Mayfield False Arrest Under Patriot Act

Brandon Mayfield, an American-born Portland lawyer and convert to Islam, has just been released and exonerated after having been held for about two weeks as a material witness under provisions of the Patriot Act. The basis for his arrest was a fingerprint match, which turned out to be erroneous, connecting him with the big recent bombing in Spain.

People who say that worries about the Patriot Act are exaggerated should look at this case. Mayfield was released only because Spanish police working on the case (who had doubted the FBI identification from the start) finally connected the fingerprint to a different man. Otherwise the guy would probably be in jail indefinitely.

The FBI found several fingerprint matches (perhaps by setting their computers to pull in as many matches as possible: my guess) and then zeroed in on Mayfield after they found that he was a Muslim convert who had represented a convicted terrorist in a non-political case. At first they represented the match as much closer than it really was, even though the Spanish police had their doubts.

Problems with Fingerprint Identification

From the Case Transcript

Talkleft on Mayfield

Oregonian Links

They Just Lie 2 (or is it 3 or is it 45 … lost count)

Here is the Republican Party’s official response to Al Gore’s call for Rumsfeld and others to resign because of the abuses at Abu Ghraib. G O P.com :: RNC Communications Director Statement on Al Gore’s Comments Today at MoveOn.org Rally:

“Al Gore served as Vice President of this country for eight years. During that time, Osama Bin Laden declared war on the United States five times and terrorists killed US citizens on at least four different occasions including the first bombing of the World Trade Center, the attacks on Khobar Towers, our embassies in East Africa, and the USS Cole.

Al Gore’s attacks on the President today demonstrate that he either does not understand the threat of global terror, or he has amnesia.”

Here we have the Republican Party officially blaming Clinton and Gore for the 9/11 attacks — and doing so in response to Gore’s call for accountability for what happened in the prison in Iraq.

So just as President Bush said in his speech the other night that we are in Iraq in response to 9/11, the Republican Party responds to Gore’s call for accountability for the Iraqi prison scandal by accusing him of being responsible for 9/11! AND the Republican Party says that Gore asks for accountability because he “does not understand the threat of global terror.”

As if the prison scandal had anything to do with global terror, and as if people who do understand the threat of global terror would excuse what happened.

Here we have an entire political party that bases its positions on outright lies. What’s left to say? How does one respond to this level of deceit? How does one protect oneself from this level of deceit? And most importantly, how do we protect the country from this level of deceit?

But wait, there’s more.

Rush Limbaugh gave a longer version of the same statement today when he responded today to Gore’s call for Bush to condemn Limbaugh’s incredibly offensive statements on the torture at Abu Ghraib. Here is some of Limbaugh’s response:

“Algore, this whole speech, he went nuts. He’s flailing around wildly there. Not just me, he’s attacking everybody who has led the nation through 9/11, the war on terrorism, and he’s making statements that are flat out lies in this speech. For example, the Geneva Conventions. I don’t know how many of you know this, the Geneva Conventions do not protect terrorists. They protect soldiers who serve under a nation who wear uniforms who carry their weapons openly, and with the kind of threat that we’re facing today with terrorist cells in the U.S. plotting an even bigger attack than 9/11. I mean, it says a lot about Gore. It says he’s perverse, that he would be argue to go confer greater rights on those who seek to murder millions of Americans and calling for even tougher actions to seek them out and destroy them before they destroy us, and this is what is truly puzzling to me about the left, and this is what’s disarming about these prison photos.

What really troubles me about these photos, above and beyond what’s in them, is how they’re being used to undermine our war effort. Now we have the former vice president, a man who was thisclose to becoming president of the United States, speak out in this speech. We haven’t played you the bites, but he was flailing around on the Geneva Convention. He starts talking about conferring more rights on the kind of people who want to murder tens of thousands more Americans than he does seem interested in dealing with the people who want to commit those murders. He has succeeded in giving our adversaries in Europe and our enemies in the caves of Afghanistan and the allies of Iraq a message that they’ll take to heart, and that is that we are not a united nation, that we do not have the will to win this war, and that we are weak and indecisive. That’s the message that Gore sends today, and it’s the wrong message, because it’s a lie, and beyond that it is an outrage.

I don’t think anything of this kind has ever been done by a former vice president during a war, but our adversaries and our enemies would be badly mistaken if they actually believe that Gore speaks for this nation, because he doesn’t. I speak for more of this nation than Algore does, and I will say it on this program. Otherwise, why is he bothering to mention my name? He speaks for the radical fringe in his party who have become more and more the mainstream of his party. They are the Hate-America First radical left, and I hope the American people get to hear all of this speech. I hope it’s played over and over again, for this is how low Gore and his crowd are willing to go to undermine the war effort and our troops and this president to promote themselves and their own agenda and get themselves back into power. Lest we forget, Algore and his boss, Bill Clinton, stood by while the enemy was plotting and planning to murder thousands of Americans.

They did nothing serious to stop bin Laden. They did nothing serious to fight terrorism. They degraded or military. They slashed our troop levels, undermined our intelligence services. Today calls for civil rights for terrorists in his speech while opposing the Patriot Act which helps us find and stop terrorist cells right here in our country, and Gore has said nothing about how he would fight this evil because he’s obsessed with hatred not for the enemy but for George W. Bush — and that’s what identifies MoveOn.org. That’s what identifies most of the fringe, radical left in this country. They actually think Bush is a greater threat to the people of this world and this country than any thug dictator, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong ll, anybody. They think Bush poses a greater threat, and as misguided as that is, this is what animates them. It is what motivates them and inspires them.

In this speech today he actually makes the case for civil rights for terrorist cells in these prisons under the Geneva Convention when the Geneva Convention does not even cover terrorists. But more importantly, the idea that this guy — who didn’t say anything about terrorism in his presidential campaign.”

Remember, he’s talking about the treatment of people in a civilian prison in Iraq, where there is no question that every single person is covered by the Geneva Conventions. Every single person in Iraq is covered by the Geneva Conventions. (AND we are covered by OTHER treaties and laws banning torture of ANYONE, ANYWHERE, as well as our own ethics as Americans.)

Limbaugh is a spokesman for the Republican Party, no way around it. And in case there is any question whether he diverges from the official position of The Party, we have seen the Party’s statement that says pretty much the same things Limbaugh says here. Limbaugh says Gore is “perverse” for objecting to the treatment that we saw in those photos — The Party says Gore “does not understand the threat of global terror.” Limbaugh says those people in the Iraqi prison “seek to murder millions of Americans” — The Party says Gore should not ask for accountability in Iraq because when Gore was in office “Osama Bin Laden declared war on the United States five times and terrorists killed US citizens on at least four different occasions including the first bombing of the World Trade Center, the attacks on Khobar Towers, our embassies in East Africa, and the USS Cole.”

Limbaugh IS The Party.

One more thing. Limbaugh also equates “our adversaries in Europe” with “our enemies in the caves of Afghanistan and the allies of Iraq.” This is not “fringe” Republican thought, it comes up over and over. Here, for example. (Ledeen is one of the architects of the Iraq war.) It comes up in The Party’s treatment of France and the United Nations, as well as Bush’s threats against Mexico.

It’s just lies, which they try to cover by accusing Gore of being the liar.

The question is, how far these people will take this? The question is, what are they capable of doing to achieve and hold on to power? Remember, they have taken it all the way to war in Iraq. Watch your backs.

Ashcroft’s smear

Immediately below, Dave comments on Ashcroft’s new terror alert, which implicitly claims that al Qaeda wants to see Kerry elected.

Obviously any terror attack between now and the election will be given a Republican spin by the administration. Ashcroft’s announcement sets that up, while also trying to immunize the administration against any negative interpretations, should a new terrorist attack occur during Bush’s watch.

In other words, the next terrorist attack hasn’t even happened yet, and it has already been politicized. Kerry’s campaign team needs to start preparing the ground for their own response to the next attack, when and if it occurs. Pre-emptively pointing out loudly and often that Bush has so far done nothing much to protect the US against terrorism (and in particular, that the Iraq War hasn’t helped) would be a great place to start.

Beyond that, they should have a response ready for immediate release as soon as an attack take place. (You can be sure that the Republicans have one.) The various possible scenarios should all be prepared for, with a string of followups in the can ready to go. If the Kerry people sit around strategizing for a day when and if something happens, Bush will have won the election by the time Kerry says a word.

The Republicans have framed it this way: if al Qaeda attacks, it’s because they want Kerry to win; if al Qaeda doesn’t attack, it’s because Bush has been effective. The Kerry team has to break that frame, and the time to start is now. Bush has not been effective.

Isn’t That Conveeeeenient!

U.S. Warns Of Al Qaeda Threat This Summer:

“The concerns are driven by intelligence deemed credible that was obtained about a month ago indicating an attack may be planned between now and Labor Day.

That information dovetails with other intelligence ‘chatter’ suggesting that al Qaeda operatives are pleased with the change in government resulting from the March 11 terrorist bombings in Spain and may want to affect elections in the United States and other countries.

‘They saw that an attack of that nature can have economic and political consequences and have some impact on the electoral process,’ said one federal official with access to counterterrorism intelligence. “

Right. They want Bush out. So if you are a Kerry supporter then you’re also a supporter of al-Queda. Isn’t that conveeeeeenient!

The information was obtained a month ago, but released today. And we happen to know that “al Qaeda operatives are pleased with the change in government resulting from the March 11 terrorist bombings in Spain.” Except that the change in government was NOT the result of the attack, it was the result of the government LYING ABOUT the attack. And everyone in the world knows that except people who get their new from U.S. sources.

Isn’t that conveeeeeenient!

Roger Ailes notices, too.

Presidents falling off of things

Hasn’t George W. Bush now passed Gerald Ford in the Presidential Falling Off Of Things stats? As I recall, Ford stumbled twice getting off planes, but I don’t remember any visible marks. Bush has fallen off a couch, a Segway, and a bicycle, and two of those three times he had some hickeys to explain.

The Presidential Vomiting On Allied Prime Ministers record is still held by the elder, smarter Bush.

I Told You So

US intelligence fears Iran duped hawks into Iraq war:

“An urgent investigation has been launched in Washington into whether Iran played a role in manipulating the US into the Iraq war by passing on bogus intelligence through Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress, it emerged yesterday.

Some intelligence officials now believe that Iran used the hawks in the Pentagon and the White House to get rid of a hostile neighbour, and pave the way for a Shia-ruled Iraq. “

Not to mention, getting Iraq’s oil fields. Ha Ha I Told You So!

“It’s pretty clear that Iranians had us for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” said an intelligence source in Washington yesterday. “Iranian intelligence has been manipulating the US for several years through Chalabi.”

Larry Johnson, a former senior counter-terrorist official at the state department, said: “When the story ultimately comes out we’ll see that Iran has run one of the most masterful intelligence operations in history. They persuaded the US and Britain to dispose of its greatest enemy.”

Jeeze. These stupid, incompetent, ideologically insane, hateful, arrogant, cultish, corrupt, right-wing, ignorant CLUCKS got duped, sold us out, made fools of us, betrayed us, destroyed our honor, besmirched our good name, bankrupted us, sold us up the river, destroyed our reputation, undermined our integrity, and killed thousands.

Bush The Liar

From his speech last night, AGAIN saying Iraq is a war against the 9/11 terrorists:

“In the last 32 months history has placed great demands on our country and events have come quickly. Americans have seen the flames of Sept. 11, followed battles in the mountains of Afghanistan and learned new terms like orange alert and ricin and dirty bomb. We’ve seen killers at work on trains in Madrid, in a bank in Istanbul, in a synagogue in Tunis and a nightclub in Bali. And now the families of our soldiers and civilian workers pray for their sons and daughter in Mosul and Karbala and Baghdad.

We did not seek this war on terror. But this is the world as we find it. We must keep our focus. We must do our duty. History is moving and it will tend toward hope or tend toward tragedy.

Our terrorist enemies have a vision that guides and explains all their varied acts of murder. They seek to impose Taliban-like rule country by country across the greater Middle East. They seek the total control of every person and mind and soul. A harsh society in which women are voiceless and brutalized. They seek bases of operation to train more killers and export more violence. They commit dramatic acts of murder to shock, frighten and demoralize civilized nations, hoping we will retreat from the world and give them free reign. They seek weapons of mass destruction to impose their will through blackmail and catastrophic attacks. None of this is the expression of a religion. It is a totalitarian political ideology pursued with consuming zeal and without conscience.”

The Agonist: Justice Must Be Seen To Be Done

The Agonist: Justice Must Be Seen To Be Done:

“We must face the facts, the cold, hard facts. We illegally invaded another nation, engaging in war crimes to do so, in that we lied to the UN as to the causes for war. We did so without pressing necessity to invade – or to lie at all, since our target was an individual who could have been legally indicted for war crimes by merely stretching forth our hand. We invaded solely because of the electoral time table of George W Bush Jr, and for no other reason. This is worse that a crime, it is worse than a mistake, it is a blot against that most precious object of a free people – our willingness to comply with our own laws.”Stirling says it all for us — go read.

Judith Miller off the NYT Chalabi beat

The Times has finally come up with a pretty good piece about the Chalabi spy story. It mentions that the information had to have come up from someone high up on the totem pole, probably in the Defense Department.

Oddly enough, Iran, William Safire, and Chalabi himself all deny that Chalabi was an Iranian spy. Safire is becoming loonier and slimier by the minute.

At the moment Judith Miller, the Times reporter who eternally disgraced herself and the Times by reporting Chalabi spin as fact, is nowhere to be seen.

Johnston and Oppel on Chalabi

Safire on Chalabi

Miller’s errors have still not been acknowledged by the Times