Monday, November 07, 2005

Cover up

Click here to return to the original story A cover-up of a cover-upLetter to the editor Don't let the Republicans distract you. Treasongate isn't just about deposed Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Scooter Libby, who has been charged with five felony counts and could face 30 years in prison, or even Deputy Presidential Chief of Staff Karl Rove, who may soon be charged as well. The Libby charges clearly point to the real culprit: Cheney, who told Libby about Plame's covert status in the first place. Cheney abused his security clearance to find out. "Libby understood that the vice president had learned this information from the CIA," reads page five of the indictment. In our system," Bush reminded, "each individual is presumed innocent and entitled to due process and a fair trial." Unlike the thousands of people Bush tossed into prison after 9/11 without charges or access to a lawyer, Libby is a rich guy with pale skin. He gets to confront his accusers. Treasongate includes many of the essential components of Watergate: smearing opponents of the Iraq War and their loved ones, financial shenanigans and a cover-up. Actually it was a cover-up of a cover-up; they lied about trashing Plame, whom they targeted because her husband revealed their lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Outing a CIA agent is the rancid cherry on top of a triple-dip blob of corruption. You can bet there's more to come. Trust us, they ask. We're incompetent, not evil. That's their defense. "One can believe that the neocons are utterly wrong without also assuming that they are evil," Nicholas Kristof argues in a Times op-ed. But people willing to lie their country into war and stab the people who protect it in the back - if we're to believe them, by not bothering to check Plame's status - are evil. It's like a case of vehicular homicide: Did Bush and his goons hit Plame on purpose or was it an accident? Either way, I want them off the road. Thomas Baxter Juneau Click here to return to story:

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Praise God

Marines turn to God ahead of anticipated Fallujah battleSat Nov 06 2004 09:37:17 ETNEAR FALLUJAH, Iraq, Nov 6 (AFP) - With US forces massing outside Fallujah, 35 marines swayed to Christian rock music and asked Jesus Christ to protect them in what could be the biggest battle since American troops invaded Iraq last year. Men with buzzcuts and clad in their camouflage waved their hands in the air, M-16 assault rifles laying beside them, and chanted heavy metal-flavoured lyrics in praise of Christ late Friday in a yellow-brick chapel. They counted among thousands of troops surrounding the city of Fallujah, seeking solace as they awaited Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's decision on whether or not to invade Fallujah." You are the sovereign. You're name is holy. You are the pure spotless lamb," a female voice cried out on the loudspeakers as the marines clapped their hands and closed their eyes, reflecting on what lay ahead for them. The US military, with many soldiers coming from the conservative American south and midwest, has deep Christian roots. In times that fighting looms, many soldiers draw on their evangelical or born-again heritage to help them face the battle."It's always comforting. Church attendance is always up before the big push," said First Sergeant Miles Thatford. "Sometimes, all you've got is God. "Between the service's electric guitar religious tunes, marines stepped up on the chapel's small stage and recited a verse of scripture, meant to fortify them for war. One spoke of their Old Testament hero, a shepherd who would become Israel's king, battling the Philistines some 3,000 years ago. "Thus David prevailed over the Philistines," the marine said, reading from scripture, and the marines shouted back "Hoorah, King David," using their signature grunt of approval. The marines drew parallels from the verse with their present situation, where they perceive themselves as warriors fighting barbaric men opposed to all that is good in the world. "Victory belongs to the Lord," another young marine read.Their chaplain, named Horne, told the worshippers they were stationed outside Fallujah to bring the Iraqis "freedom from oppression, rape, torture and murder ... We ask you God to bless us in that effort. "The marines then lined up and their chaplain blessed them with holy oil to protect them."God's people would be annointed with oil," the chaplain said, as he lightly dabbed oil on the marines' foreheads. The crowd then followed him outside their small auditorium for a baptism of about a half-dozen marines who had just found Christ. The young men lined up and at least three of them stripped down to their shorts. The three laid down in a rubber dinghy filled with water and the chaplain's assistant, Navy corpsman Richard Vaughn, plunged their heads beneath the surface. Smiling, Vaughn baptised them "in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. "Dripping wet, Corporal Keith Arguelles beamed after his baptism. "I just wanted to make sure I did this before I headed into the fight," he said on the military base not far from the city of Fallujah.