The gas the Nazis used to kill Jews in ovens made by Siemens Corp. Recently, Siemens tried to trademark the name to use to build gas ovens.
President Bush has directed White House aids and Cabinet staff to begin preparing for 2008, the nation’s 232nd and final year in existence.
From the five page long Rolling Stone article, just a small section that will ruin your morning:
Your testimony over, you wait out the rest of the hearing, go home, take a bath in one of your four bathrooms, jump into bed with the little woman. . . . A year later, Iraq is still in flames, and your president’s administration is safely focused on reclaiming $485 million in aid money from a bunch of toothless black survivors of Hurricane Katrina. But the house you bought for $775K is now assessed at $929,974, and you’re sure as hell not giving it back to anyone.
“Yeah, I don’t know what I expected him to say,” Van Hollen says now about the way Robbins responded to being asked to give the money back. “It just shows the contempt they have for us, for the taxpayer, for everything.”
Operation Iraqi Freedom, it turns out, was never a war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. It was an invasion of the federal budget, and no occupying force in history has ever been this efficient. George W. Bush’s war in the Mesopotamian desert was an experiment of sorts, a crude first take at his vision of a fully privatized American government. In Iraq the lines between essential government services and for-profit enterprises have been blurred to the point of absurdity — to the point where wounded soldiers have to pay retail prices for fresh underwear, where modern-day chattel are imported from the Third World at slave wages to peel the potatoes we once assigned to grunts in KP, where private companies are guaranteed huge profits no matter how badly they fuck things up.
And just maybe, reviewing this appalling history of invoicing orgies and million-dollar boondoggles, it’s not so far-fetched to think that this is the way someone up there would like things run all over — not just in Iraq but in Iowa, too, with the state police working for Corrections Corporation of America, and DHL with the contract to deliver every Christmas card. And why not? What the Bush administration has created in Iraq is a sort of paradise of perverted capitalism, where revenues are forcibly extracted from the customer by the state, and obscene profits are handed out not by the market but by an unaccountable government bureaucracy. This is the triumphant culmination of two centuries of flawed white-people thinking, a preposterous mix of authoritarian socialism and laissez-faire profiteering, with all the worst aspects of both ideologies rolled up into one pointless, supremely idiotic military adventure — American men and women dying by the thousands, so that Karl Marx and Adam Smith can blow each other in a Middle Eastern glory hole.
It was an awful idea, perhaps the worst America has ever tried on foreign soil. But if you were in on it, it was great work while it lasted.
I really don’t understand why there’s only one Cindy Sheehan. I don’t understand why thousands of parents of dead soldiers aren’t standing outside the White House with pitchforks and torches.
“I’ll tell you the point where I really turned,” said Spc. Michael Harmon, 24, a medic from Brooklyn. He served a thirteen-month tour beginning in April 2003 with the 167th Armor Regiment, Fourth Infantry Division, in Al-Rashidiya, a small town near Baghdad. “I go out to the scene and [there was] this little, you know, pudgy little 2-year-old child with the cute little pudgy legs, and I look and she has a bullet through her leg…. An IED [improvised explosive device] went off, the gun-happy soldiers just started shooting anywhere and the baby got hit. And this baby looked at me, wasn’t crying, wasn’t anything, it just looked at me like–I know she couldn’t speak. It might sound crazy, but she was like asking me why. You know, Why do I have a bullet in my leg?… I was just like, This is–this is it. This is ridiculous.”
On the Today Show this morning:
ANN CURRY: Do you know the American people are suffering… watching [Iraq]?
LAURA BUSH: Oh, I know that very much, and, believe me, no suffers more than their president and I do when we watch this. And certainly the commander-in-chief who has asked our military to go into harm’s way.
AC: What do you think the American people need to know…
LB: Well, I hope they do know the burden of worry that’s on his shoulders every single day for our troops. And I think they do. I think if they don’t, they’re not seeing what the real responsibilities of our president are.
AC: It must be hard for you to watch him in this.
LB: It’s hard. Of course, it’s absolutely hard.
Yes, the dead and wounded soldiers, the families of the dead, the Iraqi people; none of them suffer as much as the president and his wife. Let them eat cake, indeed.
At New York’s Kennedy airport today, an individual later discovered to be a public school teacher, was arrested trying to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule, and a calculator.
At a morning press conference, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez said he believes the man is a member of the notorious al-gebra movement. The FBI is charging him with carrying weapons of math instruction.
Al-gebra is a fearsome cult,” Gonzalez said. “They desire average solutions by means of extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in a search of absolute value. They use secret code names like ‘x’ and ‘y’ and refer to themselves as ‘unknowns’, but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country.
As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, ‘there are 3 sides to every triangle’.”
When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, “If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes”.
From the New York Times:
Last March, the federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The Bush administration did so under pressure from Congressional Republicans who had said they hoped to “leverage the Internet” to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.
But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.
Last night, the government shut down the Web site after The New York Times asked about complaints from weapons experts and arms-control officials. A spokesman for the director of national intelligence said access to the site had been suspended “pending a review to ensure its content is appropriate for public viewing.”
Officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency, fearing that the information could help states like Iran develop nuclear arms, had privately protested last week to the American ambassador to the agency, according to European diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity. One diplomat said the agency’s technical experts “were shocked” at the public disclosures.
Early this morning, a spokesman for Gregory L. Schulte, the American ambassador, denied that anyone from the agency had approached Mr. Schulte about the Web site.
The documents, roughly a dozen in number, contain charts, diagrams, equations and lengthy narratives about bomb building that nuclear experts who have viewed them say go beyond what is available elsewhere on the Internet and in other public forums. For instance, the papers give detailed information on how to build nuclear firing circuits and triggering explosives, as well as the radioactive cores of atom bombs.
“For the U.S. to toss a match into this flammable area is very irresponsible,” said A. Bryan Siebert, a former director of classification at the federal Department of Energy, which runs the nation’s nuclear arms program. “There’s a lot of things about nuclear weapons that are secret and should remain so.”
The government had received earlier warnings about the contents of the Web site. Last spring, after the site began posting old Iraqi documents about chemical weapons, United Nations arms-control officials in New York won the withdrawal of a report that gave information on how to make tabun and sarin, nerve agents that kill by causing respiratory failure.
The campaign for the online archive was mounted by conservative publications and politicians, who said that the nation’s spy agencies had failed adequately to analyze the 48,000 boxes of documents seized since the March 2003 invasion. With the public increasingly skeptical about the rationale and conduct of the war, the chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence committees argued that wide analysis and translation of the documents — most of them in Arabic — would reinvigorate the search for clues that Mr. Hussein had resumed his unconventional arms programs in the years before the invasion. American search teams never found such evidence.
Today, the Senate approved the president’s new Torture and Unlimited Detention bill, legalizing torture and permanent detention of “enemy combatants” as well as allowing a broad definition of who fits that description, granting the President sweeping new powers. The bill suspends habeas corpus, and allows the President to decide who is an “enemy combatant” and to detain them indefinitely without basic civil rights provided by the constitution.
Give that, and given this scary-ass passage from the end of the declassified NIE Report:
“Anti-U.S. and anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise and fueling other radical ideologies. This could prompt some leftist, nationalist, or separatist groups to adopt terrorist methods to attack US interests. The radicalization process is occurring more quickly, more widely, and more anonymously in the Internet age, raising the likelihood of surprise attacks by unknown groups whose members and supporters may be difficult to pinpoint… We judge that groups of all stripes will increasingly use the Internet to communicate, propagandize, recruit, train and obtain logistical and financial support.”
And given that some on the right have already labeled me a “Liberal extremist” — how long do you think it will be before I disappear to Guantanamo Bay, never to be seen again?
I better contact Amnesty International, and take some cookies to the Homeland Security Guys parked outside my house for weeks.