Friday, October 21, 2005
This story is about a lot of different things. First and foremost, it's about this country going to war on false pretenses, the real reasons for which are obscure and inscrutable. It's about a powerful GOP political machine that thought it could foist off the village idiot as president and became so seized by hubris that it literally thought it could get away with anything.Go read the whole thing.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Her contempt was directed at a September 25 San Francisco Chronicle story reporting that former NFL star and Army Ranger war hero Pat Tillman, who was killed in Afghanistan last year, believed the US war on Iraq was “f***ing illegal” and counted Noam Chomsky among his favorite authors.Tillman was a good soldier, and the good soldiers I've served with all had brains.
That made things difficult for the chickenhawks and their minions.
The very private Tillmans have revealed a picture of Pat profoundly at odds with the GI Joe image created by Pentagon spinmeisters and their media stenographers. As the Chronicle put it, family and friends are now unveiling “a side of Pat Tillman not widely known–a fiercely independent thinker who enlisted, fought and died in service to his country yet was critical of President Bush and opposed the war in Iraq, where he served a tour of duty. He was an avid reader whose interests ranged from history books…to works of leftist Noam Chomsky, a favorite author.” Tillman had very unembedded feelings about the Iraq War. His close friend Army Spec. Russell Baer remembered, “I can see it like a movie screen. We were outside of [an Iraqi city] watching as bombs were dropping on the town…. We were talking. And Pat said, ‘You know, this war is so f***ing illegal.’ And we all said, ‘Yeah.’ That’s who he was. He totally was against Bush.” With these revelations, Pat Tillman the PR icon joins WMD and Al Qaeda connections on the heap of lies used to sell the Iraq War.Full disclosure: It's entirely possible that I ate Mexican food with Mr. Spidel in Flagstaff last month. Neither of us said anything about blogging, but he looks like the same dude.
Tillman’s transition from one-dimensional caricature to critically thinking human being is a long time coming. The fact is that in death he was far more useful to the armchair warriors than he had ever been in life. When the Pro Bowler joined the Army Rangers, the Pentagon brass needed a loofah to wipe their drool: He was white, handsome and played in the NFL. For a chicken-hawk Administration led by a President who loves the affectations of machismo but runs from protesting military moms, this testosterone cocktail was impossible to resist. The problem was that Tillman wouldn’t play their game. To the Pentagon’s chagrin, he turned down numerous offers to be its recruitment poster child.
But when Tillman fell in Afghanistan the wheels once again started to turn. Now the narrative was perfect: “War hero and football star dies fighting terror.” The Abu Ghraib scandal was about to hit the press, so the President found it especially useful to praise Tillman as “an inspiration on and off the football field, as with all who made the ultimate sacrifice in the war on terror.” His funeral was nationally televised. Bush even went back to the bloody well during the presidential campaign, addressing his team’s fans on the Arizona Cardinals’ stadium Jumbotron.
We now know, of course, that this was all a brutal charade. Such callous manipulation is fueling the Tillman family’s anger. As Mary Tillman said this past May, “They could have told us up front that they were suspicious that [his death] was a fratricide, but they didn’t. They wanted to use him for their purposes…. They needed something that looked good, and it was appalling that they would use him like that.” A growing number of military families, similarly angered, are criticizing the war in Iraq through organizations like Military Families Speak Out.
USA Today reports that more than half of the teens (age 15 to 19) have engaged in oral sex. Except they don't count it as sex.
"The implications are that teens who define themselves as abstinent may be engaging in oral sex," says Jennifer Manlove, a senior research associate with the non-profit group Child Trends, which analyzed the federal data.Reminds me of that nice Mormon girl I dated in high school.
Kyle Tarver, 17, a high school senior from Pikesville, Md., who was among an informal USA TODAY focus group of Maryland teenagers, says most teens who have had oral sex think of themselves as virgins.
And hey, speaking of technical virgins . . .
Still, one can't help get a little excited about the fact that the President seems to have lied about his own knowledge about who was doing the leaking. Not that he thought there was anything wrong with his chief advisor committing treason. He was just pissed that Rove was so clumsy he got caught.
So Bush lied (I'm shocked). As this link from Duncan points out quite clearly, that's a crime.
Crime, as in High Crimes and Misdemeaners.
Mark Kleiman confirms my sense that, for those of us of a certain age, well, we have all been here before:
But if you're my age, this starts to sound and smell like the summer of 1974. And the more advance buzz there is, the harder it will be for the GOP to successfully feign outrage when the indictments happen.Note to Eric: I'm being kind when I call him Flight Suit Boy. Wingnut radio personalities are vitriolic. Old paratroopers can tell mierda from shinola.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Ohio: 37% Approve - 61% Disapprove
Arizona: 40% Approve - 55% Disapprove
Colorado: 42% Approve - 57% Disapprove
Nevada: 37% Approve - 60% Disapprove
The list goes on. Even the South and strange places like Missouri and Indiana don't much like the boy king anymore.
Utah, of course, remains in serious denial. Do something, Ed.
Last night Raw Story got wind of the New York Daily News report that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald had flipped a senior administration staffer. Raw Story now reports that John Hannah, a senior aid to Vice President Cheney is the guy Fitzgerald turned.
Today the Daily News says Cheney is a target of Fitzgerald's probe. The WaPo says that Cheney's feud with the CIA may have contributed to the outing of Valerie Plame. And there are even rumors that Cheney will resign.
All this begs the question, if Cheney resigns (and/or is indicted) and Karl Rove resigns (following his pending indictment), who is going to tell Flight Suit Boy that it's time for him to talk to his lawyer?
UPDATE Tuesday afternoon: The scary part of the Cheney resignation rumor is the speculation that Bush would elevate Condi Rice to the vice presidency:
"It's certainly an interesting but I still think highly doubtful scenario," said a Bush insider. "And if that should happen," added the official, "there will undoubtedly be those who believe the whole thing was orchestrated – another brilliant Machiavellian move by the VP."