"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt
The International Federation of Journalists today called on the United States to investigate three new cases of journalists killed in Iraq over the past week - all of them at the hands of United States soldiers.
The first reported victim is Yasser Salihee, an Iraqi special correspondent for the United States media company Knight Ridder, was shot to death in Baghdad last Friday, apparently by a US sniper.
On Sunday, Maha Ibrahim, a news editor with the local Baghdad TV channel, owned by the Iraqi Islamic Party, was on her way to work when she was killed when US troops opened fire after they apparently came under attack in a Baghdad neighbourhood.
And on Tuesday this week US troops reportedly killed Ahmed Wael Bakri, a programme director for al-Sharqiya television when he drove near a US convoy in Baghdad.
The IFJ says this brings to 17 the number of journalists and media staff killed by US soldiers since the invasion of Iraq.
Are patriotism and dissent mutually exclusive? Consider the greatest patriots of our nation, the founding fathers, who dissented the oppression of British rule; in 1776, support for American freedom was an act of dissent. True patriotism is more than following our leaders blindly and waving a flag. Patriotism is a commitment to speaking out and standing tall when those in power lead our nation astray.
From the mouth of former Republican president, Theodore Roosevelt: "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
Looks like Karl Rove's days of orchestrating the White House spin may be over. Via the Editor & Publisher, here is the transcript of Lawrence O'Donnell's remarks on the McLaughlin Group:
"What we're going to go to now in the next stage, when Matt Cooper's e-mails, within Time Magazine, are handed over to the grand jury, the ultimate revelation, probably within the week of who his source is. And I know I'm going to get pulled into the grand jury for saying this but the source of... for Matt Cooper was Karl Rove, and that will be revealed in this document dump that Time magazine's going to do with the grand jury."
With plummeting approval ratings... it appears the order has been given to crank up the fear machine. The AP reports that a new Abu Musab al-Zarqawi video has been released:
"The American soldier is a coward and an easy target for the holy fighters," says a speaker said to be al-Zarqawi, on the undated video, posted on militant Web sites Wednesday.
The 46-minute video opens with old footage of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden walking in a mountainous area before moving to clips of suicide operations across Iraq. The authenticity of the voice couldn't be immediately verified, but the recording sounded similar to al-Zarqawi's previous audio tapes.
The voice said the March 2003 war against Iraq "was unjust war by the head of infidelity, America." He called President Bush an "idiot" for announcing an end to major hostilities in May 2003, saying the war "has just started."
"Jihad (holy war) is for God's word to prevail" and that's why "the blood of Muslims in Iraq has mixed with that of their brothers from Muslim countries," the speaker said in reference to other Arabs who have gone to Iraq to join the insurgency.
If anyone has a link, please post in the comments.
Condoleezza Rice had this to say at the 14th annual session of the OSCE: "Even as we work to resolve old conflicts, we must work together to address the new transnational security threat from terrorism. There is much that we still must do within our OSCE community to combat anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination, including discrimination against Muslims, and to put an end to trafficking in persons. There is work to be done on behalf of women's rights and the education of girls."
Support the troops? These statistics are shameful: Even before the "war on terrorism" began, it had to scramble in dealing with the needs of 7.5 million enrolled vets, including a large number of homeless - 33 percent of homeless men in the U.S. are veterans.
The OSCE, a security organization that consist of the U.S. and 54 other nations, released a report today with the following statements:
"A generation of young Muslims, fed on the images of Abu Ghraib, of the treatment reserved for the Guantanamo detainees and rumors about profanation of the Koran, will have filled the al Qaeda ranks and those of other extremist groups."
"The longer the detention is in the camps the more the hatred against the U.S. and the West becomes anchored in hearts and minds."
"Being fully aware of the U.S. authorities' dilemma between national and world security and long procedures, we recommend terminating the Guantanamo detention facility by announcing a calendar of closure."
No new revelations here, but hopefully the OSCE has enough global clout to influence the Bush Administration into closing the detention camps.
The White House has not commented on the president's possible Supreme Court nominees, but news reports identify several Mr. Bush is said to be considering. They include Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who would be the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice. But many conservatives oppose a Gonzales nomination, seeing him as too moderate on issues such as abortion and affirmative action.
Someone who advises the White House that the torture of al Qaeda terrorist suspects might be legally defensible... that's too moderate?
First off, it is deplorable that Congress actually has to pass a law to prevent the executive branch from resorting to propaganda. Shouldn't the White House already know that paying journalists and fabricating news reports is unacceptable?
But at any rate, here's the scoop, some good, some not so good...
The good news: Lawmakers agreed by voice vote to toughen the law on government publicity and propaganda after the Bush administration came under fire for paying media commentators like Armstrong Williams, who spoke out repeatedly in favor of the president's education policies.
The not so good news: Because the measure is attached to a spending bill, the provision would last only one year, starting Oct. 1, if it becomes law.
Here is the transcript of the Bush's remarks on the resignation of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, from the Rose Garden at 11:16 a.m., off the wire:
Good morning. A short time ago I had a warm conversation with Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who has decided to retire from the Supreme Court of the United States. America is proud of Justice O'Connor's distinguished service and I'm proud to know her. Today, she has the gratitude of her fellow citizens, and she and John and their family have our respect and good wishes.
Sandra Day O'Connor joined the nation's highest court in 1981 as the first woman ever appointed to that position. Throughout her tenure she has been a discerning and conscientious judge, and a public servant of complete integrity. Justice O'Connor's great intellect, wisdom and personal decency have won her the esteem of her colleagues and our country.
Under the Constitution, I am responsible for nominating a successor to Justice O'Connor. I take this responsibility seriously. I will be deliberate and thorough in this process. I have directed my staff, in cooperation with the Department of Justice, to compile information and recommend for my review potential nominees who meet a high standard of legal ability, judgment and integrity and who will faithfully interpret the Constitution and laws of our country.
As well, I will continue to consult, as will my advisors, with members of the United States Senate. The nation deserves, and I will select, a Supreme Court Justice that Americans can be proud of. The nation also deserves a dignified process of confirmation in the United States Senate, characterized by fair treatment, a fair hearing and a fair vote. I will choose a nominee in a timely manner so that the hearing and the vote can be completed before the new Supreme Court term begins.
Today, however, is a day to honor the contributions of a fine citizen and a great patriot. Many years ago, Sandra Day O'Connor chose the path of public service, and she served with distinction as a legislator and a judge in Arizona before joining the Supreme Court. When President Ronald Reagan appointed Justice O'Connor 24 years ago, Americans had high expectations of her - and she has surpassed those expectations in the performance of her duties.
This great lady, born in El Paso, Texas, rose above the obstacles of an earlier time and became one of the most admired Americans of our time. She leaves an outstanding record of service to the United States and our nation is deeply grateful. Thank you.
Did you notice the restrained glee in fuckwit's remarks? It's a dark day for progressives who believe in legal justice and equal protection. O'Connor, while a staunch conservative, did have moderate views on abortion and the death penalty. She stated on many occasions that her own experience with gender discrimination made her realize the importance of Equal Protection and the Constitutional promise of equality and justice.
And now the fight begins for the future of the Supreme Court... again.
President George Bush said "many questions" had been raised by the allegations that Mr Ahmadinejad was one of the leaders of radical students who seized the embassy and held 52 hostages for more than year.
The claims were made yesterday by five former hostages who said the incoming Iranian president had been involved in interrogations during the embassy drama. "As soon as I saw his picture in the paper, I knew that was the bastard," Colonel Charles Scott, 73, told the Washington Times. "He was one of the top two or three leaders ... The new president of Iran is a terrorist."
Representative John Conyers, Jr., (D-MI) House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, along with 51 other Members today submitted a broad and comprehensive FOIA request to the White House, the Department of Defense, and the Department of State seeking any and all documents and materials concerning the Downing Street Minutes and the lead up to the Iraq war, RAW STORY has learned.
In addition, the Members also formally requested that the House Committees on Judiciary, Armed Services, International Relations, and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence commence hearings on the Downing Street Minutes.
"This is the next stage of the Downing Street investigation and brings the investigation to a new more and more aggressive stage," one Democratic Judiciary aide said.
President Bush’s televised address to the nation produced no noticeable bounce in his approval numbers, with his job approval rating slipping a point from a week ago, to 43%, in the latest Zogby International poll.
and best of all...
In a sign of continuing polarization, more than two-in-five voters (42%) say they would favor impeachment proceedings if it is found the President misled the nation about his reasons for going to war with Iraq.
These numbers are quite telling, considering the Orwellian war rally earlier this week.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi held her weekly news conference, here are her opening remarks; via the newswire:
I come before you to say that unfortunately, once again, this Congress of the United States has missed opportunities to create jobs for the American people. We don't have a transportation bill yet. It is more than two years overdue, which is very sad. We have a situation where we don't have an energy bill, and even the energy bills that are being considered will do nothing to reduce the price at the pump.
The job situation is one where the President is still a net loser in terms of job creation in the private sector. He has the worst record of job creation of any President since the Great Depression. Republicans again have failed to enact this highway bill which would go a long way. But there is much more that needs to be done than just from the public policy side of it. And the President's economic policies have dug us so far into a hole that will take an enormous amount of job creation to dig us out.
The deficits continue to grow. We have a budget deficit that will be over $400 billion this year, and that is with all of the good economic projections. Even more troubling is the $700 billion trade deficit. The combination of these two deficits is debilitating to our economy, makes us less competitive in the world.
So when it comes to jobs, when it comes to health care, when it comes to educating our children, when it comes to energy and reducing the price at the pump, when it comes to building the infrastructure of our country, this Congress has been a failure, and has no results to show yet. Hopefully there will be some opportunity to do something when we come back after the break.
As we go into the Fourth of July, we pay reverence to our veterans. We do every day, but especially on the Fourth of July. And here we are, the President is telling us to fly the flag, and we certainly do each day, and we certainly will on the Fourth of July. But as we fly the flag, we must also fund veterans' benefits. And the sad part of this is that the veterans have had such a tough fight in this Congress and with this Administration to get what is their just due.
In war, the military says that they will leave no soldier behind. So too must we leave no veteran behind when they come home. We have a long way to go to meet their needs. The very least we should do before we leave here is to address the shortfall for the 2005 fiscal year, which is over a billion dollars.
We hope we have made this issue too hot for the Republicans to handle, and that they will bring legislation to the floor today. But even if they do, it is still not law. It is cosmetic, a bill on the floor to take some of the steam out as we go into the Fourth of July holiday. But it still doesn't address the issue as it would have been addressed if they had supported Democratic initiatives over and over again in the appropriations process, which would have stopped this, satisfied the shortfall.
The leader in all of this for us is Chet Edwards of Texas. He repeatedly has joined Dave Obey and others on the floor of the House with initiatives that would address that shortfall. In the spirit of independence that we want for our veterans and the independence of our country, the magnificent document, the Declaration of Independence, we must honor the vision of our Founding Fathers by making policies that also honor and recognize the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.
Dick Cheney stated earlier this week: "We will succeed in Iraq, just like we did in Afghanistan," he said. "We will stand up a new government under an Iraqi-drafted constitution. We will defeat that insurgency, and, in fact, it will be an enormous success story."
This week in Afghanistan: U.S. forces have recovered the bodies of 16 American troops killed in this week's crash of a U.S. helicopter in eastern Afghanistan and other U.S. troops who had been at the scene were unaccounted for, the Pentagon said on Thursday.
Well Dick, I have to agree, Iraq is looking to be just like Afghanistan... a miserable failure.
The Science Daily reports: Earlier Tuesday, 12 people were killed and more than 40 others injured in explosions in and around Baghdad. A booby-trapped car exploded outside a theater in a crowded commercial district southeast of Baghdad, killing four and wounding dozens.
The Chicago Tribune reports: A Shiite member of parliament was assassinated as he made his way from his home to a National Assembly meeting in the capital Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of the transfer of power to Iraqi authorities.
The Boston Globe reports: A US Apache attack helicopter crashed yesterday north of Baghdad, killing both pilots, after a witness said he saw the aircraft hit by a rocket that "destroyed it completely in the air."
The Ireland Online reports: Five people were killed and at least nine others were injured today in one of three car bomb explosions in a city north of Baghdad.They were killed when a car bomb exploded just 15 yards from the headquarters of a police station.
Do you remember the Republicans promising us the Patriot Act would never be used for anything other than fighting terrorism?
In an answer to a lawsuit brought by a homeless man ejected from the Summit train station, the city [of New Jersey] cited a section of the Patriot Act regarding "attacks and other violence against mass transportation systems."
For Prime Minister Tony Blair, the road to Iraq started with 9/11. The British leader said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press that the attacks on U.S. soil fundamentally changed "the balance of risk" in the world, sharing President Bush's view that the tragedy had made a robust show of force an urgent priority.
The attacks, he said, made it necessary to "draw a line in the sand here, and the country to do it with was Iraq because they were in breach of U.N. resolutions going back over many years."
I see... now we went to Iraq because of a "breach of U.N. resolutions".
Veteran bloggers, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga and Duncan Black, testify at the Federal Election Commission hearing, advocating for continued deregulation...
"We have a democratic medium that allows anyone to have true freedom of the press. We have average citizens publishing their thoughts through research, through journalism, their activism and encouraging others to do the same."
"I think once you do achieve a certain degree of traffic, influence, notoriety - however you want to call it - eventually the outsider label is not perfectly applicable anymore."
Does the White House really expect us to believe this?
The President last night talked about the Department of Defense website, Americasupportsyou.mil, and this is a website where people can find out about ways they can support our troops in their local communities across the country.
After the President's speech last night, the website was experiencing more than 10,000 hits per second. Prior to the speech, it was about 103 hits per second.
Think about it: that's 600,000 hits a minute, 36,000,000 hits an hour. Nice try, but I'm not buying it.
Courtesy of a local neighborhood troll in response to The Stats. Enjoy...
What exactly is your point about the word count? So President Bush isn't a word smith.
Atleast he does know what the definition of "is" is. Let's not drag up the past and the fact the Clinton was impeached for not telling the truth in a criminal case where his past was brought up because of a law HE signed in that in a case involving sex, the persons history can be brought in as evidence. That is what he lied about. I don't care that he can't be faithful to his wife, although that does show that he certainly isn't trustworthy.
As far as an exit strategy...I think he's right on when he says he can't tell us a timeline. They (terrorists) will either ramp up their attacks or wait us out. We didn't tell Germany or Hitler what our timeline was. But that was in a different time: When our fathers had nuts the size of cannon balls and did what it takes to fight a war. Not allowing the majority, nor the minority, to dictate how to run a war. Our Congressmen need to stay out of how to fight this war, and so do "Hollywood Elites". Leave it up to the generals. This could, and seems to be turning into another Vietnam simply because Congress will not let them fight the way we did in WWII.
On to weapons of mass destruction: Yes, we have not found them. How hard is it to hide a vile or thousands of viles of Anthrax, Small Pox, or any other biological agent in the sand. Saddam hid planes in the desert, and I bet we haven't found all of them yet. He supported "Palestinian" terrorists by paying the families of the departed that are most assuredly enjoying themselves amongst the virgins in paradise with Mohammed and his 8 year old wife, among the other wives. Could that be a reason for going to war with Iraq? I believe that was one reason. Let's not forget that Saddam signed an accord with the U.S. at the end of the Gulf War that he would allow inspectors or we would go back to war with him. Just another reason to go to war. Don't let the facts get in the way of your oppinion.
By the way, Palestine was named that by Rome in 70 A.D. Mainly Jews have lived in the area since time began. There have never been a poeple called Palestinians until Yasser Arafat came along and took up "their" cause in the 60's. Yasser was born in Egypt. Not Palestine. Oh, wait, there is no Palestine. When offered a "homeland", they deny it, keeping the hatred for Israel burning in the hearts of "good" Muslims. You see, bad Muslims are the peaceful ones. But we get that mixed up in the western world. By the way, no one seems to want to cut out of Iraq, Jordan, Syrria, etc. a Palestinian homeland. Were not these countries cut out of the desert around the same time as Israel? Why go after Israel. Oh, that's right, the Koran tells them to hate the jew, kill them wherever they find them. Wonderful words from a religion of peace. As we send millions of dollars to these wonderful countries, they teach their children to hate America (the Great Satan) and the reason they are poor is because of our policies. Maybe it is the dictators policies to not give the money to the people of the nations, but to keep it for themselves and tell the people they are poor because the richest nation in the world will not help them. That can't be...
Hey Guy, "President Bush isn't a word smith", and neither are you.
There will be more terrorist attacks inside Saudi Arabia, Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abd al-Aziz has warned, pointing to a new list of 36 wanted men that shows the kingdom is still under threat.
Perfect timing with the White House's recent reassociation of Iraq with 9-11. Coincidence?
Is this for real? Camp 4 is the place to be? If it wasn't for the ".mil" in the source's url, I would write this off as a spoof...
Camp 4 offers a wide range of incentives for good behavior. It features a common area that allows detainees to eat, sleep and pray together, Hood explained. Instead of the unpopular orange jumpsuits less cooperative detainees wear, those in Camp 4 wear white clothes that represent something of a status symbol among the detainee population. They get seven to nine hours a day outside their living quarters for recreation. Instead of having their meals delivered to their cells on a tray, they get containers of prepared food that they dish up and eat family-style.
Detainees at Camp 4 get access to volleyball nets and ping-pong tables and are treated to ice cream every Sunday, Hood said. They can request copies of the National Geographic magazines they love and occasionally get to watch Arabic family TV shows and soccer highlights. And five times a day, when the Muslim call to prayer sounds over the camp's speaker system, they get to pull out their prayer rugs, orient them with arrows throughout the camp that point toward Mecca, and pray as a group.
"There's a big incentive for detainees to want to be here," said Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony Mendez. In fact, during the two years that he's served at Guantanamo Bay, Mendez said he's seen only about 10 detainees get transferred to another camp for bad behavior.
These sick bastards are trying to spin Guantanamo as a summer camp... have they lost their minds?
David Corn, the Washington editor of The Nation magazine, dices up last night's spin fest...
So Bush warmed up and doled out the usual fare. He didn't even bother to come up with new lines of "disassembling." Once more Bush claimed the war in Iraq was an appropriate and mandatory response to 9/11. He repeatedly referred to the enemy in Iraq as "the terrorists," not the insurgents, continuing his strategic effort to blur the distinction between the foreign jihadists who have flocked to Iraq to kill Americans and the homegrown insurgent thugs who blow up US troops and Iraqi civilians for a different set of motivations. Bush keeps tying the insurgency in Iraq to 9/11: "Many terrorists who kill innocent men, women and children on the streets of Baghdad are followers of the same murderous ideology that took the lives of our citizens in New York and Washington and Pennsylvania. There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them abroad before they attack us at home."
Justice Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.
On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.
Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.
The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."
"It's long past time to get it right in Iraq. The Bush administration is courting disaster with its current course - a course with no realistic strategy for reducing the risks to our soldiers and increasing the odds for success..."
"The reality is that the Bush administration's choices have made Iraq into what it wasn't before the war - a breeding ground for jihadists..."
"The administration must immediately draw up a detailed plan with clear milestones and deadlines for the transfer of military and police responsibilities to Iraqis after the December elections."
Thanks Captain Obvious, where have you been? The honeymoon was over a long time ago.
Rep. Waxman and Sen. Dorgan released a new report today that is the first comprehensive assessment of the magnitude of Halliburton's unreasonable billings in Iraq. The report documents more than $1 billion in "questioned" Halliburton costs and additional $442 million in "unsupported" charges. According to an Army audit disclosed with the report, Halliburton "inflated" its cost estimates, charged "excessive costs," submitted millions in "duplicate costs." The report was released at a Senate DPC hearing that received testimony from a federal official, a former Halliburton employee, and a competitor about Halliburton misconduct and inflated billings.
With his approval ratings in a free-fall and diminished support for the war, President Bush attempts to promote his "clear strategy"...
"I think we have a clear strategy for success," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Monday. "He's going to be talking in a very specific way about what that strategy is. It's an opportunity for the American people to hear about the strategy."
He added, "The president made it clear after September 11 that some will want us to grow complacent and forget about, or put the attacks off as a distant memory. But it does require patience and resolve to see this struggle through to the end. We have no option but to defeat the terrorists, and the terrorists will be defeated."
Did you catch the reference to 9-11... here we go again.
Airat Vakhitov, a former Guantanamo prisoner who is a Russian national, files a lawsuit against the U.S. government; via The Moscow News...
Vakhitov not only demands that the authorities admit to inhumane treatment of prisoners at the Guantanamo camp, but insists that they acknowledge that a majority of the inmates are actually innocent.
According to Vakhitov, they were bought in Afghanistan for $5,000 each and taken to Guantanamo. “They sold everyone. Beggars off the street, the deaf, dumb, and blind. I had a 104-year-old man along with me. And once again, no court investigation,” Vakhitov says. And that was how he ended up in Cuba at the Delta camp.
Fox News continues to plant the seeds for a war with Iran...
"Iran continues to hold senior Al Qaeda leaders who are wanted for murdering Americans and others in the 1998 East Africa Embassy bombings and for plotting to kill countless others," Burns said. Top administration officials have repeatedly warned Iran against harboring or assisting suspected terrorists.
Parents around the country held a recent phone campaign asking President Bush to make good on campaign promises to ban mercury from all vaccinations. The White House received so many calls, they asked parents to stop calling because it was disrupting normal business.
Congressman John Conyers, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and Congresswoman Barbara Lee are asking their colleagues in the House of Representatives to join them on the evening of June 28 to discuss the Downing Street Minutes on the floor of the House. They need our help. Please contact your Congress Member right away and ask them to contact the Judiciary Committee staff and commit to taking part.
Read the letter that Conyers, Waters, and Lee have circulated
Downing Street Minutes 3rd Anniversary Events: The Smoking Gun that Proves Bush Lied About Iraq
The AfterDowningStreet.org coalition is asking all of its member organizations to organize and host events on the third anniversary of the famous meeting on Downing Street. Be part of a national day of action on Saturday, July 23, 2005. Celebrate the 3-Year Anniversary of the Downing Street Meeting with Your Own Town Hall Meeting or House Party. On this page, you can post an event and allow people in your area to sign up to attend.
"It is startling that those in the media and academia appear most disturbed by this aberrant behavior, since they have zealously promoted moral relativism by sanctioning 'private' moral matters such as alternative lifestyles. Priests, like all of us, are affected by culture. When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm."
"The last thing you want to do is to read the latest poll and then base policy on that, Presidents are generally ineffective if they spend all their time reading the polls and trying to make policy accordingly."
Addressing a briefing on lessons learnt from the Iraq war Lieutenant-General Michael Moseley said that in 2002 and early 2003 allied aircraft flew 21,736 sorties, dropping more than 600 bombs on 391 "carefully selected targets" before the war officially started.
Will somebody please remind me... how is it that we're the good guys?
Looks like the Bush Administration needs to get their story straight in regards to their position on Iraq...
George Bush, speaking to the media at the White House this past Friday: "There are not going to be any timetables," Bush said after Oval Office talks with Jaafari. "I have told this to the prime minister. We are there to complete a mission, and it's an important mission."
Donald Rumsfeld, this morning on FOX News Sunday: "We're not going to win against the insurgency. The Iraqi people are going to win against the insurgency. That insurgency could go on for any number of years. Insurgencies tend to go on five, six, eight, 10, 12 years."
Dick Cheney, this past Monday on CNN's Larry King Live: "I think we may well have some kind of presence there over a period of time," Cheney said. "The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."
When President Bush addresses the nation Tuesday evening from Fort Bragg, N.C., a tableau of US troops behind him, he will make his boldest effort in months to reassure Americans that the administration is not "disconnected from reality" in Iraq, as even some in his own party now charge.
Rumsfeld faced tough questioning last week during congressional hearings, including a comment from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina that even in his patriotic state, "people are beginning to question." He added: "I think we have a chronic problem on our hands."
When asked Sunday about Senator Graham's remark, Rumsfeld acknowledged that he has a point. "[People] see the negative day after day in the press and on television that people are dying," he said. "But if you think about it, the terrorists are killing Iraqis in large numbers. That is not the way to win the support of the Iraqi people."
The United States handed out nearly $20 billion of Iraq's funds, with a rush to spend billions in the final days before transferring power to the Iraqis nearly a year ago, a report said on Tuesday.
Cash was loaded onto giant pallets for shipment by plane to Iraq, and paid out to contractors who carried it away in duffel bags. Part of the challenge in tracking how money was spent was the cash environment and lack of electronic transfers. Contractors were told to turn up with big duffel bags to pick up their payments and some were paid from the back of pick-up trucks. One picture shows grinning CPA officials standing in front of a pile of cash said to be worth $2 million to be paid to a security contractor.