Iraq War Lies · Saddam Hussein

‘Curveball’: I Lied About Iraq WMD To Help Topple Saddam

Of course this is no surprise to those of on the left and left of center.  We’ve known this since 2003 when the war in Iraq was planned. 

This man lied to aid and abet the Bush administration’s goals to invade Iraq.   So many American and 100’s of thousands of Iraqi lives lost because of this man.  Now he gets a conscious?


Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, codenamed “Curveball” by German and American intelligence officials, now admits he made up tales of mobile biological weapons trucks and clandestine weapons factories in Iraq, information that was used by the Bush White House to press the case for war. He also says he’d do it again.

“Maybe I was right, maybe I was not right,” Janabi told The Guardian. “They gave me this chance. I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy.”

In a series of meetings with the Guardian in Germany where he has been granted asylum, he said he had told a German official, who he identified as Dr Paul, about mobile bioweapons trucks throughout 2000. He said the BND had identified him as a Baghdad-trained chemical engineer and approached him shortly after 13 March of that year, looking for inside information about Saddam’s Iraq.”I had a problem with the Saddam regime,” he said. “I wanted to get rid of him and now I had this chance.”

In his crucial speech to the U.N. in the run-up to the war in 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell quoted intelligence information supplied by Janabi as justification for the Bush administration’s case against Iraq. Years later, reports would show that many within the CIA were expressing serious doubts about Curveball’s credibility at the time.

Janabi, who fled Iraq in 1995, said he did what he did for the Iraqi people, and that he was satisfied with the fact that Hussein is no longer in power.

Read the rest here.

Iranian Government · Iranian Protest Demonstrations · Iranian Unrest

Iran Blocks Sites, Texts, Calls

Reporters Without Borders

The authorities have increased censorship in a bid to prevent yesterday’s anti-government protests, blocking independent or pro-opposition websites and other electronic media. Broadband speed has greatly slowed in major cities as in the run-up to previous anti-regime demonstrations or opposition events.

Mobile phone and text-message traffic has been badly disrupted and the Persian calendar month “bahman” has been added to blocked keywords in an effort to reduce calls for today’s protests (14 February is 25 Bahman).

The stepped-up censorship and cyber-attacks began on 10 February in an effort to prevent organisation and reporting of the demonstrations. Two news sites, and (the latter close to opposition leader Mehdi Karoubi), were blocked.

Satellite TV broadcasts to Iran have been jammed and the BBC officially protested on 10 February. The jamming first targeted news about the revolution in Egypt and then was extended on 12 February to all BBC and Voice of America broadcasts, which were either cut off or became hard to pick up.

Egypt · Egyptian Unrest · Lara Logan

Lara Logan Suffered ‘Brutal’ Sexual Assault In Egypt

Huffington Post

CBS News says correspondent Lara Logan “suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault” while covering the resignation of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

The CBS statement:

On Friday February 11, the day Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak stepped down, CBS correspondent Lara Logan was covering the jubilation in Tahrir Square for a 60 MINUTES story when she and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy.In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers. She reconnected with the CBS team, returned to her hotel and returned to the United States on the first flight the next morning. She is currently in the hospital recovering.

There will be no further comment from CBS News and Correspondent Logan and her family respectfully request privacy at this time.

On Tuesday’s “CBS Evening News,” Katie Couric said that she was “pleased to report” that Logan is “recovering well in the hospital.”

Logan had previously been detained by Egyptian authorities while attempting to enter Cairo.

The Committee to Protect Journalists report on attacks on the press in Egypt in 2005 referenced female journalists facing sexual assault:

A report published in 2005 by the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights said that “journalists in Egypt suffer numerous forms of discrimination including unfairness in legislation, judicial prosecution of journalists for their writing and opinions, assault and death threats, and sexual assault of female journalists.”


Roe v Wade

South Dakota Moves To Legalize Killing Abortion Providers

This is not tabloid invented “news”, this is real and it’s absolute insanity.  Whether one is on the side of Pro-life or Pro-Choice, killing people who perform a constitutionally lawful procedure is absurd and more than likely against federal law.

By the way, the term “pro-life” seems to be a contradiction of terms here.

Mother Jones

A bill under consideration in the Mount Rushmore State would make preventing harm to a fetus a “justifiable homicide” in many cases.

A law under consideration in South Dakota would expand the definition of “justifiable homicide” to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus—a move that could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions. The Republican-backed legislation, House Bill 1171, has passed out of committee on a nine-to-three party-line vote, and is expected to face a floor vote in the state’s GOP-dominated House of Representatives soon.

“The bill in South Dakota is an invitation to murder abortion providers.”

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Phil Jensen, a committed foe of abortion rights, alters the state’s legal definition of justifiable homicide by adding language stating that a homicide is permissible if committed by a person “while resisting an attempt to harm” that person’s unborn child or the unborn child of that person’s spouse, partner, parent, or child. If the bill passes, it could in theory allow a woman’s father, mother, son, daughter, or husband to kill anyone who tried to provide that woman an abortion—even if she wanted one. 

Jensen did not return calls to his home or his office requesting comment on the bill, which is cosponsored by 22 other state representatives and four state senators. 

“The bill in South Dakota is an invitation to murder abortion providers,” says Vicki Saporta, the president of the National Abortion Federation, the professional association of abortion providers. Since 1993, eight doctors have been assassinated at the hands of anti-abortion extremists, and another 17 have been the victims of murder attempts. Some of the perpetrators of those crimes have tried to use the justifiable homicide defense at their trials. “This is not an abstract bill,” Saporta says. The measure could have major implications if a “misguided extremist invokes this ‘self-defense’ statute to justify the murder of a doctor, nurse or volunteer,” the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families warned in a message to supporters last week.

The original version of the bill did not include the language regarding the “unborn child”; it was pitched as a simple clarification of South Dakota’s justifiable homicide law. Last week, however, the bill was “hoghoused”—a term used in South Dakota for heavily amending legislation in committee—in a little-noticed hearing. A parade of right-wing groups—the Family Heritage Alliance, Concerned Women for America, the South Dakota branch of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, and a political action committee called Family Matters in South Dakota—all testified in favor of the amended version of the law.    More here…

Michelle Obama

So They’re Just Calling Michelle Obama Fat Now

Media personality Andrew Breitbart gives a spe...
Image via Wikipedia

From the onset, let me just say that in my opinion, Andrew Breitbart is one sick son of a bitch and sexist pig…

Media Matters – by Simon Maloy

First Lady Michelle Obama is in the midst of a nationwide anti-obesity campaign aimed at shrinking America’s collectively expanding waistline. The conservative media are striking back against Mrs. Obama’s message of fitness and nutrition by decrying what they see as government intrusion into our pantries.

At least, that’s what they’re doing when they’re not calling Michelle Obama fat.

Rush Limbaugh’s long been laying the groundwork for this sexist attack, using stories about the First Lady’s nutrition programs to call the fitness-fanatic Mrs. Obama “Michelle, My Butt.” (The jab’s lack of sense it exceeded only by its lack of self-awareness.)

Yesterday, the resident cartoonists at Andrew Breitbart’s posted this offering…  (This is a link to Media Matters.  I simply refuse to  direct anyone to Breitbart’s site.)

If there’s a “joke” in there, I’m missing it. Notably, the version of the cartoon online now differs slightly — but significantly — from the version that showed up in my RSS reader, in which the First Lady demands: “Shut up and pass the lard!”

It’s been a long time since I’ve expected anything approaching comity from the conservative media, but this is the sort of stuff most of us left at the grade school playground.

U.S. Politics

Tuesday Morning Blog Round Up


What Egypt Teaches Us About Iraq: Arabs Can Do Democracy Without Invas..

States Caught In Crossfire Over Guns In Churches

Key 2012 early states cool to Palin

Serial Health Care Misinformer McCaughey Pushes Tired Falsehoods At CPAC

Beck Hosts William Boykin, Who Likened War On Terrorism To Holy War

Boehner shows off the other kind of post-birtherism

Someone misplaced a giant new planet in our solar system

Video: How the right explains Egypt

Facebook Officials Keep Quiet on Its Role in Revolts

Rush slams Daniels on big tent

GOP Budget Cuts

House Republicans Cut Funding That Protects Us From Nuclear Terrorism

Who are these people governing in leadership positions in the Capitol…?

Think Progress

On Friday, House Republicans put forth a “continuing resolution” (CR) to fund the government past March 4th that was filled with spending cuts. While this came as no surprise, one focus of the cuts is causing some heads to turn. House Republicans are choosing to significantly cut the National Nuclear Security Administration’s nonproliferation programs, the sole purpose of which is to prevent terrorists from getting their hands on loose nuclear weapons and materials. While Republicans have talked about the need to inflict pain in their budget, doing so in a way that increases the risk of the nuclear annihilation of an American city is perhaps taking the pledge too far.

House Republicans have proposed to cut funding for these programs by 22 percent or $647 million. Michelle Marchesano of the Partnership for Global Security warns:

The US programs charged with securing fissile materials and thwarting terrorists’ efforts to acquire them are among the victims of this year’s federal budget fights. … Without appropriated budgets commensurate to program agendas, efforts to improve global nuclear material security will stall.

The danger of a terrorist acquiring nuclear materials is very real. A softball-sized amount of highly enriched uranium can demolish an entire city. Yet in many countries, nuclear materials remain highly insecure, leaving them susceptible to theft. For years nuclear materials have floated on the black market and it is known that Al Qaeda has sought to purchase them.

But this danger is entirely preventable. It merely requires effort and a little money. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union the US set up these programs to reduce the threat by locking down and eliminating insecure nuclear materials. Nonproliferation programs in the past have had significant bipartisan support and are the lasting legacy of Republican Senator Richard Lugar. The amount of funding required for these programs is also a drop in the bucket when compared to the current cost of the wars in Afghanistan and the total Pentagon budget.

Right Wing Extremism · Right Wing Myths and Falsehoods · Right Wing Vitriol · Right-wing Media · Right-Wing Propaganda · Right-wing Race-baiting

Michael Medved Calls Out Palin, Limbaugh For Alleging Obama Tries To Weaken U.S.


In today’s Wall Street Journal, conservative commentator Michael Medved goes after Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and other conservatives for deploying exaggerated rhetoric and “distasteful” criticism of President Obama, which Medved finds to be “destructive to the conservative cause.” However, what surprisingly seems lost on Medved is that when Limbaugh and Palin truly believe Obama’s policies will harm the country, their vocal distrust of Obama’s motives hardly destroys the conservative movement, it invigorates it.

Medved argues:

“Regardless of the questionable pop psychology of this analysis, as a political strategy it qualifies as almost perfectly imbecilic. Republicans already face a formidable challenge in convincing a closely divided electorate that the president pursues wrong-headed policies. They will never succeed in arguing that those initiatives have been cunningly and purposefully designed to wound the republic.”

Yet conservative critics of Obama are sincerely concerned with the future of the country, rather than what might be the best political strategy. When Obama gave speeches abroad that millions of Americans thought downplayed American exceptionalism or when he continues to speak domestically of the need for universal healthcare and other government programs to promote a more fair and just society, these are just some of the positions that Limbaugh, Palin and others truly do believe will weaken America’s image abroad and greatness at home as a self-reliant society. Therefore, when Limbaugh and Palin loudly voice the concerns of many Americans who believe policies alternate to what Obama promotes will strengthen America, then why exactly would Medved advocate their silence, or even any restraint, on the issue?    More here…