"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
Here's an interesting site. A map of the U.S., showing which states voted red or blue, Bush or Kerry. Didn't we call commies "Reds" back in the day? So you say, what's new about that?
On this site you can also see the states ranked by things like lynchings, slavery, shootings, education, homeland defense spending, etc. And surprise! There are no surprises. Check it out and share your thoughts, feelings, nausea, etc.
How much clearer can the theft and war profiteering about Iraq get? Halliburton continues as if they have no need to even pretend to do right. The new evidence, released Monday afternoon, shows that Halliburton:
*overcharged or presented questionable bills for close on $1.5 billion, almost four times the previous amount disclosed.
* lost 12 giant pre-fabricated bases worth over $75 million destined for the troops. The bases could have housed as many as 6,600 soldiers.
* billed $152,000 to provide a movie library for 2,500 soldiers
* billed inconsistently across the board. Video cassette players, for example, were said to cost $300.00 in some instances, and $1000 in others. Likewise, the company charged $2.31 for towels on one occasion and $5 for the same units on another.
Mayberry worked for Halliburton in Iraq from February to April 2004. He claims the company charged the Army for 20,000 meals a day when it was only serving 10,000 during his tenure. Subsequently he says he was punished for speaking to auditors by being banished to the more dangerous outpost of Fallujah.
In a video-taped deposition shown during the packed hearing, Mayberry explained how the company would sometimes supply food that was over a year past the expiration date or had spoiled due to inconsistent refrigeration. When the United States military occasionally refused the spoiled food, Halliburton truckers were instructed to take them to the next base in the hope that they would escape scrutiny. Worst affected were the non-American workers. Mayberry says that Halliburton was supposed to feed 600 Turkish and Filipino meals. "Although KBR charged for this service, it didn't prepare the meals. Instead, these workers were given leftover food in boxes and garbage bags after the troops ate. Sometimes there were not leftovers to give them," said Mayberry.
Oh, and then there is the revenge actions against those who would try to hold Halliburton accountable.
"The witness who invited the most attention at the hearing, however, was Bunnatine Greenhouse, a former mathematics teacher from Louisiana, who rose to become the highest ranked civilian in the Army Corps of Engineers. As the person responsible for signing contracts, she spoke out repeatedly against superiors who she says forced her to sign no-bid contracts with Halliburton on the eve of the invasion of Iraq.
Greenhouse blew the whistle on the non-bid contracts in October 2004 when the Army tried to demote her. She filed a complaint for harassment on racial and gender grounds (she is African-American) but the harassment has not stopped. On June 24th, three days before the hearing, Pentagon lawyers met with her to try to persuade her not to testify.
"I have agreed to voluntarily appear at this hearing in my personal capacity because I have exhausted all internal avenues to correct contracting abuse I observed while serving this great nation as the United States Army Corps of Engineers senior procurement executive. In order to remain true to my oath of office, I must disclose to appropriate members of Congress serious and ongoing contract abuse I cannot address internally," said Greenhouse.
"I can unequivocally state that the abuse related to contracts awarded to KBR (Kellogg Brown and Root) represents the most blatant and improper contract abuse I have witnessed during the course of my professional career.
"Members of Congress, who attended the hearing, called for a bipartisan commission to review the Halliburton contracts. "This testimony doesn't just call for Congressional oversight, it screams for it," said Senator Dorgan."
Well, it shouldn't be necessary to say this, but just in case anyone doesn't understand - this is bad. We're paying top dollar to a contractor for very substandard performance. Bush is wrong, we're not hated for our freedoms. We're hated for greed, and a lot of it is his. Not his? Well, the Carlyle Group that the Bush family money is invested in holds huge amounts of shares in companies that provide war services. Companies like Bechtel, Halliburton, and others. So when Halliburton steals from the US, they make "money for nothing", and the profits go to the stockholders - the Cheneys, the Bushes, and the Bakers and Carluccis, and about 300 other mostly Republican families.
This just might help to stem the tide of greed, for those who aren't already drowning in it. Bernie Ebbers of WorldCom fame, gets an unbelievably stiff sentence:
The Ebbers sentence, handed down Wednesday by Judge Barbara Jones of Manhattan federal court, was the stiffest penalty yet in the Enron-era fraud prosecutions.
Even if Ebbers, 63, reports to prison in October — he may be allowed to stay out on appeal — and gets time off for good behavior, the earliest he could leave is 2027, at age 85.
This gets the attention of every executive in the nation," said Michael Proctor, a Los Angeles securities lawyer. "It is harsh. It will have executives thinking." Ebbers' punishment follows another sentence that amounted to life behind bars: In June, Adelphia Communications Corp. founder John Rigas, 80 and in poor health, got 10 years for leading the fraud and looting that bankrupted that company. His son, former Adelphia chief financial officer Timothy Rigas, got 20 years.
And about time if you ask me. Grannies all over the country are eating dogfood and moving in with the kids because of these greed-piggies and their ilk. They should all die in jail - and just might. Reputedly prisoners aren't particularly sympathetic. It will only take bunking with one whose parents are homeless now because their pensions went bankrupt.
Sorry Bernnie if I don't sound appropriately forgiving. You essentially "robbed" thousands of decent hard working folks just to get richer than you could ever need to be. Now see what good it'll do you. Enjoy your cell. Maybe they'll let you bunk with Ken Lay. HA!
Fellow Republicans warned House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Majority Leader Tom DeLay more than a year ago that the government would come up short — by at least $750 million — for veterans' health care. The leaders' response: Fire the messengers.
Smith was rebuked by several Republicans for sounding the spending alarm, and House leaders yanked his chairmanship in January. Rep. Rob Simmons, R-Conn., lost his chairmanship of the VA health subcommittee, and Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., is no longer on the committee. They too had signed the letters to Hastert, R-Ill., and DeLay, R-Texas.
Last week, the Bush administration raised to $1.2 billion the amount it says is needed. Two days later, however, White House Budget Director Joshua Bolten told the House Budget Committee that the VA for the past three years has gotten more money than it needs for medical care.
About $250 million of the shortfall can be attributed to soldiers who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, the VA said. The agency had predicted 23,000 of those war veterans would need its services. The department now puts the number at 103,000.
It would appear that DeLay doesn't like to spend money for veterans. I guess they are all just supposed to die over there or come back healthy, huh Tom? Or is the issue that veteran spending leaves less for you to steal? And isn't it cute the way the Bush juggernaut keeps stepping on anyone who 'makes them look bad' by telling the truth about the way the bully-club is running our country?
Notice folks, the VA is predicting 103 Thousand beds will be needed for our Middle East Crusade veterans. Now that sounds to me like the White House is plannng to keep our guys there for a long time - like until they are all crippled and bed ridden. Either that or to draft all your kids and send them to get crippled. Take your pick.
The Bushies' attempts to protect Karl Rove are so pathetic it's funny. If you're paying attention you've noticed several different directions lately. Here they are, but I warn you they are simply the same old play book the juggernaut has used effectively in the past:
1) Distract from the issue. The Republicans refuse to address the real issue of the possible treasonous felony committed by ratting out a CIA agent and instead are focusing on trying to discredit Joe Wilson again. See the GOP Homepage and check out the statement by Chairman Ken Mehlmann.
2) Confuse the issue. Now it was Novak who TOLD Rove about the identity of Mrs. Wilson as a CIA agent. And as of this a.m. I read that Novak got the identity from Judith Miller.
3) Technical defense by throwing all kinds of trash into the discussion. You've heard and read these - Rove maybe didn't rat her out within the 5 year period specified in the law. Rove didn't use her name, only referring to her as Joe Wilson's wife. She only had a desk job at Langley (Friday night Fox O'Reilly Report, 11 p.m. EST).
It's a load of bull-hockey. Here's why:
1) Distracting from the issue is just that - a distraction. Joe Wilson has a constitutional right to disagree, and to vote for Kerry. If what he found out embarrassed Bush, tough poopie. If you don't want your lies found out, don't tell them. The fact is someone exposed Mrs. Wilson as an agent, endangering her life, the lives of everyone she's ever been working or seen with, and all the WMD work of the CIA is potentially compromised by that act. That someone appears to be Karl Rove. AND under US law, it is a felony to expose the identity of a CIA Agent. Whether it was accidental or not, whether it was for political revenge or not, are not the issue.
2) Confusing the issue might work in public. But all this tack has done is make me wonder why Novak isn't being prosecuted. And what about Judith Miller? I'd suggest that we now have 3 potential felons, not just Rove any more. It's beginning to sound like a Watergate daisy-chain. My thoughts are we prosecute all three and see which one breaks first.
3) Technical issues defense. This is where I start to laugh hardest.
...There's no "evidence" Joe Wilson ever went to Africa for this "covert" work. This is supposed to "prove" that Mrs. Wilson was not "active CIA" at the time, and that therefore Rove didn't violate the 5 year protection specified by the law. Duh! It's COVERT, idiot. Do you really expect to find news headlines announcing their arrival in Niger? (Hannity tried this defense on Thursday night.) Besides, once again the team contradicts itself. Right there on the GOP website, Ken Mehlmann's statement places Mrs. Wilson at the CIA suggesting to her boss that her husband has contacts that might be useful. They are also trying to say that SHE sent him. THAT makes her an active agent.
...She only had "a desk job at Langley" (from O'Reilly Report stand-in on Friday night.) My response is if she was cleaning the toilets she was still a CIA agent, entitled to protection under the law. And if she had a mere desk job at Langley, how could she have the authority to send her husband, who was NOT an agent, as suggested by the RNC itself?
...Rove didn't use her name is a third line of "defense". To my knowledge the law doesn't require using her name - it requires publically identifying a CIA agent. Saying the "wife of [public figure]" is pretty much indentifying her, isn't it. How hard would it be to find the "wife of Dick Cheney" for example? If someone wanted to find and kill WMD analysts, that was enough information to get her ID and her home address. And BTW, Fox News, you're now accused by me as well, because I saw her photo on your show last night.
America, Bush and Rove and their machine obviously think we are all STUPID. Just when will you ALL get tired of being treated this way? Get mad, voters, get mad. And laugh, because the machine is so frightened over this that it's funny. You can literally watch them tripping over their own feet trying to protect this bozo. When else have you seen them contradicting themselves every day, day after day?
It appears that our spoiled rich kids in D.C. may have known about the plans for the London bombing 2 years in advance, and apparently warned the bombers just before a planned capture raid by British authorities. Accidentally, no doubt, but the result was still 4 bombs blowing up and lots of dead and maimed Britons:
The London bombers, per ABC, are connected to an Al Qaeda plot planned two years ago in Lahore, Pakistan.
Pakistani authorities recovered the laptop of a captured Al Qaeda leader, Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, on July 13, 2004. On that laptop, they found plans for a coordinated series of attacks on the London subway. According to an expert interviewed by ABC, "there is absolutely no doubt that Khan was part of a worldwide Al Qaeda operation, not just in the United States but also in Great Britain and throughout the west."
ABC reports that names in the computer matched a suspected cell of Britain's of Pakistani decent, many of who lived near the town of Luton, England. According to ABC, authorities thought they had stopped the subway plot with the arrest of more than a dozen people last year. Obviously, they hadn't.
Those arrests were the arrests that the Bush administration botched by announcing a heightened security alert the week of the Democratic Convention. Because the US let the cat out of the bag, the media got a hold of Khan's name, his Al Qaeda contacts found out he was co-opted, and they fled. The Brits had to have a high speed chase to catch some of them as they fled, and, according to press reports, the Brits and Pakistanis both fear that some slipped away.
The Bush machine is so hungry for gratuitious publicity (to benefit it's own standing) that they do this regularly. They take credit for anything they can, publishing names and details they shouldn't, in order to get those details. I've often wondered why they bother to announce the names of those they capture or kill - especially in light of Bush's frequent statements to the press back in 2002 that he wouldn't tell the press anything because that information would tell "our enemies" how we work (remember that BS?). They even publish data about political 'enemies' that could be dangerous to that person - e.g. I saw Valerie Plame's picture on FOX last night - when that person did nothing but oppose the Bush machine.
But apparently it served a purpose here. They knew that if attacks continued they could keep their bootheels on the neck of freedom, and that by telling the world they had Khan they could both claim credit for having caught a terrorist, and warn off enough of his contacts to ensure continued terror attacks at a later date. It was a shell game of political power, and the British folks paid last week for Bush's power trip.
A Georgia (U.S.) man shot his postman recently in an effort to get medical care and get out from under $90,000 in debts for medical care. He felt like he'd be better cared for in prison and wouldn't have to worry about paying back the bills.
I blame our government. For too long the greed of the insurance companies has gone on racheting up the costs of medical care, to where we now have significant portions of our populations uninsured. We're not sicker as a nation, we're healthier. Malpractice suit settlements have gone down slightly over the last 10 years, but the insurance has gone up 200% for your doctor. The FDA is a puppet of large pharmaceutical manufacturers, staffed mostly with people who came from the drug-makers companies, and who will go back as senior officers with fat bonus programs after they lock in their GS-14 penisons.
Meanwhile, our government does ZIP about it. But why should they care?. Most of those Capitol Hill millionaires are heavily invested in insurance and pharmaceutical stocks, and those investments are quite profitable.
So the entire healthcare industry business is huffing on our paychecks. But recently, the GOP forced changes in bankruptcy laws, so that if you accumulate monumental medical debts on top of your other debt load (car payments, mortgage, private health insurance because your boss can't afford it for you, etc.) and can't pay your bills, you just have to get another job, because it's lots harder this year than last to declare bankruptcy and get relief.
And now, we have decent people so harmed by this situation that they will consider shooting an innocent person just to get into prison and into medical care. I would only suggest to folks that if you're going to shoot somebody in order to get medical care, don't shoot the mailman or the gas station clerk but rather, shoot an insurance company exec, or a drug manufacturing exec. Maybe the greed will stop when they feel their lives in danger.
THANK YOU, George Bush, for ignoring this problem while you go about the 'important' business of killing people on the other side of the world. I just wonder how bad things will get here.
Q But, Scott, are you suggesting, I think it's pretty clear to everybody at this point you don't want to comment on the investigation. But the President has also spoken about this when asked. So does the President...
MR. McCLELLAN: Spoken about?
Q Well, he has spoken about these questions that have come up as part of a leak investigation. So does he retain confidence in Karl Rove, specifically?
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes. Any individual who works here at the White House has the President's confidence. They wouldn't be working here if they didn't have the President's confidence. That's why I stepped back from this and talked about it in the broader context.
Now, these questions are coming up in the context of an ongoing investigation, and I stated long ago, you all will remember, that the investigation is continuing, I want to be helpful to the investigation, I don't want to jeopardize anything in that investigation, and that's why I made a decision and the White House made a decision quite some time ago that we weren't going to get into commenting on questions related to that investigation.
Q But isn't the difficulty that you have said to the public, dating back to 2003, affirmatively, Karl Rove is not involved, and now we have evidence to the contrary? So how do you reconcile those two things? How does the President reconcile those two things?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, if I were to get into discussing this, I would be getting into discussing an investigation that continues and could be prejudging the outcome of the investigation. I'm not going to do that from this podium. You do point out some statements that were made. I remember well the comments that were made. After that point, I also remember going and testifying in this investigation. I remember well individuals who are involved overseeing this investigation expressing their preference personally to me that we not get into discussing what is an ongoing investigation. I think that's the way to be most helpful as they move forward, and that's why I'm in the position that I am. I'm not going to get into jumping on every news report as the investigation continues and trying to comment on them, because I don't think that's helpful.
So I think you have to step back from any individual news story or individual reports. Let's let the investigation take place. I look forward to talking about some of these matters once the investigation is complete. I welcome the opportunity to talk about some of these questions, but I don't think it's appropriate to do so at this time.
Q Let's just, just one final...
MR. McCLELLAN: And I think the American people can understand and appreciate that.
Q Well, we'll see. But I just have one final question on this. The question of whether a law has been broken, a crime committed, is a separate matter. You're not going to resolve that; that's for a grand jury to decide. But we know what the facts are. We know that Karl Rove spoke about Joseph Wilson's wife, referring to the fact that she worked at the Agency. You've heard Democrats who say that, say today that alone was inappropriate conduct. What was Karl Rove trying to accomplish by having the conversation he did? And does the President think that it was fair of him to do that? Was it fair game?
MR. McCLELLAN: Now, that's a question related to an ongoing investigation. The investigation continues, David. I think you know that very well. I've responded to that question. And if I were to start commenting on news reports or things related to the investigation, I'm getting into prejudging the outcome of that investigation. I don't want to do that from this podium. Let's let the investigation take place, and let's let the investigators bring all the facts together and draw the conclusions that they draw, and then we will know the facts at that point.
Q But, Scott, there's a difference between what's legal and what's right. Is what Karl Rove did right?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I mean, you can state the obvious. I understand and appreciate that, and I appreciate you all. I know you all want to get to the bottom of this. I want to get to the bottom of it; the President has said no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than he does. We want to see it come to a successful conclusion. The best way to help the investigation come to a successful conclusion is for me not to get into discussing it from this podium. I don't think that...
Q Well, wait, wait, wait...
MR. McCLELLAN: Wait, I don't think that helps advance the investigation.
Is Fox News turning on Karl Rove? Are they bracing their legions for the fall?
Karl Rove, the 54-year-old political maverick who helped mold George W. Bush from the aimless son of an influential politician into the most powerful man in the world, now finds himself at the center of the president's second-term scandal: the leak of CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity.
With ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, at least one Supreme Court vacancy and a looming Social Security crisis, a second-term scandal is probably the last thing Bush needs. But having to fire Rove may actually dispel distortions about Bush's command of his office.
"[The late French President] Charles de Gaulle said, 'The graveyards are full of indispensable men.' The world will go on," Cannon said of a Rove departure.
Saddam Hussein could go on trial as early as next month for his alleged role in a massacre 23 years ago, a top judge said Wednesday. He said the ousted dictator could face the death penalty. Raid Juhi, chief judge of the Iraq Special Tribunal, said the investigation into the July 8, 1982 massacre in Dujail, a predominantly Shiite village 50 miles north of Baghdad, is complete.
Would this make the U.S. an accomplice in the Dujaili massacre?
Washington's support for Iraq became more open after Iran succeeded in driving Iraqi forces from its territory in May 1982; in June, Iran went on the offensive against Iraq. The U.S. scrambled to stem Iraq's military setbacks. Washington and its conservative Arab allies suddenly feared Iran might even defeat Iraq, or at least cause the collapse of Hussein's regime.
Using its allies in the Middle East, Washington funneled huge supplies of arms to Iraq. Classified State Department cables uncovered by Frantz and Waas described covert transfers of howitzers, helicopters, bombs and other weapons to Baghdad in 1982-83 from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait.
Is George beginning to distance himself from Karl?
President Bush said Wednesday he will withhold judgment about top aide Karl Rove's involvement in leaking the identity of a CIA operative until a federal criminal investigation is complete. The lack of an endorsement surprised some Bush advisers who expected the president to speak up.
"It's disappointing that once again, so many Democrat leaders are taking their political cues from the far-left, Moveon wing of the party. The bottom line is Karl Rove was discouraging a reporter from writing a false story based on a false premise and the Democrats are engaging in blatant partisan political attacks."
Michael Isikoff, Newsweek: Matt Cooper's Source, 7/18/05:
Cooper's own email claims Rove warned of potential inaccuracies in Wilson information: "[Time reporter Matt] Cooper wrote that Rove offered him a 'Big warning' not to 'get too far out on Wilson.' Rove told Cooper that Wilson's trip had not been authorized by 'DCIA' , CIA Director George Tenet, or Vice President Dick Cheney."
Warning him "not to get too far out on Wilson" means nothing. It has no relation to ratting out a CIA agent except as a potential cover.
Joseph C. Wilson, The New York Times, 7/6/03:
Wilson Says He Traveled To Niger At CIA Request To Help Provide Response To Vice President's Office. "In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report. ... The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president's office."
Wilson obviously believed the request from the CIA came from Cheney's office, because that is what he was told by the CIA.
Joe Wilson on CNN's Late Edition, 8/3/03:
"What they did, what the office of the Vice President did, and, in fact, I believe now from Mr. Libby's statement, it was probably the Vice President himself..."
Vice President Cheney on NBC's Meet The Press, 9/14/03:
"I don't know Joe Wilson. I've never met Joe Wilson... and Joe Wilson, I don't [know] who sent Joe Wilson. He never submitted a report that I ever saw when he came back."
So Cheney says he didn't ever meet Wilson, and that he got no report from Wilson that Cheney ever saw. That still proves noting. We already know Cheney has been lying about this issue.
CIA Director George Tenet, 7/11/03:
"In an effort to inquire about certain reports involving Niger, CIA's Counter-Proliferation Experts, on their own initiative, asked an individual with ties to the region to make a visit to see what he could learn."
OK, so the CIA "on their own initiative" told Wilson that Cheney wanted him to go there. Is it just me, or is it strange that the CIA would tell a lie using the name of the Vice President of the United States? And this is Tenet saying it, not Wilson, or Cooper, or Miller.
"Because this report, in our view, did not resolve whether Iraq was or was not seeking uranium from abroad, it was given a normal and wide distribution, but we did not brief it to the President, Vice-President or other Senior Administration Officials."
So proving the "yellow cake" story false didn't resolve anything? Well... even if we buy that one, the report was given a "wide distribution" but it never got to Bush, Cheney or ANY other senior administration official? WHY NOT? It was only contradicting the very evidence we were telling the world was an excuse to invade Iraq when they had done nothing to attack us. Didn't anybody at CIA think they should know their evidence was bogus?
On CNN's Late Edition, 7/18/04, Joe Wilson denied that his wife suggested he travel to Niger, but documentation showed she proposed his name:
WOLF BLITZER:"Among other things, you had always said, always maintained, still maintain your wife, Valerie Plame, a CIA officer, had nothing to do with the decision to send to you Niger to inspect reports that uranium might be sold from Niger to Iraq. Did Valerie Plame, your wife, come up with the idea to send you to Niger?"
JOE WILSON: "No. My wife served as a conduit, as I put in my book. When her supervisors asked her to contact me for the purposes of coming into the CIA to discuss all the issues surrounding this allegation of Niger selling uranium to Iraq."
And what bearing does this have on whether or not Rove ratted out Mrs. Wilson? Maybe if we read more...
Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments On Iraq, U.S. Senate, 7/7/04:
But Senate Select Committee On Intelligence Received Not Only Testimony But Actual Documentation Indicating Wilson's Wife Proposed Him For Trip. "Some [CIA Counterproliferation Division, or CPD,] officials could not recall how the office decided to contact the former ambassador, however, interviews and documents provided to the Committee indicate that his wife, a CPD employee, suggested his name for the trip. The CPD reports officer told Committee staff that the former ambassador's wife 'offered up his name' and a memorandum to the Deputy Chief of the CPD on February 12, 2002, from the former ambassador's wife says, 'my husband has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity.'"
So she sent a note to her boss, and mentioned his contacts. That is a quote up there, but I don't see where it says he should be sent anywhere, only that he had certain contacts who might know something. It does not make Wilson a liar as insinuated on CNN's Late Edition.
Michael Duffy, Time Magazine: Leaking With A Vengeance, 10/13/03:
They told reporters that Wilson's evidence was thin, said his homework was shoddy and suggested that he had been sent to Niger by the CIA only because his wife had nominated him for the job."
Thin evidence? Like the WMDs that have yet to be found? What do you expect from an up front diplomatic kind of guy trying to probe covert operations? Video confessions of forged documents? Oh, please, Mehlman, get real.
Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Assessments On Iraq, 7/7/04:
Senate Select Committee On Intelligence Unanimous Report: "Conclusion 13. The Report On The Former Ambassador's Trip To Niger, Disseminated In March 2002, Did Not Change Any Analysts' Assessments Of The Iraq-Niger Uranium Deal."
Of course no assessments were changed. Don't we already know from Bolton's hearings that nothing was PERMITTED to challenge the Bush "make a war" agenda? Yes, we do.
Senate Select Committee On Intelligence, Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Assessments On Iraq, 7/7/04:
"For Most Analysts, The Information In The Report Lent More Credibility To The Original Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Report On The Uranium Deal, But State Department Bureau Of Intelligence And Research (IN) Analysts Believed That The Report Supported Their Assessments That Niger Was Unlikely To Be Willing Or Able To Sell Uranium."
This again says nothing about Rove ratting out Mrs. Wilson. It's all a big attempt to distract. None of this adds up to a justification for his actions or a proof that he didn't rat her out. But let us read on...
Central Intelligence Agency, Statement By George J. Tenet, Director Of Central Intelligence, Press Release 7/11/03:
CIA Said Wilson's Findings Did Not Resolve The Issue. "Because [Wilson's] report, in our view, did not resolve whether Iraq was or was not seeking uranium from abroad, it was given a normal and wide distribution, but we did not brief it to the president, vice president or other senior administration officials. We also had to consider that Nigerian officials knew that what they were saying would reach the U.S. government and that this might have influenced what they said."
What does this have to do with the Rove felony case?
The Rt. Hon. The Lord Butler Of Brockwell, Review Of Intelligence, On Weapons Of Mass Destruction, 7/14/04:
The Butler Report Claimed That The President's State Of the Union Statement On Uranium From Africa, "Was Well-Founded." "We conclude that, on the basis of the intelligence assessments at the time, covering both Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the statements on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa in the Government's dossier, and by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, were well-founded. By extension, we conclude also that the statement in President Bush's State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that: 'The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.' was well-founded."
In other words, in spite of Wilson's evidence to the contrary, the administration decided that their bogus evidence was well grounded and even factual.
Select Committee On Intelligence: Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments On Iraq, U.S. Senate, 7/7/04, Sens. Roberts, Bond And Hatch all dismissed Wilson's claims:
Sens. Pat Roberts (R-KS), Kit Bond (R-MO) And Orrin Hatch (R-UT) All Stated, "On at least two occasions [Wilson] admitted that he had no direct knowledge to support some of his claims and that he was drawing on either unrelated past experiences or no information at all."
Again, a diplomat sent to ask his friends about a fake memo has no "direct knowledge"? How could he have direct knowledge unless he was involved? What kind of BS is this? Pretty desperate in my opinion.
"The Former Ambassador, Either By Design Or Through Ignorance, Gave The American People And, For That Matter, The World A Version Of Events That Was Inaccurate, Unsubstantiated, And Misleading."
Wilson's repudiation of the Bush agenda bogus evidence was already in the news. In order to maintain the WMD lie and have the war Bush wanted back in 1999, they have to discredit Wilson's work.
"Joe Wilson Told Anyone Who Would Listen That The President Had Lied To The American People, That The Vice President Had Lied And That He Had 'Debunked' The Claim That Iraq Was Seeking Uranium From Africa ... Not Only Did He NOT 'Debunk' The Claim, He Actually Gave Some Intelligence Analysts Even More Reason To Believe That It May Be True."
"...told anyone who would listen.." is certainly an exaggeration and a false and subjective statement made in an attempt to paint Wilson as disloyal. It's just too obvious to even be taken seriously. And the fact is, his evidence has stood the test of time, while the Bush evidence for this "yellow cake" fiasco has failed utterly. But what the hell does this have to do with whether or not Rove ratted out Mrs. Wilson as a CIA agent?
David Tirrell-Wysocki, Former Ambassador Wilson Endorses Kerry In Presidential Race, The Associated Press, 10/23/03:
Wilson Endorsed Kerry In October 2003. "Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who accused the Bush administration of manipulating intelligence to exaggerate the threat from Iraq, endorsed Democrat John Kerry for president ... In a conference call with New Hampshire reporters, Wilson said he and Kerry have shared the experience of challenging their government - Wilson when he questioned the 'rush to war' with Iraq, Kerry when he challenged America's role in Vietnam."
So what? If I did all that work for a president and then he didn't even have the decency to tell me he wouldn't use it because it conflicted with what he wanted to do, but had his minions try to smear my name and endanger my wife's life, I think I'd probably support his opposition too. Who among the readers wouldn't turn against such a president?
"Wilson... said he has long been a Kerry supporter and has contributed $2,000 to the campaign this year. He said he has been advising Kerry on foreign policy for about five months and will campaign for Kerry, including a trip to New Hampshire..."
Patrick Healy and Wayne Washington, In Probe Of CIA Leak, Two Sides See Politics, The Boston Globe, 10/2/03:
"In mid-May, [Wilson] began talking to Kerry's advisers about helping the campaign; he made his first donation May 23. Kerry himself had not met Wilson until Tuesday night at a campaign fund-raiser in Potomac, MD, a Kerry aide said... [Kerry advisor Rand] Beers said Wilson communicates with campaign advisers at least once a week."
So Wilson was as Kerry supporter. What of it? We have a two party system in this country by design, and we have the freedom to vote and support whichever party we wish. And we have the Second Amendment to make sure it stays that way.
Notice, America, that not a word of this even tries to deny that Rove committed a felony by ratting out Mrs. Wilson as a CIA agent. Not a word of it would excuse that behavior. And not a word of it even address that issue, yet it is supposed to constitute a defense of some sort.
Obviously, Mr. Mehlman is depending on the American public to be too lazy to read and think about this supposed defense, and is betting you're all stupid enough to be distracted by this and either forget that Rove has probably committed a felony, or to think he was justified in endangering a woman's life just because he didn't like her husband's politics. The next elections are coming, albeit only for Congress. But you can show Mr. Mehlman if he's right and you're stupid, or if I'm right and you're NOT stupid.
Vote folks. Vote like your lives depend on it. Because they do.
Military investigators charge the former Guantanamo prison commander with promoting acts of torture, but the Pentagon gives him a free pass:
Investigators determined that interrogators violated the Geneva Conventions and Army regulations three times. It was unclear from the aide's description what those instances were.
They also recommended that Army Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller be reprimanded for failing to oversee the interrogation of a high-value detainee, which was found to have been abusive, the aide said.
But Gen. Bantz J. Craddock, commander of U.S. Southern Command, instead referred the matter to the Army's inspector general, said the aide. Craddock concluded that Miller did not violate any U.S. laws or policies, according to the aide.
Four friends from northern England have changed the face of terrorism by carrying out the suicide bombings that brought carnage to London last week. It emerged last night that, for the first time in Western Europe, suicide bombers have been recruited for attacks. Security forces are coming to terms with the realisation that young Britons are prepared to die for their militant cause.
Q You continue to talk about the severity of this and if anyone has any information they should go forward to the Justice Department. But can you tell us, since it's so severe, would someone or a group of persons, lose their job in the White House?
Q: Given recent developments in the CIA leak case, particularly Vice President [Dick] Cheney's discussions with the investigators, do you still stand by what you said several months ago, a suggestion that it might be difficult to identify anybody who leaked the agent's name?
BUSH: That's up to...
Q: And, and, do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so?
BUSH: Yes. And that's up to the U.S. attorney to find the facts.
Will the White House keep their word, and fire Karl Rove?
"It's disappointing that once again, so many Democrat leaders are taking their political cues from the far-left, Moveon wing of the party. The bottom line is Karl Rove was discouraging a reporter from writing a false story based on a false premise and the Democrats are engaging in blatant partisan political attacks."
Once again, they're avoiding the substance of the issue...
Four suspected bombers died in last week's terror blasts in London, police said tonight. Investigations were focusing on the activities before Thursday of four men, three from West Yorkshire. The homes of three from West Yorkshire were raided today, he said. One man was arrested and was being brought to London. CCTV footage showed the four had arrived in London on Thursday morning.
An arrest has been made in Yorkshire after the identity of the suspected London bus bomber led police to make a series of raids. Security sources said the bus bomb suspect died in the blast but it is unclear if it was a suicide bombing. They believe the four bombers were British born and all died in Thursday's bombings.
The London terror attacks bear the stamp of al-Qaida, but terrorism experts say Osama bin Laden may have played little or no role. They suggest that what's far more likely is that the attackers who planned and carried out the bombings were local operatives who didn't need much money or expertise from overseas to wreak havoc.
In contrast to the media's initial reaction, there seems to be a concerted effort to reduce the volume on the fear machine. First the semantics of "terrorist" versus "bombers", and now the distinct disassociation of Osama's involvement with the attacks. Is the Bush Blair Team concerned that the public is waking up to the fact that the "War on Terror" is being lost?
A directive was issued to all United States Air Force staff just 24 hours after the terrorist attacks. It states that even senior officers must apply for permission to travel from the barracks in East Anglia - where many are based - to meetings in London. The ban prevents them from entering areas inside the M25 and family members, who are not subject to orders, are also being urged to stay away.
The decision, reported Monday, was heavily criticized by politicians, police and commentators, some of whom questioned the strength of U.S. "solidarity." Tom King, former Conservative defense secretary, said: "It's entirely contrary to the spirit that the [U.S.] president has expressed as wall as the prime minister of carrying on and not allowing the terrorists to destroy our lives," the Times of London reported.
Looks like the Bush Blair love affair may be heading for troubled waters...
The BBC has re-edited some of its coverage of the London Underground and bus bombings to avoid labelling the perpetrators as "terrorists", it was disclosed yesterday. Early reporting of the attacks on the BBC's website spoke of terrorists but the same coverage was changed to describe the attackers simply as "bombers".
Interesting, to say the least... I wonder if there is anymore intelligence being "fixed" on Downing Street?
Montana's Missoula News sums up the unraveling of the Bush Administration; here's a snippet:
If recent polls are any indication, the Bush administration is losing ground on virtually every front, from an outright rejection of Bush's Social Security plan to a growing ennui with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The American people seem to have had it with the swaggering braggadocio of Bush, Cheney and their coterie of propagandists, Bible-thumpers and cover-up specialists. Slowly but surely the Bush presidency, heavy with secrecy, fraud and deceit, is beginning to fray at the edges, gradually unraveling toward the historical infamy it so well deserves.
For those who have criticized this administration from the outset, it's tough not to say we told you so. In fact, though characterized as naysayers at best and unpatriotic traitors at worst, things have turned out pretty much the way many predicted, especially in regard to the spurious and costly invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Just last week the death toll of American soldiers in Iraq passed the 1,700 mark, and that doesn't count the many who have been grievously wounded in body and mind, to say nothing of the estimated 100,000 Iraqi casualties.
It's beginning to look like Karl Rove's days in the White House are numbered. On that note, there is still work to do. We all know the media has a short attention span as they chase the latest breaking story. We need to remind them, if the White House's attack dog is guilty, than so is his master...
"It speaks for itself that the president initially claimed he wanted to get to the bottom of this, but now he's suddenly retained a lawyer," said Jano Cabrera, spokesman for the Democratic National Committee. "Bush shouldn't drag the country through grand juries and legal maneuvering. President Bush should come forward with what he knows and come clean with the American people."
The quote above is a start, but obviously not enough, we need to dig, to provide credible evidence to the connect the dynamic duo.
The White House sends out Oxycontin Rush for damage control. Is this the best they can do?
"From everything I'm reading, I don't think Karl Rove mentioned Valerie Plame's name. I think that he mentioned Wilson's wife. It looks like Rove was trying to warn TIME Magazine: You're barking up the wrong tree."
"The real irony in the Plame case, to me, is that the press got exactly what they wanted. They're the ones that asked for the administration to investigate this. Normally the press circles the wagons around reporters that are trying to keep a secret, but since this reporter was Novak, and since Novak is hated because he's a conservative, the press demanded that he reveal his source."
Looks like it might be time to grab the popcorn... show time.
Let's make one thing perfectly clear: Rove's secret outing of Valerie Plame put partisan politics above the security of our nation. He chose to reveal Plame's identity as a CIA agent, with no thought to the consequences to American national security, simply because it provided an opportunity to smear her husband.
And this is part of a pattern. When Democrats proposed creating the Department of Homeland Security, Republicans fought it until they saw a partisan advantage to exploit in the 2002 elections. When the September 11 Commission was trying to get the facts about the terrorist attacks on our soil, the administration fought them every step of the way.
For two years, the White House has insisted that presidential adviser Karl Rove had nothing to do with the leak of a CIA officer's identity. And President Bush said the leaker would be fired.
If by some chance George survives the potential fall out of Karl Rove, how will he function without Karl around to how hold his hand? In my opinion, if Karl goes down, it's only matter of time before the White House of cards comes crashing down with him.
The statement, under the name of the Secret Organisation of the al-Qaida Jihad in Europe, said: "The heroic mujahideen have carried out a blessed raid in London. Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern and western quarters." It was posted on an Arabic website, al-qal3ah.com, which is registered by Qalaah Qalaah in Abu Dhabi and hosted by a server in Houston, Texas.
The server in Houston has intriguing connections. Everyone's Internet was founded by brothers Robert and Roy Marsh in 1998 and by 2002 had an income of more than $30 million. Renowned for his charitable work, Roy Marsh counts among his friends President George Bush's former sister-in-law, Sharon Bush, and the president's navy secretary.
The Bush family has ties to the founder of an ISP, that has business associations with terrorist organizations... what the hell is going on here?
Discussing China's military modernization, he said that China's upgrade of its military technology was a threat to countries across Asia. "Since no nation threatens China, one wonders: Why this growing investment?" Mr. Rumsfeld said.Unfortunately, he is focused on the wrong problem. China is indeed on the verge of posing a major threat to U.S. power and could potentially dominate parts of the developing world. [June 2005]
The US does not view China's rise as a threat, and "it has more positives than negatives" in the US-China relations, said the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a press conference held in Beijing on July 10, 2005, according to International Finance News.
The staggering media bias concerning race and nation, was on display for all to see last week. Based on the volume of coverage, the civilian deaths in Iraq have apparently been accepted as status quo, and receives little, if any attention, in sharp contrast to last week's terrorist attacks in London.
A predominantly "white Christian" nation experiences terrorist attacks, and suddenly it's Terrorpalooza.
A look into the mind of the ignorant, absurd, war-mongering, and delusional; brought to you by the Christian Right...
"The Iraq campaign is the latest round in America's global war on terrorism."
"However, we can't win this war unless we also remove Iran's leadership. But American and British leaders are overwhelmingly liberal. "
"President Bush said that terrorist attacks come, not because of our strength, but because we are perceived to be weak. But it is more than a perception of weakness. We are weak. We must face reality if we are ever to correct that problem. Iran and terrorists are preying on our weakness. State-sponsored terrorism exists because of our weakness!"
"But even if we don’t change our evil ways, this is all leading directly to the return of Jesus Christ. That is the best possible news this world could ever hear!"
As usual, John Conyers is on the frontline, fighting for truth and justice. Here is a snippet of the letter he sent to the President regarding Karl Rove...
Regardless of whether these actions violate the law – including specific laws against the disclosure of classified information as well as broader laws against obstruction of justice, the negligent distribution of defense information, and obligating reporting of press leaks to proper authorities – they seem to reveal a course of conduct designed to threaten and intimidate those who provide information critical of your Administration, such as Ambassador Wilson.
We hope you agree with us that such behavior should never be tolerated by any Administration. While it is acceptable for a private citizen to use every legal tool at his or her disposal to protect himself against legal liability, high-ranking members of your Administration who are involved in any effort to smear a private citizen or to disseminate information regarding a CIA operative should be expected to meet a far higher standard of ethical behavior and forthrightness. This is why we believe it is so important that Mr. Rove publicly and fully explain his role in this matter.
Indian IT services market grew 26.7% year-on-year in 2004 to touch $2.1 billion and is poised to rise to $5.3 billion by 2009, according to a new research report issued by Gartner. The report sees emerging markets such as India and China as the main engines of growth across the region in the next few years.
There is a heightened urgency among large US companies in outsourcing work to India, Phaneesh Murthy, chief executive officer, iGate Global Solutions Ltd, said. According to him, EDS, Capgemini, Accenture and Bearing-point top the list of US companies who continue to show interest in outsourcing work to India.
Israel has approved the final route around Jerusalem for its controversial West Bank barrier, leaving four Arab areas of the city lying outside it. The decision will make it more difficult for 55,000 Palestinian residents to reach the city's schools and hospitals.
The Israeli cabinet has also set a new deadline of 1 September for the barrier's completion around Jerusalem. Palestinians say the barrier grabs land; Israel says it is for security.
The barrier is expected to be 425 miles long when complete, and cuts deep into the West Bank in places.
Sunday's deadliest attack hit the army recruiting center at Muthana airfield in central Baghdad when a man dressed in civilian clothes detonated two explosive-laden belts among a crowd of recruits, killing 25 others and wounding nearly 50, U.S. and hospital officials said. Most of the dead were believed to have been recruits.
Elsewhere, a Shiite mother and seven of her children were found shot dead in their beds Sunday in Baghdad. One boy survived, police said. The distraught father, who was not at home at the time, blamed the killings on sectarian hatred.
Two suicide car bombers also killed at least seven Iraqi customs officials at the Walid border crossing into Syria, the U.S. military said. Syrian authorities closed the crossing point, turning back about 300 Iraqis trying to return home, a Syrian source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of relations between the two neighboring countries.
A suicide car bomber also rammed into a police convoy carrying an Iraqi brigadier general near the northern city of Mosul, killing five policemen and wounding three, the U.S. military and police said. The senior officer was not injured.
A suicide car bomb in Kirkuk killed at least four civilians and wounding 15, according to police. A second car bomb was rigged to explode as rescuers rushed to the scene, but it was found and detonated by American troops, police reported.
Two other suicide car bombers struck near Fallujah, killing an Iraqi civilian and wounding a Marine, the U.S. Marines said.
Three suspected terrorist were arrested in the London today; via Yahoo News:
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick of the Metropolitan Police also said three people were arrested Sunday at Heathrow Airport under the country's anti-terrorism laws, but he refused to link the suspects to Thursday's explosions.
UPDATE: The authorities have released the suspects without charge.
Al-Qaeda is secretly recruiting affluent, middle-class Muslims in British universities and colleges to carry out terrorist attacks in this country, leaked Whitehall documents reveal.
A network of "extremist recruiters" is circulating on campuses targeting people with "technical and professional qualifications", particularly engineering and IT degrees.
Yesterday it emerged that last week's London bombings were a sophisticated attack with all the devices detonating on the Underground within 50 seconds of each other. The police believe those behind the outrage may be home-grown British terrorists with no criminal backgrounds and possessing technical expertise.
This new revelation obviously contradicts the following quote from the British officials, "we are convinced it is not a British-based cell", regarding the London attacks, found in a few post below. The question is, will there be some official retraction from the government officials...
Reporter Michael Isikoff has obtained a copy of an email that Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper sent his bureau chief, Michael Duffy, on July 11, 2003, three days before conservative columnist Bob Novak first published the leak that outed CIA officer Valerie Wilson/Plame. In that email, Cooper wrote that he had spoken to Rove on "double super secret background" and that Rove had told him that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's "wife... apparently works at the agency on wmd issues." "Agency" means CIA.
To be clear, this new evidence does not necessarily mean slammer-time for Rove. Under the relevant law, it's only a crime for a government official to identify a covert intelligence official if the government official knows the intelligence officer is under cover, and this documentary evidence, I'm told, does not address this particular point. But this new evidence does show that Rove, despite his lawyers claim that Rove "did not tell any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA", did reveal to Cooper in a deep-background conversation that Wilson's wife was in the CIA.
The UK's Daily Mail, has recently revealed a document leaked from the British Defence Ministry; here is a snippet:
Looking further ahead, we have a clear UK military aspiration to hand over to Iraqi control in Al Muthanna and Maysan provinces in October 2005 and in the other two Multinational Division South East provinces, Dhi Qar and Basra in April 2006. This in turn should lead to a reduction in the total level of UK commitment in Iraq to around 3,000 personnel, ie small scale, by mid 2006.
Perfect timing, in the wake of the London attacks. Could the Bush and Blair Administrations be succumbing to the political pressure over their failed war? So much for that resolve, George.
The bill, pushed by Rep. Daniel E. Lungren (R-Calif.) in the House and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) in the Senate, would impose onerous new procedural hurdles on inmates seeking federal review, those, that is, whom it doesn't bar from court altogether. It would bar the courts from considering key issues raised by those cases and insulate most capital sentencing from federal scrutiny. It also would dictate arbitrary timetables for federal appeals courts to resolve habeas cases. This would be a dramatic change in federal law, and entirely for the worse.
The legislation would be simply laughable, except that it has alarming momentum. A House subcommittee held a hearing recently, and the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold one and then mark up the bill this week. Both Judiciary Committee chairmen surely know better. House Judiciary Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), after all, has fought for better funding and training for capital defense lawyers. And Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) has long opposed efforts to strip federal courts of jurisdiction over critical subjects. Neither has yet taken a public position on the bill. Each needs to take a careful look. It is no exaggeration to say that if this bill becomes law, it will consign innocent people to long-term incarceration or death.
Innocent until proven guilty? Consider this statistic from the New York Times:
A comprehensive study of 328 criminal cases over the last 15 years in which the convicted person was exonerated suggests that there are thousands of innocent people in prison today.
"I think this type of terrorism has very deep roots," Blair said. "As well as dealing with the consequences of this, trying to protect ourselves as much as any civil society can, you have to try to pull it up by its roots."