Saturday, June 30, 2007

The War and the Democrats

When the Democrats more or less swept into office in the 2006 election, most everyone agreed that the primary reason for their success was: the majority of the electorate wanted to see a major change in the direction of the Iraq war. There was a change---the war has been escalated. People can say that's not the fault of the Democrats, but let's examinine that proposition a bit further.

The Corporate Media, while covering the most recent war supplemental spending bill a short while ago, never explored the fact that the Democratic majority did not have to propose or pass ANY war spending bill---none whatsoever. There already was enough funding in the pipeline to bring the troops home in a safe manner as soon as possible. The fact is the Democrats could have stopped the war right in its tracks.

One has to ask, why didn't they? Several possibilities emerge.
1. They were afraid of the appearance of not supporting the troops. In other words, their main concern was getting re-elected in 2008.
2. Most of their constituents really didn't want to END the war right now. Instead, they wanted the execution of this misbegotten war to be more decisive...they wanted "victory", or an "honorable" resolution---whatever that means.
3. Large campaign contributors (and their lobbyists) convinced the Democrats that we need an "honorable" resolution, and so, funding of the war should continue. Such campaign contributors most likely are the folks making money from the war effort.
4. Democrats remember what happened to Wayne Morse back in the '60s. He voted against funding for the Vietnam War (as well as having been a vocal critic of that war)...and was not re-elected. [This is similar to # 1 above.]
5. A significant (but rarely heard) portion of the Democrats actually believe the NeoCon crap about the relationship of Iraq to the "War on Terror".
6. There is some other reason...not immediately apparent (at least, to me).

Take your pick. Whatever the reason, the failure of the Democrats to end this insane war is a travesty. The King George war has been a disaster from the beginning.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

97 Days in Hell

A fellow by the name of Vance was held in a U.S. secret military prison, in solitary, for 97 days. He was allowed no attorney, no contact with the outside world whatsoever...and was hooded & shackled at various times. [Try to put yourself in this guy's place---he had no idea if he would be held for 97 minutes, 97 days, 97 months, or 97 years!]

Vance is an American citizen, a Navy vet, who was working as a civilian in a private Iraqi security company. He noticed huge stockpiles of small arms at the company, and began to think they were being provided to promoters of Iraqi sectarian violence. He contacted the FBI, and became an informant for a few months...supplying the Agency with info.

Then one day he was arrested, told he was under suspicion of terrorist activities, and was spirited off to the secret prison. After 97 days of becoming emaciated and sleep deprived, they cleaned him up and dumped him at the Baghdad Airport. No explanation.

He is suing the Govt. [Some folks think that one cannot sue the Govt successfully. Randy Weaver sued and won...well, the Govt settled out-of-court.]

I guess my point in relaying this story (from NBC Nightly News netcast) is that suspecting someone of criminal activity is understandable, but denying the suspect access to an attorney and habeas corpus is not permitted in a free society. Claims that a "terrorist" is different from a criminal are nothing more than sleazy attempts to avoid due process. The whole thing is an outrage.

That whole generic procedure was probably engineered by the brilliant logician [:)], Dick Cheney, who claims that his office is not in the Executive Branch. [He not only acts as if he's psychotic...he is psychotic.]