I'm crawling through one more day of this exhausting work rotation, so I'm just going to post a quick hits version of the stories I would have blogged more about, if only I had more time. In "honor" of Bill-O
, I'm making this the profanity edition because what's happening to this country is just plain fucking awful.
These are all worth reading. Fred Kaplan
tells us why "Petraeus' intriguing new Iraq strategy will probably fail." Fred is a lot more politic in his analysis than I am. I'd say it's doomed to fail because it's still the same stupid plan dressed up in a few fancy new phrases that has failed to produce the desired results since the beginning of the cursed occupation. Raw Story
breaks an interesting development.
Congress is on the verge of barring the construction of permanent bases for U.S. forces in Iraq, a move aimed at quelling concerns in the Arab world that American forces will remain in the war-torn country indefinitely.
The ban, which was inserted into the annual defense spending bill, won House approval Tuesday night when the chamber overwhelmingly approved the mammoth defense appropriations bill, 394-22.
I'm not so sure this means a bloody thing in practical terms. We already have plenty of "impermanent bases" there now and we're still fortifying them. Not to mention the mini-Vatican City Bush is building as his vanity embassy. It's a pretty fine distinction between non-permanent and permanent, the only difference being the comfort level of the troops. I doubt the Arab Street will be fooled into thinking that means no sustained military presence -- which it doesn't.
I'm sure you've been following along on the contempt of Congress action and know the committee voted to issue cititations. I would be more cheered by that news if it wasn't for this
A senior Democratic official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the House itself likely would take up the citations after Congress' August recess. The official declined to speak on the record because no date had been set for the House vote.
Fuck that. These guys are lecturing the Iraqis for taking an August break but they can't get off their posturing butts and just get this done? The presidential overreaching of executive power is the greatest threat to our republic today. It makes AQ look like a gang of six year olds with cork-guns. Nobody should be going on vaction until this is addressed and dealt with in actions, not rhetoric. This
has gone beyond irritating into flat out batshit crazy.
BAGHDAD - The U.S. military has noted a "significant improvement" in the aim of attackers firing rockets and mortars into the heavily fortified Green Zone in the past three months that it has linked to training in Iran, a top commander said Thursday.
Give me a break. Doesn't it occur to these military geniuses that maybe their aim is improving because they're getting so much practice on shooting at the same target over and over again. Who the eff cares where they train anyway? Shouldn't the mightiest effin' army in the world be able to prevent them from firing in the first place?
More signs of impending fascism
The FBI is taking cues from the CIA to recruit thousands of covert informants in the United States as part of a sprawling effort to boost its intelligence capabilities.
According to a recent unclassified report to Congress, the FBI expects its informants to provide secrets about possible terrorists and foreign spies, although some may also be expected to aid with criminal investigations, in the tradition of law enforcement confidential informants.
You have to read the whole piece to really appreciate how far-reaching this scheme is. It's not just recruiting citizens to rat each other out, which by the way is the absolute worst way to collect intelligence. People with the kind of moral turpitude that lends itself to back stabbing their "friends" and neighbors aren't going to be any more honest with the cops and they use their position to pay back their enemies, not to work on behalf of any national interest. It's also datamining, more domestic surveillance... To call it Orwellian, doesn't do it justice. It's far more insidious than even Orwell could imagine.
You know some days, it's hard to conclude that we're anything but screwed. Late though it may seem, we really must begin impeachment proceedings, contempt citations, whatever the hell it takes to put the brakes on this White House. And we need to do it NOW.
Not in September. Not after a month long vacation. Now, as in should have started this yesterday.