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Robert Scheer: A Disgraceful Attack on the New York Times

Posted on Jun 27, 2006
N.Y. Times arrested
Mike Luckovich

By Robert Scheer

  • UPDATE: The House passed a resolution condemning the N.Y. Times for its reporting.
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    The Bush administration’s jihad against newspapers that reported on a secret program to monitor the personal-banking records of unsuspecting citizens is more important than the original story. For what the president and his spokesmen are once again asserting is that the prosecution of this ill-defined, open-ended “war on terror” inevitably trumps basic democratic rights in general and the constitutionally enshrined freedom of the press in particular.

    The stakes are very high here. We’ve already been told that we must put up with official lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the unprecedented torture of prisoners of war and a massive electronic-eavesdropping program and other invasions of privacy. Now the target is more basic—the freedom of the press to report on such nefarious government activities. The argument in defense of this assault on freedom is the familiar refrain of dictators, wannabe and real, who grasp for power at the expense of democracy: We are in a war with an enemy so powerful and devious that we cannot afford the safeguard of transparent and accountable governance.

    “We’re at war with a bunch of people who want to hurt the United States of America, and for people to leak that program, and for a newspaper to publish it, does great harm to the United States of America,” President Bush said Monday.

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    The “bunch of people” Bush says we are fighting was originally believed to be those behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, specifically Osama bin Laden and his decentralized Al Qaeda terrorist organization. Yet Bush, prodded by the neoconservative clique, quickly expanded this war beyond what should have been a worldwide manhunt for Al Qaeda operatives into an open-ended occupation of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq—which, as we know from the Sept. 11 commission report, had nothing to do with Al Qaeda or Sept. 11.

    In fact, if the media, or Congress, had aggressively pursued the truth earlier, rather than being overwhelmed by the shock of Sept. 11, anti-U.S. terrorists of every stripe would not now be swarming over Iraq. Nor would the degenerating situation in Afghanistan and the enhanced power of religious fanatics throughout the Mideast, from Tehran to Gaza, pose such threats to peace if a fully informed public had held this president in check. Even today, the Bush administration continues to place the situation in Iraq in the “war on terror” framework, instead of acknowledging the primary role of religious and nationalist passions unleashed by the unwarranted U.S. invasion.

    As Bush has continued to stretch it to cover all of his leadership failings, the “war on terror” has become a meaningless phrase, to be exploited for the political convenience of the moment. Terrorism, which should be treated clinically as a dangerous pathology threatening all modern societies, instead has been seized upon as an all-purpose propaganda opportunity for consolidating this administration’s political power. In such a situation, the press’ role as a conduit of both information and debate is more essential than ever. Freedom of the press, enshrined in our Constitution at a time when our fragile nation was besieged by enemies of the new republic, is not an indulgence to be allowed in safe periods but rather an indispensable tool for keeping ourselves safe. That is just the point that Vice President Dick Cheney, the high priest of excessive secrecy—even in domestic matters, such as refusing to reveal the content of his negotiation with Enron lobbyists in framing the administration’s energy policy—is bent on obscuring.

    “Some in the press, in particular The New York Times, have made the job of defending against further terrorist attacks more difficult,” said Cheney, all but calling the newspaper traitorous.

    How convenient to leave out The Wall Street Journal, which editorially supports the administration but which also covered this latest example of Bush’s abuse of power in its news pages. The administration’s attack on the Times, in fact, is not really about national security, but rather follows a domestic political agenda that requires attacking free media that dare offer criticism.

    On Monday, following the pattern, Cheney also attacked the Times’ earlier disclosure that the National Security Agency had simply ignored the legal requirement of court warrants in monitoring telephone calls. “I think that is a disgrace,” he said of the Times winning a Pulitzer Prize for the stories.

    What is truly a disgrace, though, is an administration that has consistently deceived the public about its intentions and which continues to shamefully exploit post-Sept. 11 fears to ensure its grip on the body politic.

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    By Jim, March 12, 2008 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Unfortunately, all too often people like Robert Scheer are right on the money when it comes to the corruption of the US Federal Government, and its use of the media as a tool in which to control the flow of information for the purpose of disinformation.

    This has been historically true of the media since the CIA’s usurpation of this venue of news gathering, back in 1947, the result of Operation Mockingbird.

    And there is little doubt that any American who attempts to uncover the rampant criminality within the US Federal Government, whether it be the CIA’s MKULTRA program, the shadow government’s concealment of the UFO/EBE phenomenon, the NSA’s illegal use satellite based tracking systems to target the bio electromagnetic fields around a person’s body for the purpose of illegally spying and videotaping that person (or electronically reading the targeted person’s thoughts by way of the NSA’s Electronic Brain Link technology); is going to be aggressively attacked through the use of smear campaigns waged for the express purpose of discrediting them.

    Robert Scheer is into telling the truth—not half truths - but the truth.  And like so many others who do the same (including those legitimate 9-11 Truth seekers—there are many in this movement who are not legitimate and being used to disinform the public) he oftentimes appears to be dodging the government’s slings and arrows in efforts to protect himself.

    Report this

    By Vietnam Vet, July 5, 2006 at 2:09 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Comment #12943 by Fadel Abdallah on 7/04 at 5:07 pm
    ————————————————————
    Mr. Abdallah, I am no expert on the Gaza situation and you are obviously more into that issue than I. And, I am no apologist for Israel either. However, let me provide some observations from a layman’s viewpoint. First, I agree the Gaza people are not religious fanatics, because religion would connotate some sort of respect for human life, respect for others, etc. But, are they fanatics? Well, it would that a significant number seem so. How else do you explain those hundreds of rockets being fired into Israel from afar, without having an inkling of where they will land, perhaps killing dozens of innocent men, women, and children. And then, pretending surprise when Israel defends itself. How else do you explain a policy of “wiping Israel off the face of the earth?” How else do you explain a refusal to sit down and discuss peace when that is surely the best avenue? Why would a rational government follow policies that starve its own people, provide little opportunity for education of the children, submit the people to untold hardships, etc., all in the name of “hating Jews?” As an outsider looking in, and not an expert as I have previously said, these type of questions are in my mind and I believe the minds of a significant part of the world.

    Report this

    By JOEY, July 4, 2006 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    WHAT IS THE BIGGEST THREAT TO OUR COUNTRY TODAY?

    1. THE KOREAN MISSILE PROGRAM
    2. THE IRAQ INSURGENCY
    3. THE CHINESE ECONOMY
    4. THE CHENEY ROVE BUSH ADMINISTRATION

    Report this

    By Fadel Abdallah, July 4, 2006 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    A follow-up to a previous message:

    Sorry, Mr. Robert Scheer, the people of Gaza are not religious fanatics as you call them; they are freedom-fighters. I am wondering if you’re not pandering to terrorist Israel by your statement. Americans do disagree on many things, but when it comes to Jewish influence and Israel’s blackmailing power, everyone runs to pay their respects; I pray you’re not one of those!

    Remember that the people of Gaza, you call religious fanatics had had few months ago a more clean and honest election than the last two American ones. If you call the people of Gaza religious fanatics, then you’re like Bush and Junta who lost any sense of history and justice. I am sorry I have to strongly disagree with you on this issue; I always thought we are seeing eye to eye; but with this one we are not on the same page!

    Since you are in the business of truthdigging, I hope that you have the courage to publish few pictures I have forwarded. Each one speaks volumes about Israel’s terrorism; and these particular pictures speak volumes about Israeli terrorim against school children! If you publish these not only will you a courageous man, but you might also create a popular stir!

    from: Fadel Abdallah in Chicago, who is still hoping to find a true honest reporter committed to reporting the truth, no matter what!

    Report this

    By R. A. Earl, July 3, 2006 at 8:37 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    In #12840, Don Gist wrote as he chastised me for “not having a clue” etc., and as he reaffirmed his view that America is the “greatest country in the world” without, as requested, defining what he means by “greatest”...

    “My foreign residencies total more than 12 years.”

    I can’t help but wonder why anyone would voluntarily choose to LEAVE, for 12 years of his adult life, the GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, to work on farms in countries that, I assume, by definition, weren’t so “great.”

    I guess it must have been either to acquire a sophisticated cross-cultural anthropological education or to further his philanthropic humanitarian work.

    In any case it’s wonderful to be recognized publicly as a TRUE LIBERAL (Webster: “one who is open-minded or not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional or established forms or ways” which means, of course, I still have the ability to critically think for myself and adjust my views appropriately when circumstances change.)

    I wonder what a TRUE CONSERVATIVE means (Webster again: “... tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions…). I thought so… a philosophy which advocates NO CHANGE, even when whatever we’re doing DOESN’T WORK.

    Report this

    By William Day, July 3, 2006 at 7:16 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Reference: Comment #12689 by Don Gist on 6/29 at 7:25 pm

    FYI, in my 60 years, I’ve travelled to 42 countries both as military and civilian businessman.  Not one of those countries comes close to the United States of America in greatness.  This IS the greatest country in the world, at least for now. [And I reference your other posts as well.]
    _____________________________________________
    Let me say first off, Mr. Gist, you have your right to your opinion, but others do not have to agree with you.  You are obviously an apologist for Mr. Bush and his ilk, but that is not my point in commenting here. In my 71 years, I too, have traveled to many countries as a military person and in industry; I lived in Germany for over five years; I presently live in Spain, where I have lived off and on for over 20 years. I lived in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia) for over ten years. In all those years, I have never met anyone, repeat anyone, who thinks the USA is the best country in the world, and given what is happening in the country right now, neither do I. A good country? You damn right. Being ruined by this president and his administration. You damned right! Without elaboration, you have to define exactly what you mean by “the best.” Is it best in terms of social benefits, such as medical care? No. Is it best in constitutional freedoms? As good perhaps, but certainly not best. Is it best in terms of controlling the environment. No. Is it best in terms of cost of living. No. And I could go on, but?  So, be careful about spewing out your “worldly experience” as the only justification to support a claim that the USA is still the best nation in the world, bar none. And, especially when you are trying to discredit what you refer to as “liberals.” Personal attacks are the first sign of a small mind! And, I do not consider this as a personal attack on you, per se, I do not even know you. My attack is on the unfounded and unsupported position you take and at the same time excoriating those who do not hold your opinion.

    Report this

    By Hilding Lindquist, July 2, 2006 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Not only do we need a little refresher course on the true meaning of being a conservative around here ... like respecting the laws (as in the Bill of Rights) and the traditions (as in our core values / transcending ideals as clearly stated in our Declaration of Independence) ... but it seems we need to reflect on what Jesus ATTEMPTED to teach us ... I mean being a Christian nation and all.

    It appears that many of us dedicate ourselves to the pursuit of power as the ultimate arbiter of human destiny. This is in keeping with the Old Testament god, Jehovah, illustrated by Joshua and the Battle of Jericho.

    Jesus introduced another transcending ideal, the seed of a new paradise to emerge after him. It is the ideal that the Creator’s strength rests in the strong nuturing the weak ... the father, the baby; the big brother, the little sister; the healthy, the sick;, welcoming the stranger; offering peace to one’s enemy ... that it is up to the strong to nuture the diversity of the bioshphere.

    This transcending ideal of nuturing, this “holy spirit”, transforms us.

    We have other transcending ideals to guide us while rejecting violence as a solution ... like in “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Violence may be a defense, but it is never a solution or a tool for seeking one.

    Gonzales, Libby, Rove, Yoo ... are a set of brilliant ass-kissers. No wonder our nation has wandered so far from the transcending ideals of our founders ... ideals that should re-invigorate each new generation with new ideas based on original thought and creativity. Instead we are becoming brittle with the attempt to hang on to old ways (the absurdity of God as “The Invisible Hand”), old wealth (oil), and old power (a military strategy based on “we have nukes”) ... for selfish (totally unChristian) reasons.

    While Joshua won the Battle of Jericho, the victory foreshadowed the future for the Old Testament Israelites at the hands of their enemies. What we now know in all human relationships from families to nations, breaking the cycle of violence is the real sign of strength.

    Jesus was right. As a Christian nation, you would think we would have figured that out by now.

    Report this

    By Don Gist, July 2, 2006 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    2. “Travelling to 42 countries” doesn’t qualify anyone to pass judgment on the quality of life in those countries… you weren’t in any of them long enough to get much past the airport! You’ve got to reside and work in a place to even approach being qualified to make such statements… and even then, what’s “great” to you may make others puke.

    Written like a true liberal, you don’t have a clue as to what you’re talking about or who you’re talking to, yet you know it all.  My foreign residencies total more than 12 years. Travel in most countries involved multiple visits often as long as 30 - 60 days each in situations of total immersion into a local culture, eg, working on farms and ranches and with all levels of economic strata.  I stand by my comment, this is the greatest country in the world, and trust me, your rhetoric does not intimidate anyone.

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    By william Amaru, July 2, 2006 at 1:14 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    thank you for your web space Robert….Ive been along side you since Ramparts!

    best
    will

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    By Hilding Lindquist, July 1, 2006 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Ooh boy! Seems like somebody needs a little lesson in the meaning of being conservative ... don’t you think? Not naming any names, or nothing.

    “To a conservative, the goal of change is less important than the insistence that change be effected with a respect for the rule of law and traditions of society.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservative

    Now, as my favorite Conservative (with a Capital C) Columnist (‘nother Capital C), Paul Mulshine of the New Jersey Star Ledger, likes to point out, Bush and Company are NOT Conservatives. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Mulshine

    I could spend a lot of time listing all the ways the “Gang Who Can’t Shoot Straight” aren’t Conservative, but let me list two biggies: Conservatives do NOT believe in nation building and Conservatives do NOT believe in passing on current costs to future generations.

    Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass” could help us form a parallax/gestalt of the Neocons.

    Simply taking some time and exploring the heritage of these so-called “brilliant” theoreticians would smoke ‘em out for the radical bunch of neo-fascists (mirroring fascism) that they are.

    Briefly, the Neocons are entwined in their machinations with monopolists cloaking themselves in free market capitalism AND religion a la God as “The Invisible Hand” to avoid having to pay the cost of the damage (the externalities) of their “legal” economic system in acquiring wealth and power. (Note: Any “brilliant” economist who talks about the current economic system as “the free market” who does not also simultaneously discuss wringing externalities out of that so-called “free market” is blowing smoke—like in the second-hand smoke of the cigarette business or exhaust emissions of burning fossil fuels—up our backsides.)

    The first requirement of a democratic people is that their leaders tell them the truth. In the ebb and flow of human existence there are times to be conservative, there are times to be progressive, there at times to be liberal. It is our ability to adapt to the needs of the particular epoch in which we find ourselves that allows us to continue to survive and grow while remaining a free people through abiding by such transcending ideals as laid out by our founders in our Declaration of Independence. And as the Good Book teaches in John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” http://www.blueletterbible.org

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    By Magginkat, July 1, 2006 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Sean gill, Comment #12691   needs to be sentenced to a cell with Tricky Dicky Cheney & goofy Rick Santorum.  Likewise for   Hondo Comment #12685 ,  In Comment #12674 , Don Gist advises Mr. Sheer, a well known & well read writer to read more than NY Times.  I assume that he means Faux Spews & Free Republic !  All these silly fools seem to have missed the comments from their ignoramus leader that there were no WMDs in Iraq!  Obviously, they are the ones who need to expand their reading list.

    I would love to see these jokesters become the target of George Bush’s “country protecting” data.  Mr. Gist would be one of the loudest whiners and more than likely, would blame our last legally elected President, Bill Clinton, for not stopping Bush!!

    If George Bush ever does anything to protect this country it will be an accident!  The only thing Bush cares to protect are his rich cronies. 

    As for poor old Tanker, there ought to be a law against being this ignorant.  He has one of the worst cases of self-imposed stupidity that I have ever witnessed. 

    If these hate-mongering righties actually read Mr. Scheer’s column their IQ’s would improve by at least 100% and most certainly some common sense would rub off on them.  Their hypocrisy is enough to gag a maggot.

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    By Reg, July 1, 2006 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Irony at its best.  The NYT has been complicit from day one in publishing all the Chalabi fed WMD propaganda put out by the Bush administration.  Moreover, they selectively omitted the publication of vital news stories that would have given lie to the fabrication and manipulation of truth over these five years.

    How do you spell Judith Miller? Just a small reminder.  Remember also that the NYT chose to withhold the NSA story for an entire year, making certain it was not revealed before the 2004 election.  How convenient.

    And now, that they’ve been set up much like Dan Rather with a story that was ‘leaked’ to them for publication….and then slammed as traitors for publishing it….the NY Times is now the epitome of martyrdom for journalistic freedom.  Come on!

    What about all the headlines the NY Times did NOT publish, - and that helped to deceive the public and keep vital information from being revealed?

    Here are a few of the missing headlines, as part of an open letter we wrote to the NYT a full year ago!  The graphic (forgive the typos…it was really difficult to create)....should not be missed.  Share it with others and then understand how the print media, along with the TV news networks has helped bring this nation to its present degredation.

    WHERE’S THE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO PRINT?

    http://www.tvnewslies.org/html/where_s_the_news_that_s_fit_to.html

    Report this

    By Billy Q, July 1, 2006 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    OK, just so I have this straight - a couple of years ago the Bush Administration conned the CIA, Congress and the people by using the press as their agents for spreading a false case for war in Iraq (propaganda).  They got pissed at Joe Wilson for pointing out the lie about the yellowcake claim and as payback outed his CIA NOC wife, Valerie Plame, by again using an overly-trusting press to reveal her identity as a CIA NOC.

    The CIA and press found out how badly they’d been scammed and who did the scamming. They said “OK, the gloves are off.  We’re going to get some pay-back and expose this administration for what it is - a bunch of lying fakes”. 

    The administration’s pissed off about it, so they’re threatening to prosecute the people who are making them look bad.  What a country!  Do we have our priorities straight around here or what?

    Report this

    By Blueboy1938, July 1, 2006 at 11:42 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The nasty vituperation and character assassination on this blog is sad, but it is symptomatic of the degredation of public discourse in this country.  I’m surprised, really, that posters can’t focus on the issues and leave the personal attacks out.

    As for the NYT, etc., issue:  What we’re seeing was predicted by George Orwell in “1984.”  Endless wars in client countries that justified total control over information and behavior with the “endless emergency.”  Unfortunately, his idea that the wars would be fought by client armies isn’t currently the case.  It’s our own nation’s sons and daughters who are being sacrificed to prop up an Iran-centric government in Iraq, while resources are being diverted from what should be the real anti-terrorist search and destroy mission.  Railing by the administration against the press is, however, just what Mr. Orwell imagined as “Big Brother” tightened his grip.

    Report this

    By rabblerowzer, July 1, 2006 at 11:16 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I agree with Paul Kibble’s remarks about how to respond to the Rabid Right’s “invincible ignorance.”

    How do you reason with those devoid of conscience or scruples and incapable of logic and rationality? Many people I have encountered appear to be ruled by primal instincts so powerful that they are impervious to anything that contradicts their primitive mob mentality. These are the people who stone people for adultery, heresy, witchcraft, homosexuality, blasphemy, new ideas and dissent. They are the people who commit genocide in the name of some mindless and obscenely perverted ideology without qualm. They flock to leaders who justify and reinforce their own depravity.

    Trying to reason with them is futile, but they shouldn’t be ignored or allowed to spew their filth unchallenged. They must be rebuked in brutal terms understandable to the impressionable many who are so easily swayed by aggression which they mistakenly see as strength. Sociopaths are not strong, they are mental and moral weaklings.

    Report this

    By The Masao, July 1, 2006 at 10:40 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Regarding Comment #12663 by Tanker on 6/29 at 11:57 am

    After reviewing your….... work, I will not spend this time replying to each and every point that you have made.  However, I will just respond in general in the hopes that I may help you understand both yourself and this world we live in.

    My candid advice, take of it what you may, is that you spend less time focusing on defending others, and more time on questioning everything around you.  Like so many in the world politic, they tend to wrap themselves in those of like mind.  This makes neither you nor them wrong… just ignorant.

    After serving in the USMC, loving every minute of it, followed by living overseas, I will say this.  GET OUT!! and live a little.  Leave the country and ask others in this world what they really think.  I think you will find that on the whole, they don’t like us due to our governemnt.

    P.S.  Never bring god into another discussion.  It is quite possible that your god is not your own.

    Report this

    By paul kibble, July 1, 2006 at 9:00 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Jesus, Tanker, let’s do the time warp again. What’s with this grotesque obsession with Come-you-nism? Are you trying out for the role of Joe McCarthy in Good Night, and Good Luck? Bad news, mate: that part’s already been cast—-with Gunner Joe playing himself—-and the flick’s been in the can for over a year now. You really should get out more.

    Or maybe not, since you’re snoozing so peacefully in the amniotic fluid of RinghtWing World, circa 1952. Being yanked into the new millenium might prove traumatic, if not fatal.

    Still, comfortable as that fetal position might be, if you’d pull your head out of your ass occasionally and try to lip-read your way through something other than The National Review, you might notice that the Red Menace has sort of gone the way of Pac-Man, platform shoes, and, well, old-style Republicanism, as represented by John Lindsey, Nelson Rockefeller, and even—-surprise—-Barry Goldwater in certain respects. They’re all solely objects of nostalgia, at best bits of ideological retro chic trotted out now and then for their camp value.

    If you’d followed world events after, say, 1956, you might have noticed that communism was long ago discredited for the bankrupt philosophy that it is. News flash: THE SOVIET UNION NO LONGER EXISTS. That “Evil Empire” (Thanks, Ronnie!) has been supplanted in the Right’s lexicon abuse by the post 9/11 generic label of “Traitor” (thanks, Anne, my fave she-male!) Of course there are holdout nutjobs like Kim, but even an officially Commie regime like China has adopted a form of neocapitalism. It’s all about survival.

    By the way, it’s the necon greedheads that don’t appreciate the necessity of limits on freedom—-for example, market capitalism. As everyone but Tanker must know, Saddam was our ALLY in the early 80’s (famous photo of him shaking hands with Rummy) because with needed a Middle Eastern buffer against the Iran’s Ayatollah.

    Old joke: how do we know Saddam had WMD’s? Answer: because we kept the receipts. We supplied Saddam with armaments and—-beacon of morality to the rest of the world that we are—-turned a blind eye to his systematic murder of the Kurds. It wasn’t in our “national interst”—-at least at that moment. (“All morality is a matter of expediency”—-Nietzsche.) Hint for future foreign policy mavens like Tanker: if you want to stop the terrorists in their tracks, quit giving them arms and money.

    It was only when Hussein began poaching on our territory (Kuwait) and oil interests that we suddenly recognized he was the demon dictator we had to take out at all costs. As Paul O’Neil, Bush’s former Sec. of Treasury noted, the Bushies were looking for any reason to invade Iraq well before 9/11—-which, pure coincidence, has the world’s second largest known oil reserves. Another news flash, Tanker: even Bush finally acknowledged that the Saddm regime had NO connection to 9/11. But there are plenty of Osamaphiles in Iraq…now. Wonder how that happened.

    So unrestrained freedom is OK, at least in the sense of free enterprise (although no-bid contracts for Cheney’s cronies at Halliburton sort of undermine that principle, don’t they?).

    On the other hand,  media outlets like the Times who dare to question the motives and methods for the Iraq war need to be reined in. After all, if the electorate ever gets wind of the truth, they might start asking for there heads back. Yikes!

    Old saying: hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue. In that sense, Tanker, you must be one of the most virtuous people on the planet.

    Report this

    By R. A. Earl, July 1, 2006 at 7:50 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    A long time ago I heard Andy Rooney remark (as I remember it)

    FREEDOM IS THE RIGHT, NOT TO DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO, BUT TO DO AS YOU OUGHT TO DO.

    So.. what SHOULD America/Americans be DOING?

    I submit that America OUGHT NOT to be INVADING OTHER COUNTRIES (the count since WWII, according to historian William Blum, is now 22! That’s a world record… no other country has ever had a record of aggression so horrid, not even Hitler’s Germany).

    May I suggest that America step down from it’s self-appointed role as POLICE OF THE PLANET and return to MINDING ITS OWN BUSINESS? (Which is NOT Global Domination and Control!) It would also be nice if America would PAY WHAT IT OWES TO ORGANIZATIONS SUCH AS THE UN so these duly elected and sanctioned organizations have the resources to do what needs to be done. America as vigilante is really, really UGLY.

    Helping the “little guy” against an aggressor (eg South Korea vs North Korea) may SEEM like the honorable, compassionate thing to do, but I submit that in the long run it’s not helpful. If a parent keeps running interference for a child, how is that child ever going to learn to set it’s own standards and fight it’s own battles? THE PEOPLE EVENTUALLY GET THE GOVERNMENT THEY DESERVE… (irony - GWB)... it may take a generation or two… South Korea in the 50s may have been overrun by the North and the Chinese, but we’ll never know for sure how that would have worked out. Who can say that the invaders wouldn’t have found the continuing resistance impossible to deal with and work out some other arrangement?

    If America were invaded and “taken over” by… (you fill in the blank)... do you really suppose Americans would just hand over the reins to the conquerors? Of course not. An “invaded” America would be such a pain in the ass to any invader they’d pick up their toys and head back where they came from quick smart!

    I submit much the same scenario would occur in much of the rest world too, IF ONLY AMERICA WOULD STAY OUT OF IT. Even if asked, America should decline to get involved… INCLUDING SELLING ARMS AND AMMUNITION TO EITHER SIDE. Let them make their own bullets… or clubs and spears… or whatever.

    SOMEONE HAS TO START USING BRAINS/INTEGRITY INSTEAD OF BRAWN/IMMORALITY ON THIS PLANET… why not AMERICA?

    Those who wish to label me as a soft-headed, bleeding-heart, touchy-feely, creampuff liberal NEED NOT RESPOND. I’ve had my fill of RAMBO MENTALITY… mainly because IT DOESN’T WORK… look at the mess it’s created world wide… those who haven’t got the guns live in fear of them. What a nice world Rambo has created!

    I’ll take an EMOTIONAL bleeding-heart experience any day over a PHYSICAL one.

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    By Vietnam Vet, July 1, 2006 at 4:03 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Reference: Comment #12759 by Tanker on 6/30 at 8:23 pm

    If there is anyone posting comments here that needs a course in basic civics, friend it is surely you! I have never seen a more warped concept of the constitution and how it is SUPPOSED to operate. By the way, most of us are sick and tired of this false claim that WE ARE AT WAR. Congress has not declared war, a declaration that is constitutionally required for war to exist. What we ARE up against is this nation having been led into an invasion of a nation that did not present a threat, resulting in the occupation of that country. An invasion and occupancy that has led to the death of over 2500 and the maiming and disfiguring of over 20,000 of our best. Also the slaughter of thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraqis, and the expenditure of billions of dollars of our treasure, that could have solved many of our social problems. It is you, friend, and the others in your crowd, that are a far greater danger to our freedoms than any terrorist coming over the next hill.

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    By Hostile Elder, July 1, 2006 at 3:44 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Stalin Revival.

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    By killer butterfly, July 1, 2006 at 12:20 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    tanker, tanker, tanker.you lied tanker.at post
    number 12663 at 11:57am, you said you were going to
    find a site that was more objective. you also said,
    good bye and good luck.you sure learned a lot from
    gwb.tanker , the man has a messiah complex. he also thinks he’s in charge. he is also cheneys lap dog.
    everybody knows it.your republican friends know it.they don’t want to tell you. if you get a chance,
    read eric hofers book “the true beliver.“you can pick a used one up at ebay for a couple of bucks.
    it’s people that rant like you that cause me
    concern. you’ve taken away the middle ground and i
    do not want to get pulled to the far side,but it’s
    going to be the only way to protect this country
    from the criminals in the white house.

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    By Tanker, June 30, 2006 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    RE : #12748 -  Communists also relish government control over the free will of the people. Here in America, that is accomplished by a select few unelected judges who can force laws on a majority . ( talk about rigid and overreaching ) It would be nice to actually put major issues to a nationwide vote and see just where America stands. We all should appreciate our freedom of the press and free speech, but there must be some limit or restraint, especially when the country is at war. So many liberals /  progressives don’t appreciate limits on much of anything it seems - especially things that do damage to the fabric of American society.So if I believe in a certain set of beliefs / values as some others do, that means I goose step along with them? Pretty simplistic thinking there. I guess you goose step along with those you agree with too then. It may sound cliche, but freedom is never free and freedom without any limits is chaos.

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    By G Andersen, June 30, 2006 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Mr. Tanker #12721 6.30.06

    Mr. Tanker, you Moron!  What part of this simple dilema do you actually get?  Let me spell it out so you can understand.

    First off, I am not a republican or Democrat. I vote for the best candidate.

    Now,

    President Bush and the admin. have launched a “never ending” war so he can attempt to do things not possible during peace time.  If there were no term limits, the war would never end?
    If you think you can totally defeat terrorism(which has been around since the dawn of man) your are clueless. 

    President Bush and the admin. would be powerless if 911 never happened.  Unfortunately, september 11th is the worst thing that has ever happened to the U.S. but the best thing that ever happened to George Bush.  Without a war to fight his approval ratings would be sub-0

    Irrational hatred for the president.  It is the irrational fanatics that follow a leader like bush “only” because he is a repuplican, not because he is a talented leader that scares me.  There are far more reasons to dislike or even hate the current president and admin. that to like it. 

    What has happened to Patriotism you ask, well there are two types of Patriotism.  One is where you support your country and adminstration when they are doing good things, right things, honest things and acting with integrity.  And the other is speaking up when corruption and a poor leader is running our country into the crapper.  Unfortunately, president bush and his admin. have forced the American Public(the majoity) to define patriotism as the latter.  Not speaking up when the leader is going the wrong direction is far less patriotic and farm more dangerous,(the general public in Germany supported Hitler until they realized what he was up to)


    So, to conclude, if pople like you continue to back people in office based soley on thier party affiliation(democrat or republican) then this country is in deep trouble.  I am neither a Rep. or Dem.  I vote for the best candidate.  Sometimes this means voting against my pocket book, but it is the right thin to do. I have voted for both republicans and Democrats historically depending on their leadership abilities.

    PS: Quit using the word communist.  If anything it paints a picture of you looking like some hermit living in a cave.  Liberal i can understand, but communist?  You are a wack-0 Bush is more of a dictator than democrats are communnists.

    I know i am wasting my breath, but for now president bush has not forbidden this.

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    By tom lowe, June 30, 2006 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I’m wondering if the level of uproar among the Bushies, not that any opportunity by the right to attack the NYT would be missed, isn’t meant as a distraction.

    Recall that the NSA wiretapping mess started out as “a few hundred calls”, and turned out to actually cover millions, including anti-war activists at the request of Bolton. What would deeper digging on this, which yelling treason is intended to cut off, reveal- that US banks are also cooperating- and the records from bank accounts of critics of the Bush administration have been turned over in violation of US banking law?

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    By felicity smith, June 30, 2006 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Regarding some of these posts calling liberals communists - the shoe would better fit today’s conservative than today’s liberal.  Communist governments are rigid, over-reaching, secretive and certainly would not tolerate a free press or free speech for that matter.  Flag burning, gay marriage, any issue that does not goose-step behind party or government doctrine, is forbidden.  Liberals would be miserable living under a communist system, would probably rise up and overthrow it as a matter of fact.  No, your foot would fit into that shoe quite easily.

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    By Vietnam Vet, June 30, 2006 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Reference: Comment #12721 by Tanker on 6/30 at 8:23 am

    You asked for one reason the Times should publish the story, well there are probably a dirty dozen, but here is one: “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one. Benjamin Franklin. In case you haven’t realized, freedom of the press is one of the guarantees under the constitution and it is to be protected and cherished. You have been fear mongered into accepting ANYTHING the decider says is protecting you against those enemies charging in over the next hill top. You are in that crowd that are more dangerous to our freedoms than any terrorist ever was!

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    By Margaret Currey, June 30, 2006 at 11:24 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    This is for Joe Birdsong, If we had to change things because of the war effort that is one thing, maybe that is under the War Powers Act, but this war was not like WWII this is a strike against a government that was not a threat against us.  I remember when Bush joked and said he had to finish his Daddy’s war, When Bush and Jeb stole Fla. Chaney allready was ready to go to war, if we go to war, this country can become a dictatorship and it will happen, the Congress is just a puppet do do W’s bidding, remember there is still a lot of Bushes around there is Jeb and another George and a daughter of Jeb (don’t reacall her name) This country has become the best government bought and paid for by corporatations.  The new welfare state has shifted from the poor to the rich.  The only other things I can say is look out for the seniors.

    M Currey, Portland Oregon, one of the few liberal cities on the west coast.

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    By rabblerowzer, June 30, 2006 at 10:38 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The fact is, a majority of American voters will condone vote fraud as long as it is based on racism. Racism is the key to the Republican party’s dominance and has been since Democrats embraced civil rights. Racism is so engrained and pervasive in American society it has become invisible.

    I don’t see how Democrats can ever overcome that handicap. Racism is the mother of fascism and the Rabid Right will drive that big eight wheeler right down the track to our destruction.

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    By R. A. Earl, June 30, 2006 at 10:35 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Re#12702 by Paul Kibble…

    Thanks for your time and thoughts… I, for one, found them interesting.

    You sure know how to use a lot of time and space to inform us that you believe… MIGHT MAKES RIGHT. (Or at least that’s what I infer from your piece.)

    And you know, if I had been brought up (brainwashed) in the American/Rambo tradition, I would likely view our existence through somewhat the same lens as you.

    But I wasn’t. And even if I had no lens at all, I could “see” that “blowing away” the other guy, literally or figuratively, as a philosophy of life, WILL NEVER EVER LEAD TO PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE.

    And if “peaceful coexistence” isn’t the object of the exercise then I’ve hopelessly misunderstood the purpose of my entire 67 years on this planet.

    Which brings me back to my original thoughts… either we find a way to achieve “peaceful coexistence,” through learning, understanding, respect, communication, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness and NON-VIOLENCE, or we can just relegate ourselves to lives of endless, pathetic stupidity, fear, frustration, loathing and illness.

    That’s what separates us from all other animals… WE HAVE A CHOICE. Which choice we make defines our worth.

    It may be that my way doesn’t work either. But it’s my opinion it has a better chance than your way, which I see as having no chance whatsoever.

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    By killer butterfly, June 30, 2006 at 10:20 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    mr. kibble; number 12702 great post.
    hilding- always enjoy you-us ex-duluthians gotta
    stick together. to the ex-marine-ain’t no such thing
    as an ex-marine.to tanker who is never coming back to this site. here is a thought. i think it was
    Gandhi that said “i would have been a christian,
    except i met so many of them.”

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    By R. A. Earl, June 30, 2006 at 10:11 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Re #12689, by Don Gist:

    You wrote:

    “For Mr. Earl,

    FYI, in my 60 years, I’ve travelled to 42 countries both as military and civilian businessman.  Not one of those countries comes close to the United States of America in greatness.  This IS the greatest country in the world, at least for now.”

    Two small things, Mr. Gist…

    1. Define “greatest”... because your evaluation doesn’t match the United Nations ranking of liveable countries. But then, being an American, you get to define just about anything any way you want to… like your President and WMD!

    2. “Travelling to 42 countries” doesn’t qualify anyone to pass judgment on the quality of life in those countries… you weren’t in any of them long enough to get much past the airport! You’ve got to reside and work in a place to even approach being qualified to make such statements… and even then, what’s “great” to you may make others puke.

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    By Tanker, June 30, 2006 at 9:41 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I think the liberal nuts have a lock on the shouting people down / throwing pie stuff .. just go to any university where a conservative is giving a speech ... and what’s the problem with “feeling” ?... I “feel” for our troops and families .. I “feel” for the fate of this country ...is that wrong?  I’ll take civil debate and the ability to “feel” over the reckless,hateful spew from most of the democrat / communists any day.

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    By McKinney, June 30, 2006 at 9:07 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    This is in response to 12667 ex-marine, I believe that you know what is really going on, I think this country is heading to another no win war like Vietnam, and to think that John Kerry who served was told he was un-american because he was against the war, I believe if the war is wrong we should get out, this is not a full-blown war yet, because not enough people have died for the cause, but when you see the light at the end of the tunnel, who continue a war for political purpuses, as the words of Credence Clearwater Revival singer said I aint no senators son, I was not born preveliged therefore I have to go to war.  I am sure that those who can afford to go to college will not go to war, but soon only the rich will be able to go to college, because college education will be out of reach of most americans.

    M. Currey, Portland Oregon

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    By Joe Birdsong, June 30, 2006 at 8:51 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    One primary point in all of this that no one seems to be hitting on is that Bush and Company just aren’t smart enough to keep covert operations covert. His team obvioiusly does not satisfy the necessary requirements to do its own job. Pull over, Mr. Bush. You’re too drunk to drive.

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    By Tanker, June 30, 2006 at 8:23 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Pleas give me an example .. any example you feel would be important enough NOT to let the ny times print so that we don’t assist the savages trying to kill us ... the very thing you seem so concerned about ( freedom of speech / press )could eventually be taken away from us if we continue to help those who seek only our destruction. What happened to Patriotism in this country ? The liberal / communists are placing American lives in danger NOT because of some heartfelt concern for our civil liberties, but because of a deep irrational hatred of the President. We all CAN speak and report freely already , but should there not be limits in a time of war?

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    By paul kibble, June 30, 2006 at 1:49 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    My Dear Mr. Earl:

    While I’m sure we all can be grateful for your lessons in “netiquette,” I’m trying to imagine in exactly what context—-I believe it’s called (courtesy of MTV) The Real World—-these lessons might have some practical application.

    Chiding “BOTH SIDES” for our mutual “blatant lack of courtesy and respect for one another’s ideas and thoughts, values and beliefs” and our “small-minded, miserably negative” attitudes would certainly be appropriate if we were opponents in a high-school debating championship. But we’re well beyond that kind of hermetically-sealed-in-a-belljar environment, where evidence is first marshalled, then presented in a calm, rational manner, then rebutted by the other side in the same manner. The kind of Marquis of Queensbury rules you’re recommending (“Play nice, kids!”) don’t work when you’re dealing with street thugs.

    A classic example of these incompatible styles at work: leave cyberspace for a moment (ample carnage on display below) and watch Hannity & Colmes—-Uberbully and Superwuss—some night, emergency barf bag at hand. Never falling below 120 decibels, Hannity snarls and twitches like a rabid ferret, snapping the neck of any incovenient facts or ideas that stray outside the circle of Republican talking points, pausing only to wipe the occasional fleck of foam off his co-host.

    Meanwhile, ever so nice, quiet, decent, civilized Colmes sits there quaking in his chair, cornered like a motherles chick, his occasional pitiable peeps drowned out by Hannity’s megaphone ragegasms and the Niagara roar of his own pee running down his leg.

    Colmes seems like a likeable guy, but he’s representative of a lot of educated progressives (in all media)in that he’d rather lose an argument than be accused of a breach of forensic Good Taste: never raise your voice, never interrupt, never be “merely” sarcastic at your opponent’s erxpense, etc. He’s just so above the frey, poor martyred bastard.

    As a result, Colmes seems neutered, broken, done in by couth. There’s a price to be paid for being groomed out of whatever fighting instincts you may once have had, and Colmes oays that price five nights a week. But if torture is “legal” at Abu Ghraib, why shouldn’t it be legal on Fox?

    The simple, inescapable fact is that our friends on the right don’t know how to think, which is a sort of a handicap if you’re hoping for any honest, open debate. What they can do is “feel.” Sadly,  it’s feeling at the crudest, most undiscriminating level. (“Nuanced” emotions—-or arguments—-are for those pussy liberals.)  Yeats was right: “the worst are full of a passionate intensity.”

    Thus, confronted with overwhelming evidence (from the fossil record in evolution to absence of any NEW WMD’s in Saddam’s stockpiles) that threatens to shatter their fragile world view, these True Believers always fall back on what they do best: shouting down the opposition.

    Like brain-damaged Boy Scouts, their chronically bellowed message is as incoherent as it is unvarying: “YOU COMMIE FEMINAZI FAGGOT TRAITORS HATE AMERICA CUZ YOU’RE ALWAYS SAYING MEAN BAD THINGS ABOUT PRESIDENT BUSH WHO’S BASICALLY IDENTICAL TO AMERICA ANYWAY AND HE’S JUST TRYING TO SAVE US FROM THOSE EVIL TERRORISTS SO WHY NOT OBEY HIM CUZ HE’S A GOOD DADDY AND HE TUCKS US INTO BED AT NIGHT WITH MILK AND COOKIES SO WE’RE ALL SNUG AND WARM AND BESIDES HE LOVES JESUS SO HE WOULDN’T LIE NOW, WOULD HE?”

    This kind of willful stupidity—-what the late John Gregory Dunne once called “invincible ignorance”—-is immune to mere logic, free inquiry, “dialogue.”  You’re not really dealing with “ideas and thoughts, values and beliefs” here, since the validity of any of those could, in a rational forum, be subjected to serious scrutiny without fear of a screaming fit from the offended party.

    What you’re dealing with instead is tropisms, responses so primitive as to lie below the level of consciousness. Should I “repect” the “values and beliefs” of a cobra when I step on its tail? No, the cobra can’t be anything other than what it is—-a predator programmed to strike at any enemy that seems to threaten it.

    Faced with feral behavior that’s this hard-wired into the nerves, the only thing to do is either pull a Colmes or or try to put these poor deranged critters out of their misery—-with words, of course.  You’re never going to persuade these deluded fuckers of anything, but that doesn’t mean you have to roll over and play dead to placate them, either.

    So stand up to the ‘em, use anger, irony, sarcasm and anything else you have in your verbal arsenal.  Of course they’ll continue yelping and foaming at the mouth, but at least you’ll leave the battle field with your intellectual self-respect intact.

    As for Mr. Earl’s original point—-perhaps he’s taking his cue from that original Peacemaker himself. “Come, let us reason together,” as I believe W’s “favorite philosopher” Jesus so memorably put it. Well, that’s certainly not “miserable and negative,” is it? Why, in fact it’s the very model of civility. But remind me again—-what exactly happened to him, or rather Him?

    Unless you’ve got a lock on resurrection, verbal crucifixion probably isn’t the best way to go. Fuck this masochistic nice-Nellyism. Get in that ring and be prepared to draw a little blood. At least you won’t hate yourself in the morning.

    P.S.: Having lived abroad, I’m as bored and dismayed my America’s narcissitic exceptionalism as you are. “They broke the mold when they made us, or U.S.” Which explains why we no longer have to play by everyone else’s rules, I guess.

    Now we’re in the process of breaking that other mold that made us so “different”: the Constitution. With willing accesories to their own extinction like Messrs. Felder and Costello below, I’m sure that’ll be a slam-dunk.

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    By Joe Birdsong, June 29, 2006 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Post-script to my post yesterday: I specifically do not name a specific political party in the “whatever it takes” stance that I take primarily because it is increasingly difficult to tell one from the other; most elected politicians today are afraid to say what they truly mean, and even more afraid to mean what they truly say. Seems to be the only way to get elected these days, no? (Rep. John Lewis of Georgia excepted).

    What are our politicians afraid of? Drunk with power and the money and connections it brings them, they are not unlike addicts who jones for more when the “high” begins to wear off. Exponentially, they begin to compromise once-solid platform positions, or their party ideals, or most notably, their responsibilities to be the men and women of integrity we hope and dream that they will be. 

    Scheer has done a service to this country and to democracy, not threatened it. The man deserves a medal for standing up for the most essential of liberties that we allegedly sent our military into war to promote and protect! If we cannot speak freely, if we cannot report freely, if we cannot congregate and associate freely, then how in the hell can the U.S. set any sort of example to anywhere? Why should we even bother? Give up freedom in order to fight for it?  There’s no logic there.

    It is, at best, the unhealthiest of remedies and, at worst, a death sentence to those who truly value the serenity that should come with living in a free society.

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    By sean gill, June 29, 2006 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    On dispelling liberal Myths(part 1 of 1,000,000,000…)

    LIBERAL MYTH #1(this is their all time favorite, besides of course
    “There is no wmd in iraq, GEORGE BUSH LIED!!!”- i’ll deal with that one later-but we now know that iraq of course had wmd, so liberals have changed now from there were no wmds there-= to “oh we didnt say there were no wmds there,  they just don’t work that well!! ”
    MY god, and you wonder why americans are scared to death to put a dem in the white house (and will certainly explain once again why they will suffer   humiliating and bitter defeat in the upcoming 2006 house races)—anyway…here goes-and for all you illiterate nyt readers and al jazeera worshippers-pay attention this is actually almost three sentences so the logic runs deep.

    LIBERAL MYTH #1.There IS no connection between 9/11 and iraq

    MYTHBUSTER#1-

    Usama bin laden=terrorist (ie killing women, children, supporting homicide bombers etc)

    saddam hussein=terrorist (ie killing women, children, supporting homicide bombers)

    GET THE CONNECTION?

    And I didn’t even need a phd like ward churchill to explain it to me..

    PEACE ON EARTH

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    By Fadel Abdallah, June 29, 2006 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Sorry, Mr. Robert Scheer, the people of Gazza are not religious fanatics as you call them; they are freedom-fighters. I am wondering if you’re not pandering to terrorist Israel by your statement. Americans do disagree on many things, but when it comes to Jewish influence and Israel’s blackmailing power, everyone runs to pay their respects. Remember that the people of Gazza you call religious fanatics had a more clean and honest election than the last two American ones. If you call the people of Gazza religious fanatics, then you’re like Bush and Junta who lost any sense of history and justice. I am sorry I have to strongly disagree with you on this issue; I always thought we are seeing eye to eye; but with this one we are not on the same page!

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    By Don Gist, June 29, 2006 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    For Mr. Earl,

    FYI, in my 60 years, I’ve travelled to 42 countries both as military and civilian businessman.  Not one of those countries comes close to the United States of America in greatness.  This IS the greatest country in the world, at least for now.

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    By Hondo, June 29, 2006 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Mr. Scheer, in true liberal fashion, makes great use of deception, half-truths, and outright lies to make his case. Fact #1—-Nobody lied about weapons of mass destruction, except for the liberal traitors who claim Saddam didn’t have any. We have found WMD’s and will continue to find more. Fact #2—American soldiers didn’t torture anybody. POW’s were subject to humiliation and uncomfortable conditions, but that’s not torture. Real torture is what the insurgents did to our brave soldiers before murdering them. Did you feel a shred of outrage over that atrocity, Mr. Scheer? Fact #3—The NSA electronic eavesdropping program was legal and it was constitutional. The president’s right to conduct that program has been upheld in numerous federal court cases in each decade going back to the 1960’s. Fact #4—The bank record program declassified and revealed by the NY Times was both legal and constitutional. The NY Times itself admitted this fact in their story. Once again, Pres. Bush did nothing wrong. Fact #5—The NY Times was in violation of the federal statute on treason—18 USC 2381—and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Bill Keller should do 20 years hard labor in the federal pen.

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    By R. A. Earl, June 29, 2006 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Looks as if someone is finally translating and interpreting, as only they can, comments in this forum for the neo-cons lurking in cyberspace. It’s amazing, isn’t it?... how all of a sudden it’s one gung-ho Pollyanna, ex-marine mentality, Bushy-tailed posting after another when, for days, we heard nothing from them.

    It’s just an observation so don’t whip me too badly for it, but the adversarial, combative attitudes… the blatant lack of courtesy and respect for one another’s ideas and thoughts, values and beliefs as evidenced in these writings, FROM BOTH SIDES, is THE KEY to the problems facing Americans today. There’s NO WAY IN HELL you’ll build a liveable society while holding and nurturing small-minded, miserably negative considerations for your fellow citizens. NO WAY… EVER!

    I guess that’s the major pitfall in the jingoistic road America is on… it’s just wonderful to be patriotic and view your country as “the best” above all others. It’s perhaps even essential to a positive self-esteem and self-confidence for any of us to feel that way about our own group or country. But you’ve got to moderate the FEELING by staying grounded in reality, not Fantasyland.

    Any educated person knows there are MANY, MANY wonderful groups and countries in this big wide world, many highly successful for THOUSANDS of years longer than America.

    It is the HEIGHT OF IGNORANT ARROGANCE to actually BELIEVE America is better than all other countries, for one simple reason… IT JUST AIN’T TRUE. Sure, it’s “better” (not defined, of course) than many… and a hell of lot worse than some as well. (I’d rate living in a tent in the middle of Iceland a far cry better than trying to exist in any “downtown” slum in any American city.)

    The “America - Love It or Leave It” attitude tattooed into every American psyche is seen by the other 6 BILLION people on the planet as evidence of a deep-rooted INFERIORITY COMPLEX. Just because you’ve got the guns and the Rambo adolescent attitude towards getting your way doesn’t even begin to make you right. It’s actually proving to make you spectacularly WRONG!

    Now let’s hear it… all together… GET STUFFED, R. A. EARL!

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    By relayer, June 29, 2006 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    wow, Bob… you wonder at the incredibly vociferous and nasty attacks your article stimulated. You obviously hit a nerve here…

    What puzzles me is that these people who so strongly object to your point of view would bother reading your article, much less take the time and effort to respond with such venom. Do I bother to chastize Max Boot for his incredible lapses of taste and restraint and his complete distortion of facts and rearrangements of history?

    Of course not; the guy’s a rabble-rousing buffoon and a Party shill. He might be worth reading, if only to stay abreast of his continuing descent into rabid fascism and mental instability, but it would be a waste of time trying to engage in a dialogue with such a sad remnant of a human being.

    Thanks again for continuing to be a real reporter and journalist in these days of propaganda and disinformation.

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    By Don Gist, June 29, 2006 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Mr. Scheer needs to expand his news reading to other more reliable periodicals so he can see to what extent the NYT has misrepresented reality.  Now the docs are coming out of the woodwork showing that Saddam did have WMD’s which he shipped off to neighbors, was entangled with Al Qaida and the Taliban right up to providing them with free training.  These are things I discovered three years ago because I do read more than the NYT.  So, an act of treason has been carried out because he believes he is righteous and George Bush is not?  Look a the results.  George Bush was using the data collected by the NSA and the Bank research to protect the country.  Robert Scheer tells the world and we just lost two intel sources.  Scheer thinks he’s a good guy?  He hates the President so much he’s will to screw the country to get even, and that’s all.  Oh, of course selling some more papers might be nice for him to.  Absolutely despicable.

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    By George Felder, June 29, 2006 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Note:  I NEVER Said there were WMD in Iraq!  I said Bush was NOT THE FIRST to aver that!  He certainly was NOT stating that Iraq had WMD in 1995, now, was he!  Again:  I’m not the liar!  Kerry, Clinton, Albright, Cohen, KENNEDY, et al. ALL SWORE IRAQ had WMD!  Do you DOUBT THIS?  Ask your liberal friends, preferably some who can reason.

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    By ex-marine, June 29, 2006 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment
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    this is for mike nazi castello..
    Many Americans have turned a blind eye to the administration’s illegal and unconstitutional spying on the grounds that, as they themselves are doing nothing wrong, they have nothing to fear. If this is the case, why did our Founding Fathers bother to write the Constitution? If the executive branch can be trusted not to abuse power, why did Congress pass legislation establishing a panel of federal judges (ignored by the Bush administration) to oversee surveillance? If President Bush can decide that he can ignore statutory law, how does he differ from a dictator? If Bush can determine law, what is the role of Congress and the courts? If “national security” is a justification for elevating the power of the executive, where is his incentive to find peaceful solutions?

    Emotional appeals to fear and to patriotism have led close to half of the population to accept unaccountable government in the name of “the war on terrorism.” What a contradiction it is that so many Americans have been convinced that safety lies in the sacrifice of their civil liberties and accountable government.

    there are no wmd a-hole, and the ones that did exist 20 years ago were supplied by us.  you’re so intellectually vapid and stupid i’d like to take my ex-marine fist and punch you straight in your weak coward face.  i was in desert storm, and you have no idea how stupid and off base you sound..i can’t believe i killed and risked my life for stupid, misguided morons like you.

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    By Lee Driver, June 29, 2006 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    When these neo con-men are finally deposed, can we please take them down to gitmo for questioning before we close up shop?

    I am not serious. Everybody knows we cut-and-runners are too spineless for torture. But you have to admit, it’s sweet to imagine that we could get the truth out of these guys just once. You know, for the record.

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    By Tanker, June 29, 2006 at 11:57 am Link to this comment
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    What a collection of wannabe conspiracy theorist nuts here ... just like the kos . You hypocrites need to be relocated to the middle east to be with your jihadist brothers. Everytime I hear the phrase “Bush lied”, a picture of your patron saint Bill Clinton pops into my head. The democrats throughout the years have turned lying and deceit( not to mention cowardice ) into an art form! Your pathetic attempts to feign concern about this issue is as easy to see through as glass. If one of your comrades was in office( like that gutless pussy Kerry ), and this program was in place, you would be falling over each other with praise for your “steadfast resolve to protect America”  ... No matter how displaced their hatred is for Bush, giving ANY assistance to the enemy whatsoever is treasonous and disgraceful. Your fake concern regarding our troops is also disgusting and .. deny it if you will ..but many,many of those who serve proudly despise you for it. Your insistence Bush lied is YOUR B.S. OPINION, NOT FACT no matter what your communist propaganda rags like the ny times et al print. As the post by G. Felder points out, most of the democrat communists ( who had the same info. the President had ) were gung-ho for the war.I recall a speech by President Bush shortly after 9-11 stating that whoever had connections to terrorists, harbored them, or assisted them would become our enemy….( and yes comrades, that includes Iraq ). I have no problem with that since the filthy animals did slaughter over two thousand of my fellow Americans. And for the thousandth time, Iraq was ultimately invaded because Sadamm ignored Security Council resolutions over and over and over. Here is the REAL issue .. Bush is hated by these hypocrites because he is a God fearing Christian who may restrict what they truly worship the most >> removing all mention of God from society, abortion , gay marriage , racial quotas etc. etc.  .... Ann Coulter is absolutely right ... liberalism is a Godless church that is trying to systematically wipe out all vestiges of God , sovereignty and Patriotism from this country. No human being is perfect, but I’ll match Bush up to the one the democrats worship as God ( Clinton ) any day. This blog, instead of offering enlightening discussion, is just another liberal / communist hate Bush club . I will continue searching for a site that is at least objective . Good bye , good luck , and God Bless America .

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    By Vietnam Vet, June 29, 2006 at 11:42 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Reference: Comment #12651 by Mike Castello on 6/29 at 10:09 am

    Fellow, you are in need of help; get some before its too late! That “finding WMDs” story has even been DEBUNKED by the DoD, not to mention several of the inspectors that were looking for them. You need to better educate yourself before posting comments, so as to avoid looking like someone who cannot be persuaded by the FACTS. Personal attacks are a sign of a simple mind!

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    By John Bandy, June 29, 2006 at 11:21 am Link to this comment
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    Let’s see if I can’t put this in perspective for all of you who keep harping on the “Bush said he was going to collect and analyze terrorists financial records” position. What he did not say was HOW he was going to do it. Do you honestly believe the terrorist didn’t think the U.S. would use all available resources to track them down, including financial data?

    Let’s break it down for you simple minded individuals. Think of a football game. You have two opposing coaches. The defensive coach knows the offense is going to run a play. However, he doesn’t know if it’s going to be a run or pass play. Nor is the offensive coach going to give the defensive coach a heads-up by letting him know what play he’s about to call. This analogy illustrates this point: the terrorist knew Bush will be coming after them, but he didn’t give his playbook to the enemy. The NY Times essentially signaled the “play” to the enemy as to what Bush was going to run next. Get it?

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    By John Krogstad, June 29, 2006 at 11:21 am Link to this comment
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    In an open letter responding to criticisms, Times Executive Editor Bill Keller wrote that a free press was the key check on government’s abuse of power.  The only problem with this argument is that there was no abuse of power alleged, not even by the NY Times.

    The New York Times hypocrisy and double standard are quickly exposed when you imagine a NY Times’ reporter being held captive in Baghdad and threatened with beheading.  The NY Times learns of a secret government plan to rescue the reporter.  Do you think the NY Times would publish that story in the name of the public’s right to know?

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    By Mike Castello, June 29, 2006 at 10:09 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    “What is truly a disgrace, ...” is your prorogation of lies and support of border-line treasonous activities…

    <u>Your Lie #1).</u> “with official lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq…”...

    oh really?...

    “Since 2003, coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent. Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq’s pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist.” [National Ground Intelligence Center, 06/21/2006]

    (Click to read the declassified portion of the NGIC report in PDF format)

    you’ve been discredited ... one of your lies is enough… I won’t waste any more of my time…

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    By George Felder, June 29, 2006 at 9:34 am Link to this comment
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    I read Scheer’s screed as usual, and, also as usual, there is no place to reply directly to that liberal coward, so I see this “comment” column, and start reading!  Then my next thoughts are WHAT PLANET are these people on?
    Let’s see: starting in 1995—before Clinton’s second “election,” (stolen from Bob Dole, right?) we hear BOTH Clinton’s (the president and her husband), Kerry, Albright, Cohen, et al. All SWEARING that Saddam had WMD and WOULD USE THEM!  He “WAS A BIG THREAT TO THE FREE WORLD.”
    Now, of course, it’s BUSH LIED, PEOPLE DIED!! What CRAP!
    Scheer—you want to INVESTIGATE?  Look into WHO shot down Flight 800.  HOW did the Chinese get our nuke/missile secrets, and HOW did they manage to contribute to Clinton/Gore?  You know, GOOD stuff like that!
    And as for trampling the Constitution, while your wetting your diapers over “non threats” to the FIRST amendment, you are too dumb to read the SUBORDINATE clause to the SECOND amendment, and would have no problem tossing that into the trash!
    Time was, liberals could actually think and posit a valid argument.  Now it is either socialiam, communism, or PC stupidity.
    Would you all rather LOSE this war on our way of life?  IF the Islamofascists WERE in power, whom do you think would be the first to get their head literally handed to them?  The right-wing Christians?  HAHAHAHAHA Dream on, Losers!

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    By BOB, June 29, 2006 at 9:16 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I have been saying this for all the time BUSH was in office,this man is a lying dictator,if any of you think he cares for the troops,think again,if he cared he would have the troops home,he kills Iraqis ,tortuers,murders,lies,and soon American will be in sunny cuba with the people he put ,even kids,think,what kind of a man is this!a cold blooded killer,he said God told him to do it,well ther was a guy in the states who said God told him to kill also"THE SON OF SAM"serial kill,do you see the similarities,if in 2008 or 2009 ,there might not be elections,remember this guy will do anything for power,I believe the elections will be cancealed as to a fake terroist attack
    remember you herd it here first,Thanks to TIME we are learning more
    BOB

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    By joe, June 29, 2006 at 8:51 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    How in the world could the NYT article be considered a revelation based on a “leak” since President Bush himself announced that the financial records of potential supporters of the terrorists would be collected and analyzed - almost immediately after the 9/11 disaster.

    Why do journalists have such short memories?
    Can’t they just rebut the president with his own words.

    Why are journalists reluctant to call Mr. Bush a liar, pure and simple, and a show-boater?

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    By George S Semsel, June 29, 2006 at 8:20 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The adminstration’s response to the NYT and the congressional action that has followed is just another sign that we are moving toward a dictatorship. Unfortunately, apparently most Americans, like people elsewhere in the past, do not think governmental suppression of a free press strange or significant.

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    By sean gill, June 29, 2006 at 8:16 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    It’s always nice to read thoughtful, well informed, objective opinions-this must be new york times giveaway day here!!!(or cbs, cnn, etc you fill in the liberal blank..) The only honest comment that doesn’t sound like the same old tired john kerry was a hero, and cindy sheehan is a prophet crap -was the comment that the cut and runners don’t have the balls to torture anyone(that’s true)
    BTW as a proud liberal hawk(neo con) i take offense to people calling democrats “cut and runners” this implies that someone has to “cut” someone first -sadly dems havnt even done that.  so im ammending the saying to the more applicable “run and run”—far more apt.

    to conclude,  your simple liberal minds have been twisted into a delusional state by your hatred for george bush, HERE IS YOUR SIMPLE 3 step remedy 1. get a life, 2.get some prozac-3.find high building(like wtc,remeber them?)...and jump—(But make sure you all ask the UN for permission first!!)

    If any one wants to have intelligent conversation feel free to write me

    peace on earth

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    By Jon Sacky, June 29, 2006 at 7:51 am Link to this comment
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    I am quite terrified whenever i think about “the Global War On Terror”, it is a war without end, without scope, even hitler’s war had scope, that is “world domination” and creation of super human race” but Global War On Terror” is quite interesting, because terror can manifest itself in may different forms like denial of human rights, liberty, justice, rule of law to other humans, physical destruction of life, property, and the restrictions on freedom of the press etc. Thus it is time for Americans to reconsider this painful adventure of global wars without end.

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    By Sean Schmeits, June 29, 2006 at 6:51 am Link to this comment
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    One correction that I think is important:  the neo-con agenda is not what is being played out in Iraq.  Neo-cons were used to bolster the support for attack and they had power, initially.  But, it’s fairly clear that the neo-con agenda is privatization of the oil assets—privitization everywhere being a favored mantra of this misguided neo-Hegelian sect (any and all national agendas be damned).  What is being pursued in Iraq is a continuation of the state-run monopoly, which will keep the oil tightly under the jurisdiction of OPEC and oil prices nice and high.  This is not the neo-con agenda, it is the oil company agenda of enforced monopoly.  Understanding this internal schism over what to do with the oil now that we have it helps explain the leaderships’ schizophrenic actions and Wolfowitz’s removal to the World Bank.  For a good discussion of the full picture see Greg Palast’s new book Armed Madhouse.

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    By Harold S Kramer, June 29, 2006 at 3:56 am Link to this comment
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    Brilliant - but does Joe Sixpack read articles on the Internet? 

    We need to tell “the people”  what’s really going on - maybe a Paul Revere ride: “Bush attacking our Constitution.”  (Or perhaps something a lot more clever than I can suggest). I know it seems like a stunt - but the NYT/Boston Globe could pull this off, and it would get media attention “Big Time!” Gosh, I wish I knew how to ride a horse.

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    By John Bickle, June 29, 2006 at 3:31 am Link to this comment
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    Pepper in a few ‘Allahu Akbar’s throughout Scheer’s column and most of the comments and you all will be right in tune with your soon-to-be close jihadist buddies. Hope you all have outfitted your womenfolk for stylish burquas. Those of us in flyover land who possess the will and means to protect our own during the coming onslaught will at least be treated during the early stages of the American Jihad to your laughable attempts to appease those who will joyfully kill you.

    (I suppose that many of you numbskulls will interpret this comment as a shill for the Bushies. It isn’t.)

    Perhaps some of you will pull your heads out of the sand before they’re hacked off—although that appears to be growing more doubtful by the day.

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    By Yours truly, June 28, 2006 at 8:43 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    So what do we do about these lying you know whats?  We impeach them and then dispatch them to the International Court of Criminal Justice where they can be tried on the charge of mass-murder and other crimes against humanity, that’s what.

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    By Joe Birdsong, June 28, 2006 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Don’t think that this administration isn’t above doing “whatever it takes” to protect their interests from “that bunch.”  That bunch constitutes whoever differs from their agendas. Monitoring phone and bank records? (These guys are in the oil business, don’t forget) Terrorizing a so-called free press into submission? Small potatoes to these guys.  I whole-heartedly believe that we, the citizens of this country, will experience yet another so-called “terrorist” attack before the next presidential election…why do you think they’re grasping so hard to mainline as much executive power before the midterms? They know they could potentially lose their congressional stronghold, so they’re gonna get that damn line-item veto if it’s the last thing they do before November.  So…when the next “9/11” happens closer to the next presidential election…guess who the war-time president will be as both citizens and congress cower in fear before the very enemy that sits in the oval office?

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    By saul2006, June 28, 2006 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    What do you mean starting to sound like.
    You of all people should know that after you revealed their LIE about Pvt.Jessica Lynch, they tried to smear you by saying you should have checked the facts before reporting on this issue.
    It may be up in the air about WMDs but there is NO doubt that Bush lies everytime he connects Saddam to 9/11. Yes Saddam did as did every one of Bush’s Arab friend, not Osama. By try tying the two together because representatives met many years ago is crazy as one could make a better case of Cheney who armed both of them.
    What people here overlook is how big the American branch of Hitler’s Youth is.

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    By Oldwobbly, June 28, 2006 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment
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    Hayworth and his cronies can introduce all the resolutions they want in an attempt to cut off information from reaching the people (read: electorate), but I for one eagerly await the day when an Ed Murrow of the future shames them publicly, and the American people wake up and applaud. Bravo to all journalists who do their (currently thankless) job.  We owe you.

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    By robert puglia, June 28, 2006 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment
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    the bush regime is a two bit dicatorship so it is not unreasonable that it should sound like one. robert scheer’s work is nothing short of heroic, what a mensch. continue in your exposing of lies if for no other reason than to annoy one july canute (or doktor merkvurdigliebe, if that really is your name). one has to wade through a venomous screed to know that from the foaming mouths of fascists escape the rare truths. the canutester is correct to this extent; it is the self annointed god squad of hate mongering christians which is fomenting more than it’s share of misery in this world. july canute is not completely incoherent but mostly. give it a week and it will be entirely around the bend. kanina hora

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    By paul kibble, June 28, 2006 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment
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    As always, a direct bullseye, Mr. Scheer. But let’s not be too quick to let the recipents of the Bushies’ lies and distortions—-i.e., the American people—off the hook. Their continued passivity in the face of all this horseshit never ceases to amaze.

    In a functioning democracy, the Bush-Cheney Cosa Nostra would have been long gone. A Canadian friend of mine told me that if one of their elections had been highjacked the way ours was in 2000 and—-apparently—-in 2004, there would have been riots in the streets—-by “average” citizens who presumably are no better informed than we are. But they do understand their rights and would no doubt fight to protect them—-and I don’t mean just the “right” to bear arms (which neither we nor they have.)

    Yes, I know, it’s all about what Marxists call “false consciousness.” Americans have been conned into working against their own best interets by a conspiracy of mass media, big biz, etc. I don’t buy it. Are people that lazy? I have only average intelligence, but it’s been obvious to me from the get-go that Bush and Cheney are pathological con men. Every day just reinforces that opinion. Yes, Bush’s numbers are way down in comparison to a year ago, but why are there any numbers at all—-meaning, why are these clowns still in office? As for this latest attack on the NY Times, if we truly respected freedom of expresssion, the White House would currently be scorched with e-mails from fired-up citizens from sea to shining sea.

    Oh, well, at least Bob Scheer, Gore Vidal, and the other old warriors around to zap the sleeping electorate into brief moments of consciousness. Keep it up, Bob!

    Note to Sheldon Richter, who wrote, “In my view, nothing cuts like intelligent humor and satire.  Not bitterness and rancor.” Really? There are diffrent kinds of satire, usually called (I think) Juvenalian (bitter and rancorous) and Horatian (soft and tolerant of others’ failings). One of the finest satirists of all time, Jonanthan Swift, had the epitaph (in Latin) inscribed on his tomb: “Savage idignation can longer rip his breast.” And our best living satirist, Gore Vidal, isn’t exactly a creampuff.

    Bitterness and rancor are OK with me—-as long as they wound the objects of their wrath and make me laugh at the same time.

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    By paul kibble, June 28, 2006 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment
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    As always, a direct bullseye, Mr. Scheer. But let’s not be too quick to let the recipents of the Bushies’ lies and distortions—-i.e., the American people—off the hook. Their continued passivity in the face of all this horseshit never ceases to amaze.

    In a functioning democracy, the Bush-Cheney Cosa Nostra would have been long gone. A Canadian friend of mine told me that if one of their elections had been highjacked the way ours was in 2000 and—-apparently—-in 2004, there would have been riots in the streets—-by “average” citizens who presumably are no better informed than we are. But they do understand their rights and would no doubt fight to protect them—-and I don’t mean just the “right” to bear arms (which neither we nor they have.)

    Yes, I know, it’s all about what Marxists call “false consciousness.” Americans have been conned into working against their own best interets by a conspiracy of mass media, big biz, etc. I don’t buy it. Are people that lazy? I have only average intelligence, but it’s been obvious to me from the get-go that Bush and Cheney are pathological con men. Eve

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    By Jim De Vries, June 28, 2006 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment
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    I lived through the nazi-occupation of the Netherlands. I have never really believed in time-travel, but after watching the present administration in action for five and a half years, I now do. I know I have gone back some 60-plus years in history. Jim

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    By miltpat@sbcglobal.net, June 28, 2006 at 11:41 am Link to this comment
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    Even the right wing press must consider their relevance as a news source if they continue to ignore stories that may be uncomfortable to this administration. If they won’t tell us, someone else will!

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    By Ben Lewis, June 28, 2006 at 11:18 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Is there an ulterior motive for George Bush to be so ademant about keeping secret his program of monitoring telephone and bank records?  After all, there is a provision for maintaining confidentiality of legatimate probes through the use of secret subpoenas.  All the administration needs do is secure approval from the courts even 72 hours after the fact.  Why have they been so reluctant to use legal means to secure data in the war on terrorism?  The only reason I can see for their reticence is that they are actually compiling data which has nothing to do with National Security, or the terrorist threat.  For example, what prevents the Bush Republicans from monitoring the financial transactions and phone conversations of Democrats, or any other political opponents, even Republicans who do not support their failed programs?

    George W. would say “trust me”, but that is the problem.  I don’t!  Do you?

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    By chanceny, June 28, 2006 at 10:14 am Link to this comment
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    I’m not sure if I’m comprehending all the consternation at our usually bushite propagandizing press for printing a story known for 3 years after ‘discussing’ the possibility of publishing same with the White House for months preceding the actual article now released. First, if W wants us in constant fear, why portray the ‘evil doers’ as morons who do not have the capacity to read or reason?  W himself was going on his rounds of speechifying in front of the usual hand picked braindeaders, proclaiming the clever tactics he was employing to track the ‘terrarists’.  He mentioned ‘legal’ wire tapping and following the money trail leading to organizations that supported the ‘terraists’. Maybe he plain forgot he was on record with his words cause the crowds looking up at him with such worshipful gazes filled him to the brim, leaving no room in his already limited consciousness for anything else.  These schmucks, Shooter Cheney (The ‘Don’), Peter King (Prince of Poop) and our dear leader George (Manchurian Duke of all Dullards) will quiet down real fast & quell their outrage.They know how full of shit they are and the last thing they need is to start a fight they’ll never win (especially since they’re already mired in one called the occupation of Iraq). When truth is not on your side, you’d better shut the eff up!

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    By Darrel Rodgers, June 28, 2006 at 9:53 am Link to this comment
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    The Republicans were on the ropes for awhile after the fall of communism.  The American people bought their paranoia about the dangers of communism then and now they have terrorism.  The beauty of terrorism is that we never know if it has been defeated unlike a political regime.  This allows them to ignore the domestic needs of the American people.

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    By Sid Huff, June 28, 2006 at 9:47 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I suggest that the Democrats adopt Murtha’s slogan to counteract “cut and run” to “sit and watch”.

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    By Sheldon Lichter, June 28, 2006 at 9:24 am Link to this comment
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    What did you expect?  From oranges you get orange juice.  And from clever fools you get clever folly.  I read all these readers’ replies now and then, but they seem a waste much of the time.  In my view, nothing cuts like intelligent humor and satire.  Not bitterness and rancor.  And usually the best protest of all, for those of us without a cutting edge, is “to light a small candle in the darkness” — or, as in the case of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet, a BIG candle.

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    By Gloria, June 28, 2006 at 9:11 am Link to this comment
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    “Country at war!” is no excuse because the war is an unprecidented act of agression, an illegal invasion. It’s a waste of life, limb, & money.
    We could have finished what we started in Afganistan, found Osama Bin Laden, protected both borders & both coasts, & increased the National Guard here. Saving lives in Katrina would have been much, much easier. Everytime I see the photos of the dead people floating & homeless,wet animals with frightened faces I want to die.
    I know all my ancestors from those that came here in 1688 to my dear parents who passed away are turning in their graves at what the USA has become.

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    By SamSnedegar, June 28, 2006 at 9:05 am Link to this comment
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    If we could just get Bob Scheer to reveal who shut him up on the subject of oil, maybe we might find out who is running our new totalitarian government and a press that reveals some things and suppresses the important ones . . . such as the possiblity of economic collapse if we don’t steal mideast oil.

    It’s about time our media stumbled on a couple of essential truths: (1) it’s about oil, and (2) Bush is a moron incapable of deciding anything beyond what kind of sandwiches (peanut butter and jelly) to have for lunch.

    It’s not that we are stealing oil in Iraq and wouldn’t have gone there elsewise; it is the REASON we have to steal oil which is the important fact that is being suppressed by all, including Mr. Scheer, who I assume is doing it at the behest of his publisher or his agent who delivers the money from the publisher.

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    By Leslie Patterson-Werner, June 28, 2006 at 8:48 am Link to this comment
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    Thank you, thank you for you’re clearly laid out article on yet another attack on our Constitutional freedoms by the Bush administrations.  I especially appreciated your reminders of the constant paranoia rhetoric since 911, global War on Terror “with a bunch of people” that they lay upon our citizens to avoid our scrutiny of their leadership screw-ups.  Our memory banks tend to forget the list of fanatical moves they perpetrate upon us to keep us destabilized.  Dick Chaney’s involvement with Enron seems so long ago.  You need to keep reminding us of the litany of their horrific maneuvers to take over this country and scandalous cover ups.

    May I suggest you follow Al Gore’s methodology of slamming us so hard with the truth we no longer can continue to deny it. 

    And by the way, what ever happened to, “We have nothing to fear but Fear its-self.”?

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    By Druthers, June 28, 2006 at 8:45 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    That is exactly what they are—“two-bit thugs.”  This Cheney-Bush led mob that throws bones to the religious right to get out the vote rules by
    intimidation tactics that make the crime mob look like choir boys.
    Rove has replaced McCarthy’s hit-and-run boy, Roy Cohn, while Cheney trames his under-world machinations against democracy and the Constitution.
    Congress is sold into prosititution while the courts serve as pimps.
    How low can we fall?

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    By peter, June 28, 2006 at 8:37 am Link to this comment
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    During the Bush/Kerry presidential debates Sen. Kerry mentioned something about how Pres. Bush had declared that the U.S. was exempt from prosecution by the International Criminal Court.  Does anyone know when that was done?  It seems ironic in retrospect that the comment by Kerry went by without much interest or fanfare.  We are at fault for giving this administration our taciturn consent to “protect” us by virtually any means necessary.

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    By Gregory A. Wood, June 28, 2006 at 8:23 am Link to this comment
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    A good commander does not make his troops more fearful.  Bush is like an ill trained and frightened soldier who in seeing the enemy everywhere, shoots himself in the foot. In its repeated violations of the Constitution, the Bush Administration is not at war with terrorism so much as it is at war with itself.  Bush’s actions in no way strengthen or protect the nation.

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    By Tony Carcirieri, June 28, 2006 at 8:20 am Link to this comment
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    A matter of months after 9/11 George Bush was shooting off his blow hole of how the CIA, FBI, Treasury Department, and others, had successfully tracked down, intercepted and foiled Al Qaeda funding sources, by doing just what the NY Times is reporting.  He bragged about it. He made it sound like Al Qaeda had been shaken down all the way to their pocket change, by tracking their bank accounts and financial transactions!

    Bush said it.  I saw him on television and I heard him say it in front of whole world.

    Would the New York Times please remind Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney and the rest of the United States of this?  Stop taking your sucker punching from a bunch of liars like you deserve it.

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    By Margaret Currey, June 28, 2006 at 8:15 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    This administration wants to use the phrase “cut and run” as a matra to keep the Democrats out of power, but everyone knows what Bush is really mad about is they were caught trying to use “cut and run” but theirs is going to be in secret, then after the elections the truth will be out.  I want people to know that if things go the way of Bush and company, we will no longer be a democracy, the time to act is soon, because soon it will be too late.

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    By R. A. Earl, June 28, 2006 at 8:14 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I sure hope most Americans fully realize that ANY loss they might suffer from a terrorist attack will PALE in comparison with what they are losing daily by allowing/enabling the Bush administration to continue to strip away constitutional rights on the pretext of defending the nation. Does anyone in their right mind really think a few terrorists could possibly bring the mighty USA down? Ridiculous! Only Americans can bring America down… by doing nothing as their rights and freedoms disappear, one by one.

    The biggest “terrorist” facing the American people at this moment is their President… what a fascist wolf in sheep’s clothing!

    To me, listening to the President’s attempts to intimidate and muzzle the media - THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE - is even more stunning and unbelieveable than watching airplanes ploughing into the World Trade Towers. Why? Because THERE’S FAR MORE DAMAGE BEING DONE.

    Wake up America… soon it will be too late.

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    By Hilding Lindquist, June 28, 2006 at 7:59 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Bravo, Mr. Scheer, bravo!

    Liberty is an ideal that transcends our “here and now” existence while enriching us here and now. Freedom of the press along with freedom of speech are protected in the FIRST Amendment of our Constitution, and are cornerstones of our liberty.

    Quoting wikipedia.org: “The First Amendment only explicitly disallows any of the rights from being abridged by laws made by Congress, but as the first sentence in the body of the Constitition reserves all law-making (“legislative”) authority to Congress, the courts have held that this extends to the executive and judicial branches.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_amendment

    In other words, the executive branch of government SHALL not (is FORBIDDEN to) infringe upon freedom of the press.

    Have we the people become such wimps that we let these clowns “rule” us?

    And conservatives put up with the likes of these Neocons?

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    By Theodore de Vries, June 28, 2006 at 7:50 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Can they be any more fascist?!

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    By peter, June 28, 2006 at 6:57 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Thankyou, Mr. Sheer.  You’ve hit the nail right on the head.  I think the reaction we saw yesterday from Bush (in response to the NY Times story) is why the neocons put him up as president.  He can look so stern and sound threatening when he wants to.  Same with Cheney, who seems to enjoy weilding his power.  I hope the NY Times can continue to provide an example and not yeild to these playground bullies.

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    By 3reddogs, June 28, 2006 at 6:26 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I view the White House’s reaction to this latest revelation as yet another instance where their tough talk is really meant to stifle dissent in this country.  If we don’t know what our government is doing, we can’t very well disagree with it, can we.  (And, of course, if we do disagree we’re either declared unpatriotic or we’re accused of aiding and abetting the enemy.)  The disgrace isn’t that newspapers are publishing Bush/Cheney’s secret programs ... the disgrace is that these programs are being carried out with virtually no oversight by the courts or by our elected representatives.

    The editorial side of the New York Times has an excellent piece on their op-ed page this morning.  I thought the following two paragraphs were particularly powerful:

    “From our side of the news-opinion wall, the Swift story looks like part of an alarming pattern. Ever since Sept. 11, the Bush administration has taken the necessity of heightened vigilance against terrorism and turned it into a rationale for an extraordinarily powerful executive branch, exempt from the normal checks and balances of our system of government. It has created powerful new tools of surveillance and refused, almost as a matter of principle, to use normal procedures that would acknowledge that either Congress or the courts have an oversight role.

    The Swift program, like the wiretapping program, has been under way for years with no restrictions except those that the executive branch chooses to impose on itself — or, in the case of Swift, that the banks themselves are able to demand. This seems to us very much the sort of thing the other branches of government, and the public, should be nervously aware of. We would have been very happy if Congressman Peter King, the Long Island Republican who has been so vocal in citing the Espionage Act, had been as aggressive in encouraging his colleagues to do the oversight job they were elected to do.”

    If the press and people in the government allow themselves to be intimidated by the constant barrage of threats leveled at them by the GOP, I honestly think we’ll look back at this as the beginning of the end of America as we know it.

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    By Yogi Carpenter, June 28, 2006 at 6:17 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    When these neo con-men are finally deposed, can we please take them down to gitmo for questioning before we close it up for good?

    I am not serious. Everybody knows we cut-and-runners are too spineless for torture. But you have to admit, it’s sweet to imagine that we could get the truth out of these guys just once. You know, for the record.

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    By JP, June 28, 2006 at 4:55 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    You’re not the only one that sees this .  Thanks for posting.

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    By July Canute, June 28, 2006 at 4:52 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Mr Scheer I’m sure its all those Christians in the Bush administration.  Couldn’t you find Michele Goldberg or some other Jew to report to us about them?

    Seriously folks, Mr Sheer states that “Bush quickly expanded this war beyond what should have been a worldwide manhunt for Al Qaeda operatives”.  HA!  Didn’t you mean to say that we should have nuked mucking Israel ourselves since ISRAEL is the reason we were attacked on 9-11!!!!!  We don’t have to hunt terrorists because we wouldn’t have them if we didn’t have unfair and biased policies toward Israel which is the TERRORIST ENGINE OF THE WORLD.

    Oh I forgot, its the Christian’s fault.  Christians are the real threat to America.

    Then Mr Scheer, the great coverer of POTUS says, “In fact, if the media, or Congress, had aggressively pursued the truth earlier, rather than being overwhelmed by the shock of Sept. 11, anti-U.S. terrorists of every stripe would not now be swarming over Iraq”.  HA!  What was that TRUTH Mr Scheer!  Muslims are fanatics who want to attack us because they are jealous!

    Then Mr Scheer says “Even today, the Bush administration continues to place the situation in Iraq in the “war on terror” framework, instead of acknowledging the primary role of religious and nationalist passions unleashed by the unwarranted U.S. invasion”.  RELIGIOUS AND NATIONALIST PASSIONS!  Unbelievable!  Yeah those Christians are passionate and they sure have money and pacs to influence Congress and the White House plus the fact that Christians are just swarming around the White House and they infest the Pentagon don’t they Mr Scheer.  Those Christians are the best fundraisers in Congress are they not?  Oh how the passions of christians and Muslims have them slaughtering one another!  Right Mr Scheer.

    Read Mr Scheer’s last sentence and think about how revealing and truthful Mr Scheer is being.

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    By James, June 28, 2006 at 4:40 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Very well said.
    You can’t kill an ideology.
    The so called “war on terror” has degenerated into a war on common sense.
    I really liked “High Priest of excessive secrecy”, that is gold.
    Here’s a question for the mis-administration:
    If it’s unreasonable to track down all the illegal aliens in this country, then how the hell are you going to “win” a war on terror worldwide?

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    By Bob Choquette, June 28, 2006 at 4:39 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    You could say “Mission accomplished ” to the erosion and pillaging of the constitution. However this was not done by our foes but from within, those who are supposed to protect and uphold our rights. It is not surprising that the administration condems those who have the courage to expose the lies and deceptions that have led us here. Somehow the course were are on must be changed.  Thank you Robert, for being a beacon of truth.

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    By Tom Morrison, June 28, 2006 at 4:24 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    It is illegal according to Common Market law to acquire the bank records as the United States has done. Hopefully the United States will be prosecuted in the various countries’ national courts, and perhaps, in due time, in Brussels. The evil, as ever, will long before have been done before any redress can be obtained. And the current Bush administration will be merely a memory, a very bad one.
    TM

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    By Peter Meldrum, June 28, 2006 at 4:11 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Robert

    Take your head out of the sand and smell the roses. The Bushies have been doing this for years!!!!!

    “Attack the messenger, not the message”, sound familiar?

    Standard Rove politics. They have ben beating on the Media every step of the way. For a while via their corporate friends they had a pseudo control. That broke over Katrina. That couldn’t be suppressed.

    This is just more of the same. Welcome to the world of George Orwell!

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    By MORGAN-LYNN LAMBERTH, June 28, 2006 at 3:35 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    How true, Robert!  May Sconyers have his impeachment hearings on Cheny - Bush . Those two value their power more than our liberty .They have been successful in trying to destroying Americanism - fairness, the welfare state, regulated capitalism in service of socialist ideals. What appears as ineptness in the case of the Hurricane is actually success as someone else has ponted out, in their wanting to show government as inept. Go democrats , go !

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    By Mark Smith, June 28, 2006 at 2:57 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Well said as usual.  Don’t ever stop writing, the country needs you.  Who is on your ‘dream team’ of people needed to fix this country?  Something like: Nader, yourself, Gore, Biden, RFK Jr, Sam Harris, Richard Clark, to name a few? Do you have such a list?  I would love to see it.  Also a library? -thanks.

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