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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Amid protest, Gonzales loses ABA 'Lawyer of the Year' title

Published: Saturday December 15, 2007
On Friday, Editor and Publisher of the American Bar Association Journal Edward Adams released a statement saying that fallen Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, previously named "Lawyer of the Year," will now be known as "Newsmaker of the Year."
"The Journal regrets that we did not make this theme clear," clarifying that the Journal article in question meant to highlight Gonzales' status as a "newsmaker," and their story on him will remain unchanged otherwise.
"We appreciate the feedback we've received," says Adams, "and we're acting on it."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Gulf Challenges US on Iran, Israel


YOU DECIDE?During his speech, Gates stressed the danger of Iran's nuclear program, despite a new U.S. intelligence report earlier this week that said Tehran halted atomic weapons development in 2003 and hasn't resumed it since.
The report was a dramatic reversal from a previous report claiming Iran restarted the program in 2005.
Soon after Gates' speech, the defense secretary was challenged by Bahraini Minister of Labor Majeed al-Alawi, who wanted to know whether Gates thought "the Zionist (Israeli) nuclear weapon is a threat to the region."
Gates paused, and answered tersely: "No, I do not."
Asked if U.S. acceptance of that was a double standard in light of Washington's pressure on Iran, Gates again said "no," and described the government in Jerusalem as more responsible than the one in Tehran.
"I think Israel is not training terrorists to subvert its neighbors. It has not shipped weapons into a place like Iraq to kill thousands of innocent civilians covertly," said Gates. "So I think that there are significant differences in terms of both the history and the behavior of the Iranian and Israeli governments."


After the Money's Gone

For The New York Times, Paul Krugman writes: "On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve announced plans to lend $40 billion to banks. By my count, it's the fourth high-profile attempt to rescue the financial system since things started falling apart about five months ago. Maybe this one will do the trick, but I wouldn't count on it."

CIA Chief Cites Agency Lapse on Tapes

Mark Mazzetti reports for The New York Times, "Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, acknowledged on Wednesday that the CIA had failed to keep members of Congress fully informed that the agency had videotaped the interrogations of suspected operatives of Al Qaeda and destroyed the tapes three years later."


Exclusive *Footage: Ron Paul BLIMP (better than cnn,msnbc

An Open Letter to the Antiwar Left

Why we shouldn't ignore Ron Paul's candidacy...
By Joshua Frank
This is not about Rep. Paul as an individual per se, but about his grassroots following. He's exciting many newcomers to the movement and that must be welcomed. We certainly don't share the same views with all who have latched on to his campaign, but on the issue of the Iraq war we are in total agreement. One doesn't not have to be a member of the left to oppose empire. LinkHere

Rep. Wexler Wants Cheney Impeachment Hearings

CIA photos 'show UK Guantanamo detainee was tortured'

By Robert Verkaik, Law Editor
Lawyers for a British resident who the US government refuses to release from Guantanamo Bay have identified the existence of photographs taken by CIA agents that they say show their client suffered horrific injuries under torture.

Military Families Patient No More

Military wife and mom fed up with neocon talking points used to shut down her concerns. Tired of less than 1% of population doing all the dying and sacrificing. If Iraq is so righteous, then let those who love enlist. Put up or shut up.
Bush's rejection of the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran is further proof he's hell-bent on war and must be stopped before he kills more.

Follow The Money

Revelations about the far-ranging business entanglements of GOP presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani continue to put the former New York mayor on the hot seat.
The latest : As reported by Time Magazine, Giuliani’s private consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, received a $6.5 million windfall for helping a tech company called Seisint Inc. land government contracts for a massive data-mining program — a system the firm said could help fight terror by using supercomputers to store “billions of pieces of information from public records.”
The problem, write Time’s Michael Weiskopf and Massimo Calabresi, is that “the payment of percentages or commissions to ’solicit or secure’ government contracts is prohibited by federal law and laws of some states.”
An unnamed source at Giuliani Partners told the magazine that the firm had never received commissions, however, labeling the money instead as “special bonuses” that wouldn’t run afoul of federal law.

Right now, in a skyscraper in Melbourne the fate of the Gunns pulp mill in Tasmania's Tamar Valley is being decided by ANZ bank executives - and with your help we can make sure ANZ makes the right decision at their AGM next Tuesday and beyond.
The ANZ bank is considering financing Gunns' controversial pulp mill this week. Despite having the short-sighted approval of the new Labor Government, without a financial backer the project simply can't go ahead. Banks aren't answerable to the voters but they do listen when customers, shareholders and the public put their reputation at risk.
Our contacts inside the ANZ have told us that the ANZ decision-makers like the new head of the ANZ Mr Smith are actively listening and now this is the time to add your voice. Can you send a message to Mr Smith, to encourage him to do the right thing and not finance the Gunns pulp mill?
What’s wrong with the pulp mill?
The proposed pulp mill is a major threat to Tasmania’s pristine environment and economy. It will wreak havoc on the tourism, fishing, agriculture and wine industries in the area, and do untold environmental damage. Independent economic analysis even shows, contrary to Gunns’ claims, that the mill will destroy more jobs and wealth than it creates. It will substantially increase greenhouse gas emissions and mean more clear-felling of Tassie forests.

Blackwater in Baghdad: "It was a horror movie"

It's Called Georgies Liberation of Iraq 'His brains were missing:' Graphic account of Blackwater massacre
New testimony from witnesses and victims provides the most in-depth, harrowing account to date of the U.S. security firm's deadly rampage in Iraq.
Khalaf's observations are backed up by official accounts, including leaked FBI findings, which concluded that at least 14 of the 17 shooting deaths were unjustified, and statements by military officials disputing Blackwater's claim that its guards had been fired upon or under any sort of attack. The Iraq government's own investigation found no evidence that the guards had been provoked or attacked, and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's spokesperson called the shootings "deliberate murder."

They call it News, or is is the Dumbing Down of the people, You Decide?

Is junk media making you sick???

In just five days, the Federal Communications Commission plans to open the floodgates of further media consolidation across America.
If FCC Chairman Kevin Martin gets his way, your community will be inundated with even more mass-produced celebrity gossip and infotainment, and less local reporting and quality journalism: more of the the junk news that is making us sick.
Together we can stop them. We blocked them in 2003, and today we need you to show Washington that you don't want more media consolidation. To do it, we're building a "Wall" of opposition: your photo next to thousands of others, standing shoulder to shoulder against Big Media. We're going to deliver this Wall to the FCC. Add your name now.

Help Build the Wall Against Big Media

US Paid $32 Million For Iraqi Base That Was Never Built

The U.S. military paid a Florida company nearly $32 million to build barracks and offices for Iraqi army units even though nothing was ever built, Pentagon investigators reported.
The project had to be abandoned because the Iraqi Defense Ministry couldn't obtain rights to the land where the headquarters were to be built, according to a report released this month by the Defense Department's Office of Inspector General. Contracting records show the buildings would have housed one brigade and three battalions of...

Inspector general for Iraq under investigation

FBI, Congress among those probing overspending, mismanagement charges
WASHINGTON - Over the past four years, Inspector General Stuart W. Bowen Jr. and his staff have probed allegations of waste and fraud in the $22 billion U.S. effort to rebuild Iraq. Their work has led to arrests, indictments and millions of dollars in fines. And it has earned Bowen, who had been a legal adviser to President Bush, many admirers among both parties on Capitol Hill for his efforts to identify overspending and mismanagement.
But Bowen's office has also been roiled by allegations of its own overspending and mismanagement. Current and former employees have complained about overtime policies that allowed 10 staff members to earn more than $250,000 each last year. They have questioned the oversight of a $3.5 million book project about Iraq's reconstruction modeled after the 9/11 Commission report. And they have alleged that Bowen and his deputy have improperly snooped into their staff's e-mail messages.
The employee allegations have prompted four government probes into the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), including an investigation by the FBI and federal prosecutors into the agency's financial practices and claims of e-mail monitoring, according to law enforcement sources and SIGIR staff members. Federal prosecutors have presented evidence of alleged wrongdoing to a grand jury in Virginia, which has subpoenaed SIGIR for thousands of pages of financial documents, contracts, personnel records and correspondence, several sources familiar with the probe said.
Big Oil to Sign Iraq Deals Soon
Ben Lando, reporting for United Press International, writes, "Big Oil's big dreams are close to coming true as Iraq's Oil Ministry prepares deals for the country's largest oil fields."


24 hours to go, and crisis at the Bali climate talks. In the last day alone, over 150,000 of us have surged to the global rescue -- calling on the world not to give in to wrecking tactics by the governments of the US, Canada and Japan. We’re putting a full-page ad in the Jakarta Post’s summit edition where all the negotiators will see it, warning them to avert Titanic-like disaster -- and we’re coming together with other NGOs to deliver millions of signatures for climate action to governments.I’m writing from the main hall at Bali, where Al Gore just said it’s time for “a global people power movement” to step in. He’s right. Our new global emergency petition brings us directly into the main battle at Bali -- and there’s no question that delegates here are watching what we all do. So please -- drop everything for thirty seconds, click below to see the ad and sign the petition if you haven’t already, forward this link to everyone you know:
Click to sign the Petition

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Military Leaders: Ignore Bush Veto Threat, Ban Waterboarding
Thirty retired admirals and generals have penned a letter to key Democrats, urging them to defy President Bush's veto threats and pass legislation requiring U.S intelligence agents to follow strict standards for detainee treatment.
The letter - which is addressed to Senate and House intelligence chairmen John Rockefeller and Silvestre Reyes - urges the passage of Section 327 of the Conference Report on the Intelligence Authorization Act. The act passed the House this morning by a vote of 222 to 199 (only five Republicans supported the measure) but faces stiff opposition in the Senate. It would restrict the CIA from waterboarding by confining the agency to interrogation techniques permitted by the Army Field Manual.
"We believe it is vital to the safety of our men and women in uniform that the United States not sanction the use of interrogation methods it would find unacceptable if inflicted by the enemy against captured Americans," the military officials write. "That principle, embedded in the Army Field Manual, has guided generations of American military personnel in combat. The current situation, in which the military operates under one set of interrogation rules that are public and the CIA operates under a separate, secret set of rules, is unwise and impractical."

Nobel laureate Al Gore said Thursday the United States is "principally responsible" for blocking progress at the U.N. climate conference

Great Barrier Reef is 'doomed'
IT'S probably too late to save the Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs from destruction by global warming, a group of leading marine scientists say.

A Time to Break Silence
By Rev. Martin Luther King 4 April 1967

We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy, for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.

Follow the Leader: Halliburton Rape Case Reflects Bush Ethos

Chris Floyd, Empire
...The Bush Regime would not want to prosecute them good old Halliburton boys in any case; after all, they were only doing to this young woman what their paymasters on the Potomac have been doing to the entire country of Iraq year after year after year after year. Like the infamous guards at Abu Ghraib, like the American soldiers who raped, murdered and burned 15-year-old Abeer Qasim Hamza, or the Bush-backed, American-armed Iraqi security forces who abducted and raped young Sabrine Al-Janabi, the Halliburton attackers were carrying out on a smaller scale the very essence, ethos and aim of George W. Bush, Richard B. Cheney, and all of their enablers in both parties, in the press, and throughout the American Establishment: the violent imposition of their barbaric desires....

New Evidence That Hayden Lied: Former Prisoner Claims His Torture Was Taped In 2003

Think Progress
Earlier this week, ThinkProgress raised the issue of whether CIA Director Michael Hayden is lying when he claims that "videotaping stopped in 2002." The New York Times reported that former prisoner Muhammad Bashmilah, who claims "he was held by the C.I.A.," said he "saw cameras in interrogation rooms after 2002." Since then, more evidence has emerged that videotaped interrogations were occurring after 2002. The Chicago Tribune reports that in Feb. 2003, the CIA abducted a man named Abu Omar and rendered him to Egypt. The prisoner, who is now living in Alexandria, Egypt, said he could hear interrogators recording "the sounds of my torture and my cries"...

Democratic complicity in Bush's torture regimen

The Washington Post reports today that the Bush administration, beginning in 2002, repeatedly briefed leading Congressional Democrats on the Senate and House Intelligence Committees -- including, at various times, Jay Rockefeller, Nancy Pelosi, and Jane Harman -- regarding the CIA's "enhanced interrogation methods," including details about waterboarding and other torture measures. With one exception (Harman, who vaguely claims to have sent a letter to the CIA), these lawmakers not only failed to object to these policies, but affirmatively supported them.
This information was almost certainly leaked to the Post by intelligence officials who are highly irritated -- understandably so -- from watching the manipulative spectacle whereby these Democrats now prance around as outraged victims of policies to which they deliberately acquiesced, when they weren't fully supporting them. Numerous liberal bloggers are already drawing the only conclusions that can be drawn, and expressing their outrage and horror at the Democratic Party leadership. Those sentiments are indisputably appropriate, and I just want to add a few more points to them.
Jay Rockefeller was one of the key Democrats briefed on the torture methods who never objected. But it's far worse than that. In September, 2006, Rockefeller was one of 12 Senate Democrats to vote in favor of the Military Commissions Act, one of the principal purposes of which was to explicitly authorize the CIA's "enhanced interrogation program" to proceed (even though it continues to be illegal under the Geneva Conventions). Thus, not only did Rockefeller remain silent when continuously briefed on illegal torture methods by the CIA, he then voted to legalize those methods by voting in favor of one of the most Draconian laws in modern American history. That law also retroactively immunized government officials from any liability for past lawbreaking.
Rockefeller is not just any Democrat. He is the individual whom the Democratic Senate caucus thereafter elected -- and still chooses -- to lead them on all matters relating to intelligence. Just consider how compromised he is and they are when it comes to investigating abuses by the intelligence community over the last six years. Rockefeller was complicit in all of those abuses, and the Democrats voted for him -- and still support him -- as their Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. How can Rockefeller possibly preside over meaningful investigations into conduct and policies -- including the destruction of the videotapes and the conduct which those videotapes would reveal -- of which he approved? And how can Senate Democrats pretend to be outraged at such policies when the leader they chose supports them?
This is exactly why I was so ambivalent, at best, about the Democrats' melodramatic protest that Michael Mukasey's refusal to condemn waterboarding as torture somehow placed him beyond the realm of the mainstream. Torture didn't become an American policy despite the best efforts of a righteous Democratic leadership to stop that. Torture became an American policy precisely because a meek and often outright supportive Democratic leadership continuously allowed it. As I wrote at the time the Democrats were pretending to consider impeding Mukasey's confirmation:

Media Alert

Harper’s legal affairs contributor Scott Horton and Alabama Congressman Artur Davis will discuss the politically motivated prosecution and conviction of former Alabama Governor Don E. Siegelman on MSNBC’s “Live with Dan Abrams” tomorrow, Thursday, December 13 at 9:00 Eastern, 8:00 Central, 6:00 Pacific time, as segment four of the series “Bush League Justice.” Get information on the program here.
Scott will also be appearing tomorrow on Air America’s Thom Hartmann Program at 2:00 Eastern, 1:00 Central, 11:00 Pacific time, again to discuss the Siegelman case. A downloadable podcast can be heard after the program, and a list of participating stations can be found here.

Undermining Military Justice

It’s a cliché to say that “military justice is to justice as military music is to music.” It’s also far from fair to the American military. Over the last fifty years, the American military justice model evolved into something that—while always short of perfection, as all human works—nevertheless accurately reflects the basic values of a democratic society. In fact, the American court-martial system has long been something that Americans could be proud of. And more than anything this is thanks to the diligent work and professionalism of the uniformed lawyers who make that system work, the JAG corps.
Within two years of its arrival in Washington, the Bush Administration began to take a crow bar to the American military justice system. They wanted a new process in Guantánamo, and they had no position for justice in it. And they wanted the military lawyers to be their frontmen. As a senior JAG officer explained to me in West Point this fall: “They never asked us for our advice on how to do this. They instructed us what to do. And we did the best we could to give their designs at least some modicum of justice. But nobody is happy with the product.”
In fact over the last years we have seen a steady parade of JAG officers on the public stage protesting what has been done—a demolition derby of traditional values and procedures. “It’s destroying our reputation. Why should we be quiet about this? We are the guardians of an important legacy. Don’t we have a duty to that legacy?” Now I know a good many of these men and women, and they are not a bunch of wild-eyed Bill Kuenstlers in uniform. They are mostly conservative Republicans. And what propels them is that very conservatism–respect for traditional values.
Those who have spoken have been the TJAGs, the senior most generals and admirals in each service line, but also defense counsel, judges, and now the prosecutors. Congress has enacted legislation which will shortly promote the senior echelon of JAG officers, on an initiative from Senators McCain and Graham. This is a necessary change, because in the Bush Administration, uniformed lawyers have not gotten the respect and attention they deserve, and the country has faced a series of embarrassing scandals as a result.
DOJ Confused: Is Rape Really a Crime?
Another angle of the contractor immunity phenomenon is exhibited in a report carried by ABC’s chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross this evening.
A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident. Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she’d be out of a job.
“Don’t plan on working back in Iraq. There won’t be a position here, and there won’t be a position in Houston,” Jones says she was told.
Sounds like a serious crime to me. Or rather, several: Assault. Rape. False imprisonment. All crimes which the DOJ is empowered to prosecute if they occur in Iraq and involve contractors. It’s the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, or MEJA.
But in the eyes of the Bush Justice Department, contractors functioning in Iraq have complete immunity for whatever crimes they choose to commit. The U.S. issued a decree preventing the Iraqis from prosecuting. And the Justice Department isn’t going to do a thing about them. As one assistant attorney general explained to me in the corridors of the Rayburn Building, “we simply don’t have the resources or time to deal with this sort of thing.” Of course. When you dedicate 58 FBI agents (one of them recalled from Iraq just for that purpose) to a raid on a law office whose principals are under strong suspicion of raising money for Democratic presidential candidates and reimbursing staffers who make donations, then it only stands to reason that you have no resources to deal with the rape of a woman from Texas, or a group of Blackwater guards who needlessly murder 17 civilians at Nisoor Square. Or when you spend over $5 million on a bogus political prosecution of a Democratic governor, using evidence which is (as we will discover in the next two weeks) completely false. Or when you spend about $10 million on a series of trials in Mississippi which have the principal objective not of law enforcement, but of bankrupting the treasury of the Democratic Party. All of this shows what the priorities are: politics. Especially electoral politics. Dirty tricks designed to advance a G.O.P. electoral agenda. Murder, rape, assault? What is that by comparison? Unimportant. Trivial Stuff. Welcome to the Bush Justice Department.

Texas Worker Seeks Hearing on Alleged Gang-Rape in Iraq by Fellow Contractors

U.S. producer prices surge in November

Wholesale prices shot up 3.2 percent in November, the biggest jump in 34 years, propelled by a record rise in gasoline prices.
Link Here
Senate Republicans block energy bill
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Republicans blocked a broad energy bill Thursday because it included billions of dollars in new taxes on the biggest oil companies.
Democratic leaders fell one vote short, 59-40, in getting the 60 votes needed to overcome a GOP filibuster. Democrats said they would strip the taxes from the legislation to move the bill forward.
Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said he hoped to get the revised energy package approved later in the day, including the first increase in automobile fuel efficiency in three decades and massive increases in the use of ethanol as a motor fuel.
He said we will "eliminate the tax title."
Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky predicted the revised bill would be approved with wide bipartisan support.
The legislation, if passed by the Senate, would have to be voted on by the House, which a week ago approved legislation that included the $21 billion tax increases with revenues marked for promoting renewable fuels and energy efficiency.
But Senate Republicans stood firm on opposing the tax increases, which they said would guarantee a veto by President Bush.
McConnell chided Democrats for pushing a "massive tax increase" that he said "they knew would never be signed into law" because of the president's opposition.
Reid countered that the Senate shouldn't back away from the needed tax measures "just because the president doesn't like it."
"We must begin to break our country's addiction to oil," Reid said

CIA Torture Plane Wrecks .. and it's carrying cocaine

Just like back in Iran Contra days

This Florida based Gulfstream II jet aircraft # N987SA crash landed on September 24, 2007 after it ran out of fuel over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula it had a cargo of several tons of Cocaine on board now documents have turned up on both sides of the Atlantic that link this Cocaine Smuggling Gulfstream II jet aircraft # N987SA that crashed in Mexico to the CIA who used it on at least 3 rendition flights from Europe and the USA to Guantanamo's infamous torture chambers between 2003 to 2005.


Documents link CIA Torture Jet with 4 Tons of COCAINE


Kieth O. on the alleged rape of a Halliburton employee by her co-workers:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Iraq's national museum remains shut — and counting its losses

Cara Buckley
FOR a few brief hours, 36 spectators — journalists, politicians and their guards — gathered at the National Museum of Iraq, their voices echoing through its vast, darkened halls. It was one of the few occasions when outsiders had been allowed inside since Baghdad fell and looters stripped the galleries of 15,000 Mesopotamian artefacts. The sacking of the museum became a wrenching symbol of the losses of the war. Its directors have recovered 4000 missing pieces, among them gems, Islamic coins and carved stones. The pace of recovery picked up as word spread that rewards were being offered for items returned. Still, executive director Amira Eidan said she could not forecast when the museum might reopen because restoration efforts had been slowed by insufficient financing....
continua / continued

A quick thought...

Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
December 12, 2007Someone is dying to see a civil war in Lebanon again.Why do I have this eerie feeling that Iran and Israel are itching big time?Why can't I shake off this deep gut instinct that they would love to repeat their collaborative Iraq scenario in Lebanon ?I have more to say about that. I have more to say about Iran and Israel and a new road map Arabs need to think through pronto before they get totally engulfed by those two equally vile barbarians, whose ultimate goals and objectives coincide perfectly well.

It is the season of paying homage to Tehran

Fatih Abdulsalam, Azzaman
...Washington has no more option left from now on but to appease Iran with regard to Iraq file. Washington needs Iran’s protection when the hour for withdrawal strikes. Iran is not naïve and stupid. It has longstanding strategic interests in Iraq with a bearing on developing the country’s oil riches. It wants to link Iraq’s economy intricately with its own so that no government will be in a position in the future to shun Iran’s hegemony. Washington was late in giving Iran the clean bill of nuclear health. But as arrangements for U.S. withdrawal are being made, it had no choice but to pursue the path of appeasement. The U.S. should have signed a memorandum of understanding with the government in Tehran rather than Baghdad for plans calling for long-term military presence in the country....
continua / continued
Unidentified gunmen stormed government ware houses in the southern city of Basra and stole 375 government cars and 20 tons of lead, police sources say. The robbery is reported to be the largest and most organized in the years since the U.S. invasion of the country. The robbers were said to by carrying forged papers which enabled them to drive away with the vehicles, the sources refusing to be named said. The lead has disappeared from government warehouses in central Iraq....

Freedom lost

Mark Lattimer, The Guardian
...under Saddam, women in Iraq - including in semi-autonomous Kurdistan - were widely recognised as among the most liberated in the Middle East. They held important positions in business, education and the public sector, and their rights were protected by a statutory family law that was the envy of women's activists in neighbouring countries. But since the 2003 invasion, advances that took 50 years to establish are crumbling away. In much of the country, women can only now move around with a male escort. Rape is committed habitually by all the main armed groups, including those linked to the government. Women are being murdered throughout Iraq in unprecedented numbers. In October the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (Unami) expressed serious concern over the rising incidence of so-called honour crimes in Iraqi Kurdistan, confirming that 255 women had been killed in just the first six months of 2007, three-quarters of them by burning....
continua / continued
The future of Iraq and the Neo Con project to bring democracy to Iraq
...Blair purposely ignored all the violence that had taken place in Basra in 2006. Brown continues to deny the horrific situation there, claiming that the city - healed or not - will have to deal with its own affairs after the American and British messed it up in 2003. The Basra that Brown wants to leave is one dominated by Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. His pictures are plastered on the walls and monuments of Basra, showing how powerful he really is. Alcohol is banned and veiling is becoming a must; those who refuse are arrested or beaten by religious militias who act as morality police squads. Merchants who sell alcohol have been beaten by the fundamentalists. Some have been even executed....

In Case You Missed It!!!!!!!!

I should mention that Bond is the ranking Republican on the Senate intelligence committee.

Waterboarding = Swimming
GOP Senator Says Waterboarding Is "Like Swimming, Freestyle, Backstroke"
GWEN IFILL: I just would like to -- but do you think that waterboarding, as I described it, constitutes torture?
SEN. KIT BOND: There are different ways of doing it. It's like swimming, freestyle, backstroke. The waterboarding could be used almost to define some of the techniques that our trainees are put through, but that's beside the point. It's not being used.


The Great Pretenders

by Silence is Complicity
Fri Mar 02, 2007 at 05:48:08 AM PST
There's no doubt in my mind that Hannity and O'Neill are the greatest of pretenders.
HANNITY: I don't know if George Bush would have won re-election but for you guys telling the truth. And as far as I'm concerned, you're all heroes. John O'Neill, you're a great American. Thank you for being with us.
Who do Hannity and O'Neill think they're kidding?
There's something bigger that O'Neill and Hannity are trying to activate here. It's not just an attack against John Kerry per se. It's an attack against ACCOUNTABILITY. And it's an atttack against truth and integrity. It's an unjust attack just as it was in 04.
What we're facing here is the same old m.o. the conservative media does to prop up their failings. And they don't like it when people fight back as John Kerry did, so they sent in their waterboys--Hannity and O'Neill.
Kerry led the truth seeking mission and Obama landed the final blow simply by telling the truth: There was essentially a fraud being perpetrated on the American people..."
Follow me below the fold and I'll explain more.

Torture, Destruction of Evidence, Obstruction of Justice--Just a Typical Day in the Bush Administration

Torture, Destruction of Evidence, Obstruction of Justice--Just a Typical Day in the Bush Administra
by Silence is Complicity LinkHere

Let's be frank here.
The recent discovery of documents related to the torture videotapes that were destoyed is old news, not new. The fact is that since 2001, our government has tortured, lied about the torture, and destroyed court ordered evidence and documents of the torture. In other words, they've done everything they can to cover their own asses.
Ask Jesselyn Radack.
If you don't know who Jesselyn Radack is, rest assured that Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, Gonzalez, Rumsfeld, De Pue, Cherthoff and other high ranking officials do. Jesselyn Radack was the ethics advisor at the Department of Justice in 2001 at the onset of America's emerging torture policies. She was also one of the first to witness how far this administration would go to destroy evidence of their torture and to attack anyone who revealed them to the public.
Take a short trip down memory lane.
Most of us surely remember the famous picture of John Walker Lindh--naked, blindfolded, strapped and bound to a board with the word "SHITHEAD" sprawled across the duct-tape on his forhead, as he was lifted out of the freezing cold, unlit shipping container, where he'd been bound for days. He suffered dehydration, hypothermia, and frostbite. Parts of his torture had even been caught on videotape.

(Image courtesy Wikipedia)
Remember that?
And most of us remember Ashcroft standing in front of a microphone saying:
"Today I'm announcing the filing of criminal charges against John Walker Lindh, an American citizen who was captured in Afghanistan fighting for the Taliban. ...
...As set forth in the complaint, the charges filed against Walker are based on voluntary statements made by Walker himself. The complaint alleges Walker knowingly and purposely allied himself with certain terrorist organizations with terror; that he chose to embrace fanatics; and his allegiance to those fanatics and terrorists never faltered, not even with the knowledge that they had murdered thousands of his countrymen, not with the knowledge that they were engaged in a war with the United States, and not, finally, in the prison uprising that took the life of CIA agent Johnny Spann.
...Walker is in the process from being transferred from the custody of the United States military, where by his own account he was treated well and received adequate food and medical treatment, to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
As the complaint states, prior to being interviewed by the FBI, Walker was informed of his Miranda rights, including the right to speak to consul. He acknowledged that he understood each of his rights, and he choose to waive them both verbally and in a signed document.

(Image courtesy CNN)

Remember that too?

Well, Ashcroft was lying. Jesselyn Radack knew he was lying. She had the proof. Official documentation. A judge hearing the Lindh case asked for her documents but suddenly those documents had disappeared. When Jesselyn discovered that Ashcroft, Du Pue, and other superiors at the DOJ had not given the court ordered documents to the judge, Jesselyn became investigator and whistleblower.
What were her documents and why were they so important to hide from the court of law and the American people? Why were these documents so important that the Bush administration intentionally destroyed them?
According to Jesselyn, she had emails in which she informed the government that they should not interview Lindh without an attorney present. She had evidence that Lindh did have an attorney, and yet he was held in captivity, stashed in a freezing storage container for two days, and when he was released he was offered a document to sign--his confession. And not once during those times did Lindh have access to his attorney.
Jesselyn wrote in her memoirs:
Shortly after meeting with Frank Lindh, Brosnahan faxed a letter to a number of key government officials, including Secretary of State Powell, Attorney General Ashcroft, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, Cia Director, George Tenet, and CIA General Counsel Robert McNamara, Jr. The letter informed them that Brosnahan had been hired by Lindh's parents to represent their son and asked that any further interrogation of him be stopped."
On December 7th, Lindh was flown to Camp Rhino, a U.S. Marine base in the high Afghan desert south of Kandahar, a former stronghold of the Taliban regime. He was blindfolded, stripped naked, bound to a stretcher with duct tape, taunted, threatened and locked in an unheated metal shipping container that sat on the floor in the bitter cold. That day, on what I thought would be a laid-back Friday, I received a call from John De Pue, a counter-terrorism prosecutor in the Criminal Division's Terrorism and Vilent Crime Section.
"The FBI wants to interview American Taliban member John Walker sometime next week, " De Pue advised. "The interview would occur in Afghanistan. Walker's father retained counsel for him and the FBI wants to question Walker about taking up arms against the U.S."
This type of situation raised red flags at PRAO because the ethics rules prohibit communication with people represented by counsel. We were told unambiguously that Lindh had counsel. In the advice we later rendered, the premise that Lindh had counsel was never questions. We never suggested for a minute the argument that he was somehow not "really" represented--the argument Ashcroft ultimately adopted
Compare that to Ashcroft's statement again:
As the complaint states, prior to being interviewed by the FBI, Walker was informed of his Miranda rights, including the right to speak to consul. He acknowledged that he understood each of his rights, and he choose to waive them both verbally and in a signed document
Clearly, you can see that Ashcroft lied, period!
Yet, Jesselyn wrote more in her memoir that proved our nation was torturing and admitting confessions under torture as legally binding evidence:
On December 9th at Camp Rhino, after two days in the steel shipping container, Lindh was taken out. FBI agent Christopher Reimann began extracting the confession from Lindh that became the basis for the eventual and ill-advised criminal case. Reimann read Lindh the Maranda warning, but admits that when noting the right to counsel, he ad-libbed, "Of course, there are no lawyers here." Lindh was not told that his parents had retained an attorney for him who was willing to fly to Afghanistan. Worried that he would be returned to the container, which in fact happened at the conclusion fo the two-day interrogation, Lindh signed the waiver, which was improperly administered and clearly raised voluntariness issues.
On Monday De Pue called again with news from the Deputy Legal Adviso of the FBI: despite our advice not to question Lindh without counsel, an agent went and interviewed him over the weekend."
De Pue wanted to know what to do now.
Later, Jesselyn relays how the PRAO was in crisis management mode. She stated:
Meanwhile, Claudia told me to pull all the advice our office had ever issued in cases of "unauthorized cantracts" (unethical contracts with a person represented by counsel), which I did. ...
...two weeks after he had been transferred to our military custody, Navy physicians finally removed the bullet from his leg. I followed up repeatedly with John De Pue but received no response, which was unusual because he was the one who had initiated both of the contacts with our office. At the same time, Claudia told me, "Our office's involvement in this matter is over."
This abrupt termination was unprecedented when our office's advice had been flouted because part of our mission was to insulate Department attorneys from future allegations of ethical misconduct."
...I soon learned why.
Jesselyn then wrote about how Office of Legal Counsel, the same office that wrote the Patriot Act also provided agruments to keep U.S. officials from being charged with war crimes for the way prisoners were detained and treated. In January 2002, the memos from the Defense Department attempted to address if the Geneva Conventions applied to detainees. Here's the timeline:
January 24, 2002--literally six weeks after being forced, bound, and trapped in a freezing container, Lindh arrived home battered and haggard and in time for his first court appearance where he got to meet his attorneys for the first time.
On January 25, Gonzalez wrote the memo that rendered the Geneva Conventions obsolete.
On January 26, Powell wrote a memo to the Gonzalez making clear that the Geneva Conventions applied and why.
On February 1, 2002, Ashcroft wrote a 12 paragraph memo warning that if Bush sided with the State department then American officials would wind up going to jail for violating U.S. and the International laws.
On Februrary 7, 2002, President Bush announced who he would apply the Geneva Conventions to and who he wouldn't
President Bush determined, with a little help from his friends, that the Geneva Conventions didn't apply and that he would rule who deserved to be tortured and who would be protected by POW status under the Geneva Conventions.
Obviously, this was another case of trying to cover their asses. Break a law...so change the law.
The torture and timeline above shows with out a doubt how torture was committed, against the advice of the ethics advisor in the DOJ, and against the law of this land. But the coverup began as John Walker Lindh's case was being heard in Eastern Virginia by U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis, III.
Once again, we refer to Jesselyn's memoir's:
Judge Ellis ordered that "all copies of the Justice Department's internal correspondence about the conditions of Lindh's interrogation be sent to him so that he could determin if the documents should be passed on to the defense team. Claudia concealed the order from me.
...March 7, 2002, was a pivotal day for me, when two and two finally added up to four. I go to work to find an e-mail from Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Bellows, the lead prosecutor in the Lindh case. he informed me that he had filed with the court two of my e-mails with De Pue, but wanted confirmation that he had all the Lindh-related communications I had written so that he could comply with the Court's discovery order. I wondered, "What discovery order?" His contact was my first alert to the discovery order. No one within PRAO had advised me of the Court's order or asked me to assist with compliance, even though I was the author and most likely source of the materials sought by the Court. Morever, I had written far more than two e-mails."
There's more Jesselyn discovered:
I was concerned immediately becaue I knew there were many more e-mails than the couple.
...Claudia came in shortly afterwards and I rushed to tell her in person about this development. She got very defensive. Staring daggers at me, she whispered in a slow, deliberate voice, "I sent everything that was in the file."
I went and checked the hard copy file, which had been an inch-thick stack of paper bound by a heavy-duty, long-reach staple. I felt sick as soon as I saw what was--and what was not--inside.
So here we arrive at today, and what brought on this massive article.
Today, Jesselyn forced herself to post a diary at DailyKos, Jesselyn states:
My e-mail advising against interrogating him without a lawyer "disappeared." So all of this sounds hauntingly familiar.
The CIA videotapes documented agency operatives subjecting terrorist suspects to severe interrogation techniques. My e-mails documented my advice against interrogating Lindh without a lawyer, and concluded that the FBI committed an ethics violation when it did so anyway. Abu Zubaydah was subjected to waterboarding. John Walker Lindh was stripped, bound, blindfolded and stuffed into a frigid steel shipping container. Both the CIA videotapes and my e-mails were destroyed in part because officials were concerned that they documented controversial interrogation methods.
On July 12, 2002, the Defense Department was apoplectic that its new policy on the torture of captives in the war on terrorism was going to be exposed. It was a Friday and Lindh's suppression hearing--which was going to expose who did what to him--was scheduled for Monday. The Defense Department made it clear to the Justice Department that it wanted the suppression hearing blocked. Michael Chertoff, the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division (and now the head of the Department of Homeland Security) who was overseeing all the Justice Department's terrorism prosecutions, had the prosecution team offer a deal: the serious charges against Lindh would be dropped an he would plead guilty to just two technical charges AND . . .he would have to sign a statement swearing that he had "not been intentionally mistreated" by his captors and waiving any future right to claim mistreatment or torture.
The CIA and government withholding from the courts information about torturing terrorism suspects is not new and everyone's feigned surprise and outrage adds insult to injury. Not just injury to Zacarias Moussaoui or John Walker Lindh, but injury to the transparency that underpins democracy.
Since 2002, members of Congress and the media have known about this. Both Republican and Democratic members of Congress have failed to call for direct testimony under oath, and yet they feign surprise and send out righteous words of innocence to the media and to their distraught constituents?
Jesselyn has made a Herculean effort to get her memoirs to members of Congress. Take a look at the list of Senators and Representatives who have received her book and yet still failed to call her to testify under oath and have failed to call anyone else involved too.
Senator Leahy
Senator Levin
Senator Schumer
Senator McCain
Representative Pelosi
Representative Waxman
Representative Conyers
Senator Stabenow
So yeh...like the title says, "Torture, Destruction of Evidence, Obstruction of Justice--Just a typical day in the White House."
sparrow said:
I'd like you guys to focus on the shipping containers....
Ok. So Lindh was tortured and shoved into an isolated, freezing cold shipping container, while naked and strapped to a board for 2 days approx.
And then you have that young girl who was raped and shoved into a shipping container as well.
The shipping containers...
Does that imply a link that hadn't been explored before?
How would our gov't be allowed to have access to a shipping container without the permission of a corporation to use theirs?
Was the same corporation providing the shipping containers?
How many other people have been shoved into those containers?

CAN YOU IMAGINE? still today in the American Empire a vote such as this?

CNN QuickVote
Are there circumstances in which waterboarding of prisoners is acceptable?
Yes 55% 46074
No 45% 37437
Total Votes: 83511
monkey said:
This whole tape thing is driving me crazy.
So, lemme pose a hypothetical scenario.
Say one of our troops is captured in Iraq, and since many deem our forces to be "invaders" and have wrought terror upon many, they decide to waterboard or use some other "enhanced technique" to get that person to speak.
Say they videotape it. Say they release it and it hits the airwaves in America.
What would the reaction of the public be?
I'm guessing absolute hysterics, with people calling on the government to bomb the Middle East into oblivion, describing "those people" as animals, barbaric, sub-human, and worse, accusing "their God" of telling them to kill others in the name of religion, when all the while the ones directing these "safety measures" from the American side are also claiming that "they get their direction from a Higher power", one supposedly entrenched in the ideology love & peace.
Why the hell can't people see that what is being done in OUR name, under the thinly velied guise of "keeping us safe" is creating more and more animosity and enemies who will, without a doubt, continue to haunt us for these actions for generations to come?!?!?!
Maybe if George W. Bush is so interested in finding out what the true facts are, and his so-called "lawful enhanced techniques" are so bloody effective, just maybe he should waterboard some folks at the CIA, or in his own Cabinet, or his VP, or even himself.
Perhaps God will come to him at night and convince him to come clean on what he knows, or for that matter, what he doesn't.
Kangaroo Said:
Sadly, Monkey Georgie and this Adminstation, and I think most of the American People do think of America as and Empire, even though Christy said that they don't, I think that it will take another 9/11 for America, and the majority of the American People to understand the damage they have committed on the world community, You had the world community with you after 9/11, I think if a thing like that where to happen today, American would be standing very much alone.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Guantanamo Legal Adviser Refuses To Say Iranians Waterboarding Americans Would Be Torture
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “The Legal Rights of Guantanamo Detainees” this morning, Brigadier General Thomas W. Hartmann, the legal adviser at Guantanamo Bay, repeatedly refused to call the hypothetical waterboarding of an American pilot by the Iranian military torture. “I’m not equipped to answer that question,” said Hartmann.
After Hartmann twice refused to answer, Graham dismissed him in disgust, saying he had “no further questions.” Watch it:
Yesterday, ThinkProgress noted that Air Force Col. Morris Davis resigned his position as the chief prosecutor for the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay after he was placed under the command of torture advocate William Haynes. During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this morning, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) revealed that the Pentagon had blocked Davis from testifying before the committee. “The Defense Department has ordered him not to appear,” said Feinstein. Watch it:
In an interview last night with ABC News, John Kiriakou — the CIA official who headed the team that interrogated al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah — said that Zubaydah was waterboarded, but defended those actions as having prevented “maybe dozens” of planned attacks and “probably saved lives.”
But despite his vigorous defense of his past conduct, Kiriakou says he now views what he did as torture and says that he would not recommend those tactics going forward. “We don’t need enhanced techniques to get that nugget of information,” he said in an interview with Matt Lauer this morning on The Today Show. Watch it:
UPDATE: Larry Johnson writes, “The media is woefully ignorant on the subject of waterboarding and torture. Consider the coverage of former CIA officer, John Kiriakou, who is telling his story as an interrogator of Abu Zubaydah and insisting that waterboarding is an effective technique. ABC and CNN are repeating this absurd propaganda. However, if you read the transcript of his interview some key points are obscured in the media propaganda push:”
* Kiriakou never witnessed the waterboarding. It was carried out by another group of individuals (nfi).* None of the information provided by Zubaydah concerned threats inside the United States.
Until Oct. 4, Morris Davis served as chief prosecutor for the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay. When originally asked why he was stepping down, Davis said that the Pentagon had ordered him “not to communicate with the news media about my resignation or military commissions.”
Today in an LA Times op-ed, however, Morris reveals that part of the reason he resigned was that the Bush administration placed him under the chain of command of Defense Department General Counsel William J. Haynes, a torture advocate whose nomination to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals was blocked by the Senate. Morris writes:


Hey Faux News you taking Notice.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- While presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is surging in new polls of GOP candidates, a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Tuesday shows he would lose to all three leading Democratic candidates by double digits in hypothetical contests.
In head-to-head matchups -- the first to include Huckabee -- the former Arkansas governor loses to Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York by 10 percentage points (54 percent to 44 percent), to Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois by 15 points (55 percent to 40 percent) and to former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina by 25 points (60 percent to 35 percent).
The poll comes on the heels of a CNN/Opinion Research poll released Monday that showed Huckabee doubled his support nationally among likely Republican voters in the last month and is in a statistical dead heat with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. View complete poll results
But Huckabee's double-digit deficits with the leading Democrats likely suggest that the Arkansas Republican still lacks widespread name recognition nationally, according to Keating Holland, CNN's polling director.
"Americans tend not to support candidates they're not familiar with, and it's possible Huckabee's numbers are low in these hypothetical matchups because he is still not very well known nationally," Holland said.
The poll also shows that Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona would do best against leading Democrats. He beats Clinton by 2 percentage points (50 percent to 48 percent), ties Obama (48 percent to 48 percent) and loses to Edwards by a smaller margin (8 points) than the other Republican candidates do.


Wingnuts Can't Dance: Karen Bradley Analyzes the Candidates
(Apologies..I actually can't find any of them dancing)
Darn NMP surely you didn't miss this one

Monkey's definition of Repubs Dancing.

I like


Ryan White's mother seeks meeting with GOP presidential candidate

Ryan White, Aids Memorial Quilt
Huckabee AIDS comment alarms victim's mom
AIDS patients should have been isolated.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The mother of Ryan White, an Indiana teenager whose life-ending battle with AIDS in the 1980s engrossed the nation, wants to meet with Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee to discuss his comments 15 years ago that AIDS patients should have been isolated.
The former Arkansas governor and GOP front-runner in the important Iowa caucuses said Sunday that he stood by the comments.
That has infuriated Jeanne White-Ginder, who said: "It's so alarming to me."
In a telephone interview Monday with The Associated Press from her home in Leesburg, Fla., she said: "It's very important to me that we don't live in the darkness" when people thought AIDS was transmitted through casual contact, such as by "kissing, tears, sweat and saliva."
"We have to treat this disease like a disease, and like Ryan always said, not like a dirty word," she said.
White was 13 when he was diagnosed with AIDS in December 1984, having contracted the disease from the blood-clotting agent used to treat his hemophilia. He was barred from school the following year out of fear the disease was spread casually. He died in 1990 at age 18.

Now that tickles my fancy, Excellent, poor rats, to even be associated with the GOP

Republican Convention in St Paul
I can't believe that the Republican Convention is going to stink up my blue state of Minnesota. But at least I can say with satisfaction that they made a mistake selecting this place. We'll be waiting for them to show them what democracy looks like.

Should have remembered those words when he let a rapist go free, to commit rape and murder on innocent women, don't you think?

Huckabee Flashback: "Take This Nation Back For Christ"
"I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ."
Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R),
quoted by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette on June 8, 1998, on "why he left pastoring for politics."

Georgies Liberation for Women in Iraq. It's what is called Georgies Democracy.

The move is a sign of the religious and cultural conservatism that has taken hold since Hussein's ouster.
Los Angeles Times December 11, 2007 08:49 AM
The Iraqi government has ordered all policewomen to hand in their guns for redistribution to men or face having their pay withheld, thwarting a U.S. initiative to bring women into the nation's police force.
The Interior Ministry, which oversees the police, issued the order late last month, according to ministry documents, U.S. officials and several of the women. It affects all officers who have earned the title "policewoman" by graduating from the police academy. It does not apply to men in men in the same type of jobs.
Critics say the move is the latest sign of the religious and cultural conservatism that has taken hold in Iraq since Saddam Hussein's ouster ushered in a government dominated by Shiite Muslims. Now, that tendency is hampering efforts to bring stability to Iraq by driving women from the force, said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. David Phillips, who has led the effort to recruit female officers.

Agent: Waterboarding OK'ed at the Top

In last week's message, Hayden told CIA employees that "the leaders of our oversight committees in Congress were informed of the videos years ago and of the Agency's intention to dispose of the material. Our oversight committees also have been told that the videos were, in fact, destroyed."
But Reyes said Monday that Hayden's claim that Congress was properly notified "does not appear to be true."

Sometimes the greatest sin is not what we do - but what we don't.

Support Benazir Bhutto
Democracy in Pakistan

Monday, December 10, 2007

Warren P. Strobel reports for McClatchy Newspapers,
"A State Department project manager banished from Iraq by the US ambassador and under scrutiny by the Justice Department continues to oversee the construction of the much-delayed new American embassy in Baghdad from nearby Kuwait, State Department officials disclosed Thursday."
Warren P. Strobel reports for McClatchy Newspapers: "Embattled State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard, under fire for allegedly impeding probes into problems with construction of the US Embassy in Baghdad and with security firm Blackwater Worldwide, submitted his resignation Friday."

White House Goes Silent On Destroyed CIA Tapes

CBS News December 10, 2007 01:01 PM
As Congress seeks answers about why the CIA destroyed tapes of terror suspects under interrogation, White House lawyers have advised President Bush's spokeswoman not to answer specific questions about the matter.
The U.S. Justice Department and the Central Intelligence Agency's internal watchdog are conducting a joint inquiry into the spy agency's destruction of videotaped interrogations of two suspected terrorists, to determine whether a full investigation is warranted. With that review ongoing, the White House counsel's office has instructed Mr. Bush's...

NEWS AMERICAS Nuclear fallout

By Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera's senior political analyst
"Dishonest", "misleading", "lying" and "spinning" are just some of the measured adjectives used in the mainstream US media to characterise George Bush, the president, and Stephen Hadley, his national security adviser, after they embraced the damning National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) summary report on Iran as proof of the effectiveness and success of the administration's Tehran policy.
The NIE judges "with high confidence that in the fall of 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons programme", and that "Tehran's decision to halt its nuclear weapons programme suggests it is less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005".
It further said that "...Tehran's decisions are guided by a cost-benefit approach rather than a rush to a weapon irrespective of the political, economic and military costs". And that "this NIE does not assume that Iran intends to acquire nuclear weapons".
The White House seems to have known of much of this and more for some time, but chose to escalate the war rhetoric against Tehran.

Victim: Gang-Rape Cover-Up by U.S., Halliburton/KBR

In a statement, KBR said it was "instructed to cease" its own investigation by U.S. government authorities "because they were assuming sole responsibility for the criminal investigations."
"The safety and security of all employees remains KBR's top priority," it said in a statement. "Our commitment in this regard is unwavering."
Halliburton rape filing, courtesy Nyc

More Transparency! Schwarzenegger's Million Dollar Plus Travel Costs 'Vague'

Los Angeles Paul Pringle December 10, 2007 08:42 AM
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office has avoided fully disclosing payments of $1.7 million in nonprofit funds for private jets, hotel suites and support staff for his trips overseas, according to state documents and interviews.
Record-keeping for many of the governor's luxury-class jaunts has been by word of mouth. Asked how the staff tracks the costs, subject to public disclosure laws, Schwarzenegger attorney Daniel Maguire said: "Orally."

Oprah Is to Iraq as Cronkite Was to Vietnam

If Oprah can feel it and think it and say it, then you can feel it and think it and say it. What's not in question is the message to Democratic politicians, especially incumbents, still weaseling on Iraq: If you've lost Oprah, you've lost Middle America.

Oprah Winfrey speaks for Barack Obama in South Carolina

Oprah Winfrey Speaks for Barack Obama in Iowa - Part 1 of 2

Re: Oprah Winfrey Speaks for Barack Obama in Iowa - Part 2 of 2

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