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Guest Op/Ed – Ukraine Crisis: Lessons Obama Should Learn

By Daphne - Last updated: Monday, March 17, 2014

Recent events in Crimea carry political consequences in the United States, calling the Obama administration to action in response to Vladimir Putin’s show of strength in the region.  Already fettered by friction due to Edward Snowden being granted asylum by Russia last year, and noted diplomatic discord between Obama and Putin since they have shared the world stage, negotiations have gone nowhere between the two leaders.

According to some pundits, Obama has no leverage in this game of chicken, due to his wavering on the Syrian chemical weapons issue last year.  What they fail to understand, however, is that Putin has a long history of human rights abuses and it should be no surprise to see his emboldened behavior in this case; regardless of Obama’s diplomatic prowess.  The situation is complicated, and while we may be in the early stages of the conflict, Putin appears to be rolling onward with his agenda, despite the Obama administration’s attempts to rein him in.

An important lesson for Obama, which he appears to be coming to terms with, is that President Bush’s foreign policy yielded many of the same characteristic responses from Putin as those seen by the current President’s administration.  As much as Republicans would like to point out differences between the two Presidents’ approaches, it is hypocritical to say Bush’s diplomatic track record with Putin was any more successful than Obama’s (outside of Bush gazing longingly into Putin’s eyes to see the soul of a man after his own heart. – Mugsy)

Putin’s Position

Simply put, Putin’s justification for acting in Ukraine is to protect the rights of native Russians settled there, in the face of attacks from Ukrainian nationalists.  On the other hand, Crimea is of strategic importance, so it is easy to extrapolate motivations beyond protecting human rights.  Putin does not acknowledge the legitimacy of the Kiev government, so he claims his actions are reasonable and just.

President Obama has initiated diplomacy by phone, recently issuing a warning of sorts, which appears to have fallen flat.  To conservative analysts, Obama’s true message is that we will not intervene in the affair; prompting Putin to disregard the President altogether.  While the President spoke of consequences, the political right believes him to have patronized Putin and weakened United States foreign policy.  Unfortunately for detractors, Putin’s past behavior mirrors his agenda here, so hanging the Obama administration out to dry for foreign policy failures does little to acknowledge Putin’s tendencies to act unilaterally and aggressively.

Abuse of Power Plagues Putin

Putin retains leadership in Russia as a result of his own willingness to abuse power.  After serving two terms as President, he became Prime Minister only to transfer the powers of government to his new position.  After Putin regained the presidency in 2012, term limits were extended; cementing Putin’s iron-fisted rule for years to come.

Based on centralized control of elections and media, Putin’s legacy is one of “power at any price”, including the lives and well-being of his countrymen.

Putin [and his cronies - editor] is believed to have siphoned billions off of the Russian economy for himself; distributed across Europe among a myriad of business ventures, to launder the funds. (As we saw with the “SuperBowl Ring” dust-up last year, Putin clearly takes whatever he wants. – Mugsy) Since gaining power in 2000, independent television does not operate in Putin’s Russia.  Instead, conditions resemble Soviet-era control of media and other segments of society.  Political opposition is quashed and foreigners are expelled at the whim of Russian leadership.  Even the way local government is established favors Putin.  By replacing elected governors, and local representation, Putin extended central control by creating a system where regional leaders are appointed by the Kremlin.

As clear as the autocratic message has been from Putin, there is another case-study showing exactly how the Ukrainian situation is likely to unfold.  Putin’s invasion of Georgia provides a blueprint to study, furnishing valuable insight into what we can expect in today’s Ukrainian conflict.  In 2008 Putin relentlessly bombed Georgia, despite warnings from the West.  Eventually he reached accord with the European Union to cease occupation there, but never really complied.  There are many similarities present in the prevailing actions of Putin in Crimea, which show no signs of shifting significantly.

Georgia: Russia bombed village (CNN, Aug 8, 2008)

Russian jets attack Georgian town (BBC, Aug 9, 2008)

Georgia, Russia move closer to full-blown war (LA Times, Aug 10, 2008)

To understand where Putin is headed, Obama detractors and the President himself should lean heavily on the Russian President’s history of transgressions, for clues.  Republicans’ politicizing the Ukrainian issue at home ignores Putin’s potential to act aggressively and unilaterally, despite the United States’ stance. Even in opposition to the present administration’s foreign policy, Republicans need to see Putin for who he is – looking to the similar way the Russian leader treated Bush over Georgia.  For Obama, the clear lesson to be learned is that despite diametric foreign policy divides between he and Bush, both leaders have seen the same Putin.

Author:

Daphne Holmes contributed this guest post. She is a writer from ArrestRecords.com and you can reach her at (only Registered users may view).


Addendum by Mugsy

In keeping this post current, I felt it necessary to comment on recent events.

Crimea voted to rejoin Russia over the weekend. In a landslide victory typically only seen in Communist dictatorships, Crimeans voted overwhelmingly, “95.7%”, in support of rejoining Russia. While the outcome was never really in doubt, Russia still felt it necessary to intimidate its critics, with one local man showing an NBC Nightly News reporter flyers that were being posted in his neighborhood alerting local residents that “a traitor” lies in their midst’s.

I couldn’t help but be reminded, oddly, of the Watergate Break-in. The 1972 Presidential campaign was going just awful for Democrats and there was little doubt that President Nixon would win re-election, and still he felt it necessary to bug Democratic headquarters to find out their campaign strategy. But Nixon was just that obsessed with winning, unwilling to leave anything to chance. Putin showed himself to be quite Nixonian in this regard.

Republican critics on the major network news talk shows yesterday continued to repeat the latest nonsense talking point that some apparent display of “weakness” by President Obama in dealing with Syria, that only Republicans and former-KGB spies can detect, somehow “emboldened” Putin to invade Crimea. As noted above, Putin needed no such “display of weakness” by President Bush when he invaded Georgia in 2008… a fact that Sen. Durbin (D-IL) pointed out to Sen. Corker (R-TN) on Meet the Press. This fact has been brought up repeatedly, yet it hasn’t seemed to have made a wit of difference as they continue to accuse a president that got both bin Laden and Kadaffy as well as a prolific use of drones and initiated a troop surge in Afghanistan, of “weakness”, continuing to ignore the facts and make their ridiculous claim anyway (sound familiar? It’s a pattern with them.)

The Rachel Maddow Show last week also picked on on Putin’s “pattern of behavior” and what to look out for next:
 


 



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Filed in fake scandals, Guest Blogger, National Security, Politics, rewriting history, War March 17th, 2014 by Daphne | • 1 comment | Add/View

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Where Would We Be Today Had JFK Not Been Assassinated? (UPDATED)

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, November 18, 2013

There’s an old parlor-game in which a person is asked: “If you had a time machine, would you go back and kill Hitler even if it meant changing history so you were never born?” (One stipulation is that you don’t worry about the obvious paradox of how you kill Hitler if you were never born.) It’s mostly a morality game but also one designed to test one’s selfishness, but the REAL fun comes in questioning how history might have changed. The war brought technological advancements. Everything from rocket-power to M&M’s to America’s rise as an industrial power were birthed by The War. No more arguments where you can compare your opponent to “Hitler” (now synonymous with “Evil”). Certain global alliances/partnerships might not exist today. The nation of Israel might not exist either. And what would The History Channel show all day? If you killed Hitler, the world would be a very different place today. The same game could be played in reverse if you prevented President Kennedy from ever being assassinated. Would we be where we are today had that terrible event 50 years ago this Friday had not come to pass?

The Space Race

Just four months into his presidency and one month after Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space (the fact his name is in my browser’s dictionary only emphasizes the significance of that event), President Kennedy delivered his famous “land a man on the moon by the end of the decade” speech before a joint session of Congress at Rice University in Houston. Less than four years earlier, Russia leapfrogged the rest of the world in Space Technology by putting the first man-made satellite, Sputnik, into orbit, and now they had put a man in space. The Cold War had already begun and now America feared “going to bed at night by the light of a Communist moon.” The two biggest space-achievements had already been claimed by the Soviet Union. Kennedy raised the bar by targeting The Moon as the next big achievement. And consider the goal: NASA was still in diapers, not even three years old yet, and had JUST put it’s first man in space not three weeks before.

The goal to land a man on the moon “by the end of the century” was seen as fulfilling Kennedy’s challenge when Apollo 11 landed on the moon on July 20, 1969. The mission carried with it the added weight of getting in just under the wire to meet that goal. But consider that this costly endeavor took place in the midst of the Vietnam War and the battle over Civil Rights. Had President Kennedy not been assassinated in 1963, the odds are the race to the moon probably would have petered out as “more pressing priorities” took over. We probably would not have the world-class space program that we have today. Russia could very well be the country the rest of the world turned to today to put their satellites into orbit (okay, with the Shuttle retired, this is indeed now the case). There likely would never have been a Space Shuttle, “International Space Station”, “GPS” or cell-phones , not even “Star Trek” had America not become obsessed with the “Space Race” and getting to the moon before December 31, 1969. If you don’t believe it, consider how quickly our interest in the Space Race waned after 1970. The TV networks didn’t even carry the launch of the third mission (Apollo-13) and the final mission, “Apollo-18” was scrapped due to lack of interest/support (and ultimately fodder for a really bad horror flick.)

Vietnam

One of Kennedy’s first acts as President of the United States was “The Bay of Pigs” fiasco, a botched plan to overthrow the new dictator Fidel Castro. A year later, the world was taken to the brink of nuclear war with The Cuban Missile Crisis as Kennedy ordered the U.S. Navy to blockade Russian attempts to put nuclear warheads in Cuba. The Space Race was our tamest “war” with the Soviet Union that decade.

Less than two months before he was assassinated, President Kennedy spoke out against America becoming even more involved in Vietnam, a war in which the Soviet-backed Communist North invaded the Democratic South, but added that “to withdraw” would be “a great mistake.” The fear was that Vietnam might become a “proxy war” similar to Korea where “Fighting Communism” was an euphemism for “Fighting the Russians”.

When it was learned that Kennedy’s assassin, Oswald, was an avowed Communist that once defected to the Soviet Union and trained by their military only to return to the U.S. to kill the president of the United States, Lyndon Johnson, now president, was rumored to have been absolutely convinced that the Soviets were behind the assassination of President Kennedy.
 

Recording one week after assassination shows LBJ immediately suspected Russia
(or some other country with nuclear missiles [ie: none].)

 
Johnson greatly increased U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War (but waited until just days after the election to act because he needed the support of anti-war Kennedy voters) in retribution for what I believe Johnson believed was retaliation for the assassination of President Kennedy. Had Kennedy not been assassinated, the likelihood is the U.S. never would have become so embroiled in the Vietnam War. The anti-war turmoil of the 1960′s might never have happened and we might very well still have a “military draft” today. No “Hippies”, no peace-movement, a decade of some of amazing music and protest songs. No “Kent State” Massacre, tens of thousands of American & Vietnamese soldiers would never have died. Nixon would of had no “secret war in Cambodia” and Liz Cheney might never have been born as Daddy conceived her to evade the Draft.

Civil Rights

As senator, Kennedy voted against Eisenhower’s 1957 Civil Rights Act to stay in the good graces of the (then) very racist Democratic Party, but by the 1960 presidential campaign, Kennedy backed off his 1957 vote (in a move cynics view as a way to draw black support away from Nixon and “The Party of Lincoln”). The significance of being president 100 years after Abraham Lincoln was not lost on Kennedy. As president, Kennedy appointed 40 African-Americans to senior federal positions including five federal judgeships (ibid), and tasked his brother, Robert, appointed as the new Attorney General, to pursue cases of illegal discrimination in the South (57 cases in all) including enforcing new school desegregation laws. Kennedy’s poll numbers in the South plummeted over 15-points in just a matter of months and that morning in Dallas, flyers accusing Kennedy of being a “race traitor deserving of “impeachment” (or worse) were passed out among the crowds.

Following the assassination of Kennedy, pushing through Civil Rights legislation was seen as advancing Kennedy’s will, and Johnson, who already blamed Russian involvement in his predecessors’ death, couldn’t discount the hatred of racist as wanting Kennedy dead as well (Russia has always been notoriously anti-Semitic… attracting many American racists to their folds). A Liberal Texan like Johnson pushing through “Civil Rights” after Kennedy’s assassination was one giant “screw you” to the racist South that had turned on Kennedy in his final days.

Despite advancing the rights of blacks, as president, Kennedy never called for a re-vote on the 1957 Civil Rights Act, instead using his brother to ensure that federal funds for “separate-but-equal” facilities were fully spent. He courted the black vote in 1960, but actually gave them very little in return to justify voting for him again. Had Kennedy not been assassinated, it is quite possible there never would have been a 1964 Civil Rights Act, nor a “Voting Rights Act” the following year. “Separate-but-equal” might still have been the law of the land for another decade or two. The Democratic Party might still be the Party of white Southern racists, and “The Party of Lincoln” might still actually be “The Party of Lincoln” today instead of the Modern Neo-Confederate Party of Teaagging asshats.

America would look very different today had JFK of not been assassinated 50 years ago this week. That’s the lesson boys & girls. Hitler had to live and Kennedy had to die. What a screwed up world we live in.
 



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Filed in General, rewriting history, Seems Obvious to Me November 18th, 2013 by Admin Mugsy | • 3 comments | Add/View

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What the Debt Ceiling Fight is REALLY About: Impeachment

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2013

By the time you read this, you’ll already know whether or not the GOP has once again Shutdown the Federal Government for the first time since they last did it 17 years ago. But let me make a last minute prediction that in the wee hours of the morning, both sides will agree to a one-month extension, at which point we’ll be right back here to start all over again. But first, a refresher: Almost from the moment Bill Clinton was sworn in as the 42nd President of the United States in 1993, the Republican Party was already hell-bent on destroying him. And the reason for their endless “Scandal-du-Jour” hysteria couldn’t have been more clear: they were plotting his defeat in 1996. But their plan backfired following, not one but TWO incredibly unpopular government shutdowns in 1995 & 1996 that the public clearly knew was purely partisan gamesmanship. They demonized the president for four straight years and STILL he won reelection, meaning they were now “stuck” with him for another four years. Any of this sounding familiar? Once again, extreme partisans within the GOP are threatening… not only the shutdown of the Federal government, but a possible default on the National Debt by refusing to raise the debt ceiling to pay for the things THEY THEMSELVES already agreed to spend money on, the results of which would be catastrophic. So why are they doing it? “Why”, I pondered previously, “would anyone invite CERTAIN economic disaster to prevent something they only speculate would be an economic disaster?” (and as I’ve heard others point out, you would think the GOP would be EAGER to see “ObamaCare” implemented only to crash & burn). No, what they REALLY want is something much more sinister/cynical: they want President Obama to invoke the “14th Amendment” to unilaterally raise the Debt Ceiling on his own so they may use it as grounds for impeachment.

Why? Because that’s what Republicans apparently do now when a Democrat is in charge. They are childish sore losers that can’t bear the idea of a Democratic president advancing Democratic solutions only to see them succeed and last another 80 years the way Social Security has (It’s a damn shame they didn’t call it “FDR-Care” only to hear Republicans defend it today.)

The relevant portion of the “14th Amendment” regarding the Debt reads as follows:

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

But the infamous “14th Amendment”, passed in 1868, isn’t just “Section 4″. No, Republicans want to make The 14th a 2014 campaign issue because it’s just chock full of headaches for the GOP:

Section 1 is where anyone born “in the United States” is automatically a citizen regardless of the parents’ citizenship… a clause that is the source of unlimited pain for the Nationalists in the GOP, which I’m certain they’d love to see stricken. Unfortunately, the next line of that SAME clause mentions not “depriving life” of any “person without first receiving due process”… a clause commonly used by the Pro-Birth Life crowd to argue the unconstitutionality of Abortion.

Section 2 is regarding the appointment of Representatives based on the number of adult males in each state. Irrelevant here.

Section 3 is regarding “insurrection” in support of the Confederacy. Also irrelevant.

Section 4 noted above is regarding ensuring that the Federal Government will always pay its debts (translation: the repatriated South can’t stop the Government from repaying debts incurred by the North during the war, and by that same token, the Federal Government is not obligated to repay debts incurred by the Confederacy because they weren’t part of the U.S..)

Section 5 gives Congress the power to enforce the prior four Articles.

Clearly #5 is the stickler. Since this is a Constitutional Amendment, it’s not a “law” and therefore can not be ignored nor repealed. But it also doesn’t give the power of “enforcement” to the president. So what happens if Congress fails to comply with the “Enforcement Clause”? That’s one for the courts… The Supreme Court to be exact. And with a 5/4 Conservative advantage, I’d be willing to bet that young “Tea Party” Conservatives full of piss & vinegar like Ted Cruz are more than happy to push this to the Supreme Court…

…for “what” exactly, who knows? It certainly wouldn’t get past a Democratically controlled Senate to remove President Obama from office. No, for that, they need to retake the Senate as well. And, gee, let me think… What mid-term election issue can we think of that would attract Conservative morons to the polls in 2014? Maybe if we delayed the implementation of “ObamaCare” for one year? And it’ll be a lot easier to clinch that vote if they institute a bunch of voter ID laws and reduced voting hours to keep a whole bunch of the “wrong” people from voting… say the poor and minorities… the very people who would benefit the most from “ObamaCare”?

Are you starting to see how this all fits together?

My prediction? If I’m right, the GOP will have agreed to a one-month extension of the Budget just to move the “Shutdown” vote until AFTER the Debt Ceiling vote, which they will then refuse to pass come mid-October when the Federal Government runs out of money. Then at the stroke of midnight on that day in mid-October when the government runs out of money, President Obama will invoke the 14th Amendment and extend the Debt Ceiling on his own, prompting a feux “Constitutional Crisis” set up by “outraged” Republicans. Impeachment proceedings will begin in the GOP-controlled House in early 2014 and extend thru the year till Election Day. Efforts to disenfranchise typically Democratic voters will go into over-drive in “Red” states next year as efforts to recapture the Senate become the GOP’s top priority.

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Filed in Economy, fake scandals, General, Healthcare, Money, Partisanship, Politics, Predictions, rewriting history, Right-Wing Insanity, Unconstitutional October 1st, 2013 by Admin Mugsy | • 1 comment | Add/View

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Okay Wingnuts, Ya Wanna Talk Impeachment, Let’s Talk Impeachment

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, May 13, 2013

Since 2006, I’ve had two bumper stickers in the rear window of my car (affixed with Scotch Tape). The first reading “EndlessThis War” from MoveOn.org that… fittingly… blew out of my car window last month when the tape cracked & dried with age, and the other reading: “Support Our Troops. Impeach Bush-Cheney”. Every once in a while someone asks me why I haven’t removed it since neither are still in office, and I explain to them that “you don’t have to still be in office to be impeached. An impeachment is a trial that takes place in the House [of Representatives]. They can still be impeached.” Right wingers have been hot to impeach President Obama almost quite literally from the day he took office. But ask them specifically what “high crimes or misdemeanors” President Obama himself is supposedly guilty of, and you’d be hard pressed for an answer, but the latest reason is “Benghazi”. What was the crime there? “Coverup!” they cry. Not the actual incident itself, but what they perceive is the White House’s unwillingness to “reveal the truth about what really happened” (ie:  gross incompetence.) Gee, I can’t imagine why… two months before the election, the White House was reluctant to hand Republicans anything they might use as a political weapon (remember, Romney and the GOP were already trying to make an issue over just when the President finally called the attack “terrorism”.) John McCain had to be coaxed out of hiding for the 832nd time to appear on one of the Sunday shows yesterday to parse words like the petulant sore-loser he is, and claim Obama didn’t actually call the Benghazi attack “terrorism”, but just “demonstrations LIKE the one in Benghazi acts of terror.” (Can you hear my eyes rolling?) Right-wingers even LOVE to cite the date of the incident as: “9/11″… NOT “9/11/2012″… oh no, just “9/11″. “Can you believe what happened on 9/11 on President Obama’s watch???” they cry! “They ignored all sorts of warnings, turned a blind eye, and now four Americans are dead! Impeach him!” they say without a hint of irony. Okay Wingnuts, you wanna talk “impeachment”, let’s talk Impeachment.

I’ve been mulling this project for months now, but the always excellent “Rachel Maddow Show” pretty much forced my hand last Friday following her own tackling of the subject:
 

Conservatives have been desperate to “impeach” since day one. (13:15)

But perhaps even better was her all-too-brief rundown of just a few of the “scandals” that took place during the Bush Administration (I put “scandals” in quotes only because no one in the media actually called them “scandals” at the time, nor did they pursue any of them with the same ferocity as the the non-story of “Benghazi” today).

Bush era scandals that went uninvestigated (2:38)

Rachel’s “partial list” of Bush-Era scandals (additional info added by me, in parenthesis):

  1. Cheney’s secret “energy task force” that invited oil & coal company executives to the White House to write the Energy Policy for the entire nation (a meeting whose records are still classified to this day.)
  2. The multi-million dollar “no-bid contracts” to Halliburton (the company Cheney was the CEO of before becoming VP, and still holds stock in to this day, which performed many basic tasks and provided basic services/supplies at huge markups… including $20 icecube trays.)
  3. The outing of covert CIA Agent Valery Plame (not just exposing her, but jeopardizing the life of every overseas contact she had ever worked with, and completely destroying the CIA front corporation that she worked under, Brewster/Jennings… an invaluable intelligence asset which took tens of millions of dollars and YEARS to establish), and the trashing of the reputation of both her and her husband, who dare question President Bush’s reasoning for why we needed to invade Iraq.
  4. Cheney’s Chief-of-Staff, “Scooter” Libby, found guilty (unless you watch Fox), convicted on five of six counts, for his role in the outing of Ms. Plame (Libby was convicted for “obstructing” the investigation. We still… to this day… do not know who authorized him to leak that information to the press.)
  5. President Bush then commuted Libby’s sentence (someone say “coverup”?), allowing him to avoid jail.
  6. Abu Ghraib and the systematic torture & murder of prisoners held in U.S. custody overseas under the direction of “Top Brass” in the Bush Administration.
  7. The NSA illegally wiretapping Americans without a warrant (or even showing “just cause” after the fact.)
  8. The firing of eight (Republican) U.S. Attorneys (for refusing to prosecute Democratic organizations for alleged “voter fraud” after finding “no basis” for the Bush Administrations claims) by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (who was yet another example of Bush nepotism having been Bush’s friend in Texas) and replaced with attorneys more to their liking.
  9. Administrators at the MMO (“Minerals Management Organization”)… appointed by the Bush Administration… accused of systemic corruption including bribery, sex, and even “snorting crystal-meth off the toaster.”
  10. White House produced “fake news” clips (scripted by the White House and cast with actors using fake names, pretending to be legitimate newscasters) which were then distributed across the country (and played during evening news casts without attribution as if they were legitimate news stories and not propaganda); and the mass-submission of identical newspaper editorials praising the Bush Administration, written by the military and distributed to newspapers across the country as genuine letters from readers (not once but twice);
  11. The Bush White House selectively editing scientific reports (by spin-doctors with no actual proficiency in the science whose reports they were editing) on subjects like “climate change” (leading Bush’s own Surgeon General to blast him and his “anti-science administration.”).
  12. Karl Rove violating the “Hatch Act” in 2006 by hosting & funding political strategy sessions IN the White House and on the tax payers’ dime to get Republicans elected across the country.
  13. A Conservative blogger and gay male prostitute going by the fake name of “Jeff Gannon” (supposedly passing an FBI background check) not only being allowed into the White House press room repeatedly but even allowed to ask the president (leading) questions (about what a wonderful and misunderstood guy President Bush was.)
  14. (The botched handling of) Hurricane Katrina that left over 2,000 people dead (with dead bodies floating in the streets), and thousands more stranded in the New Orleans Superdome for days afterwards with no electricity, minimal food and no working plumbing after appointing yet another Bush crony (Michael “Heck’uva Job Brownie” Brown) with NO Emergency Management experience to head FEMA, whose last job was head of The Arabian Horse Association. (I would also add, cutting funding for strengthening the levies… approved during the Clinton Administration then CUT by the Bush Administration. Government funding for rebuilding the city afterwards was likewise never forthcoming and much of the city is still a ghost town to this day.)

…to name just a few.

 
I personally would add to that list:

  1. Most know about the infamous “August 6th [2001] PDB {Presidential Daily Briefing)” by the CIA entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Attack in U.S.”, but most do not know the Bush Administration received no less than EIGHT prior warnings that an attack by alQaeda inside America was imminent. After ignoring report after report, the August 6th PDB was given a title the CIA believed would be “impossible for Bush to ignore”. Ha! He sure showed them!
  2. There was the exposing of British informant Muhammad Noor Khan for political gain, forcing the Brits to close their investigation into the London bombings before they could fully ascertain who was behind them, infuriating British Intelligence.
  3. Allowed [politically connected] members of the bin Laden family to flee the U.S. after 9/11 before they could be questioned.
  4. Various Bush admin officials repeatedly ignored subpoenas to appear & testify before Congress.
  5. Declared waterbording or any form of torture just short of “permanent physical injury or death” as “legal”.
  6. The stovepiping of information, manipulating intelligence, and willfully ignoring facts that contradicted what they wanted to hear, and then repeatedly lying to the American people about what they already knew not to be true, all in an effort to make a case for war with Iraq. (Note: In the section just above on the eight warnings prior to the August 6 PDB, one of the reasons given for not believing there was a legitimate threat from alQaeda was that (quote) “alQaeda was only pretending to be planning an attack to distract the U.S. from Saddam Hussein. Think about that for a moment. BEFORE 9/11, the Bush Administration was already focused on Iraq… something they have repeatedly denied, and alleging a connection between (Suni) Saddam and (Shia) alQaeda. Bush’s Treasury Secretary John P. O’Neill said upon resigning in 2004 that Bush was already “talking about invading Iraq from day one” of his administration. And I’ve already shown you the video of Bush threatening Saddam Hussein over his “weapons of mass destruction” at the VERY BEGINNING of his 2000 campaign.)

ADDENDUM (5/14): I almost forgot about the nearly $12 BILLION DOLLARS that just up & vanished in Iraq shortly after the start of the Iraq War; relying on an informant called Curveball (whom British and German Intelligence had already deemed as “unreliable and highly questionable”) as their source re: Saddam’s WMD program; their invitation of Ahmed Chalabi to the 2004 State of the Union… a man they later denounced as “an Iranian spy” after his claims of Saddam’s “stockpiles of WMD’s” didn’t pan out; the 2005 IRS audit of an Episcopal Church in Pasadena, CA for daring to preach an “anti-war” message before the 2004 Election (unlike Obama, the Bush Administration themselves actually used the IRS as a weapon to target Liberal groups like the NAACP and Greenpeace); and I’m sure there are dozens more I’m forgetting.
 

The entire basis for the Iraq War and the assurances of “Weapons of Mass Destruction” alone is worthy of a Congressional investigation. Claims that “everyone [else in the world intelligence community] believed the same thing”, have been thoroughly debunked.

This latest pathetic attempt to turn “Benghazi” into something that might lead to the impeachment of President Obama (or, dare they dream, resign in disgrace ala Nixon) is as transparent as their motives. But think for a moment what this “impeachable offense” actually was. An American consulate (not “embassy”) fell victim to a preplanned attack by alQaeda (sound familiar?) But unlike the FIRST 9/11, there were no actual warnings of an impending attack other than the fact it was the eleventh anniversary of 9/11. Conservatives claim “the U.S. should have been on high alert on the anniversary of 9/11. There had been NO attacks on the anniversary in 2009, 2010 or 2011. Yet somehow, the Obama Administration “should have seen it coming” in 2012… an attack by alQaeda on an obscure consulate NOT in the Libyan capitol of Tripoli but in Benghazi hundreds of miles away (American troops WERE on guard at the embassy in Tripoli) “They didn’t immediately send fighter planes or an ARMED drone when reports came in that the consulate was under attack”, the Nutters cry. The nearest U.S. Air Force Base was nearly 500 miles away in Sigonella, Italy (Eastern Sicily):
 

Distance from nearest AFB to Benghazi: 465 miles:

(click to enlarge)

For reference, 500 miles is basically an hour away. No fighter jet could have arrived at the Benghazi consulate in time to save the lives of those who died… a fact Obama’s chief accusers readily admit. And the only reason the military even had planes THAT close is because the Obama Administration put them there.

Then there’s the alleged “cover up” after the fact of “what they knew and when”, but to date, NO ONE has been able to explain just what harm might have befell the Obama Administration if they had just “admitted” what we now know to be true: that this was a pre-planned “terrorist” attack and not a “spontaneous demonstration” (information that does not change the facts of the case one iota.)

During the Clinton Administration, we all remember how the GOP hunted Bill Clinton for his entire presidency with investigation after investigation until they finally found something that would stick… eventually settling for… not an actual “crime”, but “lying under oath” about an affair in a hearing that was only taking place BECAUSE of the partisan witch-hunt to “get” Bill Clinton. Had he of just ignored that subpoena the way a half dozen Bush officials did, he never would have been under oath (but then they would have impeached him for refusing to respond to a subpoena.)

In 2006, Nancy Pelosi infuriated millions of Democrats by promising to “take impeachment [of Bush] off the table” in order to assuage voters (supposed) fears that a Democratic Congress… if given control in the mid-term election that year… would not do to President Bush what the GOP did to President Clinton in HIS final two years in office.

The difference is, the Bush Administration actually NEEDS to be investigated (yes, present tense) whereas the multitude of Clinton investigations were frivolous (the White House cats’ Xmas Card mailing list? Seriously???) But the GOP never shows ANY such concern of being seen as “petty” or “vindictive” because THEY ARE “petty” and “vindictive” and EVERYONE KNOWS that. So when they abuse their power and start calling for “impeachment” over the latest imagined “scandal” to drool out the mouth of some Right-Wing radio loon, it’s not only not a surprise, but EXPECTED (I am convinced the only thing holding them back right now is that they don’t control the Senate.) But heaven help us if a Democrat dare suggest impeaching (or even just investigating) a Republican president!

(Democrats think they must promise to NOT impeach to get elected. Republicans campaign on the “need to impeach” to get elected.)

And as I’ve shown you, the list of Bush Era scandals worthy of investigation is/was long.
 



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Filed in fake scandals, myth busting, Partisanship, Politics, Rants, rewriting history, Right-Wing Insanity, Unconstitutional May 13th, 2013 by Admin Mugsy | • 18 comments | Add/View

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Republicans Seem Eager to Invade Syria Over WMDs On Ten Year Anniversary of “Mission Accomplished”

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, April 29, 2013

Iraq 1 year later (2004 cartoon)In 2006, three years after “Mission Accomplished”, the GOP controlled Congress set aside $20 million dollars in the 2007 Defense Budget for “a victory party” to celebrate the end of the Iraq & Afghanistan wars. (note: the linked story is dated “2009″ because it was updated, but I’ve had it bookmarked since October 2006, as the date in the URL confirms.) It seems that the only people that didn’t know that Iraq had turned into the very “quagmire” Defense Secretary Rumsfeld dismissed as even a possibility before the war began, were the people that cheerleaded us into that war. The invasion of Iraq was a horrendous mistake, and the voters let them know it in a big way in the mid-term election that year, switching control of BOTH houses of Congress over to the Democrats. Rumsfeld was fired and a Republican critic of possibly invading Iraq in 1991 (Robert Gates) was nominated to take his place. That anger over being mislead into a costly and totally unnecessary war of choice with no exit-strategy after 5-1/2 years played a significant part in Barack Obama’s decisive victory over John McCain in 2008. In December 2011, President Obama successfully pulled the last American combat troop out of Iraq, a move supported by 75 percent of all Americans. And now, almost ten years to the day (May 1st) of President Bush’s “Top Gun” moment off the coast of San Diego to announce the end of a war that would continue for NINE more years, with recent news that traces of “Sarin nerve gas” have been found in tissue samples of victims in Syria’s civil war, the same chicken-hawks that couldn’t wait for us to invade Iraq are now suggesting this phantom “red line” that President Obama understandably drew in the sand on Syria, has been crossed and demands military intervention.

Except that that was NOT the “red line” President Obama drew in the sand:
 

President Obama (8/21/2012): “We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around and being utilized.”

 
Clearly the red line has been crossed” announced both Fox’s Chris Wallace and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos during yesterday’s Sunday Talk Shows. John McCain was out there as well last week, once again eager to embroil the U.S. military against yet another Middle-Eastern nation, declaring that it was “clear” that “a red line has been crossed.”

NO! It is NOT “clear” AT ALL! What was reported last week was NOT “a whole bunch” of chemical weapons, as NBC’s roving warzone reporter Richard Engel pointed out on The Rachel Maddow Show Friday night:

Engel: “There are some holes [in the case against Syria having used Sarin].”

Engel: “What doesn’t make sense however is: Why? and How?, you don’t use Weapons of Mass Destruction to do minimal killing [less than two dozen people].”

“Imagine: A nuclear weapon… we’re gonna make just an acorn-sized one and see what the world does. That seems strange.”

 
While there is little reason to doubt that Syria does indeed have “stockpiles” of chemical weapons, it has never been confirmed. Syria began pursuing chemical weapons in the 80′s to counter Israel’s development of nuclear weapons, but has never actually used them in combat [ibid]. No inspectors have been allowed in to document Syria’s stockpile of WMD’s. It all sounds a tad too familiar:
 

Saddam: “I lied about Weapons to scare off Iran.”

 
So a brutal dictator with a “stockpile” of chemical weapons used just enough of his Weapon of MASS Destruction to murder only a handful of people that were nowhere near the capitol? Why? Was it just a test? Could someone… a member of the resistance or maybe even a rival nation… have been trying to draw the U.S. into a war with Syria? Might a member of the opposition have been trying to develop their own homemade Sarin gas in an experiment gone horribly awry? We just don’t know. These scenarios might be unlikely, but we DID just arrest a man Saturday that sent homemade Ricin nerve toxin through the mail, so the possibility that the Syrian government didn’t in fact actually “cross that red line” must be considered before using military force against yet another Middle-Eastern nation. But as Bill Kristol said on yesterday’s Fox “news” Sunday: “Ya gotta do what ya gotta do” (invade Syria for “crossing the red line”.)

There are a LOT of unanswered questions before we do something like use military force against another country. It’s heartening to see that the lessons of Iraq were not lost on our current Commander-in-Chief even if his opposition has the memory of a goldfish.
 

Editors’ aside: My departure from “Crooks & Liars”:

First some background…

If you are a regular visitor to Mugsy’s Rap Sheet, you probably know that last year I was asked if I’d like to be a volunteer contributing editor to the popular video blog “Crooks & Liars”. The offer was made out of appreciation for my weekly contribution to their “Sunday Morning Bobbleheads” thread for the last six-and-a-half years, live-blogging highlights from the major network Sunday talkshows for 3-4 hours nearly every Sunday morning since 2006. However, that wasn’t the first time I was asked if I’d like to be an Administrator. Back in 2008, I turned down the same offer because I wanted to focus on getting my own blog better established first… a move I later regretted because M.R.S. was not achieving the numbers I had hoped. So when the offer was made again during the 2012 Election Season, I said yes. I was given low-level Admin access, shown how to create posts of my own, and added to the “Team” mailing list. This is useful for people seeking “help” researching a particular topic or needing help finding a photo/video (of which I was able to provide several times). I was pleased to help in any way I could.

I continued to live-blog the Sunday Morning thread each week, and during the busy election season, I even found time to write several posts. When the Sandy Hook massacre occurred last December, I volunteered to live-blog a one hour “discussion” on “gun control”, citing my unique position of living in Texas, having been raised around guns and gun-owners that are extremely protective of their “Right to Bear Arms”.

But as an unpaid volunteer, I was not a frequent contributor to the site. Who exactly can afford to spend hours upon hours during the work week monitoring the Conservative News Outlets and scrounging the web for choice comments from random insane Right-Wingers when they’re not being paid to do so? Hell, I only update THIS site once a week, and I do that on Sunday evening (which it now is as I write this). C&L has a lot of “editors”, but most of them do not post every day (I dare say I’d be surprised if some contributors post even once a month.) One of the reasons I finally agreed to join the team was that I often heard my favorite Liberal talk-radio hosts quote stories they had read on “Crooks & Liars” on their radio shows, reaching tens of thousands. My hope then was to have something I wrote quoted on the radio and perhaps translate into traffic to my own site. But unfortunately, I quickly discovered that if your story isn’t Breaking News, the chances something I wrote would appear on C&L during the daytime hours was close to nil. Timing the appearance of ones post was a lesson in futility. Even posting the night before provided no increased likelihood that my posts would appear early the next day. Being a bit of an historian, I sometimes wrote on a subject a day in advance of the anniversary of such & such, then having to carefully monitor the site to make sure my post did not go up too soon. A posts that announces: “Today is the anniversary of…” looks kind of stupid if it appears a day too early or around 7pm when the day is nearly through and the fact “Today is the anniversary of…” is already old news. The long delay between submitting a story and it actually appearing on the site long after the height of the talk radio day was over negated any benefit I had hoped to gain from my writings, providing me with less & less incentive to contribute.

Anyway, two weeks ago following the Boston Bombings, I did not post anything or provide any research on any of the stories being covered that week. The bombing took place on a Monday and an arrest was made by Friday. It was, as you know, a frenetic news week, and while I wasn’t able to provide any “scoops” from my home in Texas, I was still the recipient of a growing flood of “Team” email every day… something I can understand and fully appreciate… when it is people seeking legitimate help.

I was already directing my “Team” mail to a separate Inbox, but that didn’t alleve me of the burden of going through every message looking for ones of people seeking help. At first the amount of mail was manageable, but despite checking my mail just before bedtime (10pm), I awoke last Wednesday morning to find an astounding TWO-HUNDRED & TWENTY-SIX messages waiting for me. I wouldn’t have minded so much, but after reading my 12th “Thankyou” and “Your Welcome”, I sent a brief note to the Team asking them: “if a message does not need to go out to everyone, to please take a moment to change the “Reply-To” address to the person you are responding to, and don’t just click ‘Reply’. There is no reason to send a ‘Thankyou’ intended for ONE person to everybody on the Team mailing list.”

Am I wrong?

I quickly received a terse response from “Nicole Belle”, one of the higher-ups at C&L (and incidentally the Moderator of the Sunday Bobbleheads thread) telling me that I “had not contributed enough during last weeks’ Boston Bombing” to start telling “us” how to run “our” business. The response seemed a might over-the-top for such a mild (and polite I might add) request. And the “us” really irked me since the clear implication was that I was still considered an “outsider”.

Not being a hypocrite, I sent Nicole a polite reply to her personal address rather than the Team Account explaining that I was only requesting that team members show a little consideration before replying, and I didn’t feel that was deserving of such a hostile response. I also noted that her “you” vs “us” characterization of me in response was disturbing, and that if she felt the amount of time I was “volunteering” was “inadequate”, to please let me know and I’d “do what I could to rectify the situation” (meaning, relieve her of the burden of having me as an unpaid contributor.) Telling a volunteer that they didn’t “volunteer enough” was particularly galling. For all she knew, that was the week I started driving my mother to Chemo each morning and was stuck at the hospital waiting for hours. (It’s not my job to provide you with content each day, Ms. Belle.) She responded with a nasty reply, telling me she was “done with me” and would be removing my name from the group email account. Oh, and did I mention that she changed the Reply-To address of her response back to the “Team” mailing list just so she could have an audience while she told me how difficult and time-consuming it is to change the Reply-To address?

Again, I replied privately to Nicole and again she changed the Reply-To address so she could attack me publicly, saying I had been removed from the Team mailing list. She told me of how she herself regularly receives “something like 400 emails every day and [C&L founder] John Amato regularly receives over 5,000 [ListServe messages a day].” Well, that’s not MY problem. I didn’t make Nicole sign up for all those mailing lists, and if she has a problem with them, then she can always unsubscribe. I was only trying to control my tiny corner of the world. (I found it curious though that she would complain to me about the amount of mail she receives each day after attacking me for doing the same thing.) I mentioned to her that it seemed my suggestion would not only benefit me, but apparently her as well.

Fortunately, there were other members of the team that showed deference towards me, and The Big Cheese himself, John Amato, asked if I wanted to be removed from the Mailing List. I told him, “No,” only that it would be nice if people didn’t address messages to Everyone that were intended for just one person, to help cut down on the amount of unnecessary mail we all receive each day. Again, I didn’t (and still don’t) feel I was asking too much of anyone. I assume John had my email added back to the mailing list because I continued to receive “Team” email.

Last Thursday, one of the messages I received mentioned something I felt I could help with, so I replied and my Server quickly responded that I “didn’t have the right to send messages to this account.” I was still receiving “Team” email, but couldn’t respond to them. So what was the point? I quickly concluded that the sole purpose of sending me messages I could not respond to could be for no other purpose than to “annoy me”. Unable to send a “Team” email, I sent an email to the personal address of all the primary members of C&L telling them to “discontinue my relationship with them” if the sole purpose of sending me email I could not respond to was “simply to annoy me”. A short while later, I received a friendly reply from a supporter telling me an “error” had been made by adding the wrong one of my email addresses to the mailing list (which confirmed to me that Nicole had indeed deleted me from the mailing list and was ordered to add me back), which is why my replies were being rejected, but, I was told, “the problem was now fixed and I should be able to contribute again.” I tried again about an hour later but my message was still being rejected. I visited the C&L website to find all my Administrator privileges had been revoked.

A few weeks before being asked aboard last year, I noticed one Sunday that I seemed to be the only one posting to the “BobbleHeads” thread for several weeks in a row. So I wrote John to express my concern that I seemed to be “monopolizing” the Sunday Thread and would be willing to back off for awhile until traffic resumed if they’d like. I quickly received a reply telling me that it was perfectly fine to keep live-blogging my weekly highlights. It wasn’t until I was asked to join the Team a few weeks later that I discovered that the Sunday Show highlights I had been reporting each week were being sent to everyone on the Team mailing list that same morning to provide others with post-ideas throughout the week… as I had hoped. I was told around that same time how everybody there “freaked out” when I had offered to take a sabbatical weeks before because they had all come to depend upon my weekly contributions.

“If C&L does not want my input, they certainly don’t need my continued contributions to the Sunday Morning Bobblehead thread”, I decided Friday. (A simple demonstration of Nicole’s pettiness can be seen in the fact that… I was later told… she had deleted my post to the Sunday Morning thread yesterday where I let everyone know I would not be doing my weekly highlights anymore. I used no profanity and even noted that it would be inappropriate for me go into detail of my dispute with her on their site. And despite receiving a number of replies from friends telling me I would be missed, I was told she posted yet another nasty and dismissive response before deleting my post.)

So following my “excommunication” by Nicole, I knew that there was absolutely no reason for me to continue providing assistance to someone that didn’t appreciate my contributions to the team. Crooks & Liars financially profited from my assistance each week, for which I received nothing in return other than hostility and called an outsider that wasn’t volunteering enough to be considered part of the team.

And that is why I am no longer contributing to their site. – Mugsy



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Filed in Middle East, Politics, rewriting history, Right-wing Facism, Terrorism, War April 29th, 2013 by Admin Mugsy | • 12 comments | Add/View

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It’s Quite Clear Now the GOP is Trying to Link the Phrase “9/11″ to Obama

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Sunday, February 17, 2013

Embassy attacks since 2002Just as they have every week since last September, Fox “news” Sunday pulled out the defibrillator to revive the feux claim that the assault on our embassy in Benghazi, Libya last September 11th was some massive intelligence failure that resulted in the deaths of four Americans despite advanced warnings, with the Obama White House engaged in “a massive coverup” to conceal that fact (despite all the hearings, the release of over 10,000 documents, and ongoing investigations ordered by the White House themselves.) But I couldn’t help but notice something subtle yet sinister yesterday across two different programs: the absence of the phrase “last year” or “2012″ when talking about the Benghazi attack, referring to it numerous times only as “September 11th”. Sen. John McCain did the same appearing on “Meet the Press” yesterday, getting into an eye-rolling argument with host David Gregory, asking if he “care[d] whether four Americans died” on “9/11″. It is quite clear to me now that there is an orchestrated transparent & cynical effort on the Right to link the phrase “9/11″ to President Obama. Shoot me now.

Where was the outrage, the claims of “coverup” and the demand for hearings to find out “what did the president know and when did he know it” eleven years ago when a Republican president ignored a half dozen CIA warnings of an imminent attack by alQaeda, climaxing with the infamous “August 6th PDB” entitled “bin Laden determined to strike in U.S.”… a title chosen out of frustration by the CIA after five (seven?) previous warnings went ignored? McCain even dared question President Obama’s (imagined lack of) response on the night of the attacks. Remind me again what President Bush’s response was upon learning that Americans were being “attacked by terrorists on 9/11″?
 


 
Add to that the number of “Americans” that died chasing down phantom “Weapons of Mass Destruction” ten years ago next month that Senator McCain very publicly assured the world was there despite serious questions. While McCain accused Gregory of not caring whether “four” Americans died “on 9/11″, Gregory should have responded by asking if the Senator “cared” that “four THOUSAND Americans died chasing down WMD’s” that he assured everyone was there? Where’s THAT investigation? (To quote Senator McCain as he berated Chuck Hagel over his concern over Bush’s “Surge™”: “Were you wrong, Senator???”)

Bonus: McCain, 13 years ago last Saturday, laying the groundwork for war with Iraq over WMD’s in the first GOP debate of 2000:

 
Following the REAL “9/11″ in 2001, Senator McCain and his bussom-buddy Joe Lieberman were a bit more deferential to the White House concerning the “intelligence failure” that led to the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans on U.S. soil, calling for only “an independent investigation” similar to the “Warren Commission” that investigated Pearl Harbor:

Explaining why a joint investigation involving both the executive and legislative branches was necessary, McCain said, “Neither the administration nor Congress is capable of conducting a thorough, nonpartisan, independent inquiry into what happened on September 11.” – Senator McCain, December 20, 2001

Do you remember what the conclusion of that investigation was? When the White House was non-committal on supporting an investigation into 9/11, they explained, “Right now, the president is focused on fighting the war on terrorism.” Did Senator McCain take to the airwaves to accuse the Bush Administration of a “massive cover-up” to hide “the most massive intelligence failure in American history”? That would be no. (After a bit of digging through news archives, I could find NO accounts of Senator McCain decrying the Bush White House for refusing to cooperate with an investigation into the events leading up to “9/11″… the REAL “9/11″. McCain lambasted another black woman that was being considered for Secretary of State… also named Rice… Ambassador Susan Rice for her role (ie: none) in the Benghazi debacle just a few weeks ago, but Bush’s National Security Adviser on 9/11… Condi Rice defended ignoring that infamous PDB on the grounds that the document wasn’t news, that the notion “bin Laden determined to strike in U.S.” was merely “historical” in nature. And McCain’s reaction to that little feux pas? He voted to confirm her for Secretary of State.

We’ve seen this attempt to “redefine” losing topics for the GOP before: calling waterboarding “enhanced interrogation techniques” or GOP pollster Frank Luntz rebranding the “Estate Tax” the “Death Tax”. But this latest transparent attempt by Republicans to link the phrase “9/11″… which has hung over the GOP’s head like the Sword of Damocles for eleven years… to President Obama and the deaths of four Americans last year, is not only pathetic but revolting.
 

Note: I added a new “page” to the blog last week: “Cancer is not a cause, it’s a symptom”. This is a subject I’ve been mulling for years but never felt was appropriate until the death of my cat “Lefty” last month provoked me to action. I know a politics blog is an odd place for such a subject (which is why I never tackled it earlier), but it is definitely worth your time reading and I HIGHLY encourage readers to pass the link along. It might just save a life. – Mugsy.
 



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Filed in fake scandals, Middle East, Partisanship, Politics, rewriting history, Seems Obvious to Me, Terrorism, War February 17th, 2013 by Admin Mugsy | • No comments | Add/View

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Why the Right is still hyping the Benghazi non-story

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, November 19, 2012

Benghazi HypocrisyOn August 9th, 1974, five men (working for the CIA) were caught after breaking into National Democratic Headquarters based in the Watergate Hotel/Office-complex in Washington D.C.. The scandal was traced all the way back to the White House (and likely Nixon himself), culminating in the conviction and incarceration of 43 people, including the highest ranking law official in the nation, Attorney General John Mitchel. The scandal remains to this day the benchmark by which all other political scandals are measured.

I’ve noticed that at least a half-dozen Republicans last week referred to “Watergate” when discussing “Benghazi” and the fact U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice went on several network TV news shows the following Sunday to declare that “our best information at this time” is that the attack on the Benghazi consulate was yet another spontaneous demonstration over a fake movie trailer on YouTube insulting Islam. Here is the exchange that has Republicans so outraged:
 

DAVID GREGORY: Can you say definitively that the attacks on our conciliate in Libya that killed Ambassador Stevens and others there - security personnel - that was spontaneous? Was it a planned attack? Was there a terrorist element to it?”

AMBASSADOR SUSAN RICE: Well let us… let me tell you the best information we have at present. First of all, there is an FBI investigation which is ongoing, and we look to that investigation to give us the definitive word as to what transpired.”

Doesn’t sound like someone making a “this is what we know for certain” claim, does it? I would also point out Ms. Rice is merely an AMBASSADOR, not an intelligence official. It’s not like she’s our National Security Adviser like another Ms. Rice I could mention that was directly responsible for the worst intelligence failure in American history that resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans, only to follow THAT up with the SECOND worst intelligence failure in American history as an encore just six months later… repeated claims of the existence of WMD’s in Iraq that allowed a hawkish president & vice president march this nation into an unprovoked and unnecessary war of choice against a relatively unarmed nation (Iraq), leading to the deaths of another 4,200 American troops. Despite this, Condi was nominated and confirmed as “Secretary of State” by a vote of 85 to 13.

Meanwhile, more than two months later, the Right is STILL hyping the “Benghazi” embassy attack as a “massive intelligence failure in which Americans died on September 11th [2012]“, w/o a hint of irony. On ABC’s ThisWeek yesterday, Rep. Peter King actually said: “[Ambassador] Rice should have known better” because she was privy to information that contradicted the story she was telling. Someone should ask him WHICH “Rice” he’s referring to: Susan or Condi. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate these people?

As another great site, “Little Green Footballs” pointed out last week, the very idea that Ambassador Rice’s claims… NOT under oath, expressed with multiple caveats, and based only on the information she was provided by the intelligence community somehow rises to the level of “Watergate” (while Condi gets a free-pass) is “ludicrous”.

What’s happening here (yet again) are the Right’s attempts to diminish “Watergate”, “9/11″ and the failures of Condi by hyping “Benghazi” to absurd levels. And their reason for doing couldn’t be more clear… to minimize three of the GOP’s most notorious scandals all in one fell swoop. Those three (arguably four counting Condi’s two) debacles hang like a permanent dark cloud over the Republican Party from which their only escape is to somehow suggest Democrats are now as bad as the GOP… or WORSE (“Nobody died in Watergate!” said Sen. John McCain taking a break from his campsite in the courtyard between Fox, NBC, CBS & ABC yesterday to demand Ambassador Rice “apologize” for… for… well hell-if-I-know) when it comes to “intelligence failures” and “political coverups”.

Fox “news” Sunday invited famed investigative reporter Bob Woodward to join their “Power Panel” clearly with the objective of trying to get him to compare “the Benghazi scandal” to Watergate. Unfortunately for them, Woodward wasn’t ready to play along, pointing out that “What did Susan Rice [a lowly ambassador] know and when did she know it” does not come close to the level of “what did THE PRESIDENT know and when did he know it” on the Watergate-scandal scale.

Thank your lucky stars the GOP didn’t retake the Senate two weeks ago because we all remember what happened the last time a popular successful Democratic president won reelection only to face a hostile Republican Congress. Can you say “endless partisan investigations and impeachment?” I knew you could.

If ever there was a demonstration of why this blog is subtitled “Recording history for those who seek to rewrite it”, this is it.
 



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Filed in fake scandals, Middle East, Partisanship, Politics, rewriting history November 19th, 2012 by Admin Mugsy | • No comments | Add/View