The best words that John Mccain has ever spoken

These are the words of Senator John McCain from the Senate floor. Via his website:

“Mr. President, I rise in support of the release – the long-delayed release – of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s summarized, unclassified review of the so-called ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ that were employed by the previous administration to extract information from captured terrorists. It is a thorough and thoughtful study of practices that I believe not only failed their purpose – to secure actionable intelligence to prevent further attacks on the U.S. and our allies – but actually damaged our security interests, as well as our reputation as a force for good in the world.

“I believe the American people have a right – indeed, a responsibility – to know what was done in their name; how these practices did or did not serve our interests; and how they comported with our most important values.

“I commend Chairman Feinstein and her staff for their diligence in seeking a truthful accounting of policies I hope we will never resort to again. I thank them for persevering against persistent opposition from many members of the intelligence community, from officials in two administrations, and from some of our colleagues.

“The truth is sometimes a hard pill to swallow. It sometimes causes us difficulties at home and abroad. It is sometimes used by our enemies in attempts to hurt us. But the American people are entitled to it, nonetheless.

“They must know when the values that define our nation are intentionally disregarded by our security policies, even those policies that are conducted in secret. They must be able to make informed judgments about whether those policies and the personnel who supported them were justified in compromising our values; whether they served a greater good; or whether, as I believe, they stained our national honor, did much harm and little practical good.

“What were the policies? What was their purpose? Did they achieve it? Did they make us safer? Less safe? Or did they make no difference? What did they gain us? What did they cost us? The American people need the answers to these questions. Yes, some things must be kept from public disclosure to protect clandestine operations, sources and methods, but not the answers to these questions.

“By providing them, the Committee has empowered the American people to come to their own decisions about whether we should have employed such practices in the past and whether we should consider permitting them in the future. This report strengthens self-government and, ultimately, I believe, America’s security and stature in the world. I thank the Committee for that valuable public service.

“I have long believed some of these practices amounted to torture, as a reasonable person would define it, especially, but not only the practice of waterboarding, which is a mock execution and an exquisite form of torture. Its use was shameful and unnecessary; and, contrary to assertions made by some of its defenders and as the Committee’s report makes clear, it produced little useful intelligence to help us track down the perpetrators of 9/11 or prevent new attacks and atrocities.

“I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good intelligence. I know that victims of torture will offer intentionally misleading information if they think their captors will believe it. I know they will say whatever they think their torturers want them to say if they believe it will stop their suffering. Most of all, I know the use of torture compromises that which most distinguishes us from our enemies, our belief that all people, even captured enemies, possess basic human rights, which are protected by international conventions the U.S. not only joined, but for the most part authored.

“I know, too, that bad things happen in war. I know in war good people can feel obliged for good reasons to do things they would normally object to and recoil from.

“I understand the reasons that governed the decision to resort to these interrogation methods, and I know that those who approved them and those who used them were dedicated to securing justice for the victims of terrorist attacks and to protecting Americans from further harm. I know their responsibilities were grave and urgent, and the strain of their duty was onerous.

“I respect their dedication and appreciate their dilemma. But I dispute wholeheartedly that it was right for them to use these methods, which this report makes clear were neither in the best interests of justice nor our security nor the ideals we have sacrificed so much blood and treasure to defend.

“The knowledge of torture’s dubious efficacy and my moral objections to the abuse of prisoners motivated my sponsorship of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, which prohibits ‘cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment’ of captured combatants, whether they wear a nation’s uniform or not, and which passed the Senate by a vote of 90-9.

“Subsequently, I successfully offered amendments to the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which, among other things, prevented the attempt to weaken Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, and broadened definitions in the War Crimes Act to make the future use of waterboarding and other ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ punishable as war crimes.

“There was considerable misinformation disseminated then about what was and wasn’t achieved using these methods in an effort to discourage support for the legislation. There was a good amount of misinformation used in 2011 to credit the use of these methods with the death of Osama bin Laden. And there is, I fear, misinformation being used today to prevent the release of this report, disputing its findings and warning about the security consequences of their public disclosure.

“Will the report’s release cause outrage that leads to violence in some parts of the Muslim world? Yes, I suppose that’s possible, perhaps likely. Sadly, violence needs little incentive in some quarters of the world today. But that doesn’t mean we will be telling the world something it will be shocked to learn. The entire world already knows that we water-boarded prisoners. It knows we subjected prisoners to various other types of degrading treatment. It knows we used black sites, secret prisons. Those practices haven’t been a secret for a decade.

“Terrorists might use the report’s re-identification of the practices as an excuse to attack Americans, but they hardly need an excuse for that. That has been their life’s calling for a while now.

“What might come as a surprise, not just to our enemies, but to many Americans, is how little these practices did to aid our efforts to bring 9/11 culprits to justice and to find and prevent terrorist attacks today and tomorrow. That could be a real surprise, since it contradicts the many assurances provided by intelligence officials on the record and in private that enhanced interrogation techniques were indispensable in the war against terrorism. And I suspect the objection of those same officials to the release of this report is really focused on that disclosure – torture’s ineffectiveness – because we gave up much in the expectation that torture would make us safer. Too much.

“Obviously, we need intelligence to defeat our enemies, but we need reliable intelligence. Torture produces more misleading information than actionable intelligence. And what the advocates of harsh and cruel interrogation methods have never established is that we couldn’t have gathered as good or more reliable intelligence from using humane methods.

“The most important lead we got in the search for bin Laden came from using conventional interrogation methods. I think it is an insult to the many intelligence officers who have acquired good intelligence without hurting or degrading prisoners to assert we can’t win this war without such methods. Yes, we can and we will.

“But in the end, torture’s failure to serve its intended purpose isn’t the main reason to oppose its use. I have often said, and will always maintain, that this question isn’t about our enemies; it’s about us. It’s about who we were, who we are and who we aspire to be. It’s about how we represent ourselves to the world.

“We have made our way in this often dangerous and cruel world, not by just strictly pursuing our geopolitical interests, but by exemplifying our political values, and influencing other nations to embrace them. When we fight to defend our security we fight also for an idea, not for a tribe or a twisted interpretation of an ancient religion or for a king, but for an idea that all men are endowed by the Creator with inalienable rights. How much safer the world would be if all nations believed the same. How much more dangerous it can become when we forget it ourselves even momentarily.

“Our enemies act without conscience. We must not. This executive summary of the Committee’s report makes clear that acting without conscience isn’t necessary, it isn’t even helpful, in winning this strange and long war we’re fighting. We should be grateful to have that truth affirmed.

“Now, let us reassert the contrary proposition: that is it essential to our success in this war that we ask those who fight it for us to remember at all times that they are defending a sacred ideal of how nations should be governed and conduct their relations with others – even our enemies.

“Those of us who give them this duty are obliged by history, by our nation’s highest ideals and the many terrible sacrifices made to protect them, by our respect for human dignity to make clear we need not risk our national honor to prevail in this or any war. We need only remember in the worst of times, through the chaos and terror of war, when facing cruelty, suffering and loss, that we are always Americans, and different, stronger, and better than those who would destroy us.

“Thank you.”

God Bless Him for standing up for what is right.

(via Memeoradum)

Video: Art Thompson on Dangers of Arming ‘Moderate’ Muslims

(via JBS HQ)

Hmmmmm: Alleged Snowden document says US/UK/Israel are behind ISIS

Interesting…..

From Gulf Daily News…

 The former employee at US National Security Agency (NSA), Edward Snowden, has revealed that the British and American intelligence and the Mossad worked together to create the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Snowden said intelligence services of three countries created a terrorist organisation that is able to attract all extremists of the world to one place, using a strategy called “the hornet’s nest”.

NSA documents refer to recent implementation of the hornet’s nest to protect the Zionist entity by creating religious and Islamic slogans.

According to documents released by Snowden, “The only solution for the protection of the Jewish state “is to create an enemy near its borders”.

Leaks revealed that ISIS leader and cleric Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi took intensive military training for a whole year in the hands of Mossad, besides courses in theology and the art of speech..

Top Conservative News Says:

Facts:

1) ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi was once a super-high level prisoner of the US government. Despite the fact that the US had offered a ten million dollar reward for him, the Obama regime ordered his release in 2009.

2) The Obama regime, with major support from Senate neo-cons John McCain and Lindsey Graham, gave hundreds of millions in military aid to Sunni Jihadists in Syria. Thousands of individuals receiving US aid are now members of ISIS. In fact, ISIS has even posted pictures of ISIS fighters with US Senator John McCain on the internet.

3) Israel has directly aided Sunni Jihadists in Syria by bombing Syrian military assets during Jihadist attacks.

4) The Israeli Prime Minister has reacted to the ISIS spearheaded Sunni/Shia Civil War in Iraq with borderline glee. The president of Israel has also suggested that a Sunni/Shia war is beneficial to the future of Israel.

5) The US and Britiain provided Sunni Jihadists with Toyota trucks in Syria. When, an army of ISIS fighters rolled over the Syria/Iraq border it looked like a commercial for Toyota.

Very interesting…. do you see why now that I simply do not trust this Government?

On Israel, Hamas and Gaza

I saw this opinion piece this morning and I couldn’t agree more.

Israel has had endure terrorist acts from these towel-headed idiots for long enough.

Hamas fires rockets aimlessly that land anywhere killing civilians; Israel does precision strikes that purposely avoid civilians in the Gaza Strip. Does anyone else see the unfairness here? I do.

What should happen is this: Israel SHOULD do a World War 2 style carpet bombing of the Gaza strip till the last one of those Arab dogs breathes his or her last breath. Enough is enough!

These bastard descendents of Ishmael want nothing but continual war. So, Israel should give them the war that they want and eliminate them from the map. It would not take much; and it could very well easily be done.

Children? Civilians? Collateral Damage.

As long as an Arab lives in Gaza, there will be no peace. KILL THEM ALL and GET RID OF THE THREAT! 

and that my friends….is all.

Eco-Terrorism?: Boil water notice to 670,000 Oregon residents after E. coli found

Do I dare ask? Could this be terrorism? It is to wonder; seeing we have a White House and liberal controlled Government that refuses to acknowledge such a thing.

The Story:

(CNN) — About 670,000 residents in Oregon were advised Friday to boil drinking water after several tests showed E. coli in some water samples, the Portland Water Bureau said.

“While we believe at this time that the potential health risk is relatively small, we take any contamination seriously and are taking every precaution to protect public health,” bureau Administrator David Shaff said in a statement.

The boil water advisory is issued to about 670,000 customers in the Portland Water Bureau and the Burlington, City of Gresham (north of Interstate 84), Lake Grove, Lorna Portland Water, Palatine Hill, Rockwood, Tigard Water Service Area (including Durham, King City and Bull Mountain), Valley View and West Slope Water Districts.

via Boil water notice to 670,000 Oregon residents after E. coli found – CNN.com.

It has been said in the past by terrorism experts that Al-Qaeda could, in fact, use this sort of tactics against the United States. Who is to say that this was not an attempt? I’m just asking questions; as should all Americans.

Oops: Suicide Bomb Trainer in Iraq gives very a realistic lesson

Maybe a wee bit too realistic…. :shock:

This is too good. :D

Quote:

BAGHDAD — If there were such a thing, it would probably be rule No. 1 in the teaching manual for instructors of aspiring suicide bombers: Don’t give lessons with live explosives.

In what represented a cautionary tale for terrorist teachers, and a cause of dark humor for ordinary Iraqis, a commander at a secluded terrorist training camp north of Baghdad unwittingly used a belt packed with explosives while conducting a demonstration early Monday for a group of militants, killing himself and 21 other members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, army and police officials said.

Iraqi citizens have long been accustomed to daily attacks on public markets, mosques, funerals and even children’s soccer games, so they saw the story of the fumbling militants as a dark — and delicious — kind of poetic justice, especially coming amid a protracted surge of violence led by the terrorist group, including a rise in suicide bombings.

Just last week a suicide bomber struck a popular falafel shop near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here, killing several people. On Monday evening Raad Hashim, working the counter at a liquor store near the site of the attack, burst out laughing when he heard the news.

“This is so funny,” Mr. Hashim said. “It shows how stupid they are, those dogs and sons of dogs.”

via Suicide Bomb Trainer in Iraq Accidentally Blows Up His Class – NYTimes.com.

Reminds me of this here:

Oops. :lol:

Others, laughing as well: The Moderate VoiceLiberalandMashableTalking Points MemoOutside the BeltwayThe Gateway PunditGawkerThe Daily CallerMediaiteBizPac ReviewJihad WatchSister Toldjah and HotAir.com’s Green Room

John Podhoretz gets exposed for the intolerant Trotskyite that he truly is

This is great;  a Trotskyite Zionist goes for a debate; and the minute he sees that he is losing the debate — he storms off the stage, takes his marbles and goes home.

I am referring to the greatest Trotskyite, Zionist, Neoconservative of them all — John Podhoretz.

See here, here, here and here.

Money quote:

Bottom line: I’d had a long day and I didn’t see the point in spending more of it getting booed and shushed. So I left. So sue me.

If only we could sue you and your family for all the trillions of dollars — and the 4000+ lives that were  wasted in the Iraq War —- which you and your satanic Father were cheerleaders for, after 9/11. Actually, I would very much like to see criminal charges filed against you and few of your Trotskyite friends as well. However, as we realists know; that will never happened to a protected class as yourself.

You want to know what got wrong with Conservatism? You want to know why the GOP is in the shape that it is in? Look no further than this man here and his idiotic Trotskyite magazine that he runs. They are the true enemies of America; they are the ones who put us in the war that almost broke this Nation and ruined its standing in the world.

It is a pity that there is not true justice in this Nation of ours; otherwise, this man and his friends would be sitting in jail cells.

 

Al-Qaeda goes to the geeks

I hate to be the one to say it; but this is some seriously funny stuff right here.

Before, I post the story, here is the picture of the so-called terrorist:

terry_lee_loewen-wichita-bomb-al-qaeda.jpg

Man, if this is the best that Al-Qaeda can do; the war on terror is over….

The Video:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The Story via NBC:

A 58-year-old airport worker was charged Friday with allegedly planning a suicide bombing at a passenger terminal at the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport in Kansas.

The suspect, Terry Lee Loewen, an avionics technician who lives in Wichita, was arrested earlier in the day as he attempted to use his security pass to drive a vehicle that he thought contained explosives onto the tarmac at the airport, law enforcement officials said at a news conference in Wichita. In fact, the car contained only dummy explosives.
U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said Loewen spent months developing a plan to drive a carload of explosives to the airport terminal and that he was determined to trigger the bomb himself and die in the blast.

Loewen, who is white, became radicalized after reading extremist Islamic material on the Internet, Grissom said.

Like I said in the caption of that photo; if that is the best Al-Qaeda can do, the war on terror is over. :lol:

Others: The Jawa ReportAtlas ShrugsJihad Watch and Liberaland

Good: U.N. Calls For Release of Report on Bush-Era Torture

Admittedly, I am not a huge fan of the United Nations. However, I believe this to be a noble thing to do.

The video:

The transcript: via Via Democracy Now! (H/T to Crooks and Liars)

AMY GOODMAN: Ben Emmerson, finally, you’ve called on Britain and the U.S. to release confidential reports into the countries’ involvement in the kidnapping and torture of terrorism suspects, accusing them of years of official denials. Can you expand on that?

BEN EMMERSON: Yes, I presented in my last report to the Human Rights Council a series of principles on accountability for what are described in international law as gross or systemic human rights violations. And I think that there’s no doubt that the conspiracy that involved the commission of acts of secret detention, torture and rendition under the Bush administration constitute gross and systematic human rights violations. And international law is clear on this. There is no superior orders defense. There is no principle that would justify—just as at the Nuremberg trials there was no principle that would allow someone to say, “Well, this is what was ordered by my officials.” There must be—international law requires that there be—a system for achieving accountability.

And we know that the Feinstein Senate committee report into the activities of the CIA is said to be a very thorough and comprehensive analysis and to identify who made the decisions, who committed the acts alleged, and where and how and why. And a crucial part of the duty of accountability under international law is the so-called right to truth. And that’s a right that’s not just belonging to the victims, but to society at large. And, therefore, I mean, the time has come, unequivocally, for the release of the Feinstein report. I mean, if there have to be particular redactions in order to protect the identity of operatives from reprisals, so be it. But the key findings of the Feinstein report and of a parallel report commissioned and prepared and provided to the British prime minister in relation to the United Kingdom’s involvement in these activities must now be made public. And we will not stop calling for the publication of this material until at least a sufficient amount of it has been put into the public domain.

AMY GOODMAN: Ben Emmerson, I want to thank you for being with us, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism, has issued an interim report on his investigation into U.S. drone strikes and targeted killings. His findings, along with a report by the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, will be debated today at the U.N. General Assembly. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report.

Again, while U.N. isn’t really something I am too fond off, as a Conservative. I have come to accept it; and think that doing things like the above, is a very good idea. Like it or not; the Bush Administration made some seriously bad mistake during the war, and in the attempt to get information for more terrorist attacks after 9/11, crossed some constitutional lines. Here is hoping that the parties involved are held accountable.

By rights, they SHOULD be held accountable by the United States Government; but we all know that will never happen. The US Democrats do not have the guts to pursue justice. This my friends, is a great American tragedy.

 

Hmmmmm: NSA Director Alexander Admits He Lied about Phone Surveillance Stopping 54 Terror Plots

Looks like the Obama administration is continuing with the same stuff that the Bush administration did.

Quote:

The head of the National Security Agency (NSA) admitted before a congressional committee this week that he lied back in June when he claimed the agency’s phone surveillance program had thwarted 54 terrorist “plots or events.”

NSA Director Keith Alexander gave out the erroneous number while the Obama administration was defending its domestic spying operations exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. He said surveillance data collected that led to 53 of those 54 plots had provided the initial tips to “unravel the threat stream.”

But Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Wednesday during a hearing on the continued oversight of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that the administration was pushing incomplete or inaccurate statements about the bulk collection of phone records from communications providers.

“For example, we’ve heard over and over again that 54 terrorist plots have been thwarted by the use of (this program),” Leahy said. “That’s plainly wrong,” adding: “These weren’t all plots and they weren’t all thwarted.”

Alexander admitted that only 13 of the 54 cases were connected to the United States. He also told the committee that only one or two suspected plots were identified as a result of bulk phone record collection.

via Controversies – NSA Director Alexander Admits He Lied about Phone Surveillance Stopping 54 Terror Plots – AllGov – News.

New lies for old. There is no difference anymore. Hence why I am not voting Republican come 2016, unless something changes drastically on that side of the fence; and I know darned well I am not voting for a Democrat, ever again. :mad:

Video: This is why I do not trust Al-Jazeera TV

American version of it or not. I simply do not trust it and this here is why. This comes via Memri TV:

Some of you might say, “But, aren’t you a Buchananite type?” Yes, indeed I am. Which simply means that I am not a fan of Wilsonian Foreign Policy and that’s all it means. If Al-Jazeera TV is putting this sort of garbage on it’s Arab speaking network, it has zero business being in the United States of America. This is nothing more than Anti-Jewish propaganda and it furthers the blood libels that the terrorists thrive on and use to commit acts of carnage.

If our President were actually worth a tinkers damn, he would tell Al-Jazeera TV, “You either do something about that, or you can pack your little network up and go back to mecca, where you truly belong.” But, because we have a President who kowtows down to Arabs and their religion, instead of defending Jewish Americans, you have this network Al-Jazeera TV here to brainwash Americans into believe that 9/11 was somehow justified.

…and that, my friends, is a great American tragedy.

(H/T to Commentary Magazine)

Bombing victim speaks out about Muslims and Terrorism

Glad to see this. :)

The Video is here. I was going to post it here, but it is an auto start embed and those drive people crazy! So, go to the link to view it!

The Story:

A Boston Marathon bombing victim hospitalized for weeks after the blasts lashed out at the mother of the accused bombers, calling Zubeidat Tsarnaeva “vile” for her jihad-laced rants and denials.

Michelle L’Heureux, a 38-year-old John Hancock consultant, told the Herald yesterday it’s time to stop being “politically correct” and speak out — making her one of the first victims to stand up to the terror-talking Chechen family.

“I feel a little bit of hatred towards her. I think she is a vile person,” L’Heureux said of the mom. “If you don’t like our country, get out. It’s as simple as that.”

L’Heureux lost most of her left knee in the blasts, and 30 percent of her hearing in her left ear. Her left arm is riddled with shrapnel scars, and there’s a piece of metal still inside her leg. She was 8 feet away from the first blast on Boylston Street. She came to the city to see her boyfriend cross the finish lin

via Bombing victim calls suspects’ mom ‘vile’ | Boston Herald.

If only more liberal Democrats felt this way, maybe we would have actually won the war on terror. Instead, because of the Democrat’s almost allergic reaction to war and because of the bungled methods of the Bush Administration — we lost it and badly. Oh, and BTW, I have seen where people have blamed this guy here for the loss of the Afghan war.  Sorry, but that is bunch of flipping malarkey and I think the person that wrote that knows it; he is just looking to deflect the fact that Bush’s mishandling of the war in Afghanistan and the overselling of the war in Iraq.

Plus too, I believe we pulled out too early of Iraq and Afghanistan; we could have done it better, but we needed more time. But, when you have a war weary nation, what can you do?

Others: Weekly StandardThe Jawa Report and Instapundit

No, Sorry, Dick (head) Cheney, I do NOT trust you or your idiotic successor in the White House!

Ol’ Dick (head) Cheney says that we ought to just trust the Government.

The Video: (Via Think Progress)

Okay here is the little small problem with trusting Dick Cheney and his boss George W. Bush, they lied, as in like 935 times in a row, during their Presidency and Vice Presidency.

Prove it, you say? Sure.

Via The Center for Public Integrity, which is as follows:

The Center for Public Integrity was founded in 1989 by Charles Lewis. We are one of the country’s oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organizations. Our mission: To enhance democracy by revealing abuses of power, corruption and betrayal of trust by powerful public and private institutions, using the tools of investigative journalism.

Anyhow, here is why I don’t trust Neocons, nor do I trust Democratic Party liberals or Neo-leftists:

President Bush, for example, made 232 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and another 28 false statements about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda. Secretary of State Powell had the second-highest total in the two-year period, with 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda. Rumsfeld and Fleischer each made 109 false statements, followed by Wolfowitz (with 85), Rice (with 56), Cheney (with 48), and McClellan (with 14).

The massive database at the heart of this project juxtaposes what President Bush and these seven top officials were saying for public consumption against what was known, or should have been known, on a day-to-day basis. This fully searchable database includes the public statements, drawn from both primary sources (such as official transcripts) and secondary sources (chiefly major news organizations) over the two years beginning on September 11, 2001. It also interlaces relevant information from more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches, and interviews.

Consider, for example, these false public statements made in the run-up to war:

  • On August 26, 2002, in an address to the national convention of the Veteran of Foreign Wars, Cheney flatly declared: “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.” In fact, former CIA Director George Tenet later recalled, Cheney’s assertions went well beyond his agency’s assessments at the time. Another CIA official, referring to the same speech, told journalist Ron Suskind, “Our reaction was, ‘Where is he getting this stuff from?’ “
  • In the closing days of September 2002, with a congressional vote fast approaching on authorizing the use of military force in Iraq, Bush told the nation in his weekly radio address: “The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more and, according to the British government, could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given. . . . This regime is seeking a nuclear bomb, and with fissile material could build one within a year.” A few days later, similar findings were also included in a much-hurried National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction — an analysis that hadn’t been done in years, as the intelligence community had deemed it unnecessary and the White House hadn’t requested it.
  • In July 2002, Rumsfeld had a one-word answer for reporters who asked whether Iraq had relationships with Al Qaeda terrorists: “Sure.” In fact, an assessment issued that same month by the Defense Intelligence Agency (and confirmed weeks later by CIA Director Tenet) found an absence of “compelling evidence demonstrating direct cooperation between the government of Iraq and Al Qaeda.” What’s more, an earlier DIA assessment said that “the nature of the regime’s relationship with  Al Qaeda is unclear.”
  • On May 29, 2003, in an interview with Polish TV, President Bush declared: “We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories.” But as journalist Bob Woodward reported in State of Denial, days earlier a team of civilian experts dispatched to examine the two mobile labs found in Iraq had concluded in a field report that the labs were not for biological weapons. The team’s final report, completed the following month, concluded that the labs had probably been used to manufacture hydrogen for weather balloons.
  • On January 28, 2003, in his annual State of the Union address, Bush asserted: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production.” Two weeks earlier, an analyst with the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research sent an email to colleagues in the intelligence community laying out why he believed the uranium-purchase agreement “probably is a hoax.”
  • On February 5, 2003, in an address to the United Nations Security Council, Powell said: “What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence. I will cite some examples, and these are from human sources.” As it turned out, however, two of the main human sources to which Powell referred had provided false information. One was an Iraqi con artist, code-named “Curveball,” whom American intelligence officials were dubious about and in fact had never even spoken to. The other was an Al Qaeda detainee, Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, who had reportedly been sent to Eqypt by the CIA and tortured and who later recanted the information he had provided. Libi told the CIA in January 2004 that he had “decided he would fabricate any information interrogators wanted in order to gain better treatment and avoid being handed over to [a foreign government].”

The false statements dramatically increased in August 2002, with congressional consideration of a war resolution, then escalated through the mid-term elections and spiked even higher from January 2003 to the eve of the invasion.

It was during those critical weeks in early 2003 that the president delivered his State of the Union address and Powell delivered his memorable U.N. presentation. 

In addition to their patently false pronouncements, Bush and these seven top officials also made hundreds of other statements in the two years after 9/11 in which they implied that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or links to Al Qaeda. Other administration higher-ups, joined by Pentagon officials and Republican leaders in Congress, also routinely sounded false war alarms in the Washington echo chamber.

The cumulative effect of these false statements — amplified by thousands of news stories and broadcasts — was massive, with the media coverage creating an almost impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up to war. Some journalists — indeed, even some entire news organizations — have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical. These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, “independent” validation of the Bush administration’s false statements about Iraq.

The “ground truth” of the Iraq war itself eventually forced the president to backpedal, albeit grudgingly. In a 2004 appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, for example, Bush acknowledged that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq. And on December 18, 2005, with his approval ratings on the decline, Bush told the nation in a Sunday-night address from the Oval Office: “It is true that Saddam Hussein had a history of pursuing and using weapons of mass destruction. It is true that he systematically concealed those programs, and blocked the work of U.N. weapons inspectors. It is true that many nations believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. But much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong. As your president, I am responsible for the decision to go into Iraq. Yet it was right to remove Saddam Hussein from power.”

Bush stopped short, however, of admitting error or poor judgment; instead, his administration repeatedly attributed the stark disparity between its prewar public statements and the actual “ground truth” regarding the threat posed by Iraq to poor intelligence from a Who’s Who of domestic agencies.

On the other hand, a growing number of critics, including a parade of former government officials, have publicly — and in some cases vociferously — accused the president and his inner circle of ignoring or distorting the available intelligence. In the end, these critics say, it was the calculated drumbeat of false information and public pronouncements that ultimately misled the American people and this nation’s allies on their way to war.

Bush and the top officials of his administration have so far largely avoided the harsh, sustained glare of formal scrutiny about their personal responsibility for the litany of repeated, false statements in the run-up to the war in Iraq. There has been no congressional investigation, for example, into what exactly was going on inside the Bush White House in that period. Congressional oversight has focused almost entirely on the quality of the U.S. government’s pre-war intelligence — not the judgment, public statements, or public accountability of its highest officials. And, of course, only four of the officials — Powell, Rice, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz — have testified before Congress about Iraq.

Short of such review, this project provides a heretofore unavailable framework for examining how the U.S. war in Iraq came to pass. Clearly, it calls into question the repeated assertions of Bush administration officials that they were the unwitting victims of bad intelligence.

Above all, the 935 false statements painstakingly presented here finally help to answer two all-too-familiar questions as they apply to Bush and his top advisers: What did they know, and when did they know it?

A video:

The real sick and sad part is this; the same people that are having a hissy fit on the right about this program existing under Obama, are the same ones who were perfectly fine with it existing under Bush. In other words, they trusted the program under Bush. like idiots. My question to that crowd is this; why do  you not trust Obama? Because he is black or because he is a Democratic Party liberal?

Anyone and I mean anyone, who puts their trust in this Government of ours, based upon partisanship is nothing more than a darned fool in my opinion. Both of these political parties are two sides of the same coin and that is corruption and big Government socialism. Both parties promote it, both parties contribute to it. Government hand outs are Government hand outs; whether it be in the forum of welfare or Government subsidies. It is big Government statist and it flies in the face of our Constitution and in the face of what this great Nation was founded upon.

Others: Prairie Weather

QOTD: Obama loses the NYT

WOW….just Wow… :shock:

Within hours of the disclosure that the federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers: Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights.

Those reassurances have never been persuasive — whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency’s phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism — especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability.

The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the 9/11 attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers.

Poop, meet fan.

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The US continues spying on phones under Obama

There are a ton of opinions on this subject and we’ll get to those in a moment.

But first the story:

The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.

The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.

The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.

The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.

Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.

via NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily | World news | The Guardian.

But, there is a big difference this time:

Under the Bush administration, officials in security agencies had disclosed to reporters the large-scale collection of call records data by the NSA, but this is the first time significant and top-secret documents have revealed the continuation of the practice on a massive scale under President Obama.

The unlimited nature of the records being handed over to the NSA is extremely unusual. Fisa court orders typically direct the production of records pertaining to a specific named target who is suspected of being an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or a finite set of individually named targets.

Which sounds about right for the Democrats, because they are perfectly fine with Government of a massive scale.

Now there are two very important opinions on this subject that I want you to see. They are same political slant; however, the opinions are very different. Please go check out Michelle Malkin’s take and Ed Morrissey’s take on this subject. While I agree on Michelle Malkin’s assessment, I really do not agree with her narrative at all. If you are smart and read her a good deal, you will know what I am talking about.

Now there is one thing that Ed Morrissey wrote that I, as an Independent, and someone who believes that the war on terror is a very real thing and that we should at least try to keep America safe, without trampling on our constitutional rights. I believe this to be very true and  very profound statement coming from someone like Mr. Morrissey:

Hypocrisy is an unfortunately ubiquitous condition in politics, but in the case of NSA seizing Verizon’s phone records, it’s particularly widespread.  Some of the people expressing outrage for the Obama administration’s efforts at data mining had a different attitude toward it when Bush was in office.  Conversely, we’ll see some people defending Obama who considered Bush evil incarnate for the same thing.

Either way, we’re left with the situation of having the federal government seizing private records without any meaningful civil due process that engages the citizens affected, whether that includes actual wiretaps or just cataloguing our calls and movements.  Perhaps this will move this issue out of the partisan sphere and into a common ground in which we can all work to define exactly how far we’re willing to go in trading privacy for security.  In order to get there, we’d all better recognize the hypocrisy that has abounded on this issue for far too long, and start thinking about higher principles than party affiliation when it comes to national security and constitutional protections.

Now that last part that I underlined, is something I wholeheartedly agree with. When the story broke about Bush and Co. came about the wiretaps, I remember Keith Olbermann doing a special comment on it and I admired him for standing up. Now, where’s Keith? Where are the liberals who thought that this was much too intrusive? Where are they now? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

My hat tip goes to Glenn Greenwald for putting principles over partisanship and getting this story to the masses. Glenn has been about the only liberal who has stood up and pointed out that Obama Administration has continued the policies of the George W. Bush Administration and in some cases; like this one here — has expanded them to an alarming degree. Yes, this is overreach and it is alarming and I do hope the Congress does something about it.

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