ROACHBLOG

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Thursday, May 20, 2004
 
It's Miller['s] Time ... to go!
As a reluctant and now repentful supporter of the invasion of Iraq, I have spent much time in the past year wondering how so many people could have been bamboozled into believing that Saddam was reconstituting his nuclear, chemical and biological warfare programs. Unlike those with access to actual intelligence, I relied mainly on the media to lay forth the evidence. BIG mistake!

The prime offender in the peddling of the WMD lies was the NYT's Judith Miller. She had developed a reputation as an expert on WMDs and had written books on the subject. I remember her appearance on PBS' Frontline interviewing out-of-work ex-Soviet scientists about the proliferation of unaccounted Soviet weapons in addition to her much touted Iraq work.

She seemed very credible to me. She wasn't.

Shortly after the war began, it became apparent that the source for ALMOST ALL her Iraqi info was none other than the con-artist Ahmed Chalabi. Several bloggers and a few journalists noticed that her "interviews" with Iraqi scientists did not pass the smell test. And IIRC, she was interviewing "Deck of Cards" scientists who were being held by Chalabi's militia *before* they were turned over to American authorities.

So.... She's been disgraced and humiliated, right?

Ummm, in a word, no.

Editor and Publisher Magazine points out that it is no longer just Miller's credibility at stake.
The Knight Ridder revelations raise, once again, the nettlesome issue of where the U.S. government left off and the Times began, or vice versa, in making the case for Iraqi possession of WMD. There remains the more disturbing question of whether a Times reporter served as a cat's paw for the neo-con policymakers in Washington with whom she had close ties.

Yesterday, the Times scored a scoop of its own in Richard Oppel's "U.S. to Halt Payments to Iraqi Group Headed by a Onetime Pentagon Favorite." Noting that Ahmad Chalabi had played a crucial role in persuading the Bush administration that Hussein had to be removed from power, Oppel wrote that the INC leader had since become a lightning rod for critics of the administration "who say the United States relied on him too heavily for prewar intelligence that has since proved faulty. ... Internal reviews by the United States government have found that much of the information provided ... before American forces invaded Iraq last year was useless, misleading or even fabricated."

The irony of this scoop appearing in the Times seems to have escaped the newspaper's editors.

 
 
The Republican leadership leaps to *W's defense
"...House Majority Leader Tom DeLay blasted Pelosi, casting her comments as detrimental to U.S. troops.

"Nancy Pelosi should apologize for her irresponsible, dangerous rhetoric," DeLay, R-Texas, said. "She apparently is so caught up in partisan hatred for President Bush that her words are putting American lives at risk."...

..."The San Francisco/Boston Democrats led by John Kerry have now adopted 'Blame America First' as their official policy," RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie said in the statement..."


Read the whole silly thing here. The truth hurts; these guys have no shame AND no brains. Hey Tom and Ed, Here's a quote for ya:

"Bring 'em on."
 
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
 
"Holy" Shit

This stuff scares the crap out of me. Read the whole article.
The e-mailed meeting summary reveals NSC Near East and North African Affairs director Elliott Abrams sitting down with the Apostolic Congress and massaging their theological concerns. Claiming to be "the Christian Voice in the Nation's Capital," the members vociferously oppose the idea of a Palestinian state. They fear an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza might enable just that, and they object on the grounds that all of Old Testament Israel belongs to the Jews. Until Israel is intact and David's temple rebuilt, they believe, Christ won't come back to earth.

Abrams attempted to assuage their concerns by stating that "the Gaza Strip had no significant Biblical influence such as Joseph's tomb or Rachel's tomb and therefore is a piece of land that can be sacrificed for the cause of peace."

Whether the GOP is simply humoring a wacko constituency by flattering them with audiences with high ranking officials, or actually basing policy on biblical prophecy, I don't care. These idiots need to go!
 
 
Father Knows Best

"Treat them with humanity, and let them have no reason to Complain of our Copying the brutal example of the British army in their Treatment of our unfortunate brethren.”

-George Washington. Yes, really, George Washington, speaking to the officer he placed in charge of 211 prisoners taken at Princeton. From David Hackett Fischer's Washington's Crossing, (Thanks to Jerome Clark)


via Eric Alterman
 
Monday, May 17, 2004
 
Quotes of the Day:

Digby:
If anyone but the airheaded George W. Bush and his terminally incompetent neocon/Team B cabal had been in office, the idea that the threat of Islamic fundamentalism was so unprecedented that it meant America must discard all of its values and morals would have been laughed out of the oval office for the absurdity it is. Sadly for America and the world, bin Laden got lucky.
An ex-Military Intel Officer working as a contractor in Iraq:
I told a Journalist the other day that these kids here are being told that they are chasing Al Qaeda in the War on Terrorism so they think everyone at Abu Ghuraib had something to do with 9/11. So they were encouraged to make them pay. These kids thought they were going to be honored for hunting terrorists.
(via Josh Marshall)

 
 
Falling Sky

Oh my God.... My state has allowed Gays to wed and now I want to leave my wife and child and take up with the neighbor's rottweiller.

***Prediction: A year from now, when Governor Romney and Speaker of the House Finneran need to pass a second resolution to amend the Constitution of the Commonwealth to ban marriage rights for same sex couples, several of the folks who voted for such a ban this year will reverse themselves. (Massachusetts' amendment process requires two votes one year apart.)

But for now I'm going to go outside and watch the religio-wackos wait for the end of civilization as we know it.
 
 
Leadership....
or a lack thereof:
Many soldiers say the allegiance of the Iraqi people is still up in the air, and whichever way it swings will determine the outcome of the war. At the moment, some say, the insurgents are crushing the Americans in the propaganda campaign.

"They're really working us over," said Capt. Charles Fowler, 37, a reservist in civil affairs from Vidalia, Ga. "We're doing a lot of great, great stuff. We really are. We're just not getting credit for it."

The captain said he was failing to win over noncommittal Iraqis, those he called fence riders. Without criticizing American politicians or civilian officials, he said administrators seemed to be constantly changing their plans for Iraq, sowing uncertainty among Iraqis. That seemed especially true of the muddled proposals for setting up an interim government to take "limited sovereignty" after June 30.

"I think we should have clarified it and told people we had a definite concrete plan, something like, `Look, this is what's going to happen,' " he said. "They're really just waiting to see what's going to happen."

"They ask me what's going to happen," the captain added. "Hell, I don't even know. It makes it very difficult right now. It makes it very difficult for me. One thing I can't do is make promises that we can't keep."
(emphasis added)



 
Shouting into the closet to inform and entertain the 10 people who actually read this thing. In our new format as an online magazine, we take pride in our reporting and opinions. Please leave reader feedback on our online magazine message board so that we can better serve you.

“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” -Paul Wolfowitz

Cost of the War in Iraq
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