Iran Kicks US Ass

Iran Kicks US Ass in voter turnout

80% voter turnout in Iran.  When was the last time the US hit 80%?  Before you go off googling, I’ll tell you.  It was 1876 between Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel Tilden.  The results were highly disputed, familiar right, and you better know who the winner was.

In what was touted as the largest voter turnout in 40 years (and it was) the 2008 US presidential election came in at 56.8%.

Call it an interpretation, call it speculation, call it opinion, but based on the results, I’m comfortable stating that the people of Iran are more interested in the direction of their country than citizens of the United States.

Apathy.  56.8% is apathy.  We all jump on the “support our troops” bandwagon, but if you don’t vote you disrespect those who give their lives for your right to do so.

Is it more complicated than that?

Of course.

AND?

Jesus is not a Republican

Let’s start with some facts:

  • Jesus was crucified long before the U.S. existed
  • Jesus did not have a political affiliation
  • Jesus was a Hebrew
  • Barak is a traditional Hebrew name (and existed in Jesus time, as opposed to the name Jesus, which did not)
  • The Old Testament was written in Hebrew primarily, and Aramaic

The English translation of the bible is an interpretation of a interpretive translation.

The first amendment of the U.S. Constitution establishes your right as a citizen of the United States of America to believe what you want and say what you want.

When 33 pastors participated in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday”  in September 2008, they complained that their 1st amendment rights were being violated.  In truth, only their tax-exempt status was at risk, however literature distributed by the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) stated that in most cases, nothing would actually happen.  So far, nothing has.  So why the big deal?  Churches are not obligated to file a return with the IRS.  In a 2006 article on psalm145.blogspot.com it was reported that the average church income is close to $5 Million per year.  Imagine having to suddenly pay taxes on that.  It’s not about free speech, it’s about the money.  But it gets worse.

Every church that participated in this event supported the 2008 Republican candidate from Arizona.  Coincidentally, the Alliance Defense Fund is based in Arizona.  Pastors reasons for swaying voters are mainly issues concerning abortion, same-sex marriage and stem-cell research.  With the exception of Roe v Wade, neither candidate would change the laws regarding these issues on a federal level.  So why would you support one or the other based on religious conviction.

Some Christians falsely believe that our country was founded on Christianity.  In the 16th Century, Queen Elizabeth punished those who would not conform to the Church of England.  For that reason, the United States of America was specifically designed to seperate church from state.

Devout Christians including Thomas Jefferson and James Madison believed strongly that religion should be separate from government.  The Constitution and the Bill of Rights apply to each and every person regardless of race, creed or sex.   So why do these pastors feel the need to mix their churches back in with the government?

Who is actually behind these actions?

Pro-lifers who supported John McCain also supported a war that was started under false pretense.  Pro-lifers that supported McCain supported the killing of men, women, pregnant women and children equally.  There is no question that the decision to invade Iraq was based on incomplete information at best, and deceit at worst.

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’neill told “60 Minutes” of the newly elected Bush administration that “From the very beginning, there was a conviction that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go”.

Former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, who delivered the knock-out punch that convinced Americans of the threat, calls his dissertation on Sadam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction the lowest point in his life, that the information given him by the White House was anything but an intelligence document, some characterized it as a “sort of Chinese menu from which you could pick and choose”.  Secretary Powell was not told that one of the sources had been flagged as a liar and fabricator.

Former CIA director George Tenet stated that VP Cheney had is sights on Iraq as early as late 2001, early 2002 even though they knew Osama Bin Laden was in Afghanistan.  To think that we have not been fooled is naive, but to believe that it was “God’s will” in invade Iraq is insane.

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” – The Friends of Voltaire, Evelyn Beatrice Hall – 1906

Our country is a melting pot of cultures that have the freedom to choose their individual religious and philosophical beliefs.  Faith is the practice of tolerance, understanding and love.  Any law inhibiting ones ability to choose based on religious belief or preference goes against the very principle that our country was founded on and is therefore un-American to the fullest.  Government does not belong in your church.

If you’re not fighting to keep it out, you don’t get it.

Ex-CIA official: WMD evidence ignored

(CNN) — A retired CIA official has accused the Bush administration of ignoring intelligence indicating that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and no active nuclear program before the United States-led coalition invaded it, CBS News said Sunday.

President Bush awards a medal to ex-CIA boss George Tenet in 2004 as retired Gen. Tommy Franks looks on.
President Bush awards a medal to ex-CIA boss George Tenet in 2004.

Tyler Drumheller, the former highest-ranking CIA officer in Europe, told “60 Minutes” that the administration “chose to ignore” good intelligence, the network said in a posting on its Web site.

Drumheller said that, before the U.S.-led attack on Iraq in 2003, the White House “ignored crucial information” from Iraq’s foreign minister, Naji Sabri, that indicated Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.

Drumheller said that, when then-CIA Director George Tenet told President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other high-ranking officials that Sabri was providing information, his comments were met with excitement that proved short-lived.

“[The source] told us that there were no active weapons of mass destruction programs,” Drumheller is quoted as saying. “The [White House] group that was dealing with preparation for the Iraq war came back and said they were no longer interested. And we said ‘Well, what about the intel?’ And they said ‘Well, this isn’t about intel anymore. This is about regime change.’ ”

Drumheller said the administration officials wanted no more information from Sabri because: “The policy was set. The war in Iraq was coming, and they were looking for intelligence to fit into the policy.”

CBS said the White House declined to respond to the charge and that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said Sabri was just one source and therefore not reliable.

But Drumheller said it was not unusual for the administration to rely on single-source stories when those stories confirmed what the White House wanted to hear.

He cited a report the CIA received in late 2001 that alleged Iraq had bought 500 tons of uranium-containing compounds from Africa.

“They certainly took information that came from single sources on the yellowcake story and on several other stories with no corroboration at all,” he said.

Bush included the reference, which was attributed to the British and turned out to be false, in his 2003 State of the Union Address.

The CIA in 2002 had sent former ambassador Joseph Wilson to Niger to investigate the claims, and he went public in July 2003 criticizing the Bush administration’s case for going to war in Iraq. The subsequent publication of his wife’s identity as a CIA employee spawned an investigation that resulted in the indictment of Cheney’s chief of staff and is still ongoing. (Full story)

“It just sticks in my craw every time I hear them say it’s an intelligence failure,” Drumheller told CBS’ Ed Bradley. “This was a policy failure. I think, over time, people will look back on this and see this is going to be one of the great, I think, policy mistakes of all time.”

The White House earlier this month reacted angrily to a report that Bush had cited trailers suspected as biological weapons labs as proof of the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq after intelligence officials knew that the trailers were not part of a WMD program. (Full story)

“I cannot count how many times the president has said the intelligence was wrong,” White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters.

He added that the administration has implemented reforms to make sure that “the executive branch and the Congress have the best possible intelligence as they move forward to deal with the threats that face this country and face this world.”

Another retired CIA official in February said the Bush administration disregarded the expertise of the intelligence community, politicized the intelligence process and used unrepresentative data in making the case for war.

In an article published in the journal Foreign Affairs, Paul R. Pillar, the CIA’s national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005, called the relationship between U.S. intelligence and policymaking “broken.” (Full story)

In November 2005, CNN obtained a 2003 CIA report that raised doubts about a claim that al Qaeda sent operatives to Iraq to acquire chemical and biological weapons — assertions that were repeated later by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell to the United Nations in making the case for the invasion of Iraq. (Full story)

A day after that report surfaced, Bush gave a speech on Veteran’s Day in which he accused critics of the Iraq war of distorting the events that led to the U.S. invasion.

Bush said that “intelligence agencies from around the world agreed with our assessment of Saddam Hussein” and that a Senate Intelligence Committee report issued in July 2004 “found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community’s judgments.” (Full story)

The Silberman-Robb commission, which was appointed by Bush, also found no evidence that political pressure skewed the intelligence. But neither that commission nor the Senate panel addressed how the administration made its case for war.

Senate Democrats have pressured the Intelligence Committee to complete a second phase of its report that would focus on how the prewar intelligence was used by the administration, rather than how it was produced.