Monday, June 18, 2007

Cry Havoc! And then ignore the Costs of War...

I honest to goodness could not blog about this when I read this article in the Post yesterday. I was in turns, pissed as hell and so sad I could not stand it.

For all the jingoistic, "We're Number 1!", "Support the Troops!" yellow-ribbon bullshit that Fearless Leader and his NeoCon co-conspirators foisted on us, many many of us saw this coming. You did not have to be a Veteran, you didn't even have to be a Democrat to see this coming. It was as inevitable as a sunrise ... the 1600 Crew would forget the sacrifice, misunderstand the consequences and ignore the suffering of the men and women that the sent into harms way. After all, for a puerile idiot and his evil mentor whose major connections to the military were desertion and deferment, the consequences of war were always academic.

Army Spec. Jeans Cruz helped capture Saddam Hussein. When he came home to the Bronx, important people called him a war hero and promised to help him start a new life. The mayor of New York, officials of his parents' home town in Puerto Rico, the borough president and other local dignitaries honored him with plaques and silk parade sashes. They handed him their business cards and urged him to phone.
At a low point, he went to the local Department of Veterans Affairs medical center for help. One VA psychologist diagnosed Cruz with post-traumatic stress disorder. His condition was labeled "severe and chronic." In a letter supporting his request for PTSD-related disability pay, the psychologist wrote that Cruz was "in need of major help" and that he had provided "more than enough evidence" to back up his PTSD claim. His combat experiences, the letter said, "have been well documented."

None of that seemed to matter when his case reached VA disability evaluators. They turned him down flat, ruling that he deserved no compensation because his psychological problems existed before he joined the Army. They also said that Cruz had not proved he was ever in combat. "The available evidence is insufficient to confirm that you actually engaged in combat," his rejection letter stated.

Because you know, treating men like former Specialist Cruz would require the going to the tax-cuts for the Americans who will not serve, nor will their progeny. After all, military service is by and large, not for folks whose address is in a gated neighborhood, or who is might be looking forward to spending their trust-fund money at some future time.
Yet abundant evidence of his year in combat with the 4th Infantry Division covers his family's living-room wall. The Army Commendation Medal With Valor for "meritorious actions . . . during strategic combat operations" to capture Hussein hangs not far from the combat spurs awarded for his work with the 10th Cavalry "Eye Deep" scouts, attached to an elite unit that caught the Iraqi leader on Dec. 13, 2003, at Ad Dawr.
I'm guessing it was sort of like that John Grisham novel "The Rainmaker" over at the VA that day. Deny 'til they Die must be the new republican-appointee motto of the VA's political masters; hell it's not so hard to imagine given what's been going on at Justice, is it?
The disability process has come to symbolize the bureaucratic confusion over PTSD. To qualify for compensation, troops and veterans are required to prove that they witnessed at least one traumatic event, such as the death of a fellow soldier or an attack from a roadside bomb, or IED. That standard has been used to deny thousands of claims. But many experts now say that debilitating stress can result from accumulated trauma as well as from one significant event.
I'm sure that every soldier/Marine runs right back from a patrol and fills out a notarized document to present to the VA at some later date to prove that they saw Bad Things Happen. I mean, shit without that fucking paperwork they're probably just a bunch of freeloading goldbricks looking for their next handout when they get back to the world, right?
After he left the Army and came home to the Bronx, he rode a bus and the subway 45 minutes after work to attend group sessions at the local VA facility. He always arrived late and left frustrated. Listening to the traumas of other veterans only made him feel worse, he said: "It made me more aggravated. I had to get up and leave." Experts say people such as Cruz need individual and occupational therapy.
Or some help from all those people who stuck their business cards in his palm during the glory days of his return from Iraq. "I have plaques on my wall -- but nothing more than that."
They have followed the lead of the 1600 Crew and have long since removed their yellow ribbon magnets from their SUV's, and are now being "serious" about calling for military action against Iran. They don't see or understand the price that Jeans Cruz and thousands of others are paying and will pay for their demogougery and general Chickenhawkery.

You never had to be veteran to be able to have an opinion about the lies that led us into this misbegotten war. But veterans probably understood the consequences better than men whose closest contact with the military has been dressing up in Warrior regalia and asking for more sacrifice while giving up nothing themselves.

posted by Jo Fish at 10:49 PM |

Leaks in the Crackberry...

I guess that the idiots in the 1600 Crew figured that the rules (again) didn't apply to them. Seems that they were using all that free e-mail server space at the RNC to good advantage. Laws, after all, are for "little people", which I guess means The Clenis.

White House aides made extensive use of political e-mail accounts for official government business, despite rules requiring that they conduct such business through official communications channels, according to new evidence disclosed yesterday by congressional investigators.
I guess it's no surprise that Our Boy Turdblossom was a prime user of the "outside the records act" email system.
Former Rove assistant Susan B. Ralston affirmed in a deposition released by the committee that her ex-boss used his political e-mail account "most of the time."
Because you know, when you are not being entirely upfront about your activities, what better solution than to use an email system that you think is "invisible".

I wonder how long until the Wingnuts start howling about Congress pursuing "partisan political persecution" of the all-political all-the-time RNC?

Not long, I'll wager. Given the obvious brain power of the 1600 Crew mis-users and the RNC, I wonder how much erased stuff will be recovered by a geek with an attitude and some good software? Obstruction of Justice anyone?

posted by Jo Fish at 10:30 PM |

Friday, June 15, 2007

Scooter and Duke

I gotta wonder if Scooter is going to maybe have a good time hanging with his ol' buddy Duke Cunningham? They are both going to be in the US Bureau of Prison system somewhere. Maybe living it up together, talking about the good old days screwing America while living large on the public dole. To think, they'll still be getting three squares and health care from us, just on a bit more scaled-back basis.

It's fun to see the "rule of law" crowd having paroxysms of rage over the Libby conviction, I have to wonder how many of them can still tell us the number of spots on Clinton's dick? Which is sort of like Scooter's Dick, but not as powerful...

I am going to greatly enjoy watching Scooter trotted off to the big house at some point this summer... it's gonna make for some interesting TV. Maybe he can get some tips from Paris Hilton on how to (1) use a psychiatrist to get out early (2) find religion behind bars (calling Chuckie Colson) (3) cry more than she did when taken away from his family in the prison vehicle.

At least Paris Hilton has expressed remorse for getting caught, something Scooter has yet to do. I wonder how much money is in the trust fund for his kids from "Uncle Dick"?

posted by Jo Fish at 04:21 PM |

It's Show Time ...

Apparently the "Surge" is now "complete", whatever the hell that means.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Friday Washington was disappointed with the Iraqi government's efforts to pass laws aimed at reconciling the country's warring factions.
Gates arrived on a day when the U.S. military said it had completed its troop build-up to 160,000 soldiers. Nearly 30,000 extra troops have been sent to Iraq, mainly to secure Baghdad.

The effort has been costly for U.S soldiers. May was the third deadliest month for U.S. troops since the start of the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, with 126 killed.

The military said on Friday that four more soldiers were killed on Thursday, taking the June toll to 42 and 3,519 in total since 2003.
In its quarterly report on Iraq published this week, the Pentagon said it was too soon to assess the military crackdown. While violence was down in Baghdad, the overall level was unchanged in Iraq because militants had simply moved their bases outside the capital, it said.

I guess that none of the brain-trust that runs the Pentagram for His Most Exalted Preztleness has managed to figure out that if the troops are in Baghdad, you move your operations elsewhere. Because that kind of thinking could get you fired from your delightful do-nothing job, and all future political work for the RNC would be in jeopardy. Better to spend your time writing letters to Judge Walton on behalf of covicted felon Scooter Libby than worry about the effects of piss-poor policy and planning.

The mess in Mess O'Potamia won't get better anytime soon, but I do expect a news conference any day now where Beloved Leader urges all the "little people" to clap until our hands bleed.

posted by Jo Fish at 04:01 PM |

An undeniable failure ... now and then

Preznit Putz has an indisputable talent for fucking up a wet dream. Honestly. Look at his track record ... a gimmee job in the Texas Air National Guard; business after business driven to ruin by his incompetance; a war in the Middle East; oh and his ineptitude in the Israeli-Palestinian mess...

Five years ago this month, President Bush stood in the Rose Garden and laid out a vision for the Middle East that included Israel and a state called Palestine living together in peace. "I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror," the president declared.

The takeover this week of the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group dedicated to the elimination of Israel demonstrates how much that vision has failed to materialize, in part because of actions taken by the administration. The United States championed Israel's departure from the Gaza Strip as a first step toward peace and then pressed both Israelis and Palestinians to schedule legislative elections, which Hamas unexpectedly won. Now Hamas is the unchallenged power in Gaza.

I won't mention the Sammy Sosa trade, because there's no point in piling on.

posted by Jo Fish at 03:43 PM |

General Wesley Clark, presidential candidate
"I think we're dealing with the most closed, imperialistic, nastiest administration in living memory. They even put Richard Nixon to shame."

From Shakespeare's great Henry V, 1599
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot, But he'll remember with advantages What feats he did that day: then shall our names. Familiar in his mouth as household words Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester, Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd. This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remember'd; We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition: And gentlemen in England now a-bed Shall think themselves accursed they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day."

"And Dick Cheney, looking like he needs some people to torture, walked around the Gulf Coast and got cursed at by a doctor. Poor bastard was detained for sneering at his imperial majesty. It should be federal law that the Imperial March from Star Wars be played at all Vice Presidential events."
-Steve Gilliard

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