Tuesday, November 29, 2005

 

Congressional Republican Criminal Pleads Guilty to Bribery. Faces 10 Years.


Yet another corrupt Republican Criminal goes to jail. MANY more to follow!



San Diego-area Rep. Cunningham pleads guilty to bribery, resigns

SAN DIEGO - Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a Vietnam War ace and eight-term congressman, resigned Monday after pleading guilty to taking $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors and others that went to pay for a condominium in Virginia, a Rolls Royce and other luxury items.

Prosecutors said Cunningham, a Republican, used his influential position as a member of a House Appropriations subcommittee to secure defense contracts worth tens of millions of dollars for people who bribed him........


mercurynews.com



Oh, and by the way, indicted Republican Criminal Tom DeLay said, "“Duke Cunningham is an honorable man of high integrity......"

thehill.com


Monday, November 28, 2005

 

COALITION SECURITY GUARDS KILLING CIVILIANS IN IRAQ. Video Proof.



What in the HELL are we doing?! Gee... I wonder why they hate us so much!!


'Trophy' video exposes private security contractors shooting up Iraqi drivers

A "trophy" video appearing to show security guards in Baghdad randomly shooting Iraqi civilians has sparked two investigations after it was posted on the internet, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

The video has sparked concern that private security companies, which are not subject to any form of regulation either in Britain or in Iraq, could be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent Iraqis.

The video, which first appeared on a website that has been linked unofficially to Aegis Defence Services, contained four separate clips, in which security guards open fire with automatic rifles at civilian cars. All of the shooting incidents apparently took place on "route Irish", a road that links the airport to Baghdad.

The road has acquired the dubious distinction of being the most dangerous in the world because of the number of suicide attacks and ambushes carried out by insurgents against coalition troops. In one four-month period earlier this year it was the scene of 150 attacks.

In one of the videoed attacks, a Mercedes is fired on at a distance of several hundred yards before it crashes in to a civilian taxi. In the last clip, a white civilian car is raked with machine gun fire as it approaches an unidentified security company vehicle. Bullets can be seen hitting the vehicle before it comes to a slow stop.

There are no clues as to the shooter but either a Scottish or Irish accent can be heard in at least one of the clips above Elvis Presley's Mystery Train, the music which accompanies the video.

Last night a spokesman for defence firm Aegis Defence Services - set up in 2002 by Lt Col Tim Spicer, a former Scots Guards officer - confirmed that the company was carrying out an internal investigation to see if any of their employees were involved.

The Foreign Office has also confirmed that it is investigating the contents of the video in conjunction with Aegis, one of the biggest security companies operating in Iraq. The company was recently awarded a £220 million security contract in Iraq by the United States government. Aegis conducts a number of security duties and helped with the collection of ballot papers in the country's recent referendum

Lt Col Spicer, 53, rose to public prominence in 1998 when his private military company Sandlines International was accused of breaking United Nations sanctions by selling arms to Sierra Leone.

The video first appeared on the website www.aegisIraq.co.uk. The website states: "This site does not belong to Aegis Defence Ltd, it belongs to the men on the ground who are the heart and soul of the company." The clips have been removed.

The website also contains a message from Lt Col Spicer, which reads: "I am concerned about media interest in this site and I remind everyone of their contractual obligation not to speak to or assist the media without clearing it with the project management or Aegis London.

"Refrain from posting anything which is detrimental to the company since this could result in the loss or curtailment of our contract with resultant loss for everybody................"

telegraph.co.uk


Watch the actual video here:

flurl.com

ogrish.com

crooksandliars.com





 

LOSING IN AFGHANISTAN: Thanks to Bush, Terrorism is SPREADING!!!


The very latest post was about Losing in Iraq, and the same day we learn we are Losing in Afghanistan -- the opium capital of the world. Is this what Bush calls "winning" the war on terrorism?



Afghans Confront Surge in Violence
Foreign Support Seen Behind Attacks That Mimic Those in Iraq

KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov. 27 -- An onslaught of grisly and sophisticated attacks since parliamentary elections in September has left Afghan and international officials concerned that Taliban guerrillas are obtaining support from abroad to carry out strikes that increasingly mimic insurgent tactics in Iraq.

The recent attacks -- including at least nine suicide bombings -- have shown unusual levels of coordination, technological knowledge and blood lust, according to officials. Although military forces and facilities have been the most common targets, religious leaders, judges, police officers and foreign reconstruction workers have also fallen prey to the violence.

The success of the September vote, which was relatively peaceful despite Taliban threats of sabotage, initially raised hopes that the insurgency was losing strength. But after two of the bloodiest months since U.S. forces entered Kabul in 2001, officials now say the Taliban might have been using that time to marshal foreign support and plot new ways to undermine the Western-backed government.

The attacks have been particularly noteworthy for their use of suicide bombers. Some have struck in waves, with one explosive-laden car following the next in an effort to maximize casualties. That sort of attack has been a hallmark of al Qaeda and a regular occurrence in Iraq. But in Afghanistan, suicide attacks of any kind have been relatively rare, despite a quarter-century of warfare...........



WashingtonPost.com


Sunday, November 27, 2005

 

LOSING IN IRAQ: Iraq is now as bad as it was under Saddam.


Iraq is as bad now as it was under Saddam. Could you think of a more damning statement about the incompetence of George Bush and his administration?

Human rights abuses in Iraq are as bad now as they were under Saddam Hussein and could become even worse, the country's former interim prime minister said in an interview published Sunday.

"People are doing the same as Saddam's time and worse," Ayad Allawi told The Observer newspaper. "It is an appropriate comparison.................."


ABCNews.com


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

 

Never underestimate the power of makeup...


A littly humor today. :)














Monday, November 21, 2005

 

The Retarded President Of The United States.

Eschaton


Saturday, November 19, 2005

 

It's Official -- Bush Is Now As Unpopular As His Dad.

a
America's Least Wanted
Another Bush earns his place on a Rushmore for the rejected.
By Bruce Reed
Updated Friday, Nov. 18, 2005, at 2:09 PM ET

Friday, Nov. 18, 2005

Sinker: Back in August, when George W. Bush crossed the Mendoza Line with a disapproval rating in the Gallup Poll of 56 percent, he still had four men left to pass for the title of most unpopular president in modern history: Jimmy Carter (59 percent), George H. W. Bush (60 percent) Richard Nixon (66 percent), and Harry Truman (67 percent). I predicted that the way things were going, he could speed past Carter and Bush 41 "within the next month."

I was wrong—it took the president two months. This week's Gallup puts his disapproval at 60 percent, which means father and son share third place on the all-time list.............


Slate.com


Friday, November 18, 2005

 

We TOLD You More Indictments Were Coming!


Read our earlier post:

http://republicancriminals.blogspot.com/2005/11/more-indictments-coming.html


Now read this!

Prosecutor in Leak Case Calls for New Grand Jury

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 - The special prosecutor in the C.I.A. leak case said on Friday that he would use a new grand jury in his continuing investigation, a development that seemed certain to extend the political cloud hanging over the Bush administration and could draw new players into the investigation.

The prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, told a federal judge in a court filing that he would begin additional proceedings before a grand jury different from the one that brought an indictment last month against I. Lewis Libby Jr., the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.

The 18-month term of the previous grand jury expired last month. In his previous statements, Mr. Fitzgerald had left the door open to using a new grand jury in the case.

The prosecutor also made clear in the new court filing that "the investigation is ongoing............"


NYTimes.com


 

Republican Criminals Stealing YOUR Money, This Time in Iraq.



Ex-Official Held in Bid-Rig Scheme
Robert J. Stein Jr., who awarded reconstruction deals for the coalition, allegedly got kickbacks for conspiring with a businessman.
By Paul Richter
Times Staff Writer

November 18, 2005

WASHINGTON — A former U.S. contract supervisor in Iraq has become the first current or former American official to face criminal charges in connection with the multibillion-dollar reconstruction of the country, federal authorities said Thursday.

Robert J. Stein Jr., 50, a former Coalition Provisional Authority official in Hillah, Iraq, was arrested in Fayetteville, N.C., in connection with an allegedly fraudulent scheme to award construction contracts worth more than $18 million. Philip H. Bloom, 65, a New Jersey businessman, allegedly paid Stein at least $630,000 in kickbacks for his part in a bid-rigging scheme in 2003 and 2004, according to documents filed by the Justice Department in Washington.

Stein, who was arrested Monday, and Bloom, who was arrested Sunday in New Jersey, are accused of "conspiring to commit money laundering and wire fraud in connection with a bribery and fraud scheme," the papers say. Both are in federal custody.

The case grew out of an eight-month investigation of the Coalition Provisional Authority's office in Hillah by the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, an independent agency created by Congress.

Jim Mitchell, a spokesman for the inspector general's office, said these were only the first charges, and "there will be more." He said investigators were looking at about 50 potential criminal cases across Iraq.

The federal affidavit says that another person who worked with Stein at the CPA has been cooperating with the government. Other public officials were involved in the alleged fraud as well, the affidavit says.

According to the papers, Bloom, who has lived for years in Romania, controls several construction and service companies.

To rig the bidding process, more than one of Bloom's companies would submit fake or excessively high "bids" designed to allow another to win the bid by submitting a more favorable price, the papers say.

Although Stein controlled the disposition of about $82 million in U.S. funds, he was not permitted to award any single contract worth more than $500,000. Several of the winning bids were just below that ceiling.

The contracts were awarded between October 2003 and June 2004 for such projects as the renovation of a public library in Karbala, the construction of the Hillah police academy and related demolition work, and building a Tribal Democracy Center.

To reward the U.S. officials, Bloom allegedly would pay bribes, kickbacks or gratuities out of bank accounts in Iraq, Switzerland, Romania and the Netherlands. The money for Stein and his wife would be sent to bank accounts in the United States, the affidavit alleges.

The papers say the money was spent on cars, jewelry and real estate.

A footnote in the court papers notes that Stein was convicted in a fraud case in 1996, raising questions about how carefully he was vetted before being hired by the CPA. Stein has a military background.

If convicted on all charges, the two men face up to 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and three years of supervised release, the Justice Department said.

Mitchell, of the inspector general's office, said the case stemmed from a tip to the organization's hotline. An audit of the CPA's south-central regional office found discrepancies in the financing for the region's reconstruction, he said.

The affidavit also says an Iraqi witness has been cooperating with the investigation.

LATimes.com


Thursday, November 17, 2005

 

Afghanistan insurgence growing stronger -- THAT MEANS WE'RE WINNING!


Afghanistan insurgence growing stronger
U.S. Special Forces soldiers hunting Taliban and foreign fighters in southern Afghanistan say they are encountering a fiercer and more organized adversary than last year, and one that is far from being near collapse........ USAToday.com


"I think these people are the last remnants of a dying cause," -- Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz


Afghanistan insurgence growing stronger
U.S. Special Forces soldiers hunting Taliban and foreign fighters in southern Afghanistan say they are encountering a fiercer and more organized adversary than last year, and one that is far from being near collapse........ USAToday.com


In most of Iraq, there is steady movement toward reconstruction and a stable, self-governing society. This progress makes the remaining terrorists even more desperate and willing to lash out....." Bush


Afghanistan insurgence growing stronger
U.S. Special Forces soldiers hunting Taliban and foreign fighters in southern Afghanistan say they are encountering a fiercer and more organized adversary than last year, and one that is far from being near collapse........ USAToday.com


You have some remnants -- you have remnants of a regime that we removed, that was an oppressive regime, that is desperate -- more and more desperate every single day, because of the progress we are making on many fronts in Afghanistan. Press Secretary Scott McClellan


Afghanistan insurgence growing stronger
U.S. Special Forces soldiers hunting Taliban and foreign fighters in southern Afghanistan say they are encountering a fiercer and more organized adversary than last year, and one that is far from being near collapse........ USAToday.com


The more progress we make, the more desperate the holdouts of Saddam Hussein's regime and foreign terrorists become. Press Secretary Scott McClellan


Afghanistan insurgence growing stronger
U.S. Special Forces soldiers hunting Taliban and foreign fighters in southern Afghanistan say they are encountering a fiercer and more organized adversary than last year, and one that is far from being near collapse........ USAToday.com


The more progress we make on the ground, the more free the Iraqis become, the more electricity that's available, the more jobs are available, the more kids that are going to school, the more desperate these killers become. Bush


Afghanistan insurgence growing stronger
U.S. Special Forces soldiers hunting Taliban and foreign fighters in southern Afghanistan say they are encountering a fiercer and more organized adversary than last year, and one that is far from being near collapse........ USAToday.com

The closer we come to passing sovereignty, the more likely it is that foreign fighters, disgruntled Baathists or friends of the Shia cleric will try to stop progress. Bush


(credit to Daily Kos for the earlier research)



 

Homeland Security + Bribery + Organized Crime = BUSH!


Bush nominated Bernard B. Kerik as Director of Homeland Security. Heck of a job!



Kerik Is Accused of Abusing Post as City Official

New Jersey officials said yesterday that Bernard B. Kerik abused his position as New York City correction commissioner in the late 1990's by accepting tens of thousands of dollars from a construction company that he was helping to pursue business with the city. They say the company has long had ties to organized crime.

The accusations against Mr. Kerik, who had to withdraw his nomination as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security last year, are in court papers filed by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.

The agency is seeking to keep the construction company, Interstate Industrial Corporation, from doing work on Atlantic City casinos and became interested in Mr. Kerik's role with the company when the ties were disclosed after his nomination failed.

The agency officials said yesterday that Interstate paid another contractor for renovations worth more than $200,000 made to Mr. Kerik's apartment in the Riverdale section of the Bronx in 1999 and 2000.......

NYTimes.com


 

Bush HATES Our Vets.


Unemployment Rate Skyrockets

WASHINGTON - The return to civilian life for U.S. Soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan is full of pitfalls, with an unemployment rate three times the national average.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that for the first three quarters of 2005, nearly 15 percent of veterans aged 20-24 are jobless -- three times the national average.

According to the website VeteransToday, published by veterans for veterans, the high unemployment rate is "partly because most service members seriously injured in Iraq and Afghanistan are in the early stages of their military careers and possess limited transferable job skills or very little civilian work experience".

The government is also worried about the number of veterans without a permanent address.

"The tragedy of homelessness among veterans persists, even when the economy is robust and unemployment is low............"


Military.com


 

"After months of lies the president has given millions reason to doubt that he has sent Americans into battle for the right reason."


Read what the REPUBLICANS said!


p m carpenter's commentary


 

Secret Iraqi Jail Bane for U.S.


President Bush's already embattled policy to shape postwar Iraq as an ethnically balanced democratic state faces a new hurdle after the discovery of a secret jail in which Sunni prisoners may have been tortured.

With Bush's approval ratings declining, U.S. casualties mounting and even some Republicans in Congress pressuring the White House for an exit strategy, the president and his senior advisers have been counting on next month's parliamentary elections in Iraq.

Bush's chances of succeeding in Iraq, and perhaps his presidential legacy, rest heavily on an outcome reflecting a new spirit of cooperation among that country's Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. But already reluctant Sunnis, whose participation in a referendum last month approving a Constitution was less than enthusiastic, could now become even more wary of cooperating.

And that could spell more political trouble for Bush.

"This disclosure has the potential to create the perception among the American public that the war in Iraq has replaced Saddam Hussein's repressive regime, dominated by Sunnis, into a repressive regime dominated by Shiites," said Kenneth Katzman, senior Iraq expert at the Congressional Research Service, an agency of Congress.

The allegations of secret detentions of 173 mostly Sunni Iraqis and the possible abuse of some of them, following U.S. mistreatment of Abu Ghraib prisoners, could make it harder for Bush to reverse a growing sentiment among Americans that the U.S. is caught in a quagmire.

Yahoo!


 

REPUBLICAN CRIMINAL Georgia State Rep. David Graves GOES TO JAIL.

Lawmaker jailed, ends case on 2 DUIs

State Rep. David Graves swapped his trademark pinstriped suit for a blue jailhouse jumpsuit Tuesday after closing the case on his two DUIs in Cobb County.

Graves (R-Macon) gained national attention this fall when he tried to invoke a centuries-old provision granting legislators limited immunity from arrest to avoid prosecution on a DUI last February. He later abandoned that defense, and, on Tuesday, stopped fighting the charges.

Graves, 47, a nine-year legislative veteran and one-time House committee chairman, pleaded guilty to the second DUI Tuesday, after a judge found him guilty earlier this month of a previous drunken driving charge he received in 2004.

Graves was then sentenced by Cobb State Court Judge Irma Glover to serve 10 days in the county jail, followed by 20 days of home confinement and 12 months on probation. He also was ordered to pay a $1,600 fine, perform 280 hours of community service and surrender his driver's license for 12 months, Cobb County Solicitor Barry Morgan said.

ajc.com


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

 

MORE INDICTMENTS COMING!


There are more lying, TRAITOROUS, Republican Criminals working in the White House right now. Can't wait till they are thrown in jail... or worse! The Fitzgerald investigation rages on...



Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward testified under oath Monday in the CIA leak case that a senior administration official told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her position at the agency nearly a month before her identity was disclosed....

Fitzgerald interviewed Woodward about the previously undisclosed conversation after the official alerted the prosecutor to it on Nov. 3 -- one week after Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was indicted in the investigation....

Woodward's testimony appears to change key elements in the chronology Fitzgerald laid out in his investigation and announced when indicting Libby three weeks ago. It would make the unnamed official -- not Libby -- the first government employee to disclose Plame's CIA employment to a reporter. It would also make Woodward, who has been publicly critical of the investigation, the first reporter known to have learned about Plame from a government source.....

WashingtonPost.com



 

Death by Lions!?!? Torture. Starvation. Iraqis Take the Lead From the Republican Criminals!


How the hell can we expect the new Iraqis in power to behave any differently than the White House criminals train them?


173 prisoners found beaten and starved in Iraq government bunker

· PM's deputy leads inquiry into torture allegations
· Reports of corpses among malnourished inmates

Jamie Wilson in Washington
Wednesday November 16, 2005
The Guardian

The Iraqi government has begun an investigation into the alleged abuse of more than 170 prisoners who were found locked in an interior ministry bunker in Baghdad, many of them beaten and malnourished and some apparently brutally tortured.

US troops who were searching for a missing teenage boy discovered the detainees on Sunday night during a raid. They were found in an underground cell near an interior ministry bunker in Jadiriya, in middle of the city. "I was informed that there were 173 detainees held at an interior ministry prison and they appear to be malnourished," prime minister Ibrahim Jaafari said. "There is talk that they were subjected to torture," he said.

Earlier a deputy interior minister put the number of prisoners at 161 and said he was stunned by their treatment. "They were being treated in an inappropriate way ... they were being abused," Hussein Kamal told Reuters.

"I've never seen such a situation like this during the past two years in Baghdad. This is the worst," he told CNN. "I saw signs of physical abuse by brutal beating, one or two detainees were paralysed and some had their skin peeled off."

US military sources said troops were shocked when they came across the prisoners, some of whom showed the marks of beatings and looked like they had not been fed well for weeks. "It's not what we expected, we were looking for a 15-year-old boy," a soldier from the US 3rd Infantry Division, the Baghdad-based force which conducted the raid, told Reuters.

Reports received by the Guardian from sources in Baghdad said there were rumours that mutilated corpses and torture instruments had also been found at the underground bunker, including bodies with electric drill holes in their heads...........


guardian.co.uk


 

Lt. Bush Heads the GOP Hero-Wannabe Unit


AWESOME accounting of the Republican Draft-Dodging WARMONGERS. A must read!


The Ostroy Report


 

After Lying About Using Illegal Chemical Weapons, Pentagon Retracts After Undeniable Proof.


US used white phosphorus in Iraq

The Pentagon has confirmed that US troops used white phosphorus during last year's offensive in the northern Iraqi city of Falluja.

"It was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants," spokesman Lt Col Barry Venable told the BBC - though not against civilians, he said.

The US earlier denied it had been used in Falluja at all.

Col Venable denied that the substance - which can cause burning of the flesh - constituted a banned chemical weapon.

Washington is not a signatory of an international treaty restricting the use of white phosphorus devices.

Col Venable said a statement by the US state department that white phosphorus had not been used was based on "poor information".

The BBC's defence correspondent Paul Wood says having to retract its denial has been a public relations disaster for the US military.

'Incendiary'

The US-led assault on Falluja - a stronghold of the Sunni insurgency west of Baghdad - displaced most of the city's 300,000 population and left many of its buildings destroyed.

Col Venable told the BBC's PM radio programme that the US army used white phosphorus incendiary munitions "primarily as obscurants, for smokescreens or target marking in some cases".

"However it is an incendiary weapon and may be used against enemy combatants."

And he said it had been used in Falluja, but it was "conventional munition", not a chemical weapon.

It is not "outlawed or illegal", Col Venable said.

"When you have enemy forces that are in covered positions that your high explosive artillery rounds are not having an impact on and you wish to get them out of those positions, one technique is to fire a white phosphorus round or rounds into the position because the combined effects of the fire and smoke - and in some case the terror brought about by the explosion on the ground - will drive them out of the holes so that you can kill them with high explosives," he said.

'Particularly nasty'

White phosphorus is highly flammable and ignites on contact with oxygen. If the substance hits someone's body, it will burn until deprived of oxygen.

Globalsecurity.org, a defence website, says: "Phosphorus burns on the skin are deep and painful... These weapons are particularly nasty because white phosphorus continues to burn until it disappears... it could burn right down to the bone."

A spokesman at the UK Ministry of Defence said the use of white phosphorus was permitted in battle in cases where there were no civilians near the target area.

But Professor Paul Rodgers of the University of Bradford department of peace studies said white phosphorus could be considered a chemical weapon if deliberately aimed at civilians.

He told PM: "It is not counted under the chemical weapons convention in its normal use but, although it is a matter of legal niceties, it probably does fall into the category of chemical weapons if it is used for this kind of purpose directly against people."

When the Rai documentary revealing the use of white phosphorus in Iraq was broadcast on 8 November, it sparked fury among Italian anti-war protesters, who demonstrated outside the US embassy in Rome.


BBC


 

'I treated people who had their skin melted'


'I treated people who had their skin melted'

By Dahr Jamail
Published: 15 November 2005


Abu Sabah knew he had witnessed something unusual. Sitting in November last year in a refugee camp in the grounds of Baghdad University, set up for the families who fled or were driven from Fallujah, this resident of the city's Jolan district told me how he had witnessed some of the battle's heaviest fighting.

"They used these weird bombs that put up smoke like a mushroom cloud," he said. He had seen "pieces of these bombs explode into large fires that continued to burn on the skin even after people dumped water on the burns".

As an unembedded journalist, I spent hours talking to residents forced out of the city. A doctor from Fallujah working in Saqlawiyah, on the outskirts of Fallujah, described treating victims during the siege "who had their skin melted".

He asked to be referred to simply as Dr Ahmed because of fears of reprisals for speaking out. "The people and bodies I have seen were definitely hit by fire weapons and had no other shrapnel wounds," he said.

Burhan Fasa'a, a freelance cameraman working for the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC), witnessed the first eight days of the fighting. "I saw cluster bombs everywhere and so many bodies that were burnt, dead with no bullets in them," he said. "So they definitely used fire weapons, especially in Jolan district."

Mr Fasa'a said that while he sold a few of his clips to Reuters, LBC would not show tapes he submitted to them. He had smuggled some tapes out of the city before his gear was taken from him by US soldiers.

Some saw what they thought were attempts by the military to conceal the use of incendiary shells. "The Americans were dropping some of the bodies into the Euphrates near Fallujah," said one ousted resident, Abdul Razaq Ismail.

Dr Ahmed, who worked in Fallujah until December 2004, said: "In the centre of the Jolan quarter they were removing entire homes which have been bombed, meanwhile most of the homes that were bombed are left as they were."

He said he saw bulldozers push soil into piles and load it on to trucks to carry away. In certain areas where the military used "special munitions" he said 200 sq m of soil was being removed from each blast site.

The author is an unembedded journalist reporting from Fallujah

news.independent.co.uk


 

Iraq = Vietnam.   --The American People.


Poll: American attitudes on Iraq similar to Vietnam era

WASHINGTON — There are enormous differences between the war in Iraq and the one in Vietnam that defined a generation. The current conflict hasn't lasted as long, taken nearly as many American lives or sparked the sort of anti-war movement that marked the '60s and '70s.

But when it comes to public opinion, Americans' attitudes toward Iraq and the course ahead are strikingly similar to public attitudes toward Vietnam in the summer of 1970, a pivotal year in that conflict and a time of enormous domestic unrest.

Some political scientists and historians predict that the Iraq conflict, like the one in Vietnam, will shape American attitudes on foreign policy and the use of military force long after it's over.

"This war is probably a really big deal historically in terms of America's perspective on the world," says John Mueller, a political scientist at Ohio State University. "What you're going to get after this is 'We don't want to do that again — No more Iraqs' just as after Vietnam the syndrome was 'No more Vietnams.' "

In a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday, more than half of those surveyed wanted to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq within the next 12 months. In 1970, roughly half of those surveyed wanted to withdraw U.S. troops from Vietnam within 12 months.....


USAToday.com


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

 

More Analysis of the Shrill Bush Lies


Bush is screaming his lies now. Everyone knows he is lying now. He is desperate to pull a 1984. Keep the criticisms coming!



Decoding Mr. Bush's Denials

To avoid having to account for his administration's misleading statements before the war with Iraq, President Bush has tried denial, saying he did not skew the intelligence. He's tried to share the blame, claiming that Congress had the same intelligence he had, as well as President Bill Clinton. He's tried to pass the buck and blame the C.I.A. Lately, he's gone on the attack, accusing Democrats in Congress of aiding the terrorists.

Yesterday in Alaska, Mr. Bush trotted out the same tedious deflection on Iraq that he usually attempts when his back is against the wall: he claims that questioning his actions three years ago is a betrayal of the troops in battle today.

It all amounts to one energetic effort at avoidance. But like the W.M.D. reports that started the whole thing, the only problem is that none of it has been true.




Mr. Bush says everyone had the same intelligence he had - Mr. Clinton and his advisers, foreign governments, and members of Congress - and that all of them reached the same conclusions. The only part that is true is that Mr. Bush was working off the same intelligence Mr. Clinton had. But that is scary, not reassuring. The reports about Saddam Hussein's weapons were old, some more than 10 years old. Nothing was fresher than about five years, except reports that later proved to be fanciful.

Foreign intelligence services did not have full access to American intelligence. But some had dissenting opinions that were ignored or not shown to top American officials. Congress had nothing close to the president's access to intelligence. The National Intelligence Estimate presented to Congress a few days before the vote on war was sanitized to remove dissent and make conjecture seem like fact.

It's hard to imagine what Mr. Bush means when he says everyone reached the same conclusion. There was indeed a widespread belief that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons. But Mr. Clinton looked at the data and concluded that inspections and pressure were working - a view we now know was accurate. France, Russia and Germany said war was not justified. Even Britain admitted later that there had been no new evidence about Iraq, just new politics.

The administration had little company in saying that Iraq was actively trying to build a nuclear weapon. The evidence for this claim was a dubious report about an attempt in 1999 to buy uranium from Niger, later shown to be false, and the infamous aluminum tubes story. That was dismissed at the time by analysts with real expertise.

The Bush administration was also alone in making the absurd claim that Iraq was in league with Al Qaeda and somehow connected to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That was based on two false tales. One was the supposed trip to Prague by Mohamed Atta, a report that was disputed before the war and came from an unreliable drunk. The other was that Iraq trained Qaeda members in the use of chemical and biological weapons. Before the war, the Defense Intelligence Agency concluded that this was a deliberate fabrication by an informer.

Mr. Bush has said in recent days that the first phase of the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation on Iraq found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence. That is true only in the very narrow way the Republicans on the committee insisted on defining pressure: as direct pressure from senior officials to change intelligence. Instead, the Bush administration made what it wanted to hear crystal clear and kept sending reports back to be redone until it got those answers.

Richard Kerr, a former deputy director of central intelligence, said in 2003 that there was "significant pressure on the intelligence community to find evidence that supported a connection" between Iraq and Al Qaeda. The C.I.A. ombudsman told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the administration's "hammering" on Iraq intelligence was harder than he had seen in his 32 years at the agency.

Mr. Bush and other administration officials say they faithfully reported what they had read. But Vice President Dick Cheney presented the Prague meeting as a fact when even the most supportive analysts considered it highly dubious. The administration has still not acknowledged that tales of Iraq coaching Al Qaeda on chemical warfare were considered false, even at the time they were circulated.

Mr. Cheney was not alone. Remember Condoleezza Rice's infamous "mushroom cloud" comment? And Secretary of State Colin Powell in January 2003, when the rich and powerful met in Davos, Switzerland, and he said, "Why is Iraq still trying to procure uranium and the special equipment needed to transform it into material for nuclear weapons?" Mr. Powell ought to have known the report on "special equipment"' - the aluminum tubes - was false. And the uranium story was four years old.



The president and his top advisers may very well have sincerely believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. But they did not allow the American people, or even Congress, to have the information necessary to make reasoned judgments of their own. It's obvious that the Bush administration misled Americans about Mr. Hussein's weapons and his terrorist connections. We need to know how that happened and why.

Mr. Bush said last Friday that he welcomed debate, even in a time of war, but that "it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began." We agree, but it is Mr. Bush and his team who are rewriting history.


NYTImes.com


 

If You Criticize Bush, You Should Be Executed!


"Aid and Comfort to the Enemy" is the definition of Treason, punishable by DEATH.


...Bush was not subtle. He said that anyone accusing his administration of having "manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people" was giving aid and comfort to the enemy. "These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will," Bush declared last week. "As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them."

You wonder: Did Patrick Fitzgerald, the special counsel in the Valerie Plame leak investigation, send the wrong signal to our troops and our enemy by daring to seek the indictment of Scooter Libby on a charge of perjury and obstruction of justice? Must Americans who support our troops desist from any criticism of the use of intelligence by the administration?.....


WashingtonPost.com


 

9/11 Commission Members Criticize Bush for not Protecting US from Nukes.


US faulted on handling nuclear threat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government is not doing enough to protect nuclear weapons from terrorists and its handling of terrorism suspects is undermining America's image in the Muslim world, members of a commission that investigated the September 11 attacks said on Monday.

Although President George W. Bush calls arms proliferation the country's biggest threat and al Qaeda has sought nuclear weapons for a decade, the former commission's chairman Thomas Kean said, "the most striking thing to us is that the size of the problem still totally dwarfs the policy response."

"In short, we still do not have a maximum effort against the most urgent threat ... to the American people," he told a news conference, noting that half the nuclear materials in Russia still have no security upgrade.....


Yahoo!

Be sure to see earlier post on nukes available to terrorists right here in the US!



 

BUSH IS LYING RIGHT NOW About Iran Having Nukes!!


US atomic expert doubts report of Iran weapons work


A prominent American nuclear security expert challenged a report of new US intelligence purportedly suggesting Iran was planning to build a nuclear warhead as misleading.

David Albright, head of the US-based Institute for Science and International Security think-tank and a former UN arms inspector, said the report was off the mark on one key issue and glossed over two others......

ddinews.com


 

LOSING THE WAR ON TERROR... Does Anyone Remember Afghanistan?

Does anyone remember Afghanistan? That was the country that hosted Osama Bin Laden and had all the terrorist training camps which produced all those people who attacked us on September 11th. How is THAT war going?

world's largest producer of opium; cultivation of opium poppy reached unprecedented level of 206,700 hectares in 2004; counterdrug efforts largely unsuccessful; potential opium production of 4,950 metric tons; potential heroin production of 582 metric tons if all opium was processed; source of hashish; many narcotics-processing labs throughout the country; drug trade source of instability and some antigovernment groups profit from the trade; 80-90% of the heroin consumed in Europe comes from Afghan opium; vulnerable to narcotics money laundering through informal financial networks

This page was last updated on 1 November, 2005


I guess we have 100% capitulated on The War on Drugs. Anyone remember when Republicans SAID they thought that was important?


CIA Factbook


 

The US used chemical weapons in Iraq - and then lied about it.


Now we know napalm and phosphorus bombs have been dropped on Iraqis, why have the hawks failed to speak out?......


guardian.co.uk



 

Not Content with Bringing TORTURE to American, Dick "Hiding in a Spider Hole" Cheney Practices SLAVE LABOR to Make More Money for Halliburton.


Gulf Coast slaves
Halliburton and its subcontractors hired hundreds of undocumented Latino workers to clean up after Katrina -- only to mistreat them and throw them out without pay.
By Roberto Lovato

Nov. 15, 2005 | Arnulfo Martinez recalls seeing lots of hombres del ejercito standing at attention. Though he was living on the Belle Chasse Naval Base near New Orleans when President Bush spoke there on Oct. 11, he didn't understand anything the ruddy man in the rolled-up sleeves was saying to the troops.

Martinez, 16, speaks no English; his mother tongue is Zapotec. He had left the cornfields of Oaxaca, Mexico, four weeks earlier for the promise that he would make $8 an hour, plus room and board, while working for a subcontractor of KBR, a wholly owned subsidiary of Halliburton that was awarded a major contract by the Bush administration for disaster relief work. The job was helping to clean up a Gulf Coast naval base in the region devastated by Hurricane Katrina. "I was cleaning up the base, picking up branches and doing other work," Martinez said, speaking to me in broken Spanish.

Even if the Oaxacan teenager had understood Bush when he urged Americans that day to "help somebody find shelter or help somebody find food," he couldn't have known that he'd soon need similar help himself. But three weeks after arriving at the naval base from Texas, Martinez's boss, Karen Tovar, a job broker from North Carolina who hired workers for a KBR subcontractor called United Disaster Relief, booted him from the base and left him homeless, hungry and without money.

"They gave us two meals a day and sometimes only one," Martinez said.

He says that Tovar "kicked us off the base," forcing him and other cleanup workers -- many of them Mexican and undocumented -- to sleep on the streets of New Orleans. According to Martinez, they were not paid for three weeks of work. An immigrant rights group recently filed complaints with the Department of Labor on behalf of Martinez and 73 other workers allegedly owed more than $56,000 by Tovar. Tovar claims that she let the workers go because she was not paid by her own bosses at United Disaster Relief. In turn, UDR manager Zachary Johnson, who declined to be interviewed for this story, told the Washington Post on Nov. 4 that his company had not been paid by KBR for two months.

Wherever the buck may stop along the chain of subcontractors, Martinez is stuck at the short end of it -- and his situation is typical among many workers hired by subcontractors of KBR (formerly known as Kellogg Brown & Root) to clean and rebuild Belle Chasse and other Gulf Coast military bases. Immigrants rights groups and activists like Bill Chandler, president of the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance, estimate that hundreds of undocumented workers are on the Gulf Coast military bases, a claim that the military and Halliburton/KBR deny -- even after the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency turned up undocumented workers in a raid of the Belle Chasse facility last month. Visits to the naval bases and dozens of interviews by Salon confirm that undocumented workers are in the facilities. Still, tracing the line from unpaid undocumented workers to their multibillion-dollar employers is a daunting task. A shadowy labyrinth of contractors, subcontractors and job brokers, overseen by no single agency, have created a no man's land where nobody seems to be accountable for the hiring -- and abuse -- of these workers.

Right after Katrina barreled through the Gulf Coast, the Bush administration relaxed labor standards, creating conditions for rampant abuse, according to union leaders and civil rights advocates. Bush suspended the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires employers to pay "prevailing wages" for labor used to fulfill government contracts. The administration also waived the requirement for contractors rebuilding the Gulf Coast to provide valid I-9 employment eligibility forms completed by their workers. These moves allowed Halliburton/KBR and its subcontractors to hire undocumented workers and pay them meager wages (regardless of what wages the workers may have otherwise been promised). The two policies have recently been reversed in the face of sharp political pressure: Bush reinstated the Davis-Bacon Act on Nov. 3, while the Department of Homeland Security reinstated the I-9 requirements in late October, noting that it would once again "exercise prosecutorial discretion" of employers in violation "on a case-by-case basis." But critics say Bush's policies have already allowed extensive profiteering beneath layers of legal and political cover.

Halliburton/KBR, which enjoys an array of federal contracts in the United States, Iraq and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has long drawn criticism for its proximity to Vice President Dick Cheney, formerly Halliburton's CEO. Halliburton/KBR spokesperson Melissa Norcross declined to respond directly to allegations about undocumented workers in the Gulf. "In performing work for the U.S. government, KBR uses its government-approved procurement system to source and retain qualified subcontractors," she said in an e-mail. "KBR's subcontractors are required to comply with all applicable labor laws and provisions when performing this work."

Victoria Cintra is the Gulf Coast outreach organizer for Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance, which recently partnered with relief agency Oxfam America to help immigrant workers displaced by Katrina. She says KBR is exposing undocumented workers like Martinez to unethical and illegal treatment, even though they are supposed to be paid with federal Katrina-recovery dollars to clean and rebuild high-security facilities like the one President Bush recently visited. Cintra is one of several people fighting to recover the wages owed the workers: She drives her beat-up, chocolate-colored car across the swamps, damaged roads and broken bridges of the Gulf Coast to track down contractors and subcontractors. With yellow legal pad in hand, she and other advocates document abuses taking place at Belle Chasse, the Naval Construction Battalion Center at the Seabee naval base in Gulfport, Miss., and other military installations.

I was with Cintra when she received phone calls from several Latino workers who complained they were denied, under threat of deportation, the right to leave the base at Belle Chasse. Cintra also took me along on visits to squalid trailer parks -- like the one at Arlington Heights in Gulfport -- where up to 19 unpaid, unfed and undocumented KBR site workers inhabited a single trailer for $70 per person, per week. Workers there and on the bases complained of suffering from diarrhea, sprained ankles, cuts and bruises, and other injuries sustained on the KBR sites -- where they received no medical assistance, despite being close to medical facilities on the same bases they were cleaning and helping rebuild.

Cintra and other critics say there's been no accountability from the corporate leaders who signed on the dotted line when they were awarded multimillion-dollar Department of Defense contracts. "The workers may be hired by the subcontractors," Cintra says, "but KBR is ultimately responsible."

"Latino workers are being invited to New Orleans and the South without the proper conditions to protect them," adds Cintra, who recently provided tents to Martinez and several other unpaid Mexican workers who fled Belle Chasse for Gulfport after being dismissed by Tovar. Cintra, a Cuban exile and born-again Christian, has since seen a small tent city of homeless immigrants spring up in the yard of her church, Pass Road Baptist, in Gulfport. "This is evil on top of evil on top of evil," she says. "The Bush administration and Halliburton have opened up a Pandora's box that's not going to close now."

Halliburton/KBR is the general contractor with overarching responsibility for the federal cleanup contracts covering Katrina-damaged naval bases. Even so, there is an utter lack of transparency with the process -- and that invites malfeasance, says James Hale, a vice president of the Laborers' International Union of North America. "To my knowledge, not one member of Congress has been able to get their hands on a copy of a contract that was handed out to Halliburton or others," Hale says. "There is no central registry of Katrina contracts available. No data on the jobs or scope of the work." Hale says that his union's legislative staff has pressed members of Congress for more information; apparently the legislators were told that they could not get copies of the contracts because of "national security" concerns.

"If the contracts handed out to these primary contractors are opaque, then the contracts being let to the subcontractors are just plain invisible," Hale says. "There is simply no ability to ascertain or monitor the contractor-subcontractor relationships. This is an open invitation for exploitation, fraud and abuse."

Congress has heard a number of complaints recently about Halliburton/KBR's hiring practices, including the alleged exploitation of Filipino, Sri Lankan, Nepalese and other immigrant workers paid low wages on military installations in Iraq. And KBR subcontractor BE&K was a focus of Senate hearings in October, for the firing of 75 local Belle Chasse workers who said that they were replaced by "unskilled, out-of-state, out-of-country" workers earning $8 to $14 for work that typically paid $22 an hour.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who has been an outspoken critic of the use of undocumented workers at Belle Chasse and on other Katrina cleanup jobs, said in a recent statement, "It is a downright shame that any contractor would use this tragedy as an opportunity to line its pockets by breaking the law and hiring a low-skilled, low-wage and undocumented work force."

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., is also against the practice, citing its "serious social ramifications." As he told Salon, it devastates "local workers who have been hit twice, because they lost their homes."

Seventeen-year-old Simitrio Martinez (no relation to Arnulfo) is another one of the dozens of workers originally hired by Tovar, the North Carolina job broker working under KBR. "They were going to pay seven dollars an hour, and the food was going to be free, and rent, but they gave us nothing," says the thin Zapotec teenager. Simitrio spent nearly a month at the Seabee base. "They weren't feeding us. We ate cookies for five days. Cookies, nothing else," he says.

Simitrio, his co-workers, and the dozens of KBR subcontractors that employ them operate under public-private agreements like federal Task Order 0017, which defines the scope of work to be fulfilled under the contracts. Under the multimillion-dollar Department of Defense contract, KBR is supposed to provide services for "Hurricane Katrina stabilization and recovery at Naval Air Station Pascagoula, Naval Air Station Gulfport, Stennis Space Center and other Navy installations in the Southeast Region," according to a Defense Department press release.

But the details of the agreements remain murky. "Not only is it very difficult to see the actual signed DoD contracts, but it is nearly impossible to see the actual task orders, which assign the goods or services the government is buying," says Scott Amey, general counsel for the Project on Government Oversight in Washington. The military can ask for goods and services on an as-needed basis, he says, which means that the contracts, which add up to tens of millions of dollars, can remain open ended. According to DoD press statements, the contracts call for considerable manual labor, including "re-roofing of most buildings, barracks, debris removal from the entire base, water mitigation, mold mitigation, interior and exterior repairs to most buildings, waste treatment plants, and all incidental related work."

Simitrio and any other workers on the high-security military bases must get permission before entering the guarded gates, where they get patted down by M-16-wielding military police. Responsibility for getting private-sector construction and cleanup workers on the bases rests with the general contractor -- in KBR's case, security chief Kevin Flynn. One of Flynn's responsibilities is to negotiate passes and entry for KBR subcontractors -- and their hires -- to do the work stipulated by the task order.

Yet, following several complaints by Landrieu, and just a few days after President Bush visited the Belle Chasse base, agents from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency raided the facility and detained 10 workers who ICE spokeswoman Jamie Zuieback said had "questionable" documentation.

Representatives of Halliburton/KBR do not acknowledge the existence of undocumented workers providing labor for their operations on the Gulf Coast bases. Flynn suggested speaking to the U.S. military, who he said "has real strict control" and would know whether there were undocumented workers. "We have workers from all ethnic groups on the base," Flynn said. "To the best of my knowledge, there are no undocumented workers."

Steve Romano, head of housing on the Belle Chasse base, said, "We have no relationship with [KBR] at all. I have no idea what that's about." A similar response was given by an official at the base's health facility when asked about undocumented workers who complained about health issues and injuries sustained on the KBR sites. The only military person to acknowledge seeing Latino workers was a watch commander who greeted me at an entry to the base. The commander estimated there were 100 such workers there. Meanwhile, representatives with the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance say they received calls from undocumented workers at Belle Chasse who estimated there were more than 500, or "about eight busloads" of immigrant workers on-site.

Texas-based DRS Cosmotech is another subcontractor that provided cleanup crews to Halliburton/KBR in the Gulf. Roy Lee Donaldson, CEO of the company, refused to respond to accusations of non-payment and exploitation leveled at his company by several workers, including 55-year-old Felipe Reyes of Linares, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. (Donaldson hung up the phone when I identified myself as a reporter.)

"Mr. Donaldson promised us we'd live in a hotel or a house. We lived in tents and only had hot water that smelled like petroleum," Reyes said. The city of Belle Chasse has been identified in recent years as one of the most toxically polluted areas in the entire region, with several major energy companies operating there. A wide range of advocacy groups have warned about serious health risks facing Katrina cleanup workers.

"They didn't want to pay us for two weeks of work. So we stopped working. We started a huelga [strike] on the base" added Reyes, who along with other workers, says he was later paid $1,100 -- only part of what he says he was owed.

Another KBR subcontractor, Alabama-based BE&K, says it is not responsible for keeping track of the workers. BE&K spokesperson Susan Wasley said, "I can't say that we require our subcontractors' employees to produce documentation for us, because that's what our subcontractor as employer has to do. That's his responsibility."

At the bottom of the KBR subcontracting pyramid are job brokers like Tovar and Gregorio Gonzalez, who helped hire laborers for Florida-based On Site Services, another subcontractor that reportedly failed to pay wages owed to workers in the Gulf Coast. The job brokers find workers by placing ads in Spanish-language newspapers like La Subasta and El Dia in Houston; the ads typically promise room, board and pay in the range of $1,200 a week. Job brokers also run television ads on Spanish-language stations like Univision. And they attend job fairs in places like Fresno, Calif.

Not all subcontractors refuse to discuss their links to KBR. Luis Sevilla is pretty open about it if you can get to the crowded hangar on the restricted premises of the Seabee naval base where he and his crew sleep and work. Sevilla put together crews for KBR subcontractors to remove asbestos and do other construction work; his workers told me they are paid and treated well. Asked about the people who own the R.V. with a "KBR" logo outside the hangar where his workers crowd into small tents, Sevilla says, "They contract with many, many companies." Interviews with members of Sevilla's crew revealed a number of undocumented workers.

Despite the evidence of undocumented workers cleaning up after Katrina, Halliburton/KBR maintains that it runs its operations within the bounds of the law. "KBR operates under a rigorous Code of Business Conduct that outlines legal and ethical behaviors that all employees and subcontractors are expected to follow in every aspect of their work," spokesperson Norcross said by e-mail. (She did not respond to several requests for a phone interview.) "We do not tolerate any exceptions to this Code at any level of our company."

Standing in spitting distance of the KBR-branded R.V., which is parked as if it were guarding the hangar, Jose Ruiz of Nicaragua knows that his role in the Katrina cleanup is anonymous at best. "I don't have any papers, kind of like in that song by Sting -- 'I'm an illegal alien,'" says Ruiz, who lived in the United States for many years before arriving to work for Sevilla at the Seabee base. "That's the way it is."

-- By Roberto Lovato

Salon.com


 

Bush The Draft Dodger HATES OUR TROOPS.


You wouldn't expect a draft-dodger to understand the mental problems soldiers bring home. There are probably about 70,000 of them...


Nearly 2,000 US troops have been killed in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, and tens of thousands wounded. But many have found themselves dealing with psychological - as well as physical - trauma. In the second of a five-part series, BBC News talks to soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related symptoms.....

BBC


 

Bush Balls Out Lies Exposed


A in-depth accounting of Bush's new strategy of lying to America: accusing Democrats of rewriting history as he rewrites history. (See earlier entry about 1984!)


When I made the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, Congress approved it with strong bipartisan support.

Actually, Congress did not approve Bush's decision to remove Saddam.

There are so many lies, you have to read them, it's really appaling!...

DavidCorn


Sunday, November 13, 2005

 

Another Politician With Principals Takes Responsibility and Admits Mistake in Iraq. Not Bush.


The Right Way in Iraq

By John Edwards
Sunday, November 13, 2005; B07

I was wrong.

Almost three years ago we went into Iraq to remove what we were told -- and what many of us believed and argued -- was a threat to America. But in fact we now know that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction when our forces invaded Iraq in 2003. The intelligence was deeply flawed and, in some cases, manipulated to fit a political agenda.

It was a mistake to vote for this war in 2002. I take responsibility for that mistake. It has been hard to say these words because those who didn't make a mistake -- the men and women of our armed forces and their families -- have performed heroically and paid a dear price..........

WashingtonPost.com



 

Bush. Republican Criminals. Stolen Election in Ohio. Hard... To... Track... All... The... Crimes......


Federal investigators identify local figures as ‘conduits’

Affidavit: Noe gave funds to Shultz, Thurber, Owen

Federal investigators pored through Tom Noe’s garbage and his bank records before identifying three public officials and 10 others as the people who Mr. Noe used to funnel money into President Bush’s re-election campaign, according to a record obtained by The Blade yesterday.

An affidavit filed in April with the U.S. District Court in Toledo shows that Betty Shultz, a Toledo city councilman; Maggie Thurber, a Lucas County commissioner, and Donna Owens, a member of the Ohio Industrial Commission, took checks from Mr. Noe before writing their own to the Bush-Cheney campaign.

Ms. Owens is a former mayor of Toledo who served as state commerce director under Gov. George Voinovich.

The affidavit is the first evidence from federal investigators about who was involved in the money-laundering case.

It also reveals, for the first time, that prosecutors believed that Mr. Noe’s wife, Bernadette, was involved.

In laying out its evidence, the FBI felt there was “probable cause to believe that” Mr. and Mrs. Noe had “conspired” to violate federal campaign-finance laws.

In one instance, Mrs. Noe was present when Mr. Noe exchanged checks for the fund-raiser, according to the FBI’s affidavit.

All but one of the people identified in the affidavit testified before the federal grand jury that returned a three-count indictment against Mr. Noe late last month. He is charged with violating federal campaign-finance laws that could result in up to 15 years in prison and a fine of nearly $1 million.

Mrs. Noe was not indicted, and no one has indicated she will be. At the time of the donations, she was chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party, a post her husband had held.

The U.S. Justice Department has said the Noe case is the largest campaign money-laundering scheme prosecuted since new campaign-finance laws were enacted by Congress in 2002.

The donations, allegedly given to attend an Oct. 30, 2003, fund-raiser in Columbus that generated $1.4 million for the Bush-Cheney campaign, helped propel Mr. Noe to the status of a Bush “Pioneer,” or someone who helped raise at least $100,000 for the campaign........

Toledoblade.com



 

Bush's Church Turns On Bush.


Methodist Bishops Repent Iraq War 'Complicity'


WASHINGTON — Ninety-five bishops from President Bush's church said Thursday they repent their "complicity" in the "unjust and immoral" invasion and occupation of Iraq.

"In the face of the United States administration's rush toward military action based on misleading information, too many of us were silent," said a statement of conscience signed by more than half of the 164 retired and active United Methodist bishops worldwide.

President Bush is a member of the United Methodist Church, according to various published biographies. The White House did not return a request for comment on the bishops' statement.

Although United Methodist leadership has opposed the Iraq war in the past, this is the first time that individual bishops have confessed to a personal failure to publicly challenge the buildup to the war.

The signatures were also an instrument for retired bishops to make their views known, said bishop Joseph H. Yeakel, who served in the Baltimore-Washington area from 1984 to 1996. The current bishop for the Baltimore-Washington area, John R. Schol, also signed the statement......

FoxMorons



 

Americans Unwelcomed All Over the World.


Thanks George! I wanted to visit Italy some day, and now they think we are a bunch of criminals. Is there anywhere in the world where they don't hate us now?


Italian prosecutors on Friday formally requested the extradition of 22 U.S. citizens believed to be CIA operatives on charges that they seized an Egyptian Islamic cleraic off a Milan street in early 2003 and flew him to Cairo, where he later said he was tortured.

The prosecutors' decision places added pressure on U.S. officials to explain the Bush administration's alleged role in the abduction of Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar. Italy and the United States have an extradition treaty that generally requires both countries to hand over defendants facing charges.....

WashingtonPost



 

I Am A Traitor. I Really Do Want Terrorists To Kill Americans!!!


Bill O'Reilly, a draft-dodging weasel, AGAIN says he wants terrorists to come here and kill Americans. And he means it!



O’Reilly Responds: “What I Said Isn’t Controversial. What I Said Needed to Be Said.....”

ThinkProgress.org


 

Further Proof President Moron is KILLING YOUR CHILDREN!


As noted in an earlier post, thanks to the catatrophic failures of the Bush administration, the number of terrorist in the world has nearly doubled. Here is even futher proof.



Amman Bombings Reflect Zarqawi's Growing Reach
By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, November 13, 2005; A01


BERLIN, Nov. 12 -- Triple suicide bombings in Jordan this week marked a breakthrough for Islamic guerrilla leader Abu Musab Zarqawi in his efforts to expand the Iraqi insurgency into a regional conflict and demonstrated his growing independence from the founders of al Qaeda, according to Arab and European intelligence officials.

Zarqawi, 39, has sought for years to overthrow the monarchy in his native Jordan. But since he emerged over the past two years as the best-known leader of the insurgency in Iraq, his success in rallying Islamic extremists from other countries to fight U.S. forces there has enabled him to extend his reach and influence, officials and analysts say. His guerrilla network, they say, has established roots in Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

"This is really alarming, if Zarqawi is able to carry out these kind of attacks in Jordan and if Iraq is able to become the headquarters for terror attacks in the region," said Mustafa Alani, senior policy analyst for the Gulf Research Center in Dubai. "We're talking about the emergence of another Afghanistan."

Some terrorism analysts and officials say Zarqawi has already eclipsed al Qaeda's founder, Osama bin Laden, in terms of prominence and appeal to Islamic radicals worldwide. Both want to establish a new Islamic caliphate in the Middle East but have clashed over tactics, such as whether it is advisable to avoid targeting Muslims.

While bin Laden has been on the run for the past four years, largely cut off from the outside world, Zarqawi has attracted hundreds if not thousands of fighters to Iraq and has avoided capture despite the presence of as many as 150,000 U.S. troops. He also has raised his profile by embracing merciless tactics, including videotaped beheadings and suicide attacks on civilian targets, such as the bombings in Amman that killed nearly 60 people at three hotels Wednesday night......

WashingtonPost



 

Bush Foreign Policy Fails Miserably for the Second Time in Less Than One Week!


After failing miserably to do anything other than incite violence in South America earlier in the week, President Moron fails in the Middle East.



Mideast democracy summit ends with no deal

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — A U.S.-backed summit meant to promote political freedom and economic change in the Middle East ended Saturday without agreement, a blow to President Bush's goals for the troubled region....

The White House had hoped the conference would showcase political progress in a part of the world long dominated by monarchies and single-party rule, and spread goodwill for the U.S....

USAToday, Yahoo!



 

Conservatives HATE America.


Conservatives Hate:

Conservatives Hate America.

Can we please have a real president back, like Jimmy Carter, who does not hate American values?

Yahoo!



 

Proof Libby Is Covering for President Cheney.


Libby May Have Tried to Mask Cheney's Role


In the opening days of the CIA leak investigation in early October 2003, FBI agents working the case already had in their possession a wealth of valuable evidence. There were White House phone and visitor logs, which clearly documented the administration's contacts with reporters.

And they had something that law enforcement officials would later describe as their "guidebook" for the opening phase of the investigation: the daily, diary-like notes compiled by I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, then Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, that chronicled crucial events inside the White House in the weeks before the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame was publicly disclosed.

The investigators had much of this information before they sat down with Libby on Oct. 14, 2003, and first heard from him what prosecutors now allege was a demonstrably false version of what happened. Libby said that, when he told other reporters about the CIA operative and her marriage to Iraq war critic Joseph C. Wilson IV, he believed he had first learned the information from Tim Russert of NBC News and was merely passing along journalistic hearsay. This was an explanation made dubious by Libby's own notes, which showed that he previously had learned about Plame from his boss, Cheney.

In the aftermath of Libby's recent five-count indictment, this curious sequence raises a question of motives that hangs over the investigation: Why would an experienced lawyer and government official such as Libby leave himself so exposed to prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald?

Libby, according to Fitzgerald's indictment, gave a false story to agents and, later, to a grand jury, even though he knew investigators had his notes, and presumably knew that several of his White House colleagues had already provided testimony and documentary evidence that would undercut his own story. And his interviews with the FBI in October and two appearances before the grand jury in March 2004 came at a time when there were increasingly clear signs that some of the reporters with whom Libby discussed Plame could soon be freed to testify -- and provide starkly different and damning accounts to the prosecutor.

To critics, the timing suggests an attempt to obscure Cheney's role, and possibly his legal culpability. The vice president is shown by the indictment to be aware of and interested in Plame and her CIA status long before her cover was blown. Even some White House aides privately wonder whether Libby was seeking to protect Cheney from political embarrassment. One of them noted with resignation, "Obviously, the indictment speaks for itself."

In addition, Cheney also advised Libby on a media strategy to counter Plame's husband, former ambassador Wilson, according to a person familiar with the case......

WashingtonPost.com



 

President Cheney Keeps War Memo from Moron. American Troops Die. And Worse.


Ex-Powell Aide Suggests Pre-War Memo Was Kept From Bush


A former top official in the Bush administration is suggesting that a White House memo outlining the need for hundreds of thousands of troops for the Iraq invasion was kept from the president. Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to then-secretary of state Colin Powell during President Bush's first term, said in a November 7 speech that the National Security Council had prepared a pre-war memo recommending that hundreds of thousands of troops and other security personnel were needed. “I don't know if the president saw it,” Wilkerson told the audience...

...he believed that then-national security advisor Condoleezza Rice or her deputy, Stephen Hadley, had blocked the memo...

...about 135,000 U.S. troops were sent - a decision that critics said has hurt America's ability to defeat the insurgency in Iraq and has led to increased American casualties.


In July 2003, USA Today reported the existence of the NSC memo, which examined the level of troops in peacekeeping operations and concluded that some 500,000 troops would need to be deployed to Iraq. USA Today raised doubts as to whether the president saw the memo. However, Wilkerson's assertion seemed to take the matter a step further, suggesting that aides who supported the war intentionally kept the president in the dark.

Wilkerson drew national attention last month, when, during a speech at the Washington-based New America Foundation, he accused Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld of forming a “cabal” to hijack American foreign policy.


“The reason I suspect it got stopped is simply that they knew [Cheney] and [Rumsfeld] dissented strongly and did not want to reopen that box of worms.”

In his speech this week at West Point, Wilkerson said that officials in the Pentagon and in Cheney's office “really pushed the envelope” on permitting harsh interrogations and treatment of prisoners. Wilkerson recounted how military lawyers who opposed a series of guidelines allowing harsh interrogation techniques were silenced, and how he found out instances of two detainees who died in American facilities in Afghanistan as early as December 2002.

Wilkerson told the audience that while he disagreed with many of the administration's foreign policy moves, what most “got [his] attention” and made him “very anxious” was the treatment of detainees advocated by other officials. Just before the infamous pictures from Abu Ghraib were made public, Wilkerson recounted, he was ordered by Powell to assemble a comprehensive paper trail because “this would be big.” Wilkerson said that when the president outlined in a memorandum that prisoners should be treated humanely in accordance with the spirit of the Geneva conventions and in conformity with U.S. values, he and others in government and the military took it to mean that U.S. troops were told to treat detainees in a decent manner. “But this is not what I saw in the paper trail with regards to the office of the vice president and the Pentagon,” Wilkerson said, adding that he had returned the documents to the State Department upon his retirement earlier this year. “They really pushed the envelope.” Turning to Iraq, he blamed Bush, for whom he voted twice, for failing to assert himself in the intra-cabinet feuding over the preparations for the war. “We went in with a plan that was so inept that it was impossible for me to believe [the president] had been briefed about it and approved it,” he said, expressing his conviction that the decisions were made by the top officials at the Pentagon and by Cheney, whom he described as “the most powerful vice president” in history. “If you want to change my opinion, Mr. President, please come out and say you took the decision yourself,” Wilkerson said. Wilkerson praised his former boss at the State Department, but acknowledged that his recent criticisms had estranged him from Powell, who is known for preferring to work behind the scenes. In the spring of 2004, Wilkerson said, he was writing resignation letters “twice a week” but, out of loyalty to Powell, decided to stayed on. “Some nights, I wish I had [resigned],” he added. Of Powell, Wilkerson said, “The way they treated him in the end was humiliating, I think he wanted to leave.”

Forward.com




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