Wednesday, August 31, 2005
The Rude Awakening
Wall Street, New York
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Publicly, the White House urges calm and predicts that oil prices will retreat from their current high levels. But privately, the U.S. government is quietly planning to add to existing oil reserves at a furious pace.
Squirreled away in new energy legislation is a directive to increase the Strategic Petroleum Reserve from 700 million barrels (70 days' supply of imports) to ONE BILLION BARRELS. They're adding to the SPR when oil prices are sky-high. What are they afraid of?
A confidential source in the Department of Energy gave me the scoop on the addition to the SPR. This stunning new directive was placed inside the 1,724-page Energy Policy Act of 2005 without any fanfare whatsoever – it's hidden in plain sight. And the mainstream media is too busy going to beltway cocktail parties to notice.
This 42% jump in reserves is so huge, the government doesn't even have a place to put it all – yet. The plan is to fill the SPR to capacity with a minimum of market disruption or undue influence on the market, blah-blah. If you're planning to fill the SPR when oil is over $60 per barrel, you aren't planning on getting that oil on the cheap.
I don't know what is motivating the Bush administration to boost petroleum reserves. But I do know that two oil men are in the White House right now. They probably have access to raw data on America's oil fields – including depletion rates – that the rest of us don't. Again, what are they afraid of? I'm certainly not going to buy the "don't' worry, be happy," line peddled by the White House.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
While President George W. Bush travels around the country in a last-ditch effort to sell his Iraq war, White House aides scramble frantically behind the scenes to hide the dark mood of an increasingly angry leader who unleashes obscenity-filled outbursts at anyone who dares disagree with him.
“I’m not meeting again with that goddamned bitch,” Bush screamed at aides who suggested he meet again with Cindy Sheehan, the war-protesting mother whose son died in Iraq. “She can go to hell as far as I’m concerned!”
Bush, administration aides confide, frequently explodes into tirades over those who protest the war, calling them “motherfucking traitors.” He reportedly was so upset over Veterans of Foreign Wars members who wore “bullshit protectors” over their ears during his speech to their annual convention that he told aides to “tell those VFW assholes that I’ll never speak to them again is they can’t keep their members under control.”
White House insiders say Bush is growing increasingly bitter over mounting opposition to his war in Iraq. Polls show a vast majority of Americans now believe the war was a mistake and most doubt the President’s honesty.
“Who gives a flying fuck what the polls say,” he screamed at a recent strategy meeting. “I’m the President and I’ll do whatever I goddamned please. They don’t know shit.”
Bush, while setting up for a photo op for signing the recent CAFTA bill, flipped an extended middle finger to reporters. Aides say the President often “flips the bird” to show his displeasure and tells aides who disagree with him to “go to hell” or to “go fuck yourself.” His habit of giving people the finger goes back to his days as Texas governor, aides admit, and videos of him doing so before press conferences were widely circulated among TV stations during those days. A recent video showing him shooting the finger to reporters while walking also recently surfaced.
Bush’s behavior, according to prominent Washington psychiatrist, Dr. Justin Frank, author of “Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President,” is all too typical of an alcohol-abusing bully who is ruled by fear.
To see that fear emerges, Dr. Frank says, all one has to do is confront the President. “To actually directly confront him in a clear way, to bring him out, so you would really see the bully, and you would also see the fear,” he says.
Dr. Frank, in his book, speculates that Bush, an alcoholic who brags that he gave up booze without help from groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, may be drinking again.
“Two questions that the press seems particularly determined to ignore have hung silently in the air since before Bush took office,” Dr. Frank says. “Is he still drinking? And if not, is he impaired by all the years he did spend drinking? Both questions need to be addressed in any serious assessment of his psychological state.”
Last year, Capitol Hill Blue learned the White House physician prescribed anti-depressant drugs for the President to control what aides called “violent mood swings.” As Dr. Frank also notes: “In writing about Bush's halting appearance in a press conference just before the start of the Iraq War, Washington Post media critic Tom Shales speculated that ‘the president may have been ever so slightly medicated.’”
Dr. Frank explains Bush’s behavior as all-to-typical of an alcoholic who is still in denial:
“The pattern of blame and denial, which recovering alcoholics work so hard to break, seems to be ingrained in the alcoholic personality; it's rarely limited to his or her drinking,” he says. “The habit of placing blame and denying responsibility is so prevalent in George W. Bush's personal history that it is apparently triggered by even the mildest threat.”
© Copyright 2005 by Capitol Hill Blue
Saturday, August 20, 2005
All at once, it's 1936. I'm twelve years old and sitting in my father's insurance office, listening to him and his friends talking about Germany rearming and that fellow, Winston Churchill. A soft voice made husky by mustard gas of World War One says:
"Everyone knows Germany is rearming. Adolph Hitler is building airplanes again"
"What's the matter with the League of Nations? Don't they realize that all this rearmament is against the provisions of the Versailles Treaty?"
"What about the damn Japanese? They're striding down the Malaysian Peninsula like it's their own country! All they want is the oil in Southeast Asia. Everyone knows that."
"Hell! Nobody's gonna do anything about either the Germans or the Japanese. Congress and Roosevelt have got the election to think about this year. They didn't do anything about Italy and Mussolini invading Ethiopia. What makes you think they're going to do anything now?"
"I think we ought to stop Hitler right now before he and the German army gets any stronger. First thing you know, he'll be marching into Belgium and Holland just like the Germans did in 1914."
Voices strong and vibrant to my immature ears. I didn't like what I heard next.
"We don't have to worry none. It'll be Eddie, here, and his friends who'll fight the next war."
I choked slightly on my Mars candy bar and swallowed hard on my sip of RC Cola. I didn't want to think about dying, but I knew the men were right.
The time changed to 1941. The voices continued. "Damn Japanese. What the hell did they think they was doin' bombing Pearl Harbor?"
"Why didn't we know the Japs were acomin'?" Where was our Naval Intelligence? Those fellas in Washington musta had their heads up their ass!"
"Now, Joe. Roosevelt has been trying to warn us for two years....ever since Hitler invaded France. Nobody listened to him."
"Congress is just as bad. When the Germans were bombing buildings in London, you'd think those peace lovin' shitheads in Congress would of woke up. All they'll do now is hold an investigation and blame some poor general or admiral. Did ja hear Edward R. Murrow on the radio last night broadcastin' from London. It's gettin' fierce over there."
"Is anybody listening?"
"Naw. The French could of stopped the Bache long ago. Wonder why they didn't."
A new voice - Hollandia, New Guinea, South Pacific. From the ship's captain on the bridge to me in the crow's nest lookout tub atop the foremast of the S.S. Gulfwax, oil tanker:
"Hawkins, we're entering the harbor now. Keep a sharp lookout for debris."
"Aye, aye, Sir. Oh, shit."
"Captain, there's bodies all over, floating in the water!"
"Of course. We've just secured the island. The marines landed here three days ago."
The water is littered with bodies. Some are bloody, some are partially ripped apart, some are already bloating. Jesus H. Christ.......!
I choke back the vomit. The stomach acid stings my throat. I swallow. I can't lean over the side of the lookout tub and let go the puke. Members of the deck gang are below, already attaching the hoses to the tank valves in preparation for unloading. I crank the intercom to the bridge.
"Captain, there's a big group of bodies dead ahead."
"Can you make out? American or Japanese?"
"Japanese, I think. The uniforms are green."
"Good. We'll plow through them and grind them up in the propeller. Good riddance."
I watch the bodies drift by the sides of the ship and into the stern screw. I shut my eyes, hoping I never dream about this later, knowing full well I certainly will.
A new voice - North Atlantic - 1943:
"Hard right, Hawkins. Steer 090, due east. The convoy's turning to starboard. There's German subs out there. Look at those Canadian Corvettes go. Must be makin' twenty, thirty knots."
A speaker crackles:
"Periscope, two degrees on the port bow!"
"Hard left, Hawkins. Turn the son-of-bitch! Full ahead. Where the hell are those Corvettes?"
"Oh, shit. Here it comes. Sweet Jesus. It just missed us. Steer it back to 090, Hawkins."
"When this war ends I hope Americans figure out how to recognize evil and evil men and do something about it before it becomes bigger and stronger."
Different voices. Sitting around in my Welton Street film production office in Denver, drinking Coors - 1950.
"Ed, did you hear. President Truman says North Korea has invaded South Korea. Where's your map. You were in the Pacific in WW Two. Where the hell is Korea?"
"Don't worry. The United Nations will take care of those commies."
"Naw. It'll be American G.I.s that'll take the brunt of this one. You wait and see."
"Where was our intelligence? Why didn't we know about this? What's Congress doing? Who the hell is minding the store in Washington? Are you going to re-activate your commission?"
Wife's voice: "Ed, you're not going back to sea. Let someone else do it. You served your time. Besides, you've got two new movie contracts."
Sound of sound stage door opening. Voices shouting:
"Kennedy just said that the Soviets have missile bases on Cuba. He's called for a blockade to stop the ships heading toward Cuba. This is it, Hawkins. Nuclear war. Get set."
"What the hell do the Soviets think they're doing?"
"Where was the CIA? Why didn't we know about this sooner?"
"We did. But no one would believe President Kennedy until he showed 'em pictures. Now we have photographs. The missile silos are there."
"Why didn't we take out that commie bastard, Castro, when we had the chance?"
"That's a good way to start a war, dumbo."
"Whatya think this is, chess?"
"Let's all hope so."
Voices, strong, scared.
Other voices - 1965 - "President Johnson says the damn North Vietnamese fired on one of our ships in the Gulf ofTonkin."
"What the hell are those damn kooks thinking of?"
"Where was the CIA? Our so-called 'advisers'. Whose minding the store in Washington?"
"We should have bombed the crap out of those commie kooks when we had the chance. Now, some of the peaceniks in Congress want to negotiate. Where's George Patton when we need him?"
Strained voices - 1992 - my office; "Saddam Hussein just invaded Kuwait!"
"Who the hell is Saddam Hussein?"
"Ya know, Iraq."
"You mean Iran."
"Naw, Iraq. The dictator. Just like Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin. He's killing his own people with chemical weapons."
"What do we care?"
"Oil, mister. Oil. Iraq has the largest army in the Middle East. They can take over Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen, and control all the oil."
"Ya like freezing to death in the dark, ole buddy?"
"What did Jack Kennedy say about oil: 'Any country that runs on oil, better not run out!'"
"What's President Bush saying?"
"He's going to the United Nations."
"What the hell for?"
"He wants the U.N. to pass a resolution and build a coalition of other countries."
"Yeah, seriously. Congress is behind him."
"That's where they always are.....to the rear."
"Well, how did Iraq get away with it. Where was our CIA. Where was our spies. Couldn't we have stopped this Hussein character early on? Who the hell is minding the store in Washington?"
"Are we going to send in troops, bombers, helicopters?
"It's always us, ain't it?"
"Where's Harry Truman when we need him."
I'm listening intently. I'm hearing voices all over again. Different voices. New words. Frightened words - 2001.
"Turn on the television. A plane just hit one of the World Trade Center towers!"
"A second tower has been hit."
"A plane just flew into the Pentagon!"
"What the hell is happening?"
"They say it's a group called 'Al Qaeda' Ya know, the Taliban from Afghanistan."
"Who the hell are they?"
"Islamic ragheads. The same ones that bombed the Trade Center in 1993. A fella named Osama Bin Laden is the leader."
"What the hell do they think they're doing?"
"They don't like us."
"What does the President say?"
"He says we're gonna get 'em."
"Where was the CIA? Where was our intelligence? Who's minding the store in Washington?"
A different, quieter voice - 2002.
"The President says that Saddam Hussein will have a nuclear bomb in a few months and that he already has biological weapons."
"I thought the U.N. took care of this character when we wupped his ass in 1993. Signed a
treaty that made him give up his weapons."
"Yep. That's what we did. Put in weapon inspectors and all"
"The U.N. didn't follow through. Hussein tossed out the inspectors on their butts."
"What's the President gonna do?"
"He wants to go kill the bastard."
"Good for him. What's stopping him?"
"Some members of Congress want him to go get approval from the U.N."
"What the hell for?"
"They think it's the proper, legal thing to do."
"Legal, smegal. They could kill us all in the meantime. Where is George Patton when we need him?"
"Still dead, huh?"
"We will be too, if we just sit and do nuttin."
"Yeah. It's a real problem, ain't it."
"Are we going to go get him or wait 'til he comes to us."
"I dunno. It's up to Congress and the President."
"There's a pair to draw to......."
"...And the U.N."
"Ah, the Joker in the game."
"Yeah. And it's still a problem, ain't it!"
"Well, the President warned us. Think we'll listen this time?"
"Hell no. No more'n than the Brits listened to Churchill, or we listened to Roosevelt or Kennedy or.....Truman or Reagan or Bush One." Sigh.
"Where's Winston Churchill when we need him."
"Still dead, huh?."
"He's dead, too."
"Yeah. Him too."
"Yeah.......I think so."
"Ain't we got any leaders left?"
"How about Dubya, the Prez? What's he say?"
"He said: 'If Iraq gains even greater destructive power, nations in the Middle East would
face blackmail, intimidation, or attack. Chaos in that region would be felt in Europe and beyond....Those who choose to live in denial may eventually be forced to live in fear'."
"Think anybody will listen to him?"
"Nope. Nobody listened to those other guys either when they warned about evil threats from evil men."
"Well, Dubya ain't no Churchill!"
"Can you be sure? Do you want to take the chance?"
"Naw. Guess not."
"Think there'll be protesters in the streets?"
"Oh, hell, yes. Aren't there always?"
"Protesters never won a war."
"Yeah, they don't fight and die either."
"Of course. That's the idea of protestin'. Ya don't have ta die."
"You know what Gen. Patton said....."
"Yeah, yeah. I remember.....make the other poor bastard die fer his country."
"Where's Patton when we need him to kick the asses of the protesters?"
"Still dead, huh?"
The voices recede. I'm driving home in my car thinking about 1936 and my father's friends. I turn on the radio. It's election time. Voices advise me to call some darn politician and tell him to quit ruining Social Security, to quit lying, to tell the truth, to quit taking money from special interests......
I'm frustrated. I switch to the CD player. A remastered CD of the voice of a 1960's ballad singer comes through the speaker:
"When will they ever learn; when will they.....ever learn.
The answer, my friend, is blowin’in the wind.
The answer is blowin’ in the wind."
I turn the corner leading to my house. The voices of the past echo in my 78 year-old ears, clogged with the earwax of disgust.
"The answer is blowin’ in the wind."
New voices. Angry voices. Political voices. 2004. Election Year. I'm having a drink at my favorite bar. A voice from the left chimes in.
"Have you heard about that new dirty book claiming that John Kerry was lying about his Vietnam experiences? Jes', what a slam book. Bunch of lies."
"What book?" a voice down the bar on the right chirps up.
"It's called 'Unfit For Command. - Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry.' It
proves that Kerry was lying about his medals, ya know....Purple Hearts, Silver Star and Bronze Star."
"Proof, shit. It's a slam book, a dirty political book!"
The voice from the left down the bar was vehement. "Oh, like "Fahrenheit 9-11". The slam book and movie about Bush and how he lied."
"It ain't the same. Bush was lyin'. Kerry was telling the truth."
"How about the 250 Vietnam Swift Boat vets that were in the same place as Kerry. All of them aren't lying. And one of 'em is an admiral. Get real."
"Aw, they're all just being run by the Republican National Committee and Bush's cronies."
"All Bush supporters, huh?"
"Yep. Bought and paid for by Bush."
"And that fat-ass movie author, Michael Moore, and that toilet mouth, Oprah Winfrey, are not bought and paid for by Kerry's cronies."
"Naw. They're all independent. Kerry doesn't have any control over them."
"Horse shit. Where you been hiding? And all them Vietnam vets are controlled by Bush?"
"Sure. And Bush ought to tell them guys to stop those lying dirty television ads"
"What about the past six months of lying dirty television political ads about Bush up to the Democrat convention."
"Those were the truth."
"And the 250 vets aren't tellin' the truth?"
"Naw. They're lying through their teeth. They're all Bush supporters."
"And Kerry's swift boat guys, Michael Moore and Oprah and all them Hollywood queer-eyes aren't Kerry supporters?"
"Yeah. But it's a free country. First amendment says they can say whatever they please."
"But, let me get this straight...the 250 Vietnam vets can't say whatever they want to."
"Sure they can say it, even if they are lies."
"You must be a democrat."
"Sure I am. What'd think I was, a Socialist?"
"It crossed my mind. Have another beer. I'm buyin'. How about a Coors?"
"I don't drink fascist beer."
"Okay, how about a Heineken?"
"From Socialist Holland."
"You're buyin'. Pay the lady."
"Okay. But Bush is gonna win."
"Like hell. Kerry's gonna win."
"Good thing you're wearing flip-flop sandals. Kerry would be proud. Bush was right about the war, though."
"He's doing the same thing Gen. Patton would have done."
"Still dead, huh."
"He's dead, too."
"Well, how about Truman and Korea. We still have soldiers on the DMZ and North Korea is threatening nuclear weapons."
"Shut up and drink."
The sound of bottles clinking echoed as I walked out. Funny thing. I got in my car, turned on the radio to my favorite folk music station and the music of the old Kingston Trio came through the speaker,
"The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind.....the answer is blowin' in the wind."
War, Iraq, Iran, London, Moscow, Washington, the cold North Atlantic ocean and the hot, miserable South Pacific jungle rot seemed far away. Politics had quieted. The voices had softened and poor old Charley was still trying to get off the MTA.
Tomorrow is my 80th birthday. Thank God for something that makes sense.
Ed Hawkins - August 19, 2004.
© 2004 Edward H. Hawkins
P.S. I WROTE THIS A YEAR AGO, AND SATURDAY IS MY 81ST BIRTHDAY. FUNNY THING......WE'RE STILL IN IRAQ. IRAN'S GOING NUKULAR. SO'S N. KOREA. CONGRESS IS STILL FUKIN AROUND WITH THAR THUMB UP THAR BEHIND. THE POPULACE IS STILL BEATIN UP THE PREZ. DEMOS AND REPUBS ARE BEATIN UP EACH OTHER. LIBERTARIANS ARE LAFFIN THAR ASS OFF. AIN'T NUTHIN CHANGED IN A WHOLE GODDAM YEAR!
What'd ya think I'm going to be writing here in 2006? I'll copy ya then. Bye.
Ed Hawkins - August 18, 2005
© 2005 (renewed) Edward H. Hawkins
Thursday, August 18, 2005
The U.S. Vice President has instructed the Air Force to start putting plans for an air strike on Iran's nuclear sites using the excuse of the next “terrorist attack”, according to CIA counterterrorism officer Philip Giraldi, now a partner in Cannistraro Associates.
"In Washington it is hardly a secret that the same people in and around the administration who brought you Iraq are preparing to do the same for Iran. The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney's office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States. The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing – that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack – but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections."
So Philip Giraldi is raising concerns that Mr. Cheney and the neocons, the same men who used 9/11 as their excuse to attack Iraq, are pushing for another war against Iran, using the excuse of another “terrorist” attack.
Why would Iran attack the U.S. when they have been doing everything possible to avoid a war that would absolutely devastate their country? But the U.S. government is following the same script as with Iraq: ‘This Axis of Evil member has ties to “terrorism” and a nuclear weapons program, the UN won't act, so we have to attack them from the air, if not invade them to plant the flag of “liberty and democracy”’.
Again, there’s a convergence of interests between those who have a long-term energy strategy and those whose primary objective is protecting Israel.
Giraldi confirmed information about Air Force Intelligence currently in Qatar picking targets. He said that the Special Forces were also already in Iran hunting for "suspected sites."
Last April, former Marine and UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter wrote an article saying that Air Force officers had told him that they were working on plans for war against Iran, that are supposed to be ready by June of this year.
Ritter also stated that the invasion will come from U.S. bases in Azerbaijan, and that the U.S. is already flying drones in Iranian airspace. He writes: "Americans, and indeed much of the rest of the world, continue to be lulled into a false sense of complacency by the fact that overt conventional military operations have not yet commenced between the United States and Iran.
"As such, many hold out the false hope that an extension of the current insanity in Iraq can be postponed or prevented in the case of Iran. But this is a fool's dream."
Invading Iran through Iraq would be impossible, as Iraq’s Shiites would finally be unleashed against U.S. forces, who would then have to fight from both front and rear. Also a general Shiite uprising in Iraq would be a likely result of bombing Iran.
If the U.S. attacked the Bushehr reactor, not only would radioactive particles blast into the air and fall back down to earth and cause great harm to the environment, but numerous Russians would also be killed.
How is the U.S. going to react if the Russians in retaliation bombed a reactor full of Americans in, say, India?
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Before the March 2003 invasion, military sources say, elements of up to 46 Iranian infantry and missile brigades moved to buttress the border. Positioned among them were units of the Badr Corps, formed in the 1980s as the armed wing of the Iraqi Shi'ite group known by its acronym SCIRI, now the most powerful party in Iraq. Divided into northern, central and southern axes, Badr's mission was to pour into Iraq in the chaos of the invasion to seize towns and government offices, filling the vacuum left by the collapse of Saddam's regime. As many as 12,000 armed men, along with Iranian intelligence officers, swarmed into Iraq.
The story is about the growing presence and influence of Islamist Iran, in defeating both the US and the secular society of Iraq. Iran infiltrated early and often. Time says it has documents showing that Iran paid the salaries of "at least 11,740 members of the Badr Corps" last year, and probably still has them on the payroll. The Iranian plan didn't just cover military issues: "Businesses, front companies, religious groups, NGOs and aid for schools and universities are all part of the mix." And the Iranians are still working hard at winning this war. Time reports that they're bringing in more sophisticated weapons, more trained insurgents, and more theocratic policies."
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Cindy Sheehan Steps Into the Leadership Void
Posted August 11, 2005 at 5:00 p.m. EDT
During my many years as a writer, I've interviewed hundreds of people. But talking with Cindy Sheehan this morning was unlike any conversation I've ever had. Even though we were talking via cell phone -- and had a crummy, staticky connection at that -- her authenticity and passion reached through the receiver and both touched my heart and punched me in the gut.
She spoke with a combination of utter determination, unassailable integrity, fearlessness, and the peace of someone who knows that their cause is just. Her commitment was palpable -- and infectious. It reminded me an old quote about the great Greek orators: "When Pericles spoke, the people said, 'How well he speaks.' But when Demosthenes spoke, they said, 'Let us march!'"
That's the feeling I got from this former Catholic youth minister. She of the floppy hat and the six foot frame (though she's standing even taller than that these days). A woman driven by faith and conviction who used to think that one person couldn't make a difference and is learning otherwise. Her humanity stands in stark contrast to the inhumanity of those who refuse to admit their mistakes and continue to send our young men and women to die in Iraq.
She may not be the kind of media figure the cable news channels would order up from newsmaker central, a la Natalee Holloway. But she is the kind of unexpected leader I've been writing about for years. One who springs not from the corridors of power, but from among the people. One who may come from Vacaville, California, but who makes nonsense of red state/blue state distinctions.
The time has passed when we can stand around waiting for a knight on a white horse to ride to our rescue. We've got to look to ourselves -- to the leader in the mirror. Our elected officials have woefully failed to provide the leadership needed on this most vital issue of our time. And stepping into that void is Cindy Sheehan. Inspiring us. Touching our conscience. Calling forth our courage and our commitment. Focusing our outrage. And acting as a catalyst for the tens of millions of Americans who know that the war in Iraq is a disgrace.
Who knows, her example might even be just the thing to give Hillary and Harry and the rest of the Democratic leaders the spine transplant they so desperately need. But don't hold your breath. Instead, use it to show your support for Cindy Sheehan -- and for our troops.”
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
This sounds like it should be in the Onion, but nooooo, this is our new reality.
"Pentagon to host 9/11 march, show
BY MICHAEL McAULIFF
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon will hold a massive march and country music concert to mark the fourth anniversary of 9/11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an unusual announcement tucked into an Iraq war briefing yesterday.
"This year the Department of Defense will initiate an America Supports You Freedom Walk," Rumsfeld said, adding that the march would remind people of "the sacrifices of this generation and of each previous generation."
The march will start at the Pentagon, where nearly 200 people died on 9/11, and end at the National Mall with a show by country star Clint Black.
Word of the event startled some observers. "I've never heard of such a thing," said John Pike, who has been a defense analyst in Washington for 25 years and runs GlobalSecurity.org.
The news also reignited debate and anger over linking Sept. 11 with the war in Iraq.
"That piece of it is disturbing since we all know now there was no connection," said Paul Rieckhoff, an Iraq veteran who heads Operation Truth, an anti-administration military booster.
Rieckhoff suggested the event was an ill-conceived publicity stunt. "I think it's clear that their public opinion polls are in the toilet," he said.
Rumsfeld's walk had some relatives of 9/11 victims fuming.
"How about telling Mr. Rumsfeld to leave the memories of Sept. 11 victims to the families?" said Monica Gabrielle, who lost her husband in the attacks.
Administration supporters insisted Rumsfeld was right to link Iraq and 9/11, and hold the rally.
"We are at war," said Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.). "It's essential that we support our troops."
He also said attacking Iraq was necessary after 9/11. "You do not defeat Al Qaeda until you stabilize the Middle East, and that's not possible as long as Saddam Hussein is in power."
Originally published on August 10, 2005
Monday, August 08, 2005
Click title for entire article.
Sunday, August 07, 2005
Years after the fact we sometimes learn the truth:
- Hitler was a methamphetamine addict
- Kennedy got daily injections from Dr. Feelgood
- Nixon was an alcoholic
- Reagan's brain was filling up with plaque on its own
- Bush, the First, puked on the lap of the Prime Minister of Japan and said to Barbara "Don't let me go out when I'm this drunk".
During the 2000 debates, I noticed that Bush II was constantly chewing on his inner lip. In 2004 this had turned into a tooth-grinding jaw movement. These subtle hints made me wonder if he was reverting back to his cocaine days or just nervous. The truth leaks out slowly.
Bush Taking Anti-Depressants to Control Mood Swings
By CHB Staff
Jul 28, 2004, 06:13
President George W. Bush is taking anti-depressant drugs to control his erratic behavior, depression and paranoia, Capitol Hill Blue has learned.
The prescription drugs, administered by Col. Richard J. Tubb, the White House physician, can impair the President’s mental faculties and decrease both his physical capabilities and his ability to respond to a crisis, administration aides admit privately.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” says one aide. “We can’t have him flying off the handle at the slightest provocation but we also need a President who is alert mentally.”
Tubb prescribed the anti-depressants after a clearly-upset Bush stormed off stage on July 8, refusing to answer reporters' questions about his relationship with indicted Enron executive Kenneth J. Lay.
“Keep those motherfuckers away from me,” he screamed at an aide backstage. “If you can’t, I’ll find someone who can.”
Bush’s mental stability has become the topic of Washington whispers in recent months. Capitol Hill Blue first reported on June 4 about increasing concern among White House aides over the President’s wide mood swings and obscene outbursts.
Although GOP loyalists dismissed the reports an anti-Bush propaganda, the reports were later confirmed by prominent George Washington University psychiatrist Dr. Justin Frank in his book Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President. Dr. Frank diagnosed the President as a “paranoid meglomaniac” and “untreated alcoholic” whose “lifelong streak of sadism, ranging from childhood pranks (using firecrackers to explode frogs) to insulting journalists, gloating over state executions and pumping his hand gleefully before the bombing of Baghdad” showcase Bush’s instabilities.
“I was really very unsettled by him and I started watching everything he did and reading what he wrote and watching him on videotape. I felt he was disturbed,” Dr. Frank said. “He fits the profile of a former drinker whose alcoholism has been arrested but not treated.”
Dr. Frank’s conclusions have been praised by other prominent psychiatrists, including Dr. James Grotstein, Professor at UCLA Medical Center, and Dr. Irvin Yalom, MD, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University Medical School.
The doctors also worry about the wisdom of giving powerful anti-depressant drugs to a person with a history of chemical dependency. Bush is an admitted alcoholic, although he never sought treatment in a formal program, and stories about his cocaine use as a younger man haunted his campaigns for Texas governor and his first campaign for President.
“President Bush is an untreated alcoholic with paranoid and megalomaniac tendencies,” Dr. Frank adds.
The White House did not return phone calls seeking comment on this article.
The exact drugs Bush takes to control his depression and behavior are not known. While Col. Tubb regularly releases a synopsis of the President’s annual physical, details of the President’s health and any drugs or treatment he may receive are not public record and are guarded zealously by the secretive cadre of aides that surround the President.
Veteran White House watchers say the ability to control information about Bush’s health, either physical or mental, is similar to Ronald Reagan’s second term when aides managed to conceal the President’s increasing memory lapses that signaled the onslaught of Alzheimer’s Disease.
It also brings back memories of Richard Nixon’s final days when the soon-to-resign President wandered the halls and talked to portraits of former Presidents. The stories didn’t emerge until after Nixon left office.
One long-time GOP political consultant who – for obvious reasons – asked not to be identified said he is advising his Republican Congressional candidates to keep their distance from Bush.
“We have to face the very real possibility that the President of the United States is loony tunes,” he says sadly. “That’s not good for my candidates, it’s not good for the party and it’s certainly not good for the country.”
Friday, August 05, 2005
Accompanying Sheehan will be members of Veteran's for Peace (VFP), Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), CODE PINK, and Crawford Peace House, all members or allies of the AfterDowningStreet.org Coalition.
On Wednesday, Bush said (speaking about the dreadful loss of life in Iraq in August): "We have to honor the sacrifices of the fallen by completing the mission." and "The families of the fallen can be assured that they died for a noble cause."
In response, Sheehan wrote:"We want our loved ones' sacrifices to be honored by bringing our nation's sons and daughters home from the travesty that is Iraq IMMEDIATELY, since this war is based on horrendous lies and deceptions. Just because our children are dead, why would we want any more families to suffer the same pain and devastation that we are? We would like for him to explain this 'noble cause' to us, and plan to ask him why Jenna and Barbara are not in harm's way, if the cause is so noble. If he is not ready to send the twins, then he should bring our troops home immediately. We will demand a speedy withdrawal."
Sheehan said today that she plans to stay "until we are arrested or satisfied with the answers."
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