George Bush, deprojected

Projection is one of the most common of human behaviors. When George Bush accuses his enemies of being fascists, he is indicting himself. I wanted to take a speech of his and just flip it around so you see what he’s really saying. Compare this:

Since the horror of 9/11, we’ve taught the enemy a great deal. We have taught you that we are evil and kill without mercy — but not without purpose. We have revealed that we form a global network of extremists who are driven by a perverted vision of Christianity — a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent. And we have exposed that our goal is to build a radical Christian empire where women are prisoners in their homes, men are beaten for smoking pot, and terrorists have a safe haven to plan and launch attacks from America and other allied nations.

and the original text:

Since the horror of 9/11, we’ve learned a great deal about the enemy. We have learned that they are evil and kill without mercy — but not without purpose. We have learned that they form a global network of extremists who are driven by a perverted vision of Islam — a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent. And we have learned that their goal is to build a radical Islamic empire where women are prisoners in their homes, men are beaten for missing prayer meetings, and terrorists have a safe haven to plan and launch attacks on America and other civilized nations.

You can check against the White House transcript.

Hat-tip to watertiger.

Administration legal theorist: Constitution suspended by war

Bob Egelco writes in the San Francisco Chronicle:

UC Berkeley law Professor John Yoo, who as a Justice Department lawyer was one of the Bush administration’s chief legal theorists, summarized its view in his forthcoming book, “War by Other Means”:
“We are used to a peacetime system in which Congress enacts the laws, the president enforces them, and the courts interpret them. In wartime, the gravity shifts to the executive branch.”

Glenn Greenwald explains why this is nonsense on stilts.

Osama bin Laden is a free man

It’s a few days old, but I cannot think of a better time to mention Raw Story’s so far undisputed report that Osama bin Laden has negotiated a peaceful settlement with the government of Pakistan, protecting him from arrest.

Thanks to Attaturk for the reminder.

Update: Taylor Marsh speaks her mind about this.

Posted in News. 3 Comments »

Gas prices

Jan Glidewell writes about his predictions for gasoline prices in the St. Petersburg Times:

I had been waiting for someone to call and tell me that I was wrong, that I was a hopeless cynic, that oil prices were the result of economic forces too complex to be understood by the likes of me and my proletariat cronies.

But that is no longer the style of government communications.

No weapons of mass destruction?

No cheap oil from Iraq?

No significant progress in cleaning up after Katrina?

Obvious manipulation of oil prices so clear that a high school dropout columnist with a big chip on his shoulder can see it through the scratched bifocals covering his rheumy, aging eyes.

Shrug.

So what?

Look! Something shiny!

Hat-tip to Had Enough,

The standard of proof

In a criminal case, the standard of proof for conviction is beyond a reasonable doubt. Whenever a major crime occurs, the media and the public demand answers as to what happened. Prosecutors want to make an accusation quickly, and if the case is a sound one they will secure a conviction.

But we don’t convict on the prosecutor’s story alone. We have to give the defendants a chance to present a case, call witnesses, and establish evidence that might acquit themselves of the act. The defendant or counsel has to have the right to confront the accusers and ask them questions. All of this has to take place in the public eye so that everyone can see that justice has been done, or when it has not.

What we are told in respect to the great crime that occurred in New York City five years ago this morning is that it was the work of 19 hijackers with box cutters. It’s alleged that they were orchestrating a plot created and funded by Al Qaeda, a shadowy terrorist group headed by Osama Bin Laden. Whether this is true, partially exaggerated or an imaginative tale is not within our ability to judge, we lack evidence. There are details that seem not to make sense. The collapse of World Trade Center 7. The disinterest of the administration in capturing Osama Bin Laden. But fundamentally the problem is that the official story was never proven in any court of law. There were no trials of anyone alleged to be involved, unless you count the bizarre confession of Zacarias Moussaoui which even the jury didn’t believe when it came time to sentence him.

All sorts of allegedly high level Al Qaeda operatives (a parade of number twos) were supposedly captured, but rather than being brought to justice as war criminals or tried in an independent tribunal of any kind, they were tortured. Not held as prisoners of war. No trial, no conviction. Tortured.

Now Bush says he’s moved some of these guys to Guantanamo, and he still won’t put them for trial unless Congress lets him use secret evidence and deprives them of due process to the extent that even military lawyers have balked to participate. Even though the Supreme Court has already said this is illegal. Even though the government’s evidence is presumably tainted by torture.

And on this basis, do you, the American people, convict?

Is it necessary that we believe it in order to forgive the war that was fought on the pretense of defending against terrorism? The war which was quickly focused on the invasion and occupation of Iraq, a country which had nothing to do with the crime of five years ago even under the government’s own best case?

Why shouldn’t there be trials? Where is your standard of proof?

Why should we, or people anywhere in the world, believe this administration which lies as it breathes?

And for all the victims of the military might, will they look at us and say it was deserved? However convinced you personally may be by the propaganda you have seen, there has been no proof, and any theory is as unproven as any other. What you hear from the street in this country is nothing compared to what you might hear in Iran, Pakistan, Turkey. It’s pretty hard not to know what they think of us in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Without due process and conviction, there is no trust in the system.

* Related article: 9/11 truth and cannabis

Some 9/11 articles today

Updated as the day goes on.

TBogg gives us a day in the life of George Bush.

Attaturk gives his perspective from the hinterlands.

Rude One tells us about a private memorial service yesterday.

Winter Patriot and Agent99 give us some perspectives from the ground of the buildings’ collapse.

I guess I should mention my own article on the standard of proof.

Maha examines some of the clearly dishonest statements of George Bush about what he knew and when he knew it. And don’t miss her additional comments in the subsequent post.

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