Tuesday :: Apr 11, 2006

The Gospel Of The Modern Judas

by pessimist

One of the most contentious themes presented by the newly-decyphered gospel of Judas is that the Crucifixion was a conspiracy, and that Judas' role in it was all part of the plan.

I'm not going to go into that controversy, as I haven't researched it yet. Besides - we have many currrent-day Republican Judases to look at instead, including Bu$h, Cheney, Libby, Gonzales - and McCain:

The tragic irony of John McCain's Faustian bargain
by Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post

Watching a true American hero hang a For Sale sign on his principles is a profoundly sad thing.

Back in December, following another dispiriting McCain appearance on Meet the Press in which he repeatedly provided cover for Bush's woeful mishandling of Iraq, I wrote:

"The big question now — a question left unanswered on today's show — is: which is the real McCain? The captain of the Straight Talk Express, or the one who showed up today trying to have it both ways — expressing just enough gentle criticism to keep his 'maverick' bona fides, while at the same time assuring Bush's right wing supporters they have nothing to worry about?"
Sadly, that big question is unanswered no more. McCain has clearly convinced himself that the only way he can become president is to sell his soul — making a pact with the devils of the religious right and turning into what Jim Pinkerton dubbed "a born-again Bushophile". There can be no doubt: McCain's blatant desire for the White House has caused him to abandon the Straight Talk Express and hop on board the Bullshit Express. Talk about "pimping your ride." McCain, in giving up the core of who he is — as a man and as a leader — may actually be destroying his chances of getting what he so desires.
The saddest thing is not how McCain has betrayed us — it's how he has betrayed himself.

The same observation can be made at the expense of Owwer Leedur and his Merry Bund of Neo-Conmen, whose mi$$tep$ since they stole power are coming back to haunt him - at a time when the game is going into an important inning.

The Real Problem With Bush's Leak
Monday, April 10, 2006

These war-mongers had every intention, from day-one, of invading Iraq whether or not WMD existed. Evidence continues to surface which strongly suggests that the Bushies hand-picked intelligence which bolstered their WMD rhetoric, while intentionally ignoring any dissenting advice or concerns from generals and military experts who doubted the existence of WMD and questioned the overall viability of the mission.
Americans have a right to know whether or not they were lied to by their elected representatives.
Whether or not they were deceived in Bush's rush to war. Whether or not the Busheviks knew WMD did not exist, and whether they manufactured evidence anyway to justify the invasion. Whether or not their sons, daughters, husbands, wives, friends and relatives have died over a lie. And whether or not there's been a highly orchestrated campaign, still being executed, to cover up all the lies and deception. And that's why Bush's leak is such an important issue.

[W]hen a president leaks classified information for purely political purposes, to cover up the fact that he manipulated intelligence in order to justify war, and to punish those detractors who refute his bogus claims, then that's an entirely different matter.

In fact, those would be impeachable offenses.

Impeachment may yet come about, despite the valiant efforts of the trolls who infest the comment threads of most blogs which are looking into the allegations of (mi$)Admini$tration activities which merit impeachment:

With One Filing, Prosecutor Puts Bush in Spotlight
By David E. Sanger and David Johnston
April 11, 2006

The new assertions by the special prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, have put administration officials on the spot in a way they have not been for months ... Mr. Fitzgerald's filing talks not of an effort to level with Americans but of "a plan to discredit, punish or seek revenge against Mr. Wilson." It concludes:
"It is hard to conceive of what evidence there could be
that would disprove the existence of White House efforts to 'punish Wilson'."
Throughout the spring and early summer of 2003, Mr. Fitzgerald concluded, the former ambassador had become an irritant to the administration, raising doubts about the truthfulness of assertions — made publicly by Mr. Bush in his State of the Union address in January of that year — that Iraq might have sought uranium in Africa to further its nuclear ambitions.

A CIA veteran looks at the Bu$hco allegations aimed at the Joe Wilson and the CIA - and finds them wanting:

Blowing Cheney's Cover
by Ray McGovern
April 10, 2006

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. A 27-year veteran of the CIA, he is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

[O]ne of the great revelations from Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s court filing last week is more evidence that the White House — not the CIA — distorted intelligence on Iraq. It is now abundantly clear — thanks to the release of Fitzgerald’s court papers — how the White House chose to counter Wilson’s charge that the administration had 'twisted' intelligence to justify war.
[T]he government of Niger does not control the uranium mined there.
Rather, it is tightly controlled and monitored by an international consortium led by the French. CIA analysts all agreed that the notion that Baghdad could somehow siphon off some of that uranium and spirit it back to Iraq was preposterous.
Wilson went to Niger [and] found the story baseless
— as had previous investigations by the U.S. embassy in Niger
and a U.S. general dispatched from Heidelberg.
Fast forward to January 2003, when President Bush’s State of the Union address pulled out all stops in beating the drums for war. As Joe Wilson watched the speech, he found it puzzling to hear the president repeat the story about Iraq seeking uranium from Africa. There must be new intelligence on this, thought Wilson, but he quickly learned it was the same sorry story.

He quietly sought to persuade the White House to issue a correction, but was given the brush off. Wilson persisted, and in the end warned then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice that, as a matter of conscience, he would be forced to tell the American people that the uranium story was bogus.

The reply, through a Rice intermediary:
"Go ahead! Who will believe you?"

I do. So does Paul Krugman:

Current polls suggest that the Democrats could take one or both houses of Congress this November, acquiring the ability to launch investigations backed by subpoena power. This could blow the lid off multiple Bush administration scandals.

Political analysts openly suggest that an attack on Iran offers Mr. Bush a way to head off this danger, that an appropriately timed military strike could change the domestic political dynamics. Does this sound far-fetched? It shouldn't. Given the combination of recklessness and dishonesty Mr. Bush displayed in launching the Iraq war, why should we assume that he wouldn't do it again?

First, it's clearer than ever that Mr. Bush, who still claims that war with Iraq was a last resort, was actually spoiling for a fight. The New York Times has confirmed the authenticity of a British government memo reporting on a prewar discussion between Mr. Bush and Tony Blair. In that conversation, Mr. Bush told Mr. Blair that he was determined to invade Iraq even if U.N. inspectors came up empty-handed.

Second, it's becoming increasingly clear that Mr. Bush knew that the case he was presenting for war - a case that depended crucially on visions of mushroom clouds - rested on suspect evidence. For example, in the 2003 State of the Union address Mr. Bush cited Iraq's purchase of aluminum tubes as clear evidence that Saddam was trying to acquire a nuclear arsenal.

Yet Murray Waas of the National Journal reports that
Mr. Bush had been warned that many intelligence analysts disagreed with that assessment.
Was the difference between Mr. Bush's public portrayal of the Iraqi threat and the actual intelligence he saw large enough to validate claims that he deliberately misled the nation into war?
Karl Rove apparently thought so.
According to Mr. Waas, Mr. Rove "cautioned other White House aides in the summer of 2003 that Bush's 2004 re-election prospects would be severely damaged" if the contents of an October 2002 "President's Summary" containing dissents about the significance of the aluminum tubes became public.

This would be the basis of the motivation for the virulent assertions that Bu$h can define when he needs to obey the law and when he's not bound by its restrictions. If he's not expected or required to obey the laws the rest of us must follow, then King George need not fear retribution for Royal Action$:

'L'etat, c'est moi'
Bush declares himself above the law -- has the first American dictatorship already arrived?
by Geov Parrish, WorkingForChange.com

The White House, tellingly, has not denied any of Libby's testimony (including the Wilson conspiracy). [T]he recurrent theme of a President and his administration which believe they are above the law -- Bush on his own say-so, and the rest of them acting on his presumed authority -- is more than a scandal. It is a direct challenge to the Constitution of the United States of America.
It is more evident than ever that this President and Vice President need to be impeached.

And if they escape the consequences of their actions?

[W]e might as well cancel that 2008 presidential election and be done with this farce we call an electoral process. Sooner or later, should Bush go unpunished, somebody in power is going to try to do exactly that sort of thing. When they do, they'll cite national security and the need for stable and experienced political leadership in a time of war, and when they do, they'll cite the precedents set by George Bush and permitted by the Congress, courts, and American public of his day. And our country's long, mostly successful experiment in representative democracy will be over.

Perhaps it already is.

What other conclusion can one draw when the Congress lamely allows Bu$hco officials to present the Divine Right of King George as justification for his actions?

Editorial: Adventures in Testifying
Published: April 11, 2006

Congress has yet to make any serious effort to get to the truth about domestic spying. Take Mr. Gonzales's testimony last week before the House Judiciary Committee about Mr. Bush's allowing the National Security Agency to intercept calls to and from the United States without obtaining the legally required warrant. Mostly, Mr. Gonzales refused to answer any question that went beyond his maddeningly narrow talking points.

But for anyone who has watched him in action, this was no surprise. Nor was it terribly surprising that he repeated his weak arguments for Mr. Bush to go outside the law for a program that could have been run legally.

Mr. Gonzales has yet to find a stretch of presidential power he can't excuse.

If the US really had an entity that was going to prosecute Bu$hco for crimes committed under cover of governance, it's course of action might look like this:

A Leaky President Runs Afoul Of 'Little Rico'
by Greg Palast
Sunday, April 9, 2006

'Scooter' Libby finally outed 'Mr. Big,' the perpetrator of the heinous disclosure of the name of secret agent Valerie Plame. It was the President of United States himself -- in conspiracy with his Vice-President. Now the pundits are arguing over whether our war-a-holic President had the legal right to leak this national security information.
[T]hat's a fake debate meant to distract you.
OK, let's accept the White House alibi that releasing Plame's identity was no crime. But if that's true, they've committed a BIGGER crime: Bush and Cheney knowingly withheld vital information from a grand jury investigation, a multimillion dollar inquiry the perps themselves authorized.

I worked as a government investigator and, let me tell you, Bush and Cheney withholding material information from the grand jury is a felony. Several felonies, actually: abuse of legal process, fraud, racketeering and, that old standby, obstruction of justice.

If you or I had manipulated the legal system this way, we'd be breaking rocks on a chain gang. We wouldn't even get a trial -- most judges would consider this a "fraud upon the court" and send us to the slammer in minutes using the bench's power to administer instant punishment for contempt of the judicial system.
Statements aimed at misleading grand jury investigators are hard-time offenses. It doesn't matter that Bush's too-clever little quip was made to the press and not under oath. I've cited press releases and comments in the New York Times in court as evidence of fraud. By not swearing to his disingenuous statement, Bush gets off the perjury hook, but he committed a crime nonetheless, "deliberate concealment."

Here's how the law works (and hopefully, it will).

The Bush gang's use of the telephone in this con game constituted wire fraud. Furthermore, while presidents may leak ("declassify") intelligence information, they may not obstruct justice; that is, send a grand jury on a wild goose chase.

Under the 'RICO' statute (named after the Edward G. Robinson movie mobster, 'Little Rico'), the combination of these crimes makes the Bush executive branch a 'racketeering enterprise'.

So, book'm, Dan-o.
Time to read The POTUS and The Veep their rights.
After setting their bail (following the impeachments and removals, of course), a judge will have a more intriguing matter to address. The RICO law requires the Feds to seize all "ill-gotten gains" of a racketeering enterprise, even before trial. Usually we're talking fast cars and diamond bling. But in this case, the conspirators' purloined booty includes a stolen election and a fraudulently obtained authorization for war. I see no reason why a judge could not impound the 82d Airborne as "fruits of the fraud " -- lock, stock and gun barrels -- and bring the boys home.

And if justice is to be done we will will also have to run yellow tape across the gates at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue -- "CRIME SCENE - DO NOT ENTER" -- and return the White House to its rightful owners, the American people, the victims of this gangster government.

If this goes on long enough, and if more damaging revelations of Bu$hco malfeasance emerge, then the following information could lead to that very result:

Poll Finds Bush Job Rating at New Low

The depth of public dissatisfaction with Bush and the highly partisan nature of the criticism are underscored by public attitudes toward efforts by some in Congress to censure him or impeach him for his actions as president. Calls to impeach Bush are not resonating beyond Democratic partisans. One-third of Americans, including a majority of Democrats (55 percent), favor impeaching Bush and removing him from office. But more than nine in 10 Republicans and two-thirds of independents oppose impeachment. Still, more than four in 10 Americans -- 45 percent -- favor censuring or formally reprimanding Bush for authorizing wiretaps of telephone calls and e-mails of terrorism suspects without court permission. Two-thirds of Democrats and half of all independents, but only one in six Republicans, support censuring Bush, the poll found.

The real news concerns economic issues - which will get the attention of independents and Republicans quicker than an illegal alien conducting a layoff of American workers:

The public is even more critical of Bush's performance in specific areas.

On six of seven key issues, fewer than half of the respondents approve of the job Bush is doing, while majorities express dissatisfaction with him on Iraq (62 percent), health care (62 percent) and immigration (61 percent).

Half of the public now disapproves of the way Bush is handling the fight against terrorism, an issue on which majorities of Americans had typically given him high marks until last year. The ongoing bloodshed and political chaos in Iraq continue to drag down support for the war, the survey found. Barely four in 10 -- 41 percent -- say the war is worth fighting, down five percentage points since December.

Four in 10 -- 40 percent -- say Bush is doing a good job with the economy, down eight percentage points in a month. One reason for the drop may be the recent sharp increase in fuel costs. Fewer than one in four approve of his handling of gasoline prices, virtually the same as last summer when gas prices topped $3 a gallon. Overall, 44 percent said the increases are causing "serious hardship" in their family, up significantly from August.

The more the economic pain, the more the impeachment movement will gain momentum. Think of the possibilities should this come about. This is the real reason George wants to go to war:

The rise of the petroeuro
US sabre-rattling at Iran has [nothing] to do with global security and everything to do with keeping the US dollar the medium of exchange in oil markets
By Dan Adleman, The Republic of East Vancouver

[A]s the drumbeat for war escalates and America and its pitbulls continue to shake their fists at Iran for its ostensible nuclear ambitions, those of us who are a step removed from the FoxNews sabre-rattling rhetoric should do everything we can to prevent the American (and Canadian) public from being hoodwinked into another senseless war. By now it should be clear that, like Operation Iraqi Liberation, a war with Iran would have nothing to do with keeping the American public safe. If America attacks Iran, it will be, among other reasons, to preempt the emergence of a multipolar, more democratic, world economy.

The windfall for the American economy is astronomical since almost every country in the world needs to stockpile American currency for purchases of oil. In order to accomplish this, every nation but the US has to do whatever it can to sustain a large trade surplus. America, on the other hand, has the luxury of maintaining an enormous trade deficit because, in effect, the dollar is its greatest export. In a nutshell, the US produces dollars while the rest of the world produces things that dollars can buy. Moreover, the wealthy nations become eager to loan the US money through Treasury Bonds. This way, they can collect interest on their surplus American dollars while having a means to exercise leverage over the US by owning its debt.

America can’t sustain this kind of profligate spending indefinitely. As the US prints more and more money to service its needs, the dollar is rapidly losing value relative to the euro. And since EU countries now import more OPEC oil than the US does, the euro is becoming an increasingly attractive option for countries that want to turn a profit while hitting the US where it hurts.

In November 2000, [Saddam] Hussein began demanding euros instead of American dollars (“the currency of the enemy state,” as Hussein called it) for Iraqi oil. Aside from a brief mention on CNN, the switch went almost entirely unnoticed by western media outlets. In fact, in a very short time, as a direct result of the euro’s consistent appreciation, Hussein’s Oil for Food reserve leaped from $10 billion to €26 billion. But the oil-producing nations of the world took notice. Shortly thereafter, Venezuela, Russia, and Iran all began to discuss shifting from the petrodollar to the petroeuro.

According to Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, this kind of shift could pose a fatal threat to the vitality of the American economy.

Once the dollar is in the dumpster, how rich will George's apologists be? Who will then feel so betrayed by his false promises of massive prosperity made to the Have$ and the Havemore$ that they will be calling for regicide so loudly no one will hear the liberals or moderates over the clamor?

Calm down, Freepers! It was all part of the plan exposed in the Gospel of the PNAC Judases to end your republic and give you a king. You can be the royalists you've always aspired to be without being tainted by Republican Party membership! After the political parties and the legislative and judicial branches of government are disolved, you will have bestowed upon each of you Hizz Hindni$$' personal pledge of eternal gratitude for your services - and we all know what his promises are worth!

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