Lying Media Bastards

March 18, 2007


I can’t seem to escape reporting on the current Washington scandals no matter how I try. But I’ve got a few things worth mentioning.

My guess is that Scooter Libby will try to keep his case in appeal until January 2009, when Bush can pardon him at the last minute and suffer little fallout for his decision. But it would be nice if Libby, Karl Rove, and Dick Cheney saw the inside of a jail cell for at least one of their crimes. I do feel a slight bit of sympathy for Libby, because “Scooter” is a really terrible nickname.

US Attorney firings
As I understand it, the key thing here is that Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, Alberto Gonzalez, and possibly Big W himself decided to fire US attorneys who had refused to launch investigations of Democratic politicians or back off of investigations into Republican politicians. They then replaced them with US attorneys more to their liking. In other words, hirings and firings for solely political purposes.

- before being appointed to Attorney General of the United States, Alberto Gonzalez was essentially George W. Bush’s personal lawyer (”general counsel”) since 1994. The fact that Bush nominated his personal attorney to Attorney General of the United States is so fucking shady that somebody in Congress should have, y’know, stopped it.

- the ability to replace US attorneys when there’s a vacancy is a new power granted to the Department of Justice thanks to the Patriot Act. Previous to the signing of the Patriot Act, one or two people thought “gee, maybe the government will abuse the new powers that this Act gives them.” Those people were clearly crazy.

- if these fired attorneys lost their jobs for refusing to give in to Republican pressure, how many other US attorneys were pressured also pressured to do so, yet caved in to keep their jobs? Frankly, that’s a much better question to be asking.

- author and Watergate whistleblower John Dean claims that “it’s a very standard Rove operation… to have people who are running against his… candidates to be under investigations that somehow disappear as soon as the election is over.” Basically, he’s arguing that these attorneys were fired because they refused to take place in a smear campaign that would influence the outcomes of state elections.

- the NY Times reported that Bush had spoken to Gonzalez about the attorneys back in October, to “to pass along concerns by Republicans that some prosecutors were not aggressively addressing voter fraud”. In recent years, “voter fraud” has been the rationale for Republicans to remove potential Democratic voters from the voter rolls (or in other cases, challenge likely Democratic voters, in hopes of having their votes invalidated. Or to harass likely Democratic voters so that they won’t make the effort to vote). And of course, this effort has largely been racist, as people of color are less likely to vote Republican. So either was asking Gonzalez to carry out a racist plan to steal votes, or perhaps he was innocently passing along requests to do so without realizing what they meant (as we know, Bush isn’t real bright).

Walter Reed scandal
Is anyone really suprised that an administration that would send people out to suffer and die in an imperial war would then shortchange those same people’s medical care when they came back wounded? “Support the troops” has never meant “support the troops.” It means “I am loyal to the president and his war”. However, the opposite phrase, like “you don’t support the troops” means “you hate America.”

That being said, a lot of those ill-treated American soldiers have a lot of goddam blood on their own hands. While huge numbers of Iraqi civilians have been killed by insurgents and death squads, huge numbers were also killed by American bombs and bullets. I’m sure that most of those wounded Iraqi survivors are not getting treatment half as nice as they do at Walter Reed.

FBI abuse
The FBI and Justice Department have now admitted that the FBI illegally gathered the phone records of thousands of people over a two-year period, and that’s just the stuff they’re willing to admit.

Basically, the FBI is allowed to demand phone records from phone companies without a warrant, if a) they send the company an official National Security Letter, b) they have also sent a request for a subpoena to the US Attorneys office, and c) this info relates to an imminent threat to national security. Instead, the FBI has sent phone companies thousands of a) regular letters, b) without applying for subpoenas, c) on cases with no imminent threat, that d) often had nothing at all to do with national security.

Even better, once the FBI has this data, they stick it into a database accessible by tens of thousands of federal employees (not just the FBI), private companies, and foreign governments.

The ability to gather these phone records with National Security Letters is a new power granted to the FBI thanks to the Patriot Act. Previous to the signing of the Patriot Act, one or two people thought “gee, maybe the government will abuse the new powers that this Act gives them.” Those people were clearly crazy.

Posted by Jake on March 18, 2007 2:11 pm


  1. True, alot of U.S. troops have blood on them. BUT simply put, i’d kill everyone i could if i was shipped over there based on lies and be ordred around by the evil/incompetent.

    Bottom line: if you actions keep you alive or MIGHT keep you alive, kill anything and everyone. KILL OR BE KILLED is the rule.

    I dont care if a 5 year old does it, if someone shoots at me, they die. period. i am shure troops have the same opinion.

    i love your show/site/general POV but seriously, you cant blame the troops AT ALL, FOR ANYTHING BAD. shure we had some shitheads over there (abu ghraib) but jesus christ how would YOU feel as a troop over there?

    Id be a genociadal maniac after having to go through that kind of INSANITY. people blowing themselves up daily ect….. this is not a place that people make %100 happy and loving decisions. morals and sentiments of “the right to life of humanity” go out the window.


    Comment by Matt — March 18, 2007 @ 4:25 pm

  2. It seems to me that LMB is here to educate as well as commentate on our current situations, not bash the troops. Living in close proximity to a large Marine base I can attest to the hatred many of these soldiers harbor. It’s true that they were shipped over based on lies of the evil and incompetent but let’s not pretend they are all innocent soldiers following orders and reciting the survival mantra “kill or be killed”.

    There must be a certain amount of conditioning involved in military training but not enough to change completely rational peaceful people into war hateful trained killers mindlessly following orders.

    I personally witness a portion these “troops” in civilian settings with an aggressive attitude and exhibiting racist, sexist, sexually biased often hateful behavior.

    Give these troops heavy weaponry and place them in situations with an objective to kill if necessary and I will not support them.

    Bottom line: The draft is not in effect, whatever their intention these people signed up for the job.

    Comment by Tay — March 19, 2007 @ 1:02 am

  3. its not the army that makes these men so unstable, it is iraq and the nuts over there. kill or be killed is not a “mantra” it is a FACT. these people will die if they hesitate for one second. they cant afford to be nice or humanistic. that place turns people into animals, regardless of if they are voluntary or not.

    true, these men in the army were not forced to join but that does not negate the fact that the situations over there is deplorible and we cant blame the troops for finding ANY WAY to deal with it.

    its like yelling at a fire fighter for getting burned, then telling him he is lame for letting himself get burned. its bound to happen.


    Comment by Matt — March 19, 2007 @ 6:46 am

  4. I do not BLAME the troops for this war; I agree that we must blame the officials.

    I do not dispute the fact that war puts men in situations to kill or be killed.

    I am saying that many of these soldiers still feel they are on the just side. People are STILL joining thinking it is a just cause. The military isn’t innocent from the actions of our government because they were just following orders.

    Vietnam, a war which saw well over 1.5 million people drafted seems somewhat different than what is happening now. Furthermore, the amount of information offered to us through advances in communication technology make enlisting less excusable today.

    As LMB stated “support the troops” is something more along the lines of “I am loyal to the president and his war.”

    I have never supported this war, meaning I don’t support our administrations actions or the actions of their believers and followers who have been sent over.

    Comment by Tay — March 19, 2007 @ 7:24 pm

  5. Matt has a point about the rank and file troops. Many on the antiwar left fail to realize that many of these people can only work at Wal-Mart, the coal mine, or join the military and maybe get money for college. They choose the third option and get duped.

    Support the troops? Mutiny, desertion, and sabotage should be encouraged at all costs. The troops absolutely have a right to insurrection against their commanders, just as the insurgents have the right to self-defense.

    Comment by Eric — March 22, 2007 @ 8:22 am

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