Thursday, October 13, 2005

Scotty McClellan very testy today

Helen Thomas, a 57-year veteran correspondent with UPI asked White House Spokesperson Scotty McClellan what Bush meant by "total victory" in Iraq. Fair question, right? Snotty gets defensive, says he is sure Helen "is opposed to the broader war on terrorism." ABC's Terry Moran jumps in and defends Helen. Here's the exchange:
HELEN: What does the President mean by "total victory" -- that we will never leave Iraq until we have "total victory"? What does that mean?
MR. McCLELLAN: Free and democratic Iraq in the heart of the Middle East, because a free and democratic Iraq in the heart of the Middle East will be a major blow to the ambitions --
HELEN: If they ask us to leave, then we'll leave?
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm trying to respond. A free and democratic Iraq in the heart of the broader Middle East will be a major blow to the ambitions of al Qaeda and their terrorist associates. They want to establish or impose their rule over the broader Middle East -- we saw that in the Zawahiri letter that was released earlier this week by the intelligence community.
HELEN: They also know we invaded Iraq.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, Helen, the President recognizes that we are engaged in a global war on terrorism. And when you're engaged in a war, it's not always pleasant, and it's certainly a last resort. But when you engage in a war, you take the fight to the enemy, you go on the offense. And that's exactly what we are doing. We are fighting them there so that we don't have to fight them here. September 11th taught us --
HELEN: It has nothing to do with -- Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, you have a very different view of the war on terrorism, and I'm sure you're opposed to the broader war on terrorism. The President recognizes this requires a comprehensive strategy, and that this is a broad war, that it is not a law enforcement matter.
TERRY: On what basis do you say Helen is opposed to the broader war on terrorism?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, she certainly expressed her concerns about Afghanistan and Iraq and going into those two countries. I think I can go back and pull up her comments over the course of the past couple of years.
TERRY: And speak for her, which is odd.
MR. McCLELLAN: No, I said she may be, because certainly if you look at her comments over the course of the past couple of years, she's expressed her concerns --
HELEN: I'm opposed to preemptive war, unprovoked preemptive war.
MR. McCLELLAN: -- she's expressed her concerns.
And with that, the subject shifts to the President's latest lame attempt at PR.
Notice how Scotty backtracks, claiming that he said she may be against the broader war on terrorism, when everyone in the room heard him say "I'm sure you're opposed to the broader war on terrorism." First of all, what an dick! Secondly, did he think he could get away with it? It's Scotty's job to not make news from that podium, but he sure did today by apparently channeling Ann Coulter. What a dick.
In case you missed Keith Olbermann last night, click here to read about the 13 Coincidences.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

What to watch on TV tonite...

Tonite is Game One of the National League Championship Series featuring the mighty St. Louis Cardinals versus the Houston Astros. Why those dummies would name their team after a cartoon dog is beyond me, but they're from Texas, thus they think they can do whatever the funk they want. Bully for them, but it won't help them win this crazy thing.

The Cards have had three days' rest since they finished their sweep of the Padres late Saturday nite. The RAstros needed a home run in the bottom of the 18th inning in game 4 of their Division Series Sunday nite, sending the Braves to their tee times after the longest playoff game ever. They are working on only two days of rest and are feeling quite sure of themselves.

Tonite the Cards send out their ace right hander Chris Carpenter (22-5, 2.83 ERA reg. season) against Houston's Andy Pettite (17-9, 2.39 ERA reg. season), a lefty. Although this is a rematch of last year's NLCS, neither of these pitchers played in last year's series that the Cardinals won in 7 games. Pettite was recovering from surgery and Carpenter was out with a biceps injury.

With the RAstros coming off an emotional high with their draaaaammaaaaaaaaaaatiiiiic win over the Braves i would expect them to come out smokin' and get a coupla runs early. The Cards have had an easier time in their Division Series, so they might be caught on their heels a bit. The Redbirds will need everything in their arsenal to win this series - solid starting pitching, unlikely heroes, timely hitting, a reliable bullpen and all the things that a good "small ball" team does to manufacture runs in tight games - because runs will be at a premium in the games played at Busch Stadium. Once they get to MinuteMaid Park for game 3 Saturday, who the heck knows? The series could bust wide open in the hitter-friendly park and be up for grabs. That's why the Cards need to take care of games one and two while they are at home in front of very pumped and sentimental fans who are hoping that Busch Stadium remains open until at least October 26.
My bold prediction for the NLCS: Partly cloudy and mild with 10-15 mph breeze and 20% chance of rain. No hurricanes. Oh, and the Cardinals in 6.

May i also encourage you to check out Countdown with Keith Olbermann tonite?
OLBERMANN: Last Thursday, we spoke of at least 13 coincidences of timing between bad political news for the government and a terror or terror-related event. We will be presenting a special report detailing those and other coincidences on Wednesday night's edition of this news hour, "The Nexus of Politics and Terror" on COUNTDOWN this Wednesday at 8:00 (7pm Central) and midnight Eastern (11pm Central) here on MSNBC.
I have mentioned this very subject back in May, and the point is possibly even more valid today, with our hapless, hopeless and helpless Leader using tired old tricks and half-hearted public appearances to try and save his flailing presidency. i seriously don't think he likes playing "president" anymore and he just wants to go home and bite his pilllow, legacy be damned.

Keith's show airs at 7pm Central on MSNBC, while the first pitch of the Cards game is at 7:20pm Central on FX. i'll tune in to the first 20 minutes of Countdown, then turn it over to the NLCS. i can do without all the pre-game branding and network packaging that goes with these series. [STFU already and just show the freakin' game! aaarrgghpfphppfpp!!] Later at 11pm Central, MSNBC replays the Countdown in case i/you miss it the first time. Sound like a plan? Sweet. Type at ya tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

"An American in Chains": James Yee's Gitmo experience as an Army captain and prisoner

An important article from the TimesOnlineUK.
James Yee entered Guantanamo as a patriotic US officer and Muslim chaplain. He ended up in shackles, branded a spy. This is his disturbing story. [snip] I was accused of mutiny and sedition, aiding the enemy and espionage, all of which carried the death penalty. I was regarded as a traitor to the army and my country. This was all blatantly untrue — as would be proved when, after a long fight, all the charges against me were dropped and I won an honourable discharge from the army. [snip] My real “crime” had been that I had tried to ensure that the suspected Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters detained in the Gitmo cages were given every opportunity to practise their religion freely, one of the most fundamental of American ideals.
Read the whole article.

James Yee's book, For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire is available here.

Tag: James Yee