Sunday, January 29, 2006

 

2005 (Apr-June) Religious Torture On Downing St.



U.S. Military Casualties in Iraq: April - 52, May - 80, June - 7

RIP : Pope John Paul II (Apr. 2), Frank Gorshin (May 17), Eddie Albert (May 26),
Anne Bancroft
(June 6)

One of the prevailing right wing themes that raised its ugly head again during the hype surrounding Terri Schiavo (and following her death), was a concern over so-called activist judges. Bush and his supporters had claimed to oppose judges who "legislated from the bench", but in reality it was judicial legislation that awarded Bush the Presidency in 2000. Senate Democrats were opposing the rubber-stamp confirmation of seven of Bush's most radical judicial nominations. Among these, Janice Rogers Brown and Priscilla Owen were considered by many too be the most controversial, and Senate Democrats by exercising their Constitutional duty of Advice and consent, were suggesting a filibuster. The President, Senate majority members, and others cried foul, and threatening the "nuclear" option to force an up down vote. As they stomped their little right wing feet and attempted to rewrite history (making false claims about judicial filibusters, and recent judicial confirmation hearings) a compromise was reached to avoid eliminating the filibuster- a time honored Senate practice that help preserve a system of checks and balances and to prevent one party rule.

Most of this objection was motivated and influenced by conservative, right wing religious zealots who (due to their influence and support of the White House) felt it there duty to support nominees who advocate for their "values". One particular group, The Family Research Council held 'Justice Sunday', a televised nationwide church event entitled "Stopping the Filibuster Against People of Faith" ( followed in August by Justice Sunday II , and Justice Sunday III in Jan, 2006). What may be most disturbing is that key congressional figures (Bill Frist, Tom Delay and Rick Santorum) have spoken or were scheduled to speak at these "values" events. Speaking of values, the following is a partial list of FRC "core principles" taken directly from their website:

• Government has a duty to promote and protect marriage and family in law and public policy.
• The American system of law and justice was founded on the Judeo-Christian ethic.
• American democracy depends upon a vibrant civil society composed of families, churches, schools, and voluntary associations.

Later in the year, the FRC released a TV ad entitled "One Nation Under God" or "Sandblasting" with a voice over falsely proclaiming "our Declaration of Independence says we are endowed with rights by our Creator". This is an absolute lie, an absolute disgraceful misrepresentation of the words and intent of our founding fathers. The exact text from the Declaration of Independence is : "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." There is a huge difference between the words our creator and their creator. And by the way, all means all, not just those who blindly follow an over reaching religious cult. And here's a suggestion: If you are going to attempt to rationalize how your beliefs are "supported" by the government, then perhaps it would be prudent to actually read the documents that you reference. Another fact check: The following words DO NOT appear in the U.S. Constitution: God, Jesus, Christian, Lord, Saviour, Creator, Messiah, Bible, church, or sin. Religion is mentioned in the first amendment ( "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ") and "religious" is discussed briefly in Article VI of the Constitution. ("but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States"). The Constitution grants religious freedom, but it also prohibits the creation of a national, government controlled doctrine. Amen. (More on religious fanatics in future posts-lb).

The Abu Ghraib prison abuse trials and investigation continued to be a source of contention and controversy (which resulted in the conviction of Army Reservist Charles Graner in January). Top officers and administration officials who authorized the abusive acts were cleared, while the rank and file alone were held accountable for these heinous acts. However, Brigadier General Janis Karpinski was relieved of command then demoted to Colonel. Although the "official" allegations against Karpinski did not involve Abu Ghraib abuse, many felt her demotion was due to her claims of Army intelligence officers ordering the prison abuse. As the year progressed, more information would emerge regarding prisoner abuse, rendition, secret prisons and the Administration's approval and endorsement of these acts. When Amnesty International issued a scathing report on human rights that was critical of the United States, the Administration lashed out at the organization it had previously embraced, Again, another example of smear and removal of anyone who speaks truth or opposes a anti-American, illegal agenda. I personally look forward to the war crimes trials of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rice. I'm certain they all will all look stunning in orange jumpsuits and shackles.

On May 1st, the minutes of a July 2002 British Prime Minister's meeting was published by the Sunday Times of London. This damaging evidence known as The Downing Street Memos, indicated that eight months before the start of the Iraq war that the Bush administration was clearly planning to invade. This sharply contradicted the President's public statements given at the same time as well as predating Bush addressing the U.N. General Assembly. Quotes from the Downing Street Memos clearly illuminate the Administration's premeditated agenda to invade Iraq:

"It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."
"Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
In late May, additional information would reveal that air assaults had already begun nearly a year before the March 2003 Iraq invasion. Bush wanted to invade Iraq even before he was given the Presidency, and apparently planned to accomplish the goal at any cost. Without surprise, the pathetic U.S. "main stream" media ignored and failed to cover these critical developements.

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