BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Big Dog

Happy Wednesday.

One more quote from Sen. Tom Coburn, courtesy of the Hamster:
"We need to have moral clarity about our leaders. I have a 100 percent pro-life record. I don't apologize for saying; we need to protect the unborn.

Do you realize
that if all those children had not been aborted, we wouldn't have any trouble with Medicare and Social Security today?

That's another 41 million people."
Wha' chu talkin' 'bout, Willis?


C'mon, Lord.


Thought so. Moving CNN:

Clinton, troops have chance encounter

"Former president, returneees from Iraq meet at Maine airport"

You just KNOW that this kind of story drives the WH nuts: They'd love you to think that ALL the troops hate Bill.

Not the case:
BANGOR, Maine (AP) -- Former President Bill Clinton surprised U.S. troops from Iraq when his refueling stop at the Bangor International Airport coincided with their arrival.

His plans for a quick departure Monday night were delayed when a problem was discovered with the aircraft, allowing him to join a line of local greeters who meet each plane carrying troops returning from overseas or leaving for duty.
"He did what?!"

"He joined a line of local greeters, sir."

"Why that slimy motherfu -- "

"Mr. Vice President! Your foot!"

Clinton had some fun when Army Spc. Joshua Ruschenberg used a cell phone provided by troop greeters to call to his sister-in-law, Shancy Garrison, in North Carolina. He handed over the phone to the former commander in chief.

"Hi, Shancy, it's Bill Clinton," the former president said into the phone.
"Did he get her phone number?!"

The troops, about 600 of them, were returning to bases in Oklahoma, Texas and Georgia. Their two chartered aircraft had landed for fuel.

"This is great," Staff Sgt. Anthony Thompson of New York City told the Bangor Daily News.

"Thank you for your service," Clinton said as he shook hands and hugged many of the troops. He autographed hats, cards and other items.
The Big Dog: Still Working For You.

Look for a ham-handed, I mean, a similar move from the Bushies in the near future.

"I was just visiting my dad...I call him '41'...over there in Kennebunkport. Thought I'd stop by to say, 'Hi.' Talk to you guys about...private pensions. The importance of having a private pension system in place so you can -- "

"Psst. Sir."

"Spend your own money. With a private pension system. You know, because there are some people in Washington who think they can...can spend your money better than you can."

(Whispering) "Sir, these are returning soldiers, sir."

"What? Oh. (Then) And we're making good progress. We're bringing freedom people who are...finally getting a chance free. To enjoy freedom. And as long as I'm Commander in Chief...we're making good progress."

"Good job, sir."

"Hook 'em, Horns!"

Hey, speaking of "bringing freedom" --

US troops seize award-winning Iraqi journalist

Who was practicing the art of being free.

Until he got a little bit "too free."
American troops in Baghdad yesterday blasted their way into the home of an Iraqi journalist working for the Guardian and Channel 4, firing bullets into the bedroom where he was sleeping with his wife and children.

Ali Fadhil, who two months ago won the Foreign Press Association young journalist of the year award, was hooded and taken for questioning. He was released hours later.

Dr Fadhil is working with Guardian Films on an investigation for Channel 4's Dispatches programme into claims that tens of millions of dollars worth of Iraqi funds held by the Americans and British have been misused or misappropriated.

Big mistake: Dude should've made a film about "new Iraqi schools."

(Check out this old post, "Where's the Money, Lebowski?", covering that very issue. Remember, we're still missing something like $8-9 billion of those "Iraqi" funds. We do know that the CPA handed out a lot of that money - in cash - to American "defense contractors" - in the days before the first "transfer of power" to the new Iraqi government. Read the old piece.)

Back to the Guardian article:
The troops told Dr Fadhil that they were looking for an Iraqi insurgent and seized video tapes he had shot for the programme. These have not yet been returned.
You're kidding.
The director of the film, Callum Macrae, said yesterday: "The timing and nature of this raid is extremely disturbing. It is only a few days since we first approached the US authorities and told them Ali was doing this investigation, and asked them then to grant him an interview about our findings.

"We need a convincing assurance from the American authorities that this terrifying experience was not harassment and a crude attempt to discourage Ali's investigation."

Dr Fadhil was asleep with his wife, their three-year-old daughter, Sarah, and seven-month-old son, Adam, when the troops forced their way in.

"They fired into the bedroom where we were sleeping, then three soldiers came in. They rolled me on to the floor and tied my hands. When I tried to ask them what they were looking for they just told me to shut up," he said.
More from Dr. Fadhil:
"Last weekend an American special task force unit raided my house. It was precisely the kind of terrifying experience I have had described to me over and over again by Iraqis I have interviewed in the past two-and-a-half years.

My wife, Zina, described it as like something out of a Hollywood action movie.

It began at half past midnight on Saturday when explosives blew apart the three entrances to my house. We thought we had been caught in a bombing, but then a rifle sneaked round our bedroom door and shot a couple of bullets blindly; suddenly our room was filled with the wild sounds of US soldiers.

My three-year-old daughter Sarah woke to this nightmare.

She pushed herself on to me and shouted "Daddy, Americans! They will take you! No, no, not like this daddy ..." She tried to say something to one of the soldiers but her tears stopped her from speaking. Instead of blaming the soldier I could see she was blaming me. I tried to calm her down but as I did so the soldier threw me on to the ground and tied me.

They then took me downstairs and made me sit in the living room while they smashed every piece of furniture we have.

There were about 20 soldiers inside the house and several others on guard on the roof. A blue-eyed captain came to me holding my Handycam camcorder and questioned me aggressively: "Can you explain to me why you have this footage?"

I explained. "These are for a film we are making for Channel 4 Dispatches. There is nothing sinister about it."

But that was not good enough. He seemed to think he had found very important evidence. Hooded and with my hands tied I was taken to an armoured vehicle.

I was then driven to an unknown destination.


When the journey eventually ended I found myself in a small room, two metres square, with wooden walls, a refrigerator and an oval table in the middle. Soon two men came in, civilians, wearing vests. "Do you know why you are here, Mr Fadhil?" they asked me.

I replied: "To be interrogated?"

With a broad smile, one of them said: "No. There was a mistake in the address and we apologise for the damage."

So that's it. They blew three doors apart with explosives, smashed the house windows, trashed all our furniture, damaged the car, risked our lives by shooting inside rooms aimlessly, hooded me and took me from my family who didn't know if they would ever see me again - and then, with a smile, they dismissed it as a small mistake.

So was this intimidation or just a typical piece of bungled repression? I don't know and cannot tell, though I have yet to have my tapes returned.

I do know, however, the effect it has had on my daughter. Sarah hates all soldiers and calls them Americans even if they are Iraqis. There is no way she will change her mind about them after that nightmare.

There are many Iraqis - Iraqis who welcomed the fall of Saddam - who feel exactly the same today."
But, hey, you know, we're making good progress.

(Buzzflash has some audio of Dr. Fadhil. Check it out.)

More later...


  • Congratulations on your mention from Jeanine.


    BlueBerry Pick'n
    has moved to
    "Watching the World With a Human Bias"

    By Blogger Blueberry Pick'n, at 6:20 PM  

  • Most informative and enjoyable. I love your style. Deservedly bookmarked.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:51 PM  

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