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Pro Libertate: Fallujah, U.S.A.


Police brutality at your door step
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Please see Will Griggs thorough, impassioned, precise and complete article on this “atrocity”  at  Pro Libertate: Fallujah, U.S.A.
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Caught in another lie–it just never stops with them does it?


“We strongly condemn the unauthorized disclosure of classified information,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell prior to the release of  Wikileaks almost 400,000 documents outlining the abuses as well as body counts during the Iraqi invasion.  The Wikileaks figures surpass the Pentagon’s figures by some 30,000 and are  lower than five other groups’ estimates, which probably doesn’t mean much to you if you aren’t the victim of a foreign invasion.  But two things come out both news reports.

First, the Pentagon, despite its own claims during the war to the contrary, was keeping a tally of casualties during the war and secondly the final total was far greater than what the Pentagon claimed during the war when it was releasing it “officially unofficial” figures.  Once again,  government bureaucracy lied about the war and once again we just seem to take it as business as usual.  We get what we deserve, don’t we?

Money down the drain


I saw this story about the Pentagon misplacing or not being able to account for $8.7 billion  and had to jump on it.  It’s not news if you’ve been reading Miscellany101; we first wrote about this penchant of the Defense Department to mismanage funds…I still think that’s fraud, in February ’09 and claimed the amount was far more than the 8.7 billion dollars being reported today but closer to 10 billion, and underscored it with this quote

Though Defense has long been notorious for waste, recent government reports suggest the Pentagon’s money management woes have reached astronomical proportions. A study by the Defense Department’s inspector general found that the Pentagon couldn’t properly account for more than a trillion dollars in monies spent. A GAO report found Defense inventory systems so lax that the U.S. Army lost track of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch-units. And before the Iraq war, when military leaders were scrambling to find enough chemical and biological warfare suits to protect U.S. troops, the department was caught selling these suits as surplus on the Internet “for pennies on the dollar,” a GAO official said.

The Iraq war was a windfall for everyone but the tax payer who saw the revenue generated by their taxes squandered by people who pushed upon the nation a needless war, to the detriment of millions of jobless and homeless Americans.  One trillion dollars lost, and that’s what we know about, for nation building?  Someone should ask the homeowner who just lost their house, or the person unemployed from a company that couldn’t afford to keep them whether the loss of the national revenue to fund the Iraq war was worth their circumstance today.  Regrettably the story making the rounds today by AP about the Pentagon not being able to account for “X” billions of dollars isn’t news……it’s pathetic!

Fellatio as policy in the Middle East


That’s what Thomas Friedman gave as the reason for our invasion of countries in the Middle East in his much ballyhooed interview with Charlie Rose several years ago.  (The clip above.)  It seems however that Friedman either forgot his bravado laced interview or considers it insignificant when writing his latest Mid East pronouncements, which appear here.   In this latest tripe Friedman passes for an editorial (can you believe he gets P-A-I-D for writing this stuff?!) Friedman talks about the “narrative” and describes it thusly

The Narrative is the cocktail of half-truths, propaganda and outright lies about America that have taken hold in the Arab-Muslim world since 9/11. Propagated by jihadist Web sites, mosque preachers, Arab intellectuals, satellite news stations and books — and tacitly endorsed by some Arab regimes — this narrative posits that America has declared war on Islam, as part of a grand “American-Crusader-Zionist conspiracy” to keep Muslims down.

Friedman forgot to mention himself as one who promotes the “narrative”; even by his own accounts we invaded Muslim countries and killed scores of innocence not for any grand or noble political designs for us, Americans, or for them, the citizens of those countries, but rather we reaped all of that havoc ‘because we could’ and to get them to Suck. On. This. That mentality is what drove the pornographic rage that we’ve only seen snippets of that took place in Abu Ghraib.  (I’m sure all the citizens of Iraq, and some other Muslim countries too, have heard all of the stories our democracy has said we here in America aren’t eligible to hear or know about.)  Friedman mentions Abu Ghraib, but only in passing, in the midst of  extolling all the good things American soldiers did or are doing in Iraq as occupiers mind you of a country that initially was no threat to the vital interests of the US or her allies.  While chiding “jihadists” for ignoring the latter, Friedman did himself and his article a disservice but doing the same with the former.

As usual, Glen Greenwald does a pretty good job of dismantling the Friedman fantasy/hypocrisy.  Among his zingers to Friedman’s piece are lines like these

And note the morality on display here:  Hasan attacks soldiers on a military base of a country that has spent the last decade screaming to the world that “we’re at war!!,” and that’s a deranged and evil act, while Friedman cheers for an unprovoked war that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and displaced millions more — all justified by sick power fantasies, lame Mafia dialogue and cravings more appropriate for a porno film than a civilized foreign policy — and he’s the arbiter of Western reason and sanity.

That’s only one of several well placed punches to Friedman’s devilishly childish arguments in his latest op-ed.  Steven Walt of the infamous Walt-Mearsheimer duo which brought the world the book, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, and brought upon themselves an undeserved ignominy, weighed in on Friedman’s article as well with less than sterling results, in my opinion, because of his emphasis on “numbers” of casualties amassed to make the case for why “they” hate us. The comments section of his article is why his article lacks the strength of moral certainty to oppose Friedman’s op-ed.  Simply put people don’t care about the whys and wherefores these days and using that argument about why Muslims hate us without mentioning that we launched a war of aggression against them based on lies that our government made and upheld in order to invade and total decimate their culture, and that we continue to justify our occupation based on these debunked lies is disingenuous, in this writer’s estimation.   Walt is an academic so perhaps that’s why he relied so heavily on numbers in his “refutation” of Friedman’s article, but in so doing he let Friedman off the hook for his, Friedman’s, obscene insistence for war and his cheerleading for it when he knew ostensibly that he was lying.  If Walt had simply said that, any claim to legitimacy on the part of Friedman, would have been irrevocably lost.

Friedman is an apologist for wars of aggression and he wants the victims of such wars to engage him in semantic pedantry which is why he issues this weak call out  at the end of his article.   It’s a waste of time for him to issue it and even more a waste of time for others to answer it.  What Mr. Friedman needs to be reminded of is the importance of ‘the rule of law’, something he nor any of his supporters really had a handle on for the last 10 years. Friedman is the newspaper world’s hate radio pundits; not much substance and  a lot of hot air.  His bias and hatred for the people he generally writes about borders on the sophomoric, not at all worthy of the New York Times, or if you insist that it is, then both are not news that’s fit to be printed.  May I suggest citizenship journalism instead?

A funny from the past


ps2This is the kind of hysteria our country was enveloped by in the days before 911 and the Iraq war. A look back on this mania should reveal that publications that reveled in such tripe would be permanently out of business. Instead they are firmly entrenched in society fulfilling a role whereby they influence public policy based on the type of hyperbole witnessed in the link

Both the U.S. Customs Service and the FBI are investigating the apparent transfer of large numbers of Sony PlayStation 2s to Iraq, according to military intelligence sources.

A secret Defense Intelligence Agency report states that as many as 4,000 of the popular video game units have been purchased in the United States and shipped to Iraq in the last two to three months.

What gives? Does Saddam Hussein have an extraordinarily long Christmas shopping list? And why would U.S. military and intelligence officials be concerned about such a transfer?

Two government agencies are investigating the purchases because the PlayStations can be bundled together into a sort of crude super-computer and used for a variety of military applications, say intelligence sources.

“Most Americans don’t realize that each PlayStation unit contains a CPU — every bit as powerful as the processor found in most desktop and laptop computers,” said one military intelligence officer who declined to be identified. “Beyond that, the graphics capabilities of a PlayStation are staggering — five times more powerful than that of a typical graphics workstation, and roughly 15 times more powerful than the graphics cards found in most PCs.”

A single PlayStation can generate up to 75 million polygons per second. Polygons, as noted in the DIA report, are the basic units used to generate the surface of 3-D models — extremely useful in military design and modeling applications.

“When I first saw this report, I was highly skeptical,” said an intelligence source. “So, I did some checking with computer experts I know within the Department of Defense. From what they tell me, bundling these video game units is very feasible.”

Additionally, Sony will make the process even easier with planned upgrades to the system. Beginning early next year, you can purchase a plug-in, 3.5 gig hard drive for the PlayStation, along with interface units that allow integration into the World Wide Web. If the Iraqis have trouble developing military software for the PlayStation computer system, they can probably find needed assistance on the Internet, say U.S. intelligence sources.

What could Iraq do with such a primitive super-computer constructed with Sony PlayStation 2s?

“Applications for this system are potentially frightening,” said an intelligence source. “One expert I spoke with estimated that an integrated bundle of 12-15 PlayStations could provide enough computer power to control an Iraqi unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV — a pilotless aircraft.”

From a historical perspective it should be clear to all such reporting was done with a particular agenda in mind which was the invasion of a defenseless Iraq that had nothing at all to do with 911 nor never an existential threat to any of  its neighbors, yet a thorn in the side to several.  Over the last 10 years we’ve heard of the threat to our Republic of segments of society in our midst who hate us because of our freedoms.  I would like to add to that list a deceitful media.

Interesting headline


Bush’s $1 Trillion war on terror: even costlier than expected

I don’t know why that should come as a surprise to anyone who’s followed this Administration’s handling of the WOT.  If anything I think the figure is more than that!!  From the very first days after September 11,2001 the Bush Administration has been playing fast and loose with the facts and figures they used to convince the American people of the need to fight this war.  From the civilain Pentagon’s wish to keep American forces to a bare minimum, even in the face of senior military officers who told them it wouldn’t work, to the administration of Iraq first with the CPA and its adjuncts to the existing Iraqi government, the public was always given a rosier picture than the Administration knew it could deliver in order to gain the support of the American people.

Shortly before the Iraq war began, White House economic adviser Larry Lindsey earned a rebuke from within the Administration when he said the war could cost as much as $200 billion. “It’s not knowable what a war or conflict like that would cost,” Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld said. “You don’t know if it’s going to last two days or two weeks or two months. It certainly isn’t going to last two years.”

That was Rumsfeld then, but the reality is much more different. Now, it’s finally reaching back to bite us in the rear.

A trio of recent reports – none by the Bush Administration – suggests that sometime early in the Obama presidency, spending on the wars started since 9/11 will pass the trillion-dollar mark. Even after adjusting for inflation, that’s four times more than America spent fighting World War I, and more than 10 times the cost of 1991’s Persian Gulf War (90 percent of which was paid for by U.S. allies). The war on terror looks set to surpass the cost the Korean and Vietnam wars combined, to be topped only by World War II‘s price tag of $3.5 trillion.

*snip*

According to the CSBA study, the Administration has fudged the war’s true costs in two ways: Borrowing money to fund the wars is one way of conducting it on the cheap, at least in the short term. But just as pernicious has been the Administration’s novel way of budgeting for them. Previous wars were funded through the annual appropriations process, with emergency spending – which gets far less congressional scrutiny – only used for the initial stages of a conflict. But the Bush Administration relied on such supplemental appropriations to fund the wars until 2008, seven years after invading Afghanistan and five years after storming Iraq.

This boondoggle coupled with the economic bailout means one’s great grandchildren will be paying for the misadventures of George Bush….and that will be his legacy!