September 22, 2008
September 21, 2008
The mystery group, who call themselves Anonymous, posted a number of the Republican vice-presidential candidate’s private emails and family photos on the internet.
The McCain campaign were furious and called it a “shocking invasion of privacy and a violation of law” – and called for those responsible to be prosecuted.
The FBI are now hunting the gang, who bragged about how they were able to obtain Mrs Palin’s password by guessing she had met her husband at high school and knew her date of birth and postal code.
Using the details, one hacker – who uses the online handle Rubico – said he tricked Yahoo into assigning a new password for Mrs Palin’s email account.
Anonymous, who have so far evaded capture by successfully masking their IP addresses, have hit the headlines on many occasions over their twisted antics.
They have been dubbed ‘hackers on steroids’ by the US media and get their kicks by making prank calls, flooding message boards with obscene photos and breaking into people’s social network sites to out them as gay.
In March this year, they flooded an epilepsy website with flashing images, causing some members to suffer migraines and seizures.
The FBI is investigating what may be the first computer attack that physically harmed people.
They also stormed a virtual world known as Habbo by sending in black-skinned avatars with Afro hair to block off the pool to other users, claiming it was infected with AIDS.
They also formed swastika formations.
The group was slated over the suicide of US student Mitchell Henderson, who they claimed had shot himself because he lost his iPod, something he had noted on his MySpace page.
Anonymous seized on a badly written message on his online memorial page and turned the phrase “an hero” into an internet catchphrase.
For more than a year, the sick group carried on the harassment by calling the youngster’s parents, pretending to be his ghost.
September 19, 2008
Source: NY Times
WASILLA, Alaska — Gov. Sarah Palin lives by the maxim that all politics is local, not to mention personal.
So when there was a vacancy at the top of the State Division of Agriculture, she appointed a high school classmate, Franci Havemeister, to the $95,000-a-year directorship. A former real estate agent, Ms. Havemeister cited her childhood love of cows as a qualification for running the roughly $2 million agency.
Ms. Havemeister was one of at least five schoolmates Ms. Palin hired, often at salaries far exceeding their private sector wages.
When Ms. Palin had to cut her first state budget, she avoided the legion of frustrated legislators and mayors. Instead, she huddled with her budget director and her husband, Todd, an oil field worker who is not a state employee, and vetoed millions of dollars of legislative projects.
And four months ago, a Wasilla blogger, Sherry Whitstine, who chronicles the governor’s career with an astringent eye, answered her phone to hear an assistant to the governor on the line, she said.
“You should be ashamed!” Ivy Frye, the assistant, told her. “Stop blogging. Stop blogging right now!”
Ms. Palin walks the national stage as a small-town foe of “good old boy” politics and a champion of ethics reform. The charismatic 44-year-old governor draws enthusiastic audiences and high approval ratings. And as the Republican vice-presidential nominee, she points to her management experience while deriding her Democratic rivals, Senators Barack Obama and Joseph R. Biden Jr., as speechmakers who never have run anything.
But an examination of her swift rise and record as mayor of Wasilla and then governor finds that her visceral style and penchant for attacking critics — she sometimes calls local opponents “haters” — contrasts with her carefully crafted public image.
Throughout her political career, she has pursued vendettas, fired officials who crossed her and sometimes blurred the line between government and personal grievance, according to a review of public records and interviews with 60 Republican and Democratic legislators and local officials.
Still, Ms. Palin has many supporters. As a two-term mayor she paved roads and built an ice rink, and as governor she has pushed through higher taxes on the oil companies that dominate one-third of the state’s economy. She stirs deep emotions. In Wasilla, many residents display unflagging affection, cheering “our Sarah” and hissing at her critics.
“She is bright and has unfailing political instincts,” said Steve Haycox, a history professor at the University of Alaska. “She taps very directly into anxieties about the economic future.”
“But,” he added, “her governing style raises a lot of hard questions.”
Ms. Palin declined to grant an interview for this article. The McCain-Palin campaign responded to some questions on her behalf and that of her husband, while referring others to the governor’s spokespeople, who did not respond.
Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell said Ms. Palin had conducted an accessible and effective administration in the public’s interest. “Everything she does is for the ordinary working people of Alaska,” he said.
In Wasilla, a builder said he complained to Mayor Palin when the city attorney put a stop-work order on his housing project. She responded, he said, by engineering the attorney’s firing.
Interviews show that Ms. Palin runs an administration that puts a premium on loyalty and secrecy. The governor and her top officials sometimes use personal e-mail accounts for state business; dozens of e-mail messages obtained by The New York Times show that her staff members studied whether that could allow them to circumvent subpoenas seeking public records.
Rick Steiner, a University of Alaska professor, sought the e-mail messages of state scientists who had examined the effect of global warming on polar bears. (Ms. Palin said the scientists had found no ill effects, and she has sued the federal government to block the listing of the bears as endangered.) An administration official told Mr. Steiner that his request would cost $468,784 to process.
When Mr. Steiner finally obtained the e-mail messages — through a federal records request — he discovered that state scientists had in fact agreed that the bears were in danger, records show.
“Their secrecy is off the charts,” Mr. Steiner said.
State legislators are investigating accusations that Ms. Palin and her husband pressured officials to fire a state trooper who had gone through a messy divorce with her sister, charges that she denies. But interviews make clear that the Palins draw few distinctions between the personal and the political.
Last summer State Representative John Harris, the Republican speaker of the House, picked up his phone and heard Mr. Palin’s voice. The governor’s husband sounded edgy. He said he was unhappy that Mr. Harris had hired John Bitney as his chief of staff, the speaker recalled. Mr. Bitney was a high school classmate of the Palins and had worked for Ms. Palin. But she fired Mr. Bitney after learning that he had fallen in love with another longtime friend.
“I understood from the call that Todd wasn’t happy with me hiring John and he’d like to see him not there,” Mr. Harris said.
“The Palin family gets upset at personal issues,” he added. “And at our level, they want to strike back.”
Through a campaign spokesman, Mr. Palin said he “did not recall” referring to Mr. Bitney in the conversation.
Laura Chase, the campaign manager during Ms. Palin’s first run for mayor in 1996, recalled the night the two women chatted about her ambitions.
“I said, ‘You know, Sarah, within 10 years you could be governor,’ ” Ms. Chase recalled. “She replied, ‘I want to be president.’ ”
Ms. Palin grew up in Wasilla, an old fur trader’s outpost and now a fast-growing exurb of Anchorage. The town sits in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, edged by jagged mountains and birch forests. In the 1930s, the Roosevelt administration took farmers from the Dust Bowl area and resettled them here; their Democratic allegiances defined the valley for half a century.
In the past three decades, socially conservative Oklahomans and Texans have flocked north to the oil fields of Alaska. They filled evangelical churches around Wasilla and revived the Republican Party. Many of these working-class residents formed the electoral backbone for Ms. Palin, who ran for mayor on a platform of gun rights, opposition to abortion and the ouster of the “complacent” old guard.
After winning the mayoral election in 1996, Ms. Palin presided over a city rapidly outgrowing itself. Septic tanks had begun to pollute lakes, and residential lots were carved willy-nilly out of the woods. She passed road and sewer bonds, cut property taxes but raised the sales tax.
And, her supporters say, she cleaned out the municipal closet, firing veteran officials to make way for her own team. “She had an agenda for change and for doing things differently,” said Judy Patrick, a City Council member at the time.
But careers were turned upside down. The mayor quickly fired the town’s museum director, John Cooper. Later, she sent an aide to the museum to talk to the three remaining employees. “He told us they only wanted two,” recalled Esther West, one of the three, “and we had to pick who was going to be laid off.” The three quit as one.
Ms. Palin cited budget difficulties for the museum cuts. Mr. Cooper thought differently, saying the museum had become a microcosm of class and cultural conflicts in town. “It represented that the town was becoming more progressive, and they didn’t want that,” he said.
Days later, Mr. Cooper recalled, a vocal conservative, Steve Stoll, sidled up to him. Mr. Stoll had supported Ms. Palin and had a long-running feud with Mr. Cooper. “He said: ‘Gotcha, Cooper,’ ” Mr. Cooper said.
Mr. Stoll did not recall that conversation, although he said he supported Ms. Palin’s campaign and was pleased when she fired Mr. Cooper.
In 1997, Ms. Palin fired the longtime city attorney, Richard Deuser, after he issued the stop-work order on a home being built by Don Showers, another of her campaign supporters.
Your attorney, Mr. Showers told Ms. Palin, is costing me lots of money.
“She told me she’d like to see him fired,” Mr. Showers recalled. “But she couldn’t do it herself because the City Council hires the city attorney.” Ms. Palin told him to write the council members to complain.
Meanwhile, Ms. Palin pushed the issue from the inside. “She started the ball rolling,” said Ms. Patrick, who also favored the firing. Mr. Deuser was soon replaced by Ken Jacobus, then the State Republican Party’s general counsel.
“Professionals were either forced out or fired,” Mr. Deuser said.
Ms. Palin ordered city employees not to talk to the press. And she used city money to buy a white Suburban for the mayor’s use — employees sarcastically called it the mayor-mobile.
The new mayor also tended carefully to her evangelical base. She appointed a pastor to the town planning board. And she began to eye the library. For years, social conservatives had pressed the library director to remove books they considered immoral.
“People would bring books back censored,” recalled former Mayor John Stein, Ms. Palin’s predecessor. “Pages would get marked up or torn out.”
Witnesses and contemporary news accounts say Ms. Palin asked the librarian about removing books from the shelves. The McCain-Palin presidential campaign says Ms. Palin never advocated censorship.
But in 1995, Ms. Palin, then a city councilwoman, told colleagues that she had noticed the book “Daddy’s Roommate” on the shelves and that it did not belong there, according to Ms. Chase and Mr. Stein. Ms. Chase read the book, which helps children understand homosexuality, and said it was inoffensive; she suggested that Ms. Palin read it.
“Sarah said she didn’t need to read that stuff,” Ms. Chase said. “It was disturbing that someone would be willing to remove a book from the library and she didn’t even read it.”
“I’m still proud of Sarah,” she added, “but she scares the bejeebers out of me.”
Restless ambition defined Ms. Palin in the early years of this decade. She raised money for Senator Ted Stevens, a Republican from the state; finished second in the 2002 Republican primary for lieutenant governor; and sought to fill the seat of Senator Frank H. Murkowski when he ran for governor.
Mr. Murkowski appointed his daughter to the seat, but as a consolation prize, he gave Ms. Palin the $125,000-a-year chairmanship of a state commission overseeing oil and gas drilling.
Ms. Palin discovered that the state Republican leader, Randy Ruedrich, a commission member, was conducting party business on state time and favoring regulated companies. When Mr. Murkowski failed to act on her complaints, she quit and went public.
The Republican establishment shunned her. But her break with the gentlemen’s club of oil producers and political power catapulted her into the public eye.
“She was honest and forthright,” said Jay Kerttula, a former Democratic state senator from Palmer.
Ms. Palin entered the 2006 primary for governor as a formidable candidate.
In the middle of the primary, a conservative columnist in the state, Paul Jenkins, unearthed e-mail messages showing that Ms. Palin had conducted campaign business from the mayor’s office. Ms. Palin handled the crisis with a street fighter’s guile.
“I told her it looks like she did the same thing that Randy Ruedrich did,” Mr. Jenkins recalled. “And she said, ‘Yeah, what I did was wrong.’ ”
Mr. Jenkins hung up and decided to forgo writing about it. His phone rang soon after.
Mr. Jenkins said a reporter from Fairbanks, reading from a Palin news release, demanded to know why he was “smearing” her. “Now I look at her and think: ‘Man, you’re slick,’ ” he said.
Ms. Palin won the primary, and in the general election she faced Tony Knowles, the former two-term Democratic governor, and Andrew Halcro, an independent.
Not deeply versed in policy, Ms. Palin skipped some candidate forums; at others, she flipped through hand-written, color-coded index cards strategically placed behind her nameplate.
Before one forum, Mr. Halcro said he saw aides shovel reports at Ms. Palin as she crammed. Her showman’s instincts rarely failed. She put the pile of reports on the lectern. Asked what she would do about health care policy, she patted the stack and said she would find an answer in the pile of solutions.
“She was fresh, and she was tomorrow,” said Michael Carey, a former editorial page editor for The Anchorage Daily News. “She just floated along like Mary Poppins.”
Half a century after Alaska became a state, Ms. Palin was inaugurated as governor in Fairbanks and took up the reformer’s sword.
As she assembled her cabinet and made other state appointments, those with insider credentials were now on the outs. But a new pattern became clear. She surrounded herself with people she has known since grade school and members of her church.
Mr. Parnell, the lieutenant governor, praised Ms. Palin’s appointments. “The people she hires are competent, qualified, top-notch people,” he said.
Ms. Palin chose Talis Colberg, a borough assemblyman from the Matanuska valley, as her attorney general, provoking a bewildered question from the legal community: “Who?” Mr. Colberg, who did not return calls, moved from a one-room building in the valley to one of the most powerful offices in the state, supervising some 500 people.
“I called him and asked, ‘Do you know how to supervise people?’ ” said a family friend, Kathy Wells. “He said, ‘No, but I think I’ll get some help.’ ”
The Wasilla High School yearbook archive now doubles as a veritable directory of state government. Ms. Palin appointed Mr. Bitney, her former junior high school band-mate, as her legislative director and chose another classmate, Joe Austerman, to manage the economic development office for $82,908 a year. Mr. Austerman had established an Alaska franchise for Mailboxes Etc.
To her supporters — and with an 80 percent approval rating, she has plenty — Ms. Palin has lifted Alaska out of a mire of corruption. She gained the passage of a bill that tightens the rules covering lobbyists. And she rewrote the tax code to capture a greater share of oil and gas sale proceeds.
“Does anybody doubt that she’s a tough negotiator?” said State Representative Carl Gatto, Republican of Palmer.
Yet recent controversy has marred Ms. Palin’s reform credentials. In addition to the trooper investigation, lawmakers in April accused her of improperly culling thousands of e-mail addresses from a state database for a mass mailing to rally support for a policy initiative.
While Ms. Palin took office promising a more open government, her administration has battled to keep information secret. Her inner circle discussed the benefit of using private e-mail addresses. An assistant told her it appeared that such e-mail messages sent to a private address on a “personal device” like a BlackBerry “would be confidential and not subject to subpoena.”
Ms. Palin and aides use their private e-mail addresses for state business. A campaign spokesman said the governor copied e-mail messages to her state account “when there was significant state business.”
On Feb. 7, Frank Bailey, a high-level aide, wrote to Ms. Palin’s state e-mail address to discuss appointments. Another aide fired back: “Frank, this is not the governor’s personal account.”
Mr. Bailey responded: “Whoops~!”
Mr. Bailey, a former midlevel manager at Alaska Airlines who worked on Ms. Palin’s campaign, has been placed on paid leave; he has emerged as a central figure in the trooper investigation.
Another confidante of Ms. Palin’s is Ms. Frye, 27. She worked as a receptionist for State Senator Lyda Green before she joined Ms. Palin’s campaign for governor. Now Ms. Frye earns $68,664 as a special assistant to the governor. Her frequent interactions with Ms. Palin’s children have prompted some lawmakers to refer to her as “the babysitter,” a title that Ms. Frye disavows.
Like Mr. Bailey, she is an effusive cheerleader for her boss.
“YOU ARE SO AWESOME!” Ms. Frye typed in an e-mail message to Ms. Palin in March.
Many lawmakers contend that Ms. Palin is overly reliant on a small inner circle that leaves her isolated. Democrats and Republicans alike describe her as often missing in action. Since taking office in 2007, Ms. Palin has spent 312 nights at her Wasilla home, some 600 miles to the north of the governor’s mansion in Juneau, records show.
During the last legislative session, some lawmakers became so frustrated with her absences that they took to wearing “Where’s Sarah?” pins.
Many politicians say they typically learn of her initiatives — and vetoes — from news releases.
Mayors across the state, from the larger cities to tiny municipalities along the southeastern fiords, are even more frustrated. Often, their letters go unanswered and their pleas ignored, records and interviews show.
Last summer, Mayor Mark Begich of Anchorage, a Democrat, pressed Ms. Palin to meet with him because the state had failed to deliver money needed to operate city traffic lights. At one point, records show, state officials told him to just turn off a dozen of them. Ms. Palin agreed to meet with Mr. Begich when he threatened to go public with his anger, according to city officials.
At an Alaska Municipal League gathering in Juneau in January, mayors across the political spectrum swapped stories of the governor’s remoteness. How many of you, someone asked, have tried to meet with her? Every hand went up, recalled Mayor Fred Shields of Haines Borough. And how many met with her? Just a few hands rose. Ms. Palin soon walked in, delivered a few remarks and left for an anti-abortion rally.
The administration’s e-mail correspondence reveals a siege-like atmosphere. Top aides keep score, demean enemies and gloat over successes. Even some who helped engineer her rise have felt her wrath.
Dan Fagan, a prominent conservative radio host and longtime friend of Ms. Palin, urged his listeners to vote for her in 2006. But when he took her to task for raising taxes on oil companies, he said, he found himself branded a “hater.”
It is part of a pattern, Mr. Fagan said, in which Ms. Palin characterizes critics as “bad people who are anti-Alaska.”
As Ms. Palin’s star ascends, the McCain campaign, as often happens in national races, is controlling the words of those who know her well. Her mother-in-law, Faye Palin, has been asked not to speak to reporters, and aides sit in on interviews with old friends.
At a recent lunch gathering, an official with the Wasilla Chamber of Commerce asked its members to refer all calls from reporters to the governor’s office. Dianne Woodruff, a city councilwoman, shook her head.
“I was thinking, I don’t remember giving up my First Amendment rights,” Ms. Woodruff said. “Just because you’re not going gaga over Sarah doesn’t mean you can’t speak your mind.”
September 18, 2008
Source: Info Wars
As the slime of the John McCain-Sarah Palin campaign engulfs the world like a tidal wave of sewage, the calculating political manipulators behind the Republican ticket, and their end game, have received scant attention. If recent polls are to be believed, the election (if it is not already stolen) may already be over.
The Turd Blossom’s son
The McCain-Palin dirty tricks campaign is the work of Republican operative Steve Schmidt.
Schmidt is a protégé of Karl “Turd Blossom” Rove. He has elevated several of the most toxic individuals on earth to positions of global power. He is also a counselor to Dick Cheney. It was Schmidt who successfully spearheaded the lobbying efforts behind the confirmations of Supreme Court justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito. And it was Schmidt’s manipulation of image, celebrity and popular disgust that installed actor and bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger as the do-nothing governor of California.
The Rove filth playbook — media manipulations, intimidation, lurid character attack techniques, corruption, falsification and lying, cynical appeals to the most foul aspects of the American psyche — is something that Schmidt has clearly mastered, and it is being enthusiastically applied to McCain-Palin as part of a long-term extremist agenda.
As described in Paul Alexander’s Machiavelli’s Shadow: “The Rove scorched earth approach to political campaigns is a reflection of a willingness to perform whatever ruthless, unethical acts necessary to transform America into a fascist regime.
“Once he [George W. Bush] reached the White House, as part of his effort to achieve a permanent Republican majority, he would put into place a plan that included a corruption of the state and federal governing systems that bordered on the diabolical, a scheme that went so far to create a sort of government within a government to carry out its actions. But in order to achieve what he wanted he had to win elections, and to win elections, in true Machiavellian style, he would do or say whatever he had to, no matter who got damaged in the process, no matter how badly.”
Alexander quotes longtime Texas Republican strategist Mark Sanders: “[Rove] immediately started putting together a plan for what was essentially the Third Reich of the Republican majority in this country. That was absolutely his plan, a Republican majority domination not just of the US House, the US Senate and the presidency, but also state legislatures across the country. This was not just a pie-in-the-sky dream that Karl had. He wanted to see the Republican Party rule for the next 30 to 40 years.”
Rove’s choreography of George W. Bush’s political career proved that it was possible to elevate a mentally ill and willfully stupid criminal to world power, and, along the way, harness the ignorance of the American masses with a completely manufactured image, appeals to fear, appeals to right-wing evangelical fanatics (via cultural and moral “wedge issues”), and other rude distractions from reality, and from the issues.
To the Rove formula, Schmidt adds insidious new elements that tap even further into the lowest aspects of the modern American mass psyche: the “politics of personality.” The stuff of Hollywood tabloids and gossip rags, and lowbrow reality television programs.
Schmidt secured the governorship of California for Schwarzenegger by projecting the unqualified actor’s Hollywood action hero persona, along with a manufactured aura of being a maverick outsider fighting against an establishment.
McCain-Palin is an Arnold Schwarzenegger sequel, with extreme violence, and a murderous female assassin, as its star.
Sarah Palin: irritant
Far from being the desperate, hasty, unvetted “hail Mary” on the part of John McCain, the selection of Sarah Palin, “Caribou Barbie,” the self-described “pit bull in lipstick” is a diabolical master play on the part of Schmidt and the right wing.
The Palin element has revitalized a dead McCain campaign, while creating anxiety and confusion across Obama-Biden and the Democratic Party. By design, Palin, not McCain, is essentially the head of the ticket, its star, its attack poodle.
She is crass and vindictive, psychotic, willfully stupid, criminal, crass, zealously loyal to more powerful masters, a world-class narcissist, an egomaniac, and a vengeful hatemonger — a female George W. Bush and a perfect Republican tool.
The vast wasteland of her mind, combined with a mean, sadistic and crazed fanaticism (see The Palin theocracy and Sarah Palin’s Ties to the Christian Right) appeals to the right-wing base. But her appeal goes beyond that.
No one better represents, and appeals to, the demise of mainstream American society than Palin. Nobody better embodies the ignorance, stupidity, self-importance, and brash emptiness that appeals to the widest swath of today’s American wasteland.
Palin’s mental illness and crass stupidity were clearly exposed in her ABC interview with Charles Gibson. Palin recited, in robotic fashion, the propaganda talking points she was told to repeat ad nauseum (by Schmidt). Asked by Gibson if nuclear war with Russia was a possibility with a McCain-Palin administration, she happily replied “Perhaps so!”
A nuclear holocaust and all-out world war. Just like that.
She is clearly unqualified, and deeply and openly corrupt. Her activities in Alaska are brimming with scandal, abuses of power, and vicious vendettas. She is a secessionist and a wild-eyed Creationist, who three times asked city librarian Mary Ellen Emmons if she was okay with censoring books, even sending her a letter (later rescinded) that she was going to be fired.
None of this matters, by Steve Schmidt’s calculations. He knows that the America the McCain-Palin machine needs to wrap up doesn’t read, doesn’t know about the world, and doesn’t care about her qualifications; only her “maverick,” “pit bull” image — and her measurements. (There is no question that sex appeal is a factor.) The qualifications of George W. Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t matter, either.
Sarah Palin is someone out of a bad reality television program, a living lampoon. And she’s “hot” — she will get the vote of untold numbers of men, who do not give a damn on this basis alone.
Palin is honey to all of them: the “Wal-Mart” drones, the right-wing Christian Dominionist fringe, the gun-toting white trash survivalists, the militant Hillary Clinton “PUMAs,” the right-wing thugs.
The Chinese war strategist Sun Tzu, another favorite of Rove (and therefore Schmidt), delighted in the use of irritants to confuse, harass and sow disorder among adversaries.
Palin is an irritant, brought in to pester, aggravate, annoy, the victims of her crass, shrill attacks.
Palin’s gender has been used as both a weapon of mass destruction, and as a defensive shield. She can attack Obama and the Democrats, but she has been protected from any sort of counterattack, thanks to the deer-in-headlights mentality of her opponents, as well as a free pass from the media. It doesn’t matter, in the Schmidt-Rove calculation, that Palin is an insult to women, and also an insult to women who identify with Hillary Clinton. All that matters is it’s working.
Palin is not only being used as a distraction. There is “strategery” involved. She has turned an easy and orderly Obama conclusion into a race against the clock. As an unknown, a complete mystery when her out-of-left field selection was announced, the Democrats have been racing against the political clock to gather enough information to even come up with a counter-strategy. So far, there is no evidence of one.
It is not clear at this point if the more mature neocon manipulators behind the larger John McCain machine (Henry Kissinger, William Kristol, Iran-Contra figure Robert McFarlane, Brent Scowcroft, George Shultz, etc.) approve of Palin, or the prospect of having to stage-manage another George W. Bush, should McCain secure the White House and die or become incapacitated before his term ends. But Palin in any office, on any level, is nightmarish.
If there is a rational plan behind the Palin selection, it is the one put forth by Mike Ruppert, author of Crossing the Rubicon. It involves the central question, oil: “The selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be John McCain’s running mate is terrifying. It would be good news if McCain were just out of his mind or desperate. Remember Dan Quayle? Quayle was also a lightweight. But in Quayle’s case there was little to suggest what his influence in Indiana could do for the Bush I administration.
“In Palin’s case what she can do for a McCain administration is all too obvious. She can help turn Alaska into one giant oil field quickly and without any concern for the environment. She can redefine the term ‘fast track.’ She knows the state and can wheel and deal in the places that will most quickly open up protected areas for drilling. Damn the torpedoes … That realization was instantaneous for me. Then came the second epiphany. McCain is acting as if the election is irrelevant and it just may be. The Republicans did steal the last two didn’t they?
“Is this one already so far in the bag that McCain doesn’t care what she does to his national ticket?”
Sarah Palin will be the next president of the United States. If not in the next few years, then at the next opportunity. The world will have Steve Schmidt’s manipulations to thank for it.
The McCain “war hero” lie
John McCain’s tepid presidential effort was falling apart under the management of the (equally unsavory) strategist Charles Black, and appeared doomed in the wake of the Democrat’s euphoric convention.
In recent weeks, going into the successful Republican convention, Schmidt and Co. has united the fractured Republicans (with Palin), while orchestrating a massive Roveian tidal wave of the most transparently outrageous swift boating gutter attacks against Obama and fear-mongering, and sharpening, simplifying, and dumbing down the McCain image to its most basic:
McCain=War Hero and prisoner of war. McCain=Maverick.
Other pithy campaign themes include “Drill, baby, drill,” and regurgitated “war on terror/9-11” slogans.
Both of McCain’s false character labels have served as one-word talking points on the campaign trail, to be repeated endlessly like a blunt instrument on the collective skull of the American population. It is also being used as protective shield, with McCain crying, “You can’t attack me because I was a POW” to all forms of criticism and inquiry.
Schmidt’s stage and media management has successfully silenced discussions about the darkness of McCain: his temperament (irrationality, penchant for rage, bizarre outbursts, etc.), his corruption, and his criminal connections.
Douglas Valentine, a foremost authority on war history, and the author of The Phoenix Program, wrote the most incisive and thorough analysis of John McCain in the following piece:
John McCain: War Hero or North Vietnam’s Go-To Collaborator?
In this thoughtful and on-target expose, Valentine demolishes the “war hero” myth, while exposing the McCain psychology.
Valentine points out the following:
1. McCain is the scion of a family of military elites. His career has been one of privilege.
2. McCain is no war hero, he is a war criminal, who bombed “gooks” on some 22 Navy bombing missions, boasting about himself, and the killing, without remorse, according to a psychologist who interviewed McCain in 1970.
3. McCain was likely a willing collaborator, who quickly and routinely (over three years) offered up specific classified information to his captors. This specific information resulted in key military defeats for the US, and untold American deaths. Two of McCain’s fellow POWs, Ted Guy and Gordon “Swede” Larson have long expressed doubts that McCain was tortured.
4. McCain was a “professional psywar stooge,” who collaborated in psychological warfare offensives aimed at American servicemen.
5. McCain has persistently lied about his experience, to political advantage across his subsequent civilian career. Meanwhile, his detractors, including fellow POWs who knew him, and other Vietnam veterans critical of his posturing, have been ignored, but not discredited. If there is a man who deserves to be legitimately “swift-boated,” it is McCain.
According to Valentine, “This is the lesson of McCain’s experience as a POW: a true politician, a hollow man, his only allegiance is to power. The Vietnamese, like McCain’s campaign contributors today, protected and promoted him and in return, he danced to their tune.”
Valentine credits strategist Mark Salter for creating the original McCain myth, “casting him as a modern Teddy Roosevelt, ‘the war hero turned domestic reformer.’ In large, the Salter strategy has worked. The American media accepts McCain’s war hero myth as gospel and, in so doing, bolsters the ‘straight talk’ image so essential in politics.” Further, Valentine notes, “it’s not the collaboration that makes John McCain unfit for office; it’s the fact that he has managed to rewrite his collaboration into political capital. ‘He’s a war hero, respect him, or die.’ . . . In his current presidential campaign, he’s cozying up to the hate-mongering Christian right he once criticized. He’s reversed positions on so many issues that his Democratic rivals have assembled his contrasting statements into ‘The Great McCain Versus McCain Debates’ . . . This essential dishonesty, this lie of the soul, is a sign of a larger lack of character . . .
“McCain is not some principled leader, not a maverick cowboy fighting the powerful. He’s a sycophant. He believes in nothing but power and will do anything to attain it. He explodes in anger when challenged because, when a criticism hits too close to home, it goes straight to his deep-seated shame.”
McCain’s political career is full of skeletons, and continuous corruption. Among them, McCain was a member of the infamous Keating Five, a member of Congress who received bribes for covering up the savings and loan scandal, and blocking investigations. The S&L Scandal, a CIA/Mafia operation connected to the Bush faction, looted $2 billion in taxpayer money. McCain was also an Iran-Contra liar, one of Oliver North’s most passionate defenders. An airplaine used by McCain and his lobbyist was used to fly the Saudi royal family out of the US, after 9/11.
There is strong evidence that the conflict in Georgia and South Ossetia was set up by provocateurs, lobbyists working for McCain, sent in by McCain, and the Bush-Cheney administration. Routed Georgian forces were caught crying for McCain’s help.
Steve Schmidt and the rest of the McCain apparatus will make sure that none of this factual history becomes campaign fodder.
Deer in the headlights
Flushed with euphoria from their successful Denver convention, Obama-Biden and the Democrats were promptly kicked repeatedly in the private parts by the McCain-Palin-Schmidt machine and the corporate media that the right wing almost fully controls.
While the swift boating has gone largely unanswered, Obama-Biden have refused to respond to the attacks, while also refusing to criticize the “great American war hero McCain and his great service,” and refusing to go after Palin.
At the same time, Steve Schmidt has stolen, literally ripped, the Obama “change” theme from under Obama-Biden’s feet. Nobody except Obama’s people care that they stole it.
Everything important about McCain and Palin are off the table, just as the impeachment of Bush-Cheney has been kept off the table by the spineless Dem leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid. Joe Biden, presumed to be the feisty fighter on the Obama ticket, has been silent and invisible. He has already promised to be nice to Palin.
At a recent appearance, Obama tried to laugh off the swift boating, saying to the audience, “they must really think you’re that stupid.” What Obama doesn’t seem to grasp is what Schmidt/Rove does: the election will be decided by the genuinely stupid. The people who have no interest in polite, long-winded, rational discussions of nuanced policy.
The playbook that successfully stole the 2000, 2002, and 2004 elections has not changed. (The 2006 contest was ceded to the Democrats; Bush-Cheney bet that the Dems would not successfully challenge them on any major issue, and have won that bet.) Schmidt understands that the Democratic faction still hasn’t learned to win either the rhetorical fight, or prevent the entire charade from being stolen electronically (Republican companies still control elections), and through intimidation, theft of voting rolls, and purges.
Also, in what appears to be another calculated Republican trick, just in time for the election, the Bush-Cheney administration has stolen Obama’s thunder by redeploying forces from Iraq to Afghanistan (as suggested for months by Obama), ramping up the “war on terrorism” in Pakistan (as suggested by Obama). Obama who has now proclaimed that Bush’s Iraq “surge” was “successful beyond his wildest dreams.”
Does Obama-Biden have anything left to talk about, with just two months left?
Past the brink of madness
Should the right-wing successfully secure White House power for the mentally ill, warmongering John McCain, and the demented, willfully stupid, fanatical Sarah Palin, humanity will face a horror even worse than Bush-Cheney.
For all of its brutality and vileness, Bush-Cheney was, at its core, a criminal apparatus charged with a campaign of pillage that it carried out like a team of mafia assassins.
By contrast, McCain and Palin are two irrational individuals with deranged, pathological psyches, backed by a massive and rapidly growing fanatical theocracy with visions of murderous world destruction.
It is not clear at this time if the more seasoned, rational elites have control of this machine, or if a fanatical Rove/Schmidt theocratic faction within the neocon faction is truly on the verge of an unprecendented coup.
It is even less clear if its counterweight, the establishment neoliberal faction behind Obama, with its more obvious Wall Street backing, will even get a sniff at the White House, or survive another stolen election. The battle between the two corporate war factions will pave the way towards a certain horror.
With the world facing an energy crisis, world war over resources, an economic system on the verge of collapse, and other unprecedented catastrophes, is the American empire about to be handed over to typical fist-in-velvet glove neoliberals, or even more openly fascist regime in the eleventh hour, to complete the war and homeland militarization started with Bush-Cheney?
September 18, 2008
I was stunned by John McCain’s rash and poorly researched choice of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential nominee. Happily, a woman can now credibly run for president or be nominated for vice president. However, no one can pretend that Palin is the most qualified Republican woman available to competently step into the role of President of the United States if the need arose. All else being equal, would someone with her resume have been chosen if she were a frumpy looking middle-aged woman (without lipstick), or even a good looking man? I sincerely doubt it.
To favorably compare her sketchy experience to Barack Obama’s is irrelevant and misleading. Obama was chosen by millions of Americans looking for a new leader. Palin was chosen by one man looking to get elected. After hearing her snide acceptance speech at the Republican convention, I understand why McCain chose to use her as one of his stepping stones. It was a short-sighted choice made by a “maverick” campaigner, not by a thoughtful, responsible leader with America’s best interests at heart. If this is the way McCain makes important decisions that could potentially affect the security of all Americans, not to mention the rest of the world, what kind of president would he be?
September 17, 2008
The cryptic Internet posse known for its attacks on Scientology may have found a new target in Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin. Several self-proclaimed members of Anonymous, a loosely organized group associated with the message board 4Chan, apparently breached the Alaska governor’s personal Yahoo! account (firstname.lastname@example.org) late Tuesday night.
Sarah: The Palin Biography
McCain’s Surprise Pick: Sarah Palin
Palin and Troopergate: A Primer
The hacker posted screen shots of two e-mails, a Yahoo! inbox, a contact list and several family photos to Wikileaks.org, a site that anonymously hosts leaked government and corporate documents. Another screen shot purportedly shows a draft e-mail from Palin’s account to campaign aide Ivy Frye alerting her of the breach:
This email was hacked by anonymous, but I took no part in that. I simply got the password back, and changed it so no further damage could be done. Please get in contact with Sarah Palin and inform her the new password on this account is samsonite1.
Thank you and best wishes,
the good anonymous
The screen shots quickly spread across the Web to blogs like Gawker.
The two e-mail exchanges appear to involve state politicians — Alaskan Lieut. Governor Sean Parnell and Amy McCorkell, whom Palin appointed to the Governor’s Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse last year. Wired magazine reported that McCorkell confirmed the e-mail’s authenticity, though she later refused to comment to the Associated Press.
Palin’s other Yahoo! account (email@example.com) had already been hacked, so to speak, by federal authorities who are investigating her role in the firing of Walt Monegan, Alaska’s public safety commissioner. Critics charge that Palin fired Monegan for refusing to dismiss her former brother-in-law from his job as a state trooper. (The scandal has already earned a -gate suffix.) After Tuesday’s hacks were made public, both private accounts were deleted — an act that could technically constitute destruction of evidence.
The Alaska governor could also face charges for conducting official state business using her personal, unarchived e-mail account (a crime); some critics accuse her of skirting freedom-of-information laws in doing so. An Alaska Republican activist is trying to force Palin to release more than 1,100 e-mails she withheld from a public-records request, the Washington Post reported last week.
Rick Davis, campaign manager for the McCain-Palin campaign, issued a statement hours after the e-mail screen shots were posted: “This is a shocking invasion of the governor’s privacy and a violation of law. The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities, and we hope that anyone in possession of these e-mails will destroy them. We will have no further comment.” The Secret Service requested copies of the leaked e-mails from the Associated Press, but the news service did not comply. CNN reported that the FBI has also launched an investigation.
This is not the first time computer habits have become an issue for the McCain-Palin team. In January, John McCain told reporters that he didn’t know how to check e-mail. When asked whether he prefers a Mac or a PC, McCain replied, “Neither. I am an illiterate that has to rely on my wife for all of the assistance that I can get.” He later added, “I am learning to get online myself.” He might want to stay offline for the time being.
September 16, 2008
TEL AVIV – It was in the taxicab this morning that it finally struck me about Sarah Palin.
I get it. I get that millions of Americans have a crying need for someone to stand up and say the things that Sarah Palin has been telling them.
I get that many, many Americans are fed up with big government and shame in patriotism and energy dependence and media condescension. I recognize that there are many on the right who are galvanized by a woman addressing the nation in condemnation of gun control and abortions. It’s clear that many in the heartland and even on the Blue State coasts have been waiting years to hear someone take a take-no-prisoners verbal lash to Beltway waste and liberal political correctness and, by implication, to cultural pluralism and tree hugging and the very mention of the word Washington.
But it wasn’t until I got into the taxicab this morning, that I realized what the American voter truly faces this November.
The radio was playing a clip from her ABC News interview, the one in which she was asked about the Bush Doctrine.
The problem was not that she was unacquainted with the doctrine. Millions of Americans are unacquainted with it.
The problem is that Sarah Palin was also asking those millions of Americans to put her first in line for the most important position in humankind.
True, the Bush Doctrine, and the National Security Strategythat contains it, are not a one-sentence, easy to digest credo, and the doctrine is open to many interpretations. Sarah Palin had none of them.
This, despite the doctrine’s contribution to the fact that America is at war, and that Governor Palin’s own son is at war. This is the doctrine that underpins the policy that has had Americans fighting in Iraq two years longer than America fought World War II. And this is the doctrine which will serve as a guide if there is to be war in Iran.
The problem is that John McCain and Barack Obama and Joe Biden have spent years studying the assumptions and the foundations and the consequences of the Bush Doctrine. Governor Palin has not.
Yet Sarah Palin was proud of having had no hesitations, no reservations, no qualms about accepting John McCain’s offer to share the national ticket. It was a matter of ideology with her.
“I answered him yes because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can’t blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we’re on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can’t blink.
“So I didn’t blink then even when asked to run as his running mate.”
The question about the Bush Doctrine was not a trick. It was not a trivial point designed to make Sarah Palin look bad. It is the summary of a worldview that has guided American foreign and military policy for the seven years since September 11, 2001. It is America’s formal explanation for sending Americans into harm’s way. It is America’s explanation to the world for what America has done.
Even my Israeli cab driver, a non-American through and through, knew more about the Bush Doctrine than Sarah Palin. And that is cause for serious concern.
The cabbie knew, for example, that the doctrine provided for anticipatory self-defense, and pre-emptive strikes to forestall hostile acts even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack.
“This would never have happened in Israel, ever” remarked a journalist friend, referring to the choice of Governor Palin, whose credentials in the realms of foreign policy, statecraft and the military are limited in the extreme.
With irony bordering on the painful, the journalist added, “Sarah Palin has restored my faith in Israel.”
Israel is far from a model of good government, wise policymaking and exemplary leaders. But here, at least, voters and the politicians they make it their business to know inside and out, relate to politics not as if it were a spectacular bowl game or a reality show.but for what politics really is, in America and Israel both: a matter of life and death.
What, at root, are Americans looking for when they see Sarah Palin? A reprieve from their disappointment over elected officials? The prospect of cleaning house and overhauling a wasteful and ineffective Federal bureaucracy? Does she have what it takes to protect and rebuild an American slipping from the First World to the Third?
Or is Sarah Palin, in the end, a diversion, a curiosity, that most pressing of contemporary American needs: an entertainer?
We have little time to make a decision. We have heard McCain and Obama on the campaign trail for what seems like forever. And Biden has been a national figure for decades. Sarah Palin has less than 50 days to prove that she has the intelligence, the humility, the learning ability, and the wisdom to assume the burdens of the commander in chief. We have less than 50 days to learn about her.
George Bush, who spoke incessantly about leadership before his election, has had more than seven years to prove himself a leader, and managed to prove conclusively only that he was not.
This is what is truly frightening about Sarah Palin. There is something in the smugness, the faith-based rigidity, the dismissiveness, that suggests that once again, we may have a national leader who knows better how to divide than to rule.
True, for millions of people, Sarah Palin has lanced a cultural boil.
They feel anger, betrayal, and a profound alienation from the basic institutions of American life. The American dream is receding from them. She has given voice to the ache in their hearts, and, as such, has lifted their spirits.
Sarah Palin has given a voice to people who, even with an ostensibly fundamentalist Republican president in the White House, feel disenfranchised. It is not their Supreme Court, not their Congress. She has done a service for people unhappy with the America that they see. But that does not qualify her to be president.
Governor Palin has suggested that the special interests and superfluous bureaucrats are scared of her and the reforms she and John McCain intend to undertake. One hopes she’s right. But what is certainly scary about Sarah Palin is how little that voters know about her, and in particular, how much she herself recognizes that she needs to learn.
Asked during the interview if she had the ability and the experience to serve as president of the United States, she replied without hesitation, without reservation, without contemplation – and without knowing, on a profound level, what that would, in fact, entail. “I’m ready.”
Here is the answer that is truly frightening. It lets us know that the nation may be in danger of electing another leader bearing the most profound of George Bush’s shortcomings: blindness to one’s own shortcomings.
Blindness, that is, to the breadth and depth and height and shape of what one does not know. Say what you will about Donald Rumsfeld, the former defense secretary knew an unknown unknown when he saw one. Sarah Palin, for whom appearance is understandably significant, has one in her mirror.
September 16, 2008
Source: News Minor
WASHINGTON — Gov. Sarah Palin’s presence on the Republican vice-presidential ticket has energized the party’s base and helped John McCain raise $47 million in August, a personal best for the Arizona senator.
The McCain campaign said it saw an immediate increase in contributions after the 44-year-old governor was introduced at the national Republican convention two weeks ago.
McCain’s campaign coffers were flooded with $10 million in the three days right after he selected Palin.
“When Gov. Palin was announced as McCain’s vice-presidential pick there was an incredible up-tick of support,” said Rick Gorko, McCain campaign spokesman.
Overall, contributions have increased fourfold since Palin joined the ticket, the McCain campaign said.
“The surge in volunteers and supporters that we’ve seen is mirrored in our contributions,” said Maria Comella, a spokeswoman for the McCain campaign.
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama raised $66 million in August — also a personal best — with the help of 500,000 first-time donors, according to his campaign. Obama now has $77 million cash on hand.
Democrats said the fundraising total speaks to the support for Obama among voters, especially given the buzz surrounding Palin that has eclipsed coverage of both presidential candidates.
“The 500,000 new donors to the Obama campaign demonstrate just how strongly the American people are looking to kick the special interests out and change Washington,” Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said in a statement.
Most post-convention polls show McCain catching or in some cases pulling ahead of Obama since he selected Palin as his running mate.
“She’s energized Republicans in a grassroots way and energized Republicans in a financial aspect as well,” Gorko said.
While Obama out-raised McCain by nearly $20 million, McCain also will receive $84 million in federal matching funds.
Accepting public financing means McCain will have to limit how much he spends on his campaign. But the Republican National Committee is under no such restraints and can spend freely on McCain’s behalf.
With $76 million in savings, the RNC has far more money in its campaign war chest — nearly four times as much — than the Democratic National Committee to spend on the presidential contest.
Palin’s popularity with conservative Christians has sparked a resurgence of interest in the election among a segment of the party McCain had previously failed to reach.
Many Republican activists feared religious conservatives would stay home in November, unmotivated by McCain’s perceived moderate stances on social issues. But Palin’s anti-abortion, pro-gun beliefs have played well in the middle of the country, especially with evangelical Christians.
“She brought a definite spark and she’s really galvanized Americans across the country,” Gorko said. “Based on her 80 percent approval rating in Alaska, we are hopeful she’ll attract similar numbers across the country.”
September 16, 2008
Source: News Busters
A transcript of the unedited interview of Sarah Palin by Charles Gibson clearly shows that ABC News edited out crucial portions of the interview that showed Palin as knowledgeable or presented her answers out of context. This unedited transcript of the first of the Gibson interviews with Palin is available on radio host Mark Levin’s website. The sections edited out by ABC News are in bold. The first edit shows Palin responding about meeting with foreign leaders but this was actually in response to a question Gibson asked several questions earlier:
GIBSON: Have you ever met a foreign head of state?
PALIN: There in the state of Alaska, our international trade activities bring in many leaders of other countries.
GIBSON: And all governors deal with trade delegations.
GIBSON: Who act at the behest of their governments.
PALIN: Right, right.
GIBSON: I’m talking about somebody who’s a head of state, who can negotiate for that country. Ever met one?
PALIN: I have not and I think if you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you. But, Charlie, again, we’ve got to remember what the desire is in this nation at this time. It is for no more politics as usual and somebody’s big, fat resume maybe that shows decades and decades in that Washington establishment, where, yes, they’ve had opportunities to meet heads of state … these last couple of weeks … it has been overwhelming to me that confirmation of the message that Americans are getting sick and tired of that self-dealing and kind of that closed door, good old boy network that has been the Washington elite.
Next we see that Palin was not nearly as hostile towards Russia as was presented in the edited interview:
GIBSON: Let me ask you about some specific national security situations.
GIBSON: Let’s start, because we are near Russia, let’s start with Russia and Georgia.
The administration has said we’ve got to maintain the territorial integrity of Georgia. Do you believe the United States should try to restore Georgian sovereignty over South Ossetia and Abkhazia?
PALIN: First off, we’re going to continue good relations with Saakashvili there. I was able to speak with him the other day and giving him my commitment, as John McCain’s running mate, that we will be committed to Georgia. And we’ve got to keep an eye on Russia. For Russia to have exerted such pressure in terms of invading a smaller democratic country, unprovoked, is unacceptable and we have to keep…
GIBSON: You believe unprovoked.
PALIN: I do believe unprovoked and we have got to keep our eyes on Russia, under the leadership there. I think it was unfortunate. That manifestation that we saw with that invasion of Georgia shows us some steps backwards that Russia has recently taken away from the race toward a more democratic nation with democratic ideals. That’s why we have to keep an eye on Russia.
And, Charlie, you’re in Alaska. We have that very narrow maritime border between the United States, and the 49th state, Alaska, and Russia. They are our next door neighbors.We need to have a good relationship with them. They’re very, very important to us and they are our next door neighbor.
GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?
PALIN: They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.
GIBSON: What insight does that give you into what they’re doing in Georgia?
PALIN: Well, I’m giving you that perspective of how small our world is and how important it is that we work with our allies to keep good relation with all of these countries, especially Russia. We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it’s in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.
We also see from Palin’s following remark, which was also edited out, that she is far from some sort of latter day Cold Warrior which the edited interview made her seem to be:
We cannot repeat the Cold War. We are thankful that, under Reagan, we won the Cold War, without a shot fired, also. We’ve learned lessons from that in our relationship with Russia, previously the Soviet Union.
We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it’s in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.
Palin’s extended remarks about defending our NATO allies were edited out to make it seem that she was ready to go to war with Russia.
GIBSON: And under the NATO treaty, wouldn’t we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?
PALIN: Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you’re going to be expected to be called upon and help.
But NATO, I think, should include Ukraine, definitely, at this point and I think that we need to — especially with new leadership coming in on January 20, being sworn on, on either ticket, we have got to make sure that we strengthen our allies, our ties with each one of those NATO members.
We have got to make sure that that is the group that can be counted upon to defend one another in a very dangerous world today.
GIBSON: And you think it would be worth it to the United States, Georgia is worth it to the United States to go to war if Russia were to invade.
PALIN: What I think is that smaller democratic countries that are invaded by a larger power is something for us to be vigilant against. We have got to be cognizant of what the consequences are if a larger power is able to take over smaller democratic countries.
And we have got to be vigilant. We have got to show the support, in this case, for Georgia. The support that we can show is economic sanctions perhaps against Russia, if this is what it leads to.
It doesn’t have to lead to war and it doesn’t have to lead, as I said, to a Cold War, but economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure, again, counting on our allies to help us do that in this mission of keeping our eye on Russia and Putin and some of his desire to control and to control much more than smaller democratic countries.
His mission, if it is to control energy supplies, also, coming from and through Russia, that’s a dangerous position for our world to be in, if we were to allow that to happen.
That answer presented Palin as a bit too knowledgeable for the purposes of ABC News and was, of course, edited out. Palin’s answers about a nuclear Iran were carefully edited to the point where she was even edited out in mid-sentence to make it seem that Palin favored unilateral action against that country:
GIBSON: Let me turn to Iran. Do you consider a nuclear Iran to be an existential threat to Israel?
PALIN: I believe that under the leadership of Ahmadinejad, nuclear weapons in the hands of his government are extremely dangerous to everyone on this globe, yes.
GIBSON: So what should we do about a nuclear Iran? John McCain said the only thing worse than a war with Iran would be a nuclear Iran. John Abizaid said we may have to live with a nuclear Iran. Who’s right?
PALIN: No, no. I agree with John McCain that nuclear weapons in the hands of those who would seek to destroy our allies, in this case, we’re talking about Israel, we’re talking about Ahmadinejad’s comment about Israel being the “stinking corpse, should be wiped off the face of the earth,” that’s atrocious. That’s unacceptable.
GIBSON: So what do you do about a nuclear Iran?
PALIN: We have got to make sure that these weapons of mass destruction, that nuclear weapons are not given to those hands of Ahmadinejad, not that he would use them, but that he would allow terrorists to be able to use them. So we have got to put the pressure on Iran and we have got to count on our allies to help us, diplomatic pressure.
GIBSON: But, Governor, we’ve threatened greater sanctions against Iran for a long time. It hasn’t done any good. It hasn’t stemmed their nuclear program.
PALIN: We need to pursue those and we need to implement those. We cannot back off. We cannot just concede that, oh, gee, maybe they’re going to have nuclear weapons, what can we do about it. No way, not Americans. We do not have to stand for that.
Laughably, a remark by Gibson that indicated he agreed with Palin was edited out:
PALIN: But the reference there is a repeat of Abraham Lincoln’s words when he said — first, he suggested never presume to know what God’s will is, and I would never presume to know God’s will or to speak God’s words.
But what Abraham Lincoln had said, and that’s a repeat in my comments, was let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God’s side.
That’s what that comment was all about, Charlie. And I do believe, though, that this war against extreme Islamic terrorists is the right thing. It’s an unfortunate thing, because war is hell and I hate war, and, Charlie, today is the day that I send my first born, my son, my teenage son overseas with his Stryker brigade, 4,000 other wonderful American men and women, to fight for our country, for democracy, for our freedoms.
Charlie, those are freedoms that too many of us just take for granted. I hate war and I want to see war ended. We end war when we see victory, and we do see victory in sight in Iraq.
GIBSON: I take your point about Lincoln’s words, but you went on and said, “There is a plan and it is God’s plan.”
Gibson took her point about Lincoln’s words but we wouldn’t know that by watching the interview since it was left on the cutting room floor. I urge everybody to see just how the unedited version of the first interview compared to what we saw on television by checking out the full transcript. It is a fascinating look into media manipulation via skillful editing.
September 14, 2008
Charlie Gibson asks Palin about some of the animal research I wrote about earlier in the week:
GIBSON: Governor, this year, requested $3.2 million for researching the genetics of harbor seals, money to study the mating habits of crabs. Isn’t that exactly the kind of thing that John McCain is objecting to?
PALIN: Those requests, through our research divisions and fish and game and our wildlife departments and our universities, those research requests did come through that system, but wanting it to be in the light of day, not behind closed doors, with lobbyists making deals with Congress to stick things in there under the public radar. That’s the abuse that we’re going to stop. That’s what John McCain has promised over and over for these years and that’s what I’m joining him, also, saying, you’re right, the abuse of earmarks, it’s un-American, it’s undemocratic, and it’s not going to be accepted in a McCain-Palin administration. Earmark abuse will stop.
Her answer — that this is serious research approved by the experts — is the same one that the grizzly researchers McCain has mocked gave.
In the interview, she also defended her “bridge to nowhere” positions, admitting no contradictions.
The reality seems to be that, as governors go, she’s really quite skeptical of earmarks, but not the sort of categorical foe of the projects that McCain has been — and as really only a federal official can be. It’s very difficult for local officials to actually oppose federal money for their communities, and in fact, Palin sought it; it’s the attempt to cast her has a principled earmark foe that’s gotten her into trouble.