Abu Ghraib: Forced Nudity was Pervasive

Naked IraqisAs early as April 2003, there were hints that something was going on in Iraq that didn’t quite mesh with traditional American POW procedures. Iraqis who had been picked up for looting were being stripped naked, their clothes burned and chased naked through Baghdad by American soldiers. But that was only the first sign in Iraq of a pervasive military doctrine of nudity and taboo in an orchestrated effort to humiliate Iraqis. The New York Times has the details in “Forced Nudity of Iraqi Prisoners Is Seen as a Pervasive Pattern, Not Isolated Incidents”:

“It was not uncommon to see people without clothing,” Capt. Donald J. Reese, the warden of the tier where the worst abuses occurred, told investigators in a sworn statement in January. “I only saw males. I was told the `whole nudity thing’ was an interrogation procedure used by military intelligence, and never thought much of it.”


In late October, Red Cross monitors were so alarmed by the number of nude detainees that they halted their visit and demanded an immediate explanation.

“The military intelligence officer in charge of the interrogation explained that this practice was `part of the process,’ ” the Red Cross wrote in a report in February.

This kind of widespread acceptance is not something that everyday soldiers are thinking up in unison across many units. The picture that is beginning to unfold is one of a Pentagon directive that supports the humiliation of civilians and combatants alike with little regard for due process or justice. This is definitely not the American government anyone should be apologizing for.

Forced Nudity of Iraqi Prisoners Is Seen as a Pervasive Pattern, Not Isolated Incidents [New York Times]

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New Masthead

We’re kickin’ it 1776 style. New background and updated/retrograded masthead. I’m recalling the early American pamphleteers and political news writers. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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Texas GOP: Good Ideas, and Really Stupid Ideas

The Texas GOP on Friday decided to unveil it’s ultra right-wing philosophy. On the financial politics, I agree with them, but the rest is pretty whack. The Houston Chronicle has the full story in “Taxes, gays, abortion targeted by state GOP”:

The Texas Republican Party has long been on record against hot-button social issues such as abortion, homosexuality and gay marriage. But the recent approval of gay marriages in Massachusetts prompted delegates to strengthen their language on that issue.

The new platform not only condemns homosexuality — “the practice of sodomy tears at the fabric of society” — it also advocates felony penalties for anyone issuing a marriage license or performing a marriage ceremony for a same-sex couple.

Kevin Drum of Political Animal also has the leftist interpretation of the ideology in “The Future of the Republican Party?” (hint: every part of it is bad). I’ve decided to run down the list that he provided and add my own analysis and opinion, check it out after the jump.

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Reagan Roundup: Not at all Sugar and Spice

Reagan EarsHere’s a little round-up of the more uh… “liberal” articles on Reagan, depending on if your definition of “liberal” is. Let’s just say “liberal” in this sense means not trying to hump Reagan’s casket for political gain.

  • AlterNet has an article called “Reagan Redux”, which explores Reagan’s rise to power: “Within 20 minutes of his inauguration, Iran freed the hostages that wimpy Jimmy Carter had been unable to rescue. I was 11 years old at the time and impressed but baffled. How had he done it?” Republican magic, derr.
  • Another goodie from AlterNet in “66 (Unflattering) Things About Ronald Reagan”: “… Ed Meese (“You don’t have many suspects who are innocent of a crime”), … ‘The bombing begins in five minutes,’ $640 Pentagon toilet seats, … ‘Facts are stupid things,’ …” Yeah, stupid facts, why you always trying to muscle into my political strategy.
  • Slate has a roundup of the international press’s take on Reagan’s death in “Never a Gray Moment”: “[H]is legacy affected President George W. Bush, who ‘would not have torn Iraq away from the ‘axis of evil’ had it not been for the startling victory of Reagan when he moved against the ‘evil empire’ [the Soviet Union].'”
  • And again with Slate, where Christopher Hitchens pretty much says it like it was in “Not Even a Hedgehog”: “He could have had anyone in the world to dinner, any night of the week, but took most of his meals on a White House TV tray. He had no friends, only cronies. His children didn’t like him all that much.”
  • And to wrap this up, proof that Reagan’s Alzheimer’s is contagious: This Gallup article/poll shows that people love Reagan more now than they did when he was actually the president. Personally, I can’t wait to start loving Bush in the same light.

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Ronald Reagan is Dead, Long Live the Republican Party!

William Blaze at American Dynamics reminded me once again just why the hell I link to him. He has an excellent retrospective on Ronald Reagan’s career as president and just how quickly the Republican party is going to anxiously flog his more salient and desirable memories. If you thought the exploitation of 9/11 has been crass, wait until George Bush tries to ride Reagan’s coffin back into the White House. More details in “Reagan”:

Now I don’t particularly think its worth criticizing or attempting to judge the pros and cons of an actor presidency. I see it as an emergent property of our media age. The presidents job is to lead, and in this day and age that means leading via the newsmedia. The president needs to be able to communicate on camera, and no one is better prepared for this role then an actor. One can critique the need for an executive branch, or the necessity of a mass media, but as long as both exist, the president’s job is an actor’s job.

That’s no excuse for Reagan though. Actor’s job or not the presidency comes with power. As leader in the media age Reagan played the role fantastically, but he failed utterly when it came to the power. We might need an actor in the White House, but that actor needs to be aware of what’s going on around him. Be able to make decisions, know when his staff is abusing his position…

The logical conclusion indeed. Reagan was a good president, but the hype of recent days belies a history that had it’s good memories as well as it’s bad.

Reagan [American Dynamics]

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Iraqi judge orders arrest of American aide to Chalabi

ChalabiAn Iraqi judge has ordered that the American consultant Francis Brooke, who tried to stop the recent raid on the politician’s headquarters, be arrested. However, Brooke has fled to… Washington, so it’s doubtful if there will be any extradition. The Telegraph has the full story in “Iraqi judge orders arrest of American aide to Chalabi”:

“He stopped the raid by telling the police they didn’t have the legal power to do it because he was an American and they were Iraqis,” said Judge Zuhair Al-Maliky, of the central criminal court in Baghdad.”


Mr Brooke, who is an evangelical Christian, has worked with Mr Chalabi since 1990 – first as a consultant paid by the CIA and most recently as a consultant for BKSH and Associates, a company run by Charlie Black, a Republican Party veteran.

Good to see that Republican stalwarts had no problem funding this guy’s aides after the CIA dropped his bogus ass.

Iraqi judge orders arrest of American aide to Chalabi [Telegraph]

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Iraq War: Nominated for 0 Tony Awards

A little website called Words Mean Things has nicely paraphrased the Iraq war and created “The Iraq War: A Play in One Act”:

Right: That hornet’s nest is interfering with my enjoyment of our tree. Let’s poke it and get all those hornets out.

Left: What, are you crazy?

Right: No, it’s a great plan. I have this giant stick and I’m not using it at all. Here goes!

[frenzied poking]

[swarm of hornets emerge, stinging both Right and Left]

Right: Damn you, Left! You didn’t help me poke! This is all your fault.


The Iraq War: A Play in One Act [Words Mean Things]

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George Tenet’s Resume

Here’s an advance copy of George Tenet’s resume that has been floating around. Yeah, I know it’s a joke (click for larger version):

George Tenet's Resume

George Tenet’s Resume [A Tiny Revolution] [via This Modern World]

Related Entry:
Tenet Resigning

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Visual of Chalabi WMD Connections

Uggabugga posted a flashback to this great chart that explains a lot of the connections between Chalabi, the New York Times and the Bush administration (click flor larger version):

Chalabi Org Chart

Org Chart [uggabugga]

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Abu Ghraib Protest Leads to Felony Charges

Call it hyper-vigilance gone totally wrong. 21-year-old Joe Previtera stood on a milk crate and reënacted the infamous scene from Abu Ghraib of the prisoner forced to balance on a box with electrical wires attached to his hands and genitals. The result of this protest in front of a military recruiting office in Boston? a misdemeanor charge and two felony charges: “false report of location of explosives” and a “hoax device.” The Boston Phoenix has the story in “Recruitment-Office Protest.”

A follow-up by the Boston HeraldWired war protester gets break — says that “prosecutors are considering ‘amending’ bomb-threat charges” against Previtera.

Abu Ghraib protestor

This is total malarky on the part of the district attorney. Any rational judge is going to rule that there was no “intent” on the part of Previtera. At the most, he should uphold the charges of creating a public disturbance, but even that is a stretch for anyone with any common sense. Judge the pictures for yourself and you will see that he was not intending to do anything other than play-act the part of the Abu Ghraib prisoner.

Recruitment-Office Protest. [Boston Phoenix]
Wired war protester gets break [Boston Herald]

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Chalabi, You Sneaky Bastard

Chalabi is now accusing George Tenet of being “behind the charges against me that claimed that I gave intelligence information to Iran.” Note the timing. Chalabi is in high damage control mode and he’s trying to put himself as the victim of the CIA, when in fact the CIA distanced itself from him in the mid 1990s because he gave them a load of crap intelligence. USA Today has the full report in “Chalabi accuses George Tenet of being behind allegations against him”:

Chalabi, a longtime favorite of the Pentagon, is at the center of a controversy over whether he then shared with Iranian officials the closely guarded information about methods used by the United States to spy on the Iranian regime.


Chalabi also accused Tenet of providing “erroneous information about weapons of mass destruction to President Bush, which caused the government much embarrassment at the United Nations and his own country.”

Chalabi, you’ve spun your way out of a lot of screwed up things in your past: the Jordan bank scam in the 1980s, Iraq intelligence forgeries and false defector reports of WMDs as recently as 2002 and a plethora of other illegalities. The fact is, the man is lying his ass off right now in order to save his own. I think it’s time we turned the heat up on him and exposed himfor the huckster and opportunist scamster that he is

Chalabi accuses George Tenet of being behind allegations against him [USA Today]

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Chalabi Scandal Unfolds

Ahmad Chalabi seems to be a major pain in the ass for the administration right now. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s unfolding in the fallout from the U.S. cozying up to this megalomaniac.

Employees at the Pentagon are undergoing polygraph tests to determine who gave the Iraqi National Congress (I.N.C) state secrets about Iran. The New York Times has that piece in “Polygraph Testing Starts at Pentagon in Chalabi Inquiry”:

The F.B.I. is looking at officials who both knew of the code-breaking operation and had dealings with Mr. Chalabi, either in Washington or Baghdad, the government officials said. Information about code-breaking work is considered among the most confidential material in the government and is handled under tight security and with very limited access.


In the 1990’s, the Iraqi National Congress was part of a C.I.A. covert action program designed to undermine Saddam Hussein’s rule. But Mr. Chalabi had a falling out with the C.I.A., and agency officials concluded that he was untrustworthy. He subsequently forged an alliance with major conservative Republicans in Washington. When President Bush took office, Mr. Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress were embraced by senior policy makers at the Pentagon, which became his main point of contact in the American government.

Billmon isn’t buying the neocon line from Perle and others. He thinks that this is a major screw-up on the part of the Bush administration and the results are finally coming home to bite them in the ass. The Whiskey Bar has more in “The New Pumpkin Papers”:

For the past week, watching the neocons (the ones outside the administration anyway) rally to Chalabi’s cause, I’ve been wondering if our crooked Iraqi will eventually prove to be the right’s version of Alger Hiss, the high-ranking State Department official who was exposed as a Soviet spy – or at least, convicted of perjury for denying he was a Soviet spy under oath.

The Hiss case was an enormous cause celebre in the opening years of the Cold War. The anti-anti-communist left adopted him as a symbol of political persecution and slander – much as the neocons have now done with Chalabi. To the right, Hiss was also a symbol – of everything they detested about the New Deal and the “eastern liberal elite.” He was also a useful tool for pinning the loss of Eastern Europe on the Democrats. Hiss had advised FDR at the infamous Yalta conference, where the map of Europe had been divided among the victorious allies. Treason!

Bush Chalabi

And then a stupid maneuver on the part of the administration to distance itself from Chalabi is failing horribly. He even has photographic proof. Check out “Flopped” by Atrios:

Before: “I sat down with Mr. Pachachi and Chalabi and al-Hakim, people from different parts of the country that have made the firm commitment”

After: “My meetings with him were very brief. I mean, I think I met with him at the State of the Union and just kind of working through the rope line, and he might have come with a group of leaders. But I haven’t had any extensive conversations with him. “

Polygraph Testing Starts at Pentagon in Chalabi Inquiry [New York Times]
The New Pumpkin Papers [Billmon]
Flopped [Atrios]

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Plame Leak Scandal: Bush Lawyers Up

Plame WilsonBush has decided to seek counsel in the ongoing Valerie Plame/CIA leak investigation. For anyone not familiar, someone in the Whitehouse told a bunch of reporters in June 2003 that she was a CIA operative as retribution against her husband, Joseph Wilson, who had been critical of the Nigerian uraniam claims. CBS News has the full scoop in “Bush, Lawyer Huddle On CIA Leak”:

“In terms of whether or not I need advice from counsel, this is a criminal matter, it’s a serious matter,” the president said. “I have met with an attorney to determine whether or not I need his advice, and if I deem I need his advice, I’ll probably hire him.”


Mr. Bush has repeatedly stated that he has no tolerance for such leaks, but he has expressed doubts the investigation will find ever find answers.

“I have no idea if we’ll find out who the leaker is ?Ķ partially because your industry is good at protecting the leaker,” he said in the past, referring to the media.

Interesting timing on this one. In fact I’m curious to know if this transpired because George Tenet told Bush he was going to resign. Is Tenet planning on turning against the administration and personally fingering George Bush?

Then again, it could have something to do with witnesses recently telling a federal grand jury that Bush did indeed know about the leak and did nothing to prevent it. Capitol Hill Blue has the details on this twist in “Bush Knew About Leak of CIA Operative’s Name”:

Witnesses told a federal grand jury President George W. Bush knew about, and took no action to stop, the release of a covert CIA operative’s name to a journalist in an attempt to discredit her husband, a critic of administration policy in Iraq.


Sources within the investigation say evidence points to Rove approving release of the leak. They add that their investigation suggests the President knew about Rove’s actions but took no action to stop release of Plame’s name.

Perhaps Bush knows that he may be indicted in a federal crime.

There’s more… I caught this post by American Dynamics just as I was wrapping this up. Mr. Blaze Thickeye (Wm Blaze is off camping) is also raising an eyebrow over the timing of the Tenet resignation and Bush getting a lawyer, but he’s thinking the reverse: “a major figure has resigned his post, totally knocking the lawyer story out of the news cycle”. More analysis on the subject in the post “gods n monsters (aka three posts in one)”.

Bush, Lawyer Huddle On CIA Leak [CBS News]
Bush Knew About Leak of CIA Operative’s Name [Capitol Hill Blue]
gods n monsters (aka three posts in one) [American Dynamics]

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Abu Ghraib: Suing for Info

Civil-rights and veterans groups have filed a complaint against the U.S. for information on the abuses at Abu Ghraib and other foreign military prisons where abuse may have occured. The groups — The American Civil Liberties Union, The Center For Constitutional Rights, Physicians for Human Rights, Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans for Peace — claim that U.S. departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice and State (the CIA and FBI are also named) have failed to comply with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the groups last year. Reuters has the details in “U.S. is sued over records of military prisoner abuse”:

They said that the only information that has been released since their FOIA request was a set of guidelines that State Department employees are to use when answering questions from reporters about the treatment of detainees. An ACLU lawyers said the guidelines emphasized that prisoners were being treated humanely.

The groups are asking the court to order the immediate release of records about the abuse of prisoners held at Abu Ghraib and other overseas detention facilities, the deaths of detainees in United States custody and the policies governing the interrogation of detainees in United States custody.


“The administration’s refusal to release these records in light of all we now know about rampant abuses at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and elsewhere is simply outrageous,” said Jeffrey Fogel, director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. “The American public has a right to know what was condoned, by whom, and how far up the chain of command it went.”

I doubt that any Federal judge is going to have much sympathy for agencies that appear to be trying to cover information up, but I also doubt that Powell and the State Dept are complicit in any of this. Remember that he handed in his resignation (pre-resignation, he won’t be returning in 2005 if Bush does) very close to the time that memos were being passed around that warned of war crimes, presidential culpability and the obsolecence of Geneva Conventions.

U.S. is sued over records of military prisoner abuse [Reuters]

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Tenet Resigning

Tenet ResignsOne line item right now, I’ll post an update as more details emerge. Reuters has a placeholder at “CIA Chief Tenet Resigning, Bush Says”:

CIA Director George Tenet is resigning for personal reasons, President Bush said Thursday.

Reuters now has another article with the full details in “Tenet Resigns as Head of CIA”.

Wonkette questions the timing of the announcement — invoking Karl Rove as the possible initiator in “Tenet Resigns: Has Rove Risen Again?” The announcement comes at a time when “all the varsity league White House correspondents are already in Rome”, she goes on to note that it won’t really help deflect attention: “Of course, you don’t always need to rig things so that you’re playing the B team. Sometimes the B team is already playing.”

MSNBC has slightly more information on the events surrounding the resignation as well as a bio in “George Tenet resigns as CIA director”. It also cites that his last day is July 11th.

CIA Chief Tenet Resigning, Bush Says [Reuters]
Tenet Resigns as Head of CIA [Reuters]
Tenet Resigns: Has Rove Risen Again? [Wonkette]
George Tenet resigns as CIA director [MSNBC]

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Interview with Wonkette

The Politburo Diktat has an interesting (*cough* satirical *cough*) interview with Wonkette, aptly named “Does This Font Make My Blog Look Fat?”:

KGB: I’m really honored, being just a small blogger and all, that you would spend some time on this.
Wonkette: Book deal!
KGB: Uh … gee thanks, but my blog is just a faux Commie schtick, satirical, mostly about politics and war and news, with an occasional picture of a pretty girl thrown in. It wouldn’t have a large audience.
Wonkette: Book deal!
KGB: I don’t think so.
Wonkette: Do you write a lot about anal sex?
KGB: No.
Wonkette: K-Y Jelly?
KGB: Nope.
Wonkette: Godiva Chocolate balls?
KGB: Godiva Chocolate balls???
Wonkette: Don’t ask. … Look, I could get you fired, and we could take it from there. How does that sound?
KGB: No, no, no. I kinda wanted to interview about your blog, blogging in general, its relationship to established media, and so forth ..
Wonkette: Bush is gay.

Do I sense a backlash against the establishment?

Does This Font Make My Blog Look Fat? [Politburo Diktat]

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On How I Posted Anonymously in Order to Make a Name for Myself

Pardon my language, but nobody seems to be getting this shit-stain story right. Polier came closer than anyone else due to her tenacity, but of course her analysis — The Education of Alexandra Polier — is one of victim retribution upon those who raped her unblemished name. She completely disses on damn near everyone who had anything to do with this story. Going so far as to omit things from my interview with Bob Kolker in order to paint me as an opportunist looking to make a name for myself. Let me qoute the article and see if you can figure out what’s wrong with this:

…an obscure political Website called Watchblog.com ran a commentary by someone calling himself Son of Liberty … VanDyke says now that he was merely trying to make a name for himself by posting the rumor.

Know what? I didn’t fucking say I was trying to make a name for myself. How the fuck could I have been? I was using a pseudonym in order to be able to post things that might have inflamed people. It got to the point where I was getting death threats from Kerry supporters. Then you have the conspiracy retards who thought that “Son of Liberty” was actually Cam Barrett. Well guess what?

Even Cam Barrett himself fucking gets it wrong, and he is the owner of WatchBlog, where I initially broke this god-forsaken story. Here’s what Cam had to say about me in a recent post — Political Rumors — on his website:

It is complete coincidence that the story was broken on WatchBlog by an anonymous editor who wanted to make a name for himself.

I mean, it had to be true right? I was posting anonymously in order to make a name for myself.

Wait a fucking minute… is anyone reading the same damn qoutes as me? How are these people drawing a parallel between posting anonymously or using a pseudonym and trying to make a name for myself? I don’t get it.

Now, this probably leads to the ultimate question, which is: “Why did you expose yourself for the article?” Good question, and I’ll tell you the same reason that I told Bob Kolker in our phone interview: I wanted to clear Cam Barrett’s name from any of the conspiracies that had surfaced.

Is Cam thankful? Is any of this even reported accurately now that I’m on the receiving end of misinformation? Apparently not, but I guess that’s the irony of getting involved in this journalistic abortion tripe in the first place. That’s why I stick to truth and facts now and could care the fuck less about rumors. But hey, maybe I’m just “making a name for myself”.

The gall of these people, I swear.

The Education of Alexandra Polier [NY Metro]
Political Rumors [Camworld]
Related Entry: Alexandra Polier: “How I Got Smeared?”

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U.S.: Even After Complying, Iran not Complying

Jeez, I didn’t even report on this a day ago and already they are pouncing on Iran. Remember when I said that Iran promised to sue the IAEA if they disclosed anything in the 1000-page report they submitted? Well, apparently someone must have already leaked it, because surely they have left something out if the U.S. already knows that they are hiding facts about their nuclear programs. Reuters has the full story in “U.S. Says Iran Hiding Nuke Bomb Program from UN”:

The United States accuses Iran of running a secret nuclear weapons program that is parallel to its declared atomic energy program. Iran denies this, insisting its ambitions are limited to the peaceful generation of electricity.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Tuesday in a confidential report on Iran, obtained by Reuters, there were two major issues it must resolve. First is the origin of enriched uranium traces found at sites in Iran, which some diplomats on the IAEA board say had raised concerns Iran was secretly enriching uranium for use in weapons.

Granted, I am fully aware that Iran should not be pursuing nuclear weapons programs, but is anyone under the illusion that Iran is going to try and play a game of nuclear hide-and-seek after the results of Iraq? This whole ordeal smacks of chest-thumping where it’s clear that the IAEA already has a grip on the situation (and is reporting it as it sees it).

U.S. Says Iran Hiding Nuke Bomb Program from UN [Reuters]

Related Entry:
Remainders: 99 Problems and 12 Easy Questions

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Drumbeat to the Draft

It seems that every day something new comes out that puts us closer to needing a draft. Today’s article from Reuters is no exception, and it outlines just how desperate the government is. There’s a quest here to police the world, something that every candidate says they won’t do, but end up doing anyways. Well, now they are stretching the current forces so thin that it’s going to require a draft if they keep up this pace. It’s foreshadowed in the article “Army Issues Order to Stop U.S. Soldiers from Leaving”:

The move to extend the service of some soldiers involuntarily was the latest sign of increasing stress on the Army as the Pentagon strives to maintain adequate troop levels in the two conflicts.

Lt. Gen. Franklin Hagenbeck, the Army’s personnel chief, denied that the move was a sign of desperation for the Army, although he did acknowledge that the Army was “stretched.”

Remember, both of the major candidates are willing to institute this ignorant draft in the name of vainglory and “changing the world”. If they do, the backlash with be worse than anything the draft-card burning that the 1960’s had to offer.

Army Issues Order to Stop U.S. Soldiers from Leaving [Reuters]

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Enron Tapes: Euphemistically Arbitraging California

Enron tapesThe Enron energy trading tapes have surfaced, shedding new light on a systemically corrupt company. What it doesn’t do is pin much blame on Ken Lay or Jeffrey Skilling, other than to show that their employees salute them in any effort to undermine the legality of energy brokering. The tapes, which were acquired by CBS News, speak volumes about the sinking level of principles in the company. Full story in “Enron Traders Caught On Tape”:

“He just f—s California,” says one Enron employee. “He steals money from California to the tune of about a million.”

“Will you rephrase that?” asks a second employee.

“OK, he, um, he arbitrages the California market to the tune of a million bucks or two a day,” replies the first.


“They’re f——g taking all the money back from you guys?” complains an Enron employee on the tapes. “All the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers in California?”

“Yeah, grandma Millie, man”

“Yeah, now she wants her f——g money back for all the power you’ve charged right up, jammed right up her a—— for f——g $250 a megawatt hour.”

If he would rephrase that, grandma would understand that they were only arbitraging her.

Enron Traders Caught On Tape [CBS News]

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High Sulfur in Gas Shuts Down 500 Stations

Gas high sulfur levelsOver the Memorial Day weekend, I ran across an AP article — buried in page six of the AJC business section — about 500 stations that had shut down across the South due to gasoline that contained high levels of sulfur. I’ve covered this before with the same problem in Loiusville, but it seems the problem just kept getting worse. Stations are opening back up now, but the damage may have already been done:

About 400 Shell and Texaco stations are open again across Florida after getting fresh fuel supplies.

The stations or some of their pumps were shut down heading into the Memorial Day weekend when the fuel turned up with high sulfur levels. The gas can break fuel gauges and make empty gas tanks read full.

I don’t think this is restricted to Florida since I’ve posted on this same item in Louisville, so for anyone who thinks their gas gauge is suddenly wrong (or you run out of gas and it says full), here’s the info:

The Shell Oil Co. has added additional ways for customers to contact the company if they suspect their car?Äôs fuel gauge has been damaged by substandard gasoline distributed last week.

Florida customers may still dial 1 (866) 562-6690, but that line has been difficult to reach due to the amount of calls being made, spokesman Johan Zaayman said.

Customers may also dial 1-(888) 502-7323 or log on to: http://www.interactclaims.com/shell.

High sulfur levels force some 400 S. Florida gas stations to suspend sales [AP]
Shell, Texaco Stations Reopen With Low-Sulfur Fuel [WKMG]
Something in Gas Fouling Fuel Sensors [Hammer of Truth]
Shell Oil overwhelmed with calls after high-sulfur gas error [THE NEWS-PRESS]

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Remainders: 99 Problems and 12 Easy Questions

Via American Dynamics, this great little ditty for George Bush called “Dubya’s 99 Problems (But Iraq Ain’t One)”. To the tune of Jay-Z and Rick Rubin’s 99 Problems: If you’re havin’ human rights problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but Iraq ain’t one.

TomDispatch has 12 easy questions for the President. “If you are determined to start new wars, or if the Iraq war drags on and not enough soldiers re-enlist, will you reinstate the draft?” And will he draft gays, because I’m pretty damn sure a lot of people are going to use that card.

CNN seems to think that John Ashcroft is on his way out before the elections. Could this mean we’ll soon be replacing the modestly draped statue with Ron Jeremy’s likeness? No, but you can probably stop building the secret porn vault in your basement.

Iran turned over a 1000-paged document on it’s nuclear program and said it would sue if the IAEA leaked the report. Get ready for round three of Axis of Yeehaw when that report gets leaked.

Investigators are hitting the dictionary: Jose Padilla was trying to blow up apartments (not airplanes). So maybe his next plot was to blow up the Apollo, next week… Padilla plotting to blow up art galleries. We still have 26 letters to get through

Before I forget: Michael Badnarick won the Libertarian convention nomination this weekend, but you shouldn’t believe me because according to the Libertarian Party Director of Communications, George Getz: “blogs and online publications are not media” but “Matt Drudge would be ok”. But I’m sure you heard all about it on the news and radio. Right? Because they don’t need independent media attention. Fucking ingrates.

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NRO Reveals Medicare Scam

Here’s an almost unexpected article from National Review Online. They are exposing the ballooning costs of the Medicare prescription-drug benefit that was originally slated at $395 billion for ten years and exploded to over $534 billion after the facts came out. In the article — Cover-Up Costs — Deroy Murdock contends that “The Bush administration may have broken the law on Medicare”:

Had market-oriented congressmen, policy analysts, and pundits seen this sum, this entire project would have died more suddenly than HillaryCare. So, the Bush administration got busy suppressing these numbers.

According to Foster, when members of Congress and their staffers requested his drug-benefit cost estimates, Scully threatened to sack him if he complied.


“I’m not surprised,” Ways and Means chairman Bill Thomas (R., Calif.) said. “I knew this would cost more.”

In a February 3 letter, top House Democrats told Secretary Thompson, “While we have no knowledge of what you communicated to Republican staff, we can say categorically that this information was not communicated to us or our staff.”

This shifty and dishonest behavior now also looks criminal.

An April 26 Congressional Research Service memorandum determined that the Bush Administration’s cover-up of Foster’s estimates may have violated at least five federal laws:

This is a hard-line conservative site calling for a criminal investigation into the Bush administration over something as mundane as a fiscal over-run, but it shows that Bush is increasingly out of touch with the values of Republicans. The old mantra of fiscal conservative/social conservative is being torn apart on both sides as more investigative journalists come to realize that the true focus is fiscal irresponsibility (A.K.A. liberal) and social conservative (in show only, and only for the voter bloc of the religious right).

Will the Republicans be able to reel Bush’s policy flubs in before November? Will the left realize that Kerry is moving closer to advocating the same path?

Cover-Up Costs [NRO]

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