This is the second time that Maureen Dowd and Kathleen Parker have published on the same subject. Is it eerie or cool? Do they have a psyhic pundit link, or do they meet for coffee once in awhile?
"There is no doubt in anyone's mind that the Karzai family will be to back running a chain of kabob joints in suburban Maryland without the support of the US government." - A Veteran Infantryman
taking a leak...
being on the CIA's payroll for the past 8 yers: "Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency, and has for much of the past eight years, according to current and former American officials. The agency pays Mr. Karzai for a variety of services, including helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force that operates at the C.I.A.’s direction in and around the southern city of Kandahar, Mr. Karzai’s home."
This revelation is designed to cause international uproar, and doom Hamid's chances in the re-election. So, who blew the whistle? Yesterday we had a top US official in Afghanistan resign in protest over the direction we were going there, and now this story, leaked by an anonymous former government official... The implication is that the CIA is once again involved in the heroin trade, just like in Vietnam, or that they have knowingly turned a blind eye, wink, wink...
Also, the contender in the re-election, Abdullah Abdullah, has just spent the week in the US and went on two Sunday talk shows. He supports General McChrystal's plan and has been cozying up to the military's top brass. He could have easily have leaked information over dinner some night. Mr. Karzai has been accused of orchestrating election fraud in favor of his brother, from filling in the ballots beforehand at polling stations, to setting up ghost polling stations.
Let's not forget frustrated drug officers trying to eradicate the drug trade, they make good leaks, too. As one former CIA official said: “Virtually every significant Afghan figure has had brushes with the drug trade,” he said. “If you are looking for Mother Teresa, she doesn’t live in Afghanistan.” Mr Karzai is in control of several bridges that cross the Helmand River. He charges a fee to let opium filled convoys use each one. He also rules the area of Kandahar province like a warlord... Ahmed's reply to all of this: "Wali Karzai said U.S. officials are trying to put political pressure on President Karzai for two reasons: to deflect attention from civilian casualties caused by U.S. military actions and force Karzai's government to release a prisoner the U.S. wants to talk to.
"Whenever there is a problem between the Afghan president and the international community I have been used as a punching bag," said Wali Karzai, who called a news conference in Kandahar today to address the New York Times article. "I challenge everyone in the international community and in Afghanistan that they are welcome to take me to court. ... If they can prove (allegations), I am ready to serve any kind of justice," What I want to know, is James Carville still working for the opposition?
Or, it could just be that the officers in the field have gotten fed up with the obstructionist bs involved, and decided to do a little outing on their own.
viva la france...
Scientology comprised fraud and fined their butts almost $900,000: "The case was brought by two former members who said they were pushed into paying large sums of money in the 1990s, pressed to sign up for expensive “purification courses” and harassed to buy a variety of vitamins and other forms of pharmaceuticals, plus electronic tests to measure spiritual progress. One woman said she had been pressed into spending more than $30,000."
This is the first time charges have been fled against the organization, in the past charges were filed against top individuals. Only the US recognizes Scientology as a church, everywhere else, like France, rules that it is a sect. Started by a bad science fiction writer in 1954 as a joke. I guess if we can legitimize cults like Mormonism and Christian Science, why not Scientology? The major benefits that people like Mit Romney receive running businesses under a church's umbrella, is the tax exemption status. I'm hoping that Mit will be a contender in the next election cycle so that we can have a national debate on the subject.
"In June, The St. Petersburg Times in Florida reported as part of a major investigation that the longtime head of Scientology, David Miscavige, ruled the church through a “culture of intimidation and violence,” including physical assaults on his aides. Last week, the ABC News program “Nightline” broadcast a two-part series reviving those allegations and interviewing former church executives who said they had quit after being beaten by Mr. Miscavige. Scientology has denied that Mr. Miscavige attacked any of his staff members.
“This is a historic decision, it’s the first time in France that the entity of the Church of Scientology is condemned for fraud as an organized gang.” - Olivier Morice
how about some late night political jokes?
"The pope's funeral continues. They keep coming up with these new facts all the time. I was watching it today, and they said that the Vatican, just today, released the pope's will to the public. I didn't know that he had a will. The surprising thing is, he left everything to the Church of Scientology." --Conan O'Brien
"In fact, he has played more golf in his few months in office than George Bush played in eight years. So Barack Obama, playing more golf than George Bush. But to be fair, President Bush played more mini-golf." –David Letterman
"I mean, it's no secret, if you're the President of the United States, the pressure is incredible, unrelenting, it will crush you. You've got to get out and do stuff. You have to take a break. You have to go play golf. You've got to ride a bike and go jogging. You have to shoot a hunting buddy in the face. I mean, it will kill you, the pressure." –David Letterman
"Sarah Palin is promoting her brand new book. It's called 'Going Rogue' because she really was out there on the edge. The book is going to be huge. It will be an enormous. As a matter of fact, the FDA gave it quite a boost. The Food and Drug Administration said her book has been approved as an over-the-counter sleep aid. It will be crazy big." –David Letterman
"But if you think about it, Sarah Palin and Oprah Winfrey have a lot in common. They both helped get Obama elected." –David Letterman
"In a speech in Canada, former President George W. Bush said he was proud that when he was in office he didn't sell his soul, which is true. He rented it to Dick Cheney, who then sublet it to Halliburton, but it's totally different." –Jay Leno
"And an auditor found rampant fraud in the government's first-time home buyers program. The auditor found that starter home money even went to 4-year-olds. Imagine that. Four-year-olds got a home loan, which is good news for Jon and Kate's kids because now they can get their own place. Don't have to deal with those two idiots anymore." –Jay Leno
"And Osama bin Laden's ex-wife has written a tell-all book about the terrorist. Even terrorists get scared when their ex-wives write a book." –Jay Leno
"The University of Chicago, where President Obama once taught law, they want to house the Barack Obama presidential library. The library will be just like President George W. Bush's library, except it will have books." –Jimmy Fallon
"Speaking of former President Bush, he gave a motivational speech in Florida yesterday. Bush spoke for half an hour and said he 'just hopes' his 'words were inspirationistic.'" –Jimmy Fallon
"Bush is actually really good at motivating. Last year, he motivated everyone to vote for Obama." –Jimmy Fallon
"After the President invited only men to play basketball with him earlier this month, the National Organization for Women is complaining that the Obama Administration has a 'boy's club' atmosphere, not to be confused with the Clinton Administration, where they had a gentleman's club atmosphere." –Jimmy Fallon