Iran Woos Iraq
Learn more about the new romance...
Saturday, July 30, 2005
Iran Woos Iraq
Learn more about the new romance...
Carter Condemns Gitmo
Former president, Jimmy Carter condemns the Guantanamo detainee abuse, at the Baptist World Alliance’s centenary conference in Birmingham, England:
"I think what's going on in Guantanamo Bay and other places is a disgrace to the USA. I wouldn't say it's the cause of terrorism, but it has given impetus and excuses to potential terrorists to lash out at our country and justify their despicable acts."Meanwhile, the sitting president, is busy clearing brush back at the Crawford ranch... detached from reality as ever.
Next Stop, Iran
A moment of clarity from the American Conservative...
In Washington it is hardly a secret that the same people in and around the administration who brought you Iraq are preparing to do the same for Iran. The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney's office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States.A well established conservative publication blows the whistle on Iran, and denounces the legitimacy of the Iraq War, in one swoop. Interesting. It appears The Party as we know it, may be over.
Live from Baghdad! In this corner, former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein...
Lawyers for Saddam Hussein said on Saturday their client was attacked by an unidentified man during a court appearance in Baghdad this week, but U.S. forces guarding him denied any such incident took place.Why the denial? Who is the unidentified man?
I knew the Democrats would figure out how to work the system eventually...
The U.S. Senate on Friday approved $1.5 billion in additional spending for veterans' health care programs strained by seriously wounded soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan combat. By a vote of 99-1, the Senate approved the emergency funds that were passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday. The legislation, attached to an unrelated spending bill for environmental programs, now goes to the White House for President Bush's signature.Better late, than never. How about slipping in some provisions for increased spending on education in the next round?
It's Hard Work
George leaves Washington on Tuesday for a five-week working vacation at his Texas ranch.. Here's a little perspective from Truth Out's William Rivers Pitt...
Friday, July 29, 2005
Endangering Species Act
For over 30 years, the Endangered Species Act, enacted by Richard Nixon, has helped protect our most vulnerable fish, plants, and wildlife. Now, attacks by the White House to undermine the effectiveness of this legislation are under way:
"Instead of taking the Endangered Species Act head on, the administration is working to destroy the effectiveness of it through executive rule changes," said Brian Nowicki, a conservation biologist at the Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity, which promotes species conservation. "They can't just attack it outright, so they try to stop it out of the spotlight."Do our children not deserve the chance to live in a world where the wild still runs wild? Is it not our responsibility to show our dissent to the powers that be? Write your Congressmen. Write your Senators. We cannot allow the greed of the few, to continue in it's path toward the destruction of all.
The New Camelot
King George no longer needs to follow the advice and consent of the Senate...
President Bush plans to bypass the U.S. Senate and install John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, officials said. Bush can go around the Senate and give Bolton a "recess appointment" when the Senate begins its August recess this weekend. Bolton would be able to serve until January 2007, when a new Congress is sworn in.Welcome to the New Camelot, where the Royal King always gets his way.
Do you remember the Denver Three? The media, as well as most of the masses appears to have forgotten. This is too important of an issue to let go unchecked. We need to turn up the volume on this blatant violation of free speech, because no one else will...
Federal prosecutors have declined to file charges against a man who removed three people from an appearance by President Bush earlier this year because they arrived in a car with a bumper sticker reading "No more blood for oil," and wearing T-shirts saying "stop the lies" under other clothes.Not criminal? I beg to differ. The First Amendment:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."Here's a copy of the letter from the Department of Homeland Security.
Our First Amendment is arguably our most sacred of rights, we need to protect it, by speaking out while we still can. If you think that the freedom of speech could not be taken away in America, think again; it's already started...
Flush with Cash
Earlier this week, Congress passed an energy bill that would provide 14.5 billion in tax cuts... Meet one of the beneficiaries...
Baker Hughes Inc., the world's third largest oilfield services company by sales, said second-quarter profit rose 87 percent as oil companies spent more on exploration and production. Net income increased to $218.8 million, or 64 cents a share, from $116.9 million, or 35 cents, a year earlier, the Houston based company said today in a statement. Sales rose 18 percent to $1.8 billion.Nothing new, just the same old rape and pillage of our Nation by the Grand Old Party... Just don't forget who is taking care of who, in '06.
Melissa Bean of Illinois
Jim Cooper of Tennessee
Henry Cuellar of Texas
Norm Dicks of Washington
Ruben Hinojosa of Texas
William Jefferson of Louisiana
Jim Matheson of Utah
Gregory Meeks of New York
Dennis Moore of Kansas
Jim Moran of Virginia
Solomon Ortiz of Texas
Ike Skelton of Missouri
Vic Snyder of Arkansas
John Tanner of Tennessee
Edolphus Towns of New York
The House on Thursday easily approved an energy bill packed with $14.5 billion in tax breaks and incentives and hailed by Republicans as a major change in energy policy. Environmental and consumer groups criticized the legislation as a giveaway to an industry enjoying record profits with crude oil prices near $60 a barrel, while spending little on ways to curb demand or encourage renewable energy.
The sentence itself was fairly straightforward: An Algerian man received 22 years for plotting to bomb the Los Angeles airport on the eve of the millennium. It was what the judge said in imposing the term that raised eyebrows.Perhaps, in America, the hope of freedom remains?
"We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant or deny the defendant the right to counsel," he said Wednesday. "The message to the world from today's sentencing is that our courts have not abandoned our commitment to the ideals that set our nation apart." He added that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks have made Americans realize they are vulnerable to terrorism and that some believe "this threat renders our Constitution obsolete... If that view is allowed to prevail, the terrorists will have won."
President Bush's job-approval ratings have dropped to their lowest level ever, a new poll revealed yesterday. The Quinnipiac University poll found 53% of voters disapprove of the job Bush is doing, while just 41% approve.
The vote was 217-215 in favor of Cafta, in an hour-long vote held just after midnight in Washington. With only a minor procedural step in the Senate ahead, today's vote effectively completes a yearlong battle for U.S. ratification of Cafta.When the House is publishing:
Only 15 of the 202 Democrats in the House voted for the measure, a record low for a trade agreement. While Democrats objected to Cafta because of what they characterized as weak labor provisions, many in the party used the legislation to show dissatisfaction with President George W. Bush's trade policies.
H RES 386 YEA-AND-NAY 27-Jul-2005 8:15 PM
QUESTION: On Agreeing to the Resolution
BILL TITLE: Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 3045) to implement the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement
Yeas Nays Republican 227 0 Democratic 0 200 Independent 0 1 Totals 227 201
The United States and Australia have been working in secret for 12 months on an alternative to the Kyoto protocol and will reveal today a joint pact with China, India and South Korea to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The deal, which will be formally announced by the US deputy secretary of state Robert Zoellick in Laos today when the five "partners" hold a press conference, comes a month after Tony Blair struggled at the G8 summit to get George Bush to commit to any action on climate change.The wife is always the last to know...
Oliver Letwin, the Conservative environment spokesman, said it was "odd" that the pact had not figured in the Gleneagles discussions but added: "I hope that it means Bush at last accepts the need to move in a sensible direction."
Tony Juniper, director of Friends of the Earth, described Mr Bush's failure to disclose the deal at Gleneagles as "a poke in the eye for Tony Blair".
Mr. Pincus has not identified his source to the public. But a review of Mr. Pincus's own accounts and those of other people with detailed knowledge of the case strongly suggest that his source was neither Karl Rove, Mr. Bush's top political adviser, nor I. Lewis Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, and was in fact a third administration official whose identity has not yet been publicly disclosed.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
A Dossier on Civilian Casualties in Iraq, 2003-2005 - provides a grim catalogue of death and injury. A total of 24,865 civilians were reported killed in the first two years of the conflict, beginning with the invasion, almost 20% of them women or children. ...children made up almost half the victims of air attacks, but only 6% of those from small-arms fire.
I am writing to draw to your attention a provision in the Energy Conference Report that raises serious procedural and substantive concerns. At its essence, this provision is a $1.5 billion giveaway to the oil industry, Halliburton, and Sugar Land, Texas. The provision was inserted into the energy legislation after the conference was closed, so members of the conference committee had no opportunity to consider or reject this measure. Before the final energy legislation is brought to the House floor, this provision should be deleted.Is this not forgery, how can this be valid?
Perhaps more significantly, however, Judiciary Democrats point to the 67 day gap between the time the CIA called the Justice Department to investigate the CIA outing and the time that the Justice Department directed the FBI to investigate the matter.Read the rest at Raw Story.
"It appears the now infamous 12 hour delay the Justice Department granted the White House before issuing an order to preserve documents was not an isolated instance," Conyers remarked. "I received information from the Central Intelligence Agency indicating a pattern of foot dragging by the Justice Department before it would commence a criminal investigation, or even respond to CIA requests."
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said a Supreme Court justice does not have to follow a previous ruling "if you believe it's wrong."Now, this was said in the context of a woman's control of her own reproductive activities. But it does open the door to a return of segregation and a host of other horrors. If a few justices believe that whites are superior, what is to stop them from overturning Brown v. Board of Education, for example? We could easily go back to a segregated society and voting literacy tests. Hey, we can take the vote away from women again!
Maj. David Dinenna testified at the end of a preliminary hearing for two Army dog handlers accused of abusing Iraqi detainees. Dinenna said at a September 2003 meeting, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, the Guantanamo Bay commander, talked about the effectiveness of using the dogs.On your watch, Commander in Chief. Ranking officers, on your watch. What will you do about it? Support your officers and take the heat yourself, or chicken out again and let someone else take the fall like you always do?
"We understood that he was sent over by the secretary of defense," Dinenna testified. He said teams of trainers were sent to Abu Ghraib "to take these interrogation techniques, other techniques they learned at Guantanamo Bay and try to incorporate them in Iraq.
"I offer my condolences to the families of the victims of Monday's accident at the Boy Scout Jamboree. Scouting has a special place in American society, and the Defense Department's relationship with the scouts is long-standing and enduring. The jamboree is a wonderful celebration of that tradition and of that relationship. My thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by this terrible accident, and with the Boy Scouts of America at this time of loss."What about apologizing to the 1700-plus families who have lost their sons and daughters in a needless war? Too busy?
American online activist David Swanson says the provider, Comcast, and security services company Symantec, blocked emails drawing attention to the so-called Downing Street memo, which activists have seized on as further proof that the Iraq war was planned well in advance. The leaked memo was first published in Britain's The Times newspaper.Looks the like the freedom of online information may be in it's last days... Get it while you can.
Swanson, the founder of the AfterDowningStreet.org website, claims emails sent to and from his subscribers were blocked for a week as he tried to co-ordinate events around the United States. He said the events would have had a far bigger turn-out had the block not been in place.
"We didn't know it, but for the past week, anyone using Comcast has been unable to receive any Email with "www.afterdowningstreet.org" in the body of the Email," Swanson wrote on his website.
"Comcast said that ... Symantec refused to lift the block, because they had supposedly received 46,000 complaints about Emails with our URL in them. Forty-six thousand! ...Could we see two or three, or even one, of those 46,000 complaints? No..."
The Republican-led Senate brought up the gun legislation as the Senate stalled on a war-time defense bill, prompting Democratic complaints about national priorities.
"I support the gun liability legislation, but for heaven's sakes, what is more important to this country [than] taking care of our troops, our veterans, their dependents? Should the gun liability legislation trump this? The obvious answer is no, but it did", said Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
In an open letter, signed by more than 2,000 veterans and supporters (including 5 flag-rank officers and more than 200 commissioned officers), the veterans urged Congress and the President to "commit - immediately and publicly - to support the creation of an independent commission to investigate and report on the detention and interrogation practices of U.S. military and intelligence agencies deployed in the war on terror."Hey George, support the troops... What do you have to hide?
Charles Sheehan-Miles, a 1991 Gulf War veteran and the group's executive director, said, "Once again the administration is fighting to prevent any possible public accountability for its policies, instead choosing to blame it all on the troops. To court-martial privates while high ranking officials get promoted is damaging to the very principle of command responsibility and undermines the U.S. military."
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
"The Bush administration is abandoning the phrase "war on terror" to better express the fight against al-Qaeda and other groups as an ideological struggle as much as a military mission.So it's not a change in approach, just a change of name. "What is in a name? Would a rose by any other name, not smell as sweet?" And doesn't this one smell sweet.
In recent days, senior administration figures have been speaking publicly of "a global struggle against the enemies of freedom", and of the need to use all "tools of statecraft" to defeat them. The shift in terms comes at a time when the US public is increasingly pessimistic about the war in Iraq - and sceptical about its links to the fight against terrorism.
One White House official told the BBC the move did not mark a change of approach, but was intended to give a broader perspective to the "evolving nature" of the struggle.
Frustrated by Senate Democrats, the White House hinted Monday that President Bush may act soon to sidestep Congress and install embattled nominee John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations on a temporary basis.Temporary basis. Could you please define "temporary basis".
White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Bush has used his power for temporary appointments when "he has to get people in place that have waited far too long to get about doing their business." He said that "sometimes there's come a point" when Bush has decided he needs to act.
For the first time, a majority of Americans, 51%, say the Bush administration deliberately misled the public about whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction — the central justification given for invading. The administration's credibility on the issue has been steadily eroding since 2003 after stores of the weapons weren't found.It's about time. Now, what's wrong with the rest of you?
Q Do you consider Iran-Contra a national security issue?Doesn't that just say it all?
MR. McCLELLAN: I haven't even thought about that, Dana, to tell you the truth.
Kansas City, About a dozen newspapers have objected to the use of toilet humor in Tuesday's and Wednesday's "Doonesbury" comic strip, and some either pulled or edited the strip. Kansas City-based Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes the strip to around 1,400 newspapers, said it had received some complaints from editors about a reference to presidential aide Karl Rove.The only thing obscene here are the actions of the Bush Administration, and their legions who shill for them...
Well, it's good to see that the former CIA employee is now worried about the war on terror. But it's a bit late. On July 10, 2001, two months before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Johnson wrote an op-ed for the New York Times "The Declining Terrorist Threat", in which he argued that Americans were "bedeviled by fantasies about terrorism" and, in truth, had "little to fear" from terrorism. And, in turn, he rebuked his former colleagues in the national security bureaucracy for using the "fiction" of the terrorist threat to pump up theibudgets.Larry responds to the Right's slander:
With the rightwing smear machine gearing up to try to draw attention from the treasonous behavior of prominent White House officials who participated in the outting of CIA undercover officer, Valerie Plame, it is time to look back and determine who was right on Iraq? Me or the President?Read the rest here.
The rightwing is resurrecting an op-ed I wrote in July 2001. I stand by the full article. It is still relevant today. I am accused, incorrectly, of ignoring the threat of terrorism. In fact, I correctly noted that the real threat emanated from Bin Laden and Islamic extremism.
President Bush, for his part, ignored the CIA warning in August of 2001 that Al Qaeda was posed to strike inside the United States.
Number of days after the article outing Ambassador Wilson's wife appeared that the White House required its staff to turn over evidence relating to the leak: 85Thanks for the link, Ilex Opaca.
Approximate hours between then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez's advance notification to White House Chief of Staff Andy Card that he would require staff to turn over evidence relating to the case and formal notification to staff of that requirement: 12
Minimum number of times an Administration official leaked classified information about the identity of Ambassador Wilson's wife: 11
Minimum number of times after the beginning of the Justice Department's investigation that White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan claimed Karl Rove was not involved: 5
Number of press conferences since evidence linking Karl Rove to the leak was made public where Press Secretary McClellan has refused to comment on the case, citing an ongoing criminal investigation: 7
Minimum number of hearings held by Senate Republicans to investigate accusations against President Clinton involving the "Whitewater" case: 20
Total hearings held by Senate Republicans to investigate the leak of the covert identity of Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife: 0
A chapter of Iraq's draft constitution obtained by The Associated Press gives Islam a major role in Iraqi civil law, raising concerns that women could lose rights in marriage, divorce and inheritance.No ties to 9-11, no weapons of mass destruction, and now, no Democracy...
Most worrying for women's groups has been the section on civil rights in the draft constitution, which some feel would significantly roll back women's rights under a 1959 civil law enacted by a secular regime.
Shiite Muslim leaders have pushed for a stronger role for Islam in civil law but women's groups argue that could base legal interpretations on stricter religious lines that are less favorable toward women.
Many new recruits are illiterate, have criminal records or are physically disabled. "Inducting criminals into the [Iraqi police] is a continual concern," the report says, quoted by AP news agency. "Even more troubling is infiltration by intending terrorists or insurgents. There is sufficient evidence to conclude that such persons indeed are among the ranks of the [police]." The report adds that coalition personnel are ineffective as recruiters, and focus on quantity rather than quality.It baffles the mind... How much worse could the state of Iraq get?
Monday, July 25, 2005
An owner of a small shop that sells horse gear, worries about criticizing a president whose openness about his faith has made him popular here. "They think it's un-American to say anything bad about Bush," he says. "Religion and politics have become too mixed, and that's not healthy."It may be quiet, but if you listen it's there.
President Bush said Monday that he will hold a White House summit next spring to encourage corporations and foundations to give more money to churches and religious charities.So much for the seperation of Church and State, but Hell, that's the least of my worries these days...
It's unlikely that Colin Powell would have called Rove and Cheney (to give instructions to Libby) with the information in the memo - that was above his pay grade. Ditto for Ari Fleischer. And it's extremely doubtful that the pilots on the plane even knew about the explosive information they were carrying as they flew across the Atlantic.George, I think we have a "slam dunk" case here... What do you think?
Which leaves George W. Bush, as the only other person on that plane with the means, opportunity, and motive. Thus, perhaps, the reports that Patrick Fitzgerald has now subpoenaed the phone logs of Air Force One.
Over 2 million housing units are being built annually, while the number of households is only growing by 1.4 million a year.Maybe it's a good time to cash out and rent an apartment for a while...
Some regions of the U.S. have experienced a 60 percent increase in real home prices, while the average for the country as a whole is 45 percent. Historically, real home prices have not increased, as house prices have just kept pace with the overall rate of inflation.
The collapse of the housing bubble will have a larger impact than the collapse of the stock bubble, since housing wealth is far more evenly distributed than stock wealth.
The collapse of the housing bubble will likely throw the economy into a recession and require a federal bailout of the mortgage market. It could lead to a loss of 3.6 to 4.5 percentage points of GDP.
So does that mean Fitzgerald might call Bush and Cheney to testify before the grand jury, under oath? Might he even have done so already? We have no idea, of course, because the White House isn't saying anything at all about the investigation anymore.Thank you Mr. Froomkin, it's about time someone in the mainstream press raises that question.
Either way, the CIA leak story is taking on more and more of the trappings of the classic Washington political scandal, the saving grace for Bush being that his party controls Congress, and that thus far, Republicans have closed ranks behind him.
But get ready for more and more talk about the parallels between this story and the Clinton intern scandal, and of course, Watergate.
We're already hearing some of the prototypical questions being raised. Here's former presidential adviser David Gergen, on ABC's "This Week" yesterday: "What did the president know and when did he know it?"
Companies looking to cool their pension problems are freezing benefits for the workers least likely to complain.If you're commenting on a blog, this probably means you are going to get hurt. Pensions and other benefits are an implied contract in which you, the employee, trade a portion of your salary in return for a benefit that the company can buy for you more cheaply than you can. So you take a cut in pay for like, say, 50 years (remember, Social Security won't kick in at 62 any more), and then you get a retirement income. At least that is the theory.
This means cutting off new employees, or a combination of new employees and workers of a certain age — often those under 40. Only people ages 40 and over are covered by federal age-discrimination labor laws, an area of growing concern to employers who are still reeling from age-discrimination lawsuits over so-called cash-balance plans.
The fact that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' wife does free legal work for an anti-abortion group should not be relevant to his confirmation hearing, a Senate Republican leader said Monday.Pardon me, but if a judge is literally sleeping with someone on one side of the argument, we should be able to expect that he/she would recuse themselves from any case involving that subject right? So, Mr. Roberts? What will you do? Will you recuse yourself, or can we predict your decision already?
Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, said Jane Roberts' work for Feminists for Life should have no influence on her husband's decisions as a justice. Santorum is one of the Senate's most outspoken abortion opponents.
The leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity is the result of "partisan madness" that is undermining U.S. security during a time of war, a panel of former CIA operatives told a group of congressional Democrats on Friday.I searched for the punch-line, a torturing of facts intent on debunking the traitorous nature of the crime, but surprisingly it's not there. I'm speechless.
"For the first time in the history of the United States, by any administration, a political operative [Bush adviser Karl Rove] went after an active intelligence officer and leaked her name for petty, trivial political reasons, and at the end of the day, has caused terrific damage to the United States," former CIA analyst Larry Johnson said at the forum on Capitol Hill.
Johnson was one of five men to speak at the meeting, which was entitled "National Security Consequences on Disclosing the Identity of a Covert Intelligence Officer" and hosted by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and the Democratic Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Sunday that he notified White House chief of staff Andy Card after the Justice Department opened an investigation into who revealed a covert CIA officer's identity, but waited 12 hours to tell anyone else in the executive mansion."Well, I guess if you want the evidence destroyed, you have to tell somebody, don't you? And this way Bush and Rove are protected from the charge of destroying evidence. So do we have a U.S. Attorney General who is guilty of obstruction of justice? You tell me.
A scathing parody that likens President Bush to the "idiot" in William Faulkner's novel "The Sound and the Fury" has won this year's Faulkner write-alike contest, and touched off a literary spat.Read the Faulkner parody here.
Organizers of the Faux Faulkner competition are accusing Hemispheres, the United Airlines magazine that has sponsored the contest for six years, of playing politics by not putting Sam Apple's "The Administration and the Fury" in its print edition, only on its Web site.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Following a car bombing in Baghdad on Sunday, the U.S. military issued a statement with a quotation attributed to an unidentified Iraqi that was virtually identical to a quote reacting to an attack on July 13. After questioning by news media, the military released the statement without the quotation. Lt. Col. Clifford Kent, spokesman for the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division, said use of the quote was an "administrative error." He said the military was looking into the matter.
When Karl Rove was little known outside Texas political circles, he was fired from George H.W. Bush's 1992 reelection campaign for leaking information to syndicated columnist Robert Novak. According to newspaper reports at the time, Rove was terminated for passing information to Novak from a meeting of the president's chief advisors. Rove denied he was the leaker.
"Even though I'm a tranquil guy, now at this stage of my life, I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors."
London's police commissioner expressed regret Sunday for the slaying of a Brazilian electrician by officers who mistook him for a suspect in the recent terror bombings, but he defended a police shoot-to-kill policy as "the only way" to stop would-be suicide bombers.The press and the authorities are missing, or avoiding the point of contention. While detaining a terrorist rather than killing one, is debatable in itself; the tragedy here, is the fact that the suspect was not a terrorist. The debate on the table should be whether or not the police officer's actions were justifiable based on the circumstances of the events, not the "shoot to kill" policy.
If approved, CAFTA would eliminate tariffs from the United States, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. It would extend to Central America the disastrous job loss and environmental damage caused by 10 years of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). During the 10 years that NAFTA has been in effect, the United States has lost almost 880,000 jobs according to the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute, and real wages in Mexico have declined. A recent report by Human Rights Watch has highlighted how workers in Central America are often denied such basic rights as the right to organize and bargain collectively. Yet, the Bush administration has refused to include workers' rights in CAFTA.
For starters, did Mr. Bush know in the fall of 2003, when he was telling the public that no one wanted to get to the bottom of the case more than he did, that Mr. Rove, his longtime strategist and senior adviser, and I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, had touched on the C.I.A. officer's identity in conversations with journalists before the officer's name became public? If not, when did they tell him, and what would the delay say in particular about his relationship with Mr. Rove, whose career and Mr. Bush's have been intertwined for decades?Does the Administration really expect the public to believe that the President is so detached from the White House activity, that he was unaware that the Vice President's Chief of Staff, and his own political advisor / Deputy Chief of Staff, were conspiring to retaliate against a diplomat who was debunking the WMD propaganda, by outing his CIA wife? Of course he knew, and for that matter Cheney too.
Then there is the broader issue of whether Mr. Bush was aware of any effort by his aides to use the C.I.A. officer's identity to undermine the standing of her husband, a former diplomat who had publicly accused the administration of twisting its prewar intelligence about Iraq's nuclear program.
Take what you want, leave what you don't.
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