HAMMERNEWS- Michael Hammerschlag

Current Political Commentary by journalist Michael Hammerschlag; Thoughts on foreign policy, Republican outrages, liberal strategies, science by 8 year correspondent in Russia/Ukraine over 22 years and longtime commentator; Website: http://HAMMERNEWS.com

Friday, October 28, 2005


See my new article on the central blunder of the Iraq War (besides starting it): the failure to stop the looting, which has put centuries of ordnance in the insurgents hands, subject our troops to endless IED deaths, destroyed the infrastructure, and lost the support of the Iraqi people. Nobody has really made these essential points, and I think it's going to be the next big scandal, when some parent of dead soldier figures out why. A Military Intelligence agent details the absolutely willful refusal by leaders to deal with the issue, even when it was right next to the biggest American base there- the top MI commander, Pappas, was too busy torturing people at Abu Ghraib. http://www.hammernews.com/prevention2.htm

"The Pentagon admits a breathtaking 250,000 tons of heavy ordnance (out of 650,000 tons total): aircraft bombs, artillery and tank shells, mines, rockets were allowed to be looted by our undermanned army in the 4-30 weeks after invasion through gross negligence at the top- equivalent to 1 million 500 lb bombs. At ten 500 lb. roadside mines or market closeouts a day, that's enough for 274 years of attacks. " - An Ounce of Prevention- Looted Hopes.


It's almost impossible to believe that Karl Rove, smug in his absolute power, didn't lie in his testimony. This smear-master has had over 2 years to investigate Fitzgerald, his family, friends, finances; and Fitzgerald's monastic lifestyle could possibly involve unconventional relationships. Anyone is pressurable and no one has ever been a more accomplished character assassin than Karl Rove- I really fear Fitz just didn't want the hassle of wrestling with such a powerful snake.

A last minute "meeting" with a prosecutor about to indict you is unprecedented- Rove's lawyer supposedly "convinced" Fitz that there were other explanations for Rove's actions. After a 2 year investigation?? It looks like the big fish, the big criminal puppetmaster in this administration will slip free. It's a tragedy for America- this could have caused the whole foul edifice to collapse. (non) Skater Libby does, however, know details of the Iraq war plot, that may be coerced out of him for leniency, although a pardon seems semi-guaranteed somewhere down the line. Rove's indictment could have caused all the people he had bullied and brutalized to turn on him, and crippled the entire White House's bullying political operation.

Nov 17 New Grand Jury- maybe this is wrong: Fitzgerald could have been Edward R Murrow, finally putting a stop to an unparalleled reign of terror and corruption that threaten the very soul of this nation. But he will be remembered as just a medium level prosecutor who had one really big case that embarrassed an administration. Rove is, perhaps, untouchable. Bob Woodward has permanantly tarnished his overblown reputation, achieved by accidentally sitting next to Mark Felt in a doctors' office and kissing up to him, by withholding his direct role in the case for 2 1/2 years as he badmouthed the prosecutor.

Meanwhile, Bush and Cheney have descended into Twilight Zone territory, with Bush proclaiming "We don't torture.", although he's threatened to veto the anti-torture rider attached to the spending bill that 90% of the Senate approved, as Cheney is simultaneously skulking though the Senate, advocating and promoting the need for torture, like a malignant medieval salesman. Cheney, unless Repubs do maintain dictatorial control, is sure to spend some time in the slammer: history hasn't seen a more corrupt executive, and his crimes are right out in the open: bid rigging, billions of dollars of no-bid contract payoffs, retaining his stake in Halliburton, years and years of blatant lies to Congress and the American people. Lies that started a war. Killed tens of thousands. Trashed US security, creating a huge terrorist haven. Decimated the military.

A CBS web commentary flays Bush: "The 'demoralizing our boys and comforting the enemy' line is a last ditch, McCarthy-lite gambit that doesn't work in this country. Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon used it to fill their credibility gaps, without success. It was cheap and cowardly then and it still is now. "

Think former hawk Big Murtha's categorical renunciation of the War is part of master plan by Pelosi/Dean to hammer the Repubs with their crimes every day or two. The Dems may finally have their strategic act together, and the crumbling edifice of sham, lies, and pretense of this Administration affords endless opportunities. Heedless to shifting popular opinion, Bushco fell back on it's tried and true weapon- slander and attack, smearing the 37 year Marine and Bronze Star Vietnam vet as a brother of Michael Moore. I think this will backfire; finally, one time too many to the well of fear and hate. Bush is close to reaping the rebellious bitterness of many Repubs, who're finally realizing the deep hole Bush has sunk them in. Similarly, the liberation of the moderates, who've been run over by the extremist Delay/Lott/Frist machine too many times. Still the greedy pigs barely forced through a $50 billion cut in benefits to the poor- only appearances prevented them from immediately giving it back to the rich in inheritance tax cuts.

As Charlie Rangel said to me, Repubs have to maintain every vote and keep them open for hours to win, and discipline is collapsing- as evidenced by the vote to force Iraq progress reports.

In the worst example of hack crony icompetence; American Prospect has the horrifying story of how Porter Dross is destroying the CIA, forcing and insulting dozens of top managers and experts into resigning in only 2 months. With his hack Svengali neonut aide, Goss has permanently hobbled America's intelligence service; purging something like 250 man-years of expertise, including all the best Middle Eastern hands. Dross signaled his willingness to be Bush's butt boy by blasting John Kerry as a coward before the election- a shocking intrusion into politics to CIA hands. He has waded in like an avenging angel to punish the disloyalty of those who questioned Bush's Wanton War- the wise men who realized the reckless folly of his fraudulent folly in the sands of Arabia. If Bin Laden had picked Dross himself, he couldn't have been as destructive of our security. Compared to this, Brownie was superb. Now when the next attack comes, we will have no idea.


A chilling demonstration of the dark side of the (non) Patriot Act under this abusive administration was the exposure by WashPost of nightmarish secret monitoring of 30,000 people a year with no-oversight FBI national security letters- up from only 300 before. There's no way there are even 3000 legitimate "terrorism" suspects a year- what this is is a Bush enemies' list, including anyone who "opposes the government", in the FBI's own phrase. This is deeply evil and corrupt behavior that threatens our very foundation, and should have provoked a firestorm, especially as the Patriot Act is up for permanant renewal. The Senate first had removed some of the most egregious provisions, but the House has restored them, and Sen. Feingold is threatening a filibuster.

Illustrative is the nightmare story of former Cong. press secretary, midwife of the Internet, editor of Capital Hill Blues, and early Web pioneer: Doug Thompson who wrote the chilling story how he was arbitrarily sentenced to a life of constant intimate snooping. http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_7624.shtml

An Enemy of The State By DOUG THOMPSON Nov 7, 2005, 08:14
According to a printout from a computer controlled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice, I am an enemy of the state.
---The printout, shown to me recently by a friend who works for Justice, identifies me by a long, multi-digit number, lists my date of birth, place of birth, social security number and contains more than 100 pages documenting what the Bureau and the Bush Administration consider to be my threats to the security of the United States of America.

ON POINT NPR radio program National Security Letters: Use or Misuse? Aired: Thursday, November 10, 2005 10-11AM ET
But exactly how far should the US government go in domestic surveillance for counter- terrorism? The fact appears to be it's already gone mighty far with so-called "national security letters" from the FBI which amount to 30,000 a year now. They are issued, secretly, under the Patriot Act with no judicial oversight. They require Americans to cough up loads of information on colleagues and clients - maybe you -- and to never breathe a word to anyone of what they've done.

Coupled with the newly revealed secret CIA Torture Prisons in ex-Warsaw Pact Eastern Europe, it is official: we have become the Soviets.

GRAHAM CRACKER: Speaking of prisons, what is one to make of SC Sen. Lindsey Graham, who seemed to be redeeming his shameful persecution of Clinton as an Impeachment "Manager" by vocally condemning our widespread prisoner torture. But, in a return to his fascist cracker roots, Graham has come out against habeas corpus, the foundation of the US legal system, specifically the right of detainees to ever see a lawyer. This is so contemptible, that he should be nationally excoriated by everyone. This means peasant Ahmed, rounded up in Afghanistan because a neighbor had some personal beef (or wanted the reward, or his goats), hooded, shackled, tortured, shipped to Guantanamo, or some hellhole prison in Afghanistan.... has no recourse but to kill himself. Graham would deny him even the opportunity to ever officially protest his innocence!! These people are un-American and dangerous.

KILLING the MESSENGER: After another massive multiple bomb attack against journalists at the Hummer Hotel complex, it is apparent Zarqawi terrorists are trying to maximize the impact of their horrors by killing reporters. Stupidly, they would remove the delivered message that is provoking a withdrawal. Had the second van got through then, or a previous attack that had three bomb vehicles in a row (photo at top), the catastrophic loss of reporters' lives would have provoked a massive press withdrawal. Big story about killer/school dropout al Zarqawi (from Jordanian town of Zarqa) in Foreign Policy, who went to Afghanistan but disdained joining Al Qaida. 58 reporters have been killed in Iraq, 34 by insurgents, but 13 by US troops, who have blasted reporters with impunity (thought camera was grenade launcher). We also have interminably "detained" 5 without charges for the crime of taking pictures we don't like. 38 of the dead were Iraqi, at special risk from trigger happy US troops, as well as insurgents. This is almost as bad as the entire press toll in Vietnam (66) or WW2 (68), sure to be exceeded soon.


  • At 1:44 PM, Blogger Jeff said…

    Nice work. If you want to wrap it in a nice bow add the effects insufficient forces had on the invasion itself (no Armored Cav to secure supply lines, leading to the Jessica Lynch saga and the lead Brigades being low on ammo and water and in real danger of being cut off) and the lack of detention MPs leading directly to Abu Ghraib.

    The sign on the White House wall should read "It's the Incompetence, Stupid"

  • At 9:09 PM, Blogger Vigilis said…

    An article like yours is overdue, Mike; nice work. The problem most Americans have is that given the choice of Kerry vs. Bush, one suspects Kerry would have acted like Clinton (pretending all was in control as terror cells organized, proliferated and grew bolder). Anyone who acts boldly like Bush's team commits at least the 2% error rate of all humans. There is no escape from that. Anyome who covers up problems like Clinton did, merely leaves larger problems to real problem-solvers. -An Independent.

  • At 3:01 AM, Blogger Michael Hammerschlag said…

    If you think Bush is making only 2% mistakes, Virg, you ain't an independent. I don't believe that Clinton was a coward and a weakling re. terrorism. just the opposite- he was far more aware and responsive towards the threat that Bush ignored when he took power.

    1. Clinton reacted to the Serbian depredations in Bosnia-Kosovo against virulent Repub opposition, which delayed action for 2-3 years. He did abandon the relief effort in Somalia when it went bad- that was a strategic decision to leave a place that had no security importance to us, unfortunately it led to the mass slaughters in Rwanda. (partially due to Repub attacks)

    2. Clinton was far more aware of the threat of terrorism, but he was largely paralyzed by the right-wing jihad against him ($130 million of investigation and billionaire conspiracy),. They found nothing wrong, so ended up going after his personal sex life, which you could nail 90% of Congress with.

    3. I think Freeh is lying is his latest revelations- they don't square with all other info, and Freeh was so hostile to Clinton that he sabotaged the war against terrorism. See my warblog about how the FBI betrayed hero John O'Neil, who had the number of Al Qaida, and was well on the way to wrapping them up. The hidebound FBI screwed up so much in 9-11, ignoring report after report that terrorists were learning to fly big planes.

    4. When China fired missiles into the ocean 23 miles from Tapei, Clinton sent a task force, when they held our pilots for ransom after their imbecile pilots crashed them down, Bush groveled before them. You want to cause problems with this resurgent superpower, convince them we can be backed down.

    5. Berger tried to warn Bush about terrorism and the Hart-Rudman commision dropped their report on Bush's desk in Jan 2001- he supposedly ignored it. (see my audio page for STEPHEN FLYNN- director of HART-RUDMAN Report on America's continued huge vulnerability to terrorism -4:52, Watson Institute, Brown U. 2/10/2003 Council on Foreign Relations Sn. Fellow - Oct 2002 http://tomhammers.tripod.com/audio.htm .

    6. While Bush cut brush, he ignored the daily report "Bin Laden determined to strike inside America" , and in the actual attack- read a childrens book to schoolkids for 7 minutes while terrorist planes homed in on the Pentagon and White House. No orders to evacvuate the White House or get fighter cap up- nothing, nada. That was such a disgrace- that alone was impeachable.

    7. The Iraq War was for Bush, an attempt to show up his father, and show he wasn't the worthless drunk Bush 1 thought, as such, it was a war fought for personal redemption, not national necessity. For Cheney and the neocons, it was sweet revenge for not going all the way in 911. Of course, the damn fools had no plans what to do once we won. If Saddam really put out a contract on Bush 1, that was a valid reason, but that was supposedly Kuwaity bullshit .

    8. We now need to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities tomorrow- with Bush's multiple crimes and political problems, and the overextension of our military on a win-less disaster, that is probably impossible. Which means these monsters will have a nuclear bomb in 1-2 years.

    9. Bottom line. Bush has involved us in a disastrous war that has created a terrorist stronghold in Iraq, multiplied them ten fold, turned the world against us, crippled our ability to respond to real threats, poisoned our military with standard torture policies, and crippled our ability to deal with the real terrorist state of Iran as they actually are about to get weapons of mass destruction. Everything he said he would prevent by the invasion, he's actually caused. That isn't defending America, it's abandoning and betraying it. Saddam was a monster, but he was totally contained, and don't tell me the war was fought to save the people of Iraq. Superpowers don't do that- we have no idea how to rule a brutal Mideast country.

  • At 3:47 PM, Blogger Vigilis said…

    My voting record attests to my Independence, and I keep an open mind to facts versus propaganda, because the latter flows freely from both parties. Currently, the party lead by lawyers seems to be spewing more, but then, they hide their real grievance with Bush and it certainly is not Bush's competence. I stand by earler comment -2%. History will not be kind to Clinton's administration.


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