The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Dumsfeld

Armor Watch

You may have heard Rumsfeld get asked a hard question last week about armored vehicles in Iraq. Many wingnuts are angry that a reporter put the guardsman up to asking the question, but of course they ignore that his statement, that soldiers are rummaging through garbage to find ways to reinforce their vehicles, is true. Rumsfeld replied that they just couldn’t produce armored vehicles fast enough. But Whoops! It turns out that was just a lie:

Armor Holdings Inc., the sole supplier of protective plates for Humvee military vehicles used in Iraq, said yesterday that it could increase output by as much as 22 percent per month with no investment and is awaiting an order from the Army.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Wednesday in response to sometimes pointed questions from soldiers that the Army was working as fast as it can and supply is dictated by "a matter of physics, not a matter of money."


Armor Holdings last month told the Army it could add armor to as many as 550 trucks a month, up from 450 now, Robert Mecredy, president of the company's aerospace and defense group, said in a telephone interview. "We're prepared to build 50 to 100 vehicles more per month," Mecredy said.”


And:

A Valley firm that provides critical armor for military vehicles in Iraq is operating at only half-capacity despite complaints from soldiers who say they are being sent into combat without adequate protection.

"We've been telling the Pentagon for months that we have the capacity to double our production," said former U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon, a consultant for ArmorWorks of Tempe.

"We're ready, and we haven't heard a thing."

The issue of adequate armor protection for military vehicles in Iraq became front-page news this week when a National Guard soldier from Tennessee stood up at a town hall meeting in Kuwait and confronted Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.”


Decent Journalist Suicide Watch

Robert Parry has the story of journalist Gary Webb, who conveniently committed suicide this weekend. An excerpt:

In 1996, journalist Gary Webb wrote a series of articles that forced a long-overdue investigation of a very dark chapter of recent U.S. foreign policy – the Reagan-Bush administration’s protection of cocaine traffickers who operated under the cover of the Nicaraguan contra war in the 1980s.

For his brave reporting at the San Jose Mercury News, Webb paid a high price. He was attacked by journalistic colleagues at the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the American Journalism Review and even the Nation magazine. Under this media pressure, his editor Jerry Ceppos sold out the story and demoted Webb, causing him to quit the Mercury News. Even Webb’s marriage broke up.

On Friday, Dec. 10, Gary Webb, 49, died of an apparent suicide, a gunshot wound to the head.

Whatever the details of Webb’s death, American history owes him a huge debt. Though denigrated by much of the national news media, Webb’s contra-cocaine series prompted internal investigations by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department, probes that confirmed that scores of contra units and contra-connected individuals were implicated in the drug trade. The probes also showed that the Reagan-Bush administration frustrated investigations into those crimes for geopolitical reasons.


The mainstream media ridiculed Webb at the time, of course, though he has turned out to be correct.

More Social Security Hysteria Watch

If you are a real glutton for economic analysis, here is a good collection of analyses which speak more to the state of social security. The conclusion the author comes to is that social security is not in crisis.

Again, the shape of this public “debate” is becoming very similar to the “debate” leading up to the disaster of Bush’s War. Bush invents a crisis and lies and lies and lies about it (“Saddam’s unmanned drones of death will drop nukes on us!!” “Social security is going to crash and burn!”), but only at the politically convenient time (after his 2002 vacation for Iraq, after the election for Social Security). People get worried. The media do nothing to bring some sanity or rationality to the debate, but instead cheerlead as the populace is threatened into allowing Bushco to create a ruinous situation, so that Bush contributors can profit (military contractors war profiteer in Iraq, investment houses funnel the social security money). The details of the plan don't matter, nor are they attended to (amazingly, it has been about six years since Bush was honking on about these personal savings accounts coming up to 2000, and he still hasn’t put forward an actual proposal). Disastrous and predictable consequences follow: chaos in Iraq,
the fleecing of the entire American working class. It doesn't matter as long as there is confusion and government money is exposed for corporate cronies to steal. Bush declares that everything is going swimmingly amidst the wrack and ruin he has caused and vows to "stay the course".

There are some differences, of course. Social security crashing during the baby boomers’ retirements was a real issue at one time. Then again, in the rush to war, it is pretty clear that no one knew exactly what Saddam had in Iraq by way of weapons. There were many suspicions, but we didn’t know until we got in there what was actually going on. In the social security situation, we do have a much better idea of the facts. And we are still managing to mess up the debate.

IOKIYAR Watch

(It’s OK if you are a Republican). Today, Atrios put together some quotes from Judith Regan with a report about Ms. Regan’s activities with Bernard Kerik, who just withdrew his nomination for head of Homeland (yechh, I hate that word – why don’t we just say “Vaterland” already?) Security:

REGAN: Absolutely. I don't think there's any question. I mean, here's Hillary who's been standing by her man all these years and allowing him to behave in this reprehensible fashion.

REGAN: You know, look at Monica Lewinsky talking about being suicidal, being on antidepressants, you know, gaining this huge amount of weight. This is clearly a woman who has suffered and is suffering inside because she has no depth of feeling and no morality whatsoever. And so, I decided, after being involved in this ugly negotiation, which I found morally reprehensible, that we should make fun of the whole thing, and we should make a comment about the amorality of everybody.

REGAN: I would never tell. Unlike Monica Lewinsky, I keep my secrets and take them to the grave.

REGAN: I don't know. I mean, I think that they're going to move forward here, and I think it's alarming to me that the country is not concerned about having an amoral man in the White House.

REGAN: I said, "You know what? There's a really great morality tale here with a great, great moral lesson," and nobody's really said that.

REGAN: Well, partially, but it's also an "amorality tale" because the one thing that's missing from "Monica's Story" is, you know, deep thinking about her own amorality, which we saw -- was in ample evidence during the Barbara Walters love fest the other night. I mean, here's a woman who clearly knows a lot about sex, but knows nothing about right and wrong.

REGAN: You know, the amorality tale, "Monica's Untold Story," is about her amorality, and the amorality of all of the people in this ugly story. But one of the things that was remarkable about her two hours is her utter lack of sincere remorse. And in that case, I would say she is a true soulmate of Bill Clinton because the two of them -- she learned a lot about spinning. She learned a lot about publicity. You know, she learned a lot about changing her image. And she tried to do another Barbara Walters show, but I don't know if America's buying it. I'm sure not.

Ms. REGAN: Well, I think that the social fabric of this country has become completely unraveled. I think the sexual revolution had a lot to do with that. I think that we are in terrible shape. I think we have a country where half the kids are being raised by single mothers. A lot of that has to do with male behavior. We look at the men in this country who do not want to be accountable to their wives, do not want to be accountable to their children and we have as a president a man who could be a symbol of everything that is good; he could be a wonderful husband, he could be a wonderful father. He is in a position of great authority to show this country and to lead this country in a way that is much more important than economically.

Ms. REGAN: ...to this kind of fame, don't grow up thinking, You know, what I really want to do is to be a good citizen, to be loyal to my friends, to care about my neighbors, to get married, to be faithful to my husband, to have a family.' These are not the things that we're teaching.

Ms. REGAN: We can conquer others with force but to conquer ourselves we need strength.' And this is really what we need in America today. We need to conquer our own impulses. We need to understand that we can't act on them all the time because it feels good for us. We have to care about the other.

Ms. REGAN: Let me tell you something, my father has never cheated on my mother, my brothers have never treated cheated on their wives. I come from a big Italian Irish Catholic family and I have to say that for the most part, they have not cheated on each other. My brothers were virile...

And TODAY:

Former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik conducted two extramarital affairs simultaneously, using a secret Battery Park City apartment for the passionate liaisons, the New York Daily News has learned.

The first relationship, spanning nearly a decade, was with city Correction Officer Jeannette Pinero; the second was with famed publishing titan Judith Regan.

His affair with Regan, the stunningly attractive head of her own book publishing company, lasted for almost a year. ... The tumultuous Regan-Kerik romance carried on for months, through the writing, publication and promotion of his autobiography, "The Lost Son: A Life in Pursuit of Justice," which Regan's company published.


Enjoy those Republican Family Values!!

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