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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Palestinian 'national poet' dies

Poet of conscience
Mr Darwish is famous throughout the Middle East and is regarded as the Palestinian national poet.
He is said to have given voice to the Palestinian dreams of statehood, crafted their 1988 declaration of independence and helped to forge a Palestinian national identity.
"He started out as a poet of resistance and then he became a poet of conscience," said Palestinian lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi, quoted by AP news agency.
"He embodied the best in Palestinians... even though he became iconic he never lost his sense of humanity. We have lost part of our essence, the essence of the Palestinian being."
His poetry has been translated into more than 20 languages, and he has won many international prizes for his work.

What A Friking Joke, Georgie Invades And Occupies The Sovereign Nation Of Iraq, And Then Starts Throwing Out Orders To Russia

Sovereignty just isn't what it used to be.
U.S. tells Russia to pull forces out of Georgia
"We deplore the Russian military action in Georgia, which is a violation of Georgian sovereignty and territorial integrity," U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad told reporters at a U.N. Security Council meeting in New York.
Source: reuters
By Susan Cornwell and Sue Pleming

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States told Russia on Friday to withdraw its forces from U.S. ally Georgia and stop its air attacks on the tiny Caucasus state following fighting in the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

"We call on Russia to cease attacks on Georgia by aircraft and missiles, respect Georgia's territorial integrity, and withdraw its ground combat forces from Georgian soil," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in a statement.

Rice issued her statement as Georgia, a former Soviet state that now wants to join NATO, said it would declare martial law as it battled to get control of the rebel enclave, which was backed by Russian forces.

Link Here

Lieberman cuts $100,000 check to Democrats, apparently in effort to save post

John ByrnePublished: Saturday August 9, 2008
The onetime Democrat who became an independent after facing a liberal anti-war primary challenger in Connecticut has cut a $100,000 check to the Democrats' Senate war chest, apparently because he wanted to keep his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
The Connecticut senator has faced criticism after his refusal to back presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). He's also allegedly on a short list for Vice President by Sen. John McCain (R-IL), though that seems a longshot.
According to Politico, Lieberman handed over the check because "he wants to keep his committee."
Liberal bloggers have taken aim at Lieberman in an effort to have him removed from his Homeland Security post, collecting 43,000 signatures and starting LiebermanMustGo.com.
Politically, however, any decision by Democrats to oust the Independent from his chairmanship could backfire, since Lieberman currently caucuses with Democrats and his loss of a committee post might given him reason to defect to support Republicans.
Democrats would be in a better position to nix Lieberman from his seat if they pick up a large number of seats in November's elections. With a larger majority, Lieberman's support for the Democratic caucus could prove less important. Currently the party holds a slim majority in the Senate, which ensures that they control all of the committee chairmanships in the chamber.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Vote for Bush? Pay Up

Did you help put America's worst prez into power? Time to make amends
By Mark Morford

What can you do, all you increasingly humiliated, disillusioned, deeply mistaken Bush voters? How can you, having hopefully realized by now the violent error of your ways, take steps both small and large to try and make amends for shoving Dubya down the throat of the world, for your tiny but oh so poisonous contribution to the worst and most demeaning eight years in modern American politics?

The Tragic Last Moments of Margaret Hassan

When a renowned British aid worker was kidnapped in Iraq, the world was horrified. Her body was never recovered, but her execution was captured on video and sent to Al Jazeera, the Arab satellite channel. Robert Fisk watched it and reveals why it has never been broadcast
LinkHere

David Gregory: Broader implications for the party

Only In America!!!!!
By: John Amato @ 6:00 PM - PDT
Yes, John Edwards had an affair that was handled privately and the Edwards story is big news. It will get the Anna Nicole Smith/Brett Favre treatment for a while now. Elizabeth Edwards responds here.
From the email inbox:
David Gregory just said young people were inspired by him and are let down…and questioned whether it will have “broader implications for the party.” during the election. This week, Ron Suskind’s book revealed the Bush team knew Iraq didn’t have WMD, forged letters, paid hush money, and lied us into war. (Chirp, chirp…) Any broader implications for the Republican party there?—the absurdity of a media culture where THIS is what passes for holding politicians accountable.
Broader implication for the party. OK, let’s talk party.
McClellan said that FOX News got talking points from the White House
Bush authorized rendition.
Bush authorized torture. Yes, that means waterboarding.
Bush authorized a war based on lies resulting in millions of innocent Iraqi and Afghani civilian deaths as well as an ethnic cleansing.
Thousands of our troops have been killed or seriously injured.
The US dollar is in the tank.
The housing/mortgage crisis has almost caused a depression.
How about the trampling of our Constitution with warrantless wiretapping?
Laptops are being confiscated at airports and the border.
Under Bush, oil companies are raking in record profits while Americans suffer.
The US attorney scandal.
A health care epidemic.
Monica Goodling
A standing ovation in Congress for David Vitter’s return.
Military TV Analysts/Generals scandal.
Larry Craig’s bathroom adventure.
And many, many more.
Would any of this have “broader implications” to the Republican party during the election if the media did its job?
Newt Gingrich STILL gets on TV every other day and everyone KNOWS he had affairs, even dumping his wife right after cancer surgery. And yet all these MSM types are wringing their hands about what this means to the Democratic Party. Ridiculous. Throw a stone in DC and try not to hit some one with a little something on the side, and that includes those in the press corps.
And they have the nerve to talk about betrayal of Edwards to the media and his wife — in that order. Why aren’t they more outraged about the betrayal of the White House to get us into a war?
What screwed up priorities.
LinkHere

Bush White House has its own interrogation room.

In Ron Suskind’s new book, Suskind describes a disturbing case in Washington, D.C., where security officials detained and interrogated Usman Khosa, a Pakistani U.S. college graduate, because he was “fiddling” with his iPod near White House gates. Officials took Khosa to an interrogation room “beneath” the White House:
He turns as a large uniformed man lunges at him. The backpack!” the man yells, pushing Usman against the Italianate gates in front of Treasury and ripping off his backpack. Another officer on a bicycle arrives from somewhere and tears the backpack open, dumping its contents on the sidewalk. […]
Usman is trundled from the SUV, escorted through the West Gate, and onto the manicured grounds. No one speaks as the agents walk him behind the gate’s security station, down a stairwell, along an underground passage, and into a room — cement-walled box with a table, two chairs, a hanging light with a bare bulb, and a mounted video camera. Even after all the astonishing turns of the past hour, Usman can’t quite believe there’s actually an interrogation room beneath the White House, dark and dank and horrific.
“Usman Khosa is a Pakistani national in his early twenties, a graduate of Connecticut College now working for the International Monetary Fund,” Suskind notes.
LinkHere

29th Olympic Games 2008 Beijing



Photo LinkHere ***

Plouffe: McCain's DHL Deal A Critical Moment Of Campaign

Barack Obama's presidential campaign claimed that the general election had reached a critical turning point this past week after it was revealed that John McCain and his campaign manager had helped facilitate a merger that could result in the loss of thousands of jobs in Ohio.
On a conference call with reporters, Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe said news of McCain and Rick Davis' involvement in the DHL deal was "the most important development of the entire campaign this week" and would convince voters in the critical swing state that the Arizona Republican was far from his maverick image.
"He was there a month ago in this community and was asked a question about this DHL issue and did not say one word about his role in this or the role of his campaign manager. That is the furthest thing from straight talk that we can imagine," said Plouffe. "John McCain can become an emblem for people about what is wrong with Washington. He released an ad this week about how Washington is broken and how he will strive to fix it. He didn't mention that he has been enmeshed in a broken Washington culture for 26 years or that his campaign is run by the most powerful, now former lobbyist in Washington."
Prior to the press conference the Obama campaign released a harsh new radio ad blasting McCain for his role in helping "foreign-owned DHL buy a U.S. company and gain control over the jobs that are now on the chopping block in Ohio."
LinkHere

Obama DNC Speech In 75,000 Seat Stadium Sells Out In 24 Hours

Posted: 10:15 AM ET
From
Obama will accept his party's nomination at Invesco field.
(CNN)– Tickets for Barack Obama’s Democratic National Convention speech at the Invesco Field in Denver sold out within 24 hours, according to campaign officials.
In early July, convention organizers announced the Illinois senator would officially accept the Democratic nomination at the 75,000 seat stadium rather than a 20,000 seat hall.
According to the Colorado Campaign for Change, the application process closed Thursday afternoon after more than 60,000 seats were snatched up.
Due to unprecedented demand, the campaign has created a waitlist for Coloradans hoping to get a chance to attend the August 28 event.
Obama's largest event to date was in Portland, Oregon, in May, where he drew an estimated crowd of approximately 75,000. He has done at least one previous stadium event, a joint appearance with talk show host Oprah Winfrey at Williams-Brice Stadium in South Carolina that drew about 29,000 people.
John F. Kennedy accepted the Democratic nomination for president in 1960 at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, a 92,500-seat stadium in which an estimated 80,000 people gathered for his speech.
LinkHere

New Pentagon Report Uses Language Kerry Used in 2004 that Bush-Cheney Called "Dangerous" and "Naive"

August 07, 2008 9:12 PMzzaki-->
In October 2004, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., then the Democratic presidential nominee, was asked by the New York Times Magazine, what it would take for Americans to feel safe again:
''We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance. As a former law-enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise. It isn't threatening people's lives every day, and fundamentally, it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life."
As you may recall, Republicans pounced.
"Nuisance"…"law enforcement"…these words meant Kerry didn't get it, they said.
"Senator Kerry talked of reducing terrorism to - quote - 'nuisance' - end quote - and compared it to prostitution and illegal gambling," President Bush said. "See, I couldn't disagree more. Our goal is not to reduce terror to some acceptable level of nuisance. Our goal is to defeat terror by staying on the offensive, destroying terrorists, and spreading freedom and liberty around the world."
Bush-Cheney also went after Kerry for using 'nuisance' as pertains to terrorism in a TV ad.
"Nor can we think of our goal in this war in the way Senator Kerry described it yesterday in The New York Times," said Vice President Dick Cheney. "Quote: 'We have to get back to the place,' he said, where terrorism is 'a nuisance,' sort of like - and these are his comparisons — sort of like gambling and prostitution. This is naive and dangerous."
But Bush and Cheney's Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, unveiled a National Defense Strategy this week that sounds quite similar to what Kerry said.

Embedded reporters or Republican activists?

Members of Vets for Freedom have campaigned for John McCain and made anti-Obama ads, but while they're in Iraq, you're paying for their gas, food and lodging.

WSJ Publishes Pro-Obama Editorial

August 8, 2008 12:08 PM
Things really have deteriorated between John McCain and the press: even the Wall Street Journal editorial board is turning on him. The famously conservative group publishes a column praising the economic policy of none other than Barack Obama:
The underreported economic news of the week is that Barack Obama favors a stronger dollar. Even better, he thinks a stronger greenback would help to reduce oil prices.
That at least is what the Democratic Presidential candidate told a town hall forum in Parma, Ohio, on Tuesday. "If we had a strengthening of the dollar, that would help" reduce fuel costs, he said, according to a Reuters dispatch ignored by most of the media. ... We don't know who is whispering in Mr. Obama's ear about the dollar, but he's on to a rich political vein.
LinkHere

Double Standard? If Obama Had McCain's "Abdullah" Donations

Marc Ambinder has a question about the about the John McCain bundler scandal:
If there were a group of questionable donations all with the name Abdullah that were funneled through a guy in Jordan who is a Jordanian national who is under investigation for war profiteering and it were Barack Obama instead of John McCain would this be a bigger deal?
McCain is returning $50,000 in donations solicited by Mustafa Abu Naba'a from members of a single extended family in California, the Abdullahs, along with several of their friends. Abu Naba'a is a dual citizen of Jordan and the Dominican Republic.
Read more about McCain's suspicious bundler here.

McCain Gets His Hamdan Facts Wrong, Falsely Claims He Was Found Guilty Of ‘Supplying Weapons’ In Afghanistan»

On Wednesday, a military jury at Guantanamo Bay found Osama bin Laden’s former driver, Salim Hamdan, guilty of material support for terrorism in the first “contested” U.S. military war crimes trial since World War II. Hamdan was acquitted of other charges against him, including conspiracy to commit terrorist attacks.
Responding to the decision, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) released a statement welcoming the guilty verdict:
The jury found that the prosecution lawyers had proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Hamdan had aided terrorists by supplying weapons to Al Qaeda and Taliban forces in Afghanistan. This process demonstrated that military commissions can effectively bring very dangerous terrorists to justice. The fact that the jury did not find Hamdan guilty of all of the charges brought against him demonstrates that the jury weighed the evidence carefully.
But McCain has his facts wrong when he claims Hamdan was found guilty of “supplying weapons to al Qaeda and Taliban forces in Afghanistan.” Though Hamdan was in possession of two shoulder-launched missiles when he was captured in Afghanistan, “the jury found him innocent of carrying the missiles as part of a conspiracy to kill U.S. soldiers.” The AP writes: >>>cont
LinkHere

McCain Dazed And Confused

British crime lords rule £40 billion underworld

Sean O'Neill, Crime Editor
A £40 billion underworld economy is dominated by homegrown criminals, with at least 27 “Mr Bigs” running their empires from inside British jails, The Times has learnt.
An intelligence map drawn up by the leading police expert on organised crime identifies more than 1,000 active criminal networks and shows that gangland is still controlled by British families, despite the influx of crime syndicates from Eastern Europe and South-East Asia over the past decade.
In a separate operation, investigators have identified 27 crime bosses running networks from prison cells. Although they are all in jail, Terry Adams, Kenneth Noye, Brian Brendon Wright, Brian Gunn and Curtis Warren are being monitored closely.
Deputy Chief Constable Jon Murphy, of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), told The Times that crime specialists work together to make money through drug deals, robberies and smuggling.
“British gangs are quite unlike the Italian Mafia model or the Turkish groups,” he said. “There are no set ranks, rules and structures. They are more fluid, flexible and opportunist.”

Thursday, August 07, 2008

President Bush's aides to testify on the dismissals of nine federal prosecutors.

White House Rebuffs Subpoenas Despite Court Ruling
WASHINGTON — Planning appeals, White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers asked a judge on Thursday to delay enforcement of his ruling that they must testify before Congress.
U.S. District Judge John Bates did not immediately rule on their request to place a hold on his ruling allowing White House aides to be subpoenaed by Congress. The judge asked House lawyers to respond by next week.
Bates on July 31 rejected White House arguments that presidential confidants are protected from congressional subpoenas by executive privilege, giving free rein to Democrats who have been trying to get President Bush's aides to testify on the dismissals of nine federal prosecutors.
Without a quick stay of the ruling, Miers and Bolten may be forced to testify before an appeal can be heard, the two said in a court filing. Democrats have announced they would schedule hearings in September, at the height of election season.

"It's like these guys take pride in being ignorant."

Bob Cesca: Protecting McCain's Ignorance with a 'Great Wall of Duh'
The entire Bush administration, as well as the modern Republican movement before it, was built upon exploiting the naiveté and ignorance of its supporters. Start with the Southern Strategy during the Nixon years, fast forward to Reaganomics and do the list on down to "freedom fries" and "nobody anticipated the breach of the levees." After eight years trapped aboard this dark ride, finally hearing a Democratic presidential candidate publicly and forcefully refer to the Republicans as ignorant liars ought to be enough to coax even the most indecisive leaner into the Obama column.

The jury's decision, after just 70 minutes of deliberation, was a huge rebuke to the U.S. government

''What happened — despite the system — is justice,'' said Swift.
Bin Laden's driver gets light sentence, thanks military jury
By Carol Rosenberg Miami Herald
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — In a stunning rebuke, a six-member U.S. military jury Thursday ignored a Pentagon prosecutor's plea for a 30 years-plus term and ordered Osama bin Laden's driver to 66 months in prison.
With credit for time served given by the judge, that means Salim Hamdan, 40, of Yemen will be sent back to the general detainee population of Camp Delta by January, and eligible to return home.
Choked with emotion on hearing the sentence, Hamdan stood and addressed the jury, unscripted, and twice more apologized for any pain his work as a $200-a-month driver had caused.
''And I would like to thank you for what you have done for me,'' he said.
The jury's decision, after just 70 minutes of deliberation, was a huge rebuke to the U.S. government, which had insisted that on his conviction for material support for terror no less than 30 years confinement would suffice.
He is the first war-on-terror captive convicted at the first contested U.S. war crimes tribunal since World War II.

Chinese were insisting that all luggage be inspected.

CHINESE DETAIN WHITE HOUSE PRESS PLANE
BEIJING — A charter airplane carrying the White House press corps was detained for nearly three hours Friday at Beijing's international airport not long after President Bush arrived to attend the Olympic Games.
The flight crew of the Northwest Airlines 747 had been expecting to park at a VIP terminal, but after landing was instead directed by the control tower to a normal international gate.
White House officials would say only there were "logistical problems" getting clearance to unload the aircraft. The flight crew was told the Chinese were insisting that all luggage be inspected.

"Country Is In Misery ... No Unity Of Command"

(Hint: landslide).

Popular Vote v. Electoral College (Why The Media Badly Needs A History Lesson)
Mark Nickolas, 08.07.2008
It's painful to watch these fools -- they don't know how a five-point popular vote victory almost always translates when it comes to the only metric that matters -- the Electoral College.

(Hint: landslide).

"Women and girls, especially young girls, are the most unprotected people of Afghanistan.

Afghan children raped with 'impunity,' U.N. official says
They are raped, kidnapped and murdered," Shaima says.
Just last week, a 3-year-old girl was kidnapped and raped by unidentified men, a government official confirms. The toddler was later released and, the official says, is recovering.
"Rapists are roaming around with impunity," Shaima says

McCain

July 20: John McCain began his week in the $520 Ferragamo "Pregiato Moccasins" in a golf cart with George H.W. Bush in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Cheers & Jeers Follow-Up: Photos of McCain's 8 Homes

Maverick McCain exploits loophole to fly cheaply on Cindy’s plane

McCain again gets exposed as the double-talking hypocrite he really is.

$520 shoes

8 houses.

Flying around in her private jet.

$750K credit card bills monthly, paid in full monthly.

Paint Obama as elite.
No problem.

"Support The Troops."?

Howie Klein, 08.07.2008
There are few Republicans who have been louder, more shrill and more exploitative when it comes to chanting mantra-like, "support the troops."

P. Kick exposing Inhofe's record sabotaging American troops

Why Won't McCain Sign the GI Bill?

Man Held In Obama Death Threat

Federal agents find weapons cache in Floridian's car, hotel room.
AUGUST 7--A Florida man is facing federal charges for allegedly threatening the life of Senator Barack Obama. According to a criminal complaint, Raymond Geisel made the threats while attending a recent bail bondsman training course in Miami. During that course, Geisel allegedly told another attendee, "That nigger, if he gets elected, I'll assassinate him myself." Another attendee told investigators that Geisel, 22, also said that he wanted to put a bullet in President George W. Bush's head. Confronted by federal agents, Geisel denied threatening Obama, but said that if he wanted to kill the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee "he would simply shoot him with a sniper rifle, but then he claimed that he was just joking," according a U.S. District Court affidavit. A copy of that document, sworn out by Secret Service Agent Paul Adie, can be found below. Searches of Geisel's car and hotel room turned up a loaded 9mm handgun, military fatigue uniforms, a machete, armor-piercing bullets, body armor, batons, a stun gun, assorted knives, and tear gas canisters.

"Arrested As A Deserter."?

A Houston congressman is angry after learning that an Army recruiter in his district lied to a student who had changed his mind about enlisting and threatened he would be arrested as a deserter.

High-Ranking McCain Campaign Officials Were Paid Lobbyists For Hess

By Greg Sargent and Eric Kleefeld - August 7, 2008, 1:43PM
Okay, here's some more on the ties between the McCain campaign and the Hess Corporation, the company whose senior executives all dumped $28,500 apiece into the RNC-McCain fundraising committee at around the same time as McCain reversed his previous opposition to offshore drilling.
It turns out that two high-ranking McCain campaign officials, one of whom is also one of McCain's more prolific bundlers, were both were paid lobbyists for Hess for roughly three years, according to disclosure forms.
The two lobbyists are Wayne Berman, McCain's national finance co-chairman, and John Green, who's been the McCain campaign's chief Congressional liaison since March. Both men worked for a firm called Ogilvy Government Relations. The firm has been paid $800,000 by Hess from 2005 up to the present, including $720,000 during the period that both of the two lobbied for the company, the forms say.
Berman, a prolific fundraiser and bundler for McCain, appears to still be lobbying for Hess. The most recently filed form shows that he was lobbying for the company as late as mid-July. Green took a leave of absence from Ogilvy to join the campaign, but was still on the Hess account up through the first quarter of 2008, the forms show.

"Say what you will about Barack Obama," "people gravitate when you have something positive to say."

McCain VP Candidate: GOP Needs Obama's Attitude
ARLINGTON, Va. — Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, often mentioned as a possible running mate for Republican presidential candidate John McCain, said Wednesday GOP candidates would do well to adopt a positive tone like that of McCain's Democratic rival, Barack Obama.
"Say what you will about Barack Obama," the Minnesota Republican told a conservative group, "people gravitate when you have something positive to say." He added that McCain has been positive as well.
"People want to follow hopeful, optimistic, civil, decent leaders," Pawlenty said in a speech to GOPAC, which helps recruit Republican candidates. "They don't want to follow some negative, scornful person."

Pakistani ruling coalition moves to oust Musharraf

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — After months of internal bickering, Pakistan's governing coalition announced Thursday it will seek to impeach President Pervez Musharraf, cranking up pressure on the U.S.-backed former general to resign.
With his popularity at rock bottom and civilian political forces arrayed against him, the outlook is gloomy for the leader who pushed Pakistan into the U.S.-led war on extremist groups after the Sept. 11 attack on America.
But Musharraf, who is still seen as close to the armed forces he once commanded, appears in no mood to give up without a fight eight years after rising to power in a military coup.

"Spread the Word" about the presumptive Republican nominee

Win Points for McCain!
Rewards Program for Online Commenters
Spread John McCain's official talking points around the Web -- and you could win valuable prizes!
That, in essence, is the McCain campaign's pitch to supporters to join its new online effort, one that combines the features of "AstroTurf" campaigning with the sort of customer-loyalty programs offered by airlines, hotel chains, restaurants and the occasional daily newspaper.
On McCain's Web site, visitors are invited to "Spread the Word" about the presumptive Republican nominee

WaasUS Attorney Scandal Probe Enters White House Circle

The Justice Department investigation into the firings of nine U.S. attorneys has been extended to encompass allegations that senior White House officials played a role in providing false and misleading information to Congress, according to numerous sources involved in the inquiry.
The widened scope raises the possibility that investigators will pursue criminal charges against some administration officials, and recommend appointment of a special prosecutor if there is evidence of criminal misconduct.
The investigators have been specifically probing the role of White House officials in the drafting and approval of a Feb. 23, 2007 letter sent to Congress by the Justice Department denying that Karl Rove (President Bush's chief political adviser at the time) had anything to do with the firing of Bud Cummins, a U.S. Attorney from Arkansas. Cummins was fired in Dec. 2006 to make room for Tim Griffin, a protégé and former top aide of Rove's.
The February 23 letter stated, "The department is not aware of Karl Rove playing any role in the decision to appoint Mr. Griffin," and that the Justice Department was "not aware of anyone lobbying, either inside or outside of the administration, for Mr. Griffin's appointment."
Federal investigators have obtained documents showing that Kyle Sampson, then-chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and Chris Oprison, then an associate White House counsel, drafted and approved the letter even though they had first-hand knowledge that the assertions were not true. The Justice Department later had to repudiate the Sampson-Oprison letter and sent a new one informing Congress that it could no longer stand by the earlier assertions.

Maverick No More

JURY: BIN LADEN'S DRIVER ELIGIBLE FOR RELEASE IN FIVE MONTHS

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba — A military jury gave Osama bin Laden's driver a stunningly lenient sentence on Thursday, making him eligible for release in just five months despite the prosecutors' request for a sentence tough enough to frighten terrorists around the globe.
Salim Hamdan's sentence of 5 1/2 years, including five years and a month already served at Guantanamo Bay, fell far short of the 30 years to life that prosecutors wanted. It now goes for mandatory review to a Pentagon official who can shorten the sentence but not extend it.
It remains unclear what will happen to Hamdan once his sentence is served, since the U.S. military has said it won't release anyone who still represents a threat. The judge, Navy Capt. Keith Allred, said Hamdan would likely be eligible for the same administrative review process as other prisoners.

Forging the missing case for war

In further chronicles of Bush government deceit, author Ron Suskind drops a bombshell: The White House ordered the CIA to fake a letter linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaida.
Aug. 6, 2008 Ron Suskind is really good at burying a lede.
Diligent, linear-minded readers will have to ford through 370 pages of his alternately incisive and gauzy book, "The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism," to reach the accusation that has set the nation's blogs abuzz. In September 2003, according to Suskind, CIA officials -- at the direct command of then-CIA director George Tenet and at the behest of the White House -- deliberately forged a backdated letter from Iraqi security chief Tahir Jalil Habbush to Saddam Hussein. The phony letter claimed that 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta had trained for his mission in Iraq and that al-Qaida had facilitated mysterious shipments from Niger to Iraq. The letter was the "slam dunk" the Bush administration had been seeking so desperately: evidence of a direct operational link between al-Qaida and Saddam's regime.
Leaked to conservative British journalist Con Coughlin, the letter was made public just as Saddam was captured in his spider hole near Tikrit. In the course of a single news cycle, the war against Saddam had been "vindicated," Saddam himself had been flushed from hiding, and the Bush administration's war had seemingly reached its triumphal and foregone conclusion. Or had it?
LinkHere

Those Damn Kids!




Ahahahahahaha


On Tuesday night, TNA writer Lonnie Affrime spotted the Straight Talk Express in the parking lot of an Embassy Suites in Boca Raton, FL. He noticed an unusual decal on the back of Sen. John McCain’s whip and, as any good American would do, took a few pictures.
It is unknown as of now who placed the bumper sticker on the Straight Talk Express. We must not rule out the possibility that McCain slapped the decal on, himself, rather than pollute his famed bus’s maverick image with one of his own utterly uninspiring bumper stickers. The only other option is that there are Obama supporters in Boca — and that just sounds ridiculous.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Suskind: Sources of WH forgery claim now under pressure to deny it


Author Ron Suskind says his sources are under "enormous pressure" to change their stories after revealing to him that the Bush administration had ordered the CIA to forge a letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence connecting Iraq to the 9/11 hijackers.
On Tuesday, former CIA official Robert Richer, who is one of Suskind's sources, sent a statement to news outlets in which he wrote, "I never received direction from George Tenet or anyone else in my chain of command to fabricate a document from Habbush as outlined in Mr. Suskind's book."
Richer's statement also quoted Suskind's other source, former CIA officer John Maguire, as saying, "I have no knowledge to the origins of the letter."
Suskind told NBC's Meredith Vieira on Wednesday morning, "It's interesting. ... Rob Richer talked to me, and actually other reporters too, yesterday morning. He was fine, he'd gotten the book Monday night, read it. And then something happened yesterday afternoon."
"It's one of these instances where you've got a few people whose testimony could mean the impeachment, ostensibly, of the president," Suskind explained. "It's enormous pressure on both men."
Suskind had appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann the previous evening, where he had explained, "They've got to feed their families. They really survive off the government, they're contractors, both of them. ... They can be brought into a moment of crisis by the government saying, 'You'll never work again.'"
Suskind insisted to Vieira, however, that "I'm actually not concerned," telling her, "I've spent a lot of time with them. Their interviews are taped. ... They talked to me at length, hour after hour ... and all of that is on the record."

Obama's New Ad "Original"

A federal grand jury has subpoenaed several former senior Justice Department attorneys for an investigation into the politicization of the Department's own Civil Rights Division, according to sources close to the investigation.The extraordinary step by the Justice Department of subpoenaing attorneys once from within its own ranks was taken because several of them refused to voluntarily give interviews to the Department Inspector General, which has been conducting its own probe of the politicization of the Civil Rights Division, the same sources said.
The grand jury has been investigating allegations that a former senior Bush administration appointee in the Civil Rights Division, Bradley Schlozman, gave false or misleading testimony on a variety of topics to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Sources close to the investigation say that the grand jury is also more broadly examining whether Schlozman and other Department officials violated civil service laws by screening Civil Rights attorneys for political affiliation while hiring them.
LinkHere

An Illusion of Justice?

Definitely Illusion?
The Hamdan War Crimes Trial: An Illusion of Justice
Sahr MuhammedAlly, 08.06.2008
Hamdan could have been prosecuted in federal court but the government instead decided to make his offenses war crimes. This in legal terms is ex post facto application of the law -- and it is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution.

GOP, Wankers!!!!!!! They actually think people are as friking dumb as them.

GOP claims House protest led to lower prices
By Jared Allen
Posted: 08/05/08 11:33 AM [ET]
House Republicans on Tuesday said their protest of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) decision not to allow a vote on expanded offshore oil drilling has helped lower gas prices.
Heading into a third day of speeches in the near-empty chamber, Republicans acknowledged that the average price of gas and oil has declined in recent weeks. But they claimed credit for part of that reduction.
“I think the market is responding to the fact that we are here talking,” said Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) at a joint press conference with other GOP lawmakers. “I think the market realizes this kind of pressure from Congress may, in fact, lead to a change in policy.”
The Republican members did not answer questions about whether they would take the blame if gas prices go up again.
LinkHere


McCain - Drill Here Drill Now

McSame sez Drill, Drill, Drill!

Randi Wins!!!!!The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals RULES for Randy in CACI v Rhodes

After 3 long years The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals RULES for me in CACI v Rhodes and condemns torture!
If you read this you will be stunned and proud to know the Justice System still works sometimes. Sadly, I’m totally convinced that it only works sometimes IF YOU HAVE MONEY.
Link to Ruling

Don't Tase Me, GOP!

Monday 04 August 2008
by: Jacob Wheeler, In These Times
St. Paul, Minnesota, police officer wearing Taser gun.
The St. Paul Police Department is arming itself with Tasers.
Local activists and media say that the department ordered 230 stun guns in late February - adding to the 140 already in its possession - in preparation for protests at the upcoming Republican National Convention (RNC), which St. Paul will host from Sept. 1 to Sept. 4.
Police spokesman Tom Walsh denies any connection between the arrival of the Tasers and the upcoming RNC. "They are not related to the convention in any way," says Walsh. "A patrol officer suggested months ago that we supply our force with Tasers."
But some demonstrators are wary of such assurances.
"Our concern is that they'll have them and that they'll use them," says Marie Braun, a member of Women Against Military Madness, which has received a permit to protest in a St. Paul park on Sept. 1. "These are dangerous weapons and people have died as a result of them being used."
LinkHere

McCain: Britney & Paris Ad Parody

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

"That White Haired Dude."

Paris Hilton 'enters' White House race

PARIS Hilton is "like, totally ready" to lead the US, saying her main qualification is "I'm just hot".


Seth Grahame-Smith, 08.05.2008
Paris Hilton just made John McCain her bitch. In less than two minutes, she accomplished not one -- but five things McCain himself has been unable to do in two years of campaigning.

The Forged Iraqi Letter: What Just Happened?

What just happened? Evidence. A secret that has been judiciously kept for five years just spilled out. All of what follows is new, never reported in any way:
The Iraq Intelligence Chief, Tahir Jalil Habbush -- a man still carrying with $1 million reward for capture, the Jack of Diamonds in Bush's famous deck of wanted men -- has been America's secret source on Iraq. Starting in January of 2003, with Blair and Bush watching, his secret reports began to flow to officials on both sides of the Atlantic, saying that there were no WMD and that Hussein was acting so odd because of fear that the Iranians would find out he was a toothless tiger. The U.S. deep-sixed the intelligence report in February, "resettled" Habbush to a safe house in Jordan during the invasion and then paid him $5 million in what could only be considered hush money.
In the fall of 2003, after the world learned there were no WMD -- as Habbush had foretold -- the White House ordered the CIA to carry out a deception. The mission: create a handwritten letter, dated July, 2001, from Habbush to Saddam saying that Atta trained in Iraq before the attacks and the Saddam was buying yellow cake for Niger with help from a "small team from the al Qaeda organization."
The mission was carried out, the letter was created, popped up in Baghdad, and roiled the global newcycles in December, 2003 (conning even venerable journalists with Tom Brokaw). The mission is a statutory violation of the charter of CIA, and amendments added in 1991, prohibiting CIA from conduction disinformation campaigns on U.S. soil.
So, here we go again: the administration full attack mode, calling me names, George Tenet is claiming he doesn't remember any such thing -- just like he couldn't remember "slam dunk" -- and reporters are scratching their heads. Everything in the book is on the record. Many sources. And so, we watch and wait....
LinkHere

A big lie

Take gas prices, the most pressing issue on the minds of Americans. Offer a blatant ploy that in fact won't help -- but will profit Big Oil. Pocket over a million in contributions from oil executives and use the money to put up an ad promising to take on Big Oil.
Call it the audacity of contempt. John McCain seems intent on proving that it is possible to scorn Americans into voting for him. Consider McCain's latest ad in the context of his "drill, drill, drill" energy policy. The text of the ad reads:
"Washington's broken. John McCain knows it. We're worse off than we were four years ago. Only McCain has taken on big tobacco, drug companies, fought corruption in both parties. He'll reform Wall Street, battle Big Oil, make America prosper again. He's the original Maverick...
"Battle Big Oil." Say what?
This is the same John McCain who just made off-shore drilling for oil a centerpiece of his campaign, reversing his longstanding opposition to it. He did so, not incidentally, while on his way to Texas for a series of fundraisers. The result unleashed a gusher of donations for Big Oil executives -- according to Campaign Money Watch, a nifty 1.2 million from Texas gas and oil interests in June alone, the very month McCain came out for drilling. He no doubt was told what to expect from the dozens of oil company lobbyists and retainers that reportedly are working with or raising money for his campaign.
Exxon reports an $11.7 billion profit for the last three months -- a new record in the history of corporatedom. The big five pocketed more than $140 billion last year. So Barack Obama suggests that we provide every American with a $1000 tax rebate to help pay for rising prices, paid for by levying an excess profits tax on the oil companies.
What does the maverick battler of big oil say? No way. McCain angrily dismisses the idea, saying that it would lead the oil companies to reduce their drilling in the US.
Now, all of this is based upon what might generously be called a big lie. The Big Oil companies, who hold leases for millions of acres that they aren't drilling on, have no intention of drilling for oil off our shores in the near future. They are simply looking to use the crisis to accumulate rights to drill in the future.
LinkHere
David Fiderer, 08.05.2008
Who decided to indict Governor Don Siegelman and his co-defendant, Richard Scrushy? It's a simple question deserves a direct answer, since the legality of the prosecution may depend on it.

Obama Calls McCain Out After Day Of Distortions: "It's Like These Guys Take Pride In Being Ignorant"

Hell yeah!!!!!!! they are as ignorant as.

Hillary supporters thinking about voting for McBush--well read how McCain 'pimped out' his wife today.

Dirty of Man? A true Republican
As you know, McCain is just horrified by those scantily clad "celebrity" women, So it struck me as a bit strange that John McCain would now want his wife to become one of them.

Titty Jokes and a Bush Smirk: it's the New John McCain

Morra Aarons-Mele, 08.05.2008
Between the belligerent yodeling --"We have to drill here and drill now"--and offering up his wife for a cash prize, I'm wondering if this is McCain's attempt to channel the elusive white male voter?

Chemical Traces of High Explosives in WTC Debris

In an article published this week in the journal Environmentalist, chemical engineer Kevin Ryan collects evidence from EPA documents that suggest there was both Thermate and high-explosives in the debris from the WTC collapse. Ryan was formerly employed by Environmental Health Labs, a division of Underwriters Labs, before he was fired for raising these and other questions.

Death for Dinner: Haley Barbour Kills Dale Leo Bishop

Thursday, 24 July 2008
As you probably already know, they executed Dale Leo Bishop in Mississippi last night. I had urged readers to write to Governor Haley Barbour and respectfully request that he commute Bishop's death sentence to life imprisonment, since he did not actually murder anyone, although he did take part in a terrible crime. Barbour refused -- even though he had just released a man who had murdered his wife in the street: blew her head off with a shotgun. But that actual murderer had been a servant in Barbour's mansion; wiping the dribble off Barbour's jowls is obviously a qualification for clemency. So the wife-murderer is free, while the non-murderer Bishop is dead.
The execution took place at the dinner hour, 6 p.m. Perhaps Barbour was just sitting down to a nice juicy steak as his minions were putting a syringe full of poison into Bishop's bloodstream. We can only hope the dead flesh Barbour devoured during the course of the execution will clot the bowels of the bloodthirsty, graft-bloated son of a bitch. (And we mean that in the most respectful sense, of course.)
Well, the deed is done. The world moves on. It's just too bad for Dale Leo Bishop that he was only involved in a single murder; if he had slaughtered a million people, like Barbour's good buddy, George W. Bush, no doubt he'd be a free man today.
LinkHere

Bodyguard of Lies: The Truth Behind the 'Surge's' Smokescreen

Written by Chris Floyd
Monday, 28 July 2008
For months, we have heard glowing reports about the success of the "surge" in Iraq. This "success" has quickly become conventional wisdom, and can be referred to without controversy in any news piece about Iraq, even if it is not the main point of the story. It goes without saying that America's bipartisan foreign policy establishment -- including the Terror War Democrat and Terror War Republican candidates for president -- has avidly embraced these reports, which now define the terms of the debate on what the United States should do next in Iraq.

Yet the remarkable story that appeared in the New York Times on Monday about the slaughter of three innocent Iraqi bank clerks underscores what should be one of the most glaringly self-evident truths of our day: the Terror Warriors lie all the time, about everything. They tell big lies and small lies, lies of omission and great big fabricated fairy tales, lies to cover up specific acts of crime in the conquered land and lies designed to obscure the big picture of the overarching war crime of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. The first instinct of the propaganda mouthpieces of the Pentagon is, always, to lie, to distort, obfuscate, confuse, exaggerate or diminish -- whatever is required in their relentless campaign to make the foulest of crimes -- mass murder -- look like a noble deed.

As the Times reports, the Pentagon was forced by a storm of angry protest from the American-installed Iraqi government to do a genuine investigation of a June 25 incident in which a platoon of American soldiers shot the holy hell out of a car that had just passed through one of the most thorough and draconian checkpoints in Baghdad, killing three bank employees on their way to work. The Pentagon immediately claimed that the dead Iraqis -- two women and a man -- were terrorist insurgents who had fired on the troops. The Pentagon claimed that a weapon had been found in the burning hulk of the bank employees' car. The Pentagon claimed there were bullet holes in the American vehicles from the terrorists' gunfire. The Pentagon claimed that the car had hit a wall and "exploded," clearly implying that it was loaded with bombs.

All of these claims were outrageous lies, with no basis in fact whatsoever. They were apparently made up out of whole cloth somewhere in the Terror War propaganda mills, because the soldiers' own reports didn't support the claims.

In fact, the innocent bank workers were killed by soldiers from a convoy that had taken a wrong turn and ended up on a road used for Iraqi civilians. The soldiers were not supposed to be in that area. One of the vehicles in the convoy had a problem, and the convoy had stopped on the side of the road to deal with it. The civilian car -- having just passed a security checkpoint -- went on its way toward the bank on the civilian road as it had done countless times before.

One of the soldiers in the misplaced convoy began firing warning shots at the car. We don't know how many shots he fired, or how long he gave the car to stop, but it didn't stop quickly enough for the panicked soldiers. And so nine of the 18 men in the convoy lit up the car, shooting it -- and its occupants -- to pieces. The car never "exploded"; its engine was set on fire by the fusillade from the convoy and the flames spread through the car. The security-cleared civilians died a needless and horrific death trying to drive to work in their native land.
LinkHere

Book says White House ordered forgery

Source: Politico

A new book by the author Ron Suskind claims that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a back-dated, handwritten letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein.

Suskind writes in “The Way of the World,” to be published Tuesday, that the alleged forgery – adamantly denied by the White House – was designed to portray a false link between Hussein’s regime and al Qaeda as a justification for the Iraq war.

The author also claims that the Bush administration had information from a top Iraqi intelligence official “that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion.”

The letter’s existence has been reported before, and it had been written about as if it were genuine. It was passed in Baghdad to a reporter for The (London) Sunday Telegraph who wrote about it on the front page of Dec. 14, 2003, under the headline, “Terrorist behind September 11 strike ‘was trained by Saddam.’”
Excerpt of book: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26012717/
LinkHere

Marines' tours extended in Afghanistan

Marines ordered to stay longer in Afghanistan
Associated PressPublished: Monday August 4, 2008
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon has ordered roughly 1,250 Marines serving as trainers for the Afghan security forces to stay on the warfront almost a month longer to continue a mission that military leaders say is a top priority, according to a senior military official.
In addition, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has authorized the deployment of up to 200 other troops to Afghanistan to support the Marines. That includes eight helicopter crews that could be shifted from Iraq if commanders decide.
The senior military official spoke to The Associated Press on Monday on condition of anonymity because the formal announcement has not yet been made.
The decision to extend the tour of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment in Afghanistan comes just a month after defense officials told the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit that it would stay an extra month in Afghanistan

Monday, August 04, 2008

Ted Kennedy Tapes Video In Case He Can't Make Convention

BOSTON — Sen. Edward Kennedy will have a presence at the Democratic National Convention even if he can't make it to Denver.
LinkHere

Track The Lobbyist Money That Bankrolls McCain's Campaign (And His Advisers)

When it comes to tracking the lobbyists and companies who either work for or have contributed to John McCain's presidential campaign, now you can play the same game Beltway journalists engage in every day from the comfort of your own home!
McCainsLobbyists.com is the latest project from Campaign Money Watch, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. Still, they don't tend to take a positive view of the big corporate money that's fueling the presumptive Republican nominee's latest run for the White House.
"At John McCain's campaign, you can't spit without hitting a big money lobbyist who is raising money for or staffing his campaign. McCainsLobbyists.com shows just how much McCain is embedded in, and wedded to, the old web of corruption in Washington, DC," said David Donnelly, director of Campaign Money >>>cont
LinkHere

Despite Media Narrative, Obama Leads By Over 100 Electoral Votes According To Independent Groups

Mark Nickolas, 08.04.2008
With all the breathlessness over the minute movements in the irrelevant national polls, the one thing no one seems to be noticing is that the electoral map is still trending very poorly for McCain.

I realize that it cuts against the media narrative right now to focus on anything that doesn't suggest a dead-heat, but it's quite instructive to see how the independent groups (and even right-leaning ones) currently see the state of the race through the only prism that matters -- the Electoral College:

Obama McCain Margin

Real Clear Politics 322 216 Obama +106
Electoral-Vote.com 316 209 Obama +107
FiveThirtyEight.com 303 235 Obama + 68
Pollster.com 284 147 Obama +137
AVERAGE 306 202 Obama +104

If you think about the reporting of the fluctuating state polls lately that show a tight race, all of them involve red states that McCain can't afford to lose: Colorado, Montana, Virginia, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Alaska, Georgia, etc.

LinkHere

GOP Voting Registration Drops In Several Key States

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER
Published: August 5, 2008
Well before Senators Barack Obama and John McCain rose to the top of their parties, a partisan shift was under way at the local and state level. For more than three years starting in 2005, there has been a reduction in the number of voters who register with the Republican Party and a rise among voters who affiliate with Democrats and, almost as often, with no party at all.
While the implications of the changing landscape for Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain are far from clear, voting experts say the registration numbers may signal the beginning of a move away from Republicans that could affect local, state and national politics over several election cycles. Already, there has been a sharp reversal for Republicans in many statehouses and governors’ mansions.
In several states, including the traditional battlegrounds of Nevada and Iowa, Democrats have surprised their own party officials with significant gains in registration. In both of those states, there are now more registered Democrats than Republicans, a flip from 2004. No states have switched to the Republicans over the same period, according to data from 26 of the 29 states in which voters register by party. (Three of the states did not have complete data.)
In six states, including Iowa, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, the Democratic piece of the registration pie grew more than three percentage points, while the Republican share declined. In only three states — Kentucky, Louisiana and Oklahoma — did Republican registration rise while Democratic registration fell, but the Republican increase was less than a percentage point in Kentucky and Oklahoma. Louisiana was the only state to register a gain of more than one percentage point for Republicans as Democratic numbers declined.
>>>cont
LinkHere

Battle Over Oil-Rich City Threatens to Derail Iraqi Elections

For McClatchy Newspapers, Leila Fadel and Sahar Issa report: "Despite intense U.S. pressure, Iraqi legislators Sunday failed to reach an agreement to solve an increasingly bitter dispute over the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk. Kirkuk sits on Iraq's northern oil fields and also on a fault line between the Sunni Muslim Kurds who dominate most of northern Iraq and the Sunni Arabs who occupy the center of the country. Saddam Hussein forced thousands of Kurds out of the city to make way for more Arabs, but since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the Kurds and their militia, the peshmerga, have driven many Sunni Arabs out of Kirkuk. The parliament's inability to resolve the dispute over the city mirrors Iraqi political leaders' inability to make progress on other fronts, including constitutional amendments and the passage of a law governing the distribution of the country's oil revenues, despite the recent improvements in security."
LinkHere

Not All Veterans Salute McCain

Dan Moffett writes for the Palm Beach Post: "The growing ranks of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan will have a lot to say about who becomes president. And what they are saying isn't what you might expect. In theory, John McCain, with his long record of service as a Navy pilot and prisoner of war story from Vietnam, should have the market cornered on the military vote. Instead, he has drawn opposition from many veterans because of his voting record in the Senate. Sen. McCain has voted against bills that would have improved veterans' benefits, particularly health care, or measures to ease the strain on active-duty troops and their families."
LinkHere

When McCain Attacks

Make McCain Disavow His Dishonest Obama Ad

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Ragtag Taliban Show Tenacity in Afghanistan

Moises Saman for The New York Times

Six years after being driven from power, the Taliban are demonstrating a resilience and a ferocity that are raising alarm here, in Washington and in other NATO capitals, and engendering a fresh round of soul-searching over how a relatively ragtag insurgency has managed to keep the world's most powerful armies at bay.
LinkHere

The Ticking Iraqi Clock

By John Bruhns

It's crucial for us all understand the Iraqi insurgency has been disguised by the Bush Administration as AQI -- Al Qaeda in Iraq . Catchy name isn't it -- and oh what a convenient excuse to keep the war going. Let's justify the last 5+ years of death and destruction by lumping the violent reaction of the Iraqi people to an occupation of their land into the same category as those who orchestrated and carried out 9/11.
LinkHere
Home Truths You'll Never Read in the Press
Who's Really Running Iraq?

By PATRICK COCKBURN

The success of 'the Surge' is becoming almost received wisdom in the US. This is strange since, if the US strategy did win such an important victory, why do America generals need more soldiers, currently 147,000 of them, in Iraq than they did before 'the Surge' started?
Did McCain's Foreign-policy Advisor Profit From the Iraq War?
By Mark Benjamin

In a confidential memo, a company tells investors consultant Randy Scheunemann can help it win Iraqi oil contracts -- because he was a "key player" in getting the U.S. to invade.

‘Reaper’ Ready to Watch Over Iraq'

Posted on Aug 4, 2008
One way the U.S. military could maintain a presence in Iraq, even if by proxy, in the near future is through the use of unmanned drones with foreboding names like the MQ-9 Reaper and the Predator, both of which are able to carry seriously sinister weaponry like the laser-guided Hellfire missile.
LinkHere

Cheney has not sought a speaking slot at the convention, nor has his staff sought a role for him at the convention.

Cheney to Skip Convention
Posted on Aug 4, 2008
The vice president has no plans to attend his party’s convention in September, the American Spectator reports. Apparently Dick Cheney and John McCain are less than BFFs, and while conservatives still warm to the former oil man, independents and women find him unappealing.

Seymour Hersh: Cheney considered killing Americans in pretext to attack Iran

CHENEY Considered Killing Americans In Pretext 2 Attack IRAN

Source: Thinkprogress.org

Speaking at the Campus Progress journalism conference earlier this month, Seymour Hersh — a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist for The New Yorker — revealed that Bush administration officials held a meeting recently in the Vice President’s office to discuss ways to provoke a war with Iran.

In Hersh’s most recent article, he reports that this meeting occurred in the wake of the overblown incident in the Strait of Hormuz, when a U.S. carrier almost shot at a few small Iranian speedboats. The “meeting took place in the Vice-President’s office. ‘The subject was how to create a casus belli between Tehran and Washington,’” according to one of Hersh’s sources.

During the journalism conference event, I asked Hersh specifically about this meeting and if he could elaborate on what occurred. Hersh explained that, during the meeting in Cheney’s office, an idea was considered to dress up Navy Seals as Iranians, put them on fake Iranian speedboats, and shoot at them. This idea, intended to provoke an Iran war, was ultimately rejected.
LinkHere

Welcome to 8 years of a Bush Administration

Source: Reuters
NEW YORK, Aug 3 (Reuters) - The United States is in the second inning of a recession that will last for at least 18 months and help kill off hundreds of banks, influential economist and New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini told Barron's in Sunday's edition.

Taxpayers will pay a big price for helping bail out the rest of the financial services industry as well, Roubini said -- at least $1 trillion and more likely $2 trillion.

The banks will become insolvent because of mounting losses as a result of the housing bust and because they have only written down their subprime loans so far, he said. Still in front of them are their consumer-credit losses, for which they lack the reserves, Barron's reported.

Now, Roubini told Barron's, the government is overregulating, bailing out troubled participants and intervening in every market.

"The regulators should investigate themselves for bailing out Fannie Mae (FNM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Freddie Mac (FRE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the creditors of Bear Stearns and the financial system with new lending facilities. They have swapped U.S. Treasury bonds for toxic securities," he told Barron's. "It is privatizing the gains and profits, and socializing the losses as usual. This is socialism for Wall Street and the rich."

LinkHere

Are Contractors Above the Law?

Former Halliburton Subsidiary KBR Insists It Is Not Liable for GI's Death
So what happens when the military contracting companies themselves are to blame for the deaths?

For years now, KBR and other military contractors have argued that as a matter of law, regardless of the circumstances, they are not responsible. As government contractors, they say, just like the military, they’re immune from legal suits. That’s been KBR’s defense in a series of cases over the past few years when the company has been accused of knowingly sending unarmed civilian employees into active combat zones – sometimes to their deaths.In a case I wrote about in January for The American Lawyer, KBR denied responsibility for sending an unarmed convoy of trucks down a dangerous road under active insurgent attack. In what’s come to be known as the Good Friday Massacre, in April 2004, six KBR drivers were killed and 14 were wounded. One driver is still officially missing, and presumed dead.

Now KBR could be facing many such claims. According to the Defense Dept.’s own inspector general, as of July 10, there have been 16 deaths due to faulty electrical wiring on U.S. military bases that KBR was supposed to be maintaining.
Companies like KBR rely on a range of legal defenses when accused of wrongdoing, but the gist is always the same: working for the U.S. military means they’re beyond the authority of the U.S. courts -- therefore immune from U.S. law.

That’s exactly the tack KBR appears to be taking in the case of Maseth, whose mother has sued KBR, claiming that the company knew of the danger and was responsible for fixing it, but didn’t. In other words, KBR, she asserts, could have prevented her son’s death.

KBR, which has received $20 billion in Iraq war contracts since 2003, vehemently denies this. KBR's actions "were not the cause of any of these terrible accidents," company executive Thomas Bruni told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday. An interim DOD inspector general report, obtained by The Associated Press last Tuesday, reached the same conclusion

Udall missed the vote, Wadhams said, because "he was screwing around in Colorado raising money for his campaign."

GOP Senate Campaign Manager: "We're Going To Shove ... Ads Up His Ass"
On Friday, Democratic Rep. Mark Udall voted with Republicans to keep Congress in session until lawmakers consider a crucial energy bill.
But on Wednesday, when the issue first came up for a vote, Udall didn't cast one because he wasn't present. ...

Helen Thomas, the grande dame of the White House press corps, turns 88 today

One of the few reporters, with the balls to stand up to Georgies' Administration,
Get well soon your country needs you. Honoring Helen Thomas
Eric BrewerPublished:
Monday August 4, 2008

Helen Thomas, the grande dame of the White House press corps, turns 88 today. That's cause for celebration. But sadly, the woman who got her first reporting job four years before the current president was born — and who has been performing enhanced interrogations on him and his press secretaries for the last seven years — has not yet reappeared in the briefing room since she became ill in May. On July 17, Ann Compton, president of the White House Correspondents Association, reported that Helen had been released from the hospital and was building up her strength for her return to work. For the sake of the country, let's hope that happens soon.
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