Progressive Minds

Blogging live, from somewhere in the reality-based community. Speaking truth to power. You've entered the real "no spin zone." Republicans beware!


George Bush and Osama bin Laden, Sittin' In A Tree....

@ 12:30 PM (104 months, 13 days ago)


No wonder we haven't killed Osama bin Laden or taken him into custody yet....he and Bushie are the best of friends, it turns out.

Remember the October surprise of the 2004 Presidential campaign?  It came just four days before Americans went to the polls to vote.  A videotape of Osama bin Laden was released.  In the tape, he criticized George W. Bush.

Many Bush supporters claimed the videotape was proof that Osama wanted John Kerry to win the election. 

But the CIA had another view.

During a 5:00 PM meeting on October 29, 2004 (the day the videotape was released), Deputy CIA Director John McLaughlin began by stating "Bin-Laden certainly did a nice favor today for the President."  CIA officers gathered around the tabled nodded in agreement at McLaughlin's assessment that Osama had done Bush a favor.

So just why did Osama want Bush to remain in office a few more years?  Why was he threatened by the prospect of a President John Kerry?

Some CIA analysts felt that in part, Osama realized that Bush's policies, including the Guantanamo prison camp, the death and torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib, and the ongoing violence in Iraq, were helping Al Qaeda recruit an entire new generation of jihadists.  In short: George Bush was Osama's most effective recruitment poster. Jami Miscik, CIA Deputy Associate Director for Intelligence, said "Certainly, he would want Bush to keep doing what he’s doing for a few more years."

According to Ron Suskind in his new book The One Percent Doctrine, the CIA analysts fell silent, as the hard truths began to sink in for them. And they wondered, what did it say about U.S. policy that Osama wanted Bush to keep doing his thing for four more years.

CIA: Osama Helped Bush in '04

Frederick Douglass: What To The Slave Is The 4th of July

@ 12:44 AM (104 months, 13 days ago)

Should be required reading for every American citizen---Frederick Douglass' classic speech What To The Slave Is The 4th of July:

Fellow citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? and am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?

Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions! Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. For who is there so cold that a nation's sympathy could not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so stolid and selfish that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation's jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am not that man. In a case like that the dumb might eloquently speak and the "lame man leap as an hart."

But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me by asking me to speak today? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn that it is dangerous to copy the example of nation whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrevocable ruin! I can today take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people.

"By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yea! We wept when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there, they that carried us away captive, required of us a song; and they who wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth."

Fellow citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! Whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, today, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not faithfully remember those bleeding children of sorry this day, "may my right hand cleave to the roof of my mouth"! To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world. My subject, then, fellow citizens, is American slavery. I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the slave's point of view. Standing there identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine. I do not hesitate to declare with all my soul that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this Fourth of July! Whether we turn to the declarations of the past or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is fettered, in the name of the Constitution and the Bible which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery-the great sin and shame of America! "I will not equivocate, I will not excuse"; I will use the severest language I can command; and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, shall not confess to be right and just....

For the present, it is enough to affirm the equal manhood of the Negro race. Is it not as astonishing that, while we are plowing, planting, and reaping, using all kinds of mechanical tools, erecting houses, constructing bridges, building ships, working in metals of brass, iron, copper, and secretaries, having among us lawyers doctors, ministers, poets, authors, editors, orators, and teachers; and that, while we are engaged in all manner of enterprises common to other men, digging gold in California, capturing the whale in the Pacific, feeding sheep and cattle on the hillside, living, moving, acting, thinking, planning, living in families as husbands, wives, and children, and above all, confessing and worshiping the Christian's God, and looking hopefully for life and immortality beyond the grave, we are called upon to prove that we are men!...

What, am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to their fellow men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash, to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction, to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to their masters? Must I argue that a system thus marked with blood, and stained with pollution, is wrong? No! I will not. I have better employment for my time and strength than such arguments would imply....

What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States at this very hour.

Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms- of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.

Talk About Cutting And Running! (CIA Unit Cuts & Runs From Capturing Osama bin Laden)

@ 12:14 AM (104 months, 13 days ago)

There's been a lot of talk about cutting and running lately; specifically, from "stay the course" (whatever that means) neo-cons who want us to make Iraq the 51st state.

Well, my conservative friends, there's some "cutting and running" going on in the CIA that should upset you; although I doubt it will.  After all, Osama WHO?

Turns out the CIA has closed a unit (known as Alec Station) that was focused on hunting down Osama bin Laden.

For a decade, the mission of the Alec Station unit was to hunt down Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants. But that unit disbanded last year (and why are we just now learning of this?) and it's former employees have been re-assigned elsewhere in the CIA.

CIA Spinmeister Jennifer Millerwise Dyck says that despite the closing of the Unit, the effort to find Osama is as strong as ever. Dyck says "The efforts to find Osama bin Laden are as strong as ever."  Really now?  I can't tell! Remind me again why we had him corned in Torra Bora and let him go?

I guess George Bush was, for once in his life, telling the truth when he said he doesn't know or care where Osama is, and he doesn't spend much time on him.  That is George Bush's tribute to the nearly 3,000 people who were murdered on Bin Laden's orders on 9/11, and the loved ones they left behind.

C.I.A. Closes Unit Focused on Capture of bin Laden