Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Urban Legend Terrorism 1 ; Have You Heard The One About The Babysitter Who Got A Lift With Al-Qaeda?

Of all people this week, the Japanese tried to justify plans to fingerprint foreigners by saying there was a member of al-Qaeda in the country illegally.

As long as he had entered legally, that would be fine you see.

Kunio Hatoyama said the man was a "friend of a friend" who was connected to the Bali bombing.

Justice Minister Kunio later produced evidence to back up his story.

Even later he said he had not met the man and couldn' confirm his friend's claim. He had earlier suggested this 'story' was an example of stricter checks needed on vistors.

Tell The Truthiness ; No Mr Kunio, this is another example of a rumour based urban legend story used to scare people to giving up basic liberty to protect their liberty. It's pointless, useless and this has been so done to death by the Bush administration.

Change the record.

This is an interesting piece about the funding of insurgents by the US.

Saunter To The White House 12 ; Giuliani Not Sure Waterboarding Is Torture

Yes, our man of the moment, Rudy Giuliani has stated that he is not sure if waterboarding can be classified as torture.

Now, really he just had to take a leaf or two out of the President's book and cover himself by :

1 . Firstly refuse to discuss specific torture techniques.


2 . Get your attorney general to reclassify torture or anything that everyone else apart from you declares to be torture as not torture.

After that, you can sleep at night.

Tell The Truthiness ; First President Bush, then President Giuliani, that'll keep you awake.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

War On Reality Part 68 ; Bush The Fireman

Yes, it's true, he thinks if he sits with them, it makes him look like one of them.

Tell The Truthiness ; He's been standing and sitting next to politicians for years, Bush still doesn't look like one though.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Saunter To The White House 11 ; Giuliani Caught Out On 9/11 Terror 'Experience'

A leaked memo from testimony given by the former New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani to the 9/11 commission shows that he lied about his knowledge of terrorism.

He is reported in the 9/11 commission memo to have not known about al-Qaeda until after the attacks and that "we had nothing like this".

But in a speech he made at Regent University he said he'd been "studying terrorism" for more than 30 years.

Tell The Truthiness ; Come on Rudy, what more zingers do you have for us? You've got a few more months to keep us entertained before you aren't picked as the candidate.

War On Reality Part 67 ; Bush Uses Fires To Settle Katrina Scores

President Bush used yesterdays visit to California to settle an old score with the Governor of Louisiana. With firemen providing the backdrop and thousands of people with no homes, Mr Bush made a sniping comment about the post-Katrina rescue efforts.

"Its makes a significant difference when you have somebody in the statehouse willing to take the lead."

Tell The Truthiness ; He got asked to compare both disasters, but said it should be left to historians.

Yes and the governing, Mr Bush, should be left to the grown ups.

Road To Tehran 5 ; Threatening Threats Are Threatening

The US moved to the next stage of painting Iran as the next big bad enemy by imposing sanctions.

Aimed at three banks and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps to "confront the threatening behaviour of the Iranians". This is despite the lack of any new evidence the country poses a threat to it's neighbours and US interests.

Tell The Truthiness ; President Putin's comment on the sanctions "mad people wielding razor blades" seemed very apt for the action of the US administration at the moment.

Next step to war ? A third UN resolution to be tabled for November.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

California Fires ; You're Doing A Heckuva Job Arnie

Any reasonable person with a balanced outlook would assume that the chances of government emergency response incompetence following a national disaster just couldn't happen. Especially after Katrina.

You would assume that and you'd be wrong.

First the White House press office said yesterday at 1pm that it was too early for a Presidential visit to California, then by 5pm the press office was saying the President would be visiting. Tomorrow in fact is when he is due to drop into town.

The response of local government officials? You know, not that good. Someone commented he's going to arrive and tell people they're doing a heckuva job. We all know how infamous that phrase became the last time the President used it.

Let's hope he doesn't jinx them. Even if it doesn't, the scale of the task is beginning to overwhelm those doing their best. Firefighters are exhausted after three days and only now is FEMA starting to help on the ground.

Tell The Truthiness ; The people of San Diego have shown they are capable of supporting each other, so the last thing they want is the President poking his nose in. Show up on Thursday if you want George, but it won't make a spot of difference to the people there if you do or not.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Saunter To The White House 10 ; Media Blackout On Colbert!

Any doubt that there was going to be partial media coverage of Colbert's run was confirmed in no lesser place than Stephen's own show.

In his paper review he shows the non-Colbert bias in the media.

Tell The Truthiness ; Can the media handle the truth America?

Saunter To The White House 9 ; Colbert's Big Announcement On The Big Announcement

Here is Stephen Colbert telling Jon Stewart about what he might announce.

Saunter To The White House Part 8 ; Paul To Bring Back Democracy

Presidential hopeful, Ron Paul, has introduced a bill in the House Of Representatves to have the Military Commissions Act repealed.

Hardly being covered by the mainstream press, the American Freedom Agenda Act would include restoring habeas corpus to suspects.

Here is some analysis and comment from Countdown last year on the pushing through of the Military Commissions Act

Tell The Truthiness ; Good try, but don't hold your breath.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Saunter To The White House Part 7 ; Rudy Shows His True Colours

With as many candidates, from all sides, trying to appeal to as many people as possible, someone had to break ranks early.

We have a winner!

Rudy Giuliani is reported to have said in a private meeting that he would support a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

Tell The Truthiness ; Mr Giuliani could contact Larry Craig, he could act as poster-boy for why gay marriage is not needed, since he gets satisfied without the need for it.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Saunter To The White House Part 6 ; A Nation Has Spoken Mr Colbert

With the nation recovering from the news of last week that political commentator Stephen Colbert is to run for President, we take you back now to just before he announced, on Larry King.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

War On Reality Part 66 ; Blackwater Do Good Stuff - Bush

Another gem from the Presidential News Conference was when Mr Bush was asked about Blackwater. He tried to spin the firm's record in Iraq by saying that they "provide a valuable service that protects people's lives".

Clearly Mr Bush hadn't heard about the people who were killed in Baghdad by the company and hadn't heard the Iraqi government's decision, following a report to "insist" Blackwater leave the country.

The US is conducting it's own investigation into the shootings and both reports will be reviewed by a joint Iraqi/US commission, after that, decisions will be made on Blackwater's future.

Something of note that may influence those decisions by the US side of that commission ; the US has paid Blackwater $830 million since 2004.

Tell The Truthiness ; Since most of the chiefs at Blackwater are former appointees of Mr Bush, we're totally sure the report from the US will be fair and balanced.

Road To Tehran 4 ; It's World War Three

In today's Presidential News Conference, Mr Bush said a number of real zingers.

He said that dealing with Iran was important to prevent "World War Three."

Tell The Truthiness ; That's nice and reassuring then for a country which you have yet to prove poses a threat to the United States. You're not trying to talk up a war are you Sir?

It Came From Outer Space/ The GOP!! Rudy's Question & His Answer

Here's the video of Rudy Giuliani being asked that priceless question.

Tell The Truthiness ; More of this please Rudy.

9/11 Truth Part 1 ; NIST Says Collapse Of Twin Towers Unexplainable

The National Institute for Standards and Technology has been made to admit that the collapse of the twin towers cannot, after a lengthy study, be explained.

A 10,000 page report has revealed also that the temperature of the steel would only have reached, at the most 500 degrees, nowhere near the 1000 degrees needed to weaken and further still from the 1,500 degrees needed to melt it.

So the ability of the towers to collapse at freefall speed is not possible because of the fire. The only other option that has yet to be fully investigated is a controlled demolition using explosives.

The NIST has no word on World Trade Center Building 7, which collapsed at 5.20pm, at freefall speed also, which had minor fire damage and was hit by far less debris from the falling towers than other buildings which remain standing to this day. The NIST promised to look at controlled demolition for Building 7 in August 2006, but has yet to report. When it does, we will let you know the results.

Tell The Truthiness ; We need a new, broad investigation. And we needed it six years ago.

Saunter To The White House Part 5 ; I Vant To Bite Your Vote

Rudy Giuliani (our unofficial new favourite 'hasn't got a hope in hell chance of winning" candidate) did the impossible today.

We thought he couldn't get better than misleading us to think there was oil on the moon, then he pushed things by saying he would be ready for an attack from aliens.

But he's done it!

He said, during a Republican Jewish Coalition talk whether he was a real Republican, "I gave my blood for the Republican Party in New York."

He said some other things as well, but just quoting this line was more fun.

Tell The Truthiness ; Will Rudy be campaigning on Halloween, or will he be 'resting'? Hmmm.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Al -Qaeda In Space!!! Giuliani Takes 9/11 To A Galaxy Far Far Away

Rudy Giuliani said he plans to keep us safe from alien attack.

Tell The Truthiness ; It's true! Really!!! Click here and read!!!

PS We'll post the video of him being asked the question about alien protection as soon as it's beamed down.

Monday, October 15, 2007

War On Reality Part 65 ; Craig Appeals Over Ruling

Larry Craig keeps the bizzare twists coming as not only on the weekend was he inducted into the Idaho Hall Of Fame, but today he appealed against a ruling by a judge.

He is appealing to overturn the judge's ruling that his original guilty plea, for being caught in an airport bathroom on lewd conduct charges, still stands.

Despite his guilty plea at the time, Senator Craig's lawyer said "from the outset Senator Craig has maintained he is innocent of any illegal conduct".

Tell The Truthiness ; If that's the case, why did he plead guilty in the first place? Everyone's still waiting for an answer. Really!?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

War On Reality Part 64 ; Government Wanted Phone Tapping Before 9/11

The above is a video about the warrantless wiretapping, it's not specifically about this case though.

The National Security Agency asked a telecommunications firm early in 2001 to take part in an illegal phone monitoring plan.

A former Qwest Communications International executive, charged with insider trading, claims the NSA approached his company in the last days of February 2001 to take part in the undercover plan.

When they declined, citing the worry that the scheme was illegal, he alleged later that the company lost contracts directly because it had refused to agree to what the NSA was asking it to do.

Tell The Truthiness ; Why did the NSA need to do this monitoring illegally? Why has the Bush administration maintained that warrantless wiretapping came out of 9/11, when clearly people were anxious to use it before? Who knows more than they are letting on? They probably don't recall though.

Saunter To The White House Part 4 ; The Democratic Smearing Begins

It was just a matter of time and it was going to be a Democrat and it was going to be on the candidate viewed as the biggesst threat potentially. That's why this weekend, Barack Obama has had to defend himself against bizzare and unfounded accusations that he is a muslim.

Unidentified emails were sent out claiming Obama had joined a christian church to downplay his real religion. The Senator is not muslim, never has been and had successfully put claims first made in January, on Fox News, to sleep that said he was.

Tell The Truthiness ; It's no surprise this came from Fox News, it's no surprise these attacks were made on a black democratic candidate, it's no surprise religion is being used to scare the electorate. What is surprising is how early these smear attacks have started, it therefore will require strong Democratic action to counter this and the coming attacks from these hidden elements in the election campaign.

Those of us who oppose Bush and the current government have had enough, so these attacks are the last desperate actions of people scared of change. We say, bring it on.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

We're Just Asking...

Tell The Truthiness ; Go on, you know you want to Al.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Is There Anything He Doesn't Say?

You might think he just keeps talking in the hope that someone listens, but this time he really has wadded into the debate on torture, in a big way.

We don't a video of this, but here's the Daily Show's take on the word game the government is playing.

Former President Jimmy Carter has said (ok, he is promoting his book, so we take that he's in the news at all, for any reason, as a given) he is convinced the US is involved in torture that breaks international law and said President Bush has created his administration's own definitions of torture and human rights to allow them to get away with it.

When questioned on CNN Mr Carter said he doesn't "think" he "knows" Bush's government tortures.

The White House continued to hold the line that "we do not torture".

Tell The Truthiness ; Keep saying it and eventually Bush will deny it was ever said, remember like "stay the course"?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

War On Reality Part 63 ; Coalition Of The Dwindling

Out of a non-US force of 50,000 in Iraq at the beginning of the war, it will drop to a staggering 7,000 by the middle of next year.

Not only is this an example of how the "coalition of the willing" (remember that, gosh it takes us back) has seeped away, but also shows, in stark relief, how much more the burden of this war is being heaped on US troops.

Nearly every country that was allied with the United States is reducing or is planning to reduce it's contribution this year or the next.

Tell The Truthiness ; It might seem inappropriate, but Mr Bush, just declare victory, call the UN to arrange peace keepers and quietly leave. Giving all business interests back to the Iraqis. When we say leave, don't build a couple of airbases on the frontier near Iran or anything. Just leave and give these people back their country. It'll be difficult, but what's happening now is difficult enough to bare. So try the alternative.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Republican Debate 2 ; Thompson Meets Expectations - Doesn't Fall Asleep

Everyone's talking about keeping America safe, making sure business deals on major national infrastructure are sound and that more fuel is from the US and what's Senator Fred Thompson doing?

Please email or comment and let us know.

Republican Debate ; Giuliani Blasts Off

No, we don't mean in the sense of getting angry, but jumping from certain subjects in a strange pattern.

In one answer about energy independence, he went from oil to national security to the moon. We might have misheard, but did he suggest the US has to go to the moon for the sake of national security?

Tell The Truthiness ; Is there oil on the moon?

Brits See The Light, Head Home ; Brown's Speech

Here is the video of Prime Minister Gordon Brown announcing the cutting of UK troops in Iraq.

Blackwater 2 ; Australian Private Company Opens Fire

An Australian company opened fire on a car at a checkpoint after it failed to stop after warnings, reports say.

Employees of the Unity Resources Group shot dead two woman today despite repeated warnings in central Baghdad to slow down and stop, including hand signals and a flare.

The Chief Operating Officer of Unity was "unaware" about the deaths when questioned.

Tell The Truthiness ; Reportedly, this is the first time Unity have been reponsible for a fatal shooting, lets watch and see that they keep to their promise and do "whatever" the Iraqi Interior Ministry asks them to in relation to this shooting.

War On Reality Part 62 ; $8 Million A Life, Blackwater's Fixed Costs

An Iraqi report into the Blackwater shootings has called the incident "pre-mediated murder" and a call of $8 million compensation per victim has been made.

The report is due to be presented to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government for review soon. 17 people died and 27 other citizens were killed after the private contractors opened fire after, it's reported, no provocation in Nusorr Square, West Baghdad.

Tell The Truthiness ; Lets make sure justice comes to those responsible for this.

Monday, October 08, 2007

News Wars Gets Book ; We've Preordered Our Copy, Have You?

A new book by Howard Kurtz shows how the big three networks continue to chase fewer viewers in the last big war of national evening news broadcasts.

Some of the extracts, here, are very telling and interesting.

War On Reality Part 61 ; Iraqi Government Says Surge Has Failed

The whole aim of the surge was that an increase in troops would lead to stability which would give leaders breathing space to achieve political progress.

But any political progress hasn't just stopped, it's gone backwards. If any evidence was needed, here it is; the Iraqi government has recognised that progress is just not possible and will not happen.

Tell The Truthiness ; Some predicted a "major breakthrough" in governing in Iraq. If progress ever does happen it will be methodical, plodding and agonisingly frustrating.

Then There Were 2,500 ; The British Are Going, The British Are Going!

We don't have video of this announcement yet, but here is a two part interview with Gordon Brown by BBC reporter, Andrew Marr. Once today's video is available, it will be up.

Part One

Part Two

Gordon Brown this afternoon announced that UK troops in Iraq will be reduced to 2,500 by the Spring. He also gave details about Iraqi nationals who are working as interpreters having aid available to them for the chance to settle in the UK.

In the discussion of it being a defeat for allied forces, Prime Minister Brown said the reason these withdrawals are happening is because Iraqi forces are able to take control for themselves.

Tell The Truthiness ; Despite the disaster that Iraq has been for all those concerned in recent times, this, that troops are coming home, is good news.

War On Reality Part 60 ; Torture Analysis Roundup

We were going to post this late last week, but there were just so many stories to cover, it got pushed aside.

Not a lot new here, but the Countdown show introduction, from Thursday, gives a good overview of the whole sorry state of this story.

This one is the introduction to the Countdown show from Friday, with new developments in the story, again it gives a good roundup of the whole thing.

Tell The Truthiness ; "Do we torture? Well, it depends what you call torture, because what me and Dick call it is probably not what you call it, so we're ok yeah, now watch this drive..."

Sunday, October 07, 2007

SNL's Take On Senator Larry Craig's Unusual Position

Saturday Night Live's dig at the Senator's bizzare refusal to step-down.

War On Reality Part 59 ; Pelosi Corrects The President

Remember the other day when the President was talking about the interrogation techniques used and claiming that the Democrats knew about them?

On Fox News Sunday this morning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denied she had seen any memos from 2005 about the expanded CIA techniques.

Tell The Truthiness ; Just because something is unacceptable Mr Bush, doesn't mean you can make it excusable by claiming your opponents knew about it and therefore are in the same moral hole as you.

Road To Tehran 3 ; Turning Iran In Al-Qaeda In Eight Simple Steps

With everyone in the US government insisting they have no intention of attack Iran, the flip side is that every few days there's some White House talking point aimed at painting Iran as the primary cause of unrest in Iraq or a new emerging threat to US interests.

General David Petraeus, in an interview with CNN, said that the long-term threat for Iraq could be militias backed by Iran.

Tell The Truthiness ; Doesn't Mr Petraeus deserve a break? He's done enough of the White House's bidding in the last few weeks to make Bush seem lazy. If they are going to lie to us, we'd appreciate being lied to by the President than by someone he thinks will do a better job of it than him.

Friday, October 05, 2007

War On Reality Part 58 ; They See A Standard & They've Just Got To Lower It

Torture, according to the Justice Department is "abhorrent", that word was used and many others in a December 2004 legal opinion giving the Department's stance on the issue.

Well, in true form, the Bush administration has shown it's wish and indication in black and white with this story that it pushed for torture to be carried out after former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' document which was issued not long after he started his job in February 2005. This memo, was, as all of the best White House memos are, kept secret.

Click here for the New York Times story.

Tell The Truthiness ; Reason 653 to not trust George H W Bush and his gang.

We don't have the footage of him defending himself from the last few days, but here is last year's clip of him talking to Matt Lauer on NBC. The interview is very telling of how he defends the use of 'torture' to keep people safe and invoking terror to frighten people, he talks about 9/11 and he talks about Lauer's family several times. Frightening.

The Loosest Of Loose Cannons ; Senator Larry Craig

Senator Larry Craig has said he will carry on in the Senate, despite his wish to change his guilty plea which was turned down yesterday and the despite the wishes of many in the Republican Party. The head of the GOP Senate Committee has pleaded with Craig to leave.

He won't stand again at the next election, but in the meantime will continue to represent his constituents, despite what they may think of him and his actions over recent months.

Many think he's just going to continue to be nothing but a 'national punch line'.

Tell The Truthiness ; Hasn't his integrity been shattered, how can he remain and for how long before his Senate position becomes completely untenable?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Senator Craig Judge Says 'No No, Then Yes Yes!'

Larry Craig today tried to change his guilty plea after his disorderly conduct charge three months ago.

Judge Charles Porter said that Senator Larry Craig's guilty plea was entered "accurately and intelligently" in June and was upheld.

We shall now have to wait and see how this impacts on the Senator's future. You'll remember when he said he would resign, then returned to work, so chances are there'll be some more twists in the tale.

Tell The Truthiness ; Don't let the door hit you in the wide stance on the way out!

Just For Fun

As the title says, just for fun.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

War On Reality Part 57 ; What Might Happen? In An Episode Of Sliders?

Tell The Truthiness ; Imagine, Bush never got elected, it's too emotional for us.

Preporting & Specularium ; Our Two Favourite None-Words

Tell The Truthiness ; We're surprised Jon and the team could even get through that without cracking up.

Leapfrogging Mayor Injures Woman Dressed As Tomato

No comment required, just click here.

War On Reality Part 56 ; I'm Not Thinking Of The Childrens

President Bush vetoed an expansion of child health insurance today, kicking off a fight with the Democratic Congress. Republicans are confident they have enough votes to prevent the bill getting through in the house, however the Democrats have indicated they will fight for this bill.

Interestingly Bush stamped the bill 'veto' in private with no cameras or reporters present. He stressed afterwards he was in favour of private medical care, if anyone was in any doubt.

Tell The Truthiness ; Someone tell the President giving increased insurance to children for healthcare doesn't mean you'll turn into a communist overnight.

Road To Tehran 2 ; Lets Go Round Again

The war in Iraq could become last season's collection as some 'experts' say Bush and Cheney will order strikes on Iran before the end of his presidency.

Indeed, if you take Seymour Hersh at his word, it seems Bush and Cheney "really want" to attack Iran.

Tell The Truthiness ; Where is the mainstream media on questioning this? They should have learned their lesson from Iraq and their 'reporting' of the facts back then. So lets have a steady stream of impartial reporting on whether or not a war is neccessary or a threat even exists.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Reported Iraqi Deaths Fall 50 Percent, Will It Last?

Iraqi civilian deaths have fallen by half during September, the lowest level for over a year.

The US military claims the fall in casualty numbers is due to the 30,000 extra troops and different strategies.

Tell The Truthiness ; Has the number of unreported deaths, which aren't included in these figures fallen as well? Could this be a turning point? We won't hold our breath to wait and see.

Saunter To The White House Part 3 ; All Of Our Minorities Aren't Worth It

Despite the 'big four' not turning up to the date, they were still politely given the chance to speak.

Tell The Truthiness ; Where were you all? Tavis Smiley would have given you a run for your money, including how much you raised when you should have been at the debate.

Jack Cafferty Tells It Like It Is

Jon Stewart also had Jack Cafferty on the Daily Show last night, here's what he had to say.

Tell The Truthiness ; Lets hope he doesn't retire as soon as he hits 65. Keep going please Jack.

War On Reality Part 56 ; Will No-One Think Of The Childrens?

Jon Stewart does nothing but play the clip of the President talking about education.

War On Reality Part 55 ; Blackwater's Black Iraq Record

The level of force used by the US private security firm Blackwater has been strongly questioned by a congressional staff report.

They say that Blackwater's use of force has been "frequent and extensive" and that in 80 percent of cases, Blackwater employees fired first. This is despite Blackwater only being allowed to fire weapons to defend itself.

Tell The Truthiness ; We should get more details and possibly an admission of poor management tomorrow when Blackwater's CEO answer's questions on his company's conduct in Iraq.
Cost of the War in Iraq
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