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Guy's Blog

Just one Guy's personal blog of thoughts & sense--common, non, and otherwise--of the world in which we live.

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Location: Nipomo, Central Coast, California, United States

I also blog over at Nipomo News, Messenger and Advocate and Bloggernacle Times

Saturday, January 28, 2006

America Using Terrorism To Fight Terrorists

The Washington Post reports that the United States' Army has jailed the wives of insurgents to persuade them to surrender:

The U.S. Army in Iraq has at least twice seized and jailed the wives of suspected insurgents in hopes of "leveraging" their husbands into surrender, U.S. military documents show.

In one case, a secretive task force locked up the young mother of a nursing baby, a U.S. intelligence officer reported. In the case of a second detainee, one American colonel suggested to another that they catch her husband by tacking a note to the family's door telling him "to come get his wife."

Ok, help me out here. How is this different from Iraqi "terrorists or insurgents" kidnaping innocent western women and holding them hostage to leverage American policy? Call me crazy, but it sounds pretty much like the same thing to me. How are we any better than the scum of the earth over in Iraq, who are kidnapping in order achieve their own means? This is disgusting, immoral, and reflects George Bush's bankrupt policies in Iraq. Decent people everywhere should be outraged! Of course true to Bushspeak, there is always some explanation:

Iraq's deputy justice minister, Busho Ibrahim Ali, dismissed such claims, saying hostage-holding was a tactic used under the ousted Saddam Hussein dictatorship, and "we are not Saddam." A U.S. command spokesman in Baghdad, Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, said only Iraqis who pose an "imperative threat" are held in long-term U.S.-run detention facilities.

The American government denies the allegations; however, the documents released by that same government conflict with the party line:

But documents describing two 2004 episodes tell a different story as far as short-term detentions by local U.S. units. The documents are among hundreds the Pentagon has released periodically under U.S. court order to meet an American Civil Liberties Union request for information on detention practices.

In one memo, a civilian Pentagon intelligence officer described what happened when he took part in a raid on an Iraqi suspect's house in Tarmiya, northwest of Baghdad, on May 9, 2004. The raid involved Task Force (TF) 6-26, a secretive military unit formed to handle high-profile targets.

"During the pre-operation brief it was recommended by TF personnel that if the wife were present, she be detained and held in order to leverage the primary target's surrender," wrote the 14-year veteran officer.

He said he objected, but when they raided the house the team leader, a senior sergeant, seized her anyway.

"The 28-year-old woman had three young children at the house, one being as young as six months and still nursing," the intelligence officer wrote. She was held for two days and was released after he complained, he said.

Kidnapping a nursing mother? I am ashamed, repulsed, and not at all surprised that American policy makers under George Bush have sunk to levels lower than the Iraqi insurgents. We will continue to fail in Iraq as we continue to pursue such policies.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

John Kerry Still Doesn't Get It

CNN reports John Kerry plans to lead a filibuster against Justice Alito. Says Kerry:

"Judge Alito's confirmation would be an ideological coup on the Supreme Court," Kerry said in a written statement explaining his support for a filibuster.

"We can't afford to see the court's swing vote, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, replaced with a far-right ideologue like Samuel Alito."

Kerry, in Davos, Switzerland, to attend the World Economic Forum, was marshaling support in phone calls during the day, Democratic sources told CNN.

Sources said Kerry talked to a group of Democratic senators Wednesday, and urged that they join him. He also has the support of fellow Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy.

John Kerry had every opportunity to help shape the United States Supreme Court. He could have run a better presidential campaign. He could and should have better pointed out the contrast of Bush's complete incompetence, and their various records of public service. He failed on all counts, and for better or worse the American people rehired George Bush as their President. That choice has had disastrous consequences for America.

The bottom line is that George Bush won reelection. He won the right to appoint Supreme Court Justices. Judge Alito is an extremely well qualified judge to sit on the Supreme Court. He has been on the appellate court for over 15 years. The Senate should confirm him unless there is objective, verifiable evidence he is somehow unqualifed or incompetent to sit as a justice. If John Kerry wanted a different justice, he could have and should have won the election. A filibuster is a bad idea for the democrats. Worse, it is a bad idea for America. Get over it John.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Defending The Indefensible

George Bush in classic Bushspeak called his spying on Americans a terrorist surveillance program, in today's Washington Post.

According to George:

"If they're making phone calls into the United States, we need to know why -- to protect you," Bush said.

Well that's just fine and dandy. I'd like to hear just one example of "them" making phone calls into the United States.

Bush said of the intercepted communications, "These are not phone calls within the United States. This is a phone call of an al Qaeda -- known al Qaeda suspect -- making a phone call into the United States."
Well, if there is actual evidence of known al Qaeda suspects calling into the United States, why aren't these suspects calling in either being arrested or abducted? If you can tap their phones, certainly you must know where they are. And, if they are known Al Qaeda suspects why not arrest or abduct them?

He said, "I'm mindful of your civil liberties, and so I had all kinds of lawyers review the process. We briefed members of the United States Congress . . . about this program.

"You know, it's amazing that people say to me, 'Well, he was just breaking the law.' If I wanted to break the law, why was I briefing Congress?" Bush said with a chuckle.

Yes, I can just imagine George having all kind sof lawyers review this process. Harriet Myers comes immediately to mind. If he was so up front about his domestic syping on America citizens. why haul the New York Times editors into the White House to beg them not to go public with this story?

Bush said he has "authority under the Constitution to conduct foreign intelligence surveillance against our enemies," and that a 2001 congressional authorization for the use of force gave him "additional authority" in waging war against al Qaeda.

"Congress gave me the authority to use necessary force to protect the American people, but it didn't prescribe the tactics," he said. "It said, Mr. President, you've got the power to protect us, but we're not going to tell you how."

This is sheer Alice in Wonderland logic. Congress has not repealed the 4th Amendment. Congress never gave George Bush authority to use any and all means, particularly those against the law to "protect the American people." He continues to live in his dream world. The only problem, is that it's actually a nightmare! Congress, let's wake from this nightmare and begin your investigations. If ever there were a legitimate case for impeachment of a president, this is it: Abuse of authority in direct contradiction of the United States Constitution.

Friday, January 20, 2006

And We Should Believe These Guys Why?

The Washington Post reports that Karl Rove has come back from the politically dead to outline the Republican's 2006 campaign strategy. Rove speaking to the Republican National Committee was quoted:
"At the core, we are dealing with two parties that have fundamentally different views on national security," Rove said. "Republicans have a post-9/11 worldview and many Democrats have a pre-9/11 worldview. That doesn't make them unpatriotic -- not at all. But it does make them wrong -- deeply and profoundly and consistently wrong."
Well, if it's one thing Rove, Bush and company know something about, it's being "wrong." The Post continued:

Mehlman and Rove accused the Democrats of trying to weaken the USA Patriot Act and of embracing calls for a premature exit from Iraq. They defended Bush's use of warrantless eavesdropping to gather intelligence about possible terrorist plots. "Do Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean really think that when the NSA is listening in on terrorists planning attacks on America, they need to hang up when those terrorists dial their sleeper cells in the United States?" Mehlman asked. Pelosi (D-Calif.) is the House minority leader.
So, one has to ask based on the Bush track record, should we really buy what these guys are peddling? They were wrong on weapons of mass destruction. They were wrong on Iraq's nuclear program. They were wrong about Mission Accomplished. They were and continue to be wrong about the "insurgency".

So, when they knowingly feed the American people a line about how we have to side step the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution, to spy on Americans because Osama Bin Laden is calling, don't you believe it for a second. Osama Bin Laden is not calling on Americans' telephones or sending them secretive emails. And, if he were there are safeguards built into law to account for those unlikely possibilities.

When they say the Bush critics are all wrong (meaning unpatriotic) don't you believe it for a second. Many, are well meaning, clear thinking individuals who have served their country far more nobly than Carl Rove, George Bush, or Dick Cheney.

The Bush Administration has yet to get it right on Iraq and its connection to national security. I see no reason yet to believe anything they say on the subject, particularly when it runs contrary to our American values, so deeply rooted in our history.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Where I've Been

Wendol M. Murray 1930~2006

My blogging has been interrupted over the last several weeks. My Dad died on 1/7/06, and I've been attending to other responsibilities since then. I will now have some time to resume blogging in the very near future; however, in the interim, I've posted a tribute to my Dad over at my LDS blog, Messenger and Advocate.

Photo Courtesy of Owen R. Murray

Friday, January 06, 2006

Send In The Clowns . . .

Robertson on Sharon

(Cross posted over at Messenger and Advocate)