Tuesday, May 22, 2007

GWB Waives his 5th Amendment Right against self-Incrimination

The Bush administration has declassified some information in hope to justify the war in Iraq. According to CNN.COM this evening (Bin Laden wanted Iraq as a new base), the information being released shows that in 2005 Bin Laden sought to use Iraq as a training base and a launching pad for Al Qaeda attacks on the U.S. All of this information is now being released so GWB can use it in his commencement speech at the Coast Guard Academy.

The meat of the proof is this:

Bin Laden and a top lieutenant -- Abu Faraj al-Libbi -- planned to form a terror cell in Iraq in order to launch those attacks, Johndroe said.

Al-Libbi was a "senior al Qaeda manager" who in 2005 suggested to bin Laden that bin Laden send Egyptian-born Hamza Rabia to Iraq to help plan attacks on American soil, Johndroe said.

Johndroe noted that bin Laden later suggested to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, then leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, that America should be his top priority. That was followed in the spring of 2005 with bin Laden's ordering Rabia to brief al-Zarqawi on plans to attack the United States, Johndroe said.

Johndroe added the intelligence indicates al-Libbi later suggested Rabia should be sent to Iraq to carry out those operations.

But al-Libbi was captured in Pakistan and taken into CIA custody in May 2005. After al-Libbi's capture, the CIA's former acting director, John McLaughlin, described him as Bin Laden's chief operating officer, the No. 3 man in al Qaeda.

Interesting that this information is just now being declassified, there is nothing here that warrants keeping this as classified information. With this administration's shaky past as far as intelligence goes and their current battles with Congress and public opinion, I find this a little suspect.

But let's assume it is true. What does this revelation truly prove???

It actually proves quite a lot, just not what George W. hoped it would.

The information clearly indicates that Bin Laden was looking at Iraq as a new base in 2005, not 2002 prior to the invasion, nor in the first year after the invasion. Had Saddam Hussein still been in power or the Bush administration not completely bungled things afterwards, there is no way that Bin Laden would have seen Iraq was a possible base. (Of course, had the same effort applied to get Saddam been applied to get Bin Laden, none of this would be relevant).

So, George Bush has constantly refuted claims that his actions haven't caused an increase in terrorism, and now he is about to give a speech that actually proves he has. Wonder if he asked for his lawyer first.

Russell Pearce bucking for a new job???

State legislator Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, held a press conference today to chastise fellow republican John McCain for missing votes. He feels that McCain should either show up for his votes or resign:

State legislator says McCain should 'show up and vote'
Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, said he has nothing against the state's senior U.S. senator, even though they disagree on issues like immigration reform. And he said McCain is certainly free to pursue his presidential ambitions. But Pearce noted that McCain has missed about half of the recorded votes since Congress convened in January. And according to The Washington Post, McCain's last vote was on April 12; he has missed all 43 votes since then. "I'm calling on the senator to show up and vote,'' Pearce said Tuesday at a hastily called press conference. (emphasis mine)

Now, as painful as it is to admit, I agree with Pearce. McCain is no longer serving as our Senator. He should resign if he is not going to vote for bills that affect the future of our country. Though his absence helps out the democratic cause in so many ways, especially in regard to Iraq. (of course, not voting means he can avoid the "He voted against/for such and such a law" in campaign ads).

Enough about McCain, and onto the real reason for this "hastily called press conference." Could Pearce be trying to ride a wave of Republican dissatisfaction with McCain's support of the new immigration reform bill? The article quotes Russell:
"Or if he's going to be a full-time candidate, yes, he ought to resign and let somebody take that position that's going to represent Arizona and be there to vote.''
Could it be that Mr. Pearce is offering himself up as a replacement?

Yeah, Johnny-boy, the thought of US Senator Pearce gives me indigestion, too.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A vote of "No Confidence" for AG A.G.??

Phil Spec... oops, I mean Senator Arlen Specter says that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will resign after a vote of No Confidence in the senate: Specter: 'No confidence' vote will make Gonzales quit

Sure he will! That's all he has been waiting for, a vote from the senate. The calls from both sides of the isle, the storm that has engulfed his office are inconsequential. All he really needs is that vote.

But if on the off chance that works, I wonder if we can get a similar vote on Veep Cheney, GWB, SoS Rice, and the rest of the administration? (which is kind of what November '06 was all about)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Age discrimination or just facing reality?

Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, raises an interesting point in his blog today.

He feels that the age of a presidential candidate should be fair game for his/her opponents:
Old Presidents:
How old is too old for a president? Candidate John McCain will be 72 by the time of the election. The worst case scenario is that he gets elected, does a good job, and gets reelected. He’ll be 80 by the end of his second term.

Imagine you’re a presidential advisor and you notice him starting to lose it. Do you tell the media, and set in motion a chain of events that will end in you losing your own job and power? Or do you schedule fewer public appearances for your boss and hope no one figures it out?

Every person is different, of course. But I’d like to see some statistics on the mental and physical risks to an average 75-year old. If there’s a 30% chance of a major health problem for a 75-year old, but far less for someone the age of John Edwards, I’d like to see those stats. But I doubt the media will spend much time on that sort of thing because their customers skew older. It’s bad business to remind your customers that they are likely to lose it any minute.

I’d like to see a younger candidate address the issue directly in a debate. I think it could be done without cruelty, as in “My opponent is in excellent health. But realistically, you have to ask yourself if it’s wise to vote for a man in his seventies. At his age, his mental faculties will be declining quickly. By the end of his first term, he won’t be the same person you voted for. It’s one factor among many, but it can’t be ignored.”

We have one recent experience with an old president. Ronald Reagan was in his seventies when he served as president. Regardless of what you think of his overall performance, does anyone think his age had no impact on his decisions?

I think that he actually may be on to something. I know that it is not politically correct to discuss the age of a candidate, but we are talking about the President of the United States. The job itself is stressful enough, add age and the potential health factors that come with old age, and you are dramatically increasing the likelihood that the Veep would move into the Oval Office.

Before you jump on the age discrimination angle, we are not hiring the greeter at the neighborhood Wal-Mart. This is the person we expect (current prez excluded) to make critical decisions that impact the world. We need someone with full control of his faculties and bladder (again, current prez excluded).

If someone can be too young or too green, as many feel that Obama is, someone can be too old.