Cheney: How The Grinch Stole Festivus!

• “I’m not talking about the actual country. I’m talking about the idea of America. The idea of America would never torture.” —Stephen Colbert

20 key findings about CIA interrogations from the Senate Intelligence Committee's report released December 2014 (NY TImes):
1 (torture) “not an effective means of acquiring intelligence”
2 “rested on inaccurate claims of their effectiveness”
3 “brutal and far worse than the CIA represented”
4 “conditions of confinement for CIA detainees were harsher
5 “repeatedly provided inaccurate information”
6 “actively avoided or impeded congressional oversight”
7 “impeded effective White House oversight”
8 “complicated, and in some cases impeded, the national security missions”
9 “impeded oversight by the CIA’s Office of Inspector General”
10 “coordinated the release of classified information to the media”
11 “unprepared as it began operating”
12 “deeply flawed throughout the program's duration”
13 “overwhelmingly outsourced operations”
14 “coercive interrogation techniques that had not been approved”
15 “did not conduct a comprehensive or accurate accounting of the number of individuals it detained”
16 “failed to adequately evaluate the effectiveness
17 “rarely reprimanded or held personnel accountable
18 “ignored numerous internal critiques, criticisms, and objections”
19 “inherently unsustainable
20 “damaged the United States' standing in the world”

• Watch video below: “Dick Cheney's Mind Is 'The Scariest F--king Place In The Universe,' Says Jon Stewart” (after short ad)

• “(The CIA Torture Report confirms that) the CIA's actions a decade ago are a stain on our values and on our history.” —Senator Dianne Feinstein

• ”We didn't treat the Nazis like this. We didn't' treat the Vietcong like this. This is something that is without precedent in American history." —CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin

• “The Torture Convention (effective 1987) prohibits the United States from deporting an individual to a country where there is a reasonable expectation that he will be subjected to torture — physical, mental or otherwise. —Jonathan Shapiro

• “The purpose of torture is not getting information. It's spreading fear.” —Eduardo Galeano

• “There is still much debate about whether torture has been effective in eliciting information - the assumption being, apparently, that if it is effective, then it may be justified.” —Noam Chomsky

• “Shamefully we now learn that Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management, U.S. management. —Late Senator Edward Kennedy

• Watch below: Former President George W. Bush interviewed by Matt Lauer: Bush: "Look, first, we used the technique on three people. captured a lot of people and used it on three. we gained valuable information to protect the country, and it was the right thing to do, as far as i'm concerned."

• “One of America's greatest strengths is the soft power of our value system and how we treat prisoners of war, and we don't torture.” —Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge

• “We are America; we don't torture. And the moment that is not the case, I want off the train.” — Fox News anchor Shepard Smith

• "We tortured some folks…We did some things that were contrary to our values." —Barack Obama

• “Torture didn’t just happen, after all – contrary to the president’s recent statement, “we” didn’t torture some folks. Real actual people engaged in torture. Some of these people are still employed by the U.S. government … It is bad enough not to prosecute these officials – but to reward or promote them and risk the integrity of the U.S. government to protect them is incomprehensible. The president needs to purge his administration of high-level officials who were instrumental to the development and running of this program. He needs to force a cultural change at the CIA.” —Outgoing Senator Mark Udall (D-CO), Senate Intelligence Committee

• Watch below: Former VP Dick Cheney: "I have no problem (with torture) as long as we achieve our objective. And our objective is to get the guys who did 9/11 and to avoid another attack against the United States. I was prepared and we did, we got the authorization from the president and authorization from the justice department to go forward with the program. it worked. It worked now for 13 years. We've avoided another mass casualty attack against the United States ... I'd do it again in a minute".

• Watch below: Former POW, Senator John McCain speaks out against torture:

• Watch below: Senator Dianne Feinstein discusses release of the CIA Torture Report:

•” When you send the signal, as the Obama administration did, that torture is not a crime that ought to be punished, it's just a policy dispute that you argue about on Sunday shows, of course it emboldens torturers like Dick Cheney to go around and say, 'What I did was absolutely right.’” —Glenn Greenwald 

Rosa Parks Can't Breathe

• On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner died in Staten Island, New York after a police officer put him in a chokehold, a tactic banned by NYPD. Garner was initially approached by officer Justin Damico on suspicion of selling "loosies", single cigarettes from packs without tax stamps. While lying facedown on the sidewalk surrounded by four officers, Garner is heard repeating "I can't breathe" 11 times. Garner was pronounced dead an hour later at the hospital. —wikipedia

• “The coroner ruled Garner’s death a homicide. He suffered from asthma, and Pantaleo’s chokehold killed him.” —Eugene Robinson, Washington Post

• “Garner’s death is part of a … trend: The ‘broken windows’ theory of policing, which holds that cracking down on minor, nuisance offenses — such as selling loose cigarettes — is key to reducing serious crime.'"—Eugene Robinson

President Obama in Rosa Parks' seat on the historic Cleveland bus

President Obama in Rosa Parks' seat on the historic Cleveland bus

• President Obama has refrained from direct comments about the merits of the Eric Garner and Micheal Brown (Ferguson) legal cases, but endorses Attorney General Eric Holder's civil rights investigation into Garner's death. 

• "I'm being pretty explicit about my concern ... about the fact that this is a systemic problem … I’ll leave it for people to speculate on what I’m saying to myself or Michelle when we’re alone at night.” —President Obama, 12.8.14

• Watch 60-second video below: George W. Bush, Joe Scarborough and Charles Krautheimer agree the Garner tape is persuasive:

• “Only 1 in 20 white (police) officers believe that blacks and other minorities receive unequal treatment from the police. But 57 percent of black officers are convinced the treatment of minorities is unfair.” —David Brooks, New York Times

• Below: CBS News poll Dec. 2014:

• In the absence of official statistics, it is estimated there are as many as 1,000 police killings in the U.S. each year — compared to no fatal police shootings in Great Britain last year and only eight in Germany over the last two years. Canada, with its own frontier ethos and no great aversion to firearms, averages only a dozen police shootings a year. —Eugene Robinson (paraphrased)

Powerful Primates Misbehavin'

• First four quotes from  Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's book,   “Off the Sidelines,”  a "part-memoir, part rallying cry for women to get involved in politics." Final "f*ck" quote from Huffpost interview.

• First four quotes from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's book, “Off the Sidelines,” a "part-memoir, part rallying cry for women to get involved in politics." Final "f*ck" quote from Huffpost interview.

• "It was all statements that were being made by men who were well into their 60s, 70s or 80s," she says. "They had no clue that those are inappropriate things to say to a pregnant woman or a woman who just had a baby or to women in general." — Senator Gillibrand

• Below: Watch Jon Stewart on the Gillibrand revelations and reactions from female journalists:

• “We all had our stories of whom you’d not get in an elevator with and whom you’d protect your young female interns from.” —NBC/MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell

• “They know who they are.” —House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

• "After I had my son three years ago, I got some comments that would blow you away from male senators...talking about getting my figure back and things like that.” —CNN correspondent Dana Bash

• “There’s a lot at stake for men and women who come forward to talk about a hostile environment and workplace harassment. Retaliation is very real, and it could come in the form of losing your job altogether or your boss making life your life terrible by controlling which job assignments you get, and whether you get a promotion or the pay you deserve. It could even take the form of additional sexual harassment. That’s why some people don’t want to pay the price for speaking out.” —Fatima Goss Graves, National Women’s Law Center

• “Up to 60 percent of people who experience harassment in the workplace don’t report it … But the majority happen in low-wage workplaces like the restaurant and agricultural industries, where workers have the fewest protections and can least afford to lose their job. —Fatima Goss Graves


Jon Stewart Explains War on ISIS

Islamic State in Iraq Syria ( ISIS ) = Islamic State in Levant ( ISIL )

Below: Enjoy Jon Stewart's dark humor about the dilemma:

Below: Jon Stewart remarks about ISIS as the most feared terrorists in the world:

Below: Michael Scheuer, Former CIA Intelligence Officer, Chief of the bin Laden Issue Station: ISIS wants to lure us in. 

Below Michael Sheurer explains why Americans and Brits are joining the fight with ISIS.

• “The Islamic State (IS) … formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) … or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) … is a Sunni jihadist group in the Middle East ... (that) claims religious authority over all Muslims across the world and aspires to bring much of the Muslim-inhabited regions of the world under its political control” —wikipedia

• Under its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (b. 1971), ISIS has grown significantly … we've seen figures on the low side of 8,000, on the high side over 50,000. Go figure, they're a loose group. 

• "By the start of this summer (2014) there were as many as 12,000 foreign fighters, from more than 70 countries, fighting for ISIS." —I.C.S.R., King’s College London/NYer

• “al-Baghdadi was held at Camp Bucca as a 'civilian internee' by US Forces-Iraq from February until December 2004, when he was recommended for an 'unconditional release' by a Combined Review and Release Board. A number of newspapers, in contrast, have stated that al-Baghdadi was interned from 2005 to 2009. These reports originated in an interview of Army Col. Kenneth King, the former commander of Camp Bucca, and are not substantiated by US Department of Defense records.” —wikipedia

• “German Chancellor Merkel said Germany would arm the Kurds — a semi-independent ethnic group in northern Iraq – fighting ISIS militants. This is what you could call a big deal: Germany hasn’t gotten involved like this in an ongoing conflict since WWII.” — 

British PM David Cameron after the UK raised its terror threat level to severe for the first time since January 2010: “ISIL is a greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before.”

• “ISIS poses a threat well beyond the region. With a united response led by the United States and the broadest possible coalition of nations, the cancer of ISIS will not be allowed to spread to other countries.” —Secretary of State John Kerry 

BBC map June 2014

BBC map June 2014

•  “Saudi King warns ISIS will reach U.S. in 2 months.” —Fox News 9.2.14
• “There are new fears that (ISIS) could aim at ‘soft targets’ within the U.S.” —Fox News 9.2.14

“The only clear lesson from all of this is that no matter the propagandistic script used, U.S. military action in that region virtually never fulfills the stated goals (nor is it intended to do so), and achieves little other than justifying endless military action for its own sake … Does anyone really believe that ‘limited’ bombing of Syria and Iraq in a rage against ISIS will result in anything other than more justifications for military action in that region?” —Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

• Below: Watch the Marx Brothers rally for war (worth a minute or two):

Spyers, Liars, Pants on Fire


• Below: Replaying earlier Fizzdom post about Director of National Intelligence James Clapper's classic whopper.


• "By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth." — George Carlin

• Below: Jon Stewart looks at CIA's checkered history including torture and the recent breach of Senate Intelligence Committee files, plus Senator Dianne Feinstein's outrage and her ironic inconsistencies about privacy. (video is longish but worth the time)

• Below: Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) calls for CIA Director John Brennan's firing for the agency's accessing Senate Intelligence Committee computers.

• Below: Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) blasts Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former NSA Director Keith Alexander for lying to Congress (in Jon Oliver animation above). 

• "Let us begin by committing ourselves to the truth — to see it like it is, and tell it like it is — to find the truth, to speak the truth, and to live the truth." — Richard Nixon, accepting the presidential nomination in 1968 


Jon Stewart, Iraq & Permanent Bases

See below for enlarged map with details.

See below for enlarged map with details.

• Below: Dick Cheney was surprisingly rational in this 4.15.94 interview, revealing why it wouldn't have made sense to overthrow Saddam Hussein and occupy Iraq after George H. W. Bush's 1991 Gulf War 1 victory forced Hussein's troops out of Kuwait. Cheney was Bush's Secretary of Defense, 1989-1993.

• In 2002 and 2003, ignoring his own 1994 advice above, Vice President Cheney and other neo-cons of the secretive Project for the New American Century persuaded President George W. Bush to orchestrate the 2003 invasion of Iraq with the intention of "permanent" (or at least long-term) occupation. The 2007 Fizzdom graphic below reviews some of the evidence for a string of 5 to 6 permanent bases. Note the juxtaposition of oil fields (yellow) and new bases (long push-pins), conveniently walling off Iran. Alas, reality has intervened and the U.S. is now teaming with axis-of-evil member Iran to help save Baghdad. 

• Above: Neo-con Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz testifies to Congress just prior to the 2003 invasion about the minimal effort and expense required to invade and occupy Iraq — a country "that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon." Bush administration plans for long-term occupation of Iraq oil bases cheney petraeus pace james baker rumsfeld

• Below: Paul Wolfowitz's early 2003 testimony to Congress continues, stating that the Iraqis "will greet us as liberators" after the invasion. Once more, wildly off the mark.

Stephen Colbert Captures Condoleezza Rice

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• Video above: On Saturday, May 3, 2014 Condoleezza Rice withdrew as a paid ($35,000) commencement speaker at Rutgers University due to faculty and student protests because of her advocacy for the Iraq War and the use of waterboarding. (wikipedia)

• In past years she's faced protesters at Boston College and Princeton University commencements, and at many speaking engagements worldwide. 

Condi Rice instills fear about a "mushroom cloud" to drive the U.S. to war in Iraq in the Rachel Maddow video above.

Jon Stewart on The Daily Show recounts Condoleezza Rice selling the Iraq War with the "nuclear weapons" threat in the video above.

• In April 2014 digital storage company DropBox appointed Rice to their Board of Directors despite her pro-domestic spying position. Protesters argue that "Given everything we now know about the U.S.’s warrantless surveillance program, and Rice’s role in it, why on earth would we want someone like her involved with Dropbox, an organization we are trusting with our most important business and personal data?”

•  "When Libyans raided (Muammar) Qaddafi’s palace, they discovered a homemade scrapbook filled with photos of (Rice). 'Yes, Leezza, Leezza, Leezza ... I love her very much,' (Qaddafi) told Al Jazeera in 2007." (

The Daily Show: The Game is Rigged

senator elizabeth warren jon stewart daily show jamie dimon student loans jpmorganchase wall street lloyd blankfein goldman sachs

• "Though (Warren) is the national avatar of a new full-throated Democratic liberalism, Warren was a registered Republican until the mid-1990s." (

• Watch Jon Stewart and Senator Elizabeth Warren above: The banks are getting money virtually for free.

• Watch Senator Elizabeth Warren above: The game is rigged as students pay big time! "I think that is obscene!"

• Watch journalist Matt Taibbi explain how American narco-bankers were fined over a billion dollars but avoided prison, as guided by the little-known (Eric) "Holder Memo." 

Taibbi: "There’s really this scary psychological moment that we’ve crossed in America where we no longer think of a certain kind of offender as appropriate for jail."

Jon Stewart's Tortured Logic daily show jon stewart donald rumsfeld dick cheney torture waterboarding dianne feinstein panetta report 

• “I was a strong advocate and helped put together the enhanced interrogation program. Some people call it torture. It wasn’t torture.” — Dick Cheney

• "If you can’t trust a man who shot his own friend in the face because he thought he was a bird,  I don’t know who you can (trust). — Jon Stewart

• "There are a lot of people who lie and get away with it, and that's just a fact." — Donald Rumsfeld

• The Senate Intelligence Committee, headed by Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, voted to release part of a 6,300-page report detailing the CIA's use of torture during the Bush Administration. The report concludes that the torture was not effective. (April 3, 2014) 

• Below: Watch Jon Stewart take Cheney and Rumsfeld to the woodshed (sorry for ad at beginning; worth the wait).

Watch Senator Dianne Feinstein's historic speech defending Congress' ability to have effective oversight over the nation's intelligence activities and to declassify the torture report in the 2 clips above. (March, 11, 2014)