Archive for November 11th, 2003
The arrogant imperialist Bush Administration has so far managed to piss off:
*The Democratic members of Congress, naturally, who have been treated by the Publican leadership as if they were either escaped criminals, mentally deficient, or children who should be seen and not heard;
*Rank-and-file Democrats, of course, who are lined up ten-deep in the Dump Bush line after 3 solid years of broken promises, Orwellian policies (Healthy Forests, No Child Left Behind, Support Our Troops, etc etc etc), Bushian logic (if things are getting worse, that means they’re getting better), and the most obvious and wide-spread crony-capitalism since Warren Harding;
*The US Intelligence Community, which BushCo has made the scapegoat for 1) their own failure to defend the US from threatened terrorist attacks that the CIA, Mossad, MI6, Interpol, and the out-going Clinton NSC all repeatedly warned them were coming and which finally took place without any interference from BushCo on 9/11, 2) their refusal to listen when CIA analysts insisted that the UN inspectors were right and there was no evidence of WMD’s in Iraq before the war, and 3) their insistence on crediting master con-artist Ahmad Chalabi’s fairy tales about a country he hadn’t seen in more than 40 years despite the IC’s evidence that he was lying and hugely misrepresenting both his own influence in Iraq and that of the INC;
*Some of their own pet Congressional Republicans, angry over stonewalling, lies under oath, and treatment similar to what they hand the Democrats if they dare to question the WH’s revised version of history;
*Sizeable segments of the military after: lying to them about Iraq; cutting their benefits, cutting their pay, cutting their school allowance, cutting their health care, cutting their housing allowance, cutting their death benefits, making them pay their own way home when they finally get leave from Iraq, and even refusing to pay soldiers tortured during the First Gulf War their legally mandated compensation (Scott McClelland’s answer in today’s Press Briefing seemed to amount to “No amount of money can compensate them for what they went through, so that’s what we’ll give them–no amount.” [see Tom Tommorrow for the link and an excerpt]);
*The whole rest of the world for so many reasons it’s impossible even to list them all, from the wholesale pull-out of the Bush Admin from virtually every international treaty in which we were involved (including the International Treaty on Children’s Rights, for god’s-sake) to its screw-you-we-can-do-what-we-want-we-don’t-need-you attitude before the Second Gulf War.
According to the NY Times, we may be able to round out this list by adding the Supreme Court:
WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 — Setting the stage for a historic clash between presidential and judicial authority in a time of military conflict, the Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide whether prisoners at the United States naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, are entitled to access to civilian courts to challenge their open-ended detention.
Why would the heretofore Bush-friendly SCOTUS suddenly be willing to entertain a question they’ve been ducking for 2 years? Methinks it might have something to do with this argument from Solicitor General Ted Olsen, the man who convinced them to break all their own precedents to put George on the throne in the first place:
The brief filed for the Britons and Australians by the Center for Constitutional Rights, a liberal public interest law firm in New York, told the court that “we alone exercise power at Guantánamo Bay” and that the base should therefore be treated for jurisdictional purposes as part of the United States. In the administration’s view, not only is that conclusion incorrect but it is not one that the court is free to make. The determination of sovereignty over a particular territory is “not a question on which a court may second-guess the political branches,” Solicitor General Olson said in his brief. (emphasis added)
IOW, “Butt out, The Court’s got no right to tell us what to do.” Uh-huh. It’s at least possible that having the Admin lawyer center his argument around their irrelevancy ticked them off just a tad. As a result, the SCOTUS threw out the way Olsen framed the suit:
It was evident on Monday that this, too, was a question on which the justices want to have the final word. That conclusion emerged from a comparison of how the administration phrased the question presented by the two cases with how the justices phrased it in their order granting review. Solicitor General Olson said the question was whether the federal courts had jurisdiction to decide the legality of detaining “aliens captured abroad in connection with ongoing hostilities and held outside the sovereign territory of the United States at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.”The Supreme Court, by contrast, said it intended to decide the jurisdiction of the courts to hear challenges to “the legality of the detention of foreign nationals captured abroad in connection with hostilities and incarcerated at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.” The court’s question incorporated no assumption about whether the base was or was not “outside the sovereign territory of the United States.”
So when Olsen argued it was none of their beeswax, they replied, “Wanna bet?”
Junior ought to be more careful who he’s blowing off; he might need the SCOTUS to ride to the rescue again if there’s another squeaker in 2004, and they might not be quite so eager to c his a as they were last time if he keeps telling them that what they think doesn’t matter.
What am I saying?
Forget what I said, G; never mind the future, you’ve got it sown up. A couple of hundred $$Million$$ more in the War Chest plus some low-interest financing from the Wall Street sector, and you’ll be able to buy the country and take it private. You don’t have to worry what 9 old fogies think. Fuck it–take ‘em out, just like you did with Saddam.
Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Happy Veteran’s Day From BushCo:Thanks for putting your lives on the line for Bechtel and Halliburton even though:
**Your equipment is substandard and you had to buy a lot of it yourselves;
**We lied to you about the reason we sent you;
**We lied to you about the way you’d be received;
**We lied to you about the length of time you’d have to serve;
**We cut your pay;
**We cut your health benefits;
**We cut the amount we pay to the schools that educate your kids;
**We cut your combat pay;
**We cut your death benefit;
**We cut the VA budget–again;
**We made you pay your own way home when you finally got a long-overdue leave;
**And we even refused to pay legally-mandated compensation to those of you who were tortured by the evil Saddam in the First Gulf War.
We know we promised not to do any of those things, but, hey, some of our contributors needed that tax cut so they could buy those new yachts they’d been wanting, and the yachting industry really needed a shot in the arm after the neglect of the Clinton years. You understand. Yah gotta have priorities, right? Keep your eye on what’s important: we’re creating jobs! (in the boating industry)
The rest? Oh, that went to Halliburton in a no-bid contract. We can’t reneg on that like we did with you; we have a moral obligation to pay those overcharges, and the only way we can do it is by short-changing you.
You understand. In a time of war, everybody needs to make sacrifices (except us and Halliburton), and we surely do appreciate yours.
And btw, don’t expect to see any of us at any of your funerals1. It’s bad publicity, see? Makes it look like you’re dying over there. Which you are, but we don’t want it to look that way, get the picture? You understand.
PS. You can afford to pay your own funeral expenses, can’t you? Thanks. We’ll cut that next.
PPS. Anybody who complains about any of this will be court-martialed. Have a nice day.
1. From Newsday‘s Jimmy Breslin (by way of Body and Soul):
The other Sunday, in high excitement, Sgt. Perez got on a helicopter that was going to start him home to his wife, Milagros, and 15-month-old daughter in time for the wedding anniversary, which was yesterday, the day they put him into the ground in Newark.He had not told his wife that he was coming home and the others in the family kept it secret. He got on that helicopter because he had a Bronze Star and Purple Heart from the fighting.
Now, yesterday, he was a name on a list of the dead. If I had not been typing out this list, I wouldn’t have known that Perez was the short ride away at Newark.
There is no public display over the death and all these others on the list accompanying this column. Bush and his people sent them out to get killed and now you can’t get one of them in Washington to mention these dead.
Your government would prefer that night falls and the dead are buried in darkness. We must keep them remote, names on a list, and concentrate on things like patriotism, exporting democracy and shipping freedom – all those big words that Joyce said make us so unhappy.
Here is your war so far this week:Staff Sgt. Paul J. Johnson, 29, of Calumet, Mich. Killed Oct. 20 in Fallujah, Iraq.
Spc. Paul J. Bueche, 19, 131st Aviation Regiment, Army National Guard, killed Oct. 21 when the tire he was changing on Black Hawk helicopter exploded. Home, Daphne, Ala.
Pvt. Jason M. Ward, 25, 2nd Battalion, 70th Armored Regiment, lst Armored Division, Fort Riley, Kansas. Died in Baghdad on Oct. 22 of non-combat related injuries. Home, Tulsa, Okla.
Spc. John P. Johnson, 24, 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, lst Armored Division, Fort Riley, Kansas. Died in Baghdad of non-combat related injuries on Oct. 22. Home, Houston.
Capt. John R. Teal, 31, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Killed on Oct. 24 when an improvised explosive device struck his convoy in Baghdad. Home, Mechanicsville, Va.
Spc. Jose L. Mora, 26, C Company, lst Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo. Died of wounds received from an enemy mortar attack Oct. 24 in Samaria, Iraq. Home, Bell Gardens, Calif.
Sgt. Michael S. Hancock, 29, lst Battalion, 320 Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Campbell, Ky. Killed on Oct. 24 when shot while on guard duty in Mosul, Iraq. Home, Yreka, Calif.
Spc. Artimus D. Brassfield, 22, B Company, lst Battalion, 66th Armored Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Died of wounds received from an enemy mortar attack on Oct. 24 in Samaria, Iraq. Home, Home, Flint, Mich.
Staff Sgt. Jamie L. Huggins, 26, C Company, 2nd Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. Killed on Oct. 26 on patrol when his vehicle was hit by improvised explosive device. Home, Hume, Mo.
Pvt. Joseph R. Guerrera, 20, C Company, 2nd Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. Killed when his vehicle was hit with an improvised explosive device while he was on Patrol on Oct. 26 in Baghdad. Home, Dunn, N.C.
Lt. Col. Charles H. Buehring, 40, Army Central Command Headquarters (Forward) Fort McPherson, Ga. Fatally injured during a rocket-propelled grenade attack on the El Rashid Hotel in Baghdad on Oct. 26. Home, Fayetteville, N.C.
Pfc. Rachel K. Bosveld, 19, 537th Military Police Company, V Corps, Giesen, Germany. Killed Oct. 26 during mortar attack on the Abu Ghraib Police Station. Home, Waupun, Wis.
Pfc. Steve Acosta, 19, C Company, 3rd Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Died on Oct. 26 from a non-combat gunshot wound. Home, Calexico, Calif.
Pvt. Jonathon L. Falaniko, 20, A Company, 70th Engineer Battalion, lst Armored Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Killed on Oct. 27 while on duty near the police station in downtown Baghdad when a vehicle containing an improvised explosive device detonated. Home, Pago-Pago, American Samoa.
Sgt. Aubrey D. Bell, 33, 214th Military Police Company, Alabama National Guard. Killed in Baghdad on Oct. 27, when an improvised explosive device detonated at his location at the Al Barra Police Station. Home, Tuskegee, Ala.
Spc. Isaac Campoy, 21, 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas. Killed on Oct. 28 in Baghdad, Iraq, when his tank was hit with an improvised explosive device. Home, Douglas, Ariz.
Sgt. Algernon Adams, 36, 122nd Engineer Battalion, Army National Guard. Died on Oct. 28 of non-combat related injuries at Foreward Operating Base, St. Mere, Iraq. Home, Aiken, S.C.
2nd Lt. Todd J. Bryant, 23, lst Battalion, 34th Armored Regiment, lst Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas. Died on Oct. 31 when an improvised explosive device blew up while he was on patrol at Fallujah. Home, Riverside, Calif.
Spc. Maurice Johnson, 21, 326th Engineer Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Fort Captvell, Ky. Killed in Mosul, Iraq, on Nov. 1 when when the high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicle he was riding in was hit by an improvised explosive device. Home, Levittown, Pa.
1st Lt. Joshua Hurley, 24, 326th Engineer Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky. Killed when vehicle he was riding in was hit by an improvised explosive device. Home, Virgina.
2nd Lt. Benjamin J. Colgan, 30, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, lst Armored Division, Giessen, Germany. Killed when he was struck with an improvised explosive device while responding to a rocket-propelled grenade attack. Home, Kent, Wash.
The following were killed in the crash of the Chinook helicopter at Al Fallujah, Iraq, Nov. 2:
Sgt. Daniel M. Bader, 28, Air Defense Artillery Battery, 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo. Home, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Sgt. Ernest G. Bucklew, 33, Support Squadron, 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo. Home, Enon Valley, Pa.
Spc. Steven D. Conover, 21, 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Sill, Okla. Home, Wilmington, Ohio.
Sgt. Anthony Dagostino, 20, 16th Signal Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas. Home, Waterbury, Conn.
Spc. Darius T. Jennings, 22, of 16th Signal Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas. Home, Cordova, S.C.
Pfc. Karina S. Lau, 20, of 16th Signal Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas. Home, Livingston, Calif.
Sgt. Keelan L. Moss, 23, of 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Sill, Okla. Home, Houston, Texas.
Spc. Brian H. Penisten, 28, Air Defense Artillery Battery, lst Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo. Home, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Sgt. Ross A. Pennanon, 36, assigned to 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Sill, Okla. Home, Oklahoma.
Sgt. Joel Perez, 25, 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Sill, Okla. Home, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.
lst Lt. Brian D. Slavenas, 30, F Company, 106th Aviation Battalion, Army National Guard, Peoria, Ill. Home, Genoa, Ill.
Chief Warrant Officer Bruce A. Smith, 41, Detachment I, Company F, 106th Aviation Battalion, Army National Guard, Davenport, Iowa. Home, West Liberty, Iowa.
Spc. Francis M. Vega, 20, 151st Adjustant General Postal Detachment, Fort Hood, Texas. Home, Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico.
Staff Sgt. Paul A. Velazquez, 29, 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, III Corps Artillery, Fort Sill, Okla.
Staff Sgt. Joe N. Wilson, 30, of 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Sill, Okla. Home, Mississippi.
Sgt. Paul F. Fisher, 39, Detachment I, Company F, 106th Aviation Battalion, Army National Guard, Davenport, Iowa. Home, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Sgt. Francisco Martinez, 28, of B Detachment, 82nd Soldier Support Battalion (Airborne) Fort Bragg, N.C. Killed on Nov. 4 in convoy when improvised explosive device exploded. Home, Humacao, Puerto Rico.
Sgt. lst Class Jose A. Rivera, 34, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Fort Bragg, N.C. Killed on Nov. 5 while part of a patrol at Mumulktdyah, Iraq, that came under rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire. Home, Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
Spc. Robert T. Bensonm, 20, of Company A, lst Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment, lst Armored Division, Smith Barracks, Germany. Died from a non-hostile gunshot wound. Home, Spokane, Wash.
The following were killed when a Black Hawk helicopter was shot down by unknown enemy ordinance Nov. 7 in Tikrit, Iraq:
Chief Chief Warrant Officer (CW5) Sharon T. Swartworth, 43, (identified by Pentagon as “female”), regimental warrant officer for the Judge Advocate General Office, Headquarters Department of the Army, Pentagon. Home, Virginia.
Chief Warrant Officer (CW3) Kyran E. Kennedy, 43, of Boston, Mass.
Staff Sgt. Paul M. Neil II, 30, of S.C.
Sgt. Scott C. Rose, 30, Fayettville, N.C.
Kennedy, Neil and Rose were assigned to 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 10th Airborne Division, (Air Assault) Fort Campbell, Ky.
Spc. James A. Chance III, 25, of C Company, 890th Engineer Battalion, Army National Guard, Columbia, Miss. Killed Nov. 6 when his vehicle struck a landmine in Husaybah, Iraq. Home, Kokomo, Miss.
Staff Sgt. Morgan D. Kennon, 23, of 3rd Batallion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, (Air Assault) Fort Campbell, Ky. Killed on Nov. 7 in Mosul, Iraq, while guarding a bank in downtown when he came under rocket propelled grenade attack. Home, Memphis, Tenn.
Staff Sgt. Mark D. Vasquez, 35, of lst Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, lst Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas. Killed on Nov. 8 in Fallujah, Iraq, when a Bradley Fighting Vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. Home, Port Huron, Mich.
Spc. James R. Wolfe, 21, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 52nd Engineer Battalion, Fort Carson, Colo. Killed on Nov. 6 in Mosul, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device was detonated in his convoy. Home, Scottsbluff, Neb.