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Chronicling the new Empire of America, the uber-Bully.

30 June 2003

Turd of the Week

"I don't know anybody in any government or any intelligence agency who suggested that the Iraqis had nuclear weapons."
Donald Rumsfeld June 24, 2003.

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Civilian casualties update
This data is an accounting of civilian deaths in Iraq to date.
See Iraqbodycount.net for statistical methodologies


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Growing fat off juicy Iraqi rebuildin' contracts. Did you know the bin Laden group is one of our top investors?


screw all the other stockholders, we're cashing out!


Hey, what do you know? We make money from American militarily screwed up countries in the Middle East!


We're already negotiating with the “new Iraqi democracy” for oil rights!


Selling weapons all over the globe to ensure civilian death and instability which in turn ensures a strong market for years and years...

 

Non-Governmental Organizations to Become "Arm of the Government"
The American Enterprise Institute, a Non-Governmental Organization recently described as "Bush's outsourced brain" by Naomi Klein, of the Guardian, has established NGOwatch.org with the Federalist Organization. Its mission? "to bring clarity and accountability to the burgeoning world of NGOs." Sounds harmless on the surface, until we look into the accountability issue. Accountable to whom?

Well, it turns out that the NGOWatch folks want to make sure that Non-Governmental Organizations are accountable to the US Government. So it is that Andrew Natsios, the director of USAid read the riot act to NGOs over services rendered to victims of United States warmongering. When relief agencies are distributing food, providing medical assistance and offering hope to hungry, injured and hopeless, those agencies need to actively promote United States values to those receiving aid and aggressively support the positions taken by the Bush administration while feeding and healing the masses. According to Mr. Natsios (pronounced "Nazi-O's," like a white supremacist breakfast cereal), NGOs working under US governmental contract shall act as "an arm of the U.S. government" or their contracts will be torn up. Further, NGOs are forbidden from speaking to the media about their activities.

The NGOWatch organization, co-sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute and the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, provides a blacklist of NGOs that promote evils such as lesbian rights and anti-deforestation. The American Enterprise Institute claims Richard Perle and Lynne Cheney among its fellow and many of Bush's cabinet have served in the past.

Whether or not relief groups have expertise and efficiency in relieving war ravaged lands is apparently irrelevant. Now, their ability to provide pro-USA propaganda is more important in the whole peace-waging. Hunger relief NGOs, such as Save the Children and Mercy Corps, are unsure how to respond to this new mandate, as their entire organizations are structured around feeding people, not creating ad campaigns featuring Bush flying into an aircraft carrier 20 feet offshore.

"So," say conservatives, "if these NGOs don't like it, they can decline government money!" Well, guess what? They are. CARE, IRC and WorldVision have determined they cannot function effectively within the constraints by the Bush White House that have nothing to do with providing relief to an aggrieved people. I suppose the contracts will go to NGOs that are better able to wrap Big Macs in Red White and Blue wrappers.

Conservatives Horrified that Government Cannot Monitor Bedrooms
Like a breath of fresh air in the otherwise fetid cesspool that has become American politics, the Supreme Court handed down its ruling against the Texas sodomy law. Their ruling, in effect, renders federal, state and local governments powerless to dictate private sexual behavior between consenting adult humans. I guess I am missing something 'cause I thought conservatives believed in getting the government out their lives. Apparently this doesn't apply to someone else's funhole.

Fear not, oh stalwart protectors of other people's genital activities, for Bill Frist is cooking up the "Defensive Marriage" constitutional ammendment. One presumes this will be part of the new Republican Bill of Wrongs in which homophobia will be institutionalized in its last legal bastion - tax and insurance policies. With a few more Scalias (or lapdog Thomases) it may even be used to rollback the consenting adult freedoms now upheld.

On the one hand, you've got homophobic family valuers screaming that the homosexuals will use this as a launch pad for the pursuit of gay marriage and cultural acceptance of homosexuality. On the other hand, you've got the liberal gay community cheering that the homosexuals will use this as a launch pad for the pursuit of gay marriage and cultural acceptance of homosexuality. Ain't it great we can all agree on something?

Blair in the Hot Seat, Mate
Everything is wonderful and cozy on this side of the Atlantic. Yep, recent polls even showed a majority of Americans are ready to do Iran now, based on intelligence allegations of Al Q'aeda ties and WMD. But things on the other side of the pond are not so full-speed-ahead in the Ministry of War Mongering.

No, it seems as though the Brits are spending too much time reading about foreign policy and not enough time watching American Idol. The calls for an inquiry are heating up. The chief of intelligence, Alistair Campbell, has been offered to the wolves after number 10 shielded the chap for a while.

Now it seems that the dossier which provided the bulk of Blair's justification for war was largely plageurized from a student thesis. Wow.

WorldCon, Take THAT you Naughty Corporate Villain!
The latest curiosity in the Pentagon's Operation Iraqi Pork Barrel is an award of a $45 million contract for building a wireless communications infrastructure. Despite the fact that Worldcon is currently in backruptcy, despite the fact that WorldCon has extremely limited experience building a wireless network, despite the fact that WorldCon is the perpetrator of the biggest accounting fraud in U.S. business, the Pentagon was so sure they were the right guys for the job, they didn't even waste taxpayer money on a bidding process - they just gave the goodies right to WorldCom.

Isolated Facts:

  • This deal is on top of other fat government contracts for WorldCon, like the satellite data pact announced Tuesday with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.
  • CEO, Bernard Ebbers, was tapped by Bush in July 2001 to serve on the White House's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.
  • It was just about a year ago when Bush declared he was "mad as hell" about corporate corruption and vowed to punish those responsible.

Let us recognize that Bush would open himself up to criticisms of hypocracy should he hold Ebbers and WorldCom accountable for corporate malfeasance, having perpetrated quite a doozy on the now impoverished Harken Energy shareholders.

Thanks a lot, suckers!

From the Horse's Mouth...
Tim Russert and former NATO Supreme Commander General Wesley Clark
From June 15, 2003 'Meet the Press' with Tim Russert.

GEN. CLARK: I think there was a certain amount of hype in the intelligence, and I think the information that's come out thus far does indicate that there was a sort of selective reading of the intelligence in the sense of sort of building a case.

MR. RUSSERT: Hyped by whom?

GEN. CLARK: Well, I...

MR. RUSSERT: The CIA, or the president or vice president? Secretary of Defense, who?

GEN. CLARK: I think it was an effort to convince the American people to do something, and I think there was an immediate determination right after 9/11 that Saddam Hussein was one of the keys to winning the war on terror. Whether it was the need just to strike out or whether he was a linchpin in this, there was a concerted effort during the fall of 2001 starting immediately after 9/11 to pin 9/11 and the terrorism problem on Saddam Hussein.

MR. RUSSERT: By who? Who did that?

GEN. CLARK: Well, it came from the White House, it came from people around the White House. It came from all over. I got a call on 9/11. I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, "You got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein." I said, "But-I'm willing to say it but what's your evidence?" And I never got any evidence. And these were people who had-Middle East think tanks and people like this and it was a lot of pressure to connect this and there were a lot of assumptions made. But I never personally saw the evidence and didn't talk to anybody who had the evidence to make that connection.

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