Singing the Bite Me Song

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July 23, 2005

I'm just puzzled over that shooting in the London Tube

This has been just the ODDEST story I've seen in a long time, not the facts of it, what few facts we have, but the gullible reporting.

Even on NPR, an eyewitness says a guy was tackled and down, and THEN shot five times at point blank range.

And the stories just go on. Like that isn't what it sounds like: a murder by police.

Police are supposed to arrest people who are down, cuff them, subdue them, but not stand there and murder the person who has not yet had the benefit of charges and a trial, and to face his or her accusers..

So the story sounds just bizarre, and now it gets even more bizarre. Run from police and you will be shot and killed? Wear an overcoat on a hot day and be killed for not obeying a police order?

Mentally ill people would do such a thing. Should they be shot and killed? An emotionally distraught person might do such a thing, suffering a nervous breakdown, from grief or loss or domestic violence.

For that matter, a common pickpocket in the subway might also do such a thing.

I know the US justice system is perverted and warped with the unconstitutional and unsupportable "patriot act," but I figured the British had their shit together more than this. Bobbies aren't normally armed, for instance.

But the part that just stuns me is the straight-faced reporting of what is obviously a murder by police with no attempt to find an explanation, as if the report given were even the slightest bit credible. As if the articles didn't have even the slightest sense that the reader was coughing "bullshit" repeatedly throughout.

We've landed in bizarro world, that's what it is. It is with NO SURPRISE, then, that I read below the beginning of the unraveling of this absurd event. I expect more to come.

(the only thing I know that's odder than the omissions of the shooting story is the absence of Robert Novak from the stories about the subpoenas of Matthew Cooper and Judith Miller)

Link: BBC NEWS | UK | Shot man not connected to bombing.

Last Updated: Saturday, 23 July, 2005, 21:15 GMT 22:15 UK

Shot man not connected to bombing

Police cordoned off a 200-metre area around the station A man shot dead by police hunting the bombers behind Thursday's London attacks was unconnected to the incidents, police have confirmed.

The man, who died at Stockwell Tube on Friday, has been named by police as Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, 27.



Brazilian diplomats in London said they had been told by police the man who was shot dead by police on Friday was a Brazilian.

An earlier Scotland Yard statement read: "We believe we now know the identity of the man shot at Stockwell Underground station by police on Friday 22nd July 2005, although he is still subject to formal identification.

"We are now satisfied that he was not connected with the incidents of Thursday 21st July 2005.

"For somebody to lose their life in such circumstances is a tragedy and one that the Metropolitan Police Service regrets."

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, said: "The police acted to do what they believed necessary to protect the lives of the public.

"This tragedy has added another victim to the toll of deaths for which the terrorists bear responsibility."



I mean, shit, even if the guy was a terrorist, they'd want to question and torture a real "terrorist" about Al Qaeda and other plots, not sit and fire away five times.

The terrorists killed this innocent Brazilian man? The terrorists forced the police to act like this?

IN WHAT BIZARRE UNIVERSE IS THIS? Next we will hear that wives who disobey their husbands bring on the beatings they get themselves, by their disobedience.


Police have also raided a house in Streatham Hill, south London, in connection with the failed attacks. The statement confirmed the man had been followed by police from a house in Tulse Hill that was under surveillance.

His death is being investigated by officers from the MPS Directorate of Professional Standards, and will be referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

John O'Connor, former commander of the Met Police, told the BBC the consequences of the shooting were likely to be "quite horrendous".

He said he expected officers to face criminal charges, and other officers could even refuse to carry weapons.

But Shami Chakrabarti, director of human rights group Liberty, said it was too early to judge what the effects would be.

She called for a "prompt, comprehensive and independent investigation".


The best thing I've heard is that the officers could face criminal charges, but the most heartening thing is if the other officers refuse to carry weapons. I mean, what were they thinking?

A man was shot and killed for walking out of the wrong house.

This is an oddly structured story, at BBC News. It jumps from topic to topic with no notice, blending seemingly unrelated incidents with no demarkation.

The deja vu I get is from the new Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, where authorities turn to scapegoating as a PR tool, to make it look like they're making progress against a seemingly formidable enemy.

Except instead of going Azkaban Prison, Stan Shunpipe got shot in the London subway.


July 23, 2005 at 07:31 PM in Best Essays, Current Affairs, Media & Journalism, News to Note, War/Terrorism | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 19, 2005

Has Tommy Thompson been replaced by an alien?

Tommy, you're from Wisconsin! State of Fighting Bob LaFollette! You were freaked out by a bunch of serious issues at the time you stepped down as secretary of HHS.

Now what have you gone and done?! Did you need money so badly you were ready to make this Faustean bargain?

thanks for the pointer, Boing Boing.


Link: Boing Boing: Former Bush official signs up for RFID implant.

Former Bush official signs up for RFID implant

President Bush's former Health and Human Services Secretary, Tommy Thompson, onetime Governor of Wisconsin, is getting an RFID implant. Why is he volunteering for the Mark of the Beast? Promotional reasons! Thompson is on the board of Applied Digital, owner of RFID vendor VeriChip. From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Thompson said people will eventually get beyond any queasy feelings about having a chip implanted.

"It will prevent babies from being picked up by the wrong people in a maternity ward and make sure people in nursing homes don't walk away," Thompson said.

So far, about 7,000 chips for people have been sold, with about 2,000 implanted worldwide, said Scott R. Silverman, chairman and chief executive of Applied Digital, which owns VeriChip.

Once Thompson gets chipped, chances are it won't help him in an emergency. Only two hospitals - Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston - read the chips, Silverman said.

No worries, said Rebecca Harmon, a spokeswoman for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

"We can always take him to the vet school," she said.

Link (Thanks, Xeni!)

July 19, 2005 at 09:07 PM in News to Note, Politics, Privacy & Free Speech, Singing the Bite Me Song, War/Terrorism | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 15, 2005

Why I'll be watching ABC News closely tonight...

I'll post more on this later tonight, but I sure am intrigued by this tip on the Daily Kos.

And what I want to know is how this culture of deliberate leaking from last August is linked to the Rovegate leak blowing up now.

Link: Daily Kos: Did BushCo Tip off London Bombers?.

Did BushCo Tip off London Bombers?

by kevin lyda

Fri Jul 15th, 2005 at 10:20:20 PDT


Undermining the War on Terror for political gain. Sound familiar? This happened during the campaign last year. And the chickens came home to roost. In London apparently. A Welch-like moment - "Finally sirs, have you no decency?" Does anything matter besides their power? Apparently not.

"Bush admin may be responsible for botching effort to thwart London bombing" That's the title of a post on americablog:

ABC News just reported that the British authorities say they have evidence that the London attacks last week were an operation planned by Al Qaeda for the last two years. This was an operation the Brits thought they caught and stopped in time, but they were wrong. The piece of the puzzle ABC missed is that this is an operation the Bush administration helped botch last year.

[Edits by Armando for clarity]

This is yet another case of this administration abusing intelligence assets for political gain. Fits right in with Rove/Plame and Iraq/WMD. Heck, a lack of understanding of intelligence led to 9/11 in the first place.

Update [2005-7-14 21:58:43 by kevin lyda]: Atrios points out another blog with background on the story.

Update [2005-7-14 22:26:23 by Armando]: By Armando. From Tyoma's diary, from AmericaBlog:

  1. The London bombers, per ABC, are connected to an Al Qaeda plot planned two years ago in Lahore, Pakistan.

  2. Pakistani authorities recovered the laptop of a captured Al Qaeda leader, Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, on July 13, 2004. On that laptop, they found plans for a coordinated series of attacks on the London subway. According to an expert interviewed by ABC, "there is absolutely no doubt that Khan was part of a worldwide Al Qaeda operation, not just in the United States but also in Great Britain and throughout the west."

  3. ABC reports that names in the computer matched a suspected cell of Britain's of Pakistani decent, many of who lived near the town of Luton, England. According to ABC, authorities thought they had stopped the subway plot with the arrest of more than a dozen people last year. Obviously, they hadn't.

  4. Those arrests were the arrests that the Bush administration botched by announcing a heightened security alert the week of the Democratic Convention. Because the US let the cat out of the bag, the media got a hold of Khan's name, his Al Qaeda contacts found out he was co-opted, and they fled. The Brits had to have a high speed chase to catch some of them as they fled, and, according to press reports, the Brits and Pakistanis both fear that some slipped away.

July 15, 2005 at 05:20 PM in Favorite Links, Media & Journalism, News to Note, Politics, War/Terrorism | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

AMERICAblog: Novak reportedly ratted everyone out to Grand Jury

Ya think? Have you ever seen a name SO conspicuously ABSENT from the investigation, ESPECIALLY when it was his column that outed the CIA operative?!

Link: AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth.

by John in DC - 7/15/2005 03:07:00 PM
RADAR got a pretty good scoop here (I had nothing to do with it).

Interestingly, not only does it say that Novak spilled his guts to the grand jury, but he reportedly told them that the NYT's Judith Miller told Novak about Valerie Plame's CIA identity, then Novak called his two White House sources (one of which was Rove) for confirmation.

Interesting. So, when Karl Rove's anonymous source says today that Rove found out about Plame from journalists, did that source mean Judy Miller?
Did Robert Novak rat on New York Times reporter Judith Miller? While some have suggested Miller—who never wrote a word about CIA spook Valerie Plame—was dragged into the leak probe when her name turned up on a White House call log, several beltway insiders close to the investigation say special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald learned of Miller’s involvement from Novak himself.

Though the GOP hatchetman claims he’s never spoken to the grand jury about the column, a well-known Democratic pundit tells Radar, “Novak is the media’s Joseph Valachi,” referring to the 1960’s mafia capo who was the first mobster to testify against La Cosa Nostra. “There’s no question he rolled over.” According to our sources, Miller shared Plame’s identity with her perfidious fellow neocon after deciding not to publish it herself; Novak then called his two White House sources for confirmation and wrote the July 14, 2003 column that blew Plame’s cover.

July 15, 2005 at 05:09 PM in Current Affairs, Democracy, Favorite Links, Media & Journalism, News to Note, Politics, Privacy & Free Speech, Singing the Bite Me Song | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 04, 2005

Wonder if folks in the US have this kind of backbone...

We're celebrating freedom today, but do we have the commitment to fight for our own freedoms? Or is it just a sentiment for one day, going only as far as celebrating a mostly good-hearted military in hapless service of those delusionaries with imperialist ambitions, rather than putting our money where our mouth is?

If that sounds like a hard-edged challenge, it is.

Link: The Observer | Politics | Rebels ready to face prison over ID cards.

Rebels ready to face prison over ID cards

Refuseniks will copy Australian tactics to foil scheme

Jamie Doward and Ned Temko
Sunday July 3, 2005
The Observer

Hundreds of thousands of people are set to defy the government by refusing to carry ID cards, despite the risk of imprisonment.

Campaigners say that a network of anti-ID card groups, ranging from hackers to anarchists, plans a series of assaults in the coming months to try to block the scheme. A £1 million fund is being raised to help pay legal fees if, as expected, prosecutions are brought once the cards become compulsory, probably in 2010.

'We have to show these [people] that we did not vote for them and that we will bring them down. This is the poll tax all over again. I am prepared to do time for this,' runs one entry on the No2ID campaign website. Another says: 'I'm not an anarchist, but we're getting to the stage now where I think peaceful protest isn't going to work.'


Would a protest like this fly in the U.S.?

I'm not sure I'd bet on it, but of course I'd encourage it. I hope it happens here, because I believe a national ID card (probably with RFID chips) is a precursor to chipping people, and total monitoring, for both marketing and governmental purposes, for panoptic discipline and turning us all into fixed butterflies stuck with pins in a case.

And would I refuse in protest? I'd surely WANT to join such a movement.

I always assumed I would, and then I was face to face with my own hypocrisy. I live in a state that requires a digital thumbprint on its driver's license.

Sure, I pitched a massive fit after waiting in line for three hours to get the license (you have to take a half-day off work), to find out that I could not REFUSE the digital thumbprint and still get a license.

I was against the wall. I commute to work, my old paid-off car had just died, and I was replacing it with a newer cheapo model of the same thing. Just a problem... I was living in a new state. No financing, no insurance, not without a current state driver's license. Without that thumbprint, that car became off-limits.

Coercion? To be sure. So let this be a warning, a kind of preparation. Those in power won't give us a chance to be refuseniks when they lay the totalitarian control state on us.

There won't be any room for a political movement. You won't be able to get the very things you need to keep your job, which means losing your house or even your cheapo apartment.

It means that when you make this stand, you need to know that THIS is the moment when the threshold is crossed. THIS is the moment when you leave the regular economy and become the 2000's equivalent of a "hobo," dependent on a network of sympathetic safe houses and people with kind hearts, as you become a permanent resident of the underground economy.

Sure, risking arrest sounds like noble civil disobedience, like something Thoreau would approve of. But when you get busted at a sit-in protest for peace or when chained to the fence at a nuclear facility, your life isn't destroyed. You don't instantly cross the threshold into persona non grata, relegated forever to the black market economy, unable to hold a job or keep a roof over your head.

Those whack-job folks in the religious right mistakenly believe (as rehearsed in the "Left Behind" series) that some evil Anti-Christ in a black hat will make them form two neat and tidy lines, a chip or the guillotine, and of course they imagine themselves all heroically choosing the guillotine rather than take the "Mark of the Beast."

They seem to have a hard time wrapping their minds around the idea that their favorite son Bush 43 will be telling them it's their patriotic duty to take the chip, in the name of "Homeland Security," and "if you aren't with us, you're against us."

It doesn't dawn on them that there won't be two clear lines, one marked "Jesus Guillotine" and the other marked "Get your Chip Here."

Rather, it will be as quietly insidious as that day when you need a new car just to keep your job, and you need the job to keep your house, and to not capitulate to the coercion means that is the moment when you lose everything.

And they like their "empowered riches megachurch" lifestyle too much to ever risk losing everything, to join the rootless life of the escaped and unregistered sex offenders and ex-cons trying to get those little bracelets off their ankles. They aren't ready to move from the country club to under the bridge.

[Link: Soldiers of Christ I ( Inside America's most powerful megachurch. Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005. Originally from May 2005. By Jeff Sharlet..]

And the political lefty "refuseniks" in the U.S.? Now is the time to check your commitment. This one is worth it, but it ain't for the faint-hearted.

Get ready now, if you're planning to make this stand.


The Home Office estimates that around 17 per cent of adults - up to four million people - oppose the cards. A recent ICM poll, commissioned by No2ID, found that 43 per cent believe they are a 'bad' or 'very bad' idea.

'Whichever poll you believe,' says Phil Booth, head of No2ID, 'there are millions who just won't do it.'

Many of the tactics to be used by the campaigners have been borrowed from Australia, where in 1987 the government scrapped plans for ID cards after a network of 'refusenik' organisations obstructed the scheme.

Booth was at the Glastonbury festival last weekend drumming up support. So far 7,000 people have pledged to resist the scheme.

He says they could be followed by hundreds of thousands of others willing to obstruct the whole scheme. 'Our next pledge will be to raise £1 million for a fighting fund from people who feel they cannot actively reject the scheme, but are sympathetic to those who will.'

The phased nature of the scheme's launch - with ID cards initially distributed on a voluntary basis to Britons and compulsorily to foreign workers from 2008 - has been seized on by campaigners as proof that the government knows the strength of the opposition. Ministers have yet to commit themselves to a date when the cards will become compulsory for all.

'The government appears to have learnt from the poll tax, in that it's not going to introduce it in one go,' said a man called Nathan who helps to co-ordinate the Defy ID network, a loose, pan-national organisation that advocates direct action.


The Passport Office, which in the autumn will roll out new biometric passports with scans of applicants' faces, fingerprints and irises, will be a key target. Initially only those who need to renew their passports will be required to have the scans.

Opponents are preparing to launch a co-ordinated mass application to the Passport Office over the summer. The applicants would be issued with the current non-biometric passports that would, theoretically, be valid for 10 years. The surge in applications would cause a major headache for the office, which has suffered backlogs due to IT failures.


Individuals are being encouraged to launch their own forms of resistance. One idea is for people to refuse to touch their fingers on the scanners, causing backlogs at the 70 ID card centres.

Campaigners are also being instructed to cross their eyes when in front of the iris scanners. Another suggestion is for people to say they have undergone a religious conversion, and insist on wearing burqas - which cover the face - in front of the scanners.

Booth said: 'There will very definitely be resistance. As with the poll tax, mass refusal to comply occurs when people feel something is deeply unfair.'

Miasma ----- practicing the cross-eyed thing in the mirror (but you know, if you don't smile, they won't take it in the U.S.)

July 4, 2005 at 07:56 PM in Best Essays, Current Affairs, Democracy, Favorite Links, Media & Journalism, News to Note, Politics, Privacy & Free Speech, Singing the Bite Me Song, War/Terrorism | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 03, 2005

Karl Rove's goose...

Reading the handwriting on the wall, I'd say it's cooked.

Lawrence O'Donnell does a little analysis of what the info means on the Huffington Post, a follow-up from his breaking the story Friday ahead of Newsweek et al.

The puzzle that continues to pursue me is why the focus is on Matt Cooper and Judith Miller, with so little said about Bob Novak. It seems that Novak had some kind of arrangement or deal with the Grand Jury that left him nowhere near threats of contempt of court.

As much as the Rove information makes me do a little dance (I'd heard on the grapevine the Plame information was being shopped all over at the time, but only a few (Novak and Cooper?) took the leak and ran. This is all conjecture, however, newsroom gossip), I'd prefer that it didn't come at the expense of Time Warner corporate decision-makers caving on an issue of journalism ethics that compromises journalists, sources, and perhaps other necessary whistleblowers whom journalists would also protect.

I know that reporters don't have the legal protection of lawyers or doctors or spiritual ministers, and I'm not suggesting they should. Rather, I like that it is an issue of ethics and honor. I do find it peculiar that a grand jury should be so willing to violate that ethical issue with a court order and threat of contempt, and it makes me question the motives, as it also did in the case of Susan McDougal, who held to her truth and honor in the face of Ken Starr's witchhunt and utter lack of ethics.

I have a feeling Matt Cooper and Judith Miller would have treated their contempt incarceration with the same honor and ethics as McDougal did, but that the mega-corporation masquerading as a journalism entity has so little of the same ethics and caved in the face of a financial loss in the form of a fine. Reporters would give up their FREEDOM, but heaven forbid a corporation loses a lousy buck.

Makes you wonder what Katherine Graham would have done in the same instance, doesn't it?

As the ACLU does defending free speech for groups most of us find truly abhorrent, I'd advocate protecting someone as odious as Rove as a source, on principle, regardless of how much I enjoy watching his goose cook.

Perhaps that's why the radical right is so effective in taking potshots at "liberals." No one would ever accuse the nutjob right of letting a silly thing like a principle stand in their way. They wave the religious flag, but their actual ACTIONS are far more consistent with a situation ethic or even pure relativism than the liberals they accuse of relativism.

By their works shall ye know them.


Link: The Huffington Post | The Blog.

On Friday, I broke the story that the e-mails that Time turned over to the prosecutor that day reveal that Karl Rove is the source Matt Cooper is protecting. That provoked Rove’s lawyer, Robert Luskin, to interrupt his holiday weekend to do a little defense work with Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times. On Saturday, Luskin decided to reveal that Rove did have at least one conversation with Cooper, but Luskin told the Times he would not “characterize the substance of the conversation.”

Luskin claimed that the prosecutor “asked us not to talk about what Karl has had to say.” This is highly unlikely. Prosecutors have absolutely no control over what witnesses say when they leave the grand jury room. Rove can tell us word-for-word what he said to the grand jury and would if he thought it would help him. And notice that Luskin just did reveal part of Rove’s grand jury testimony, the fact that he had a conversation with Cooper. Rove would not let me get one day of traction on this story if he could stop me. If what I have reported is not true, if Karl Rove is not Matt Cooper’s source, Rove could prove that instantly by telling us what he told the grand jury. Nothing prevents him from doing that, except a good lawyer who is trying to keep him out of jail.

Lawrence O\'Donnell bio:

Executive Producer "The West Wing," Panelist "The McLaughlin Group," Former Chief of Staff, U.S. Senate Committee on Finance

July 3, 2005 at 08:44 PM in Democracy, Favorite Links, Intellectual Property, Media & Journalism, News to Note, Politics, Privacy & Free Speech, Rhetoric, Singing the Bite Me Song | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack