BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIX MIX -- DC.
HOWARD KURTZ WAS OUTSIDE THE SCOOTER LIBBY TRIAL FUMING ABOUT JUDITH MILLER'S "METHODS," RORY O'CONNOR WAS RUSHING OFF TO WRITE ABOUT THEM, AND A LOT OF THE D.C. PRESS CORPS TRIED TO ACT UNINTERESTED SINCE WHAT JUDITH MILLER, OR MATT COOPER, DID WASN'T THAT UNUSUAL FOR A PRESS CORPS MORE INTERESTED IN 'ACCESS' THAN IN REPORTING, MORE INTERESTED IN SUCKING UP TO THE POWERFUL THAN IN INFORMING THE CITIZENS.
THESE REPORTERS REMEMBER A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF THAT FROM THIS WEEK. BULLY BOY WANTED TO SELL HIS ESCALATION SO HE TOOK TO THE AIRWAVES LIKE ANY AGED STAR DESPERATE TO TURN THEIR SNOOZER INTO BOX OFFICE BOFFO. BULLY BOY WAS EVERY WHERE BUT THE HOME SHOPPING NETWORK (KARL ROVE IS ALREADY AT WORK ON THAT OVERSIGHT.) SO WHEN HE MADE TIME FOR LITTLE JUAN WILLIAMS, JUAN COULDN'T STOP SUCKING UP.
"MR. PRESIDENT, WE CAN'T SAY THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR GIVING NPR THIS TIME, SO THANK YOU."
THE SENTENCE MADE NO LOGICAL SENSE -- IF YOU CAN'T SAY IT ENOUGH, WHY SAY IT? -- BUT IT WAS THE TYPICAL CRAP JUAN CHURNS OUT ALL THE TIME, 'MR. NICE GUY' AT LEAST AFTER HE SETTELED THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT COMPLAINTS AGAIN HIM (WHILE HE WAS WITH THE WASHINGTON POST).
WHAT IS SOMEONE FOUND GUILTY BY A COMPANY OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT DOING WORKING IN PUBLIC RADIO? SUCKING UP TO THE POWERFUL, AVOIDING OFFENDING ANYONE, WRITING REALLY RACIST BOOKS AND GETTING APPLAUSE FROM UNEXPECTED AND SADDENING PLACES.
IT'S A STORY THAT CAN BE REPEATED OVER AND OVER. BUT PLAY THE GAME, SUCK UP, AND EVERYONE ACTS LIKE IT NEVER HAPPENED.
IT'S A DANCE MANY DO, IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. IN THE MAINSTREAM THEY DANCE ON KNEE PADS.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Starting with Ehren Watada who is the first commissioned officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq to serve in the illegal and immoral war. He faces a court-martial this coming Monday (February 5th) and, if convicted on all charges, could serve a maximum of four years in prison. Some are weighing in.
US Rep Mike Honda (in the San Francisco Chronicle) notes that Watada's awakening to the lies of war is reflected in the similar awakenings a large number of citizens have had as time (more so than the press) has exposed Bully Boy's lies of war:
In facing charges of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, it is my belief that Ehren Watada has laid bare a fact that is becoming increasingly plain: Mr. Bush has handled this war in a manner unbecoming a United States president. At best, our president misled the nation on the rationale for going into Iraq. He has embroiled this great country in a cycle of brutality there that has grievously tarnished America's international reputation, has further destabilized an already precarious Middle East and has taken the lives of more than 3,000 American fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. Watada has risked being deemed guilty of breaking one law in furtherance of a higher, moral one, rather than participate in a fight that, in his and my view, needlessly sends our compatriots to their deaths. In Watada's own words: "To stop an illegal and unjust war, the soldiers and service members can choose to stop fighting it" (www.thankyoult.org, click on YouTube video).
Noting the reduction of two counts which has allowed the maximum time Watada could spend, if convicted, in prison, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer observes:
We would prefer further reductions and no prison time for a conscientious refusal to serve in what Watada believes, right or wrong, is an illegal war in Iraq.
Military leaders have shown commendable flexibility in dealing with a variety of conscience- and belief-motivated requests to be excused from service. For instance, the Marine commandant, Gen. James Conway, last week granted conscientious-objector status to Pvt. Ronnie Tallman to allow the 21-year-old to pursue a newfound calling as a Navajo medicine man. Under Navajo spiritual law, Tallman could not serve in a special group of certified spiritual healers if he participated in any killing.
Actions like Conway's have given the military greater rather than lesser stature in the difficult circumstances of the Iraq war. Similar flexibility on policy at a higher level might save many Americans from the dangers of Iraq combat. Unless Congress insists, however, the Bush administration will stay the course.
Reporting on the rally in San Francisco, Judith Scherr (Berkeley Daily Planet) notes Carolyn Ho, mother of Ehren Watada, spoke: "He went in believing he was really trying to do his duty to his country in trying to preserve our freedoms. He said to me at one point, 9/11 happened and I will never be the same again . . . But then my son, after doing the research and finding the facts realized that there were no weapons of mass destruction and that we entered a preemptive war on a lie. That has to stop." Carolyn Ho is on a speaking tour and the dates will be at the bottom of the snapshot.
Watada is a part of a movement of resistance with the military that includes others such as Agustin Aguayo (whose court-martial is currently set to begin on March
6th), Kyle Snyder, Darrell Anderson, Ivan Brobeck, Ricky Clousing, Aidan Delgado, Mark Wilkerson, Joshua Key, Camilo Meija, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Jeremy Hinzman, Corey Glass, Patrick Hart, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell and Kevin Benderman. In total, thirty-eight US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.
[. . .]
Yesterday, Feingold used his power as the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing entitled "Exercising Congress's Constitutional Power to End a War" where he concluded his opening remarks with this:
The answer should be clear. Since the President is adamant about pursuing his failed policies in Iraq, Congress has the duty to stand up and use its power to stop him. If Congress doesn't stop this war, it's not because it doesn't have the power. It's because it doesn't have the will.
At the end of yesterday's hearing, Feingold noted, "It is clear that this administration took the country into war on a fraudulent basis with the president insisting we had no other option
but to pre-emptively attack Iraq. Now four years into the war we are still in Iraq, and the president insists that we have no other options but to stay -- with no end in sight and we have to say. As long as this president goes unchecked by Congress our troops will remain needlessly at risk and our national security will be compromised. Today we have heard convinciny testimony and analysis that Congress has the power to stop a war if it wants to.
[Applause, chants of "DO IT!" DO IT!] The president has no plan for ending our mission in Iraq, worse still, his Iraq centered policies have undercut our national security worldwide."
Feingold's plan for addressing the Iraq war is summarized in this fact sheet.
In other political news, CODEPINK continues to demand Congress represent the people. Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) reported that the DC office of US Senator Hillary Clinton was occupied, that activists carried banner ("We want a woman for peace, not just a woman.") and six were arrested. Yesterday's actions were part of a series of actions by CODEPINK following Saturday's protest and march in DC. In a press release issued before Tuesday's actions, Jodie Evans explained, "We met with Hillary Clinton right before the war, begging her to oppose the invasion but she refused. She gave Bush the green light to invade Iraq and now pretends she was against the war. Worse yet, she still refuses to take a clear position to defund the war and bring the troops home." Medea Benjamin explained, "We're tired of the lies, the obfuscations, the spin. If Hillary wants to become president, she better start being a leader. If she's in to win, she better stop the spin." And Gale Murphy observed, "This country is hungry for leaders who will get us out of Iraq. We'll be giving Hillary a chance to cut her web of war and join the majority of people in this country who want to bring the troops home."
Meanwhile Gold Star Families for Peace's Carlos Arredondo is in Times Square. Reuters reports that he's gone to NYC with "a pick-up truck carrying an empty flag-draped coffin and a picture of his son's open casket and funeral." Carlos Arredondo's son Alex died in Iraq on August 25, 2004. Last Saturday, he was among the speakers in DC. Arrendondo recognized the other families who had lost loved ones and noted, "This is the cost of war!"
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