Wednesday, June 30, 2004
When a kid grabs a purse from an old lady and runs down the street and police sees it happening what happens next? They chase the kid down and tell him to stop. If he does not stop they will use force to stop him. If he resists that force they can use even greater force against him and if the officers lives are threatened they can kill the theif.
When a corporation hires kids to steal money from old ladies over the telephone and the government sees it happening what happens next? They tell the corporations to stop. If they do not stop they will simply tell them to stop again, probably threatning financial sanctions. If they resist them being told to stop they will fine the corporation or sanction them. If they resist that then they can use the police to shut down the phsyical operations of the corporation. If the corporation hires people to physically resist the shutdown of the operations, those people can be killed.
The people who threaten the police get killed and the executives will serve jail time. Now what about the *investors* of this corporation? What about any of the ones who *knew* what this company was doing, but didn't care? What happens to them? I suppose their stock price goes down or they may lose money, but if they weren't the ones who actually made these calls, then they are untouchable (assuming we can't prove that they didn't know what was going on--by now these guys are so far removed from the actual crime that its very hard to prove a case against them). While little old ladies die because they can't or think they can no longer afford to pay for something that helps them live because of the money that was stolen from them, these investors are sitting on the pool deck, smoking cigars paid for by that money.
This last example is basically what has happened with Al Queda. Lets look at Al Queda as if it were a corporation. Al Queda kills people, thousands of people. What do we do? We go to the country that they are headquarted in and try to stop them. Who stands in our way, but The Taliban (the people who the corporation hires to physically resist the shutdown of operations). The Taliban are killed/attacked. Al Queda leaders like Osama bin Laden (the executives) are either killed in action if they choose to fight or if they don't resist they are thrown in jail (or in Bin Laden's case he is no longer considered important according to the president). And what about the investors? The ones who made it all possible? Well it turns out that most of these investors were Saudi Arabians and not only that but some of the most important investors were also Saudi Arabian, and not only THAT but members of the Saudi Arabian government were investors as well. (see footnote). Now, Saudi Arabia is a country of incredible military and financial strategic importance. It also turns out that the people in charge of stopping these investors happen to have very close ties with the government of Saudi Arabia and also happen to have huge, billion dollar financial connections between them. You can see that we are sortof in a bind when it comes to doing anything meaningful to these investors or the saudi government.
And just what did the Saudi Government do after it was revealed that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi? As the press was uncovering Al Queda's financial web and all of the Saudis caught up in it. Well, just like any reeling corporation, Saudi Arabia hired a bigshot public relations firm to improve their image!!
We dropped bombs on Afghanistan and invaded Iraq all in the name of stopping terrorism, yet we have not fired a single shot in Saudi Arabia. We have frozen accounts when we can, we have even arrested those who invested in terrorism when we had access to them. But unlike the dead footsoldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the dead or captured Al Queda "executives", the investors by and large are sitting on the pool deck, smoking cigars whose ashes might as well be the ashes from fires of 9/11. Ashes of the burned and incinerated innocents.
I am angry. I am angry because America spits on the face of the petty theif but glamorizes the corporate theif. And it makes me sick to my stomach to think that this is happening to 9/11! There was so much hate for Bin Laden and Al Queda and the terorrists. So much hate. I am right there, I hate them too! I look forward to the day that Bin Laden dies or is captured. I've been looking forward to that day since I first learned his name. Sometime after 9/11 I remember people staring to buzz about the "9/11 report". You can read the mostly unclassified version, thanks to the power of the internet (god bless it) here:http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/911.html. I highly recommend you atleast download that report and search for the word "Saudi" a few times to see what it says. If anything its worth having around because it says TOP SECRET all over it (the words top secret have been crossed out since its release, but its still cool!) This report, and NOT the 9/11 commision, has been the only investigation into the 9/11 attacks. What? You thought the 9/11 commission was investigating the attacks? I did too, but in reality their purpose is to figure out how to PREVENT 9/11 from happening again, not determine who financially backed Al Queda.
Despite the fact that people who had seen the report before its release called the report "explosive" and said that it would serve to redirect the publics attention to 9/11 (see this article for example) I can barely remember its release. Can you? I just remember there was a big to do about 28 missing pages in the report, and that my dad said the pages probably said bad things about Saudi Arabia. I remember thinking then, wow well we don't want to piss off the Saudis, they are a key ally in the middle east! Apparently I missed the reports that Saudi Arabia refused to allow U.S. planes to use its bases during the war with Iraq. Somehow my thoughts were, we shouldn't say anything bad about Saudi Arabia because otherwise we'll lose our bases in their country that we really need to help fight terrorists in the middle east. How clueless was I!?
"DOH!! ... The article basically indicates that the Saudis simultaneously wined and dined us, and got really close to bush's family and administration (over many many years), yet they knew about an attack coming up and were cooperating with the taliban and al-queda (however it spelled damnit). We let some people who could have given us important information, who should have been spending time rotting in Camp X-ray instead of flying home in planes described like this one: ... Augh, we let them slip through our fingers... that whole experience is best described at the end of the article: ... Bah."I remember being upset that the bin Ladens and Saudi royal family had been allowed to leave, and I remember being upset that they had made these flights out of the country secret. But I don't recall taking it any farther then that. I was like oh well they are over there now. Its not like we had Osama in our hands and then let him go or anything.
But I'm so mad at myself, I did the EXACT SAME THING that I've always thought was unjust and unfair-- I didn't look at the investors the same way that I looked at the executives or the people at the front line! I had definetly cursed those who had financed 9/11, I had plenty of hate for them, but I stumbled mentally when I had to put two and two together, I mean, these were the same Saudis whom I thought were an important ally of the US, one to protect and not lose, ones we fought to protect from invasion by Saddam Hussein in 1991. Somehow when the idea of Saudi Arabia being responsible on ANY LEVEL for 9/11 could jutt not take seed in my mind. But after watching Fahrenheit 9/11, all the pieces of the puzzle over the past 3 years have finally been put together in the right order to see the picture, and it wasn't until tonight that I finally figured out what has been on the tip of my toungue this whole time, what I've been so angry at George Bush and especially the mouthpieces of those who support him, the Rush's, the O'reilly's, the townhall.com's.
First off, I hate that people have been trying to justify the war in Iraq by saying that Iraq is responsible for 9/11. Right now there is absolutely NO PROOF that he had ANYTHING to do with 9/11. But for the sake of argument I'll allow for the small possibility that Saddam may have somehow also contributed, despite the fact that the 9/11 commission has determined that Iraq played no role in 9/11. If these people are calling for war agaisnt Iraq because they are responsible for 9/11, where are the calls for war against Saudi Arabia? By calling for war in Iraq because they caused 9/11 while simultaneously NOT calling for war against Saudi Arabia or saying we need to get Bin Laden still, these people are descecrating the memory of all those who died in 9/11. And THIS is what has been eating at my this whole time, and I didn't realize it. I didn't realize that I was assosciating these MONSTERS with Bush and that my animosity for his supporters affected my image of him so much. And now I hate to bring this up, but one of my favorite bumper stickers says, "God save me from your followers."-- and its true. The religious zealots and evangalists have turned me off to organized religion, regardless of what organized religion has actually done!
But my image of Bush wasn't just tarnished by his supporters, another major issue that I drew on and was all hot and bothered about (and discussed in this weblog before), was this quote regarding bin Laden:
"I don't know where he is. I have no idea and I really don't care."Reading that at the time made me so upset, so angry-- this is a guy who we need to bring to Justice, this is a guy STILL makes threats against the united states and inspires Terror. This is the guy who is Responsible for 9/11. And.. we don't care?? Except.. wait. In Fahrenheit 9/11 (upon further review), the quote wasn't that, it was actually something else!
"Terror is bigger than one person. And he's just -- he's a person who's now been marginalized. So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you"Its so funny because when I watched the movie, I must have heard him saying that quote and in my head I THOUGHT about the quote that I had already read, and after the fact I came out thinking he actually said "I don't know where he is. I have no idea and I really don't care." which is actually stronger and more upsetting then the later quote. But wait, theres more-- as I notice this descrepancy I start to google up both quotes to find sources. I had atleast seen the video of the later quote, but I need a newspaper article or something talking about it, I mean, this was big news to me, wouldn't it be big news to someone else, and didn't I read the first quote in the news somewhere anyways? Despite 553 different webpages using this quote, I while I didn't look at all 553 of them, I couldn't find one that cited that quote to any news article, but I did find an opinion column detailing Bush's (not Kerry's) flip flops that did atleast USE that quote. So I wrote the author explaining my quest for the source of this quote. Predictably the other quote did not have as many webpages using it in Google with only 23 different web pages using that quote. I'm attributing that to the fact that the former quote was put on a list of Bush flip-flops at the height of the republican anti-kerry flip-flop campaign and this list of bush flip-flops probably got emailed around the internet and ended up on several web pages, while the later quote never got that treatment.
While searching for the origin of the first quote I did actually manage to find ONE site that cited a source, This site used the "I really don't care" quote and cited The Center for American Progress. But whats funny is that source the first site cited didn't use the same quote! The second site used the "I just don't spend that much time on him" quote. And finally, for that second quote, the second site cited this: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/03/20020313 -8.html. The whitehouse itself. AHhhh finally, an answer!
The second webpage cited a press conference called by Bush that just happened to occur on the same day that the first quote has been attributed to, March 13th, 2002. So now I'm thinking that the first "I don't care quote" is either fabricated or was said off camera after the conference, perhaps a reporter somewhere got to talk to Bush one on one right after the press conference and asked him to clarify what he had said and then just quoted him in an article or something. By the way I did happen to find one webpage that alluded to where they found out about the first quote-- they said it was during "a television interview on 13 March 2002." At this point the only television "interview" we know about that Bush gave that day was the press conference, and I've read the transcript, its simply not there.
And speaking of fabrictions, Moore's quote from Bush was not only taken out of context, but it was also very SNEAKILY edited! See if you can read along while you watch this video clip of the movie I put together for ya here. (You may need the XVID CODEC to watch this short clip).
Terror is bigger than one person. And he's just -- he's a person who's now been marginalized. His network, his host government has been destroyed. He's the ultimate parasite who found weakness, exploited it, and met his match. He is -- as I mentioned in my speech, I do mention the fact that this is a fellow who is willing to commit youngsters to their death and he, himself, tries to hide -- if, in fact, he's hiding at all.Thats right, he overlayed Bush saying "Terror is bigger than one person. And he's just -- he's a person who's now been marginalized." while showing footage of bin Laden and then just before switching back to bush, tacking on "So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you" just as the video cuts to Bush talking. This gives the impression that Bush said both the first and the last part as if it were a single sentence since the audio bridges so perfectly. EVIL! EVIL I say! But he DID warn us!
So now that I've read the quote in context (and I was so sure I understood the context of that quote), and after finding semi-encouraging news that we haven't given up looking for him, I feel much better now. But see what I mean?
I wish that all my problems with Bush could be explained away so cut and dry. But they haven't been so far.
And now, to put to rest any doubts you may have had about Iraq versus Saudi Arabia and 9/11 Remember that report on who was responsible for 9/11? You know, this one?. Well considering that Iraq will show up in the report automatically since bin Laden's chief complaint against us was that we were in holy cities while we defended Saudi Arabia from Iraq, and that Saudi Arabia will atleast figure because of the same reasons, we are bound to find a certain number of mentions of the word "iraq", "iraqi", "iraqis", "saudi", "saudis" and "saudi arabia" Well guess what, I counted. Heres the numbers. Read 'em and weep! (matching whole word only, ie iraqi counts one time, Iraq counts another time)
Iraq: 14 occurancesI've examined every one of those Iraq references, and the only one that has anything to do with Al Queda is this:
"1999 - 24 Jun. Eight Iraqis tied to al-Qaida arrested in Amman based on tip"But when I examine the Saudi occurneces I am bombarded with stuff like this:
According to a U. S. Government official, it was clear from about 1996 that the Saudi Government would not cooperate with the United States on matters relating to Usama Bin Ladin. **REDACTED**, reemphasized the lack of Saudi cooperation and stated that there was little prospect of future cooperation regarding Bin Ladin. **REDACTED** told the Joint Inquiry that he believed the U.S. Government's hope of eventually obtaining Saudi cooperation was unrealistic because Saudi assistance to the U.S. Government on this matter is contrary to Saudi national interests.Hmm, cooperating witht he US government regarding Bin Ladin is contrary to Saudi national interests?? HMM
The Treasury Department General Counsel testified at the July 23, 2002 hearing about the lack of Saudi cooperation: There is an almost intuitive sense, however, that things are not being volunteered. So I want to fully inform you about it, that we have to ask and we have to seek and we have to strive. I will give you one-and-a-half examples. The first is, after some period, the Saudis have agreed to the designation of a man named Julaydin, who is notoriously involved in all of this; and his designation will be public within the next 10 days. They came forward to us two weeks ago and said, okay, we think we should go forward with the designation and a freeze order against Mr. Julaydin. We asked, what do you have on him? Because they certainly know what we have on him, because we shared it as we tried to convince them that they ought to join us. The answer back was, nothing new. . . . . . . . I think that taxes credulity, or there is another motive we are not being told."or there is another movive we are not being told." Ohhh really? HMM
A number of U. S. Government officials complained to the Joint Inquiry about a lack of Saudi cooperation in terrorism investigations both before and after the September 11 attacks.**REDACTED**. A high-level U. S. Government officer cited greater Saudi cooperation when asked how the September 11 attacks might have been prevented. In May 2001, the U.S. Government became aware that an individual in Saudi Arabia was in contact with a senior al-Qa'ida operative and was most likely aware of an upcoming al- Qa'ida operation.So uhm. We are saying that greater Saudi cooperation could have prevented the September 11th attacks. Lemme back up a few pages so you can understand what they meant by "greater Saudi cooperation"
A U. S. Government official testified to the Joint Inquiry on this issue *REDACTED* as follows: *REDACTED* For the most part it was a very troubled relationship where the Saudis were not providing us quickly or very vigorously with response to it. Sometimes they did, many times they didn't. It was just very slow in coming.Those bastards. They KNEW something was going to happen and they dragged their feet.
Former National Security Advisor Berger noted in a statement to the Joint Inquiry that "In fact, there was a concerted military, economic, and diplomatic pressure on the Afghanistan and the Taliban…." Mr. Berger also explained that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan were pressed to cut support for the Taliban and that covert and military measures were taken to disrupt al-Qa'ida activities in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the [page 127] Joint Inquiry found that none of these actions were effective in hindering terrorist training or al-Qa'ida's ability to operate from Afghanistan.Oh yeah, THE SAUDIS WERE SUPPORTING THE TALIBAN. WTF. And whats this about Pakistan? Hey isn't bin Laden hiding out there right now supposedly?
The handling agent said in Joint Inquiry interviews that none of the information provided by the informant about the hijackers before September 11 raised concerns. The fact that the two individuals were Saudi was not a concern before September 11 because Saudi Arabia was considered an ally. The FBI confirmed this in its written response.We were all fooled by them.
During the counterterrorism inquiry, the FBI discovered that al-Bayoumi had been in contact with several persons who were under FBI investigation *REDACTED* Despite the fact that he was a student, al-Bayoumi had access to seemingly unlimited funding from Saudi Arabia. For example, an FBI source identified al-Bayoumi as the person who delivered $400,000 from Saudi Arabia for the Kurdish mosque in San Diego. One of the FBI's best sources in San Diego informed the FBI that he thought that al-Bayoumi must be an intelligence officer for Saudi Arabia or another foreign power.Funding from Saudi Arabia. Hmm. Where have I heard that before. Seemed like an intelligence officer for Saudi Arabia? Hmm you don't say.
The failure of several of the terrorist hijackers, including the ringleader, Mohammed Atta, to completely fill out their applications provided ample reason for denying the visas. Only one of the 15 terrorists who were from Saudi Arabia provided an actual address; the rest listed only general locations, such as "California," "New York," "Hotel D.C." and "Hotel."29 Only three of the 15 provided the name and street address of present employer or school as required on the application. Only one of these applications had additional documentation or explanatory notes provided by a consular officer that addressed any discrepancy or problem with the original application.Country of Saudi Arabia receiving preferential treatment. HMMMM. (btw I took that quote out of order because it really is setting up the bombshell below):
We repeat: If our own laws regarding the issuance of visas had been followed by the State Department, most of the hijackers would not have been able to obtain visas, and 9/11 would not have happened. Because the entire culture of the State Department is geared toward facilitating smooth relations with foreign governments, State Department personnel have tended to ignore the potential effect of their practices on national security.Oh you don't say, if we weren't so busy pandering to Saudi Arabia 911 COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED!?!?!?! where have I heard this before!? And seriously, you guys found out that 911 COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED. That it "would not have happened" if it wasn't for preferential treatment to Saudi Arabia? This in ADDITION to saying that A high-level U. S. Government officer said that greater Saudi cooperation could ALSO have prevented 9/11??? Why didn't I remember that??!?? Why wasn't this big headlines in the press? I guess I'll have to make my own headlines here:
Preferential Treatment to Saudis Caused 9/11
Additionally, lack of Saudi cooperation cited for being unable to prevent 9/11. Film at 11.Saudi Arabia's motto should be: "You can't touch us, your troops merely being here to PROTECT US during the Gulf War spurred the jihadist movement and Osama Bin Laden's Al Queda and 9/11... just imagine what would happen if you actually INVADED US. Now, watch us finance terrorism and kill more innocent people"
In closing I'd like to remind everyone of the stated facts (as discussed before on several occasions) that HAVE NOT BEEN DISPUTED that Bush and his family are incredibly close to the bin Ladens and the Saudi Royal family. To the point that the ambassador to the US from Saudi Arabia was given the nickname of Bandar Bush because they consider these guys family. Its fair to say that of the multiple sources I've read that have written and investigated these connections, that these sources had an agenda and probably skewed the facts to fit that agenda. But the problem is that I have not, myself, seen Bush come out and say anything about these relationships, nor has he disputed them. I just wish that his relationships could have been used and leveraged to get that Saudi cooperation that the 9/11 report says could have prevented 9/11, and I wish he could have leveraged that Saudi relationship to make them understand that we cannot give them preferential treatment, preferential treatment, the 9/11 report says, that without which, 9/11 would never have happened.
(1) In the wake of news that two Saudis living in San Diego, California may have helped two of the 9/11 hijackers (see November 22, 2002), reports surface that the US has a secret, short list of wealthy individuals who are the key financiers of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. The Washington Post claims there are nine names on the list: seven Saudi, plus one from Egypt and one from Pakistan. [Washington Post, 11/26/02] ABC News claims the list consists of 12 names, all Saudis, and says they were financing al-Qaeda through accounts in Cyprus, Switzerland and Malaysia, among other countries. [ABC, 11/25/02] They also claim the Saudi government has a copy of the list. US officials privately say all the people listed have close personal and business ties with the Saudi royal family. [ABC, 11/26/02] A secret report to the United Nations by French investigator Jean-Charles Brisard names seven prominent Saudi financiers of terror; the number matches the seven Saudis mentioned in the Post article, though it's not known if all the names are the same. The Saudis mentioned by Brisard are: Khalid bin Mahfouz (see for instance 1988 and April 1999); Yassin al-Qadi (see October 1998, October 12, 2001, and December 5, 2002); Saleh Abdullah Kamel (see June 1998 (D)); Abdullah Suleiman al-Rajhi; Adel Abdul Jalil Batterjee; Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi (see August 13, 1996, Early December 2001 (B), and November 22, 2002 (B)); and Wa'el Hamza Julaidan (who has had his assets frozen by the US [State Department, 9/6/02]). Brisard says al-Qaeda has received between $300 million and $500 million over the last 10 years from wealthy businessmen and bankers. He claims that the combined fortunes of these men equal about 20% of Saudi Arabia's GDP (gross domestic product). [Los Angeles Times, 12/24/02, UN report, 12/19/02 or here] It is also reported that a National Security Council task force recommends the US demand that Saudi Arabia crack down on terrorist financiers within 90 days of receiving evidence of misdeeds and if they don't, the US should take unilateral action to bring the suspects to justice. [Washington Post, 11/26/02] However, the US denies this, calling Saudi Arabia a "good partner in the war on terrorism." [Washington Post, 11/25/02] Press Secretary Ari Fleischer says: "I think the fact that many of the hijackers came from that nation [Saudi Arabia] cannot and should not be read as an indictment of the country." [Radio Free Europe, 11/27/02] More than 600 relatives (later rising to over 2,500 out of 10,000 eligible [Newsweek, 9/13/02]) of victims of the September 11 attacks file a 15-count, $1 trillion lawsuit against various parties they accuse of financing al-Qaeda and Afghanistan's former Taliban regime. The defendants include the Binladin Group (the company run by Osama bin Laden's family), seven international banks, eight Islamic foundations and charities, individual terrorist financiers, three Saudi princes, and the government of Sudan. [CNN, 8/15/02, Washington Post, 8/16/02] Individuals named include Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan (see June 1998 (D), August 2001 (G), and August 31, 2001), former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal (see July 1998, August 31, 2001, and October 18, 2002), Yassin al-Qadi (see October 12, 2001), and Khalid bin Mahfouz (see 1988, August 13, 1996, April 1999, December 4, 2001 (B) and Early December 2001 (B)). [AP, 8/15/02, MSNBC, 8/25/02] "The attorneys and investigators were able to obtain, through French intelligence, the translation of a secretly recorded meeting between representatives of bin Laden and three Saudi princes in which they sought to pay him hush money to keep him from attacking their enterprises in Saudi Arabia." [CNN, 8/15/02] The plaintiffs also accused the US Government of failing to pursue such institutions thoroughly enough because of lucrative oil interests. [BBC, 8/15/02] Ron Motley, the lead lawyer in the suit, says the case is being aided by intelligence services from France and four other foreign governments, but no help has come from the Justice Department. [Minneapolis Star Tribune, 8/16/02] The plaintiffs acknowledge the chance of ever winning any money is slim, but hope the lawsuit will help bring to light the role of Saudi Arabia in the 9/11 attacks. [BBC, 8/15/02] A number of rich Saudis respond by threatening to withdraw hundreds of billions of dollars in US investments if the lawsuit goes forward. [Telegraph, 8/20/02] Saudi businesses withdraw more than $100 billion from the US in response to the suit (see August 20, 2002), and the US government later threatens to block or limit the suit (see November 1, 2002).
Current Mood: Staying up like this is not good for my health. AIEEE
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
3:14:00 AM So I saw Fahrenheit 9/11
NOTE: I've done some heavy editing to this review, as I originally wrote it at 3 in the morning and my mind was a bit hazy. So if you've already read it once, please give it a second read.The wife and I watched it. I loved it, it made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me learn, it made me mad and it made me sad. (in a box, with a fox).
Overall I have to say that its an amazing documentary for Moore. To go from something like Roger & Me, a brilliant film that I think everyone should watch, which is basically the story of Moore trying to get an interview with the CEO of General motors and ask him why he closed all of GM's factories in Flint, going all over the country after him, doing whatever it takes to get a comment from him and showing how GM jumps through hoops to insure he doesn't make it. From a simple story like that, to Fahrenheit 9/11, a complex indictment of the Bush family and Saudi Arabia that spans the far reaches of the globe, with connections so deep and so wide that it would make a conspiracy theorist blush. The Kennedy assassination conspiracy theorists can only dream of having this much material to work with.
First let me say that I love documentaries. You may not know this about me :P But I went through a documentary phase at one point-- here's one of my favorites, which is entertaining and fun for the whole family. Just a cute little documentary about a contest to get a free pickup truck. Ultimately though my favorite kind of documentary is one that involves many clips from the media, much like Fahrenheit 9/11 and Brian Springer's Spin that I linked here before. Of course that goes hand in hand with my affinity for Emergency Broadcast Network, a music group that puts together music using audio found on television and of course makes music videos out of this music, which goes along with my affinity for cut-n-paste musicians like DJ Shadow, whom I got to meet by the way, but that's another story. ANNNYWAYS all of this is ultimately born out of the fact that my family is involved in the television news industry. We'll leave it at that.
So I love documentaries, especially ones that rearrange news footage to make connections that otherwise wouldn't be visible. Hence. Fahrenheit 9/11=HOT.
That is not to say that the movie is not without its share of fuckups and inaccuracies. What? You thought I just said I liked the movie right? Well, everything I've said about the movie (up to this point) was simply in regards to its entertainment value. So with that in mind, lets move on to the substance of the film here:
NOTE: I have read several rebuttals to this film and if I have not heard/read anything to the opposite I can only take it with a grain of salt and cover it here in my review. IF I *have* read something disputing a part of the movie I will discuss it as I have now come to understand it, noting the discrepancy. So unless I specify, I believe the things that follow to be correct to the best of my understanding of the news and information surrounding this stuff. oh yeah OMGWTFBBQ THERE ARE SPOILERS IN MY REVIEW FYI K THXThe movie begins much stronger then it finishes. Its November. 2000. Gore is celebrating a Florida victory. Is this all a dream? Moore asks as he begins to lay out all the cards:Gore was on track to win, and had already been projected to win Florida several times over when suddenly FOXNews projects that Bush would win Florida. This started the tide change that cast doubt on all the OTHER networks calling Florida for Bush. Who made the call at FOXNews? Who was it? (and here's where he starts making interesting connections) Bush's cousin! This call of course led to "recount 2000". Guess who was in charge of the state's election system and presiding over the recount? The infamous (now congresswoman god help us) Katherine Harris. WHO ALSO happens to be the chairperson of Bush's campaign. Not to mention the obvious fact that Bush's brother was/is the governor of Florida. Fast forward to the supreme court ruling in favor of Bush and Gore and Daschle calling for an end to the fight and to move on. Moore replays Gore's victory celebration in reverse. This was not a dream. Now he plays beautiful music and shows unauthorized shots of Bush and his cabinet getting made up before going live on the air. Its one of the best moments in the film.
From there he goes on to make new shocking and jaw dropping connections. Connections that have not been disputed, as far as I can tell, between bin Laden and the Bush Family. The root of these connections hinge on a name that was blacked out, with Orwellian flare, when Bush's military documents were released in 2004. Fortunately Moore had already obtained a copy of Bush's military record in 2000 through someone else who got it through a public records request. In the movie, Moore compares a page in the copy made in 2000 with a page in the copy made in 2004. The document is concerning two officers, including Bush, getting suspended as airmen for failing to take a medical examination. Who was the other officer? Well, his name was blacked out in 2004, hidden from us. But it was not blacked out in the copy from 2000, before Bush was president, before 9/11. Who was it? James Bath.
In regards to Bath the movie corresponds closely with what several investigations have already uncovered. But I think this quote from the excellent article I linked above (that you must read of course) puts what everyone has found best:
Bath, a Houston businessman who became friends with George W. Bush in the '70s, is the middleman in a story Bush doesn't particularly want told -- the saga of how the richest family in the world, the House of Saud, and its surrogates courted the Bush family. Bath was present at the birth of a relationship that would bring more than $1.4 billion in investments and contracts from the House of Saud to the House of Bush over more than 20 years. The blotting out of Bath's name indicates President Bush's extreme sensitivity about his family's extensive connections with the Saudis.It turns out that George W Bush was the first link between his family and the bin Ladens. A link that has ultimately net the Bush family over $1.4 billion dollars throughout their relationship with the bin Ladens (a relationship that began before Osama (at age 12) was disowned from his family, although Moore alleges that he was not entirely disowned [and this fact hast not been disputed]). Moore then tells the tale of how the Bush family originally got together with the bin Ladens and how the bin Ladens and other Saudi Arabians became closely nit within the Bush family. For example: Longtime ambassador to America from Saudi Arabia, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, was considered family by the Bushes and given the nickname "Bandar Bush". Moore goes on to make a dozen or so equally stunning connections, exposing good ol' boy style networks that leave you shaking your head in disbelief. The common thread throughout all of these connections are the companies related to Bush and the bin Ladens that tie the two families together financially, companies that also directly benefited from 9/11 and war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now. Criticisms of this film do not dispute these relationships and connections. At worst they've said that the bin Ladens and the Bush's had a "convoluted business relationship." What most criticisms argue AGAINST however, is what Moore argues next regarding the following:
What Moore says, is that ALL of this was carefully orchestrated and manipulated to try to:
Oh and someone ought to tell Bush that bin Laden IS STILL ONE OF THE TOP 10 MOST WANTED FUGITIVES BY THE FBI FFS! Read it and weep George, this man is certainly a priority and is planning his next attack as we speak. Do something before its too late./RANT
Moore does NOT blame Bush for 9/11. But he does carefully lay out an argument that Bush has been pandering to the Saudi's from the beginning of 9/11, trying to keep them as friends despite the fact that he was going to have to deal SOME damage to them, because woops! 15 out of the 19 hijackers were of Saudi descent, not to mention terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden is Saudi too. Although technically he is no longer a Saudi Arabian citizen as they revoked his citizenship.
You may be asking yourself, why would Bush want to protect the Saudi's? Try these:
Moore chooses to highlight the latter two of these items to explain why Bush would go through all of this efforts to protect the Saudis, ignoring the first two. Why? Because as critics have pointed out, the first two items shoot holes in his entire argument-- if we invade Iraq and Afghanistan and put in place governments who would allow us to use THEM for military bases (which turns out to be the case), and now with a friendly Government suddenly Iraq gets to compete on the oil market against Saudi Arabia, we now see that Saudi Arabia's strategic importance, and therefore power over the US, is actually neutralized.
But just after 9/11 we still were as reliant on them as we ever were before. Also, just after 9/11, as we just discussed, Saudi Arabia was in some serious trouble, figuring majorly into 9/11, with:
And the most sickening part? We've let 2 of the 3 items in that group practically slip through our fingers. bin Laden isn't even a fucking priority anymore, and the financial backers and stooges? Well if you remember from previous episodes of Walter's Weblog, it turns out that many members of bin Laden's family and many Saudi Arabian royalty were in the US at the time of September 11th. And during the grounding of all flights in the US immediately after 9/11, when people were sleeping on the floors of airports far away from loved ones and home, the bin Laden family and Saudi Arabian royalty were allowed to secretly fly around the US and then leave the country without interrogation!! Here Moore alleges that these secret flights were allowed by Bush as a favor to his family friends the bin Laden's and the Saudi royalty to try to . But also, it turns out, IT TURNS OUT (through cooperating with Osama/The Taliban) THAT MANY OF THOSE PEOPLE WE LET FLY OUT OF THE COUNTRY WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR 9/11!! Many of them KNEW about 9/11 before it happened, so they could have done something to prevent it! Read the details here. However the part that REALLY gets me riled is that Moore never even discusses this-- besides making the Bush favoritism allegation, he mentions that after everyone got to Saudi Arabia that the Saudi Arabian government barred us from questioning them. But that's all he says despite there being much more to that story.
Innnn any case. Critics of Moore say that the guy who authorized the flights of the bin Laden's/etc turns out to be none other then Richard "the Iraqi invasion was planned from Day 1 of Bush's presidency" Clark. This is the same guy who made the allegation (and video clip used in the movie) that Bush after 9/11 was determined to link Saddam to the attacks, so perhaps since he made that allegation, that makes him a Bush outsider. If HE authorized the flights (and recently he has claimed sole responsibility for authorizing them), then perhaps those flights weren't part of some conspiracy to kiss Saudi Arabia's ass.
Then in the second half of the movie Moore goes back to Flint Michigan and talks about how the war in Iraq has affected Flint residents through recruitment into the military, family in the military, and finally death in the military. He argues that many of the abuses in Iraq occur because the soldiers are disenfranchised with the Bush administration and "when they see their leaders abusing the system (see first half of the movie), they too follow suit" (approximate quote). I hate to gloss over this part, but its probably the part that is the least controversial but Moore dwells on this subject because it is the true end result of war that touches you, sitting in your chair, safe and comfortable reading this right now.
So what do we make of all of this, including criticisms [read em for yourself BEFORE you see the movie]l? (OMG ANOTHER LIST)
Now I know that I've really beaten up on Saudi Arabia here and the truth is its much more complex then Iraq. Saudi Arabia is ruled by a royal family, and each of those family members has their own agenda and power within the system. Many times, nay, oftentimes these family members disagree with each other and go off and do their own things. Whilst we were having a good relationship with the king of Saudi Arabia and many of his princes, there were plenty of other Saudi royalty who couldn't/can't wait to help Osama fly planes into buildings. I think we're doing our best to strangle those in the royal family that support Osama and I think the king is doing his best to try to weed them out as well, but who knows, the king could be in on this whole thing.
But what about our.... "king" and how does all of this effect him? Well his job approval rating has fallen to the lowest number of his presidency for one. I know I have to rate his "job approval" lower myself because it burns me up to know that Saudi Arabia had more to do with 9/11 then Iraq (which had little or nothing to do with it), yet our administration went to great lengths (as discussed above and before on my weblog) to protect the Saudi's from being the target of the American people's wrath after 9/11, and the Saudi's (recognizing this threat) have spent almost 20 million dollars on American news, television and radio ad campaigns trying to keep themselves looking good to the American people. Yet the Bush Administration (and every republican mouthpiece you can find) has done everything they can, however so subtly, to try to link 9/11 and Iraq in the minds of Americans when in fact there is no such link. You'll hear people say "We need to kill Saddam to avenge all those people who died on September 11th." Those same people will say "9/11, never forget"- to which I say, "Osama bin Laden is responsible, never forget." I'm only left now to hope that we kick Saudi Arabia to the curb now that we've got Iraq and Afghanistan to replace our dependence on them. Hey King Fahd, call us when you've gotten control of your own country, your lucky we didn't bomb you, even though we should have.
But as far as what will happen in November I'm not sure. But I know that I'll be glued to the TV set watching the numbers come in as I did 4 years ago. Wow. This blog is old.
If you've seen Fahrenheit 9/11 please comment.
Current Mood: Tired Me.
Monday, June 28, 2004
12:09:00 AM Tomorrow I see...Doods. I think the shit is about to hit the fan with Kerry possibly-- remember that senate-hopeful from illinois who basically had to quit the race when his divorce papers were unsealed (he was the guy who was married to Jerri Ryan.. you know.. Seven of Nine?!)-- anyways, you know.. the divorce papers had some pretty bad stuff that pretty much shut his campaign down. Now, guess what-- John Kerry is next.
Now, his ex-wfie has already written a book (in 1996) about her experience being married to him and I'm thinking that most of the stuff that would be juicy enough to cause any problems is probably already out in the air through that book, but that won't stop anyone from looking for it! Personally I think that, although in his case he's not preaching values left and right like the Illinois senator, personally I think that its fair game. We'll see though!!
Anyways, I'll see Fahrenheit 9/11 tomorrow. Either in the theatre or on my computer screen, but I'm pretty sure I'll be checking it out then. I just wanted to share this comedic and cute review of it that was posted on the shack. By dognose:
We met my mom and her fiance outside the theater in Fresno for the opening day showing. I was excited, stoked. I had purchased our tickets early in order to secure seats; turns out that was a good idea, as the crowd was large. I looked around for the protesters I had hoped would be there. I found only a small group off to the side, all holding signs that said "MICHAEL MOORE IS FAT". I approached one, and he said "This movie is all LIES." I asked him if he had seen it, and he said "Of COURSE not!!!" I was then silent, and after a time, he said "What are YOU looking at, FAGGOT?"Wowzers. Just. Wowzers. My friend Leslie saw it in Gainesville and she said it was incredible and very important for everyone to go see. Well, if you do see it, just be sure to keep in mind all the criticisms and while your at it be sure to take THOSE with a grain of salt too!
Current Mood: downloading.... BEEP
Saturday, June 26, 2004
1:38:00 PM Federal pound me in the ass prisonAhhh. llllllllinkworld.
Beat Far Cry finally. The end boss/end stage wasn't nearly as exciting as the game as a whole. In fact I'm willing to say that the game was almost TOO long. They kept dragging it out, it seemed, to make sure they got every kind of level in. Now. Don't get me wrong, I was eating.it.up. but as far as the plot is concerned it pretty much killed it. Ahh well, theres always Doom 3 and Half-Life 2 to look forward to!
So we got alot of material to get through here.. leseee.. uhm. First off:
Now some rants...
We've talked alot about spyware here, and as you know, adware/spyware (henceforth:scumware) is typically distributed through the downloading and installing of normal programs that the owners of which have added a scumware component. Kazaa was infamous for this. Then scumware advanced to being installed automatically simply by visiting a website containing code that exploited holes in internet explorer. Under those circumstances, the website owner would have to insert special code to infect the visitors of the website, or, more likely, advertisements or popups appearing on that website (not necessarily created by the owner of the website) contained the malicious code.
Well now, they've taken it to yet, another level: A worm is spreading that infects IIS servers with the same malicious code that installs scumware on your computer. Thats right, now ANY website that uses Microsoft's Internet Information Server can suddenly get hijacked by this worm and have malicious scumware infection code inserted into THEIR webpages, unbeknownst to the website owner. So you could be visiting, say, your favorite music news website and BLAM spyware infects your computer. Simultaneously that music news website is actually seeking out other IIS webservers to infect and spread the adware code! To top it all off there is also evidence that organized crime is breaking into other web servers and inserting MORE malicious scumware infection code! This time their code they are inserting is not stopped by any patch yet released for internet explorer. Its really, really, REALLY time to start using Firefox!!
Ok switching gears. Read this transcript to the very end, you'll be suprised who "R" is.
K: Do you have thoughts on the war?Suprise! And here's the kicker Ronald Reagan Jr. compares Bush to Bin Laden!
REAGAN: Well, you know, there was that answer he gave to the question about, did you talk to your father about going into Iraq? No, I talked to a higher father, you know, the almighty. When you hear somebody justifying a war by citing the almighty, God, I get a little worried, frankly. The other guys do that a lot. Osama bin Laden's always talking about Allah, what Allah wants, that he's on his side. I think that's uncomfortable.Hey Ron Jr, it makes me uncomfortable too! Anyways here's the rest of the transcript.
Current Mood: Must.. do... yardwork
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
10:54:00 PM WoooT!!!Just a quick note to share with everyone, NO JURY DUTY FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!!
How about them spacehipone folks?
Gmail invites, woot?
Link for the evening:Unfairenheit 9/11?
Current Mood: Hedwig *tear*
Saturday, June 19, 2004
1:33:00 PM Orrin Hatch, enemy of the people.In ANOTHER sickening display of "give a bill a name that no one can oppose, regardless of its true intent and you will be assured victory," the often shortsighted senator Orrin Hatch is planning to introduce the "Inducement Devolves into Unlawful Child Exploitation Act" or the INDUCE ACT sometime next week.
Ok sounds good, we don't like Child Exploitation! Evil! Right? OHhhhh by the way, heh, this bill is actually a (shhhhhh!) anti-file sharing bill OMG. SHHHH!!!!!! Oh and by the way, the "TV/Movies/Music" industry is one of Hatch's top 10 campaign financers. The bill basically says whoever intentionally induces any violation of copyright law would be legally liable for those violations, inducement being defined as aids, abets, induces, counsels, or procures. Punishments start at civil fines and top out at lengthy prison sentences.
Hatch, the guy who previously has said that copyright holders should be allowed to remotely destroy the computers of copyright violators, is basically wrapping this up saying that file sharing networks are rife with child porn and INDUCE the unlawful exploitation of children. Basically if the software CAN be used for illegal purposes, its illegal. Right. Why not get rid of guns too? Those things have been known to have been used for "illegal purposes" every once and a while, I mean, seriously, think about it, we wouldn't have another columbine! It would be awesome!
Hah hah. Hah.
I'm ready to start writing my senators about this, as soon as its introduced and I get to read the bill for myself. What about you?
Current Mood: fucking 1and1, won't let you use your own DNS servers. DSJFKLSDJF.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
8:12:00 PM Kings of ChaosWoah. In between rounds of Far Cry I've been getting alot of playtime in something much more... low tech. The game is Kings of Chaos and its completely web based. NO graphics to speak of, simple text based fun! Brings me back to the days of Tradewars. Anyways this game is pretty cool, it was created originally by a coupla high school students, and started out simply as a game of who could refer the most people and eventually evolved into something based on the Lord of the Rings. But being that this game is WEB based in this age of internet and email, the whole POINT of the game is to RECRUIT other people to JOIN! Well, ultimately recruiting alot of people to join in turn gives you ALOT of power-- and of course the people THEY recruit get YOU points too (incorporating that other cornerstone of the internet, the pyramid scheme).
Thats right this game is actually an attempt by these brilliant kids to simply make SENSE of the world around them! Its similar to a child in the ghetto playing "gangbanger" with his friend. Now, the kids don't ACTUALLY kill each other, but they are simply emulating what they see. And in KoC (Kings of Chaos), you are NOT PERMITTED TO SPAM (seriously they will ban you for life). So, noone gets hurt and its all simple clean fun. Whats interesting is that, suprise, its insanely popular, and (no thats not the interesting part), there are over 200,000 people involved. When you get nearly a quarter-million people involved in something like this you end up with much more then an eloquent database driven web-game. No no. You end up with POLITICS, CRIME and NEWB-BAITING. (My favorite quote from that ridiculous last link is "You all smell".. seriously, who says that?!)
In any case, I hope you'll, of course, click my link and follow the instructions on screen to help grow my army. And if your REALLY bored/interested, sign up and become one of my officers-- I promise I'll help you get clicks too :).
Current Mood: Army Size: 103
Saturday, June 12, 2004
7:01:00 PM Your the man now dog CHAOSYep.
Yep, genius I know. Ahhh. So what else? Uhm, been using gmail a bit more and I can safely say that it blows hotmail/yahoo out of the water, and even gives me a better experience then using outlook express! I'd use it more often but having to actually go ONLINE to check my email is a bummer. HMM. Google toolbar mail notification integration anyone?! ANYONE!?
Current Mood: I'm a wizard wizard
Friday, June 04, 2004
10:18:00 AM "I got a present for ya!"This trailer has just been released for a film that you might have heard about. I mirrored it here because the main site that was hosting this trailer says demand is too high and they can't serve up any more copies. Don't worry my friends, Walter's Weblog won't keep you in the dark, I want everyone to be able to participate in the viewing of this thing... its very interesting and I plan on checking out the actual movie for sure. Since I have brought you this exclusive, I expect comments! What say you!? Permalink - Blogger Backlinks - Technorati - Del.icio.us
Tuesday, June 01, 2004
9:56:00 PM Hey now you're an allstarHey guys.. just wanted to jump in and say HELLOS OMG.
Uhm.... hello Californians!
Is this thing on?
Turned 25. Oh yeah.. *updates shack profile*
Today Baby Jessica, the girl who got stuck in that pipe in Texas so long ago graduated from high school. That was 17 fucking years ago! I remember that shi VIVIDLY. 17 years ago I think of myself as a toddler.. not able to remember stuff... but... actually I was 7 or 8. Woah.
And now... something that I didn't click on but it kept popping up, one of the most highly linked articles in the blogosphere shall have its day in court on my weblog: Scholars are saying Bush is running a negative ad campaign that is unprecedented in history:
Three-quarters of the ads aired by Bush's campaign have been attacks on Kerry. Bush so far has aired 49,050 negative ads in the top 100 markets, or 75 percent of his advertising. Kerry has run 13,336 negative ads -- or 27 percent of his total.And thats not all, read more here and see why everyones talking about it. My wife says that she doesn't want to see ads saying why the other guy is bad or how the other guy has failed, instead she wants to see why she should vote for you. Are you listening Bush?
Current Mood: Tropicana Twister on the lips. Right nostril, stuffed.