, trying to outdo other bloggers with cute little names for the guy I called Scotty McManequin: Scott-bot 3000, McClellatron, Scottie McLiar, McClerrator -- good times.

Today, Politico's Mike Allen bypassed the embargoed publication of McClellan's tell-all book by (get this) buying it in a Washington DC bookstore a week before its scheduled release date and documents the atrocities Scotty lays bare in "whacking" Bush, Cheney, Rove, Libby and the whole merry band of criminal conspirators who "propagandized" us into war, lied about outing Valerie Plame, and twiddled their thumbs "in shock" for a week during the Katrina mess (much like Bush did upon learning the news of planes crashing into building as he sat stupidly in that classroom).

McClellan also skewers the mainstream press.

"If anything, the national press corps was probably too deferential to the White House and to the administration in regard to the most important decision facing the nation during my years in Washington, the choice over whether to go to war in Iraq.

"The collapse of the administration’s rationales for war, which became apparent months after our invasion, should never have come as such a surprise. … In this case, the ‘liberal media’ didn’t live up to its reputation. If it had, the country would have been better served."

Next thing you know, Scottie will be referring to the Beltway establishment as Villagers. Funny how some decidedly non-mainstream media folks, my favorite rhetorical bomb throwers The Young Turks, were on this story six months ago, as was Shakes and a few other easily dismissed libs.

I love these guys. Figures that they're not even on Air America anymore. What a shame.

by shep

Some people think Michael Mukasey was lying when he stated publicly, “We've got three thousand people who went to work that day and didn't come home to show for… a call from someplace that was known to be a safe house in Afghanistan and we knew that it came to the United States. We didn't know precisely where it went.”

But Michael Mukasey is the Attorney General of the United States, the highest law enforcement officer of the country. He’s also an ex-federal judge who knows that under contemporaneous federal law the Bush Administration could have wiretapped that call and learned where it went and, possibly, thwarted the 9/11 attacks.

Could it possibly be that anyone, even a Republican, would lie about such a thing just to hide the illegal conduct of George Bush, Dick Cheney and AT&T? Any way you slice it, what would you call such traitors to their oaths of office and duty to the public? Oops, I guess I just did.

[Cross-posted at Dispassionate Liberal]

Better hall monitors than I have been weighing in on sudden switch in Washington yesterday.

From time-wasting hearings for druged-up ball-players on Wednesday, to presidential fantasies of existential threats from abroad and all out rhetorical warfare on Constitutional principles in the House -- complete with a GOP staged walkout in the name of rejecting any such grandstanding by the Dems -- all coming to a head on Thursday.

Something changed yesterday.  The wind is now blowing from a different direction.  There's still fear in the air, but it's coming more from the right than the left now.

I will duly note Olbermann coming right out and calling Bush a fascist last night on national television had to be some kind of first.  It's also no surprise that Glenn Greenwald has one of the best takes on all of this:

This is the kind of pure, unadulterated idiocy -- childish, cartoonish and creepy -- that Democrats for years have been allowing to bully them into submission, govern our country, and dismantle our Constitution. Outside of Andy McCarthy, Mark Steyn and their roving band of paranoid right-wing bloggers who can't sleep at night because they think (and hope) that there are dark, primitive "jihadi" super-villains hiding under their beds -- along with the Very Serious pundit class which proves their Seriousness by placing blind faith in the fear-mongering pronouncements and demands of our military and intelligence officials for more unchecked power -- nobody cares about adolescent Terrorist game-playing like this any longer. In the real world, it doesn't work, and it hasn't worked for some time.

Americans are worried and even angry about many things. Whether Osama bin Laden is throwing a party because AT&T and Verizon might have to defend themselves in court isn't one of them. Outside of National Review, K Street, and the fear-paralyzed imagination of our shrinking faux-warrior class, there is no constituency in America demanding warrantless eavesdropping or amnesty for lawbreaking telecoms.

Ah, the Drama. Bravo! Author! Author!  Coming as it did after deliberate disruption of a memorial for one of their fallen colleagues, Shakespeare would have set the whole scene at a graveyard. "Alas poor Lantos, I knew him Horatio..."

The conservative noise machine's Regurgitators are playing their appointed role, but without the usual enthusiasm the zeitgeist demanded just a few months ago.  Noting John Boehner's stunt was indeed "staged," but all in the name of principle, that any disrespect to the dead was the fault of those damn Democrats for mourning too long and interfearing with their scheduled snit-fit, all over serious stuff of course -- like their dad is bigger than ours or something like that -- they just seem preoccupied, depressed.

Serious?!  You want me to be serious?  Fine, I will when they stop using fear for fear's sake and recognize the facts.  The games and demagoguery are old.

Now, the president asserts that the expiration of the protect America act will pose a danger to our country.
  • The former National Security Council advisor on terrorism says that's not true.
  • Former assistant attorney general says that's not true. Numerous others, and the chairman, has asserted that's not true.
Why is that not true?
  • Because FISA will remain in effect.
  • The authority given under the protect America act remains in effect.
  • And if there are new targets, the FISA court has full authority to give every authority to the administration to act.
So I tell my friends, we are pursuing the politics of fear. Unfounded fear. 435 members of this house and every one of us, every one of us wants to keep America and Americans safe. Not one of us -- not one of us wants to subject America or Americans to danger.
  • The president's assertion is wrong. I say it categorically.

  • The president's assertion is wrong.
Honestly, it's nearly impossible to keep track of all the wingnut temper tantrums that hit the fan all at once.  While duly reciting the party line on FISA and the contempt citations for Harriet Meirs and the rest of the goon squad who purged all but "loyal Bushy"
US Attorneys, the spontaneous eruptions of shock, somber resignation and real outrage over Mitt Romney's endorsement of John McCain (or anything else to do with McCain) contrasted sharply with the dull, paint-by-numbers faux indignation being spoon-fed to the remaining dead-enders of the right's true believers, all 16% of them.

[Interesting side note: the rabble at Wizbang's comment section are speculating that McCain would do better asking John Kerry to be his running mate instead of the usual suspects like Huckabee or Lieberman.  They are an amusing bunch, and starved for anything that will distract from their depressing future.]

bin Laden’s Wet Dreams

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by shep

They hate us for our Prada:

The FBI confirmed it has issued an "intelligence information report" warning of possible Al Qaeda attacks on Los Angeles and Chicago shopping malls over the holiday season.
The warning states Al Qaeda has been planning the attack for the past two years with the intension to disrupt the U.S. economy...


Let’s leave it to the Republicans and their corporate masters; the real experts at “creative destruction”:

NEW YORK ( -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, warning that higher inflation and weaker economic growth could be in store, told Congress Thursday that the central bank is keeping a close eye on the subprime mortgage crisis and recent spike in oil prices.

Heckuva job, Bushie.

You guys, yeah the islamofascistjihadicaliphatists in the high mountain caves of Pakistan, you can just relax – smoke it if you’ve got it. You are no match for our CEOs and our MBA president.

[Cross-posted at Dispassionate Liberal]

  • Congratulations to Al Gore. Wow -- an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Nobel all in one year. Not even Liza Minelli did that.

  • Why is everyone so upset with Ann Coulter? She's only said what any Christian learns from the time they start Sunday School. And another thing: if she's so heinous why does CNBC (or NBC, or CNN or FNC) put her on the air in the first place? Lastly, isn't it true that you can be a girl and still have a Y chromosome? IJS.

  • "Hunh. A resolution condemning genocide. I think you gotta go 'yes' with that one. [If not], what is the right response to historic mass killings? Historic mass flowers?"

  • And, speaking on behalf of the entire Armenian community, I would like to say we are thrilled that Aasif Mandvi has been named The Daily Show's Senior Armeniologist.

  • I read the Wall Street Journal and I know they loooooove to complain that the richest 10% of Americans already pay 2/3 of all taxes, as though that proves their taxes are too high. What you never hear is what percentage of their total income this tax load represents. When THAT number reaches 30-50% or more (as it does for middle-class families) then we can talk about taxes being too high. Not only that: I say they should be paying 90% or more of all taxes in this country. And if they want to become tax exiles, then good riddance. They weren't real Americans after all, were they?

  • George W. Bush can grow up a mean, nasty, coke-snorting drunk but once he accepted Jesus, it wiped the slate clean. Rudy Giuliani can rail against the gun lobby as Mayor of New York, but in a post-9/11world he's in bed with the NRA -- and they're on top. So what now for Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center -- now that he's accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior? Maybe he and Ann Coulter can go on a National Reconciliation Tour.


A small private intelligence company that monitors Islamic terrorist groups obtained a new Osama bin Laden video ahead of its official release last month, and around 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, it notified the Bush administration of its secret acquisition. It gave two senior officials access on the condition that the officials not reveal they had it until the al-Qaeda release.

Within 20 minutes, a range of intelligence agencies had begun downloading it from the company's Web site. By midafternoon that day, the video and a transcript of its audio track had been leaked from within the Bush administration to cable television news and broadcast worldwide.

The founder of the company, the SITE Intelligence Group, says this premature disclosure tipped al-Qaeda to a security breach and destroyed a years-long surveillance operation that the company has used to intercept and pass along secret messages, videos and advance warnings of suicide bombings from the terrorist group's communications network.

Like Valerie Plame, the founder of the company is a woman, Rita Katz.

"Techniques that took years to develop are now ineffective and worthless," said Katz, the firm's 44-year-old founder, who has garnered wide attention by publicizing statements and videos from extremist chat rooms and Web sites, while attracting controversy over the secrecy of SITE's methodology. Her firm provides intelligence about terrorist groups to a wide range of paying clients, including private firms and military and intelligence agencies from the United States and several other countries.

The precise source of the leak remains unknown.

Yes, well.

No doubt the White House will release a statement saying that if there had been a leak from this administration, they'll want to know who it is... and if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.

An excerpt from John Cusack's eye-opening interview with Naomi Klein:

One of the distinguishing features of the Bush administration has been its reliance on outside advisers and freelance envoys to perform key functions: James Baker, Paul Bremer, Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, Richard Perle, Bruce Jackson, and so on...

Their power stems from the fact that they used to perform key roles in government -- they are former secretaries of state, former ambassadors and former undersecretaries of defense. All have been out of government for years and, in the meantime, have set up lucrative careers in the disaster capitalism complex.

And because they are freelance government contractors, they aren't subject to the same conflict-of-interest rules as elected or appointed politicians.

The effect has been to eliminate the so-called revolving door between government and industry and allow the disaster industries to simply set up shop inside the government, using the reputations of these supposedly illustrious ex-politicians as cover.

Read the whole thing.

P.S. Yes, that John Cusack.


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