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Impeach Bush

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 Social Security Lies
 Stem Cell Lies
 Air Force One Lies
 Trashing WH Lies
 FBI Backs Off bin Laden
 Bush-bin Laden
 Jeffords Defects
 US Pays China for Plane
 US Apologizes to China
 US Loses Seat on UN
Social Security "Lockbox" Just Puts Pols in a Box
BusinessWeek.com
11/24/01

President Bush finds himself in serious budgetary trouble. During the campaign, he solemnly promised that Social Security taxes would be spent on only one thing--Social Security. Now, even with optimistic economic forecasts and accounting gimmicks, recent budget projections show that he will have to tap the Social Security surplus to fund other programs throughout most of his first term. That's true even if popular tax breaks, such as the research-and-development tax credit, that are scheduled to expire are not renewed and even if not a penny is spent on developing a missile-defense system.

The Democrats, especially the majority who wisely voted against the President's tax plan, are understandably delighted at the prospect of attacking him for breaking his "read-my-lips" promise on Social Security in order to pay for tax breaks for the rich. Since Bush's multibillion-dollar tax package is responsible for the lion's share of the deterioration in the budget outlook over the next decade and is indeed strongly biased toward the wealthiest Americans, such attacks are as justifiable as they are politically enticing. Moreover, they are likely to resonate with voters, most of whom continue to rank Social Security above tax cuts in the nation's priorities. But what makes for an irresistible and timely political message contains some pitfalls that could come back to haunt the Democrats if the economy remains weak.

Given the inherent uncertainty in economic and budgetary forecasts, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned earlier this year that any long-term tax cut should be phased in and conditioned on the realization of long-term targets for the federal debt and for covering Social Security's liabilities. His warnings went unheeded.


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Stem Cell Lies

Bush's Speech
Washington Post

Thompson's Statement (lies)
HHS News

The Truth
NY Times
Stem Cell Colonies' Viability Unproved
The Washington Post

At least one-third of the 64 embryonic stem cell colonies approved for funding under a new Bush administration policy are so young and fragile it remains unclear whether they will ever prove useful to scientists, several researchers working on the cells said yesterday.

In fact, at least 16 of those colonies have been subject to so little research that the Swedish scientists working on them are unwilling to claim they are embryonic stem cells capable of becoming any kind of human tissue.

When President Bush announced Aug. 9 that he was willing to fund research only on existing stem cell colonies, or "lines," he and his top health adviser said more than 60 lines existed worldwide -- more than enough, they said, to launch a new and vibrant era of medical research. The existing lines, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said at the time, "are diverse, they're robust and they're viable for research."

Commentary:
Within days of Mr. Bush's speech on stem cells, scientists basically called him a liar. I suppose we're to believe his research on this subject didn't involve talking to the scientists who handle the colonies or the companies that own them.

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Air Force One

Other Links:
URIELW
Washington Post
NY Times
White House lied about threat to Air Force One
WSWS.Org

The White House has been caught in a lie about the alleged terrorist threat against Air Force One which it had cited as the reason for President Bush's absence from Washington for most of September 11. According to reports by CBS News and the Washington Post, White House officials have stated that the Secret Service never received a phone call warning of a direct threat to the president's airplane. The government's reversal has gone largely unreported in the media.

In the immediate aftermath of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Bush's movements became a matter of controversy within political and media circles. As the destruction in New York and Washington unfolded and unconfirmed reports emerged of a car bomb at the State Department and the danger of further hijackings, Bush, who began the day in Florida, was whisked from one military installation to another by the Secret Service.

Looking pale and shaken, he taped a brief initial message from an underground bunker at an air force base in Louisiana. Several hours later--when all non-US military aircraft in American air space had been grounded--Bush was flown to another fortified location at the Strategic Air Command headquarters in Nebraska. The president did not return to Washington until 7 p.m., nearly 10 hours after the initial attack.

Bush's failure to quickly return to Washington sparked pointed criticism, including from within the Republican Party. Under conditions of a massive attack on US civilians, involving the destruction of a symbol of American financial power and the partial destruction of the nerve center of the American military, any appearance of indecisiveness or panic on the part of the US president was of great concern to the American political and financial elite.

New York Times columnist William Safire, a one-time Nixon aide and fixture within the Republican Party, suggested that Bush had panicked and all but abandoned his post in the first hours of the crisis. Writing in a September 12 op-ed piece, Safire said, "Even in the first horrified moments, this was never seen as a nuclear attack by a foreign power. Bush should have insisted on coming right back to the Washington area, broadcasting "live and calm" from a secure facility not far from the White House."

Stung by such criticisms, Bush's chief political strategist Karl Rove and other top administration officials worked feverishly to reassure the political, corporate and military establishment, and bolster Bush's authority among the population at large. By the afternoon of September 12, the Associated Press and Reuters were carrying stories, widely circulated throughout the media, that were intended to diffuse criticism of Bush's actions the previous day. They quoted a White House spokesperson saying, "There was real and credible information that the White House and Air Force One were targets of terrorist attacks and that the plane that hit the Pentagon was headed for the White House." White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer repeated this claim at an afternoon news briefing that same day, saying the Secret Service had "specific and credible information" that the White House and Air Force One were potential targets.

In a further column in the New York Times on September 13, entitled "Inside the Bunker," Safire described a conversation with an unnamed "high White House official," who told him, "A threatening message received by the Secret Service was relayed to the agents with the president that "Air Force One is next." Safire continued: "According to the high official, American code words were used showing a knowledge of procedures that made the threat credible."

Safire reported that this information was confirmed by Rove, who told him Bush had wanted to return to Washington but the Secret Service "informed him that the threat contained language that was evidence that the terrorists had knowledge of his procedures and whereabouts."

Two weeks after these astonishing claims, the administration has all but admitted it concocted the entire story. CBS Evening News reported September 25 that the call "simply never happened."

The fact that top officials, at a time of extraordinary crisis and public anxiety, lied to protect the president's image has immense implications. If, within 24 hours of the terror attacks, the White House was giving out disinformation to deceive the American public and world opinion, then none of the claims made by the government from September 11 to the present can be taken for good coin.

Commentary:
Mr. Bush has become a man that can not be trusted with the facts, with the truth or with the Constitution. This opinion page sums up my thoughts for the man who has no integrity and no character.

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Trashing the White House

GSA: Clinton Aides Did Not Vandalize White House
The Washington Post

It's official: President Clinton's aides didn't vandalize the White House, scrawl lewd notes or steal presidential trinkets as they departed and the Bush administration moved in, as some critics had charged.

The General Services Administration, which investigated the alleged misdeeds, said the rumors were unfounded. "The condition of the real property was consistent with what we would expect to encounter when tenants vacate office space after an extended occupancy," said a GSA statement.

Many news organizations, including The Washington Post, reported on the alleged vandalism shortly after President Bush took office in January. The Post and other outlets soon raised doubts about the claims, and also reported on Bush's statement that the allegations were false.

"I think it was this calculated effort to plant a damaging story," said Alex S. Jones, director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University, the Kansas City Star reported today. "There was a sort of fertile ground for believing anything bad."

Commentary:
If you've gotten this far on this webpage and you still have any respect for Mr. Bush as a man, as a politician, or a leader, I'm afraid I've failed miserably. Even arch-conservative Paul Gigot admitted the press and the Bush White House lied.

It is a sad commentary of our times that a man this corrupt and this ignorant could rise to our highest office. God help us.

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FBI 'was told to back off bin Laden family'
smh.com (au)

London: United States special agents were told to back off the bin Laden family and the Saudi royals soon after George Bush became president, although that has all changed since September 11, a BBC television program has claimed.

BBC2's Newsnight also said on Tuesday night that it had secret documents from the FBI investigation into the terrorist attacks which showed that despite claims that Osama bin Laden is the black sheep of the family, at least two other US-based members are suspected of links with a possible terrorist organisation.

The program said it had obtained evidence that the FBI was on the trail of bin Laden family members living in the US before September 11. A document showed that special agents from the Washington field office were investigating Abdullah, a close relative of Osama, because of his relationship with the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a suspected terrorist organisation, it said.

The US Treasury has not frozen WAMY's assets, and insists it is a charity, the program said, yet Pakistan had expelled WAMY "operatives" and India claimed WAMY was funding an organisation linked to bombings in Kashmir. The FBI did look into WAMY but for some reason agents were pulled off the trail, it said.

The former head of the American visa bureau in Jeddah from 1987 to 1989, Michael Springman, told the program: "In Saudi Arabia I was repeatedly ordered by high-level State Department officials to issue visas to unqualified applicants - people who had no ties either to Saudi Arabia or to their own country. I complained there. I complained here in Washington ... and I was ignored." He added: "What I was doing was giving visas to terrorists, recruited by the CIA and Osama bin Laden to come back to the United States for training to be used in the war in Afghanistan against the then Soviets."

The program said it had been told by a highly placed source in a US intelligence agency there had always been "constraints" on investigating Saudis, but under President George Bush it had become much worse.

After the elections, the intelligence agencies were told to "back off" from investigating the bin Laden family and the Saudi royals. The policy was reversed after September 11, it reported.

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bin Laden and Bush

FBI Ordered to Back off
SMH.com (au)
Newsnight Interview (BBC)

Bush Sr. In Business with bin Laden Family:
JudicialWatch.org
WSJ.org

(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest law firm that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, reacted with disbelief to The Wall Street Journal report of yesterday that George H.W. Bush, the father of President Bush, works for the bin Laden family business in Saudi Arabia through the Carlyle Group, an international consulting firm. The senior Bush had met with the bin Laden family at least twice. (Other top Republicans are also associated with the Carlyle group, such as former Secretary of State James A. Baker.) The terrorist leader Osama bin Laden had supposedly been "disowned" by his family, which runs a multi-billion dollar business in Saudi Arabia and is a major investor in the senior Bush's firm. Other reports have questioned, though, whether members of his Saudi family have truly cut off Osama bin Laden. Indeed, the Journal also reported yesterday that the FBI has subpoenaed the bin Laden family business's bank records.

Judicial Watch earlier this year had strongly criticized President Bush's father's association with the Carlyle Group, pointing out in a March 5 statement that it was a "conflict of interest (which) could cause problems for America's foreign policy in Middle East and Asia." Judicial Watch called for the senior Bush to resign from the firm then.

"This conflict of interest has now turned into a scandal. The idea of the President's father, an ex-president himself, doing business with a company under investigation by the FBI in the terror attacks of September 11 is horrible. President Bush should not ask, but demand, that his father pull out of the Carlyle Group," stated Judicial Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman.

Commentary:
Where are the calls for an investigation? The family of the president has strong financial connections to the family of known terrorist--a man assumed to be guilty of the attack on the US. To add insult to the injury, 15 of the 18 terrorists who attacked the US came from Saudi Arabia, not from Afghanistan, yet we're not at war with the Saudi's.

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Dems Control Senate
STATEMENT OF SENATOR JAMES JEFFORDS
"Declaration of Independence"
Thursdsay, May 24, 2001
Senate.gov/Jeffords/524 Statement

Increasingly, I find myself in disagreement with my party. I understand that many people are more conservative than I am, and they form the Republican Party. Given the changing nature of the national party, it has become a struggle for our leaders to deal with me, and for me to deal with them.

In the past, without the presidency, the various wings of the Republican Party in Congress have had some freedom to argue and ultimately to shape the party's agenda. The election of President Bush changed that dramatically. We don't live in a parliamentary system, but it is only natural to expect that people such as myself, who have been honored with positions of leadership, will largely support the president's agenda.

And yet, more and more, I find I cannot. Those who don't know me may have thought I took pleasure in resisting the president's budget, or that I enjoyed the limelight. Nothing could be further from the truth. I had serious, substantive reservations about that budget, and the decisions it sets in place for today and the future.

Looking ahead, I can see more and more instances where I will disagree with the President on very fundamental issues: the issues of choice, the direction of the judiciary, tax and spending decisions, missile defense, energy and the environment, and a host of other issues, large and small.

The largest for me is education. I come from the state of Justin Smith Morrill, a U.S. Senator who gave America the land grant college system. His Republican Party stood for opportunity for all, for opening the doors of public school education to every American child. Now, for some, success seems to be measured by the number of students moved out of public schools.

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Bush Pays China
U.S. Payment To China Unjustified
August 16 2001 Cato.org

Ted Galen Carpenter is vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute and is the author or editor of 13 books on international affairs.

The United States has offered to pay China $34,000 to cover costs associated with the April collision of a U.S. reconnaissance plane and a Chinese fighter jet. "We have arrived at what we think is a fair figure for services rendered and assistance in taking care of the aircrew and some of the materials and contracts to remove the EP-3 plane," stated Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral Craig Quigley.

Beijing, however, is not at all happy with the offer of a $34,000 payment. Instead, Chinese government officials are demanding at least $1 million as compensation.

Washington's offer is foolish and Beijing's demand is outrageous. The United States should not pay even one dollar. Giving any payment would reward China for conduct that violated international law in multiple ways.

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US Apologizes to China
ABCNews.com

W A S H I N G T O N, April 10 — The text of the letter delivered by U.S. Ambassador Joseph W. Prueher to Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Tang Jiaxuan.

LETTER FROM AMBASSADOR PRUEHER TO CHINESE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS TANG

Dear Mr. Minister:

On behalf of the United States Government, I now outline steps to resolve this issue.

Both President Bush and Secretary of State Powell have expressed their sincere regret over your missing pilot and aircraft. Please convey to the Chinese people and to the family of pilot Wang Wei that we are very sorry for their loss.

Although the full picture of what transpired is still unclear, according to our information, our severely crippled aircraft made an emergency landing after following international emergency procedures. We are very sorry the entering of China's airspace and the landing did not have verbal clearance, but very pleased the crew landed safely. We appreciate China's efforts to see to the well-being of our crew.

In view of the tragic incident and based on my discussions with your representative, we have agreed to the following actions:

Both sides agree to hold a meeting to discuss the incident. My government understands and expects that our aircrew will be permitted to depart China as soon as possible.

The meeting would start April 18, 2001.

The meeting agenda would include discussion of the causes of the incident, possible recommendations whereby such collisions could be avoided in the future, development of a plan for prompt return of the EP-3 aircraft, and other related issues. We acknowledge your government's intention to raise U.S. reconnaissance missions near China in the meeting.

Sincerely,

Joseph W. Prueher

Commentary:
When is an apology not an apology? It all depends on the meaning of the word "is."

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U.S. Loses Seat on U.N. Rights Body
Washington Post
Commondreams.org

Defeat Laid to Irritation At White House Policies by Colum Lynch

UNITED NATIONS, May 3 -- The United States lost a seat on the U.N. Commission on Human Rights today for the first time since it was established in 1947. Diplomats said the vote was a sign of international irritation over the Bush administration's stands on global warming, missile defense and AIDS medication.

The United Nations' 54-member economic and social council voted to fill 14 vacancies on the human rights commission, including three seats reserved for Western nations. A senior U.S. official said Washington had received written pledges of support from 41 countries. But only 29 delegates cast their votes for Washington in the secret balloting won by France with 52 votes; Austria, 41; and Sweden, 32.