Saturday, January 28, 2006
If Woodrow Wilson were alive today he would be rolling in his grave
1916 Wilson nominates Brandeis to the Supreme Court
Stephen Colbert Spotlights North Carolina Paper
Published: January 26, 2006 12:25 AM ET
NEW YORK The Rocky Mount (N.C.) Telegram gained national exposure late Thursday night when Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central's 'Colbert Report,' cited his recent appearance in the daily, in a drawing by a local schoolgirl named Lily.
Colbert held up what he called the 'cover' of the newspaper--he later admitted it was actually page B5--which featured a winning drawing that the girl did, showing Colbert. It showed him carrying a bucket, which he called a 'bucket of truth.'
To reward the 11-year-old, he promised to send her a 'Colbert Report' t-shirt, in an extra-large adult size, perhaps so she would have something to look forward to in growing up.
He also noted that it was odd that the paper has nothing to do with the Rocky Mountains. The drawing appeared in the Dec. 9 edition.
The top story on the newspaper's Web site Thursday might deserve further mention on the Colbert show: A report on the use of a 'motorcycle hearse' in a local man's funeral, complete with picture. It is reputedly one of nine such hearses in the country.
An E&P web search turns up this additional interesting bit of truthiness: a local contractor ran for mayor of Rocky Mount in 2003 named Danny Colbert. Coincidence or liberal conspiracy? "
Friday, January 27, 2006
Pentagon Document Shows 'PSYOP' Messages Boomerang to U.S.
The 78-page document, released Thursday by the National Security Archive, a nonprofit research group, spells out the Pentagon's reasoning for putting greater emphasis on "information operations" as a military tool. It says this should be a core military capability and placed largely in the hands of war-fighting commanders.
"Information, always important in warfare, is now critical to military success and will only become more so in the foreseeable future," it says.
The National Security Archive obtained the document from the Pentagon with a Freedom of Information Act request.
It was classified secret and dated Oct. 30, 2003. It begins with a brief approval note signed by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who called it an attempt to "keep pace with emerging threats and to exploit new opportunities."
The Pentagon has faced a number of "information operations" controversies recently, including questions about a propaganda program that paid Iraqi media to run favorable stories. U.S. military officials in Iraq have defended that as part of their campaign to get the truth out about the war and the rebuilding effort.
The Rumsfeld document, portions of which were blacked out by Pentagon censors before release to the National Security Archive, says the increasing ability of people in much of the world to access information across boundaries makes it more difficult for the U.S. military to target specific foreign audiences.
It says psychological operations -- activities by military teams that use a range of communications systems to disseminate messages intended to influence a target audience abroad -- are restricted by Pentagon policy from targeting American audiences as well as U.S. military personnel and news organizations.
"However, information intended for foreign audiences, including public diplomacy and PSYOP [psychological operations] increasingly is consumed by our domestic audience, and vice-versa," it says.
"PSYOP messages disseminated to any audience except individual decision-makers -- and perhaps even then -- will often be replayed by the news media for much larger audiences, including the American public."
It cited no specific examples.
In releasing the Rumsfeld document, the National Security Archive asserted that the language indicates that "as long as the American public is not 'targeted'" by psychological warfare messages, "any leakage of PSYOP to the American public does not matter."
Larry Di Rita, a senior adviser to Rumsfeld and until recently his chief spokesman, strongly rejected that assertion.
"We feel very confident that we are operating in a manner that is appropriate for the world we're in and that is proper for the anxieties that people have," he said, while acknowledging that the Pentagon has yet to develop detailed doctrine, or written guidelines, to spell out all the limits and restrictions on information operations.
"I reject the premise" of the National Security Archive's interpretation of the Rumsfeld document, Di Rita said.
He said that since the document was signed in October 2003, the Pentagon has learned the importance of creating "firewalls" between the military's psychological warfare operations and its public affairs efforts, which are intended to be truthful at all times. That and other issues were examined as part of a broad, yearlong review of Pentagon priorities and strategies, to be publicly released Feb. 6. "
Female Impersonator - Ann Coulter 'Jokes' That a Supreme Court Justice Should Be Poisoned--And is Compared to Lil' Kim
Published: January 27, 2006 2:50 PM ET
NEW YORK Universal Press Syndicate columnist Ann Coulter "joked" during a Thursday speech that liberal Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens should be poisoned. "We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee," Coulter said at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark. "That's just a joke, for you in the media."
Monday, January 23, 2006
Dan Bartlett Renders Supreme Court Obsolete
Dan Bartlett made a pitch for the surveillance program Monday morning on
network television news shows. He insisted that Bush was 'not bypassing the law.
In fact, we're interpreting the law correctly.'
'It would be our choice
to not to have to talk about this at all,' he said on ABC's 'Good Morning
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Belafonte: Bush administration backs Gestapo tactics - billingsgazette.com
"We've come to this dark time in which the new Gestapo of Homeland Security lurks here, where citizens are having their rights suspended," Belafonte said in a speech to the annual meeting of the Arts Presenters Members Conference.
"You can be arrested and not charged. You can be arrested and have no right to counsel," said Belafonte.
Belafonte's remarks on Saturday - part of a 45-minute speech on the role of the arts in a politically changing world - were greeted with a roaring standing ovation from an audience which included singer Peter Yarrow of the folk group Peter, Paul and Mary, and members of the arts community from several dozen countries.
Messages seeking comments from Homeland Security and White House officials were not immediately returned.
He had called President Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world" during a trip to Venezuela two weeks ago. Belafonte, 78, made that comment after a meeting with Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.
The Harlem-born Belafonte, who was raised in Jamaica, said his activism was inspired by an impoverished mother "who imbued in me that we should never capitulate to oppression."
He acknowledged that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks demanded a reaction by the United States, but said the policies of the Bush administration were not the right response.
"Fascism is fascism. Terrorism is terrorism. Oppression is oppression," said Belafonte, who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Bush, he said, rose to power "somewhat dubiously and ... then lies to the people of this nation, misleads them, misinstructs, and then sends off hundreds of thousands of our own boys and girls to a foreign land that has not aggressed against us."
Call is out to impeach Bush
The recommendation by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., law scholar Jonathan Turley and Florida-based political activist Richard Hersh emerged at an unofficial Judiciary Committee hearing staged entirely by Democrats.
The proceedings on Capitol Hill were conducted with no legal authority after the committee chairman, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., rejected Democrats' requests for an inquiry into the spying program.
Nadler, a senior Democrat on the committee's panel on the Constitution, called for the Republican-led committee to explore whether Bush should face impeachment for alleged high crimes and misdemeanors stemming from his decision to authorize domestic surveillance without court review.
Hersh, 59, testified that he learned in a Pentagon report unearthed last year by NBC News that he had been the target of government surveillance during participation in a meeting at the Quaker meeting house in Lake Worth, Fla., in 2004.
At that meeting, activists from religious, educational, environmental, peace and social justice organizations organized the Truth Project to help educate high school students and their parents about military service, he said.
Senate investigation: In preparation for the Senate's Feb. 6 hearings on the Bush administration's spying program, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., pointed out that Bush said in 2004 that "when we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so."
That statement came at the same time the National Security Agency was engaging in warrantless eavesdropping on Americans.
Bush plans a Wednesday visit to the NSA, where he will reassert his claim that he has the constitutional authority to let intelligence officials listen in on international phone calls of Americans with suspected ties to terrorists, said White House press secretary Scott McClellan.
Heated rhetoric: Karl Rove, the president's chief political adviser, gave Republicans a preview of the party's fall election strategy.
In a speech Friday to a partisan audience, he attacked Democrats for what he described as their "cut and run" policy on Iraq, blocking a renewal of the USA Patriot Act and challenging the legality of the administration's use of warrantless wiretaps.
'Cyclops' Cat Photo Draws Worldwide Attention, Some Doubts
E&P: "NEW YORK Cyclops, the one-eyed kitten, may have only lived for a day. But in its short lifetime, it's drawn as much notice as any pet cat since Garfield. And as much scrutiny as a witness in a murder trial.
The single-vision feline, nicknamed Cy, reportedly came into the world on Dec. 28, according to owner Traci Allen, an Oregon woman whose photo of the newborn has popped up on Web sites worldwide. Her veracity continues to be questioned in the blogoshere, despite assurances from Associated Press editors who distributed the photo that it is genuine."