Eat At Joes

Just a regular Joe who is angry that the USA, the country he loves, is being corrupted and damaged from within and trying to tell his fellow Americans the other half of the story that they don’t get on the TV News.

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

ABC plans more coverage for RNC than for Dem convention, including during Monday Night Football

Media whores continue to show that they will do anything for money. No better than a $10 Crack Whore with their ankles in the air for whoever pays them the most. Since Bush delivered on his promise to change the FCC laws to allow more Corporate Concentration of (Taxpayer Owned) Airwave Control, that means they will spread their lovin' legs for W! Here's the story on line.

RNC Delegates mock wounded soldiers

Upon hearing of multiple news reports that GOP delegates are belittling the injuries soldiers sustained during service by wearing Band-Aids with purple hearts, DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe issued the following statement:

"It is inexcusable for a Republican delegate to mock anyone who has ever put on a soldier's uniform. It is inexcusable to mock service and sacrifice. Our service men and women put their lives on the line every day. If they are wounded in the line of duty it is because they are fighting on the frontlines for freedom. Anything but complete respect for their service is unacceptable.

"Mindful of the fact that over 3,700 purple hearts have been issued during the Iraq war so far and none of us know how high that number will climb, I call on John McCain and Rudy Giuliani, before they speak, to tell their delegates to disavow these tactics. I call on these two men to use the power of their positions to tell their delegates that service matters, sacrifice matters, and that no Republican delegate should ever mock the service of our soldiers."

Reported on MSNBC earlier today:

MSNBC Correspondent Chip Reed: What is that on your chin?
Pat Peel-Delegate from Texas: I have a purple heart, I hurt myself this morning… uhh… swimming a river I think it was.

Note: she is wearing a bandaid with a purple heart drawn on it on her chin. Those Republicans are such cutups! Mocking recipients of purple hearts while nominating a man who ducked service in Vietnam, and then didn't show up to his stateside unit. I try to be a good Christian, but sometimes I can't help hoping people like this burn in Hell!

Monday, August 30, 2004

Yet more Bush Flip Flops

Bush is fond of digging up things Kerry said 18 years ago, or taking things out of context in order to create the illusion that Kerry changes his positions on issues more often than Bush himself does. Bush is far more guilty of flip flops on issues as is evidenced by comments made in the past month alone:

"We have a clear vision on how to win the war on terror and bring peace to the world."
-- George W. Bush July 30th 2004.

"I don’t think you can win [the war on terror]. But I think you can create conditions so that the — those who use terror as a tool are — less acceptable in parts of the world.”
-- George W. Bush Aug. 29th, 2004.

So we can win the War on Terror, but we can't actually win the War on Terror. I get it! There are a million more where those came from, folks...

Note that both of the above are from Conservative Sources: Fox News and the NY Daily News. Thanks to Talking Points Memo for this.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Just Say "No" to Gay Marriages

I got this off of Kaffy's blog spot and I thought it made some very interesting points

12 reasons to ban gay marriages:

1. Homosexuality is not natural, much like eyeglasses, polyester, and birth control.

2. Heterosexual marriages are valid becasue they produce children. Infertile couples and old people can't legally get married because the world needs more children.

3. Obviously, gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

4. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage is allowed, since Britney Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage was meaningful.

5. Heterosexual marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are property, blacks can't marry whites, and divorce is illegal.

6. Gay marriage should be decided by people, not the courts, because the majority-elected legislatures, not courts, have historically protected the rights of the minorities.

7. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire counrty. That's why we have only one religion in America.

8. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

9. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

10. Children can never suceed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why single parents are forbidden to raise children.

11. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society. Heterosexual marriage has been around for a long time, and we could never adapt to new social norms because we haven't adapted to things like cars or longer lifespans.

12. Civil unions, providing most of the same benefits as marriage with a different name are better, because a "separate but equal" institution is always constitutional. Separate schools for African-Americans worked just as well as separate marriages for gays and lesbians will.

Monday, August 23, 2004

The Swift Boat ad - a pattern of deceit

A web site that finds fault with both Democrat and Republican political claims recently did an analysis of the ad attacking Kerry’s war record. On the day I found it their lead story was on false claims made by the Democratic Party about Bush’s record. Another one says 'Pro-Kerry group’s ad claims “Bush says he's going to help companies outsource jobs.” But Bush never said that.' So they can be trusted more than sources which support one candidate over the other. Here is the link to the analysis of the ad attacking Kerry’s war record it is entitled “Republican-funded Group Attacks Kerry's War Record” in case the link has changed by the time you look at this:

Since that article was written more has come to light about the ad. One of the vets who appeared on the ad, Alfred French, now admits that he did not witness the battle he claims to on the ad.
Here is the article from his local paper

That article is from the Oregon vet’s local paper. Instead he was relying on the account of a friend, Larry Thurlow. 35 years ago Mr. Thurlow reported that all 5 Swift Boats were under enemy fire, but today says there was no enemy fire. Both Thurlow and French are active members of the Republican Party. Now, some others who support Kerry’s and the official record of the day’s events are also life long Republicans. As is Mr. Rassmann, the ex-Green Beret Special Forces officer rescued from the river. But the ones accusing Kerry say that they are angry with Kerry for his anti-war stance after serving his tour of duty in Vietnam, whereas those who support Kerry’s account are by and large not holding such a grudge.

Another vet who appears on the anti-Kerry ad has been working for the Bush/Cheney campaign. The Bush/Cheney campaign said they had no idea that one of their people had appeared on the ad (which is a violation of law, by the way -- the campaigns aren't to have any connection with these "independent" “527” political groups) and he has been dismissed. The Bush/Cheney campaign says that this was an honest mistake, but one of their top donators gave the start up money, $200,000.00, to the group that created the ad. Again there is to be no connection between these or else someone is supposed to go to jail. A Florida newspaper reports that a member of the group that has run ads attacking John Kerry's Vietnam War record had to pull out of an anti-Kerry rally over the weekend after it was learned that it was promoted by President Bush's campaign. Had he showed up the Bush campaign would have been in big trouble. Bush's campaign says that this was another harmless oversight. There is a pattern emerging here.

A number of vets approached by “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth,” the group that produced the anti-Kerry ad and who refused to make the claims the group asked them to are now coming forward to tell what really happened. Every day more vets who served in the actions depicted in the anti-Kerry ad are coming to the fore to say that the ad is wrong in its claims. They have wanted to forget Vietnam and put that behind them, but many are now feeling forced to set the record straight even though it brings back painful memories.

Thurlow (mentioned above) received a Bronze Star for his actions in that battle in which today he says there was no enemy fire. Kerry says there was enemy fire. So does Rassmann, the Republican, whose life Kerry saved. So do the crew members of Kerry's own Swift boat. So does Kerry's citation. So does Thurlow's citation. Both citations were signed by Lt. Commander George Elliott (a supporter of Swift Boat Veterans who has issued conflicting statements about Kerry's wartime actions sometimes saying he deserved his medals sometimes saying he did not). There were other officers who received medals for that battle and their citations also say that there was enemy fire. No one disputed this until Kerry ran for president against President Bush.
Back in 2000 a similar pro-Bush “independent” group aired ads against Republican Sen. John McCain about his service in Vietnam. That was when Bush was running against McCain in the 2000 South Carolina primary. McCain lost. In 2002 another group aired ads attacking another Vietnam vet who had lost 3 limbs in Vietnam comparing him to Saddam and Osama. That vet lost. Here today the same thing is happening again. There is a clear pattern emerging here.

Here is an article from a Texas newspaper, The Huston Chronicle, on who is funding the anti-Kerry ads: The money trail leads to Bush’s political campaign donors.

Oregon Prosecutor who appears in an ad attacking Kerry's war record admits he did not witness the events in question

Online story here

A Clackamas County prosecutor and decorated Vietnam veteran who appears in an ad attacking Democratic presidential contender John F. Kerry's war record said he did not witness the events in question and is relying on the accounts of his friends who served with the senator.
The 60-second ad, which aired for seven days this month in Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin, features 13 Vietnam veterans, including Alfred French, 58, a senior deputy district attorney in Clackamas County.
In the ad, French says: "I served with John Kerry. . . . He is lying about his record."
The ad was paid for by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group of 300 Vietnam veterans who served in Swift boats and say Kerry has lied about his war record and disgraced his fellow veterans by publicly opposing the conflict upon his return home. The group said the ad will be aired again, though it has not decided where it will be shown.
French, in an interview Thursday, said Kerry lied about the circumstances that led to one of his Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. Kerry received a Bronze Star, a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts commanding a Swift boat in Vietnam.
French said he is relying on the accounts of three other veterans who were friends of his at the time. A fourth veteran with whom French was acquainted corroborated their accounts.
"I was not a witness to these events but my friends were," said French, who was awarded two Bronze Stars during the war. "I believe these people. These are people I served with."
One of the men is Larry Thurlow, a leader of the veterans group and one of Kerry's most vocal critics. Thurlow, who served alongside Kerry, has disputed Kerry's claim that the senator's boat was under fire in March 1969 when he pulled Lt. Jim Rassmann out of the water.
But according to Thurlow's military records, obtained this week by The Washington Post, the five-boat flotilla was under enemy fire that day.
French -- relying on friends' accounts -- said Rassmann would have been picked up by another boat if Kerry had not helped. And French said any shots that were fired came from U.S. soldiers providing cover as Rassmann and two others were rescued.
"It's not like he wouldn't have been saved if Kerry had not been there," French said. "I don't believe they were under any fire when that happened. None of the other boats were damaged."
He said Rassmann's rescue did not merit a special honor.
"Somebody fell off your boat and you go back and pick him up," French said. "It's not worthy of a Bronze Star in my opinion."
Rassmann, who lives in Florence and is campaigning for Kerry, said the ad is motivated in part by some veterans' anger over Kerry's antiwar stance upon returning home -- a charge French acknowledges. Rassmann said the group's claims are completely false.
"To come back 35 years later and conjure up fabricated stories is the lowest form of politics," said Rassmann, who said he does not know French.
"I honor these guys for their service," Rassmann said. "I know they were very courageous, along with John Kerry, and it saddens me that they are all at one another's throats."
French, a registered Republican, said he was reluctant at first to take part in the ad but ultimately "decided it was something I needed to do."
French said his one-year tour of duty in Vietnam overlapped Kerry's by two months. He said they served together in the same unit in January and February 1969. He said he did not know Kerry well during that time.

He relied on comments from Republican Larry Thurlow who 35 years ago said that all the swift boats were under enemy fire, but today says there was none. Their stories are falling apart one by one! It was acknowledged today that one of the vets on the ad was working for the Bush/Cheney campaign. Bush/Cheney said they had no idea that one of their people had appeared on the ad (which is a violation of law, by the way -- the campaigns aren't to have any connection with these "independent" political groups. This is a clear violation of law, but will be excused as all Bush Administration violations of law are.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Official admits Bush administration has no evidence of imminent plans by terrorists to attack U.S. financial buildings after all!

Online article here
By Ted Bridis
Associated Press Writer
August 12, 2004

WASHINGTON --The Bush administration has discovered no evidence of imminent plans by terrorists to attack U.S. financial buildings, nearly two weeks after the government issued startling warnings about such possible threats, a White House official said Thursday.

Some documents and computer files seized in al-Qaida raids showing surveillance of U.S. financial buildings had been accessed for unknown purposes this spring, months later than authorities had previously disclosed, the official said.

Officials had said earlier that some files had been reviewed as recently as January.
The seized records included surveillance reports of financial buildings in New York, Washington and Newark, N.J., during 2000 and 2001, which prompted dramatic warnings Aug. 1 from the White House about possible threats to those buildings.
But nothing in the documents themselves has suggested any attack was planned soon, the officials said.

"I have not seen an indication of an imminent operation," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity with reporters from nearly a dozen news organizations. Investigators are still poring over volumes of the seized information.

The White House homeland security adviser, Frances Fragos Townsend, told "Fox News Sunday" over the weekend that authorities believe discovery of the surveillance has disrupted all or part of al-Qaida's plans to carry out such attacks.

The FBI and local police still haven't determined whether surveillance of the financial buildings was performed by a single person or several people, and the FBI has not yet identified anyone involved in the surveillance, the White House official said Thursday, adding that the detailed reconnaissance indicated "an awful lot of time and energy put into it."

Another administration official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said the White House still would have issued the terror alerts that it did nearly two weeks ago even had it known at the time that the surveillance documents did not point to an imminent operation.

The administration remains deeply concerned about information uncovered separately in the spring suggesting al-Qaida was plotting a major attack inside the United States -- perhaps in August or September -- to disrupt the elections, the first official said.

None of the documents or computer files recovered in the recent raids in Pakistan mentioned any election-related plots, the same official said.

This official said unspecified intelligence indicates al-Qaida's plans for an attack before the election were "more than merely aspirational" but declined to be more specific because it might reveal the information's source. Timing was unclear, the official said, acknowledging that intelligence agencies "wish we had a sense."

Senior U.S. officials -- including Townsend, Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert Mueller and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice -- have expressed similar concerns since March about possible al-Qaida efforts to disrupt the U.S. elections.

Townsend said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation" that she believes the surveillance of the U.S. financial buildings might be related to the election-period threat.

Surprise! The imminent warnings of terrorist attacks to U.S. financial institutions released right at the end of the Democratic National Convention when Kerry might have gotten some positive press coverage and which grabbed the headlines from Kerry's triumph and campaign kickoff weren't imminent after all! What a surprise! NOT! They take THREE YEAR OLD data and tell the US there is an imminent terrorist attack to financial institutions, and then Bush sends his wife and daughters to one of the designated targets, CitiCorp (see story link below)! Obviously the attack wasn't imminent or even remotely likely or he wouldn't have done that. How stupid does the Bush Administration think the people of the US are? Well, since the media doesn't inform them of these obvious abuses of Homeland Security for political purposes their expectation may be valid. Get the word out on this! Bush/Cheney Inc. thinks we're a bunch of morons! Let's show them the door in 2004. Vote Tuesday, November 2, 2004!

Bush Tax Cuts Heavily Favor Rich, CBO Reports

Online article here
NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Bush's tax cuts have transferred the federal tax burden from the richest Americans to middle-class families, with one-third of them benefiting people with the top 1 percent of income, according to a government report cited in newspapers on Friday.

The Congressional Budget Office report, to be released Friday, is likely to fuel the debate over the cuts between Bush and his Democratic challenger in November, John Kerry.

The report said the top 1 percent, with incomes averaging $1.2 million per year, will receive an average $78,460 tax cut this year, and have seen their share of the total tax burden fall roughly 2 percentage points to 20.1 percent, according to The New York Times.

In contrast, households in the middle 20 percent, with incomes averaging $57,000 per year, will receive an average cut of only $1,090, the newspaper said, citing the CBO report.

Taxpayers whose incomes range from $51,500 to around $75,600, saw their share of federal tax payments increase, according to CBO figures cited by The Washington Post.

The calculations, requested by congressional Democrats, confirm the long-held view by independent tax analysts that the tax cuts, enacted in 2001 and 2003, have heavily favored the wealthiest taxpayers, the Times said.

Bush has said the cuts provided crucial support to the U.S. economy after the Sept. 11 attacks and the three-year decline in U.S. stocks.

But Kerry, who wants to roll back the cuts for households whose incomes top $200,000 per year, has said the cuts did little for the economy, and helped cause the federal budget to swing from a more than $100 billion surplus in 2001 to a projected deficit exceeding $400 billion this year.

The newspapers, citing the CBO report, said about two-thirds of the benefits from the cuts went to households in the top 20 percent, with an average income of $203,740.

People in the lowest 20 percent of earnings, which averaged $16,620, saw their effective tax rate fall to 5.2 percent from 6.7 percent, though their average tax cut was only $250.

Isn't this what all of the knowledgeable tax experts have been saying for 3 years now? It took the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office to corroborate what we've known for 3 years? And still the Bush Admin will deny the truth to continue delivering benefit to those George W. Bush referred to as his "Base" when he attended that black tie and tail fundraiser highlighted in the film Fahrenheit 9/11.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Leading US Daily Admits Underplaying Stories Critical of White House Push for Iraq War

Published on Thursday,
August 12, 2004 on Common Dreams from AFP

WASHINGTON - The Washington Post became the latest prestigious US newspaperto question its own coverage of Iraq leading up to the US-led war, sayingit underplayed stories questioning White House claims that Saddam Hussein hadweapons of mass destruction."Administration assertions were on the front page. Things that challengedthe administration were on A18 on Sunday or A24 on Monday," said Pentagoncorrespondent Thomas Ricks.

"There was an attitude among editors: Look, we're going to war, why dowe even worry about all this contrary stuff?" he added.In retrospect, said Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr., "we were sofocused on trying to figure out what the administration was doing that we werenot giving the same play to people who said it wouldn't be a good idea to go towar and were questioning the administration's rationale."Not enough of those stories were put on the front page. That was amistake on my part."

In the months leading up to the March 2003 invasion, there were persistentdoubts about intelligence reports underpinning White House contentions that Iraqposed a threat because it was hiding weapons of mass destruction and had linkswith international terrorist organizations.

No chemical, biological or nuclear weapons have been found in Iraq sincethen, and US investigators have dismissed any serious contacts between SaddamHussein's regime and international terrorists.In the aftermath of the war, the US media in general has been criticized forlacking objectivity in its coverage of the Bush administration's drive to punishBaghdad.

"We did our job, but we didn't do enough, and I blame myself mightilyfor not pushing harder," Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward said in aninterview.

"We should have warned readers we had information that the basis for(the war) was shakier" than widely believed, he said. "Those areexactly the kind of statements that should be published on the front page."In May, The New York Times issued a similar critique of its coverage in therun-up to the war, saying administration claims were published with insufficientdoubt.

"Some of the Times's coverage in the months leading up to the invasionof Iraq was credulous; much of it was inappropriately italicized by lavishfront-page display and heavy-breathing headlines," Public Editor DanielOkrent said at the time.

Okrent's column came four days after the Times's editors printed their ownmea culpa, admitting the newspaper was taken in by spurious information fromIraqi exiles -- especially over the issue of weapons of mass destruction -- withtheir own agenda to oust Saddam Hussein.Okrent cited instances in which reporters who raised substantive questionsabout certain stories were not heeded, while others with substantial knowledgeof the subject at hand seemed not to have been given the chance to expressreservations.

"Times reporters broke many stories before and after the war -- but whenthe stories themselves later broke apart, in many instances Times readers neverfound out," he said. "Some remain scoops to this day. This is not acompliment."
© Copyright 2004 AFP

One by one we are finally seeing what many of us saw from the beginning that the Corporate Owned Media were holding back or burying news critical of the Bush Administration's push for war in Iraq. Surprise surprise surprise!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Republican-funded Group Attacks Kerry's War Record Ad features vets who claim Kerry "lied" to get Vietnam medals. But other witnesses disagree.

Online article here

August 6, 2004

Modified:August 10, 2004


A group funded by the biggest Republican campaign donor in Texas began running an attack ad Aug. 5 in which former Swift Boat veterans claim Kerry lied to get one of his two decorations for bravery and two of his three purple hearts.

But the veterans who accuse Kerry are contradicted by Kerry's former crewmen. One of the accusers says he was on another boat "a few yards" away during the incident which won Kerry the Bronze Star, but the former Army lieutenant whom Kerry plucked from the water that day backs Kerry's account. In an Aug. 10 opinion piece in the conservative Wall Street Journal , Rassmann (a Republican himself) wrote that the ad was "launched by people without decency" who are "lying" and "should hang their heads in shame."


"Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" is a group formed March 23 after Kerry wrapped up the Democratic nomination. It held a news conference May 4 denigrating Kerry's military record and his later anti-war pronouncements during the 1970's. The group began running an attack ad Aug. 5 in which 13 veterans variously say Kerry is "not being honest" and "is lying about his record."

SBVT Ad "Any Questions?" 

John Edwards: "If you have any questions about what John Kerry is made of, just spend 3 minutes with the men who served with him."

(On screen: Here's what those men this of John Kerry)

Al French: I served with John Kerry.

Bob Elder : I served with John Kerry.

George Elliott: John Kerry has not been honest about what happened in Vietnam.

Al French: He is lying about his record.

Louis Letson: I know John Kerry is lying about his first Purple Heart because I treated him for that injury.

Van O'Dell: John Kerry lied to get his bronze star...I know, I was there, I saw what happened.

Jack Chenoweth: His account of what happened and what actually happened are the difference between night and day.

Admiral Hoffman: John Kerry has not been honest.

Adrian Lonsdale: And he lacks the capacity to lead.

Larry Thurlow: When he chips were down, you could not count on John Kerry.

Bob Elder: John Kerry is no war hero.

Grant Hibbard: He betrayed all his shipmates...he lied before the Senate.

Shelton White: John Kerry betrayed the men and women he served with in Vietnam.

Joe Ponder: He dishonored his country...he most certainly did.

Bob Hildreth: I served with John Kerry...

Bob Hildreth (off camera) : John Kerry cannot be trusted.

Where the Money Comes From

Although the word "Republican" does not appear in the ad, the group's financing is highly partisan. The source of the Swift Boat group's money wasn't known when it first surfaced, but a report filed July 15 with the Internal Revenue Services now shows its initial funding came mainly from a Houston home builder, Bob R. Perry, who has also given millions to the Republican party and Republican candidates, mostly in Texas, including President Bush and Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay, whose district is near Houston

Perry gave $100,000 of the $158,750 received by the Swift Boat group through the end of June, according to its disclosure report .

Perry and his wife Doylene also gave more than $3 million to Texas Republicans during the 2002 elections, according to a database maintained by the Institute on Money in State Politics . The Perrys also were among the largest Republican donors in neighboring Louisiana, where they gave $200,000, and New Mexico, where they gave $183,000, according to the database 

At the federal level the Perrys have given $359,825 since 1999, including $6,000 to Bush's campaigns and $27,325 to DeLay and his political action committee, Americans for a Republican Majority, according the a database maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics .

The Silver Star

Several of those who appear in the ad have signed brief affidavits, and we have posted some of them in the "supporting documents" section to the right for our visitors to evaluate for themselves.

One of those affidavits, signed by George Elliott, quickly became controversial. Elliott is the retired Navy captain who had recommended Kerry for his highest decoration for valor, the Silver Star, which was awarded for events of Feb. 29, 1969, when Kerry beached his boat in the face of an enemy ambush and then pursued and killed an enemy soldier on the shore.

Elliott, who had been Kerry's commanding officer, was quoted by the Boston Globe Aug 6 as saying he had made a "terrible mistake" in signing the affidavit against Kerry, in which Elliott suggested Kerry hadn't told him the truth about how he killed the enemy soldier. Later Elliott signed a second affidavit saying he still stands by the words in the TV ad. But Elliott also made what he called an "immaterial clarification" - saying he has no first-hand information that Kerry was less than forthright about what he did to win the Silver Star.

What Elliott said in the ad is that Kerry "has not been honest about what happened in Viet Nam." In his original affidavit Elliott said Kerry had not been "forthright" in Vietnam. The only example he offered of Kerry not being "honest" or "forthright" was this: "For example, in connection with his Silver Star, I was never informed that he had simply shot a wounded, fleeing Viet Cong in the back."

In the Globe story, Elliott is quoted as saying it was a "terrible mistake" to sign that statement:

George Elliott (Globe account): It was a terrible mistake probably for me to sign the affidavit with those words. I'm the one in trouble here. . . . I knew it was wrong . . . In a hurry I signed it and faxed it back. That was a mistake.

In his second affidavit, however, Elliott downgraded that "terrible mistake" to an "immaterial clarification." He said in the second affidavit:

Elliott (second affidavit): I do not claim to have personal knowledge as to how Kerry shot the wounded, fleeing Viet Cong. 

Elliott also said he now believes Kerry shot the man in the back, based on other accounts including a book in which Kerry is quoted as saying of the soldier, "He was running away with a live B-40 (rocket launcher) and, I thought, poised to turn around and fire it." (The book quoted by Elliott is John  F. Kerry, The Complete Biography, By The Reporters Who Know Him Best.)

Elliott also says in that second affidavit, "Had I known the facts, I would not have recommended Kerry for the Silver Star for simply pursuing and dispatching a single, wounded, fleeing Viet Cong." That statement is misleading, however. It mischaracterizes the actual basis on which Kerry received his decoration.

The official citation shows Kerry was not awarded the Silver Star "for simply pursing and dispatching" the Viet Cong. In fact, the killing is not even mentioned in the official citation. The citation - based on what Elliott wrote up at the time - covers Kerry's decision to attack rather than flee from two ambushes, including one in which he "led a landing party." It says Kerry first attacked an "entrenched enemy" less than 50 feet away: "Unhesitatingly, Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry ordered his boat to attack as all units opened fire and beached directly in front of the enemy ambushers. This daring and courageous tactic surprised the enemy and succeeded in routing a score of enemy soldiers." It says "many enemy weapons" were captured. Later, 800 yards away, Kerry's boat encountered a second ambush and a B-40 rocket exploded  "close aboard" Kerry's boat. "With utter disregard for his own safety, and the enemy rockets, he again ordered a charge on the enemy, beached his boat only ten feet away from the VC rocket position, and personally led a landing party ashore in pursuit of the enemy." There is no mention of enemy casualties at all. Kerry was cited for "extraordinary daring and personal courage . . . in attacking a numerically superior force in the face of intense fire."

Elliott had previously defended Kerry on that score when his record was questioned during his 1996 Senate campaign. At that time Elliott came to Boston and said Kerry acted properly and deserved the Silver Star. And as recently as June, 2003, Elliott called Kerry's Silver Star "well deserved" and his action "courageous" for beaching his boat in the face of an ambush:

Elliott (Boston Globe, June 2003): I ended up writing it up for a Silver Star, which is well deserved, and I have no regrets or second thoughts at all about that. . . . (It) was pretty courageous to turn into an ambush even though you usually find no more than two or three people there.

Elliott now feels differently, and says he has come to believe Kerry didn't deserve his second award for valor, either, based only on what the other anti-Kerry veterans have told him. He told the Globe Aug. 6:

Elliott: I have chosen to believe the other men. I absolutely do not know first hand.

The Bronze Star

The most serious allegation in the ad is that Kerry received both the Bronze Star, his second-highest decoration, and his third purple heart, which allowed him to be sent home early, under false pretenses. But that account is flatly contradicted by Jim Rassmann, the former Army Lieutenant whom Kerry rescued that day.

Van O'Dell, a former Navy enlisted man who says he was the gunner on another Swift Boat, states in his affidavit that he was "a few yards away" from Kerry's boat on March 13, 1969 when Kerry pulled Rassman from the water. According to the official medal citations, Kerry's boat was under enemy fire at the time, and Kerry had been wounded when an enemy mine exploded near his own boat. O'Dell insists "there was no fire" at the time, adding: "I did not hear any shots, nor did any hostile fire hit any boats" other than his own, PCF-3.

Others in the ad back up that account. Jack Chenoweth, who was a Lieutenant (junior grade) commanding PCF-3, said Kerry's boat "fled the scene" after a mine blast disabled PCF-3, and returned only later "when it was apparent that there was no return fire." And Larry Thurlow, who says he commanded a third Swift Boat that day, says "Kerry fled while we stayed to fight," and returned only later "after no return fire occurred."

 Kerry Ad "Heart"

John Kerry: I was born in Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Colorado, my dad was serving in the Army air corps. Both of my parents taught me about public service. I enlisted because I believed in service to country. I thought it was important, if you had a lot of privileges as I had had, to go to a great university like Yale, that you give something back to your country.

Del Sandusky: The decisions that he made saved our lives.

Jim Rassmann: When he pulled me out of the river, he risked his life to save mine. 

Narrator: For more than 30 years John Kerry has served America.

Vanessa Kerry: If you look at my father's time and service to this country, whether it has been a veteran, prosecutor, or Senator, he has shown an ability to fight for things that matter.

Teresa Kerry: John is the face of someone who is hopeful, who is generous of spirit, and of heart.

John Kerry : We're a country of optimists...we're the can-do people, and we just need to believe in ourselves again. 

Narrator: A lifetime of service and strength: John Kerry for President.

None of those in the attack ad by the Swift Boat group actually served on Kerry's boat. And their statements are contrary to the accounts of Kerry and those who served under him. 

Jim Rassmann was the Army Special Forces lieutenant whom Kerry plucked from the water. Rassmann has said all along that he was under sniper fire from both banks of the river when Kerry, wounded, helped him aboard. Rassmann is featured in an earlier Kerry ad, in fact, (see script at left) saying "he (Kerry) risked his life to save mine."

On Aug. 10, Rassmann wrote a vivid account of the rescue in the Wall Street Journal that contradicts the Kerry accusers. Rassmann said that after the first explosion that disabled PCF-3:

Rassmann: Machine-gun fire erupted from both banks of the river and a second explosion followed moments later. The second blast blew me off John's swift boat, PCF-94, throwing me into the river. Fearing that the other boats would run me over, I swam to the bottom of the river and stayed there as long as I could hold my breath.

When I surfaced, all the swift boats had left, and I was alone taking fire from both banks. To avoid the incoming fire I repeatedly swam under water as long as I could hold my breath, attempting to make it to the north bank of the river. I thought I would die right there. The odds were against me avoiding the incoming fire and, even if I made it out of the river, I thought I thought I'd be captured and executed. Kerry must have seen me in the water and directed his driver, Del Sandusky, to turn the boat around. Kerry's boat ran up to me in the water, bow on, and I was able to climb up a cargo net to the lip of the deck. But, because I was nearly upside down, I couldn't make it over the edge of the deck. This left me hanging out in the open, a perfect target. John, already wounded by the explosion that threw me off his boat, came out onto the bow, exposing himself to the fire directed at us from the jungle, and pulled me aboard.

Rassmann said he recommended Kerry for the Silver Star for that action, and learned only later that the Bronze Star had been awarded instead. "To this day I still believe he deserved the Silver Star for his courage," he wrote. Rassmann described himself as a retired lieutenant with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. "I am a Republican, and for more than 30 years I have largely voted for Republicans," Rassmann said. But he said Kerry "will be a great commander in chief."

"This smear campaign has been launched by people without decency," Rassmann said. "Their new charges are false; their stories are fabricated, made up by people who did not serve with Kerry in Vietnam."

The Third Purple Heart

The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth further says Kerry didn't deserve his third purple heart, which was received for shrapnel wounds in left buttocks and contusions on right forearm. The Swift Boat group's affidavits state that the wound in Kerry's backside happened earlier that day in an accident. "Kerry inadvertently wounded himself in the fanny," Thurlow said in his affidavit, "by throwing a grenade too close (to destroy a rice supply) and suffered minor shrapnel wounds."

The grenade incident is actually supported by Kerry's own account, but the shrapnel wound was only part of the basis for Kerry's third purple heart according to official documents. The evidence here is contradictory.

Kerry's account is in  the book Tour of Duty by Douglas Brinkley, who based it largely on Kerry's own Vietnam diaries and 12 hours of interviews with Kerry. "I got a piece of small grenade in my ass from one of the rice-bin explosions and then we started to move back to the boats," Kerry is quoted as saying on page 313. In that account, Kerry says his arm was hurt later, after the mine  blast that disabled PCF-3, when a second explosion rocked his own boat. "The concussion threw me violently against the bulkhead on the door and I smashed my arm," Kerry says on page 314.

And according to a Navy casualty report released by the Kerry campaign, the third purple heart was received for "shrapnel wounds in left buttocks and contusions on his right forearm when a mine detonated close aboard PCF-94," Kerry's boat. As a matter of strict grammar, the report doesn't state that both injuries were received as a result of the mine explosion, only the arm injury.

The official citation  for Kerry's Bronze Star refers only to his arm injury, not to the shrapnel wound to his rear. It says he performed the rescue "from an exposed position on the bow, his arm bleeding and in pain." The description of Kerry's arm "bleeding" isn't consistent with the description of a "contusion," or bruise.

Rassmann's Aug. 10 Wall Street Journal article states that Kerry's arm was "wounded by the explosion that threw me off his boat," which would make that wound clearly enemy-inflicted.

In any case, even a "friendly fire" injury can qualify for a purple heart "as long as the 'friendly' projectile or agent was released with the full intent of inflicting damage or destroying enemy troops or equipment," according to the website of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. All agree that rice was being destroyed that day on the assumption that it otherwise might feed Viet Cong fighters.

Another major discrepancy raises a question of how close Kerry's accusers actually were to the rescue of Rassmann. Tour of Duty describes Rassmann's rescue (and the sniper fire) as happening "several hundred yards back" from where the crippled PCF-3 was lying, not "a few yards away," the distance from which the anti-Kerry veterans claim to have witnessed the incident.

First Purple Heart

Two who appear in the ad say Kerry didn't deserve his first purple heart.  Louis Letson, a medical officer and Lieutenant Commander, says in the ad that he knows Kerry is lying about his first purple heart because “I treated him for that.”  However, medical records provided by the Kerry campaign to do not list Letson as the “person administering treatment” for Kerry’s injury on December 3, 1968 .  The medical officer who signed this sick call report is J.C. Carreon, who is listed as treating Kerry for shrapnel to the left arm.

In his affidavit, Letson says Kerry's wound was self-inflicted and does not merit a purple heart. But that's based on hearsay, and disputed hearsay at that. Letson says “the crewman with Kerry told me there was no hostile fire, and that Kerry had inadvertently wounded himself with an M-79 grenade.” But the Kerry campaign says the two crewmen with Kerry that day deny ever talking to Letson.

Also appearing in the ad is  Grant Hibbard, Kerry’s commanding officer at the time. Hibbard’s affidavit says that he “turned down the Purple Heart request,” and recalled Kerry's injury as a "tiny scratch less than from a rose thorn." 

That doesn't quite square with Letson's affidavit, which describes shrapnel "lodged in Kerry's arm" (though "barely.")

Hibbard also told the Boston Globe in an interview in April 2004 that he eventually acquiesced about granting Kerry the purple heart.

Hibbard: I do remember some questions on it. . .I finally said, OK if that's what happened. . . do whatever you want

Kerry got the first purple heart after Hibbard left to return to the US

McCain Speaks Up

Sen. John McCain -- who has publicly endorsed Bush and even appealed for donations to the President's campaign -- came to Kerry's defense on this. McCain didn't witness the events in question, of course. But he told the Associated Press in an August 5 interview:

McCain : I think the ad is dishonest and dishonorable. As it is none of these individuals served on the boat (Kerry) commanded. Many of his crewmates have testified to his courage under fire.  I think John Kerry served honorably in Vietnam.

At this point, 35 years later and half a world away, we see no way to resolve which of these versions of reality is closer to the truth.


Michael Kranish,Veteran Retracts Criticism of Kerry ,” The Boston Globe, 6 August 2004 .

Jodi Wilgoren, "Vietnam Veterans Buy Ads to Attack Kerry," The New York Times, 5 August 2004. 

Douglas Brinkley, Tour of Duty, (NY, HarperCollins, 2004).

Jim Rassmann, "Shame on the Swift Boat Veterans for Bush," Wall Street Journal, 10 Aug 2004: A10.

Ron Fournier, "McCain Condemns Anti-Kerry Ad," Associated Press, 5 August 2004.

Michael Kranish, "Kerry Faces Questions Over Purple Heart," The Boston Globe , 14 April 2004: A1.

Michael Kranish, "Heroism, and growing concern about war," The Boston Globe, 16 June 2003.

Bush Cartel author of a new anti-John Kerry book frequently posted comments on a conservative Web site describing Muslims and Catholics as Pedophiles

Online article here
WASHINGTON - One of the authors of a new anti-John Kerry (news - web sites) book frequently posted comments on a conservative Web site describing Muslims and Catholics as pedophiles and Pope John Paul II as senile.

But as he prepared to launch the book, "Unfit for Command," Jerry Corsi apologized for the remarks in an interview with The Associated Press Tuesday, saying they were meant as a joke and he never intended to offend anyone.

In chat room entry last year on, Corsi writes: "Islam is a peaceful religion — just as long as the women are beaten, the boys buggered and the infidels are killed."

In another entry, he says: "So this is what the last days of the Catholic Church are going to look like. Buggering boys undermines the moral base and the lawyers rip the gold off the Vatican altars. We may get one more Pope, when this senile one dies, but that's probably about it."

Corsi, who described himself as a "devout Catholic," said the comments are being taken out of context. "I considered them a joke," said Corsi, who owns a financial services company and has written extensively on the anti-war movement.

In a March posting, Corsi discussed Kerry's faith, writing: "After he married TerRAHsa, didn't John Kerry begin practicing Judaism? He also has paternal grandparents that were Jewish. What religion is John Kerry?"

Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, are Catholic.

"I don't stand by any of those comments and I apologize if they offended anybody," Corsi said.

The Kerry campaign called Corsi's Web chat postings disgusting.

"President Bush should immediately condemn this sleazy book written by a virulent anti-Catholic bigot. It says something about the smear campaign against John Kerry that it has stooped to enlist a hatemonger," said campaign spokesman Chad Clanton.

Calls to the Bush-Cheney campaign were not immediately returned.

"Unfit for Command," which goes on sale Wednesday, accuses the Democratic presidential nominee of lying about his decorated wartime record and betraying comrades by returning from Vietnam and alleging widespread atrocities by U.S. troops.

The book claims that Kerry earned his Silver Star not in a barrage of enemy fire, but rather by killing a fleeing Viet Cong teenager. It also questions the three Purple Hearts that Kerry earned, saying that none was for serious injuries and two wounds were self-inflicted.

According to medical records from his naval service, Kerry still has shrapnel in his thigh from a war injury.

"I think it's important the country have the facts about John Kerry so that they can reach a reasonable decision," said co-author John O'Neill, who succeeded Kerry in command of a swift boat. O'Neill also is spokesman for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which began airing an anti-Kerry ad last week.

John O'Neill and the other authors of this book on Kerry never served with Kerry. Those who did serve with him say that this book is nonsense, and they support Kerry wholeheartedly. O'Neill became skipper of Kerry's swift boat after Kerry left Viet Nam, but never met him until after then President Richard Nixon picked O'Neill to go after Kerry because Kerry had become involved in the anti-war effort, and had testified before Congress. After Kerry came back from serving in combat in Viet Nam he learned that the Viet Nam war was based on lies of former President Johnson that Vietnamese had attacked US ships in the Gulf of Tonkin. Johnson got Congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that alled him to start the Viet Nam war (sound familiar?). Kerry met with dozens of other Viet Nam vets many of whom were distraught over the fact that they had knowingly killed civilians, and worse. They confessed these acts to one another at the Winter Soldiers Investigation in Detroit in 1971. These acts were often encouraged by military superiors. Nixon had to silence Kerry, and so Nixon picked John O'Neill who has been dogging Kerry ever since, and working for and with the Republican Party for 30 years. Now he tries to claim that he is "non-partisan" and only after the truth, but the sailors who served with Kerry say that O'Neill is full of sh*t. O'Neill's handlers got a doctor to say that Kerry's injuries weren't serious on the occasion of one of his purple hearts. The only problem is that this doctor didn't examine Kerry. A different one did, who agreed that the injuries were serious. Kerry still has shrapnel in his body from the war that the doctors couldn't remove without endangering his life. Of course to O'Neill and hatemonger Jerry Corsi, co-authors of the anti-Kerry book, that is not serious at all. I suspect that Kerry's crew didn't like O'Neill compared to their old skipper, Kerry, and O'Neill has been bitter about coming up second to Kerry ever since. He has to bring Kerry down to satisfy his own wounded ego. Unfortunately for O'Neill they don't give purple hearts for injured pride!

Friday, August 06, 2004

Three year old intel used to scare public was weaker than we thought

"None of the evidence found in Pakistan indicated that preparations for an attack on the buildings in New York, Washington and New Jersey went beyond the planning stage." said Larry Johnson, a former top CIA and State Department counterterrorism official. Also keep in mind that this "evidence" of a "serious threat to New York" was 3 years old, and most of it predated the September 11, 2001 attacks. So with Bush less popular than Kerry in the polls, and a New York GOP convention expected to have tens of thousands of protesters kept a safe distance away in "Free Speech Zones" the Bush admin announces that New York needs to be locked down (and dissidents further restrained for security sake), based on 3 year old data that never got past the "planning stage." We were told that certain financial institutions were specifically targeted, and yet Bush sends his wife and daughters to CitiCorp one of the targets of this 3 year old attack. Is he trying to kill them off? No, he just realizes that they are in no immediate danger. It was just a scare tactic to boost his numbers, and take focus off Kerry, and allow the GOP to curtail those nasty American Citizens who disagree with Bush from publicly protesting. Darn that First Amendment! It always gets in the Bush Administration's way! Except when they stomp all over it, that is.

Convicted Felon Working Undercover for the Government to Reduce Prison Sentence Arrested for Involvement in Terrorism Plot

Online Article Here
The terrorists were linked to Ansar al-Islam, a terrorist group that operated in Northern Iraq North of the No Fly Zone an area that Saddam Hussein couldn’t control, but was under the control of the Kurds. Ansar al-Islam was trying to depose Saddam and therefore had a goal in common with the Kurds, al-Qaida, and the Iranian Government. As a result Ansar al-Islam had operational links with all three.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Payback: 99 Percent of Political Donations from Halliburton's board of directors go to Republicans

Online story here

WASHINGTON - August 3 - Halliburton's board of directors has given nearly $300,000 to Republican candidates and political action committees over the 2004 campaign season, a HalliburtonWatch analysis reveals. The board, comprised mostly of individuals from the energy industry, gave $296,065 (or 99 percent) to the Republicans and $4,000 (or 1 percent) to the Democrats. Halliburton's political action committee gave another $133,500 to political campaigns, with $120,000 (or 90 percent) going to the Republicans. The dollar amounts are current through June 30, 2004 and were obtained from the Center for Responsive Politics.

The biggest political donor on Halliburton's board is Ray Hunt, who is the chief executive officer of Hunt Oil, a privately-owned oil company with operations in the middle east, Africa and South America. Its major oil production operations are located in the United States, Canada and Yemen.

Hunt, who inherited his "success" from his wealthy father H.L. Hunt, is notorious for protecting his inheritance by supporting pro-oil causes around the world, including fellow oil man President George W. Bush, who appointed Hunt as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee's Victory 2000 Committee. During the 2000 campaign, Hunt was designated as one of the 241 Bush "Pioneers" because he raised more than $100,000 in campaign donations from his family, friends and colleagues. Former President George H.W. Bush's press secretary in the White House, Jim Oberwetter, had worked for Ray Hunt for nearly three decades.

Federal election records show that Hunt and his wife have so far donated $120,000 of their own money to the 2004 election cycle. All of that money went to Republican candidates or Republican political action committees.

One month after Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Hunt was appointed by President Bush to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. He also serves as chairman of the board for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and is a member of the National Petroleum Council, an industry trade group that advises the president on energy policy. Vice President Cheney also served as a member of the Council during his tenure as CEO for Halliburton. In addition, Hunt serves on the board of trustees for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a foreign policy think tank which often supports causes that benefit global oil and gas projects in the Third World. One of those projects, known as the Camisea Natural Gas Project, is located in the Peruvian Amazon rain forest where both Hunt Oil and Halliburton's KBR subsidiary will build a natural gas liquefication plant. Environmental groups say it is the most environmentally damaging project in the Amazon Basin. The (London) Independent newspaper reported that the project "will enrich some of [President Bush's] closest corporate campaign contributors" but that it "risks the destruction of one of the world's remaining pristine stretches of rain forest and threatens the lives of indigenous peoples."

The second biggest campaign contributor on Halliburton's board of directors is J. Landis Martin, who gave $87,500 to Republican candidates and political action committees in Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, Illinois and Iowa. Martin was the chief executive of Baroid Corp. until it became a subsidiary of Halliburton through the 1998 merger of Halliburton and Dresser Industries. Today, he serves as chairman of the board, CEO and president of Titanium Metals Corp. (TIMET). TIMET is a Denver-based manufacturer of titanium metals used in the manufacture of military and civilian aircraft, military armor, offshore oil and gas production installations and automobiles. Sixty-eight percent of TIMET's revenue is derived from sales to the aerospace industry (57 percent to commercial aerospace and 11 percent to military aerospace). TIMET's shipments to military aerospace companies increased by 15 percent in 2003. In a filing with the federal government, it said "the importance of military markets to the titanium industry is expected to rise in coming years as defense spending budgets increase in reaction to terrorist activities and global conflicts."

The third biggest campaign contributor on Halliburton's board is Cecil J. "Pete" Silas (or C.J. Silas), retired chief executive of Phillips Petroleum Co., now known as ConocoPhillips. Silas donated $37,750 to Republican candidates and political action committees in Texas, Oklahoma and Georgia. His largest donation was $30,000 to the Republican National Committee. ConocoPhillips is a leading petroleum exploration and production company. It is also involved in oil refining and marketing and in the manufacture, distribution and export of a wide variety of chemicals. In addition to serving on Halliburton's board, Silas has served as a member of, and donor to, the Council on Foreign Relations, a far-right wing think tank that advocates U.S. military and corporate intervention into the economic and political affairs of Third World nations. He also served on the Atlantic Council's Working Group that produced a May 2001 report calling for the end of U.S. economic sanctions against Iran, a nation President Bush says sponsors terrorism. The Council's 2001 report said, "Iran currently accounts for 5 percent of worldwide oil production and is the second largest oil exporter in OPEC. The country needs significantly increased capital investment to maintain its current level of production...." The Council lamented that "U.S. companies are losing opportunities [in Iran] to their European and Asian competitors." Vice President Cheney had also called for ending sanctions against Iran while chief executive of Halliburton. Moreover, under pressure from Big Oil, the Republican Congress in May refused to expand sanctions that would have prohibited Halliburton from selling equipment to Iran through its foreign subsidiaries.

The fourth biggest campaign contributor on Halliburton's board is Kenneth Derr, retired chief executive of Chevron, now known as ChevronTexaco -- a leading refiner and marketer of oil products worldwide. Derr's $29,000 donation includes $25,000 to the Republican National Committee and $4,000 to the Bush/Cheney campaign. In 1998, Derr said, "Iraq possesses huge reserves of oil and gas - reserves I'd love Chevron to have access to."

The fifth biggest campaign contributor on the board is Jay A. Precourt, chief executive of the Denver-based Scissor Tail Energy, LLC. Precourt has so far donated $9,815 in 2004 to Republicans, including $1,315 to the Colorado Senate bid of Pete Coors, chairman of Coors Brewing Co., which is also an unabashed supporter of Republican causes. Scissor Tail Energy is a gatherer, transporter and processor of natural gas and natural gas liquids. Precourt is also chairman of Hermes Consolidated, Inc., a gatherer, transporter and refiner of crude oil and refined products.

The remaining board members donated $5,000 or less to Republican political campaigns, including $5,000 donated to Halliburton's political action committee by the company's chief executive, David Lesar.

Robert Crandall, the retired chief executive of AMR, which owns American Airlines, was the only board member to donate money to the Democrats. He donated $2,000 to Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign and $2,000 to Gov. Howard Dean's failed bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Of the board members who donated money to political campaigns, Mr. Crandall was the only board member who did not donate to the Republicans.

According to a report from the Center for Responsive Politics, President Bush has received the most campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry of any politician since 1998 (1.7 million dollars). That total is more than three times the amount given to the next largest recipient of the industry's campaign contributions.

Surprise surprise! Haliburton gives to Republicans including the yearly deferred salary that Vice President Cheney still received from them along with his huge stock portfolio of Haliburton Shares, and as a result Haliburton's officers get appointments to advise the President on Foreign Relations and Haliburton keeps getting no-bid contracts from the Government despite repeated investigations that they have cheated the US taxpayers by overcharging for gas which they sell for a dime in Iraq to keep the Iraqis happy (not working by the way), and overcharge us for meals they said they provided to our troops but didn't, cooking the books to defraud stockholders, committing bribary, etc. etc. etc. Read to learn more about Cheney's company an how they are ripping us off and violating laws with abandon.

Bush admits he and his administration never stop thinking of new ways to harm our country and our people

Online article here
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush offered up a new entry for his catalog of ``Bushisms'' on Thursday, declaring that his administration will ``never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people.''

Bush misspoke as he delivered a speech at the signing ceremony for a $417 billion defense spending bill.

``Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we,'' Bush said. ``They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.''

No one in Bush's audience of military brass or Pentagon chiefs reacted.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Top 25 Media Companies’ Lobbying Activity, 1999-2002

Follow this link to learn the Top 25 Media Companies’ Lobbying Activity, 1999-2002

Who owns CNN? or MSNBC? ABC? CBS? FOX? etc.

So ya think we have a "free press" eh? Check out who owns who, and who owns what you think.......

donated 1.1 million to GW Bush for his 2000 election campaign

Television Holdings:
* NBC: includes 13 stations, 28% of US households.
* NBC Network News: The Today Show, Nightly News with Tom Brokaw,
Meet the Press, Dateline NBC, NBC News at Sunrise.
* CNBC business television; MSNBC 24-hour cable and Internet news service
(co-owned by NBC and Microsoft); Court TV (co-owned with Time Warner),
Bravo (50%), A&E (25%), History Channel (25%).
The "MS" in MSNBC
means microsoft
The same Microsoft that donated 2.4 million to get GW bush elected.

Other Holdings:
* GE Consumer Electronics.
* GE Power Systems: produces turbines for nuclear reactors and power plants.
* GE Plastics: produces military hardware and nuclear power equipment.
* GE Transportation Systems: runs diesel and electric trains.

Westinghouse Electric Company, part of the Nuclear Utilities
Business Group of British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL)
who's #1 on the Board of Directors? None other than:
Frank Carlucci (of the Carlyle Group)

Television Holdings:
* CBS: includes 14 stations and over 200 affiliates in the US.
* CBS Network News: 60 minutes, 48 hours, CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, CBS Morning News, Up to the Minute.
* Country Music Television, The Nashville Network, 2 regional sports networks.
* Group W Satellite Communications.
Other Holdings:
* Westinghouse Electric Company:
provides services to the nuclear power industry.
* Westinghouse Government Environmental Services Company:
disposes of nuclear and hazardous wastes.
Also operates 4 government-owned nuclear power plants in the US.
* Energy Systems: provides nuclear power plant design and maintenance.
Television Holdings:
* Paramount Television, Spelling Television, MTV, VH-1, Showtime,
The Movie Channel, UPN (joint owner), Nickelodeon, Comedy Central,
Sundance Channel (joint owner), Flix.
* 20 major market US stations.
Media Holdings:
* Paramount Pictures, Paramount Home Video, Blockbuster Video,
Famous Players Theatres, Paramount Parks.
* Simon & Schuster Publishing.
donated 640 thousand to GW's 2000 campaign
Television Holdings:
* ABC: includes 10 stations, 24% of US households.
* ABC Network News: Prime Time Live, Nightline, 20/20, Good Morning America.
* ESPN, Lifetime Television (50%), as well as minority holdings in A&E, History Channel and E!
* Disney Channel/Disney Television, Touchtone Television.
Media Holdings:
* Miramax, Touchtone Pictures.
* Magazines: Jane, Los Angeles Magazine, W, Discover.
* 3 music labels, 11 major local newspapers.
* Hyperion book publishers.
* Infoseek Internet search engine (43%).
Other Holdings:
* Sid R. Bass (major shares) crude oil and gas.
* All Disney Theme Parks, Walt Disney Cruise Lines.

donated 1.6 million to GW's 2000 campaign
America Online (AOL) acquired Time Warner
the largest merger in corporate history.
Television Holdings:
* CNN, HBO, Cinemax, TBS Superstation, Turner Network Television,
Turner Classic Movies, Warner Brothers Television, Cartoon Network,
Sega Channel, TNT, Comedy Central (50%), E! (49%), Court TV (50%).
* Largest owner of cable systems in the US
with an estimated 13 million subscribers.
Media Holdings:
* HBO Independent Productions, Warner Home Video, New Line Cinema,
Castle Rock, Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera.
* Music: Atlantic, Elektra, Rhino, Sire, Warner Bros. Records, EMI,
WEA, Sub Pop (distribution) = the world’s largest music company.
* 33 magazines including Time, Sports Illustrated, People, In Style,
Fortune, Book of the Month Club, Entertainment Weekly, Life, DC Comics (50%),
and MAD Magazine.
Other Holdings:
* Sports: The Atlanta Braves, The Atlanta Hawks,
World Championship Wrestling.
Owner Rupert Murdoch
donated 1.1 million to GOP 2000 and 2002 campaigns
Television Holdings:
* Fox Television: includes 22 stations, 50% of US households.
* Fox International:
extensive worldwide cable and satellite networks include
British Sky Broadcasting (40%); VOX, Germany (49.9%); Canal Fox,
Latin America; FOXTEL, Australia (50%); STAR TV, Asia; IskyB, India;
Bahasa Programming Ltd., Indonesia (50%); and News Broadcasting, Japan (80%).
* The Golf Channel (33%).
* Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight.
* 132 newspapers (113 in Australia alone) including the New York Post,
the London Times and The Australian.
* 25 magazines including TV Guide and The Weekly Standard.
* HarperCollins books.
* Sports: LA Dodgers, LA Kings, LA Lakers, National Rugby League.
* Ansett Australia airlines, Ansett New Zealand airlines.
* Rupert Murdoch: Board of Directors, Philip Morris (USA).

*(Phillip Morris donated 2.9 million to George W Bush in 2000)*

Halliburton Settlement Too Little, Avoids Answering Question of Cheney’s Responsibility for Accounting Irregularities

Statement of Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook

The penalty imposed today against Halliburton to settle allegations of accounting irregularities when Vice President Dick Cheney was at the company’s helm is too small and avoids addressing Cheney’s responsibility for the fraud.

To settle allegations that the company improperly altered its accounting during Cheney’s tenure as CEO, Halliburton agreed to pay just $7.5 million, which pales in comparison to the estimated $120 million by which accounting tricks boosted Halliburton’s profits during Cheney’s stewardship.

Cheney was Halliburton’s CEO from 1995 to 2000. Beginning in 1997, crude oil prices began a sharp decline, falling 50 percent from January 1997 to March 1998. This drop in the price of a commodity upon which Halliburton was dependent rocked the company’s bottom line. Under financial pressure, the company in April 1998 embarked on a radical change in its accounting practices: It began booking cost overruns in its construction business as income, rather than as expenses, and did not adequately disclose this change in practice until a year later. As a direct result of not properly reporting this accounting change, Halliburton was able to boost its reported profits by more than $120 million, misleading investors.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) noted in a complaint released today that it is the SEC’s “view that there were unacceptable lapses in the company’s conduct during the course of the investigation, which had the effect of delaying the production of information and documentation necessary to the staff’s expeditious completion of its investigation.”

The failure of the SEC to address the responsibility of Cheney, who was in charge when the accounting irregularities occurred, and instead focus upon the company’s chief financial officer and controller at the time, indicates that politics may have spared Cheney from necessary enforcement action. The CFO and controller both reported to Cheney, and he ultimately should be held responsible.

Haliburton under Dick Cheney cooked the books – Fined $7.5 Million by SEC

Online article here

Today the Times reports that the SEC has fined Halliburton $7.5 million for, in effect, defrauding its shareholders.

The charges stem from a change in accounting methods Halliburton made in 1998. The SEC found that the old and the new accounting methods were both permissible under accepted practices. The key, however, is that Halliburton did not inform investors of the change. That allowed Halliburton to "report annual earnings in 1998 that were 46 percent higher than they would have been had the change not been made ... [and] a substantially higher profit in 1999."

This change came just as Halliburton was struggling with falling share prices that threatened to sink its proposed merger with Dresser Industries.

Again from the Times ...
It reported a 34 percent gain in profit for the quarter, far better than other oil services companies were reporting, and Mr. Cheney said then that "Halliburton continues to make good financial progress despite uncertainties over future oil demand."

The commission said yesterday that the gain would have been just 6.7 percent without the undisclosed change in accounting policies.

The SEC and the even the Times goes to some length to avoid the colloquial term for this sort of behavior: i.e., fraud. The SEC did levy the fine. And it did point the finger of blame at two lower levels Halliburton officials. Yet the SEC, in the words of the Times, "did not detail the extent to which [Cheney] was aware of the change or of the requirement to disclose it to investors." And not surprisingly, in the article, Cheney's lawyer, Terrence O'Donnell is trumpeting the results of the investigation as a clean bill of health for Cheney.

Now, with a whitewash, you might at least expect that Cheney would be denying knowledge that this took place, as implausible as it might sound. But he won't. After taking down O'Donnell's crowing about the results of the investigation, the Times asked whether Cheney "had been aware of the effect of the accounting change on the company's profits." But O'Donnell wouldn't answer.

So here you have the Vice President of the United States. His company gets caught in about as clear a case of cooking the books to inflate profits as you can imagine during the time he was CEO. (His salary and bonuses are tied to company profits.) And he won't even go to the trouble of denying that he was aware of the wrongdoing.
Can we have some more aggressive reporting on this one?-- Josh Marshall

No, Josh, that would be too much to ask of the Corporate-Owned US News Media Outlets that they aggressively report anything negative about a high ranking member of the Bush Administration. They will smear Kerry and other Democrats until the cows come home, but they won't lift a finger to actually investigate let alone report the wrongdoing of the Bush Cartel.

Once again dissenters not allowed to protest Bush - Missouri Bush rally was sad day for democracy

Online article here
The phrase "this is what democracy looks like" changed meaning as the protest of President Bush's appearance in Springfield unfolded. Initially, the phrase described the thousands of people lined up with tickets, waiting to enter the field house, being reminded not all people in southwest Missouri thought this president deserved four more years of leadership that had launched wars resulting in thousands dead and tens of thousands wounded, a national debt increasing at $1.69 billion a day, and an atmosphere of secrecy in America.
The Secret Service told protesters where to gather; the location was excellent. Democracy was working: People were exercising their right to assemble while others exercised their right to protest.
But when police told protesters they had to move about 200 feet away, while the people supporting Bush remained in place, the atmosphere grew tense. When protesters complained to local police, they replied, "We're just following orders." Then the protesters called the media: It was time for citizens to know how democracy was working in Springfield, as protesters had been herded into a "free speech zone."
When gatekeepers announced final seating for those with tickets, protesters with tickets tried to get in, but their tickets were grabbed and torn up, and police threatened them with arrest if they argued back. One woman screamed, "You're tearing up my ticket," and hit back at the man when he started shoving her with his chest, trying to shut her up. The police arrested the woman. Two other people were "taken down": a young girl who could not back up fast enough because there were so many people behind her and a man who is charged with trespassing because he was standing on property his own tax dollars partially funded.
All this, while the Bush supporters passed by, granted access to the president of us all because they would shout his praises at the appropriate moments.
When "this is what democracy looks like" arose from the protesters this time, it had an ominous tone. People were being taken down, and the picture was not pretty.

This is what happens every time Bush or any Bush Administration official speaks in public in their capacity as our leaders. Dissenters are shunted off to "Free Speech Zones" where cameras and the Press cannot see them. Even when they have tickets to see the President speak their tickets are torn up, and they are arrested if they complain. This is indeed Bushocracy the Bizzaro World version of Democracy! Ever heard this covered on the Evening News? No, I didn't think so. The US News Media Outlets are particularly mum on how the Bush Administration restricts the rights of American Citizens who disagree with their policies. Isn't this what happened in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s? I'm just asking.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


Here are some recent news items:

Oops! We lost $1 billion in Iraq.

Oh well, at least Halliburton is keeping track of everything okay.

A new study reports that fear wins votes, but of course this comes as old news to the Bush administration.

2004 Florida election theft update: The GOP apologizes for telling their voters to use absentee ballots because touch screen balloting machines are unreliable.

In these political times, the trivial always triumphs.

Musicians from all genres are spreading the word that apathy is no longer cool.

Ring another one up for GWB's "compassionate conservatism." The EPA will be able to approve pesticides without consulting wildlife agencies to determine their chemical harm.

NBC will air a documentary about former governor, George Ryan, and his decision to commute the sentences of all those on death row in Illinois.

Scaring America for Political Gain. Three-year-old data Led To Latest Tom Ridge Alerts. The Goal Was to Grab Headlines from Kerry's triumph

Article Online Here

Most of the al Qaeda surveillance of five financial institutions that led to a new terrorism alert Sunday was conducted before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and authorities are not sure whether the casing of the buildings has continued, numerous intelligence and law enforcement officials said yesterday. "There is nothing right now that we're hearing that is new," said one senior law enforcement official who was briefed on the alert. "Why did we go to this level? . . . I still don't know that."

One piece of information on one building, which intelligence officials would not name, appears to have been updated in a computer file as late as January 2004, according to a senior intelligence official. But officials could not say yesterday whether that piece of data was the result of active surveillance by al Qaeda or came instead from information about the buildings that is publicly available.

Several officials also said that much of the information compiled by terrorist operatives about the buildings in Washington, New York and Newark was obtained through the Internet or other "open sources" available to the general public, including some floor plans.

The characterization of the age of the intelligence yesterday cast a new light on Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge's announcement Sunday that the terrorism threat alert for the financial services sectors in the three cities had been raised. Ridge and other officials stressed Sunday the urgency of acting on the newly obtained information, but yesterday a range of officials made clear how dated much of the intelligence was.

President Bush and Vice President Cheney said in separate appearances yesterday that the new alert underscores the continuing threat posed by al Qaeda. At a news conference announcing his proposed intelligence reforms, Bush said the alert shows "there's an enemy which hates what we stand for." "It's serious business," Bush said. "I mean, we wouldn't be, you know, contacting authorities at the local level unless something was real."

The day Kerry makes his "John Kerry reporting for duty speech" (just hours before it in fact) Pakistan follows White House orders and announces the caption of the most wanted al-Qaida member (no, not Osama--someone we've never heard of). Now when polls show that Kerry is beating Bush 50% to 43% they announce a CODE ORANGE ALERT on financial institutions based on data from before September 11, 2001. Three years old this data is, and they happen to announce the warning now just when Bush needs a little boost in ratings. Haven't we seen this kind of manipulation of the news for three and a half years now? When will the Corporate Owned Media tell the truth to the American People? When will the American People realize that the Corporate Owned Media has been aiding and abetting the misleading of the US citizens? When they do, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and of course Faux News' asses will be grass! We need to bring the curtain down on these misleaders starting with Bush, and continuing with the Corporate Owned Media Moguls who are their accomplices!

Monday, August 02, 2004


by Jim Hightower -
08.02.04 - What do Kalamazoo, Evansville, Albuquerque, Stockton, Trenton, Phoenix, Columbia, St. Louis, Knoxville, and Charleston have in common?
All are among the cities where the secret service or police have jailed people for displaying anti-Bush signs during public appearances by his eminence, King George the W. Is this America, The Land of the Free?
That's what Nicole and Jeff Rank asked themselves this July 4th as they were taken away in handcuffs by police in their town of Charleston, West Virginia. What was their heinous crime? They were guilty of not being Bush supporters.
George W's Independence Day trip to Charleston was billed as an official presidential visit, not a campaign rally. Nicole and Jeff –– two patriotic, hardworking, taxpaying Americans –– were in the crowd, quietly exercising their free-speech rights. They wore T-shirts declaring: "Love America, Hate Bush."
They had proper tickets to the event, they proudly sang the National Anthem with everyone else, they were in no way disorderly –– but they were not politically correct, so they were summarily arrested, taken to jail, finger printed... and charged with "trespassing." Others who were there wearing pro-Bush T-shirts and Bush campaign paraphernalia at this public event on public property were not arrested. It seems that the Bushites define "trespassers" by their political beliefs.
Nicole, who worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Charleston, was promptly told that her services were no longer required. Technically, she wasn't fired, but she was "released" from her job and not reassigned –– meaning she no longer gets paid.
But Nicole and Jeff are still not bowing to King George. Despite the financial hardship, they're fighting Bush's absurd, un-American assault on their constitutional right to dissent. They're not the only ones being denied their right to speak out –– dissenters all across America are being treated like this. To fight this autocratic lockdown, call the ACLU: 212-549-2500.
"We weren't doing anything wrong." By Tara Tuckwiller, The Charelston Gazette, July 14, 2004.

CNN amnesia: Forgot TNR report on Bush plans when Al Qaeda suspect arrested during Dem Convention

Article Here
On July 29, CNN apparently forgot a major story the network had reported just three weeks earlier. On July 8, The New Republic posted to its website an article titled "July Surprise," which was written by TNR's John B. Judis, Spencer Ackerman, and Massoud Ansari and published in the July 19 issue of the magazine. Judis, Ackerman, and Ansari quoted two sources from Pakistan's intelligence service and another from its Interior Ministry (which handles the country's internal security) saying that the Bush administration was pressuring Pakistani officials to make arrests of so-called "high-value targets" (HVTs) during the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
According to "July Surprise," one source said: "The last ten days of July deadline has been given repeatedly by visitors to Islamabad and during [Pakistani intelligence director General Ehsan ul-Haq's] meetings in Washington." The article continued: "[A] White House aide had told him that 'it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July.' -- the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston."
On July 7, TNR's editor, Peter Beinart, appeared on CNN's NewsNight with Aaron Brown to discuss the article, which TNR had announced it would release the following day. But on July 29, when the event TNR foreshadowed actually occurred -- Reuters reported that Pakistani forces had arrested Ahmed Khalfan Ghailini, an Al Qaeda suspect in the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania -- it became apparent that CNN's reporters and anchors had suffered a collective amnesia. The network reported the story of the capture with no mention of the TNR story to which CNN had devoted so much attention three weeks earlier.
CNN's Aaron Brown had introduced Beinart on July 7 as follows:
BROWN: The New Republic, in a piece to be released tomorrow, will allege that the administration through various means is pressuring the government of Pakistan to deliver bin Laden and his henchmen before the November election, preferably during the Democratic Convention a couple of weeks from now.
It's clear from this quotation that Brown understood the significance of the story. Indeed, CNN replayed clips of Beinart's appearance throughout the following day, and Beinart made another brief live appearance as well.
As of this writing, however, neither CNN nor any other news network has mentioned the TNR article. On CNN, anchor Judy Woodruff first reported the arrest at around 4:15 pm (ET) on July 29:
WOODRUFF: We have some news just in to CNN. Pakistani security forces have captured a high-level Al Qaeda operative wanted in connection with the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa. Pakistan's Interior Minister says Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, captured a few days ago, shows that the Pakistani government is committed to fighting terrorism. In all, 224 people were killed in the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
About one hour later, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer recapped news of the arrest before introducing CNN's Islamabad bureau chief, Ash-har Quraishi, who reported the story by phone live from Pakistan. Neither Blitzer nor Quraishi brought up the "July Surprise" angle, even as Quraishi reported that Ghailani had been captured "early on Sunday" -- meaning that he was captured more than three days before the Democratic National Convention began but that the news media was not informed until hours before Senator John Kerry's climactic speech on its final day:
QURAISHI: Pakistani officials confirming to us tonight that they have arrested Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani. He's somebody listed by the FBI as one of the most wanted terrorists. Now Ghailani was picked up in weekend raids that were conducted in central Pakistan early on Sunday. Over a dozen suspects were picked up in those raids. They say over the last few days they have been working on identifying those people. One of them they say is one of the most wanted listed by the FBI -- this Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani. Now this operation lasted more than twelve hours, they say, a shoot-out ensured, and then the security forces were able to go in and arrest these people. Now we understand from officials that the interrogations are continuing here in Pakistan by security forces. At some point we expect, however, that Ghailani will be handed over to the United States. Wolf.
BLITZER: Ash-har Quraishi reporting for us on this late-breaking story. Thanks very much Ash-har, very much. Let's get back to the convention now.
— G.W.

Surprise surprise July surprise - When The New Republic broke this story in early July I thought that the Bush Admin would quietly tell Pakistan to hold off now that the jig was up. Otherwise the press would eat them up. Well, the White House didn't and the press obediently stayed mum about this as they have sat on so many other Bush Administration embarrassments during the last three and a half years. When will the American people find out how much news was withheld from them? There is no Free Press in the US. Not yet anyway.