The truth about Pat Tillman

Let his untimely and unfortunate death not go in vain. Learn the truth.

A sidenote: When I was growing up, I watched NFL football. And I watched Pat Tillman play. What a great player...

So, my heart goes out to his family. They've been treated cruelly and deserve some better answers.



Published on Friday, October 20, 2006 by Truthdig
After Pat’s Birthday
Kevin Tillman Honors Late Brother's Birthday with Plea to Speak up for Democracy
by Kevin Tillman

It is Pat’s birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice… until we get out.

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can’t be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few “bad apples” in the military.

Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It’s interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.

Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Somehow lying is tolerated.

Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.

Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.

Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don’t be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that “somehow” was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.

Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat’s birthday.

Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother Pat in 2002, and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Kevin was discharged in 2005.

Senator Lindsey Graham makes the argument for the Geneva Convention

Republican senator, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, makes the argument.

Chalabi's INC are first grade con artists or mere vehicles of delusion?

WASHINGTON (AP) -- There's no evidence Saddam Hussein had a relationship with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his al Qaeda associates, according to a Senate report on prewar intelligence on Iraq. Democrats said the report undercuts President Bush's justification for going to war.

The declassified document being released Friday by the Senate Intelligence Committee also explores the role that inaccurate information supplied by the anti-Saddam exile group the Iraqi National Congress had in the march to war.

read more

I told you those INC assholes were crooks...chalabi and the other con artists (or vehicles for delusion...depending on how you look at the situation). Meaning--- Were INC doing the con?...or was the WH and Pentagon doing the believing just because the ends would justify the means? Or was it a little of both? That's my question.


The administration's version was based in part on intelligence that White House officials knew was flawed, according to Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, citing newly declassified documents released by the panel.

If they knew the intel was flawed, then surely they were willfully deluding themselves.

And this whole Armitage expose stinks to high hell...
who's to say he's not just another foot soldier of the WH. I've been hearing all this talk that he was very independent-minded at State...and that's not what I remember whatsoever.

Chomsky on Lebanon

To not fully acknowledge the following would be an error. Here's Chomsky's latest piece published in the Guardian.

In Lebanon, a little-honoured truce remains in effect - yet another in a decades-long series of ceasefires between Israel and its adversaries in a cycle that, as if inevitably, returns to warfare, carnage and human misery. Let's describe the current crisis for what it is: a US-Israeli invasion of Lebanon, with only a cynical pretence to legitimacy. Amid all the charges and counter-charges, the most immediate factor behind the assault is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This is hardly the first time that Israel has invaded Lebanon to eliminate an alleged threat. The most important of the US-backed Israeli invasions of Lebanon, in 1982, was widely described in Israel as a war for the West Bank. It was undertaken to end the Palestinian Liberation Organisation's annoying calls for a diplomatic settlement. Despite many different circumstances, the July invasion falls into the same pattern.

What would break the cycle? The basic outlines of a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict have been supported by a broad international consensus for 30 years: a two-state settlement on the international border, perhaps with minor and mutual adjustments.

The Arab states formally accepted this proposal in 2002, as the Palestinians had long before. Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has made it clear that though this solution is not Hizbullah's preference, they will not disrupt it. Iran's "supreme leader" Ayatollah Khamenei recently reaffirmed that Iran too supports this settlement. Hamas has indicated clearly that it is prepared to negotiate for a settlement in these terms as well.

The US and Israel continue to block this political settlement, as they have done for 30 years, with brief and inconsequential exceptions. Denial may be preferred at home, but the victims do not enjoy that luxury.

US-Israeli rejectionism is not only in words but, more importantly, in actions. With decisive US backing, Israel has been formalising its programme of annexation, dismemberment of shrinking Palestinian territories and imprisonment of what remains by taking over the Jordan valley - the "convergence" programme that is, astonishingly, called "courageous withdrawal" in the US.

In consequence, the Palestinians are facing national destruction. The most meaningful support for Palestine is from Hizbullah, which was formed in reaction to the 1982 invasion. It won considerable prestige by leading the effort to force Israel to withdraw from Lebanon in 2000. Also, like other Islamic movements including Hamas, Hizbullah has gained popular support by providing social services to the poor.

To US and Israeli planners it therefore follows that Hizbullah must be severely weakened or destroyed, just as the PLO had to be evicted from Lebanon in 1982. But Hizbullah is so deeply embedded in society that it cannot be eradicated without destroying much of Lebanon as well. Hence the scale of the attack on the country's population and infrastructure.

In keeping with a familiar pattern, the aggression is sharply increasing the support for Hizbullah, not only in the Arab and Muslim worlds beyond, but also in Lebanon itself. Late last month, polls revealed that 87% of Lebanese support Hizbullah's resistance against the invasion, including 80% of Christians and Druze. Even the Maronite Catholic patriarch, the spiritual leader of the most pro-western sector in Lebanon, joined Sunni and Shia religious leaders in a statement condemning the "aggression" and hailing "the resistance, mainly led by Hizbullah". The poll also found that 90% of Lebanese regard the US as "complicit in Israel's war crimes against the Lebanese people".

Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, Lebanon's leading academic scholar on Hizbullah, observes that "these findings are all the more significant when compared to the results of a similar survey conducted just five months ago, which showed that only 58% of all Lebanese believed Hizbullah had the right to remain armed, and hence continue its resistance activity".

The dynamics are familiar. Rami Khouri, an editor of Lebanon's Daily Star, writes that "the Lebanese and Palestinians have responded to Israel's persistent and increasingly savage attacks against entire civilian populations by creating parallel or alternative leaderships that can protect them and deliver essential services".

Such popular forces will only gain in power and become more extremist if the US and Israel persist in demolishing any hope of Palestinian national rights, and in destroying Lebanon.

Even King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Washington's oldest ally in the region, was compelled to say: "If the peace option is rejected due to the Israeli arrogance, then only the war option remains, and no one knows the repercussions befalling the region, including wars and conflict that will spare no one, including those whose military power is now tempting them to play with fire."

It is no secret that Israel has helped to destroy secular Arab nationalism and to create Hizbullah and Hamas, just as US violence has expedited the rise of extremist Islamic fundamentalism and jihadi terror. The latest adventure is likely to create new generations of bitter and angry jihadis, just as the invasion of Iraq did.

Israeli writer Uri Avnery observed that the Israeli chief of staff Dan Halutz, a former air force commander, "views the world below through a bombsight". Much the same is true of Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice and other top Bush administration planners. As history reveals, that view of the world is not uncommon among those who wield most of the means of violence.

Saad-Ghorayeb describes the current violence in "apocalyptic terms", warning that possibly "all hell would be let loose" if the outcome of the US-Israel campaign leaves a situation in which "the Shia community is seething with resentment at Israel, the US and the government that it perceives as its betrayer".

The core issue - the Israel-Palestine conflict - can be settled by diplomacy, if the US and Israel abandon their rejectionist commitments. Other outstanding problems in the region are also susceptible to negotiation and diplomacy. Their success can never be guaranteed. But we can be reasonably confident that viewing the world through a bombsight will bring further misery and suffering, perhaps even in "apocalyptic terms".

· Noam Chomsky's most recent book is Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy; he is emeritus professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology www.chomsky.info