Monday, July 31, 2006

WTC Movie...How about some authentic answers to some unanswered questions

EXPERTS CLAIM OFFICIAL 9/11 STORY IS A HOAX
Scholars for 9/11 Truth call for verification and publication by an international consortium.


Duluth, MN (PRWEB) January 30, 2006 -- A group of distinguished experts and scholars, including Robert M. Bowman, James H. Fetzer, Wayne Madsen, John McMurtry, Morgan Reynolds, and Andreas von Buelow, have concluded that senior government officials have covered up crucial facts about what really happened on 9/11.

They have joined with others in common cause as members of "Scholars for 9/11 Truth" (S9/11T), because they are convinced, based on their own research, that the administration has been deceiving the nation about critical events in New York and Washington, D.C.

These experts suggest these events may have been orchestrated by elements within the administration to manipulate Americans into supporting policies at home and abroad they would never have condoned absent "another Pearl Harbor."

They believe that this White House is incapable of investigating itself and hope the possibility that Congress might hold an unaccountable administration accountable is not merely naive or wishful thinking.

They are encouraging news services around the world to secure scientific advice by taking advantage of university resources to verify or to falsify their discoveries. Extraordinary situations, they believe, require extraordinary measures.

If this were done, they contend, one of the great hoaxes of history would stand naked before the eyes of the world and its perpetrators would be clearly exposed, which may be the only hope for saving this nation from ever greater abuse.

They hope this might include The New York Times, which, in their opinion, has repeatedly failed to exercise the leadership expected from our nation's newspaper of record by a series of inexplicable lapses. It has failed to vigorously investigate tainted elections, lies leading to the war in Iraq, or illegal NSA spying on the American people, major unconstitutional events. In their view, The Times might compensate for its loss of stature by helping to reveal the truth about one of the great turning-point events of modern history.

Stunning as it may be to acknowledge, they observe, the government has brought but one indictment against anyone and, to the best of their knowledge, has not even reprimanded anyone for incompetence or dereliction of duty. The official conspiracy theory--that nineteen Arab hijackers under control of one man in the wilds of Afghanistan brought this about--is unsupportable by the evidential data, which they have studied. They even believe there are good reasons for suspecting that video tapes officially attributed to Osama bin Laden are not genuine.

They have found the government's own investigation to be severely flawed. The 9/11 Commission, designated to investigate the attack, was directed by Philip Zelikow, part of the Bush transition team in the NSA sector and the co-author of a book with Condoleezza Rice. A Bush supporter and director of national security affairs, he could hardly be expected to conduct an objective and impartial investigation.

They have discovered that The 9/11 Commission Report is replete with omissions, distortions, and factual errors, which David Ray Griffin has documented in his book, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions. The official report, for example, entirely ignores the collapse of WTC7, a 47-story building, which was hit by no airplanes, was only damaged by a few small fires, and fell seven hours after the attack.

Here are some of the kinds of considerations that these experts and scholars find profoundly troubling:

In the history of structural engineering, steel-frame high-rise buildings have never been brought down due to fires either before or since 9/11, so how can fires have brought down three in one day? How is this possible?

The BBC has reported that at least five of the nineteen alleged "hijackers" have turned up alive and well living in Saudi Arabia, yet according to the FBI, they were among those killed in the attacks. How is this possible?

Frank DeMartini, a project manager for the WTC, said the buildings were designed with load redistribution capabilities to withstand the impact of airliners, whose effects would be like "puncturing mosquito netting with a pencil." Yet they completely collapsed. How is this possible?

Since the melting point of steel is about 2,700°F, the temperature of jet fuel fires does not exceed 1,800°F under optimal conditions, and UL certified the steel used to 2,000°F for six hours, the buildings cannot have collapsed due to heat from the fires. How is this possible?

Flight 77, which allegedly hit the building, left the radar screen in the vicinity of the Ohio/Kentucky border, only to "reappear" in very close proximity to the Pentagon shortly before impact. How is this possible?

Foreign "terrorists" who were clever enough to coordinate hijacking four commercial airliners seemingly did not know that the least damage to the Pentagon would be done by hitting its west wing. How is this possible?

Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, in an underground bunker at the White House, watched Vice President Cheney castigate a young officer for asking, as the plane drew closer and closer to the Pentagon, "Do the orders still stand?" The order cannot have been to shoot it down, but must have been the opposite. How is this possible?

A former Inspector General for the Air Force has observed that Flight 93, which allegedly crashed in Pennsylvania, should have left debris scattered over an area less than the size of a city block; but it is scattered over an area of about eight square miles. How is this possible?

A tape recording of interviews with air traffic controllers on duty on 9/11 was deliberately crushed, cut into very small pieces, and distributed in assorted places to insure its total destruction. How is this possible?

The Pentagon conducted a training exercise called "MASCAL" simulating the crash of a Boeing 757 into the building on 24 October 2000, and yet Condoleezza Rice, among others, has repeatedly asserted that "no one ever imagined" a domestic airplane could be used as a weapon. How is this possible?
Their own physics research has established that only controlled demolitions are consistent with the near-gravity speed of fall and virtually symmetrical collapse of all three of the WTC buildings. While turning concrete into very fine dust, they fell straight-down into their own footprints.
These experts and scholars have found themselves obliged to conclude that the 9/11 atrocity represents an instance of the approach--which has been identified by Karl Rove, the President's closest adviser--

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

You mean Bush really isn't qualified....LOL

Conservative Anger Grows Over Bush's Foreign Policy

Original article and link at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/18/AR2006071801373.html?sub=AR


By Michael Abramowitz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 19, 2006; Page A01

At a moment when his conservative coalition is already under strain over domestic policy, President Bush is facing a new and swiftly building backlash on the right over his handling of foreign affairs.

Conservative intellectuals and commentators who once lauded Bush for what they saw as a willingness to aggressively confront threats and advance U.S. interests said in interviews that they perceive timidity and confusion about long-standing problems including Iran and North Korea, as well as urgent new ones such as the latest crisis between Israel and Hezbollah.

Criticism comes from the right for President Bush.

"It is Topic A of every single conversation," said Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank that has had strong influence in staffing the administration and shaping its ideas. "I don't have a friend in the administration, on Capitol Hill or any part of the conservative foreign policy establishment who is not beside themselves with fury at the administration."

Conservatives complain that the United States is hunkered down in Iraq without enough troops or a strategy to crush the insurgency. They see autocrats in Egypt and Russia cracking down on dissenters with scant comment from Washington, North Korea firing missiles without consequence, and Iran playing for time to develop nuclear weapons while the Bush administration engages in fruitless diplomacy with European allies. They believe that a perception that the administration is weak and without options is emboldening Syria and Iran and the Hezbollah radicals they help sponsor in Lebanon.

Most of the most scathing critiques of the administration from erstwhile supporters are being expressed within think tanks and in journals and op-ed pages followed by a foreign policy elite in Washington and New York.

But the Bush White House has always paid special attention to the conversation in these conservative circles. Many of the administration's signature ideas -- regime change in Iraq, and special emphasis on military "preemption" and democracy building around the globe -- first percolated within this intellectual community. In addition, these voices can be a leading indicator of how other conservatives from talk radio to Congress will react to policies.

As the White House listens to what one official called the "chattering classes," it hears a level of disdain from its own side of the ideological spectrum that would have been unthinkable a year ago. It is an odd irony for a president who has inflamed liberals and many allies around the world for what they see as an overly confrontational, go-it-alone approach. The discontent on the right could also color the 2008 presidential debate.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who is considering a bid for president, called the administration's latest moves abroad a form of appeasement. "We have accepted the lawyer-diplomatic fantasy that talking while North Korea builds bombs and missiles and talking while the Iranians build bombs and missiles is progress," he said in an interview. "Is the next stage for Condi to go dancing with Kim Jong Il?" he asked, referring to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the North Korean leader.

"I am utterly puzzled,"
Gingrich added. WHICH ISN'T SURPRISING...I'D USE THE WORD CLUELESS with an added POSTURING for good measure.

Kenneth Adelman, a Reagan administration arms-control official who is close to Vice President Cheney, said he believes foreign policy innovation for White House ended with Bush's second inaugural address, a call to spread democracy throughout the world.

"What they are doing on North Korea or Iran is what [Sen. John F.] Kerry would do, what a normal middle-of-the-road president would do," he said. "This administration prided itself on molding history, not just reacting to events. Its a normal foreign policy right now. It's the triumph of Kerryism."

Not all conservatives subscribe to such views. Some prominent conservatives, including William F. Buckley Jr. and George Will, have been skeptical of the mission in Iraq and, in Will's case, much of the ability of America to build democracy abroad. In his syndicated column yesterday, Will referred to the neoconservative complaints in observing that the administration is "suddenly receiving some criticism so untethered from reality as to defy caricature."

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

That constitution is just a piece of paper.......

By Murray Waas, National Journal
© National Journal Group Inc.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee today that President Bush personally halted an internal Justice Department investigation into whether Gonzales and other senior department officials acted within the law in approving and overseeing the administration's domestic surveillance program.

President Bush made the decision to deny the security clearances for the investigators, Alberto Gonzales said in his testimony before the Senate.

The investigation, by the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility, was halted when lawyers who were going to conduct the investigation were denied the security clearances that would have allowed them to view classified documents related to the surveillance program. President Bush made the decision to deny the security clearances for the investigators, Gonzales said in his testimony today.

"The president of the United States makes the decision," Gonzales said in response to a question by Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, who wanted to know who denied the clearances to the investigators.

The statement by Gonzales stunned some senior Justice Department officials, who were led to believe that Gonzales himself had made the decision to deny the clearances after consulting with intelligence agencies whose activities would be scrutinized, a senior federal law enforcement official said in an interview.

Gonzales was questioned by Specter in light of a May 27 story in National Journal that reported that the OPR investigation was quashed because of the refusal to allow investigators security clearances. Senior Justice Department officials told National Journal then that the investigators were seeking only information and documents relating to the National Security Agency's surveillance program that were already in the Justice Department's possession.

A senior Justice official said that the refusal to grant the clearances was "unprecedented" and questioned whether the clearances were denied because investigators might find "misconduct by those who were attempting to defeat" the probe from being conducted. The official made the comments without knowing that Bush had made the decision to refuse the clearances.

During the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today, Specter asked Gonzales, "Why wasn't OPR given clearances as so many other lawyers in the Department of Justice were given clearance?"

"The president of the United States makes decisions about who is ultimately given access,
" Gonzales responded.

Pressing the attorney general further, Specter asked, "Did the president make the decision not to clear OPR?"

Gonzales responded, "As with all decisions that are non-operational in terms of who has access to the program, the president of the United States makes the decision."

Michael Shaheen, who headed the OPR from its inception until 1997, said in a telephone interview in May that his staff "never, ever was denied a clearance" and that OPR had conducted numerous investigations involving the activities of attorneys general. "No attorney general has ever said no to me," Shaheen said.

A spokesman for the Justice Department didn't immediately return a phone call asking for more information on Gonzales's disclosure today.

The investigation was launched in January by the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility -- a small ethics watchdog set up in 1975 after department officials were implicated in the Watergate scandal. OPR investigates "allegations of misconduct involving department attorneys that relate to the exercise of their authority to investigate, litigate, or provide legal advice," according to the office's policies and procedures.

Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., and three other Democrats -- John Lewis of Georgia, Henry Waxman of California, and Lynn Woolsey of California -- requested the OPR investigation after the surveillance program was revealed in late 2005 and asked the agency to determine whether it complied with existing law.

OPR's lead counsel, H. Marshall Jarrett, wrote to Hinchey in early February to say he had launched the investigation. "I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your January 9, 2006, letter, in which you asked this office to investigate the Department of Justice's role in authorizing, approving, and auditing certain surveillance activities of the National Security Agency, and whether such activities are permissible under existing law. For your information, we have initiated an investigation. Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention."

But Jarrett subsequently wrote [PDF] to Hinchey, "We have been unable to make any meaningful progress in our investigation because OPR has been denied security clearances for access to information about the NSA program. Beginning in January 2006, this office made a series of requests for the necessary clearances. On May 9, 2006, we were informed that our requests had been denied. Without these clearances, we cannot investigate this matter and therefore have closed our investigation."

When Hinchey and other Democratic House members inquired of Jarrett as to why he was not able to obtain the necessary clearances, Jarrett wrote them back on June 8 that he could not answer their questions because to do so "would require me to disclose client confidences and internal Justice Department deliberations, which I am precluded from doing."

In a phone interview today, Hinchey said that he was "not terribly surprised by the news" that it was President Bush who stymied the Justice probe by denying the clearances. He questioned whether Bush took the action to protect his own attorney general from the inquiry.

"It was the president of the United States himself who prevented this investigation from going forward. In obstructing the investigation, he was protecting the people around him, and not protecting the Constitution," Hinchey said.

Hinchey also asserted that "Congress has been complicit" with the administration in "disregarding the Constitution by not conducting its own inquiry into the matter: This has been a rubber-stamp Congress that has not stood up to the administration and for the separation of powers provisions in the Constitution," he said.

Previous coverage of pre-war intelligence and the CIA leak investigation from Murray Waas. Shane Harris also contributed to this story.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Americans should be Hysterical About This

Nuking the Economy
Forget Iran—Americans Should be Hysterical About This
By Paul Craig Roberts
In five years the US economy only created 70,000 jobs in architecture and engineering, many of which are clerical. Little wonder engineering enrollments are shrinking. There are no jobs for graduates. The talk about engineering shortages is absolute ignorance.Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics re-benchmarked the payroll jobs data back to 2000. Thanks to Charles McMillion of MBG Information Services, I have the adjusted data from January 2001 through January 2006. If you are worried about terrorists, you don’t know what worry is.
Job growth over the last five years is the weakest on record. The US economy came up more than 7 million jobs short of keeping up with population growth. That’s one good reason for controlling immigration. An economy that cannot keep up with population growth should not be boosting population with heavy rates of legal and illegal immigration.

Over the past five years the US economy experienced a net job loss in goods-producing activities. The entire job growth was in service-providing activities--primarily credit intermediation, health care and social assistance, waiters, waitresses and bartenders, and state and local government.

Job growth over the last five years is the weakest on record. The US economy came up more than 7 million jobs short of keeping up with population growth.US manufacturing lost 2.9 million jobs, almost 17% of the manufacturing work force. The wipeout is across the board. Not a single manufacturing payroll classification created a single new job.

The declines in some manufacturing sectors have more in common with a country undergoing saturation bombing during war than with a super-economy that is “the envy of the world.” Communications equipment lost 43% of its workforce. Semiconductors and electronic components lost 37% of its workforce. The workforce in computers and electronic products declined 30%. Electrical equipment and appliances lost 25% of its employees. The workforce in motor vehicles and parts declined 12%. Furniture and related products lost 17% of its jobs. Apparel manufacturers lost almost half of the work force. Employment in textile mills declined 43%. Paper and paper products lost one-fifth of its jobs. The work force in plastics and rubber products declined by 15%. Even manufacturers of beverages and tobacco products experienced a 7% shrinkage in jobs.

The knowledge jobs that were supposed to take the place of lost manufacturing jobs in the globalized “new economy” never appeared. The information sector lost 17% of its jobs, with the telecommunications work force declining by 25%. Even wholesale and retail trade lost jobs. Despite massive new accounting burdens imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley, accounting and bookkeeping employment shrank by 4%. Computer systems design and related lost 9% of its jobs. Today there are 209,000 fewer managerial and supervisory jobs than 5 years ago.

In five years the US economy only created 70,000 jobs in architecture and engineering, many of which are clerical. Little wonder engineering enrollments are shrinking. There are no jobs for graduates. The talk about engineering shortages is absolute ignorance. There are several hundred thousand American engineers who are unemployed and have been for years. No student wants a degree that is nothing but a ticket to a soup line. Many engineers have written to me that they cannot even get Wal-Mart jobs because their education makes them over-qualified.

Offshore outsourcing and offshore production have left the US awash with unemployment among the highly educated. The low measured rate of unemployment does not include discouraged workers. Labor arbitrage has made the unemployment rate less and less a meaningful indicator. In the past unemployment resulted mainly from turnover in the labor force and recession. Recoveries pulled people back into jobs.

Unemployment benefits were intended to help people over the down time in the cycle when workers were laid off. Today the unemployment is permanent, as entire occupations and industries are wiped out by labor arbitrage as corporations replace their American employees with foreign ones.

Economists who look beyond political press releases estimate the US unemployment rate to be between 7% and 8.5%. There are now hundreds of thousands of Americans who will never recover their investment in their university education.

Unless the BLS is falsifying the data or businesses are reporting the opposite of the facts, the US is experiencing a job depression. Most economists refuse to acknowledge the facts, because they endorsed globalization. It was a win-win situation, they said.

They were wrong.

At a time when America desperately needs the voices of educated people as a counterweight to the disinformation that emanates from the Bush administration and its supporters, economists have discredited themselves. This is especially true for “free market economists” who foolishly assumed that international labor arbitrage was an example of free trade that was benefitting Americans. Where is the benefit when employment in US export industries and import-competitive industries is shrinking? After decades of struggle to regain credibility, free market economics is on the verge of another wipeout.

No sane economist can possibly maintain that a deplorable record of merely 1,054,000 net new private sector jobs over five years is an indication of a healthy economy.No sane economist can possibly maintain that a deplorable record of merely 1,054,000 net new private sector jobs over five years is an indication of a healthy economy. The total number of private sector jobs created over the five year period is 500,000 jobs less than one year’s legal and illegal immigration! (In a December 2005 Center for Immigration Studies report based on the Census Bureau’s March 2005 Current Population Survey, Steven Camarota writes that there were 7.9 million new immigrants between January 2000 and March 2005.)

The economics profession has failed America. It touts a meaningless number while joblessness soars. Lazy journalists at the New York Times simply rewrite the Bush administration’s press releases.

On February 10 the Commerce Department released a record US trade deficit in goods and services for 2005--$726 billion. The US deficit in Advanced Technology Products reached a new high. Offshore production for home markets and jobs outsourcing has made the US highly dependent on foreign provided goods and services, while simultaneously reducing the export capability of the US economy. It is possible that there might be no exchange rate at which the US can balance its trade.

Polls indicate that the Bush administration is succeeding in whipping up fear and hysteria about Iran. The secretary of defense is promising Americans decades-long war. Is death in battle Bush’s solution to the job depression? Will Asians finance a decades-long war for a bankrupt country?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at: paulcraigroberts@yahoo.com. This article originally appeared at counterpunch.org and is published in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Copyright © 2006 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

50 Easy Questions to Ask Any Republican

by Robert J. Elisberg

Anyone can ask tough, intricate, confrontational questions. But all that ever does is start an argument, and it gets people nowhere. On the other hand, these are...well, easy. These are friendly questions. These are questions that allow another person to actually explain their thoughts, and explain fully. And to do so in as comfortable, as simple a way as possible. Without feeling attacked. Without feeling pressure. Without feeling no one cares what they have to say. Friendly. Easy.
Print them out, carry them around in your pocket, and the next time someone begins quoting from a Republican talking points memo, take the list out and ask.
1. What are the Top Seven best things that the Bush Administration has done?
2. Is the Iraq War is going well?
3. After three years thus far, when do you think Iraq might be able to "stand up" so that America can "stand down"?
4. For his part in the event, how would you rate the job the President did protecting New Orleans from devastation?
5. How do you think the rebuilding of New Orleans is going?
6. When Dick Cheney and the oil company and energy executives met in private to plan America's energy policy, how much of their goal was to benefit consumers?
7. Do you believe in the President's call for an Era of Personal Responsibility?
8. Since Republicans control the White House, Senate and House of Representatives, how personally responsible are they for conditions in America today?
9. Why do you think they haven't been able to find anyone who can verify that George Bush ever showed up for National Guard duty in Alabama?
10. Would you want Donald Rumsfeld to plan your daughter's wedding?
11. Are you aware that no government in the history of civilization, other than the Bush Administration, has lowered taxes during a war?
12. Are you married?
13. Do you personally feel threatened by gay marriage?
14. Since getting elected, do you think the President has been more a uniter or a divider?
15. How do you explain the President's approval rating going from a high of 90% to the current mid-30%?
16. Do you like the government collecting personal data on you without a warrant?
17. How much money do you have in your bank account, stocks and investments?
18. What's your partner's favorite sex position?
19. If you have nothing to hide, why aren't you answering?
20. Should we build a wall along the Mexican border?
21. Why isn't anyone building a wall along the Canadian border?
22. Does that terrorist gang arrested in Canada count as a threat?
23. If you shot someone in the face while drinking, how fast would the police show up to arrest you?
24. If Donald Rumsfeld had planned your daughter's wedding three years ago, would the guests still be there?
25. Even if no laws are broken, do you think it's okay to reveal the name of a covert agent?
26. During your lifetime, approximately how often have you changed your mind?
27. Why shouldn't people dismiss you as a flip-flopper?
28. Where do you think the Weapons of Mass Destruction might be?
29. Where do you think Osama bin Laden might be?
30. Is it fiscally responsible to cut taxes, increase spending and create a $9 trillion federal debt?
31. Are you glad liberals passed such programs as Social Security, Medicare, the Civil Rights Act, women's suffrage, federal deposit insurance, unemployment compensation, rural electrification, child labor laws, minimum wages and the 40-hour work week?
32. What are the Top Ten best things that conservatives have given to America?
33. If you were on life support, would you want a doctor you'd never met making a diagnosis about you via remote television?
34. Do you think man-made greenhouse gases have anything at all to do with depleting the ozone layer?
35. If Donald Rumsfeld had planned your daughter's wedding three years ago, and guests were still there, how many factions would they now be split into?
36. How good is it that the terrorist Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi was killed?
37. Are you aware that in 2002 the Pentagon knew where al-Zarqawi was and presented three separate plans to kill him, but the Administration refused to act each time?
38. Is George W. Bush the kind of guy you'd want to sit down and have a beer with?
39. When he started talking about being a Born Again Christian, would you want to stay or leave?
40. Is Ray Romano the kind of guy you'd want to sit down and have a beer with?
41. Would you want him to be President?
42. Does the Administration have an environmental policy that benefits the environment?
43. Since George Bush campaigned for President strongly against nation building, in what ways are our actions in Iraq not nation building?
44. What's the maximum amount of time you'd want to spend alone with Dick Cheney?
45. After dismissing Saddam Hussein's old Iraqi army, was it a good idea to let them keep their rifles?
46. Would a policy that allows torture be something that makes you proud as an American?
47. Has the Mission been Accomplished?
48. Do you feel comforted that Dick Cheney is a heartbeat away from being President?
49. If Donald Rumsfeld had planned your daughter's wedding, and guests started fighting and were killed, would you expect to be allowed to view the caskets when they were returned home?
50. How glad do you think George Bush is that he's no longer active in the National Guard?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

50 year study says conservatives 'followers'

RAW STORY Original article and active links and video at : www.rawstory.com
Published: Tuesday July 11, 2006



In an interview with MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, former Nixon counsel John Dean explained a largely unknown 50 year academic study. The data shows that conservatives are much more likely to follow authoritarian leaders.

Dean discovered the ongoing study while researching his new book, "Conservative Without Conscience."

Dean believes that the study helps to explain why the Republican party has been driven further right.


Rush Transcript

DEAN: Goldwater Republicanism is really R.I.P. It's been put to rest by most of the people who are now active in moving the movement further to the right than it's ever been. I think that Senator [Goldwater], before he departed, was very distressed with Conservatism. In fact, it was our conversations back in 1994 that started this book. That's really where I began. We wanted to find answers to the question, "Why were Republicans acting as they were?" -- Why Conservatives had taken over the party and were being followed as easily as they were in taking the party where [Goldwater] didn't want it to go.

OLBERMANN: What did you find? -- In less than the 200 pages that the book goes into.

DEAN: I ran into a massive study that has really been going on 50 years now by academics. They've never really shared this with the general public. It's a remarkable analysis of the authoritarian personality. Both those who are inclined to follow leaders and those who jump in front and want to be the leaders. It was not the opinion of social scientists. It was information they drew by questioning large numbers of people -- hundreds of thousands of people -- in anonymous testing where [the subjects] conceded their innermost feelings and reactions to things. And it came out that most of these people were pre-qualified to be conservatives and this, did indeed, fit with the authoritarian personality.

OLBERMANN: Did the studies indicate that this really has anything to do with the political point of view? Would it be easier to impose authoritarianism over the right than it would the left? Is it theoretically possible that it could have gone in either direction and it's just a question of people who like to follow other people?

DEAN: They have found, really, maybe a small, 1%, of the left who will follow authoritarianism. Probably the far left. As far as widespread testing, it's just overwhelmingly conservative orientation.

OLBERMANN: There is an extraordinary amount of academic work that you quote in the book. A lot of it is very unsettling. It deals with psychological principles that are frightening and may have faced other nations at other times. In German and Italy in the 30's, come into mind in particular. But, how does it apply now? To what degree should it scare us and to what degree is it something that might be forestalled?

DEAN: To me, it was something of an epiphany to run into this information. First, I'd never read about it before. I sort of worked my way into it until I found it. It's not generally known out there, what's going on. I think, from the best we can tell, these people -- the followers -- a few of them will change their ways when the realize that they are doing -- not even aware of what they are doing. The leaders, those inclined to dominate, they're not going to change for a second. They're going to be what they are. So, by and large, the reason I write about this is, I think we need to understand it. We need to realize that when you take a certain step of vote a certain way, heading in a certain direction, where this can end up. So, it's sort of a cautionary note. It's a warning as to where this can go. Other countries have gone there.

OLBERMANN: And the idea of leaders and followers going down this path or perhaps taking a country down this path requires -- this whole edifice requires and enemy. Communism, al Qaeda, Democrats, me... whoever for the two-minutes hate. I overuse the Orwellian analogies to nauseating proportions. But it really was, in reading what you wrote about, especially what the academics talked about. There was that two-minutes hate. There has to be an opponent, an enemy, to coalesce around or the whole thing falls apart. Is that the gist of it?

DEAN: It is one of the things, believe it or not, that still holds conservatism together. There is many factions in conservatism and their dislike or hatred of those they betray as liberal, who will basically be anybody who disagrees with them, is one of the cohesive factors. There are a few others but that's certainly one of the basics. There's no question that, particularly the followers, they're very aggressive in their effort to pursue and help their authority figure out or authority beliefs out. They will do what ever needs to be done in many regards. They will blindly follow. They stay loyal too long and this is the frightening part of it.

OLBERMANN: Let me read something from the book. Let me read this one quote then I have a question about it. "Many people believe that neoconservatives and many Republicans appreciate that they are more likely to maintain influence and control of the presidency if the nation remains under ever-increasing threats of terrorism, so they have no hesitation in pursuing policies that can provoke the potential terrorists throughout the world." That's ominous, not just in the sense that authoritarians involved in conservatism and now Republicanism would politicize counter-terror here which we've already argued that point on many occasions. Are you actually saying that they would set up -- encourage terrorism from other countries to set them up as a boogey man to have, again, that group to hate here -- more importantly, afraid of?

DEAN: What I'm saying is that there has been fear mongering, the likes of which we have not seen in a long time in this country. It happened early in the cold war. We got accustomed to it. We learned to live with it. We learned to understand what it was about and get it in proportion. We haven't done that yet with terrorism. And this administration is really capitalizing on it and using it for its' political advantage. No question, the academic testing show -- the empirical evidence shows -- when people are frightened, they tend to go to these authority figures. They tend to become more conservative. So, it's paid off for them politically to do this.

OLBERMANN: This all seems to require, not merely, venality or immorality but a kind of amorality where morals don't enter into it at all. "We're right. So anything we do to preserve our process, our power -- even if it by itself is wrong -- it's right in the greater sense." It's that wonderful rationalization that everybody uses in small doses throughout their lives. But, is this idea, this sort of psychological sort of review of the whole thing, does it apply to Dick Cheney? Does it apply to George Bush? Does it apply to Bill Frist? Who are the names on these authoritarian figures?

DEAN: You just named three that I discuss at some length in the book. I focused in the book, not on the Bush Administration and Cheney and The President because they had really been there done that, but what I wanted to understand is what they have done is made it legitimate to have authoritarianism. It was already operating on Capitol Hill after the '94 control by the Republicans in Congress. It recreated the mood. It restructured Congress itself in a very authoritarian style, in the House in particular. The Senate hasn't gone there yet but it's going there because more House members are moving over. This atmosphere is what Bush and Cheney walked into. They are authoritarian personalities. Cheney much more so than Bush. They have made it legitimate and they have taken way past where anybody's ever taken it in the United States.

OLBERMANN: Our society's best defense against that is what? Do we have to hope, as you suggested, the people that follow, wise up and break away from this sort of lockstep salute to, "of course, they're right, of course there are WMDs, of course there are terrorists, of course there is al Qaeda, of course everything is the way the president says it." Or do we rely on the hope that these are fanatics and fanatics always screw up because they would rather believe in their own cause than double-check their own math.

DEAN: The lead researcher in this field told me, he said, "I look at the numbers of the United States and I see about 23% of the population who are pure right-wing authoritarian followers." They're not going to change. They're going to march over the cliff. The best thing to deal with them -- and they're growing, and they have a tremendous influence on Republican politics -- The best defense is understanding them, to realize what they are doing, how they're doing it and how they operate. Then it can be kept in perspective and they can be seen for what they are.

Administration being held ACCOUNTABLE ?

Rethinking Embattled Tactics in Terror War
Courts, Hill and Allies Press Administration

By Dana Priest
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 11, 2006; A01

Original article and active links at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/10/AR2006071001349_pf.html

Five years after the attacks on the United States, the Bush administration faces the prospect of reworking key elements of its anti-terrorism effort in light of challenges from the courts, Congress and European allies crucial to counterterrorism operations.

The Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee and other members of Congress have complained about not being briefed on classified surveillance programs and huge unprecedented databases used to monitor domestic and international phone calls, faxes, e-mails and bank transfers.

European governments and three international bodies are investigating secret prisons run by the CIA, and some countries have pledged not to allow the transport of terrorism suspects through their airports.

Six European allies have demanded that President Bush shut down the prison for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, citing violations of international law and mistreatment of detainees.

And the Supreme Court recently issued a rebuke of the military commissions created by the administration to try detainees, declaring that they violated the Geneva Conventions and were never properly authorized by Congress.

Accustomed to having its way on matters related to the nation's security, the administration is being forced to respond to criticism that it once brushed aside. The high court ruling rejected the White House's assertion that the president has nearly unlimited executive powers during a time of war, and now executive branch lawyers are reviewing whether other rules adopted after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon will have to be revised, especially those concerning the Geneva Conventions.

"Part of the consideration internally is how to move forward and if the [court] decision does apply more broadly," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. "We're weighing all the issues and taking a very careful look."

She disputed reports of a tug of war within the administration over changing the rules, characterizing the atmosphere instead as an "all hands on deck" debate in an effort "to find a path forward."

Congress, meanwhile, has signaled that it intends to play a major role in shaping the government's response to the court ruling. Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin debating new legislation for trying detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Tomorrow and Thursday, the House and Senate Armed Services committees will begin considering their own proposals. Those two committees pushed through legislation late last year to bring prisoner interrogation rules in compliance with U.S. military and international law.

Also today, a subcommittee of the House Government Reform Committee will conduct a hearing to raise questions about the administration's strategy in Iraq, which Bush has described as an essential front in the terrorism fight.

"The Bush doctrine of 'trust us' is being questioned by the courts, Congress and the country, which is insisting on changing and strengthening their involvement," said former congressman Timothy J. Roemer (D-Ind.), a member of the independent commission that studied the Sept. 11 attacks.

"We are not a parliament, and when we function like a parliament we're unfaithful to the process and our system of government," said Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), who will preside over the Iraq hearing. "We hurt our country and both branches of government. If we had been more forceful . . . Abu Ghraib would have never happened."

In the international arena, the administration and the CIA are reexamining procedures for capturing, transporting and detaining terrorism suspects.

Pierre-Richard Prosper, formerly the State Department official charged with negotiating the return of Guantanamo Bay prisoners to their country of origin, said most countries agree with the goals of counterterrorism.

"But once you started actual implementation, you see the fractures taking place," he said. "I think what has to happen is the world will really need to take a look at these issues. This is a new game; what are the new rules going to be?"

Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), chairman of the House intelligence committee, confirmed on Sunday that he had criticized Bush in a May 18 letter for not briefing Congress on what he called a significant intelligence program, and said the failure to do so was a violation of law and an affront to him.

"I wanted to reinforce to the president and to the executive branch and the intelligence community how important . . . that they keep the legislative branch informed of what they are doing," Hoekstra said on "Fox News Sunday." "It is not optional for this president or any president or people in the executive community not to keep the intelligence committees fully informed of what they are doing."

Hoekstra said he and others in Congress were subsequently briefed by the administration on the program, but he declined to describe the program.

Beyond Congress, the administration faces a barrage of legal challenges by privacy and civil rights groups such as the one that led to the Supreme Court decision.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit in Detroit, home to one of the largest Arab populations outside the Middle East, on behalf of scholars, lawyers, journalists and nonprofit groups challenging the National Security Agency's domestic eavesdropping program. It alleges that the program hindered communications by phone and e-mail between the plaintiffs and people in the Middle East. The Center for Constitutional Rights has a parallel case pending before a federal judge in New York.

The Justice Department so far has persuaded many judges to dismiss such suits, along with those challenging the CIA's "rendition" program, under the "state secret privilege," which argues that allowing a case to proceed would damage national security.

Yesterday, the Justice Department made such a case before U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit. The ACLU, on behalf of the plaintiffs, renewed its call for a court ruling that would force the government to suspend its program of intercepting without a court order the international phone calls and e-mails of U.S. citizens.

Staff writer Jonathan Weisman and researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.

Taylor Marsh: The Swiftboating of John Murtha

July 10, 2006
Original article and active links at : http://www.patriotproject.com/2006/07/the_swiftboatin.php

A Patriot Project Exclusive by Taylor Marsh
Everything was okay until November 17, 2005.

But then all hell broke loose. Scott McClellan kicked it off.

"Congressman Murtha is a respected veteran and politician who has a record of supporting a strong America. So it is baffling that he is endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party. ..
" - Press Secretary Scott McClellan (November 17, 2005)

Never mind that on November 15, 2005, the Senate voted 79-19 that 2006 “should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty.”

Free Republic ran with GOP Lawmakers Float Ethics Probe of Murtha on November 18, 2005, not wasting a moment's time, which was taken from Roll Call, both of which ran the day after Murtha announced his Iraq withdrawal plan. The ethics probe dealt with matters going back to 2004 and 2005. Why now?

If Rep. Murtha didn't have real military clout, being the first Vietnam veteran elected to the House, the Republican Party wouldn't have bothered with him. But he does, so they did. It has now escalated into a conservative campaign to swiftboat a decorated Marine veteran.

Once called one of the most hawkish members of Congress, Rep. John Murtha is now being presented as some anti war coward. His remarks about Haditha have unleashed just the latest salvo in the swiftboating strategy invented by conservatives, which they are now being forced to defend and explain.

Prior to 2005, The Cybercast News Service (CNS), purveyor of all things conservative and run by L. Brent Bozell III, had only one article about Rep. John Murtha. The headline was laudatory: Congressional Bill Would Establish Memorial for Victims of 9/11 (March 8, 2002). But on November 18, 2005, Bozell's team shot into action and hasn't stopped attacking Rep. Murtha since.

What happened to release the cascade of conservative vitriol now directed at Democratic Congressman and respected war veteran Jack Murtha?

''You can't fire the president unless you're in California,''
Mr. Murtha said. ''But somebody recommended this policy to him, and he took the recommendation. Somebody has to be held responsible, and he's got to make the decision who it was.'' ... Mr. Murtha is regarded by both parties as a respected voice on military matters. Citing poor supplies and support for the troops, he said he favored quick approval of the $87 billion Mr. Bush requested for Iraq but said the leaders needed to be replaced. He did not specify which. ...

THE STRUGGLE FOR IRAQ: CONGRESS; Democratic Hawk Urges Firing of Bush Aides (Times Select, September 17, 2003)

In September 2003, Iraq Toll Hits a Nerve With Murtha obviously resounded across red and blue states, as well as north and south boundaries. However, with John Murtha considered a hawk by anyone's standards, the conservatives had to change his legendary biography, but how?

Even before the president's press secretary, Republican majority leader of the House, Rep. Tom Delay, aka the Hammer, took a preemptive shot. The Hammer tried to assail Murtha's hawk status through the Democratic Party. Delay made Democrats the target, by accusing Murtha and others of saying "that American troops aren't up to the job." That was back in May, 2004. A few months later it simply wouldn't be enough. With Iraq unraveling and no way out, Murtha had begun to dismantle the conservative playbook on national security. This was serious.

Two years later, Arianna Huffington would call it the "Murtha Effect," which showed the conservative newspaper chain backed by Clinton hater Richard Melon Scaiffe, who is known as the "Funding Father of the Right," endorsing Murtha's Iraq withdrawal plan in January 2006.

As the old Missouri saying goes, them's fightin' words.

That fight began on November 17, 2005, the day Murtha presented his plan for redeployment from Iraq, which called for a "change in direction." After trying for years to get President Bush, Secretary Rumsfeld and the administration to change course, through letters and public pleas, the 37-year Marine veteran realized it wasn't going to happen. To say Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, didn't take Murtha's challenge lightly is an understatement.

Murtha's resolution included language the Republicans wanted to avoid, such as "the American people have not been shown clear, measurable progress" toward stability in Iraq. It also said troops should be withdrawn "at the earliest practicable date," although Murtha said in statements and interviews Thursday that the drawdown should begin now.

Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) drafted a simpler resolution calling for an immediate withdrawal of troops, saying it was a fair interpretation of Murtha's intent. Members were heatedly debating a procedural rule concerning the Hunter resolution when Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) was recognized at 5:20 p.m. Schmidt won a special election in August, defeating Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett, and is so new to Congress that some colleagues do not know her name.

(snip)

It was past 10 p.m. when Murtha addressed a relatively subdued House. Hunter's resolution "is not what I envisioned" because it avoids a broader debate of the war, which "is not going as advertised," Murtha said. "The American people are way ahead of us" in wanting a strategy to bring the troops home, he added. "It's easy to sit in your air-conditioned offices and send them into battle."

(snip)

Top Democrats attacked the GOP tactic. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the Republicans "engaged in an act of deception that undermines any shred of dignity that might be left in this Republican Congress." She called Hunter's resolution "a political stunt" and "a disservice to our country and to our men and women in uniform."

House Rejects Iraq Pullout After GOP Forces a Vote
Democrats Enraged By Personal Attack

This was the day Rep. Jean Schmidt basically called Murtha a coward, and then was made to apologize for her remarks because she didn't have the evidence to back it up.

One of the oddest headlines of November 18th, however, was when NPR ran Long-time War Hawk, Murtha Is An Angry Dove. After decades of being a military hawk, because Murtha couldn't get a response from President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, after years of trying, Rep. John Murtha was now not just angry, but an "Angry Dove."

Murtha's "dark night of the soul" had reached a moment where he had to speak out. George W. Bush pitted against the 37-year Marine veteran was no contest and the Republicans knew it. Murtha had become a "one man tipping point" for President Bush. The "war room" was back.

But White House aides concede that they, too, were at fault for having assumed that Bush was personally unassailable and that events—and explanations of them—would take care of themselves. A war-room defense was "something we did well during the campaign," said Nicolle Wallace, Bush's communications director. "Maybe incorrectly, we had hoped or presumed that wouldn't be necessary after the election."

It is. The war room now is back, staffed with many of the same people who ran it in 2004, led by the Boy Genius himself, Karl Rove.

Bush at the Tipping Point, by Howard Fineman (Nov. 28, 2005 issue)

Murtha's call for redeployment on Iraq was called a "Cronkite moment," harkening back to when Walter Cronkite inspired LBJ to say, "That's it. If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America." With Murtha asserting the Iraq policies of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld had "failed," the entire conservative foreign policy platform was in the kill zone.

L. Brent Bozell III's first serious attack on Murtha since CNS praised Murtha for the 9/11 memorial legislation back in 2002, was coverage of Ken Mehlman claiming the Democrats were calling for "surrender." The next big story came on January 13, 2006, when Murtha's war hero status was called into question.

"[Murtha] is putting himself forward as some combat veteran with serious wounds and he's using that and it's dishonest and it's wrong," Bailey told Cybercast News Service on Jan. 9. Murtha served in the Marines on active duty and in the reserves from 1952 until his retirement as a colonel in 1990. He volunteered for service in Vietnam and was a First Marine Regiment intelligence officer in 1966 and 1967.

Murtha and Bailey, once allies, were forced to run against each other in a Democratic congressional primary in 1982 following redistricting. Murtha won the election.

Murtha has, in the past, publicly dismissed any questions about whether he deserved his two Purple Hearts, noting during his 1994 congressional campaign that "I am proud of my service in Vietnam."

In his Friday, Jan. 13, response to the Cybercast News Service investigation, Murtha again defended his military record.

"Questions about my record are clearly an attempt to distract attention from the real issue, which is that our brave men and women in uniform are dying and being injured every day in the middle of a civil war that can be resolved only by the Iraqis themselves," Murtha wrote in an email response.

"I volunteered for a year's duty in Vietnam. I was out in the field almost every single day. We took heavy casualties in my regiment the year that I was there. In my fitness reports, I was rated No. 1. My record is clear," Murtha added.

Murtha's War Hero Status Called Into Question

That CNS article appeared right before a "60 Minutes" interview, where Murtha would say the "'vast majority' of U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by year's end."

As Media Matters chronicled, CNS was the first to trumpet the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth, with this little headline on May 3, 2004: Kerry 'Unfit to be Commander-in-Chief,' Say Former Military Colleagues.

The conservative Heritage Foundation is always on the case of anyone who is anti-war: Almost all oppose capitalism and believe in socialism; many are Communists. But they didn't get busy attacking Rep. Murtha until after November 17, 2005: Iraqis Look to Future, Dispelling the Myths About Iraq, Fighting the Good Fight, but who could resist their compilation of Facts and Analysis on the "progress in Iraq"? At least that piece made the effort to go back to when Murtha's complaints and pleas began.

Bill Kristol and the Weekly Standard started weighing in with Abandoning Iraq (November 28, 2005). Nobody was more pro Iraq war than Kristol's Standard. Murtha was big game to them.

But it was in December 2005, when conservative darling Ann Coulter gave one of her first swiftboat style attacks against Murtha, when she questioned Murtha's medals in her syndicated column on Townhall.com (which has just relaunched).

Newsbusters raised the rhetoric in early 2006 by also going after Murtha's medals: More On Murtha: CNSNews.com Suggests He Has Kerry-Like Purple Heart Stories (January 14, 2006).

CNS joined in with Murtha's War Hero Status Called Into Question, followed by this beauty: Murtha's Anti-War Stance Overshadows Abscam Past. Bozell's CNS "investigation" had begun. Fast-forwarding to June, we got Murtha's Path to Dem Leadership Role: GOP and Hoyer.

But what would an attack on a veteran be without Fox News, Sean Hannity and John O'Neill in the mix? Compliments of Media Matters we have the tape (May 23, 2006).

However, who could expect the Heritage Foundation to actually admit the Republican Party's modus operandi?

A draft resolution by the House International Relations Committee declares that "the United States will complete the mission in Iraq and prevail in the Global War on Terror and the struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary." This resolution has been in the works since last November when the debate over Iraq turned into a debate over Rep. John Murtha and his motives for advocating an immediate withdrawal of American troops.

Destiny awaits (June 15, 2006)

A debate? What it became was an all out smear campaign targeting one of the most hawkish Democratic Party members in Congress, a decorated veteran, who dared to ask for accountability from a president, secretary of defense and an administration who doesn't know the meaning of the word.

L. Brent Bozell III also had his "Media Research Center" join the campaign on January 17, 2006: Murtha’s Mangled Medal Stories. Free Republic was on the job, picking the story up so more could get in on the action.

But it never stuck. After all, it's hard to argue with the Marine Corps. But they kept on trying.

Murky Jack Murtha from the American Spectator came on February 2, 2006, making sure that Abscam, Bozell's CNS and everything conservative were thrown into the mix. The American Spectator led the fight against President Bill Clinton. The attacks on Murtha continue on their blog.

Newsbusters led with this one on February 24, 2006: CBS Uniquely Showcases Murtha's Slam of Bush, Insistence Iraq Already in Civil War.

Skipping to recent days, on June 19, 2006, Pajamas Media trumpeted the "public meltdown" of Murtha.

The Real Jack Murtha, by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich's press secretary, Tony Blankley (June 21, 2006) was next, with many others picking up the attacks in between.

A story that had died almost a year earlier was now being resuscitated with all the Republicans blowing at once. From Power Line we got Jack Murtha and the culture of corruption (June 21, 2006), while simultaneously touting his congressional opponent, Diane Irey, whom I'll get to in a moment. Instapundit had Irey, complete with video.

Robert Novak joined the Republican pack with his syndicated column Murtha's Second Act, which was covered everywhere, including Bozell's CNS (June 22, 2006).

Rush Limbaugh touted both CNS and Novak's column on the same day (June 22, 2006), putting an emphasis on a case in which the FBI had no interest, where Murtha was concerned. Limbaugh links to the FBI site archives related to Abscam, but a search reveals nothing on Murtha. Out of ten Abmscam FBI FOIA files available online, ranging between 50 and 76 pages each, not one search yielded Murtha's name, but Rush links to the sites and the public's questions anyway. The links themselves are meant to prove Murtha's involvement in Abscam. Get the message? If not, John Fund helped out a few days later, reminding everyone that even though Murtha was cleared, he was still guilty.

It's hard to forget the recent correction the Florida Sun-Sentinel had to issue after the story (June 25, 2006) that screamed: Murtha says U.S. poses top threat to world peace. Drudge, of course, was on the job, but so was Keith Olbermann, because Murtha never said anything of the sort.

Correction

A South Florida Sun-Sentinel article on Sunday misinterpreted a comment from U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., at a town-hall meeting in North Miami.

In his speech, Murtha cited a recent poll, by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, that indicates a greater percentage of people in 10 of 14 foreign countries consider the U.S. presence in Iraq a greater danger to world peace than any threats posed by Iran or North Korea. Murtha said U.S. credibility was suffering because of continued U.S. military presence in Iraq and the perception that the United States is an occupying force.

Before the retraction, conservatives Bill O'Reilly (who claims he's an "independent"), Tucker Carlson and Newt Gingrich parroted the line, with Brit Hume not far behind. Hume and O'Reilly offered corrections, though with caveats.

It would have been much easier just to read the Christian Science Monitor headline (June 15, 2006), which came from a Pew Research Poll: US in Iraq greatest danger to global peace? Much of world says yes, in survey that also shows declining support for war on terror. But that would not have made their case.

You'd think this would have ended it.

But even after the correction, conservative bloggers went after Murtha yet again (July 6, 2006), with Wizbang! challenging people to "watch the whole video and come to the conclusion that Murtha doesn't agree with world opinion." Other conservative bloggers dutifully picked up the post, asking things like What did Murtha really say in Miami, with Outside the Beltway analyzing "the tone of the video," while one conservative blogger blared "Tokyo Murtha," complete with graphics no veteran deserves. BlackFive, winner of a 2005 Milbog award, mimicked Drudge, screaming "Wizbang! Exclusive - Murtha's Comments Exposed".

On June 27, 2006, conservative Newt Gingrich and right-wing talk radio host Mike Gallagher, sitting in for Sean Hannity, teamed up to not only suggest Murtha is "just plain crazy," but to trumpet their Americanism, when the only one between any of them who actually served in the military was Rep. John Murtha. Gingrich said Murtha is just playing politics: "bashing America, and bashing the military, and repudiating everything I've stood for my whole life."

Yet conservatives are aghast when Rep. Murtha tells the truth about House members, prominent conservatives and Vice President Dick Cheney: Nets Lead With Murtha, Highlight His Ridicule of Cheney's Lack of Military Service.

And there's only one reason why: “On military matters, no Democrat in Congress is more influential,” CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer asserted in bucking up Murtha's credentials at the top of his newscast, insisting therefore “all of Washington listened” to him.

By the end of June, 2006, Media Matters had chronicled a long list proving the Republican Party had begun their full out assault on the Democratic Party, with a lot of help from others: Media coverage of Iraq debate steeped in GOP talking points.

But what about the conservative blogs? Michelle Malkin never, ever stops, unless, of course, she gets caught in her anti veteran spin. BlackFive chimes in, calling Murtha the Congressional Cowardice Caucus Chairman. Power Line on "mad Jack Murtha." Expose the Left has lots of links, but it all gets down to Murtha. Captains Quarters does double duty, trying to tie Murtha with Kerry's 1971 testimony before the Senate. Get it? Republicans and Conservatives asks: Who is the real John Murtha? AnkleBitingPundits offers If He Ran For President, Would Murtha’s VP Be Kim Jong Il? Even the usually restrained Right-Wing Nuthouse couldn't resist: OLD SOLDIERS SHOULD JUST FADE AWAY, with his usual all caps (exclamation mark required)! Jeff Goldstein calls Murtha "Chickenlittlehawk," then adds his extra touch: The war in Iraq is right because it is right. Who can argue with that logic?

The Wall Street Journal and John Fund get their licks in too, making sure to offer a "clarification" over the Sun-Sentinel mistaken Murtha quote. Big of them, isn't it? AOL Journal gets in on it too, with "The Murtha Brothers."

Coincidentally, an article no longer available has been kept alive by conservatives. Murtha's brother a defense department lobbyist? Did Murtha influence contracts his way? Seems fair game, but they deny it. But if that's fair, then what about Rep. Duncan Hunter's money shenanigans as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, which are more varied and a lot deeper?

One of the big unknowns in the campaign against Rep. John Murtha remains Rep. Duncan Hunter. Newsweek reported that the FBI is investigating Brent "boom shaka laka" Wilkes’s ties to Duncan Hunter. It was Duncan Hunter's association that got me interested a couple of weeks ago, because where there are conservatives, money and defense contracts, corruption has been proven to follow. Just ask conservative Republican Duke Cunningham and the cast of characters around him that includes Duncan Hunter. The list is long, which a search on TPM Muckraker will reveal.

However, one member, Amanda Doss, who started Murthalied.com, has folded one tent and joined forces with BootMurtha. Evidently, she couldn't stand the heat. BootMurtha is run by Larry "proud to be swiftboating" Bailey. Doss's original site came out of KerryLied.com, which was helped along by WorldNetDaily. (Oh, there's also MurthaMustGo.)

That brings us to Tony Snesko, a prominent Swiftboat Veterans for Truth guy who "inspired Operation Street Corner," which is Doss's baby. A fitting name, if you ask me. But that's not the only thing interesting about Mr. Snesko. His wife, Valerie Snesko, works as the personal appointment secretary for Rep. Duncan Hunter. So it looks like we've come full circle. When I broke out with the Hunter - Murtha angle recently, I got a hold of an email that was reminiscent of the bad old days of the non denial denial.

In light of other E-mails I have received today, I am assuming that you are connecting me with Murtha, who I have said nothing against and I am not associated with the Murthalied. Tony

If Tony is getting emails he has only himself to blame, because he's listed as the contact number for an engagement featuring Rep. Duncan Hunter that appears on the National Republican Congressional Committee website.

It doesn't explain why conservative Rep. Duncan Hunter is selling out a fellow brother in arms.

Is Hunter's personal secretary being married to a former Swiftboat Veteran for Truth just a coincidence? Is it just a coincidence that the attacks on Murtha started immediately after Rep. Murtha dared to suggest redeployment of American troops from Iraq? Are all these people connected to each other and conservative causes, organizations, the Republican Party and their bloggers and writers, and the swiftboating acts against John Murtha all just one big coincidence?

It can't be to get Ms. Diane Irey elected instead of Murtha, because if you investigate her it turns out her husband went to Iraq to make money, only to have his partner end up murdered. You then find out the only claim to fame of Ms. Irey is the swiftboating of Rep. John Murtha. Irey has Vets4Irey, which is connected to Vets4Bush and was created by the same guy who allowed Senator John Kerry to be called a "traitor" on the site as part of the swiftboating of the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004. Maybe we should just call what's happening to Murtha a congressional fragging.

Oh, and speaking of fragging, what would the swiftboating of a Democratic veteran be without conservative Ann Coulter's latest comment about Rep. John Murtha: "The reason soldiers invented 'fragging.'" Hey, but not to worry, Ann, NewsMax has your back.

Now called "swiftboating," going after fellow combat veterans is a new phenomenon, invented by conservatives to go after veterans who buck the powers that be. It started with the swiftboating of Senator John McCain during the 2000 primaries and originated with George W. Bush's first presidential campaign. It has spread out to include former decorated veteran, former Senator Max Cleland, as well as retired generals who have criticized the Iraq war policies of President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld.

Hang on, because it's not over yet. After all, November elections are coming up and as Iraq goes, so goes the conservatives, the Republican Party and the national security image they are trying so desperately to salvage.

Taylor Marsh