Sunday, May 30, 2004

The Hope that is Abu Ghraib

Obviously, I don't condone anything done at Abu Ghraib prison (or Abu Grabahama as Bush likes to pronounce it). What was done there was bad, and I'd love to see the actual commanders sent up for war crimes. However, it represents another step in the only scenario offering hope that I have been able to glom onto in these dark times: our current government is made up of fascists yes...but INCOMPETENT fascists.

That the U.S. engages in torture is no surprise. Please consult the following CIA manual for torture written during all the fun and games of the Central America 80's for a primer. link More often than not, I assume these days, they outsource their torture, even to supposed enemy states such as Syria. (Seriously, I don't make this stuff up. All right, go read the report yourself.) Now, as a taxpayer, I appreciate the use of outsourcing to other countries. It saves money and it puts more people out of work in this country. More people out of work means more "volunteers" for our military. It's a win-win situation!

But when you want a thing done right, you really have to do it yourself. Hence, Abu Ghraib (or Abu Grababennyhinna as Bush likes to pronounce it.)So, no, I wasn't shocked by the content of the photos, but rather I was ecstatic that there WERE photos. Not just because they offer proof that would otherwise only consist of the testimonies of Iraqis. And I think we all know how much the testimony of Iraqi's is worth. Even liberated Iraqi's are only worth about two tenths of an American, according to the latest market analysts. No, the photos were exciting because their very existence showed such a high level of incompetence that this whole rush to fascism seems to be coming apart at the seams.

First, a quick note about the low level grunts working at Abu Ghraib (or Abu Graba-dabba-doo, as Bush likes to pronounce it). Yes, these guys are taking the fall and if their superior officers on up the chain of command aren't prosecuted that is an absolute injustice. But that doesn't get you off the hook guys and gals. Following orders is not a defense for committing war crimes, especially (Lynndie England, you scum)if you are SMILING AND CLEARLY HAVING A GOOD TIME DURING THE TORTURE. I don't even know what to make of reports that England and others had sex in front of the prisoners. I know THAT wasn't ordered by anyone. At least, I think I know that.

But all in all, the photos were the best news to come out of Iraq since the war on terrorism (or trrrsm as Bush likes to pronounce it) began. How could any superior officer with half a brain let so many cameras record so much illegal activity? The photos we've seen are just a tiny fraction of the ones that are out there. Soldiers were trading these things like Pokemon cards. Incompetence at this level, no matter how authoritarian, cannot stand. At least the Nazi's made the trains run on time.

To continue on this theme, how about the appointment of Iyad Allawi as Prime Minister of Iraq? This guy's CIA connections are part of his OFFICIAL biography. His intelligence background won't have to even emerge from shadowy conspiracy websites and pathetic and ineffective blogs such as this one. Think this appointment might generate a little scepticism?

Oh, oh, I 'bout the police raid on Chalabi's HQ. This is the guy they handpicked to run Iraq. Remember the famous photos of the 100 or so people watching U.S. soldiers topple the Saddam statue? Those were Chalabi's guys! And now they go and raid his house. They say he's an Iranian agent. Now Chalabi's only friend is NYT reporter Judith Miller and the U.S. plans for Iraq continue to deteriorate.

Unfortunately, the Bush incompetence can, at best, only lead to a Kerry presidency. Since I imagine the Bushistas still have plenty of electoral tricks and fake terror attacks up their sleeves, I doubt this will happen. But even if it does, Kerry, as everyone knows, is just as gung ho about Iraq as Bush. (History of his stance: 1. I support the war in Iraq. 2. I supported the war but now I realize the war was launched under false pretenses. 3.I realize the war was launched under false pretenses, therefore we need MORE troops in Iraq (or something like that.)) The only difference would probably be that under Kerry, there wouldn't be any pictures.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Return to Blogging

It has been awhile since I published, but even a cursory glance at even the most mainstream of sources will surely exlain why. All the good stuff is leaking so fast, us professional paranoids don't really have much to do anymore. For example, though I and many others of my ilk (I've always wanted to be part of an ilk) have suggested for quite some time that there might just be a terrorist attack before the elections either to help Bush's poll numbers or get the dang things cancelled altogether. Might as well...the voting machines don't work anyway. For those of you who are technical wonks, cancelling elections is also called "condition red" in Homeland Security lingo.

Now, however, stealing my virtual thunder, comes Condi Rice and Tom Asscroft actually laying it out for us: It's gonna happen. It will specifically be before the elections in order to influence the outcome. It will probably be one of the party conventions or the G8 summit. Well, sure, we knew that, Tom, but now I feel I've lost some of my cutting-edge, conspiratorial material.

Below, I reproduce my "Gambler's Guide to the '04 elections", written way back in September, that features just this very scenario. Due to the new government openness policy on staged terrorist attacks, I've had to change the odds around just a bit, so I added the new odds in parentheses. Enjoy!

Gambler's Guide to the '04 Elections

Copyright 2003 by Ty Brown
Content may be distributed freely with attribution to author

Well here it is, folks: After much consultation with my over-and-underworld contacts in Vegas, the current betting line on the 2004 Presidential elections. These guys have the inside scoop on EVERYTHING. Since electoral gambling began after 2000, their handicapping has been almost MYSTICAL in its accuracy. The analysis of the odds is my own, however, as none of my Vegas contacts would go on the record. You should also note that odds are likely to change dramatically as the actual election nears. Here’s the breakdown:

Scenario 1: The Presidential elections are held in a clean and organized fashion with the winner reflecting the actual majority of voters’ wishes. Heh…I laughed out loud when my bookie told me that one. Okay, seriously, moving on to the real scenarios...

Scenario 1: Presidential elections are held and the winner is George W. Bush. No challenges or very minimal challenges are made to the validity of this election. Odds: 2 to 1. (revised to 5 to 1. Even the neo-cons are turning on him.)

Commentary: This is where the smart money is going. Vegas knows there will be dirty tricks galore. In fact, some of my contacts are involved in these tricks. It seems they have a gift for, shall we say, manipulating probabilities. The house ALWAYS WINS, don’t you know. But this betting line counts on no one actually noticing any funny numbers. Or at least, no one important. Like, you know, Democrats.

Scenario 2: Presidential elections are held and inexplicable statistical anomalies in the results are noted by watchdog groups, but no significant action results. Odds: 3 to 1 (I'm sorry to say that Vegas is no longer accepting bets on this scenario. Too likely.)

Commentary: Since the unceremonious disbanding of Voter News Service, the organization that provided exit polling to all the news media, there is currently no way to monitor statistical aberrations in a timely manner. We’ll still see the obvious slip-ups, like the palindromic mystery of the three Republican candidates in a Texas County who all received precisely 18,181 votes or the miraculous Senatorial wins in Nebraska of Chuck Hagel who just happened to be an owner of the voting-machine company. But oddsmakers think that there will be no one influential or credible enough to make the big picture in a way that the yes-we-think-Hussein-and-Bin-Laden-are-the-same-person U.S. citizenry will notice.

Special note: Voting on computerized electoral fraud is a bit like futures trading and is somewhat technical. You should educate yourself on the finer points before placing any bets. Bev Harris, at, has a helpful betting guide based on examining the actual programs that will be used in this electoral shell game. Not just anyone can monkey with the votes, however. You have to own an esoteric program called Microsoft Access. Bev will tell you exactly how it’s done even though she is quite busy not being interviewed by the national press.

Scenario 3: Presidential elections are held and significant statistical anomalies are noted in a timely and credible fashion and the results delay but do not prevent the certification of the results. Odds: 4 to 1 (now 3 to 1)

Commentary: Keep watching this line and the one above. It really depends on how much momentum is gained by electoral watchdog groups and how many stories of electoral shenanigans break into the corporate press. If any group can gain national prominence BEFORE the elections, this will become the odds on favorite. (Note: Some of this has broken through to the press. Thus explaining the revised odds above.)

Special note to leaders of electoral watchdog organizations: For GOD’S SAKE, don’t travel by SMALL PLANE around election time. They teach how to bring down small planes in the FIRST YEAR of Secret Agent School. In fact, you should probably stay off planes altogether. If you get whacked you will SERIOUSLY screw with the electoral odds. I’m still paying off my Wellstone bet.

Scenario 4: Presidential elections are held but are preceded by a terrorist incident against the U.S., igniting enough genuine support for Bush that electoral malfeasance is unnecessary or unnoticed. Odds: 5 to 1 (I am not changing the odds here because while the odds of a "terrorist attack" are much higher, the attacks effects on opinion are unknown. See Madrid bombing for more.)

Commentary: Hey, it worked on Sept. 11, as long-prepared plans by PNAC ( ) to make Iraq into a U.S. military base were whipped out faster than Arnold’s…well, you get the idea. Now, I’m not suggesting that a fanatical, right wing CABAL in the Bush administration either planned or intentionally allowed 9/11 to happen. That would be CRAZY and no REASONABLE person would ever suggest such a thing. That would be EXACTLY the same thing as suggesting that our country is secretly controlled by reptilian aliens. EXACTLY THE SAME. It is COMMON KNOWLEDGE that although the U.S. has a history of plotting coups and killing people in OTHER COUNTRIES, they would NEVER do something like that here. So SHUT UP.

Anyway, Vegas thinks that there are enough non-chance factors out there, that a very well timed terrorist incident (with no FOREKNOWLEDGE by the administration so SHUT UP) is a decent bet. With any luck, the terrorist plot will be foiled right in front of Fox studios so they get footage of the evil ARABS who HATE FREEDOM handcuffed near some big, explosive-looking THINGAMABOB. Probably right before kick-off time on Sunday.

Scenario 5: A significant terrorist threat is “uncovered” just before the elections, prompting a CODE RED terror alert and the indefinite delay of elections. There are two sets of odds here: With Democratic acquiescence: 10 to 1.(Now revised to 4 to 1) With vigorous Democratic opposition to the delay: 28 to 1.

Commentary: While the threat of a terrorist attack no longer has the emotional power it once did after the terror alert level was raised so many times and NOTHING HAPPENED, using a new threat to delay elections in the event that they can’t be guaranteed for Bush is intriguing to the oddsmakers. On the one hand, this would involve no, or minimal, loss of life as opposed to an actual terrorist incident (which would NOT be PLANNED BY or ALLOWED TO HAPPEN BY a radical, right wing CABAL, so SHUT UP). On the other hand, delaying elections, the last ostensible vestige of democracy left in this country, would not be without risk. Under the accompanying martial law that a Code Red would entail, the media will not be a factor, but will be an official tool of the government, unlike the more informal arrangement currently. The difference in odds based on Democratic response is self-explanatory.

Scenario 6: An actual terrorist attack occurs right before the elections prompting CODE RED and the above scenario. With Democratic acquiescence: 14 to 1 (Now revised to 8 to 1). With vigorous Democratic opposition: 473 to 1.

Commentary: With Christiane Amanpour, Dan Rather and others beginning to break silence about media self-censorship regarding the War in Iraq, merely trotting out a terrorist threat may not be enough. The public may think back on ancient history and remember that whole weapons of mass destruction thing and be a bit skeptical. Unlikely, granted, but possible. Therefore, the Bushies may need an actual terrorist action to shut the elections down. (This terrorist action will just HAPPEN and will NOT be PRE-PLANNED by a radical, rightwing CABAL, so SHUT UP.) I think the odds are too high on this one, and may be a good bet for the adventurous gambler. I’d put the odds more at 10 to 1.

Scenario 7: Pinocchio Bush is seen as a liability by the folks who pull his strings and is forced out in a nonviolent way before the elections. Odds: 26 to 1 (Not much time left, but still possible. New odds: 15 to 1)

Commentary: This would have to happen soon, unless it is planned in conjunction with some other scenarios, as pushing him out too late could only hurt the CABAL. In addition, they would not need to push him out if utilizing these other scenarios. It is possible that there may be some way to push him out nonviolently while whipping up sympathy from the public. Perhaps a cover story of health problems might do the trick. Or maybe they’ll turn him into a REAL LIVE BOY.

Scenario 8: Bush dies of "natural causes" before the elections. Odds: 17 to 1

Commentary: Bush is in great shape, so why the fairly low odds? Well, Vegas is crafty. They know that Scenario 9 might be too suspicious, so the CABAL might use some of that nifty James Bond gas stuff that makes it look like a heart attack or some other neat spy stuff to take him out.

****Disclaimer: I do NOT advocate the assassination of anyone, including our president. I am not planning any violent action against him or even thinking about any violent action against him. I think violence against the President is a BAD IDEA. I’m agin’ it, Festus. So please, Secret Service: 1) do not tap my phone, 2) search my house, 3)put me on that stupid airport list, 4) copy my computer hard drive, or 5) whisk me off to an undisclosed military prison as an enemy combatant. If you are going to do “4” anyway, since you don’t need a warrant anymore, please note that any porn found on my hard drive is either for research purposes or belongs to my wife. )****

Scenario 9: Bush is assassinated before the election. Please read the disclaimer again in Scenario 8. Read it now. I’ll wait…….

Done? Good.

Odds: 128 to 1 (Hate to say it, but new odds (50 to 1)

Commentary: While the assassination of Bush would allow the CABAL to pretty much do as they please in this country, all the good domestic assassination “lone-gunmen specialist” folks have retired. It’s all about making it look natural these days. Or like a suicide, but no one will buy that. This isn’t England, after all. So while they could dust off the old manuals to make it happen, an overtly violent act is less likely unless Bush is so damaging there is no other option open to them.

Scenario 10: The U.S. launches another war. Odds for the various countries:
Syria: 5 to 1
Iran: 5 to 1 (4 to 1)
North Korea: 27 to 1
Other: 10 to 1

Commentary: The odds on this scenario are actually quite difficult to calculate. On the one hand, come on…who the hell is gonna fall for this again? On the other hand, this is America AND even if people think the reasons are bullshit, once a war starts, Americans will fall into line as long as there is good footage on CNN. It is unclear, even to my Vegas contacts, why both Bush’s did not wait till closer to election time to launch their popularity enhancing wars. Any first year bookie could tell you the effect is short-lived and gets figured into the odds only for 6 months, tops. (We are now within that timeline.) The odds will come down a bit if the videogame and other war tie-in merchandise is released BEFORE the actual war. It’s simple merchandising logic.

Those are the odds on the most likely scenarios. Keep in mind that your state may have restrictions on electoral gambling, in which case you should do your betting on the internet. I also think that DARPA is going to run a betting pool on the elections but this has not been decided yet in the wake of Poindexter’s resignation.