Chickenhawk Bush Running From Debates?

Bush's camp balks on three debates


The man who took two tours of duty in Vietnam wants to debate every week. The man who tossed away his pilot's license while puking behind an Alabama pine tree is trying to run from one of the debates that have already been planned.

Bush shows us just how easy it is to support the war effort when there's somebody else on the front line. What's the matter, George? You skeered of John Kerry? Ba-Bawk-BAWK!

She Watched Lt. Bush Urinate On A Car Election Night 1972

Get the day pass and read this article.

Linda Allison, the wife of Jimmy Allison, is speaking out about how George W. Bush "worked" on William Blount's 1972 Senate campaign in Alabama. How would she know? Her husband was Blount's campaign manager, George was his deputy, and George stayed at their house.

Did she ever see him in a uniform? Are you kidding? The woman was surprised to learn that the National Guard had anything to do with his life at the time.

I was almost willing to give Georgie the benefit of the doubt after the beginning of October, when his grandfather Prescott died. I thought maybe that was the beginning of his turnaround. Oh, no. Not Dubya. Go get the day pass, read, read.

Two Chickenhawks Sittin' Around Cluckin'

Rush's Interview with President George W. Bush

Josh Marshall quotes from this interview, conducted earlier today, in which Bush tries to explain why he said we can't win the war on terror but meant that we can. Rush tries to help him, but even his golden throat can't unmish Georgie's mash.

Go read it. Yes, Bush is pumping the "87 billion" remark, and Rush is busy helping him cement the lie. Remember, don't be too shocked - this is the Rush Limbaugh show, after all.

Franklin Was Cooperating?

The New York Times

According to the Times, Larry Franklin was cooperating with investigators when he was exposed. And he didn't have much access to Wolfowitz, anyway. And he didn't have any input into policy. He was just a grunt, a bottom feeder, a low level employee. No arrest in the case is imminent, because it's not clear whether Franklin broke the law. Plus, AIPAC says they never got anything, and Israel says the same, and it's all a load of insinuations and falsehoods.

Okay. So the guy who wasn't doing anything wrong when he did it, and didn't do it anyway, was cooperating with investigators as a matter of fact, and now we won't be able to catch the people he was contacting when he wasn't doing anything illegal and neither were they, because they weren't doing anything at all.


You know, this story sounds incredibly like what happened to the al-Qaeda operative that Pakistan caught in time to be announced by the Bush administration on the day John Kerry accepted the nomination...except that he'd been caught a few weeks earlier, and his exposure sent British officials scrambling to arrest the al-Qaeda cell the operative had been setting up. And now it turns out that Franklin had been cooperating too! Yeah, that's the ticket!

I love this: in the paragraph where "prosecutors have not yet clearly established whether Mr. Franklin broke the law," the very next sentence is:

But the officials said there was evidence that he turned the classified material over to officials at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
So giving people without security clearance classified material is not clearly against the law? I'm not going to pretend that all classified material should be classified - people with power to classify must be tempted to classify personally embarassing information all the time.

But a draft of a presidential directive about policy towards Iran? That sounds like something that should be kept under wraps.

So here's what we're looking at. This is a bunch of smokescreen that the Times repeated, with just enough information to make those paying attention say, "Wait a minute..." What this means is:

A) Franklin was doing just what people higher up in the "food chain" wanted, and can prove it


B) this type of information sharing happens all the time between mid-level officials and friendly foreign countries, and Franklin's exposure threatens everybody's payola

Which do I think it is? Since the article floats the idea of Franklin getting off scotfree, the first seems more plausible to me. Time may tell...

Finding Nemo On Ice?

No, it's actually much worse than this. I just saw a commercial for Disney On Ice's latest spectacle, Finding Nemo. The costumes are atrocious, so much so that I can't find a picture of them online yet.

So let me describe them. The Dori costume was actually not so bad, but I won't soon forget Nemo's face jutting out of a ice skater's belly, while the skater's head tried vainly to become a part of a clownfish's dorsal fin. And then the bright orange legs undulating in front of the whole costume... I swear the Coen Brothers put Disney up to this.

I'm predicting a lot of screaming, frightened children.

The "Franklin-Stove" Scandal: The Story So Far...

Juan Cole spells out the scope of the Franklin spy scandal, and uggabugga's got the info in graphical form.

Douglas Feith's office, the Near East/South Asia directorate (NESA), became a lie factory, funneling cherry-picked intelligence into Vice President Cheney's office, via the Pentagon's "Office of Special Plans". Libby "Scooter" Lewis was the contact in Cheney's office. Seymour Hersh labeled the OSP a stovepipe.

In effect, NESA was converted by Douglas Feith and associates into an group dedicated to bringing this nation into war with Iraq.

Now we know that Larry Franklin, a desk officer in NESA, is an Israeli spy, who recently slipped a classified draft directive about US policy toward Iran to a pro-Israeli lobbying group, which gave it to Israel. Larry Franklin is, by the way, a former attache at the US embassy in Israel.

We also know that Franklin and Harold Rhode met several times with Iranians who are seeking to overthrow the Iranian government in Rome. The Italian intelligence agency SISMI attended these meetings.

SIMSI has proven to be the organization that distributed accounts of, copies of, and finally the actual forgeries themselves. The documents are ostensibly about Iraq's attempt to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger, but they implicate Iran as well in an unlikely Iraq-Iran alliance.

SIMSI used these documents to create a lot of sympathetic noise among European intelligence agencies about a Iraq-Niger uranium discussion, then slipped the documents to the USA. When Joseph Wilson went public with his damning trip that confirmed no such discussions had happened, his wife, a deep cover CIA operative, was burned by Vice President Cheney's office - and it appears certain that Scooter Lewis, the stovepipe's contact person in Cheney's office, will be implicated in this felony.

So let's get this straight: the Bush Administration was hoodwinked into using the US military as unpaid agents of Israel's foreign policy. They were blind to a spy in the Department of Defense, because that spy was telling them what they wanted to hear. When their bypass of intelligence protocols may have been exposed, they elected to damage our intelligence gathering capability even further, committing a felony in the process.

And they did all of this while enjoying the approval ratings given to Bush after 9/11.

America can do better.