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

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

This is Real -- "Christian Right" Creates Video Game to Teach Kids to Kill Catholics and Non-Christians


Imagine: you are a foot soldier in a paramilitary group whose purpose is to remake America as a Christian theocracy, and establish its worldly vision of the dominion of Christ over all aspects of life. You are issued high-tech military weaponry, and instructed to engage the infidel on the streets of New York City. You are on a mission - both a religious mission and a military mission -- to convert or kill Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, gays, and anyone who advocates the separation of church and state - especially moderate, mainstream Christians. Your mission is "to conduct physical and spiritual warfare"; all who resist must be taken out with extreme prejudice. You have never felt so powerful, so driven by a purpose: you are 13 years old. You are playing a real-time strategy video game whose creators are linked to the empire of mega-church pastor Rick Warren, best selling author of The Purpose Driven Life.

The game, slated for release by October 2006 in advance of the Christmas shopping rush, has been previewed at video game exhibitions, and reviewed by major newspapers and magazines. But until now, no fan or critic has pointed out the controversial game's connection to Mr. Warren or his dominionist agenda.

This game immerses children in present-day New York City -- 500 square blocks, stretching from Wall Street to Chinatown, Greenwich Village, the United Nations headquarters, and Harlem. The game rewards children for how effectively they role play the killing of those who resist becoming a born again Christian. The game also offers players the opportunity to switch sides and fight for the army of the Anti-Christ, releasing cloven-hoofed demons who feast on conservative Christians and their panicked proselytes (who taste a lot like Christian).

Is this paramilitary mission simulator for children anything other than prejudice and bigotry using religion as an organizing tool to get people in a violent frame of mind? The dialogue includes people saying, "Praise the Lord," as they blow infidels away.

The designers intend this game to become the first dominionist warrior game to break through in the popular culture due to its violent scenarios and realistic graphics, lighting, and sound effects. Its creators expect it to earn a rating of T for Teen. How violent is that? That's the rating shared by Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell - Chaos Theory, a top selling game in which high-tech gadgets and high-powered weapons - frag grenades, shotguns, assault rifles, and submachine guns -- are used to terminate enemies with extreme prejudice.

Could such a violent, dominionist Christian video game really break through to the popular culture? Well, it is based on a series of books that have already set sales records - the blockbuster Left Behind series of 14 novels by writer Jerry B. Jenkins and his visionary collaborator, retired Southern Baptist minister Tim LaHaye. "We hope teenagers like the game," Mr. LaHaye told the Los Angeles Times. "Our real goal is to have no one left behind."

The game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces, is based on scenes from the first four novels in the series. The game was developed by a publicly-traded company called Left Behind Games, according to SEC records. The developers obtained the license from Tyndale House, the Christian publisher of Left Behind.

Tyndale also publishes Bringing Up Boys and The Complete Marriage and Family Home Reference Guide by Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, PhD.

Left Behind Games CEO Troy Lyndon, whose company went public in February, says the game's Christian themes will grab the audience that didn't mind gore in "The Passion of the Christ." "We've thought through how the Christian right and the liberal left will slam us," says Lyndon. "But megachurches are very likely to embrace this game." Though it will be marketed directly to congregations, Forces will also have a secular ad campaign in gaming magazines.

As part of its marketing pitch, Left Behind Games hypes the realism with which it portrays the neighborhoods of New York City. There is, for the most part, a remarkable verisimilitude except for one detail - all of the ambulances have 911 painted on their roofs. In the reality-based world, most ambulances have a red cross on top. Yet the game designers make prominent use of these 911 ambulances to evoke the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The historical context of 911 is invoked as if to say, We are living in the End Times, and Muslims are among the kinds of infidels whom you should fear, whom you should be prepared to kill for your cause.

For game enthusiasts, there is also a multi-player mode, in which you can go online and battle to take territory from other players. If you happen to blow away a neutral party - and collateral damage is inevitable in the End of Days - then you will lose "Spirit Points". But you can power back up with merely a brief timeout for prayer, or by converting one of New York's terror-stricken citizens.

Now compare the above with the actual teachings of Jesus Christ on how we should treat our enemies and those who harm us:

From Luke Chapter 6 Jesus tells us:

Love for Enemies

27“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. 35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Judging Others

37“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
39He also told them this parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.

41“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

A Tree and Its Fruit

43“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. 45The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

From Matthew Chapter 6 Jesus tells us:

An Eye for an Eye

38“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Love for Enemies

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

From Paul in Romans Chapter 12 we have:

14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Notice the difference?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Jesus Isn’t Magic

Too many self-proclaimed “Christians” in America have no idea what it means to be a follower of Christ and to practice his commands by living out his teachings. Instead they think saying the sinner’s prayer is a magic wand or golden ticket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory entitling them entry into heaven without bothering to embody the teachings of Jesus as relayed to us in the Gospels. To many of them, Christianity and an American nationalistic political ideology are indistinguishable: Jesus is John Rambo his chest crossed with bands of ammo and an AK-47 in each arm. To these I offer Karen Horst Cobb’s essay, “Jesus Isn’t Magic.”

Jesus Isn’t Magic
by Karen Horst Cobb

Recite the sinners prayer, get baptized, and abracadabra a member of clergy or laity proclaims you are saved. No matter what the magicians of the church have told you Jesus’ words and actions have meaning! He taught us how to live in love in a world dominated by oppressive, possessive and heavy-handed power. Governments seek to use his identity to rally the people but “believing in his name” demands a change of allegiance. To be alive in Christ requires being dead to ego identity. Formerly self -serving, a follower of Jesus now serves him by serving others. When he said believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved he was not referring to the letters of the English alphabet. J…E…S…U…S

His name is not just part of religious craft to conjure up an eternal spell. Instead, he was referring to character traits. He is the Son of God and he explained that we are his brothers and sisters if we live by his principles of love, compassion and surrender.

Many Christians in America prayed the Sinners Prayer in a stadium at a Billy Graham crusade or at a church alter while the choir sang “Just as I am with out one plea…to rid my soul of one dark blot…..I come.” In the prayer the person says, I know I’m a sinner, I believe you sent Jesus to die on the cross and rise again so I can be forgiven, I want Jesus in my heart so all my sins are forgiven, help me in my walk in faith. …… Abracadabra I‘m in! (I added that last part). The prayer is a good beginning but the core of what it means to take up ones cross and follow Christ seems to have gotten lost with sleight of hand.

Being saved is not about entering into the cosmic magician’s disappearing chamber until the dramatic moment. It is about accepting forgiveness and freedom from guilt by faith. That, however, is just the beginning. Dieing to self-interest, ego and all other identities requires courage and risk. We die to family identity, national identity, racial identity, religious identity. All that is not Love must die. The magic Jesus enters the heart by hocus pocus. The revolutionary Jesus enters the heart in surrender of self interest. Now you see him now you don’t is the reality of the magic Jesus but a steady light shining in the darkness reveals the living God to the world.

In the sinner’s prayer, “lead me in my walk of faith” alludes to some sort of service on behalf of humanity but it is unclear and certainly not the main motivation to become a follower of Christ. The focus again and again is on what one gets in exchange. Let’s see… I just admit I’m a sinner and then in return I get to feel less guilty, I get to be blessed by God, I get to go to heaven where there are streets of gold, I get to avoid eternal damnation and burning of my flesh forever. In many churches now I am promised I will get rich and I have political power. Hmm… seems like a good deal. I’ll take it. Abracadabra A-men!

Rather than the magic Jesus, there is a very real and powerful Christ whose teachings continue drawing the world to his kingdom community from many neighbors. Ironically, many who preach about absolutes and literal interpretations use situational ethics and complicated arguments to explain that Jesus did not mean what he said. The leaders of magical Christianity have a horrible dilemma. How can people be manipulated and controlled if they believe in the radical love of Christ and his forgiveness? Some have said that the opposite of love is indifference and some say the opposite of love is control. What we see in the church today is control and indifference. There is a desire to control others and indifference to their suffering. People who want to be followers of Christ must love their neighbors, love their enemies and love the living God.

Love your neighbor as yourself sums up all the commandments. Every one knows neighbors can be a good source for tools or an occasional cup of sugar . But, where does our neighborhood end? Is it the houses on each side or the whole street? When Jesus was asked how far this loving has to go he wisely told a story of the good Samaritan. He was speaking in Galilee which had continually been at war with Samaria. He selected the clan and class of people who were most hated and despised by the upstanding Jewish community in Galilee.

The first to come by the beaten bleeding man was a priest who did not want to defile himself by touching a dead person. Since he did not know if the man was dead he walked on by, choosing the law rather than love. The second was a Levite whose concern was money and the collecting of tithes. He too looked and “passed by”. The third was the Samaritan who was considered to be an enemy, of a different race and religion. Unlike the others, he had empathy and compassion. He administered first aid and then took the victim to an inn and paid all the current and future expenses. He was not limited in his love by religious law, concerns of risk or the cost.. He was a neighbor because he loved and he loved because he was a neighbor.

The teachings of Jesus do still have meaning! It’s not just magic. Our neighbors are everywhere. They are in Iraq, they are in Iran, they are in Israel, they are in Palestine, they are in Mexico, they are in our border towns and in our work places. They are black, white, homosexual, heterosexual, Democrats, Republicans, Christians, atheists, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Pagans…..The neighborhood of the kingdom of God is ever increasing and the command to love our neighbors and our enemies is just as important today as it was in Galilee 5,000 years ago.

The consequence of loving our neighbors around the globe is likely to result in a peaceful neighborhood but that is not why we love. Everyone knows that stealing and destroying the homes of our neighbors will bring retaliation. Magical Christians justify stealing natural resources from distant lands and destroying homes and families while identifying religious and political righteousness as entitlement. Jesus reminds us that our righteousness is as filthy rags. Many caught up in the acts of the magical Christians just remain silent and pass by their neighbors in Iraq, Palestine and Iran like the Priest and the Levite. They have accepted stage magic for the redemptive love of Christ. There are dangerous and fearful people who will stop at nothing to fight for what they want. Jesus taught us how to respond to them as well.

He said that under old testament law you can only do to others what they had done to you. An eye for and eye or a tooth for a tooth. Jesus however, taught a radical risky approach to violence which is the opposite of “human nature. “ God nature teaches us to “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, pray for those who despitefully use you.” Christians who are waiting in the magician’s box with the false bottom are waiting to reappear in heaven after Armageddon. They argue that Jesus never meant his words to be taken literally. They explain it would be crazy to take them at face value because it defies human nature. Exactly, it is Christ’s nature- the whole point or redemption. Ironically, the most revolutionary admonition of Christ which holds the key to the Kingdom is dismissed. Which enemies are we to love? Perhaps for magic Christians “an enemy” is just the woman at work who consistently snatches the last doughnut or gossips about them.

Jesus was talking about brutal painful acts of violence (eye for an eye- tooth for a tooth) not the just the office gossip. He clearly explained the cost of following him. Sometimes a soft word turns away wrath but history has also shown us that sometimes it doesn’t. The outcome does not determine the righteousness of the action. Magic Christians clearly have hidden the meaning of this command up their sleeves. Today they justify violence against enemies explaining that we are dealing with good verses evil and never in history has there been such a battle as the one which rages today . They explain we have “evil” people who be-head others, and suicide bombers who kill innocent people. They quake in fear saying our culture is debased and sinful unlike any in the history of human kind.

This is blatantly false! Be-headings are as old as time. Magical Christians throughout history beheaded many and thought they were righteous. Brutal attacks on Jesus’ followers were common and many were killed for sport. Domination and control of others is as old as time. The “culture wars” have been waging since the word of God spoke the world into existence. Women have always known which herbs and interventions end pregnancies. All societies have had interests in managing the population. Homosexuality also has always existed in societies. At times there were homosexual prostitutes in the temples as in ancient Canaanite ritualistic practices. There have always been territorial disputes, religious fighting, and someone is always threatening the annihilation of others. Jesus said “do not fear those who can destroy the body but be concerned about those who can destroy the soul.“ The sleight of hand stage magic Christianity has done a lot of hocus pocus with Jesus’ commandments to love our neighbors and our enemies and distorted what it means to love the living God.

The love of God is gone from the hearts of those who call themselves by his name. Magical Christians are nervous when fiction writers question the church, when archeologists announced they found the book of Judas, or scientists claim to disprove long held details of Christian belief. If Jesus is just about a magical carpet ride to heaven to escape damnation then it really matters what people say or science proves. Their lives depend on it! But, if Jesus is about character and the meaning of his words and life are written on our hearts we remain unshaken. A million “discoveries” could be made about his life but the truth and power of his words and actions remain. If Christian magicians believe they possess absolute truth why do they fear the questions?

Loving God, loving our neighbors and loving our enemies is the only way to respond to power, fear and oppression. It is not a strategy but a commandment. The powers of this world seek to divide us from one another and foment fear and hatred between us. Radio and television personalities who carefully chose their words are increasingly choosing words to outrage, stir up vitriol, and foment race wars and religious wars. Followers of magic are led along by emotion and succumb to the situational ethics and justifications for violence and hatred. Those who seek to manipulate through fear to dominate, control and wield power promise to safeguard our race and our people and the freedom and independence of our homeland. These are the same promises Hitler made to the good German people. Those who seek to save their life will lose it and those who lose their life for Christ’s love will find it. (Matthew 16:25) Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. (Matthew 10:28)

Jesus isn’t magic. His love and teachings are revolutionary.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

NSA Concerned Over Pattern of Calls to Domino's Pizza

Courtesy of

As part of the warrantless surveillance program, the NSA has been mining data on the number of calls to Domino’s by some demographic populations. The calls are concentrated in mostly liberal cities that are known as college towns.

Conservative commentators, putting the pieces together, are calling for investigations. They believe that such a high concentration of calls could indicate that the liberal 18-22 year old demographic is supporting terrorist causes.

Rush Limbaugh, the conservative talk-show host, chimed in on the issue on his show yesterday. “Have you ever called a Domino’s? You know,” he said, “I’ve been calling them for years, sometimes twice in one day, and I’ve yet to speak with one American.”

Limbaugh continued, “The NSA says a lot of these calls are going out just before midnight straight from college campuses. Let’s see if we can make a connection here. Liberals calling foreigners at astonishingly high rates at odd hours? You do the math, folks.”

The NSA said its data mining project has turned up high-value information in the fight against terror, but it was very concerned about the data missing from the area dominated by Qwest, which refused to hand over the phone records.

An NSA spokesman said, “Qwest, headquartered in Denver, CO, is the carrier for the University of Colorado at Boulder. CU Boulder is known for its party atmosphere and occasional rioting after football games. We can only assume the pattern of late night calls to Domino’s is present there, but we don’t know who is doing it. To be without this data about calling patterns there is cause for grave national security concern.”

“We know they hire males of Middle East descent,” the spokesman continued, “and we’re concerned that the transactions they do, which are usually all in cash and sometimes involve tips of up to two dollars, may be going to fund terrorists. This money is untraceable”

Another NSA official, speaking to us on the condition of anonymity, said, “We called a Domino’s in Boulder, trying to get the information any way we could. There was a guy named Muhammad answering the phone. We asked for call recordings, but he insisted on getting our delivery phone number first, and we had to abort the operation.”

President Bush, speaking in the Rose Garden, said, “Just this one patternistic finding justifies the whole program, and I think the American people realize that we’re doing everything in our power to protect them from the evil-doers—no matter where they’re hiding.”

Monday, May 15, 2006

Tim Russert Once Again Shows He’s a GOP Shill and Anti-American Scum

I get so damn tired of that little pussy Russert. Read that link and weep. All the blog columns in the world couldn’t list how many times he deliberately misleads his viewers. He should be the president of Fox News. Hey Rupert, Timmy’s doing your job better than Brit Hume and the rest of your disinformation con-artists. Hire him away from NBC!

This article is also worth reading. It tells how Cheney and Rumsfeld were behind the NSA tapping the phones of Nixon's enemies, too. It worked 30 years ago before the FISA laws were passed. Why not do it again?

Bush Tapping US Reporters’ Phones – We Now Live in the USSR!

Sources in federal law enforcement have admitted that the CIA under Bush has been monitoring phone calls of American reporters covering political stories. For the past six years the Corporate Mainstream Media has been giving the Bush Administration a pass on most issues. I wonder if this revelation that they are being targeted by the feds snooping on their calls will embolden them to stand up and do their jobs honestly reporting the American People what Bush and his people have been up to, or whether this will frighten them further into an even more passive roll (if that is possible).

“Under Bush Administration guidelines, it is not considered illegal for the government to keep track of numbers dialed by phone customers.” That’s Americans calling Americans in the US.

Update: When this was first posted ABC News was saying that the monitoring of reporters phones was because the “CIA was also disturbed by ABC News reports” of their activities, and I assumed that they were saying that it was the CIA that was monitoring their calls. The CIA isn’t allowed to monitor purely domestic calls by American citizens. Since then it came out that it was the FBI. Now I have a lot of respect for FBI agents and all law enforcement officials. If they received a court order to monitor reporters’ calls to investigate the commission of a crime, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. The FBI claims that they are investigating the reporting of classified information, such as the news that the Bush Administration was monitoring the domestic calls of American citizens who have nothing to do with terrorism. Which you have to admit is a little ironic (not to mention circular) if part of their alibi for monitoring Americans’ calls is that some Americans revealed that they are monitoring Americans’ calls.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Bush’s HUD Secretary: I Just Made Up That Thing I said About Breaking the Law

Bush’s HUD Secretary bragged to a group at a speaking engagement about cancelling government contracts if the CEO of the contracting company wasn’t pro-Bush. Now that he realizes that is a violation of the law and the First Amendment he says he made it up. And he regrets that he said it. But his spokesperson said it was true. She said that the contractor deserved to have their contact canceled because their CEO had “trashed” Bush (i.e. used his Constitutionally guaranteed right of free speech in disagreeing with the president’s policies). Then when that story didn’t work out for her, she also said that the HUD secretary made the whole thing up. Now HUD says she’s on leave and can’t be reached. Hmmm.

Josh Marshall commenting on HUD Secretary, Jackson's claim that he made it up and regrets ever saying it has it right:

“This reminds me of the time I walked into a bank and told them I'd stolen a bunch of their money even though I hadn't. I really regretted that.

“Or the time I told a good friend I'd slept with his girlfriend even though I hadn't. I really regretted that too.

“Alphonso Jackson. HUD Secretary.”

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Bush Admin Says Taliban NOT Terrorists and Never Were!

The Bush Administration recently issued a report on Terrorism and according them the Taliban are not terrorists. Worse it seems that the Bush Administration has never considered the Taliban to be terrorists. They just harbored Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the architect of the September 11 attack, and the rest of the merry band of al Qaeda, but no, the Taliban aren’t terrorists says Bush. Maybe that’s why Bush diverted troops who had bin Laden cornered in Tora Bora, and sent them to Iraq before he began the Iraq War. Maybe that’s why bin Laden is still alive and on the loose.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

NBC, CBS, Fox and CNN all Edited Out Rumsfeld Lies from News

I noted earlier that Fox and CNN edited out Rumsfeld being caught lying about his statements on Iraq and WMD. It turns out that CBS and NBC also edited it out. Some “liberal media.”

Saturday, May 06, 2006

A Voice From History

The function of the press is very high. It is almost holy. To misstate or suppress the news is a breach of trust.
— Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941), U.S. Supreme Court Justice

The US Mainstream Media suppresses and/or misrepresents so many stories that the American people deserve to hear. They are no longer worthy of our trust.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Bush’s CIA Director Suddenly Resigns after News of Involvement in Hookergate

Porter Goss, the man Bush appointed as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and who has been driving out all CIA officers with Democratic sypathies (Goss was a GOP congressman before coming to head CIA), promptly resigned today. Recently Goss was named as one of the participants in parties in which convicted lobbyists provided Republican members of Congress with prostitutes. This Hookergate scandal is directly related to the Duke Cunningham bribery scandal. A spokesperson for Goss originally said the charge was preposterous, but when more evidence came out Goss suddenly resigned.

Goss promoted Kyle "Dusty" Foggo to the number 3 spot at CIA. Foggo is a longtime friend of lobbyist (and criminal co-conspirator) Wilkes who received corrupt contracts with both the CIA and the Pentagon under Bush. Foggo was in charge of giving out those contracts at the CIA and has attended the parties Wilkes threw. Goss is believed to have met Foggo at these parties. These are the parties with prostitutes that gives Hookergate its name.

Crooks and Liars has more on the subject here.

Fire Dog Lake has more here.

Josh Marshall has more here and elsewhere on his site.

Pensito Review has some more.

Want to clean up the corruption in Washington? Vote Democratic for a change.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Rumsfeld Caught Lying to America


At the start of the Iraq War on March 30, 2003 Sec. of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld was being interviewed on ABC’s THIS Week with George Stephanopoulos

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, weapons of mass destruction. Key goal of the military campaign is finding those weapons of mass destruction. None have been found yet. There was a raid on the Answar Al-Islam Camp up in the north last night. A lot of people expected to find ricin there. None was found. How big of a problem is that? And is it curious to you that given how much control U.S. and coalition forces now have in the country, they haven't found any weapons of mass destruction?

SEC. RUMSFELD: Not at all. If you think -- let me take that, both pieces -- the area in the south and the west and the north that coalition forces control is substantial. It happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed. We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.

ABC’s THIS Week transcript from March 30, 2003

Today, Ray McGovern, who was in the CIA for twenty seven years, asked Rumsfeld why he lied about the run-up to the Iraq war. Rumsfeld then proceeded to lie to McGovern to cover up his earlier statements about WMD's being in Iraq. He also tries to use the troops in his defense, a terrible strategy, but not uncommon unfortunately. Notice, at the end of the clip, Ray gets vilified for asking Rumsfeld some pointed questions.

Video-WMP Video-QT

Here's what it says:

Rumsfeld: appears that there were not weapons of mass destruction there.

McGovern: You said you knew where they were.

Rumsfeld: I did not. I said I knew where suspect sites were and...

McGovern: You said you knew where they were. Tikrit, Baghdad, northeast, south, west of there. Those are your words.

Rumsfeld: My words-my words were that-no-no, wait a minute--wait a minute. [At this point Rumsfeld’s people start dragging McGovern out and Rumsfeld says] Let him stay one second. Just for a second..

Rumsfeld continues to deny what he said about WMD and then says, “Why do you think the US troops put on protective gear to keep out chemical weapons? Don’t you think they thought there was WMD?”

Of course the troops thought Saddam had WMD, that’s what Rumsfeld and Bush told them. The fact that the troops were as misled as the American people doesn’t get Rumsfeld and Bush off the hook.

Rumsfeld said at the beginning of the war that they knew where the WMD were. “We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.” We have him on tape saying that. The US State Department’s own US Embassy site has a transcript of him saying that. The Department of Defense also has a transcript of him saying it! That’s the department that Rumsfeld himself leads! But today he denies he ever said it.

That’s lying! Plain and simple! He not only lied in 2003, but today he is lying about the fact that he said what he said in 2003.

It turns out now that Inteligence agencies were telling Rumsfeld, Bush and Cheney that there wasn’t evidence of WMD in Iraq all along and now we know that intelligence was correct. So why did Rumsfeld say that not only did Saddam have WMD, but that the Bush Administration knew exactly where they were? And why does he lie today about ever having said that?

Because he knows that the Lapdog US Corporate Media will not expose his lies. And he is right. Rumsfeld has had this quote thrown in his face other times by patriotic Americans and always just denies it, knowing that the press will not hold him or anyone else in the administration accountable for their statments to the American people.

But we bloggers will!

Tired of lies? Vote Democratic.

Update: Fox News Channel edited out the part where Ray McGovern called Rumsfeld on his lie echoing Rumsfeld’s own words from 2003 back at him and Rumsfeld again denied his own statements. Fox also reported that McGovern “said he worked at the CIA for 27 years” as if that was a lie. It’s not, and records prove he’s a 27 year veteran of the CIA. Is there any wonder why studies keep showing that Fox News Channel viewers are the least well informed Americans? They don’t have a clue that they’re being lied to on a regular basis. And I believe that Fox News Channel is broadcast to our troops overseas to keep them in the dark, too. Isn’t that nice.

CNN also edited out the part where McGovern repeated Rumsfeld’s own words and Rumsfeld denied them, but at least CNN didn’t deliberately mislead their viewers into thinking that McGovern hadn’t worked for the CIA. CNN did neglect to mention that he’s a 27 year veteran of the CIA, though. In studies of Americans and their knowledge of the issues, viewers of CNN did slightly better than viewers of Fox News Channel who scored dead last.

Stop the lies to American civilians and our brave troops fighting overseas: Vote Democratic! Vote for change.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Bush and Singing the National Anthem in Spanish: He Was For It Before He Was Against It

Think Progress reports that: On Friday, President Bush blasted the idea of singing the Star Spangled Banner in Spanish. But Bush’s highly-scripted 2001 inaugural ceremony actually featured a rendition of the national anthem sung in Spanish by Jon Secada. From Cox News Service, 1/18/01:

The opening ceremony reflected that sentiment. A racially diverse string of famous and once famous performers entertained Bush, soon-to-be First Lady Laura Bush, Vice President-elect Richard B. Cheney and his wife, Lynne, who watched on stage from a special viewing area.

Pop star Jon Secada sang the national anthem in English and Spanish.

Apparently, Secada singing the anthem in Spanish was a regular feature of the Bush campaign. From the 8/3/00 Miami Herald:
The nominee [Bush], his wife Laura, erstwhile rival John McCain and his wife Cindy joined Bush on a platform where children sang the national anthem - in “Spanglish,” Secada explained.

This morning, ThinkProgress revealed that, according to Kevin Phillip’s book American Dynasty, Bush himself sang the national anthem in Spanish. Looks like Bush’s conviction that “the national anthem ought to be sung in English” was something he acquired very recently.

We have a word for that: hypocrisy. Or do you prefer Flip-Flop?

Tired of the Bush Flip-Flops? Vote Democratic.

More on the Intentional News Blackout on Stephen Colbert's Send-up of Bush and the Lapdog Press comments that when “Don Imus was the speaker at the 1996 Correspondent's dinner and his talk insulted President Clinton along the lines of the ongoing "conservative movement" narrative. Whitewater, Susan McDougal getting payoffs, Clintons getting indicted, missing billing records... The press had a field day -- coverage everywhere. NY Times, TV Notes;Imus in the Spotlight” Mike Wallace of CBS's 60 Minutes was beside himself with glee. The rest of the media hawked it to death.

“This is no big deal, except when compared with this week's press response to Stephen Colbert's appearance Saturday. The only way to describe the press response is: intentional blackout. The New York Times, for example, wrote an article about the dinner and did not mention Colbert in the article at all. A scan of Google News finds almost no coverage outside of the blogs.”

“In 1987 Ronald Reagan ordered the FCC to abolish the Fairness Doctrine, which required broadcast media to provide balanced coverage of issues. Majorities in the Congress voted to restore the Fairness Doctrine and were blocked by Republican vetoes and filibusters. (Any time you hear a Republican complain about the "liberal media" ask them why it is Republicans, not Democrats, who oppose the Fairness Doctrine.) Following that, Republicans began to allow fewer and fewer large corporations to control more and more of these information channels. (PLEASE click the links. More here and here.)”

Read more about this here.

Remember if you don’t like the bias of the media, Vote Democratic to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine to restore balance and accountability in the media.

Update: Remember last year at the Washington Correspondent's dinner, President Bush presented a video comedy routine where he was looking for the WMD that inspired him to invade Iraq and cause 2400 US service members to die and 18,000 of our troops to be wounded: many of them blinded, or maimed for life. In Bush’s side-splitting gag he was looking under the cushions in the Oval Office saying, “Gee, I’m sure those WMD are around here some place.” The Washing Press Corps went wild laughing hysterically at this. Yeah, that’s comedy. Joking about the reason we started a war that’s cost almost as many American lives as September 11, and caused between 30,000 and 120,000 Iraqi civilians to die. But Stephen Colbert making jokes about the press failing to do their job reporting on the Bush Administration and about the Bush Admin’s incompetence at doing their jobs is going over the line. So while the press gushed over Bush’s jokes about why we are at war and Don Imus’ skewering of Clinton they are silent or dismissive of Colbert.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Bush Admin Endangered National Security and Damaged Ability to Collect Intelligence on Iran's Nukes

Intelligence sources reveal National Security was damaged when Valerie Plame-Wilson's identity was leaked by the White House. She worked with gathering intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction. The outing of her identity specifically damaged the ability to collect intelligence on Iran's nuclear capabilities. The White House damaged National Security and our ability to track Iran’s nukes for political pay-back because Ambassador Wilson (Valerie Plame-Wilson's husband) informed Americans that Bush’s claim about Iraq buying Uranium to build nuclear weapons was untrue. The claim was based on documents easily shown to be forgeries. For that National Security was damaged and our ability to keep Iran from going nuclear was sabotaged by Bush’s White House.

Want real National Security, not loose lips sinking ships? Vote Democratic.

Senate Republicans Screw Troops Yet Again

In the years since Republicans seized control of all branches of the US Government one thing they have consistently done is to cut funding and services to active military personnel and veterans. Well, they’re not done screwing the troops yet! Senate Republicans voted to cut nearly $2 Billion from money earmarked for body armor, tools to defeat improvised explosive devices for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and training the Iraqi security forces. A Democratic amendment to keep the funding for our troops was overturned on a vote of 54-44 with Democrats voting for and Republicans voting against. The Democratic amendment that the Republicans defeated was to keep funding for troops and allow emergency funding for border security. The Republican measure that they passed cut the funding to our troops by nearly $2 Billion. Read it and weep for our service members who will die because Republicans have the nerve to give away Corporate Welfare to oil and tobacco and pharmaceutical companies and tax breaks to the richest 1% of Americans, but take away the needed funding from our men and women in uniform.

Support the troops: Vote Democratic!

Stephen Colbert Skewers Bush Admin and Lapdog US Mainstream Media

The truthiness hurts! Stephen Colbert's brilliant performance unplugged the Bush myth machine -- and left the clueless D.C. press corps gaping by Michael Scherer

Watch Stephen Colbert's sensational White House correspondents’ dinner performance.

The Daou Report explains how Stephen Colbert displayed more guts in ten minute of performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner than the Washington Press Corps and entire Bush family.

How is the mainstream media reacting to someone exposing their lack of a backbone in reporting on the Bush Administration and the news they are too cowardly to report? Why they simply ignore it and instead report how witty Bush was.

Cowards to the end. The end of journalistic integrity in America unfortunately.

Had enough of Bush and Congress' BS? Vote Democratic for a change.

Update: White House aides close to Bush say he was furious at Colbert’s airing the truth in Bush’s presence. A former top aide to Bush on the scene said, "I've been there before, and I can see that he is [angry]. He's got that look that he's ready to blow." The US News and World Reports chose not to use the alternative word the aide used for angry. I think it starts with a “P.” Look for Colbert to be declared an enemy combatant taken to Gitmo and tortured.

The US Corporate Mainstream Media especially the Washington Press Corps that Colbert skewered showing their soft complicit underbelly continues to downplay or ignore his lampooning of their lack of journalistic integrity. The media doesn’t like it when someone else shines a spotlight on their lapses. Too bad!

We need more people standing up and exposing the lack of real news reporting we get here in the US. Well done, Stephen Colbert. Well done!