["Neut" is here to remind us exactly what Bush was all about. Kissing Netanyahu's ass, while appeasing the Rapture Republicans is a neocon specialty. Gingrich steered Reagan's bankrupt policies through the Congress, while fixating on Monica Lewinski's stained dress. He locked the Congress up over Clinton's sexual deviancies, while ignoring the mess that Bill and Hillary were making with his Bosnian Islamists that he recruited from the Afghan veterans, otherwise known as "al-Qaeda." He, more than anyone else, can be said to have "fiddled" while Clinton created the force of international terrorist mercenaries who helped lead us into the perpetual terror war. It has been American bipartisan policy to unleash Islamist terrorists upon the rest of the world, as seen in the wave of Islamists which we have helped empower in the Middle East. The zombie Republicans have arisen from the dead to impersonate American statesmen, who all speak with the same voice, uttering the same seductive promises to save America from Obama, knowing full well that every word they speak is a lie....]
Gingrich and company share their Middle East delusions..., but wait, Zionist plans are but a COVER for American Imperialism, criminality and utter corruption of the Jackson Hole Wyoming thugs...., it's just the fig leaf they need to say it's all AIPAC's fault....
“I came here in 1943,” she told a dinner audience of 30 on Dec. 7, “and I don’t think I’ve ever seen our country so bereft of ideals and ideas. I don’t see anything on the horizon that can pull us out. I hope I’m wrong.”
She described current leaders as weak and selfish. The self-described liberal doled out criticism to all sides. “Republicans,” she said, “have one goal: To get Obama. But when they see the country falling apart, that’s all they can do?”
“As for Obama,” she continued, “I think he’s weak. He has no courage.” She said the country urgently needs “a stand-up guy who’ll do the right thing.” What are some examples? “The first priority should be jobs.” Also, “Make people pay their taxes, and stop the wars.” She estimated at least 700 U.S. military bases around the world.
“We’re killing all of these people [in undeclared wars]. Why? Is it any surprise that people will fight back for their country? There’s no doubt we want to eliminate Iran. Why wouldn’t they want to defend themselves?”
Thomas, 91, spoke to the Sarah McClendon Group, a speaker society named after a late White House correspondent from Texas who fought similar battles as Thomas for many years to win Washington acceptance of women as serious journalists in male-dominated media and government circles.
For nearly a quarter of a century, the McClendon Group (featuring best-selling Vulture’s Picnic author Greg Palast Dec. 14) has met at the Press Club, but with its own, independent speaker selection process.
It focuses especially on speakers regarded as too controversial to speak even to journalism groups. They have included Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) before his current campaign, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Joe Wilson, and “Swift Boat” and “Birther” researcher Dr. Jerome Corsi.
A Kentucky-born child of immigrants from Lebanon, Thomas began work as a “copy girl” at United Press after graduating from college in Detroit. She went on to cover every President from Eisenhower to Obama. In doing so, she gained a reputation as one of the hardest-working and most outspoken correspondents. Author of six books, she also broke many sex barriers as a White House correspondent for UP’s successor UPI.
Among her successes was working with McClendon and a few other pioneers to persuade the Press Club to drop its ban against women, which ended in 1971 as women argued they could not do their jobs if the Club kept them away from newsmakers.
Thomas recalled a prior incident before the ban was lifted: “A woman came into the bar. And all the members got up in arms and wanted to throw her out. But it turns out that she was an inspector for the Alcohol Beverage Control Board. And they quickly changed their tune.” Thomas became the Press Club’s first female officer, one of many such firsts.
Working far longer than most of her contemporaries who retired long ago, Thomas resigned in 2000 from UPI because of its purchase by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the right-wing Korean tycoon and Unification Church leader who had been convicted by the United States of tax evasion.
She worked as a columnist for Hearst Newspapers until 2010, when she was forced to retire from journalism after a rabbi quoted her as advocating an end to Israeli abuses against Palestinians, among other opinions. A variety of news and other communications organizations joined in the widespread criticism of Thomas. The Society of Professional Journalists, for example, ended its annual lifetime achievement award rather than continue calling it the “Helen Thomas” award.
“Yes, I cried for a couple of weeks,” she recalled. “Then I decided I would write. I have the right to say what I think.”
Looking back this week, Thomas reiterated her controversial theme: That Palestinians should not be deprived of their land, water and freedom. Regarding changes she has observed in Washington, she said many of the nation’s brightest minds came to Washington long ago out of what she called a desire to help the country during the Depression and World War II.
“They weren’t coming to Washington just to get a job,” she said. “They had big hearts.” The country, she said, “was flat on its back….Old people were dying of hunger.”
“Everything is going down the drain” she said of today. “Congress is so weak now. They do nothing….Democrats are scared to death. They don’t want to open their mouths. They want to keep their jobs.”
This week, on the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, she again spoke bluntly by estimating that the Obama administration will keep 100,000 contractors in Iraq after the much-touted withdrawal of most combat troops. “They [private contractors] make a lot more than ‘GI Joe,’” she said. “Where does the money come from?”
Afterward, I researched estimates of contractors in Iraq and saw that they have varied widely. The Department of Defense reported 52,637 (16,054 of them U.S. citizens) in October 2011. Estimates ranged from 95,000 to more than 100,000 in 2010. Those reports come from Jeremy Scahill in Obama Has 250,000 “Contractors” in Iraq and Afghan Wars and from the Guardian, US contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq: Find out how many US military contractors there are, and what they do.
The greatest challenge to Thomas during the Q&A was from a middle-aged woman who arrived late and demanded to know why Thomas wasn’t more frightened of Iran. Thomas reiterated her belief that U.S. militarism in the region is provoking more dangers for the public here than it’s preventing. The questioner, sitting next to me, then asked me who published me. I responded and asked about her own interest. She identified as an employee of one of the nation’s largest defense contractors and left a few moments later.
Thomas said she regards as especially ominous a recent plan for the United States to place 2,000 troops in Australia, which she described as part of a dangerous plan to confront China. “I think we ought to get the hell out of all these places…Why do we keep sending other people to die?”
Regarding the future, she did find a ray of hope: “I want people to rise up, and they are….We should all hit the streets and call for revolution.”....
Former judge and adjunct professor of constitutional law Andrew Napolitano pointed out in March that the president’s claim that he can indefinitely detain prisoners – even after they are acquitted of their crimes – is a power that even Hitler and Stalin didn’t claim:
(While I strongly dislike Fox News and its barrage of disinformation, Judge Napolitano knows his constitutional law, and gives very hard-hitting analysis of the current state of the rule of law in America.)
Similarly, Chris Floyd wrote Monday in connection with the new indefinite detention bill:
And whatever the outcome of this particular bill, the reality will remain the same: the President of the United States will continue to claim — and exercise — absolute arbitrary power over the life [yes, the government has also claimed the power to assassinate American citizens without trial or even oversight] and liberty of every person on earth. As we’ve said here before, not even Adolf Hitler or Josef Stalin at their most megalomaniacal ever dreamed of asserting the kind of universal power now asserted by American presidents and the lickspittlish lackeys in the United States Congress.
In case you think I’m being hard on Obama, please remember that progressive constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald has long argued that Obama is even more brutal than Bush, and has trashed even more of the Constitution than Bush.
Strongmen Have Been Scaring their People Into Submission for Thousands of Years
Of course, Obama – like Bush – claims that tyrannical measures are necessary to fight the war on terror. But FBI agents and CIA intelligence officials, constitutional law expert professor Jonathan Turley, Time Magazine, Keith Olbermann and the Washington Post have all said that U.S. government officials “were trying to create an atmosphere of fear in which the American people would give them more power”, and even former Secretary of Homeland Security – Tom Ridge – admits that he was pressured to raise terror alerts to help Bush win reelection.
And Hitler, Stalin and other strongmen throughout history have also claimed that tyrannical measures were necessary to fight their wars on terror:
“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”
“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
- U.S. President James Madison
“Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death”.
- Adolph Hitler
“Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
- Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.
“The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened”.
- Josef Stalin
Ron Paul: Patriot Act, Wars Planned Before the Barbaric inside Job of 9/11....
Ron Paul isn’t backing down from his position that the U.S. has provoked terrorists through foreign military occupation and that officials tried to capitalize on Sept. 11 attacks.
“Think of what happened after 9/11, the minute before there was any assessment, there was glee in the administration because now we can invade Iraq, and so the war drums beat,” Paul said Thursday night before a packed room of more than 1,000 students and supporters. “That’s exactly what they’re doing now with Iran.”
His libertarian ideals have struck a cord with many, but conservatives remain deeply wary of Paul’s foreign policy positions, including his assertion that the U.S. provoked the Sept. 11 attacks by maintaining military bases in foreign countries. Paul’s position as the lone dove in the GOP race has made him a foil for some of his hawkish Republican opponents.
“Extremists have taken over, and they’re the ones who run the foreign policy and have convinced us to go along with all these wars,” Paul said Wednesday night.
Paul said that claims Iran could be developing a nuclear weapon are just part of an effort to scare Americans into going to war again.
Paul said of the possibility that Iran has a nuclear weapon is “not true at all.” “It doesn’t mean they might not want a nuclear weapon.”
No other country, Paul said, is capable of attacking the United States.
“How many foreign countries can threaten us right now?” Paul asked sarcastically. “How many are likely to invade us or drop a bomb on us? I can’t imagine.”
“The PATRIOT Act was written many, many years before 9/11,” Paul said. The attacks simply provided “an opportunity for some people to do what they wanted to do,” he said.
“I wish we could guarantee a democratic and honest election in this country as well,” Paul said. “The democratic process in this country has a long way to go.”
- The decision to launch the Iraq war was made before 9/11. Indeed, former CIA director George Tenet said that the White House wanted to invade Iraq long before 9/11, and inserted “crap” in its justifications for invading Iraq. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill – who sat on the National Security Council – also says that Bush planned the Iraq war before 9/11. Top British officials say that the U.S. discussed Iraq regime change even before Bush took office. And in 2000, Cheney said a Bush administration might “have to take military action to forcibly remove Saddam from power.” And see this.
- Cheney apparently even made Iraqi’s oil fields a national security priority before 9/11. And the Sunday Herald reported: “Five months before September 11, the US advocated using force against Iraq … to secure control of its oil.” (remember that Alan Greenspan, John McCain, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, a high-level National Security Council officer and others all say that the Iraq war was really about oil.)
- The decision to threaten to bomb Iran was made before 9/11, and the Christian Science Monitor notes that the U.S. has been claiming for more than 30 years that Iran was on the verge of nuclear capability
- Wars throughout the Middle East and North Africa to effect regime were planned before 9/11
- The Patriot Act was planned before 9/11. Indeed, former Counter Terrorism Czar Richard Clarke told Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig:
After 9/11 the government drew up the Patriot Act within 20 days and it was passed.
The Patriot Act is huge and I remember someone asking a Justice Department official how did they write such a large statute so quickly, and of course the answer was that it has been sitting in the drawers of the Justice Department for the last 20 years waiting for the event where they would pull it out.
(4:30 into this video).
- Cheney dreamed of giving the White House the powers of a monarch long before 9/11
- Cheney and Rumsfeld actively generated fake intelligence which exaggerated the threat from an enemy in order to justify huge amounts of military spending long before 9/11. And see this
- It was known long before 9/11 that torture doesn’t work to produce accurate intelligence … but is an effective way to terrorize people
- And – sadly – America played dirty games to justify and win wars before 9/11.....
There is a tendency to judge "Islamists’" legitimacy and acceptability according to whether their policies line up nearly with American values, broader Western concepts, and the concerns of Israel. Perhaps Islamists who want to be accepted in the West should join the Daughters of the American Revolution or the Young Zionists of America to smooth their way? Or be interviewed in Oprah’s magazine? Or what?
Comical, even farcical, characters like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Herman Cain, Donald Trump and others of their amusing ilk are subjected to the sole test of legitimate incumbency -- which is how politics should work. They may be dangerous demagogues or incompetent provincial clowns, or both in some cases, but that is all overlooked if they gain votes. George W. Bush unleashed policies abroad that have resulted in millions of refugees, hundreds of thousands of deaths, trillions of dollars of wasted or stolen money, fractured countries, new terror threats, and massive global political dislocation and distortion -- but he is not held accountable because he passes the only test that matters in the United States: the test of electoral legitimacy.
Those same standards and criteria largely are not applied to the Muslim Brotherhood or other such political forces in the Arab world that come to power democratically. This is a new form of political-intellectual colonialism that is troubling, especially as it forms a core part of American society’s response to the heroic and epic wave of Arab liberty and democracy. No wonder so many Arabs are not interested in getting American assistance in democracy issues, if American democracy is so tinged with lingering colonial streaks.....