Monthly Archives: June 2008

Special Comment on Obama, FISA and the Bush Administration

Trying to force a regime change in Iran the old fashion way-through covert ops.

The old fashioned way is using clandestine and/or covert ops by various US governmental agencies. The usual agencies are the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Seymour Hersh addresses these operations in his latest article for the New Yorker.

Mr. Hersh received the information on new covert ops against Iran from various military, intelligence, and congressional sources, per his article. The President received funding for these ops late last year from the Democratic-controlled Congress. The dollar amount Bush was seeking is in the ballpark of $400 million.

Christ, that is some ballpark isn’t it? If you think this is something new in Bush’s War on Terror, think again. From Hersh’s article in July’s New Yorker:

Clandestine operations against Iran are not new. United States Special Operations Forces have been conducting cross-border operations from southern Iraq, with Presidential authorization, since last year. These have included seizing members of Al Quds, the commando arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and taking them to Iraq for interrogation, and the pursuit of “high-value targets” in the President’s war on terror, who may be captured or killed. But the scale and the scope of the operations in Iran, which involve the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), have now been significantly expanded, according to the current and former officials. Many of these activities are not specified in the new Finding, and some congressional leaders have had serious questions about their nature.

Serious questions? No…really? Who the hell wouldn’t have serious questions about such actions by our government? Well, the Gang of Eight has been briefed as well as the upper echelons of the Republican and Democratic Congressional leadership. When such covert ops are to begin, the President must issue what is known as a “Presidential Finding“. This is a highly classified executive directive from Bush and its similar to an Executive Order. for a peek into this PF, Hersh has this:

“The Finding was focused on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change,” a person familiar with its contents said, and involved “working with opposition groups and passing money.” The Finding provided for a whole new range of activities in southern Iran and in the areas, in the east, where Baluchi political opposition is strong, he said.

Evidently the congress critter’s with questions about these tactics/operations were appeased since the funding for these operations did get approved by both the Senate and the House. This is all done in secret of course. Interestingly enough, this all came to pass right around the time the NIE came out which stated Iran had stopped work on their nuclear weapons program in 2003.

Can you smell the irony? I can..but I digress.

So BushCo is pushing all the buttons that need to be pushed for his attack on Iran. There are, however, substantial opinions, Robert Gates among them, that bombing Iran would be a huge clusterfuck that would see our children’s children fighting Jihadists, and not only abroad but here on US soil. Again, from Hersh’s article:

A Democratic senator told me that, late last year, in an off-the-record lunch meeting, Secretary of Defense Gates met with the Democratic caucus in the Senate. (Such meetings are held regularly.) Gates warned of the consequences if the Bush Administration staged a preëmptive strike on Iran, saying, as the senator recalled, “We’ll create generations of jihadists, and our grandchildren will be battling our enemies here in America.” Gates’s comments stunned the Democrats at the lunch, and another senator asked whether Gates was speaking for Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. Gates’s answer, the senator told me, was “Let’s just say that I’m here speaking for myself.”

Whoa, isn’t that some shit? The Joint Chiefs of Staff aren’t crazy about BushCo’s plan to bomb Iran. Neither are plenty of “the four-star officers who direct military operations around the world”. Before he was shit-canned, Admiral William Fallon, who until recently was the head of U.S. Central Command, was a very vocal advocate for NOT bombing the bejesus out of Iran. Admiral Fallon has quite a bit to say to Mr. Hersh on the subject of Iran and the covert ops:

“Did I bitch about some of the things that were being proposed? You bet. Some of them were very stupid.”

The Democratic leadership’s agreement to commit hundreds of millions of dollars for more secret operations in Iran was remarkable, given the general concerns of officials like Gates, Fallon, and many others. “The oversight process has not kept pace—it’s been coöpted” by the Administration, the person familiar with the contents of the Finding said. “The process is broken, and this is dangerous stuff we’re authorizing.”

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Holy Joe’s fearmongering Sunday

From C&L a Face the Nation stump for Liebermann. Holy Joe is fearmongering his ass off.

Well thank God Iran isn’t running Iraq as Holy Joe swears they would be if we had left Iraq a couple of years ago. And remember, the surge is working and soon, very soon, all of Al-Qaeda will be run out of Iraq on a fucking rail..and life will be simply wonderful for the remaining Iraqi’s.

It’s a two minute video..and thankfully that is about all I can take of this bag of batshit.

TomsDispatch has a realistic view of the war in Iraq. You can check it out here.

GOP hates Bob Barr..

And why wouldn’t they? He is a right of the center guy that seems to have more scruples than any Rethug on the ballot. Yes, I am looking at you John Weathervane McCain. According to the NYT writeup yesterday, Barr is trying to appeal to the vast majority of Ron Paul enthusiasts, of which there are many.

Third party candidates can fuck up a party’s wetdream. Nader has done it to the Dem’s and Ross Perot did it to the Rethugs. From the NYT writeup:

On the ballots in 30 states so far, Mr. Barr has the chance to be a spoiler for Mr. McCain, the presumed Republican nominee, in several states, among them Alaska, Colorado and Georgia. Mr. Barr’s campaign advisers also assert he has similar potential in other mountain states, New Hampshire, Ohio and other swing states.

The Republican Party and the McCain campaign have swatted away the Barr candidacy, but some Republicans are taking it seriously. If the early polls hold up, and Senator Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic nominee, pours heavy resources into Georgia, that state could be up for grabs, said Senator Johnny Isakson, Republican of Georgia.

Nader isn’t a new face on the general election front and I personally think any damage he will do to the Democratic nominee is marginal, but Barr could embarass the Rethugs. A point to make, and the NYT does, is that no Libertarian has ever gotten more than 1% of the vote. Money isn’t flowing into this campaign yet either. From the NYT writeup:

Yet Mr. Barr faces formidable obstacles. No Libertarian candidate has ever won more than 1 percent of the vote in a presidential election, and Mr. Barr is severely lacking in money, resources and name recognition. He has yet to lease a campaign headquarters, have a fund-raiser, tape a television advertisement or hold a campaign event.

There is also the fact that the convention which nominated him wasn’t completely behind him either. It took six votes to hand Barr the nomination, and it was by a very thin margin. Before anyone gets excited about Barr, they should consider his record as a former Rethug member. His votes for the Patriot Act bill, the Iraq AUMF, impeaching Bill Clinton and sponsoring the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 shouldn’t endear him to anyone but the most right of the rightwing nutjobs.

Barr is attempting to distance himself from those votes now however, blaming them on the (R) after his name at the time. He now states he is “for a speedy and complete withdrawal of troops, with no permanent bases; on same-sex marriage, he believes that states should make their own laws; and on wiretaps without warrants, he is fiercely opposed, arguing that the bill that would legalize searches without warrants violates an individual’s constitutional rights”.

Barr is eyeballing the Ron Paulistas right now that consider themselves Libertarian. The Paul supporters aren’t flocking to Barr at this point however. Some are highly pissed off that Barr is pandering specifically to Ron Paul supporters. Ron Paul has refused to endorse Barr’s candidacy as well.

The long and short of it is how much support in November Barr and Nader will draw from the two main parties. Polls, which I hate with a passion, are showing both Nader and Barr garnering 3% of the vote in specific toss-up states. Obama’s bean counters are happy that Barr has joined the fray, saying he might make the difference in states which are important and still close between Obama and McCain.

All in all, it remains to be seen what Barr can is his nemisis right now, and the same goes for Nader. This general election season looks to be all about the money and breaking records for how much you can raise and spend. Obama has the edge there and frankly I just want to get past the Democratic convention and head into the final stretch..I am so ready to get this shit over with, it ain’t even funny.

Tonight was hot but good music trumps hot and muggy

I saved up for this evenings festivities for three months..and since I haven’t missed Smoking Joe Bonamassa’s visits to Bako evah…I wasn’t going to let being broke change that. I just couldn’t buy the usual rock know..t-shirt or baseball cap ( I have all his albums)..ah well..such is life.

I had an excellent seat, smack dab in the middle of the 12th row! He did two encores bless his heart and he did not disappoint.

Now of course, my back is killing me..bench seats aren’t the best for three blown discs, but I would of gone regardless of the pain, believe me when I say that.

He took me away from all my problems for two hours. He took me away from politics too. He had me tapping my foot, clapping and hollering like a kid again. He made me smile, sing and feel good for two whole hours..

Thank you Joe..your a gem my man, and your good for whatever ails a soul too 😉

The video is Joe doing Burning Hell..appropriate since the temp at the start of the concert was a triple digit 100 even, with humidity off the friggin charts. With all the fires burning in NorCal..our air is poison right now too for an asthmatic like moi…but NOTHING was going to stop me from my appointed rounds tonight. NOTHING I tell ya!

I love this man’s music..and I hope all six of my dear, sweet, wonderful readers enjoy him as well.

ps..I have no idea why Blogger adds that friggin picture at the bottom of the video.