Tag Archives: Associated Press

Will Queen Billary’s tainted victory carry her in November’s election?

Donald Trump Accuses Bill Clinton of Rape, Hillary Says She Isn't Afraid

Maring Photography/Getty/Contour photo

Multi-millionaire Billary Clinton, photographed above at the January 2005 wedding of fellow elitists Donald and Melania Trump, apparently believes that now we commoners will ignore her Repugnican-Lite/Democrat-in-name-only record and policy positions — and her scandalousness — and instead focus exclusively on How evil Donald Trump is! We shall see how that “plan” works out for her.

Progressive writer Glenn Greenwald, whose writing on Salon.com I still miss but who still writes via his newish website The Intercept, summed up this past week’s Democratic establishment coup nicely (all links are Greenwald’s and all emphases in bold are mine):

Last night [Monday night], the Associated Press — on a day when nobody voted — surprised everyone by abruptly declaring the Democratic Party primary over and Hillary Clinton the victor. The decree, issued the night before the California primary in which polls show[ed] Clinton and Bernie Sanders in a very close race, was based on the media organization’s survey of “super-delegates”: the Democratic Party’s 720 insiders, corporate donors, and officials whose votes for the presidential nominee count the same as the actually elected [pledged] delegates.

AP claims that super-delegates who had not previously announced their intentions privately told AP reporters that they intend to vote for Clinton, bringing her over the threshold. AP is concealing the identity of the decisive super-delegates who said this.

Although the Sanders campaign rejected the validity of AP’s declaration — on the ground that the super-delegates do not vote until the convention and he intends to try to persuade them to vote for him — most major media outlets followed the projection and declared Clinton the winner.

This is the perfect symbolic ending to the Democratic Party primary: The nomination is consecrated by a media organization, on a day when nobody voted, based on secret discussions with anonymous establishment insiders and donors whose identities the media organization — incredibly — conceals.

The decisive edifice of super-delegates is itself anti-democratic and inherently corrupt: designed to prevent actual voters from making choices that the party establishment dislikes. But for a party run by insiders and funded by corporate interests, it’s only fitting that its nomination process ends with such an ignominious, awkward, and undemocratic sputter.

None of this is to deny that Hillary Clinton — as was always the case from the start — is highly likely to be the legitimately chosen winner of this process. It’s true that the party’s governing rules are deliberately undemocratic; [that] unfair and even corrupt decisions were repeatedly made by party officials to benefit Clinton; and [that] the ostensibly neutral Democratic National Committee (led by the incomparably heinous Debbie Wasserman Schultz) constantly put not just its thumb but its entire body on the scale to ensure she won.

But it’s also true that under the long-standing rules of the party, more people who voted preferred Clinton as their nominee over Sanders. Independent of super-delegates, she just got more votes. There’s no denying that.

And just as was true in 2008 with Obama’s nomination, it should be noted that standing alone — i.e., without regard to the merits of the candidate — Clinton’s nomination is an important and positive milestone.

Americans, being Americans, will almost certainly overstate its world significance and wallow in excessive self-congratulations: Many countries on the planet have elected women as their leaders, including many whose close family member had not previously served as president. [Way too diplomatic there, Glenn!]

Nonetheless, the U.S. presidency still occupies an extremely influential political and cultural position in the world. Particularly for a country with such an oppressive history on race and gender, the election of the first African-American president and nomination of the first female presidential candidate of a major party is significant in shaping how people all over the world, especially children, view their own and other people’s potential and possibilities.

But that’s all the more reason to lament this dreary conclusion. [Indeed. Billary Clinton being the very first female major-party presidential candidate is fucking depressing.]

That the Democratic Party nominating process is declared to be over in such an uninspiring, secretive, and elite-driven manner is perfectly symbolic of what the party, and its likely nominee, actually is. The one positive aspect, though significant, is symbolic, while the actual substance — rallying behind a Wall Street-funded, status quo-perpetuating, multi-millionaire militarist — is grim in the extreme. The Democratic Party got exactly the ending it deserved.

The AP had, I suppose, the First-Amendment right to pull the bullshit that it did on Monday, but in wanting to be first — the corporately owned and controlled Billary’s coronation was going to be announced by the corporately owned and controlled “news” media the next day anyway — the AP, at the minimum, acted irresponsibly.

There was no reason to wait until after California, New Jersey and the other states had voted on Tuesday for the corporately owned and controlled “news” media to prematurely declare Billary the winner (she can’t get the actual votes of the super-delegates until the end of July, so to say that she already has won the nomination is patently untrue).

The AP beat everyone else to the punch, true, but in so doing it damaged its respectability and its reputation. I hope that the assholes of the AP won’t find it to have been worth it to have flushed journalistic ethics down the toilet.

The AP not only acted journalistically and civically irresponsibly on its own, but the AP knowingly fully enabled the rest of the “news” media to do so, cravenly and slimily claiming that Hey, we’re only quoting the AP! (such as with the screenshot of The New York Times that Greenwald included in his piece).

The AP’s premature coronation of Billary is an excellent case in how members of the establishment and the establishment media work together to advance their mutual interests against us commoners.

The AP is not a corporation, but a nonprofit, but it’s a nonprofit that functions within a corporate atmosphere (first and foremost among other things, it is primarily corporate media outlets that pay for its content and thus expect the AP’s content to be within well-understood if not explicitly stated political parameters), and these days many if not most nonprofits act just like corporations, if for no other reason than that capitalism is our national religion and that corporatism permeates virtually everything within our culture.

Like Greenwald does, I recognize that from Day One, Billary likely was going to emerge as the nominee. As Greenwald wrote, yes, Billary ultimately garnered more votes than Bernie did, but what does that mean in light of the fact that it wasn’t just a plethora of thumbs on the scales, but it was body-slams on the scale, every step of the way?

There is overt, big cheating and then there is Cheating Lite: There were thousands of decisions by thousands of Clintonista sycophants throughout all 50 states who were in positions to make decisions (big, medium and small) regarding the primary elections, caucuses, delegate allocations, party rules, etc., and at thousands of junctures their decisions benefited Billary. And the super-delegates, too, of course, who, as Bernie has pointed out, had already declared their allegiance to Billary even before the first primary election or caucus had even taken place.

Even though winning California, even by a large margin, probably wouldn’t have been enough for Bernie to emerge as the victor, it still would have enabled him to go into the convention with more political capital, and so the Democratic establishment closed ranks in order to ensure that even that wouldn’t happen.

In his piece Greenwald also comments on how we Americans are patting ourselves on the back for finally having our first female presumptuous presidential candidate of the Coke Party or the Pepsi Party, and he notes that many other nations already have had female leaders.

Hell, naming just one, the odious wingnut Margaret Thatcher, prime minister of the United Kingdom during the Reagan era, is enough to demonstrate that (1) the United States finally having a female president (whenever that actually happens) is, in the big picture, no big fucking deal, and that (2) merely being a woman doesn’t make one a good (an ethical, a compassionate, a competent, etc.) leader.

When the first female U.S. president does finally come, it will be fairly anti-climactic, even for the femi-Nazis who, incorrectly feeling somehow especially empowered, will be ready to castrate every male within sight when it does.*

It’s funny, because as a male supporter of Bernie Sanders I have been branded as a “Bernie bro” by the ironically sexist Billarybots/femi-Nazis, even though I’m gay and even though I voted for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein in November 2012, while the vast majority of the Billarybots/femi-Nazis voted for DINO President Hopey-Changey’s re-election in November 2012.

Yes, even though to the Billarybots/femi-Nazis I’m by definition “sexist” for having been born with a penis and testicles (and for not loathing myself because of that), I already have voted for a woman for president.

True, I knew that Jill Stein wouldn’t and couldn’t win the presidency in 2012, but the rise of the self-serving, center-right, sellout Billary Clinton demonstrates more than amply that the mere possession of the XX chromosomes is all that fucking matters, so guess what, Billarybot bitches? I voted for a woman for president before any of you sorry pieces of shit ever will! Ha! In your faces!

And come this November, there is a very good chance that I’ll vote for a female president again — no, absolutely not for Billary, but for Jill Stein again.

I voted for President Hopey-Changey in 2008, but once it became crystal clear even fairly early into his first term that we progressives had been punk’d again, that we’d elected a DINO who only had used us progressives to get into the White House, there was no way in hell that I could vote for President Hopey-Changey again, so in 2012 I voted my conscience and Stein won my vote. That she is a woman and women have been sorely underrepresented throughout our nation’s history was a bonus, but I didn’t vote for her because she’s a woman, but because she’s a progressive.

Elizabeth Warren’s recent belated endorsement of Billary — Warren was the last female Democratic U.S. senator to endorse Billary, which is, I’m sure, telling as to how Warren really feels about Billary, and, along with President Hopey-Changey and Veep Joe, Warren waited until all 50 states had voted before she finally endorsed Billary — means less than nothing to me.

As I’ve written before, even if Billary were to make Warren her running mate (which, per Politico, is unlikely to happen, given the believable report that Billary hates the-late-to-endorse-her Warren’s guts), that wouldn’t be enough to induce me to vote for Billary, as amusing as it is that Team Billary condescendingly and patronizingly believes that we progressives are that fucking stupid (perhaps some to even many of us are, but not all of us are).

My No. 1 problem with a Billary-Warren ticket is that Repugnican Lite Billary Fucking Clinton is anywhere on the ticket. If I want to vote for a Repugnican, I will. But I don’t fucking want to, so I won’t.

And, as I’ve noted before, as vice president, Elizabeth Warren would be completely neutralized within the Clinton 2.0 White House; Bill Clinton would be the de facto vice president (if not the de facto president).

I’m fine with two women on the ticket, and I’d be excited about a two-woman ticket, but only if both of them were actual Democrats — that is, actual progressives.

In the meantime, I agree wholeheartedly with Matt Taibbi’s take on what the Democratic Party will do now: more of the same, i.e., nothing. He writes (link is Taibbi’s and emphases in bold are mine):

… This was no ordinary primary race, not a contest between warring factions within the party establishment, á la Obama-Clinton in ’08 or even Gore-Bradley in ’00. This was a barely quelled revolt that ought to have sent shock waves up and down the party, especially since the Vote of No Confidence overwhelmingly came from the next generation of voters. Yet editorialists mostly drew the opposite conclusion.

The classic example was James Hohmann’s piece in the Washington Post, titled, “Primary wins show Hillary Clinton needs the left less than pro-Sanders liberals think.”

Hohmann’s thesis was that the “scope and scale” of Clinton’s wins Tuesday night meant mainstream Democrats could now safely return to their traditional We won, screw you posture of “minor concessions” toward the “liberal base.”

Hohmann focused on the fact that with Bernie out of the way, Hillary now had a path to victory that would involve focusing on Trump’s negatives. Such a strategy won’t require much if any acquiescence toward the huge masses of Democratic voters who just tried to derail her candidacy. And not only is the primary scare over, but Clinton and the centrist Democrats in general are in better shape than ever. …

Indeed, that’s how the establishment Dems no doubt are viewing this: “the primary scare” is over, so let’s get back to the status quo. That already happened on Monday, in fact, when the establishmentarian AP obediently declared that the status quo once again was safe.

Taibbi continues:

If they had any brains, Beltway Dems and their clucky sycophants … would not be celebrating this week. They ought to be horrified to their marrow that the all-powerful Democratic Party ended up having to dig in for a furious rally to stave off a quirky Vermont socialist almost completely lacking big-dollar donors or institutional support.

But to read the papers in the last two days is to imagine that we didn’t just spend a year witnessing the growth of a massive grassroots movement fueled by loathing of the party establishment, with some correspondingly severe numerical contractions in the turnout department (though she won, for instance, Clinton received 30 percent fewer votes in California this year versus 2008, and 13 percent fewer in New Jersey). …

Democratic voters tried to express [their] frustrations through the Sanders campaign, but the party leaders have been and probably will continue to be too dense to listen. Instead, they’ll convince themselves that, as Hohmann’s Post article put it, Hillary’s latest victories mean any “pressure” they might have felt to change has now been “ameliorated.”

The maddening thing about the Democrats is that they refuse to see how easy they could have it. If the party threw its weight behind a truly populist platform, if it stood behind unions and prosecuted Wall Street criminals and stopped taking giant gobs of cash from every crooked transnational bank and job-exporting manufacturer in the world, they would win every election season in a landslide.

This is especially the case now that the Republican Party has collapsed under the weight of its own nativist lunacy. It’s exactly the moment when the Democrats should feel free to become a real party of ordinary working people.

But they won’t do that, because they don’t see what just happened this year as a message rising up from millions of voters. …

Yup.

And let’s face it: Most of Billary Clinton’s supporters are baby boomers. Billary and her boomer cohort’s primary concern is to keep the sick and twisted status quo going for as long as possible, because the status quo has been very, very good for them. What happens to the generations that follow them never has been their concern; for them it’s always been about what they can get for themselves while they still can.

Boomer Billary has eked out a victory for now, but it wasn’t a clean victory — nothing about the Clintons is clean — and we’ll see how she fares in November, without the support of me and millions of other voters whom the Democratic Party has alienated over these past many months, believing that our support is either inevitable or at least expendable.

*My definition of “femi-Nazi,” by the way, is Wikipedia’s first definition: “a term used pejoratively to describe either feminists who are perceived as extreme or radical, women who are perceived as seeking superiority over men, rather than equality, or in some cases, to describe all feminists.”

While it was Rush Limbaugh, unfortunately, who coined the term (or who at least brought it into prominence), I don’t subscribe to a definition of the term that includes all feminists. (Indeed, to me, a femi-Nazi by definition isn’t an actual feminist at all.) I understand Limbaugh’s definition of the term he coined to include all feminists.

My definition of the term “femi-Nazi” is something like this: “a woman who calls herself a feminist but who actually is just a rank misandrist who isn’t interested in equality of the sexes, but who wants women to dominate men, as ‘justified’ revenge for the wrongs done to women by men in the past.”

The term “misandrist” pretty much captures all of that, but “femi-Nazi” is a lot more fun, and while I see the term written as “feminazi” on the Internet, I’ll stick with my own “femi-Nazi” rendition of term.

My definition of a “feminist,” by the way, is something like this: “a woman (or a man!) who believes in the sociopolitical equality of the sexes, and who opposes the mistreatment of or the discrimination against or the preferential treatment of anyone based primarily or solely upon his or her sex.”

(Yes, preferential treatment of someone based on his or her sex, race, age, sexual orientation, religion, etc., is just the other side of the discrimination coin. That you’re benefiting someone, that is, discriminating for someone instead of discriminating against someone, doesn’t make it any better, because you’re just engaging in “good” discrimination, which is still engaging in discrimination, which you can’t say is OK only when it benefits you or those whom you wish it to benefit.)

A lot of the Billarybots don’t fit my definition of “feminist” above. This “Bernie bro,” however, considers himself to be a feminist. Just not a femi-Nazi.

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This ‘scandal’ too shall pass — and practice saying ‘President Billary’

To me, perhaps the worst of the “trifecta” of scandals/“scandals” currently supposedly plaguing the Obama administration is the latest one, the Associated Press phone records scandal, but even that is an imperfect scandal/“scandal” at best.

First of all, of course, it’s incredibly shitty, short-sighted and hypocritical of us to have ignored the unelected Bush regime’s relentless unconstitutional secret surveillance of Americans in the name of the “war on terror” yet to slam the Obama administration for the same type of abuse now.

That said, Barack Obama’s bewildering decision to continue so many of the Bush regime’s illegal and/or immoral policies and procedures — illegal or probably illegal secret surveillance, civilian-slaughtering killer drones, the assassination/extrajudicial execution of U.S. citizens abroad by these killer drones, the Guantanamo Bay Concentration Camp, etc. — is one of the reasons that I could not, in good conscience, cast a vote for Obama again in November.

That said, why does the right-wing white guy from the rich crime family get off scot-fucking-free for far worse abuses than does the black guy from far humbler beginnings?

I don’t see how it’s remotely fair to hold Barack Obama to an entirely other and entirely much, much higher set of standards than George W. Bush ever was. If we could capture the energy of the unfairness of such a double standard, our energy needs would be met at least through the end of this millennium.

That said, this shit, this blatant abuse of presidential or other executive power, does need to stop now. The problem is, until and unless things really change for the better, this double standard would only continue: Any white, rich, right-wing man who manages to win (or, like George W. Bush, “win”) the White House would continue to shit and piss all over the U.S. Constitution and international law, just like George W. Bush did, while any other kind of president, like Barack Obama or Billary Clinton, would be subject to impeachment for a mere fart.

And this is the double standard on crack that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors wish to maintain in perpetuity, of course. Their attacks on Barack Obama (and Billary Clinton) now aren’t about improving the presidency or the nation, but are 200 percent political. The sore losers never will get over the fact that the majority of the American voters elected Obama over the rich, right-wing white guy twice in a row, so now they’re doing their best to cripple not only Obama but also presumptive 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Billary Clinton.

Thing is, those who are screaming “SCANDAL!” right now are the same ironic 47 percent who voted for Mittens Romney in November. This isn’t a new group of people. These are the same old Obama haters.

They’re partying hardily in their echo chamber right now, but are they gaining new converts? Not likely.

Many if not most of even the dullest “swing voters,” it seems to me, smell pure wingnut politics when its sulfurous odor wafts into their nostrils.

Even those “swing voters” who can’t see through the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ bullshit and lies aren’t very likely to be hooked by the scandals du jour. Let’s see:

“Benghazigate”:

A recent Public Policy Polling poll showed that a majority of Americans would rather see Congress focused on real issues, such as immigration reform and gun control, rather than on the bullshit “Benghazigate.” And this probably is the money shot from the PPP’s summary of its poll:

One interesting thing about the voters who think Benghazi is the biggest political scandal in American history is that 39 percent of them don’t actually know where it is. Ten percent think it’s in Egypt, 9 percent in Iran, 6 percent in Cuba, 5 percent in Syria, 4 percent in Iraq, and 1 percent each in North Korea and Liberia, with 4 percent not willing to venture a guess. [Emphasis mine. I find this to be hilarious, and very indicative, of course, of what “Benghazigate” is really all about.]

The PPP concludes: “At any rate, what we’re finding about last week’s Benghazi focus so far is that Republicans couldn’t be much madder about it, voters overall think Congress should be focused on other key issues, and Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers aren’t declining on account of it.”

“IRSgate”:

As far as “IRSgate” is concerned, (1) How many Americans exactly loved the IRS before “IRSgate” anyway? and (2) If you are a member of the “tea party” you’re probably steamed, but according to an Associated Press-GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications poll of just more than 1,000 Americans taken just a month ago, only a paltry 23 percent said they consider themselves to be a supporter of the “tea party,” while a whopping 62 percent said they’re not a supporter of the “tea party.” A CBS News poll taken in March found similar results: Of almost 1,200 Americans polled, only 22 percent called themselves supporters of the “tea party,” while 65 percent said they are not.

So, um, yeah: Not a lot of “tea party” members and sympathizers in the nation, and it’s not like the “tea-party” set ever would vote for a Democrat for president anyway, is it?

“APgate”:

As far as “APgate” is concerned, while I possess a journalism degree and so I’m not happy about the apparent government surveillance of the phone calls of employees of the Associated Press — but, of course, looking at the records of the phone calls that were made between parties isn’t as severe as are actual phone taps, the actual listening in on phone conversations, and my understanding is that we’re not talking about actual phone taps here — I can’t see the typical American caring about this as much as do I and others who have some background in the media. I mean, it wasn’t their phone-call records, right?

Plus, these are the same Americans who made nary a peep when the unelected Bush regime routinely engaged in probably-unconstitutional secret surveillance of Americans in the name of keeping Americans safe from terrorists (including, probably, actual phone taps done fairly willy-nilly), and the sad fact is that many if not most Americans have a hard time being all that outraged or concerned about something (IRS “bullying,” phone-call surveillance, cancer, whatever) unless it touches them personally.

So there you have it: While there are some real issues here, such as how security at our overseas diplomatic installations very apparently needs to improve and how post-9/11 government surveillance abuses need to stop, for the most part these current scandals/“scandals” are the all-too-familiar war-drum beating by those who have hated Obama and Billary all along, which only the dullest and the blindest among us aren’t going to see.

And, I surmise, the war-drum-beating savages on the right are more likely to harm themselves because of their blatantly politically motivated overreach — during which they are ignoring the issues that most Americans actually care about the most — than they are to gain any new converts to their “cause.” (Remember how the Repugnican Tea Party, in the aftermath of Mittens’ stinging defeat, was going to become kinder and gentler? Um, yeah. That lasted all of a nanosecond, didn’t it?)

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ 47 percent showing in a presidential election isn’t likely to grow, given the rapid demographic shifts in the United States (especially with the growing ranks of younger and browner voters), if nothing else.

And ruthless attacks on your political opponents can have unintended,  paradoxical effects. Your attacks actually can strengthen your opponents’ support from others.

For example, while I’m so disappointed in President Hopey-Changey that I couldn’t vote for him again in November (but I’d rather castrate myself with a pair of fingernail clippers before I ever cast a vote for a Repugnican Tea Party traitor), unfair, hypocritical, double-standard attacks on Obama make me want to come to his defense, even if it’s only to blog.

And while I’ve never been big on Billary — I supported Obama over Billary in the protracted 2008 Democratic presidential primary season because I had figured that of the two, Obama would be the actually progressive president — ruthless, unfair attacks on Billary by the Repugnican Tea Party traitors will make me much more likely to support her in 2016.

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors easily could inspire me to support Billary far more than she herself probably ever could, especially if she has no serious competition for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, and I don’t see any such competition arising.

If I had to put a large sum of money on who the next president will be, it would be on Billary.

If “Benghazigate” wasn’t enough to hurt her poll numbers — “Voters trust Hillary Clinton over Congressional Republicans on the issue of Benghazi by a 49/39 margin, and Clinton’s +8 net favorability rating at 52/44 is identical to what it was on our last national poll in late March,” reports the PPP, adding, “Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans remain very unpopular, with a 36/57 favorability rating” — I can’t see the Repugnican Tea Party traitors bringing down Billary between now and November 2016.

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Propaganda begins at home

The controversy du jour is this (from POLITICO):

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is objecting “in the strongest terms” to an Associated Press decision to transmit a photograph showing a mortally wounded 21-year-old Marine in his final moments of life, calling the decision “appalling” and a breach of “common decency.”

The AP reported that the Marine’s father had asked – in an interview and in a follow-up phone call — that the image, taken by an embedded photographer, not be published.

The AP reported in a story that it decided to make the image public anyway because it “conveys the grimness of war and the sacrifice of young men and women fighting it.”

The photo shows Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard of New Portland, Maine, who was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in a Taliban ambush Aug. 14 in Helmand province of southern Afghanistan, according to the AP.

Gates wrote to Thomas Curley, AP’s president and chief executive officer. “Out of respect for his family’s wishes, I ask you in the strongest of terms to reconsider your decision. I do not make this request lightly. In one of my first public statements as secretary of defense, I stated that the media should not be treated as the enemy, and made it a point to thank journalists for revealing problems that need to be fixed – as was the case with Walter Reed.”

“I cannot imagine the pain and suffering Lance Corporal Bernard’s death has caused his family. Why your organization would purposefully defy the family’s wishes knowing full well that it will lead to yet more anguish is beyond me. Your lack of compassion and common sense in choosing to put this image of their maimed and stricken child on the front page of multiple American newspapers is appalling. The issue here is not law, policy or constitutional right – but judgment and common decency.”

The four-paragraph letter concluded, “Sincerely,” then had Gates’ signature. 

The photo, first transmitted Thursday morning and repeated Friday morning, carries the warning, “EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT.”

The caption says: “In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 14, 2009, Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard is tended to by fellow U.S. Marines after being hit by a rocket propelled grenade during a firefight against the Taliban in the village of Dahaneh in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. Bernard was transported by helicopter to Camp Leatherneck where he later died of his wounds.” …

The AP reported that it “waited until after Bernard’s burial in Madison, Maine, on Aug. 24 to distribute its story and the pictures.” …

The AP photograph — which, ironically, now will be viewed by more people than it otherwise would have been because Bush regime holdover Gates has made it into an issue — actually isn’t all that graphic, not by today’s standards. Here it is:

Associated Press photo

You see some carnage in the image, but you’ve seen much worse in a Quentin Tarantino movie.

But this is the only kind of U.S. military picture that you’re supposed to see, you see:

This undated photo provided Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009 by the US ...

Associated Press photo

That’s a picture of Joshua Bernard before he was sent to fight a questionable war in Afghanistan.

In his anti-free-speech letter to the AP — oh, yes, it is about constitutional rights and constitutional law — Gates described Bernard as a “maimed and stricken child” (emphasis mine).

Um, why are we sending such young people — so young that even the secretary of defense refers to one of them as a “child” — to fight old rich stupid cowardly white men’s wars?

And whose fault is Bernard’s death? Is it the fault of The Associated Press for simply showing an image of his death, or is it the fault of those evil men, who put corporate profits far above human life, who sent him to Afghanistan in the first place?

The Obama administration isn’t proving to be much better on free and open speech and on transparency than was the unelected Bush regime, which prohibited the media even from taking images of closed caskets containing American war dead. First the Obama administration blocked the release of more images of the Abu Ghraib House of Horrors abuses, and now this, Gates’ attempt at censorship in order to keep U.S. military recruitment propaganda intact.

But it’s only propaganda when someone else does it. The White House never engages in the dastardly practice of propaganda, of lying to the American people, even if only by omission, such as by blocking the release of images that aren’t politically helpful.

Again, you’re supposed to see only the before military pictures, the happy military pictures, the “Top Gun”-like pictures, the pictures that are good for U.S. military recruitment, and never the after pictures, because the after pictures aren’t good for the military-industrial complex. Pictures of maimed 21-year-olds aren’t good for military recruitment, you see, and they might just make the American taxpayers revolt against what is being done in their name with their tax dollars. (Yeah, I know, Americans having a revolution funny…)

Why block the image of Bernard’s death? To be able to continue the same insanity that will cause the deaths of even more of our young people.

Sure, every young person who joins the U.S. military knows, intellectually — abstractly — that he or she could get killed. But knowing something abstractly and seeing something with your own two eyes — those are very different things. Gates and his ilk know this.

But they can’t state the truth, which is that images of wartime carnage aren’t good for U.S. military recruitment and make the American people rethink the whole war thing.

So they have to lie, they have to hide behind the families of the young people who are put through the meat grinder that is the U.S. war machine, and they have to hide behind the troops, saying that the release of images that aren’t good for the military industrial complex harms the families of the fallen and even harms the troops.

The unelected Bush regime routinely hid behind the troops — Orwellianly asserted that those who opposed the Vietraq War were against and/or threatened U.S. troops, even though it was the unelected Bush regime, not anti-war activists, who sent our troops to their wholly unnecessary deaths in the sands of Vietraq for the war profiteering of Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and the other war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp — and now here is Gates hiding behind Bernard’s family.

The Associated Press and the rest of the media are guilty only of not showing us enough images of the carnage that is going on in the name of we, the people.

Gates should go. The American people elected a Democratic president and here is a Repugnican “president’s” secretary of defense held over from the unelected Bush regime’s bogus wars. I think that President Obama retained Gates primarily in order to try to prove that Obama isn’t a pussified commander in chief. Ironically, though, Obama’s retention of Gates proves exactly that Obama is a pussified commander in chief, that he puts what some fucktards think above doing the right thing, which is to dump Bush regime holdover Gates.

And the only purpose of prohibiting images of what war really looks like is to be able to continue to dupe our young people, like Joshua Bernard — our children, as even Gates calls them — into dying for the profits of the evil filthy rich white men who send our children to die in their place for their spoils of war, wars which are paid for by us, the American taxpayers, who aren’t even guaranteed adequate health care — or even allowed to see the images of what our tax dollars are paying for.

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