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Impeach Bush

Don't blame it on Bill Clinton
CNN
Bill Press
October 18, 2001 Posted: 12:24 PM EDT (1624 GMT)

Editor's Note: I've received quite of few emails blaming President Clinton for the failures of the Bush Administration on 9/11. This article is one of many you can find on the Internet showing Clinton was busy doing his job, while the republican congress and Bush sat on their butts and did absolutely nothing before 9/11.

As usual, these conservatives don't blame George Sr. for the first Trade Center bombing even though it took place weeks after he left office, but they blame Bill Clinton for a bombing that took place over six months after he left office.

Eight years of peace and prosperity under Clinton pissed conservatives off. I understand that, but don't hold it against me that your guy can't get anything right or tell the truth. If you still hate BC, you may want to seek help, perhaps a psychologist.

WASHINGTON (Tribune Media Services) -- Here is one of the first rules of politics: It's not enough that I do well; I must also destroy my enemy.

Sadly, even in America's war against terrorism, that rule still drives a lot of Republicans. I see it on the op-ed pages. I get avalanches of it in my e-mail. I hear it in their public statements. For them, it's not enough that most Americans give George W. Bush credit for doing a good job in leading the nation against Osama bin Laden. They're not satisfied unless everybody also holds Bill Clinton responsible for getting us into this mess.

Yet the evidence shows his detractors have more to answer for than he does.

The attacks of September 11 were only a few hours old when conservative Congressman Dana Rohrbacher, R-California, blamed Clinton, not the terrorists: "We had Bill Clinton, backing off, letting the Taliban go, over and over again.'

Talk-show host Rush Limbaugh trumpeted on the pages of the Wall Street Journal: "Mr. Clinton can be held culpable for not doing enough when he was commander-in-chief to combat the terrorists who wound up attacking the World Trade Center and Pentagon.'

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who resigned in disgrace, also chimed in, citing Clinton's "pathetically weak, ineffective ability to focus and stay focused.'

Don't you love it? Gingrich and company derail the president and the country for two whole years over a minor sex scandal in the White House -- magnifying one act of oral sex into a full time, $50 million Independent Counsel investigation, weeks of House Judiciary Committee hearings, impeachment by the House of Representatives and trial in the Senate -- and then they accuse Clinton of not staying focused on government business!

Have they no shame?

The truth, of course, is just the opposite. Given how distracted he was by the Lewinsky scandal, (which was of his own making, but blown out of proportion by his political enemies), it's amazing Clinton was able to continue governing at all. And during that time, as The Washington Post reveals, he did a great deal to combat terrorism, much of it behind the scenes.

Clinton's most public response, of course, were the cruise missile attacks of 1998, directed against Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and the Sudan, following the terrorist bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Operating on limited intelligence -- at that time, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tazikistan refused to share information on the terrorists whereabouts inside Afghanistan -- U. S. strikes missed bin Laden by only a couple of hours.

Even so, Clinton was accused of only firing missiles in order to divert media attention from the Lewinsky hearings. A longer campaign would have stirred up even more criticism.

So Clinton tried another tack. He sponsored legislation to freeze the financial assets of international organizations suspected of funneling money to bin Laden's Al Qaeda network -- identical to orders given by President Bush this month -- but it was killed, on behalf of big banks, by Republican Senator Phil Gramm of Texas.

Those actions, we knew about. Others, we did not, until recently. Starting in 1998, for example, Clinton gave the CIA a green light to use whatever covert means were necessary to gather information on Osama bin Laden and his followers, and to disrupt and preempt any planned terrorist activities against the United States.

As part of that effort, the CIA, under Clinton, trained and equipped some 60 commandos from Pakistan to enter Afghanistan and capture bin Laden. The operation collapsed when Pakistan experienced a military coup and a new government took over.

In 1998, Clinton also signed a secret agreement with Uzbekistan to begin joint covert operations against Osama bin Laden and Afghanistan's Taliban regime. U.S. Special Forces have been training there ever since, which is why the Pentagon was immediately able to use Uzbekistan as a staging area for forays into Afghanistan.

Clinton targeted bin Laden even before he moved to Afghanistan. In 1996, his administration brokered an agreement with the government of Sudan to arrest the terrorist leader and turn him over to Saudi Arabia. For 10 weeks, Clinton tried to persuade the Saudis to accept the offer. They refused. With no cooperation from the Saudis, the deal fell apart.

Conclusion: Rohrbacher, Limbaugh, Gingrich are dead wrong when they blame Bill Clinton for September 11. Did Clinton get Osama bin Laden "dead or alive?' No, but he came close, several times -- long before tracking down terrorists became a national priority.

© 2003 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
An AOL Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.

Commentary:
President Clinton tried working with Saudi Arabia to turn bin Laden over to them, and as we know now, most the terrorists came from country. It seems obvious now that Saudi Arabia is not our ally, yet Bush continues to play nice with them. Instead of going to war with the country that gave us the terrorists, we went to war with Afghanistan and Iraq. Instead of taking out bin Laden and Saddam, we took out caves in Afghanistan and cities in Iraq.

There are some reports that say Saddam left Iraq with billions of US dollars. If you were him and had all this money? What would you be doing now (besides enjoying a nice long vacation)? I know if I was him, I'd be planning an attack against Bush or the US. Most likely against Bush.

How is it possible Dan Rather could find and interview Saddam before the war, but the US military and CIA couldn't? Bush needs bin Laden and Saddam like you and I need air.


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High Court Declines Terror Detainee Case
By ANNE GEARAN
The Associated Press
Monday, May 19, 2003; 10:23 AM

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court turned away an appeal Monday over detention of hundreds of U.S. prisoners picked up in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

The court did not comment in rejecting an appeal from clergy, lawyers and others who wanted to go to court on behalf of the prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, without charges or access to lawyers.

Lower federal courts had blocked the legal challenge on grounds that the clergy group did not have legal standing.

The clergy group sued President Bush, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and others last year.

"The United States government violated basic principles of international human rights law in forcibly removing prisoners of war from Afghanistan, transporting them to Guantanamo, and holding them indefinitely in small outdoor cages," the clergy group alleged.

The suit claimed the prisoners were deprived of their liberty and have not been informed of the accusations against them, in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The coalition demanded that the government provide the prisoners with lawyers, bring them before a U.S. court, acknowledge their identities and define the charges against them. The detainees are from some 36 countries.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to address the merits of those complaints.

To have standing to represent the detainees in court, the San Francisco-based federal appeals court said, the coalition would need to have had a preexisting relationship with the detainees or prove that the prisoners had mental defects.

The court declined to rule on whether individual prisoners could bring cases.

The government says federal courts have no power over U.S. military policy carried out in a foreign nation as part of the nation's war on terrorism.

The detainees began arriving at the U.S. naval base in Cuba in January 2002. As of this month, about 645 prisoners from more than three dozen countries were held there. The government refuses to identify them or their countries or say exactly how many there are.

Several prisoners have been freed, and American officials say they are moving quickly to sort out the remaining cases. Eventually, some prisoners may be tried for terrorism activities before military tribunals.

The United States has long said that some prisoners could be released to their countries if it were certain their governments would deal with them properly.

The case is Coalition of clergy, Lawyers and Professors v. Bush, 02-1155.

© 2003 The Associated Press

Let's cut to the chase. Bush says we're at war, but the prisoners he takes in this war are not prisoners of war, but instead illegal combatants. First, there is no thing as an illegal combatant in International Law–Bush is just making it up (again).. Prisoners of war are prisoners of war, unless of course it all depends on the meaning of the word "war."

But, more important the US Supreme Court isn't doing its job when it allows the constitution to be shredded by the US government. Even if we forget the gross violations of the Geneva Convention, which are obvious, the court has to understand these prisoner of war are being held on orders of a US president, by the US military, in another country. The lower court have held they have no jurisdiction over these cases because they're outside the US. This logic is no only highly flawed but it's pure escapism. Can it be argued the US government can remove a citizen to a foreign country, deny him all rights and then have the courts they have no jurisdiction because the US citizen is being held in a foreign country? Of course not.

The Constitution applies to the military and the president regardless of where they act.

The conservatives on the court are trying to find ways to protect Bush from his criminal acts. They should order him to release these prisoners (as required by the Geneva Convention) or find him in contempt of the Constitution.


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Dems Attack Bush on National Security
By RON FOURNIER
The Associated Press
Monday, May 19, 2003; 8:56 AM

DAVENPORT, Iowa - Democratic presidential candidates are suddenly speaking out against President Bush on terrorism and homeland security, unified in the belief that bombings in Saudi Arabia and Morocco have exposed the president to criticism and second-guessing.

It is a risky strategy to disparage the commander in chief at a time of war, but Democrats say they've decided that remaining quiet is a greater peril - to the nation and their campaigns.

"I don't think national security or personal security can be avoided. The American people expect us to talk about it," Sen. Bob Graham of Florida said.

"We can't cede anything, not even this issue, to him" Graham said between campaign stops.

In a busy weekend of campaigning, Graham and his rivals accused Bush of mismanaging postwar Iraq, pinching pennies in homeland defense, missing warning signs of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and letting al-Qaida terrorists slip from his grasp.

It was a notable shift; the nine-candidate field that had largely avoided targeting Bush on national security.

"What we heard this weekend was the candidates joining the president in recognizing the ongoing war on terrorism," said Republican Party spokesman Jim Dyke. But to win confidence of voters, he said, Democrats must "put forward some positive ideas, not just attack the president."

The Democratic field appears joined in a strategy to chip away at the public's confidence in the way Bush deals with terrorism and national security. They hope to stop him from using the terror war to build popularity that shields him from blame for the sluggish economy.

After weeks of muting their opposition, Democrats realized they can't defeat the president on the economy without first equalizing his advantage on foreign policy issue.

"There had been an attitude that it is OK to criticize the president on the economy, the environment and health care but national security was somehow off limits - that's his issue and if you talk about it you're getting off our strong points and playing to his strength," Graham said.

The Florida lawmaker, a former Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, broke ranks with the field this month to take issue with Bush's anti-terror effort.

"We're staking a claim on this issue, whether it's luck or sheer genius," quipped Paul Johnson, Graham's campaign manager.

Bush opened himself to second-guessing when he said in early May, "Al-Qaida is on the run. Right now, about half of all the top al-Qaida operatives are either jailed or dead. In either case, they're not a problem any more."

A few days later, explosions rocked Riyadh, the Saudi capital, in an attack on compounds housing Americans, other Westerners and Saudis. That was followed by bombings in Morocco.

"The president keeps saying, `We're going to get them.' Well, it's not working," Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt told an audience of 75 at an Ottumwa, Iowa, union hall.

Gephardt supported war in Iraq, a position that drew criticism from the liberal Democrats, who tend to dominate in primary races. Now he says Bush is guilty of having "one-dimensional answers" to terror threats, a reference to military power.

Gephardt joined former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean to argue that a better national energy policy would curb U.S. reliance on Mideast oil, which they said helps fund terrorists in oil-producing nations.

Dean, looking to build on his anti-war campaign platform, found rare agreement with Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry that Bush's hard-nosed diplomacy has failed.

"The president has exercised foreign policy by petulance," Dean said Sunday during a town hall meeting in Davenport.

Kerry told CBS that the administration should have insisted on better security at the Saudi sites, which housed Americans and other Westerners. On the nation's overall anti-terrorism effort, he said: "We need to be stronger and smarter and tougher."

In Des Moines, national security dominated a union-sponsored forum with five of the candidates Saturday.

Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina said the administration has failed to gives states and local governments enough money to meet their emergency and other homeland defense needs.

Al Sharpton of New York cited the failure to catch terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, and said: "We need to go after those who went after us."

Sitting in the back of the crowd, Drake University political science professor Dennis Goldford said the Democrats seemed to be finding their voice.

"They're challenging Bush on his own terms," he said. "They're finding that nice balance - attacking Bush while still showing that Democrats are concerned about national security."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Political Writer Ron Fournier covered the White House during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations for The Associated Press.

© 2003 The Associated Press

Commentary:
I've expressed considerable doubt that any war on terror can succeed. I also doubt there has to be a war on terror. Clearly there are nuts in the world that hate us, there always have been, and there always will be. It's illogical to assume we can kill every person who hates the US. In fact, the logic of such a belief is highly flawed. Isn't it more likely that every time we go to war, we kill a lot of innocent people who's families don't care about the US one way or another? Then after the death of a loved one, at the hands of two republican presidents in Iraq, we create hate. It seems obvious to me the reason they hate us is because we're killing their children, and if we want to stop their attacks against us all we have to do is stop attacking them.

Since it's now clear Bush lied about WMD in Iraq, isn't it at least plausible he lied to us about this so-called terrorist network? And since the US wasn't attacked during the Gulf War as the US government said, and since Saddam didn't use WMD against our troops as the CIA said, we have to start wondering if anything the government is saying is true.

Specifically, was 9/11 an act of war by a terrorist network, or the actions of a few nuts who committed a crime? If 9/11 was a crime, then the war on terror is a joke and war is simply creating more terrorists. If it's an act of war by a terrorist network, where's the proof war stops them?

Finally, recall Bush and the CIA missed 9/11 and every warning they've put out so far has been wrong. When you're never right, we have to start asking why anyone still believes this White House.

Also, it can't go un-noticed that every time Bush's poll numbers drop (as they are now) he issues another alert. It's becoming clear the war on terror is nothing more or less than an re-election strategy.


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Protesters Walk Out on Santorum Speech
By BILL BERGSTROM
The Associated Press
Sunday, May 18, 2003; 6:10 PM

PHILADELPHIA - About one in every eight graduates walked out of Sunday's commencement at Saint Joseph's University before the keynote address by Sen. Rick Santorum, who recently infuriated gay groups and others with derogatory remarks about homosexual behavior.

Santorum, the Senate's third-ranking Republican, didn't mention the walkout or the controversy directly.

"We are all called to love one another, even people we disagree with, even people who hate us for what we believe," he said.

Students were offered an opportunity to leave before Santorum was introduced to receive an honorary degree and make his speech, and about 100 graduates walked out amid competing boos and applause.

Some students had urged the Jesuit university to rescind Santorum's invitation after he likened gay behavior to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery in an April 7 interview with The Associated Press. He later said he intended the remarks as a legal analysis and didn't intend to comment on individual lifestyles.

"Senator Santorum and I are at completely opposite ends of the spectrum," said graduate Sara Foglesong, among those who walked out. "I am not incestuous. I am not a bigamist. I just happen to be bisexual. It offended me."

Across the street, Dennis Heffernan led a group of three counter-demonstrators. "I belong to a pro-life group, and Rick is a pro-life person," said Heffernan, of Philadelphia.

In another commencement speech Sunday, Vice President Dick Cheney told University of Missouri graduates to look for "the unexpected opportunities" in life.

Before graduates of the Columbia school's College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, Cheney said he had retired from public service when he agreed to head George W. Bush's search for a running mate.

"If you're ever asked to head up an important search committee - say yes," Cheney said, drawing laughter. "That decision three years ago set me on a path ... this seems to be a pattern in my life: the unexpected opportunities."

Former President Clinton, in a speech at Mississippi's Tougaloo College, blasted President Bush for his opposition to affirmative action in college admissions and accused him of neglecting domestic issues.

"I supported the president when he asked for authority to stand up against weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but we can't be forever strong abroad if we don't keep getting better at home," Clinton told the crowd at the historically black school near Jackson.

© 2003 The Associated Press

Commentary:
Cheney said life gives him on "unexpected opportunities." What a joke. He was hired to find a vice president for candidate Bush and the only person he could find was himself. Good grief, this man is way too full of himself.

I can't help but be proud of those who walked out on Santorum. This idiot thinks it's ok to jail gays for having sex and as disgusting as his beliefs are, the young men and women who walked out did so in a civilized fashion. Their parents and teachers should be very proud.


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Dean: Second Bush Term Will Sink Economy
By MIKE GLOVER
The Associated Press
Sunday, May 18, 2003; 5:13 PM

DAVENPORT, Iowa - Sharpening his attacks on President Bush's policies, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean asserted Sunday that the nation will face an economic depression if Bush is re-elected.

Dean cited a statistic that 2.5 million jobs have been lost during Bush's first term in office, laying the blame on Bush's handling of an economy that has remained sluggish.

"Two and half million jobs in two and half years," said Dean. "If we re-elect this president, we'll be in a depression. That's 8 million jobs in eight years."

A job loss of that magnitude would plunge the nation into an economic slowdown far worse that the current recession, Dean argued.

Dean sounded a sharply liberal theme as he sought to differentiate himself from others in the nine-member Democratic field. He spoke during the latest forum sponsored by Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin seeking to introduce the candidates to activists who will be there when precinct caucuses launch the presidential nominating season next January.

"This president has forgotten ordinary people," said Dean.

While he focused his fire on Bush, he didn't spare his Democratic rivals either, saying most of support tax cut legislation moving through Congress.

He said "most of the Democrats voted for this irresponsible tax cut" and then argued they had pushed to reduce the size of the cut.

That reasoning misses the point and assures that a tax cut of some size will be approved, said Dean.

"The real debate is can we afford another tax cut when this president has run up the largest deficits in the history of the country and we have a war with no way to pay for it," said Dean. "The middle class people in this country are the ones who pay the bill and I'm going to put a stop to it."

While Dean has less money than some of his Democratic rivals, he argues he has the best chance of defeating Bush because he can draw the sharpest differences with the president.

"If you make me the Democratic nominee, I'll make you proud to be a Democrat again," said Dean.

"No Republican president has balanced the budget in this country for 34 years," said Dean. "If you care about the money you send to Washington, you better elect a Democrats, because Republicans can't manage money."

He acknowledged polls showing Bush with high approval rates and said that's because Democrats have not directly made the case against him.

"The reason people like George Bush is they think he's a leader," said Dean. "The way to beat him is to unambiguously state our Democratic agenda."

While Dean focused mainly on economy issues, he also bashed Bush on domestic security.

"This president talks tough about homeland security, but in fact we're a lot less safe," said Dean. "This president has not done what he needs to do on homeland security."

© 2003 The Associated Press

Commentary:
"No Republican president has balanced the budget in this country for 34 years." Democrats should hit republicans and Bush over the head with that line until they're bloodied by the truth. Maybe then, they can be shamed into doing what's right.


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DNC Boss Accuses Bush of 'McCarthyism'
The Associated Press
Sunday, May 18, 2003; 10:07 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio - National Democratic chairman Terry McAuliffe accused President Bush on Saturday of unleashing a "new McCarthyism" by vilifying people who oppose his policies.

McAuliffe, keynote speaker at the annual Ohio Democratic Party dinner, also defended that state's Republican senator, George Voinovich, who wavered in his support for the president's tax-cut package because he feared it would drive up the federal budget deficit. The Senate version would cut taxes by nearly $350 billion over 10 years, with additional cuts paid for by new revenue driving its cost to almost $420 billion.

After Voinovich criticized the plan, a pro-tax cut group ran television ads criticizing his position, and Bush visited Ohio to promote the tax cuts, a trip that many interpreted as an attempt to pressure the senator. Bush administration spokesmen said nothing about the ads, which characterized "so-called allies" in Congress as "Franco-Republicans" who were no more helpful than France in the Iraq war.

In the end, Voinovich's vote helped the legislation pass the Senate on a 51-50 vote, with the deciding vote cast by Vice President Dick Cheney.

McAuliffe said he disagrees with Voinovich's vote and many other positions the Ohioan takes, but that, whatever the differences politically, the senator is a loyal American.

"For George's sin of wanting a slightly more fiscally sound tax package, his patriotism was attacked, and the president never spoke out in his defense, never told his henchmen to stop the attack," said McAuliffe, head of the Democratic National Committee.

"George Bush has unleashed a new McCarthyism that, under the cloak of a time of crisis and peril, has vilified and questioned the patriotism of those who have policy and political differences with him and his administration."

Republican National Committee spokesman Jim Dyke said Bush had nothing to do with the ads that ran against Voinovich, which were sponsored by a group called Club for Growth.

McAuliffe was critical of Bush's economic policies in general, saying they have cost 2.8 million jobs since the president took office.

"Just last Sunday on national television, Secretary of Treasury (John) Snow said we have a soggy economy.

Soggy. Soggy," McAuliffe said, drawing laughs from the party faithful with the incredulous tone of his delivery.

"It's not soggy, it is a raging typhoon in America."

McAuliffe accused Bush of squandering the federal surplus of the 1990s and said Bush's tax cuts benefit the rich while costing working people their jobs.

"The story goes that as the lifeboats were being loaded, the wealthy of the passengers of the Titanic pushed aside the women and children," he said. "The values of this administration would be quite at home aboard that ill-fated ship."

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, one of nine candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, told reporters before his speech to the Ohio dinner: "I don't think we can beat George Bush by being Bush-like. We need a fiscal conservative and a social progressive and that's who I am."

In his speech, Dean said the cost of the war in Iraq has increased with Americans still in the Middle Eastern country and that homeland security suffering a funding shortfall as a result.

"I think this country is not safer since the war with Iraq has ended," Dean said.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a former Cleveland mayor and the only other presidential candidate at the dinner, pushed his message of national health insurance, labor rights and trade protections.

He reminded the crowd that he had beaten Republican incumbents in his races for mayor, state senator and Congress.

"In 2004, I'm prepared to replace another Republican incumbent who happens to be in the White House," Kucinich said.

On the Net: Democratic National Committee: http://www.democrats.org

Republican National Committee: http://www.gop.com

© 2003 The Associated Press

Commentary:
The democrats are coming up with some really good lines this year. Regarding the economy; "It's not soggy, it is a raging typhoon in America." Not bad for a bunch of rookies. The attacks on Bush must continue daily until the election so they can erase the hype the press has given Bush as they made him into their god.


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Bush Spokesman Ari Fleischer to Resign
By Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 19, 2003; 11:47 AM

White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, whose televised briefings gave viewers a daily window on President Bush in wartime, said today that he will resign this summer, probably in late July.

The change will leave Bush with a new face at the podium as he embarks on his reelection race. "I love this job," Fleischer told reporters at his off-camera "gaggle" this morning. "My heart tells me it's time to go."

Fleischer, a New Yorker and Capitol Hill veteran, told friends he plans to work in the private sector and wants "a quieter life." He said that when he told Bush of the decision on Friday, the president kissed his bald pate.

Fleischer, 42, married Becki Davis in November, and is likely to hit the speaking circuit, which he has tested out with occasional appearances -- from Middlebury College, his alma mater, to "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

No successor was announced but several White House staffers said they expect it will be Scott McClellan, who is Fleischer's deputy and is among the Texans known as "family" around the West Wing. McClellan occasionally filled in for Fleischer at the podium and on Air Force One, taking a turn as recently as last week.

McClellan drew strong reviews for his handling of reporters on the day when the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated and Fleischer was out of town.

The only other possible replacement who is frequently mentioned is Victoria Clarke, assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, who is given much of the credit for the success of the Pentagon's program of embedding reporters with military units during the war in Iraq.

Fleischer, responding to the wishes of Bush and his fellow members of the senior staff, was known for sticking tenaciously to a narrow set of facts, no matter how many ways reporters sought to probe.

Sources said Fleischer was not forced out, but he wanted to avoid burning out and thought he should leave before Bush's reelection campaign moved into full swing. Administration officials have been told that if they stay past summer vacation, they are in through the elections.

"It's often called the second-toughest job in Washington," a senior administration official said. "Two and a half years was an amazing effort."

Joe Lockhart, press secretary to President Bill Clinton, said: "This is always a difficult job, made even more so by this president's penchant for absolute secrecy and discipline."

White House communications director Dan Bartlett said Fleischer's announcement was a surprise. "But the president understands the daily pressure of being the White House press secretary," Bartlett said. "Ari set a new standard from the podium by which all others will be judged. We will definitely miss him."

Fleischer was a spokesman for Bush's presidential race after leaving the primary campaign of Elizabeth Dole. Fleischer worked for Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.) and then was communications director of the Republican majority on the House Ways and Means Committee, where he was often seen on the floor advising the chairman, former representative Bill Archer of Texas. From the podium, Fleischer jokingly showed off his familiarity with the intricacies of the tax code.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

Commentary:
Ari will be soarly missed by Bush and the Washington press. All three are pathological liars. The press loves Bush and Ari, because truth is a variable. Regardless of what happens, there is one constant, truth changes.

One day we have surpluses, give them away says Bush and the press calls Gore a liar. The next day the surpluses are gone, so Bush blames Clinton. The press lets him get away with it. The economy is soaring one day, the next day it's dead in the water...blame Clinton again. Yawn!

One day Iraq has WMD, the next day they don't. But the press never bothered to demand proof before we went to war.

Ari accused Bill Clinton of trashing Air Force One. He lied.. Then he said Air Force One was one of the targets on 9/11, yet another lie. There's no end to the lies Bush and Co. and their co-conspirators in the press are willing to spew. So the next time you turn on the evening news, put your boots on. The press will try to protect Bush from the lies he and they told you.


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Coalition Troops Are Accused of Torture
Associated Press Writer
By ED JOHNSON
Coalition Troops Are Accused of Torture
9:03 AM EDT,May 16, 2003

LONDON -- Amnesty International is investigating claims that British and American troops tortured prisoners of war in Iraq with night-long beatings and, in at least one case, electric shocks, the group said Friday.

The human rights organization gathered statements from 20 former detainees who said they had been kicked and beaten by soldiers while being interrogated, Amnesty researcher Said Boumedouha told a news conference in London.

One Saudi Arabian national claimed he was tortured with electric shocks, Boumedouha said.

When asked if his use of the word "torture" accurately described the alleged treatment, Boumedouha responded: "If you keep beating somebody for the whole night and somebody is bleeding and you are breaking teeth, it is more than beating. I think that is torture."

Britain's Ministry of Defense said it had not been contacted by Amnesty about the allegations and insisted prisoners taken by British forces were not mistreated.

"Those who were detained by British forces were treated in line with the Geneva Conventions and we had regular visits by the International Committee for the Red Cross," it said in a statement.

"If there are allegations then we will have to look at them and see if we can investigate."

There was no immediate comment from the Pentagon.

Boumedouha, who returned to Britain on Thursday after a month in Iraq, said the detainees had been arrested in the Basra area.

Some of the men said they were blindfolded or hooded and were kicked and beaten throughout the night, sometimes with weapons, according to Boumedouha. Coalition soldiers had interrogated them with the help of Kuwaiti interpreters, he said.

The Saudi who said he was given electric shocks told Amnesty he had entered Iraq from Syria to volunteer for the Iraqi Red Cross Society, according to the Boumedouha.

Some of those who claimed to have been tortured were civilians detained on suspicion of being Iraqi militia, he said. Some were arrested while combat continued but others were detained later, Boumedouha said.

They were held for up to four days before being moved to a detention center in Umm Qasr. All were subsequently released.

Boumedouha said the group planned to present its findings to British and U.S. authorities.

"We still have people on the ground in Iraq and we will continue to gain testimonies," Boumedouha said. "Once that is complete we hope to provide a full dossier to present to the British and American authorities as well as publishing ourselves."

The news conference, which also addressed issues of looting, the protection of mass graves and the responsibility of coalition troops to restore order in Iraq, was also attended by Amnesty's senior director for international law Claudio Cordone and media officer Judit Arenas

Commentary:
Let's face it, war with a nearly defenseless country is better TV, than the disaster the US has created in Iraq after the war. After spending months lying to you about WMD in Iraq, the war networks all but ignore the gross violations of the Geneva Convention by the US in post war Iraq. Do you like the idea of your government torturing innocent civilians? War was sanitized for you and so is the post war era.


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Dollar Poised to Drop for a Seventh Week
Bloomberg
May 18, 2003

Tokyo, May 18 (Bloomberg) -- The dollar is poised to fall against the euro for a seventh week as investors seek higher interest rates on euro-denominated assets and after U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow called the dollar's slide ``fairly modest.''

Two-thirds of the 30 traders, analysts and investors surveyed by Bloomberg News on Friday recommended buying or holding euros against the dollar. The U.S. currency will likely extend a 9 percent drop against the 12-nation euro this year as slowing capital inflows from overseas make it more difficult for the U.S. to finance its current account deficit, economists said.

``What investors get for their money in the U.S. is less than they get elsewhere,'' said Paul Samuelson, a Nobel laureate and professor emeritus of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Interest rates ``will remain low, and the U.S. has a current account deficit to finance while other countries are still digesting a surplus. It doesn't take much to figure out the dollar will continue to fall.''

The U.S. currency lost 0.9 percent against the euro last week and sank to a four-year-low of $1.1624 on Monday. It fell 1.2 percent against the yen and reached 115.34 on May 15, the lowest in more than two years.

Snow's comments to reporters after a weekend meeting in France of finance ministers from the Group of Seven major industrial nations and Russia signaled the U.S. is comfortable with the dollar extending its slide, investors said.

``There was a good discussion of the backdrop against which the economy is functioning, and part of that is the fairly modest realignment of currencies that has occurred,'' Snow said.

Market Rates

The comments came less than a week after Snow said exchange rates are ``best set'' by the market, indicating a reluctance by U.S. officials to curb the currency's 21 percent slide against the euro over the past 12 months.

``His comments in no way put a floor under the pattern of decline in the last 12 months,'' said Andrew Weiss, a currency strategist at AIG Trading Group in Greenwich, Connecticut, a unit of American International Group Inc., the world's biggest insurer. ``They just reinforce people's bearish instincts about the dollar. We expect the dollar's decline to continue.''

At its May 6 meeting, the Federal Reserve suggested it may lower rates to combat a potential ``fall in inflation.'' The Fed's 1.25 percent benchmark rate target is half the European Central Bank's key rate. Both banks left rates unchanged two weeks ago.

``The Fed threw cold water on expectations for an increase in rates by the end of the year at a time when the ECB is being stubbornly slow in acting,'' said Allan Meltzer, a professor of political economy at Carnegie Mellon University and an honorary adviser to the Bank of Japan since 1986. ``There are signs investment is going elsewhere as people reach for higher yields.''

Lower Yields

The U.S. 10-year Treasury note yield sank more than 20 basis points last week and reached 3.44 percent in intraday trading May 16, the lowest for a government security with 10 years to maturity since 1958. In comparison, 10-year German bonds yield 3.82 percent, while 10-year Italian bonds yield 3.96 percent.

Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan is slated to testify Wednesday on the economy to the Joint Economic Committee of Congress.

U.S. interest rates below those in Europe make it harder for the U.S. to attract the $1.5 billion needed daily to offset the deficit in its current account and sustain the dollar's value. The deficit widened to a record $136.9 billion in the fourth quarter. Europe and Japan have surpluses in their current accounts, a broad measure of trade that includes interest on investments.

Investors took a net $223 million from U.S. stocks last week, the fifth net outflow in six weeks, according to UBS Warburg.

The currency's slide has helped lift profit at many U.S. companies by making their goods cheaper overseas. Eastman Kodak Co., Johnson & Johnson and 3M Co. reported increased sales in the first quarter because of the weakening dollar.

`Subtle Message'

Snow ``has done a very good job of giving the markets the subtle message that the U.S. doesn't mind the dollar's fall'' said Michael Derks, chief global strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, that country's second-largest lender. ``It's all hands to the deck in the U.S. to help the economy.''

Derks on Friday cut his forecast for the dollar to $1.23 per euro by the end of the year, citing the widening current account deficit in the U.S. and sluggish growth.

The U.S. economy grew at a 1.6 percent annual pace in the first quarter and is expected to expand 2.3 percent this year, according to the May Blue Chip Economic Indicators survey, down from a January forecast of 2.8 percent.

One-third of the investors and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News recommended buying the Japanese yen against the dollar; almost half recommend buying the Australian dollar.

``Officials in Europe and the U.S. expressed little if any concern about'' the weaker dollar before the G-7 meeting, said Marc Chandler, chief currency strategist at HSBC Securities USA Inc. Inaction will translate into ``a green light to sell dollars,'' weakening the dollar to $1.17 per euro and 115.10 yen this week, he said.

©2003 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved.

Commentary:
We have three huge problems to watch for and/or address. The first is the massive deficits created by Bush's tax cuts. The second is GDP (growth) which has been on life support since Bush became president and thirdly, our newsst possible problem, deflation.

With so many real problems facing the US, Bush was forced to manufacture a national security problem in Iraq to keep us distracted from the failures of his policies.


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The White House lied
Carolina Morning News
By John David Rose
Carolina Morning News

"The White House Lied" was the headline on the ABCNews.com Web site on April 25. They weren't harking back to the days of Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

Nobody died from Clinton's dalliance or his lies.

The ABC News report reveals a White House so depraved that it makes Clinton seem like a choir boy.

Wrote ABC News reporter John Cochran: "To build its case for war with Iraq, the Bush administration argued that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but some officials now privately acknowledge the White House had another reason for war - a global show of American power and democracy."

That poor dupe Colin Powell stood before the United Nations narrating a slide-show of phony intelligence trying to convince the world that Hussein was a threat.

Was he lying or was he lied to?

"We're not lying," said a White House official to ABC News. "But it was just a matter of emphasis."

A matter of emphasis? Good lord, it's a matter of life and death!

Tell that "emphasis" story to the families of Staff Sgt. Stevon Booker of Apollo, Pa., Pfc. Gregory Huxley of Forestport, N.Y., 2nd Lt. Jeffrey Kaylor of Clifton, Va., and Pfc. Anthony Miller of San Antonio, Texas, all from the Third Infantry Division of Fort Stewart. And tell the rest of the 150 American families now grieving over lost sons and daughters, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers.

They thought their loved ones were sent to protect America from Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. Now they learn they died for a "show," a bit of entertainment for Rumsfeld and his warhawk friends.

This was no fight for freedom or to liberate Iraq. There were no huge stores of weapons of mass destruction that threatened us.

The United States didn't win a victory, we committed an atrocity.

Writes ABC News' Cochran: "Officials feared that young Arabs, angry about their lives and without hope, would always look for someone to hate - and that someone would always be Israel and the United States."

Give Arab youth hope by killing them? Shades of the Spanish Inquisition when people were "saved" for Christianity by burning them at the stake.

The brutal truth is that American soldiers were sacrificed for nothing that this nation can be proud of. No amount of White House "spin" or hype can gloss over it.

Congress - all those who voted to give Bush the power to mount an attack on Iraq, Republicans and Democrats alike - should be outraged at how they were misled and ashamed at what they allowed to happen.

Every American who did not protest against this war should get down on his/her knees and beg forgiveness from the parents of those who were killed. We sent their children on a cruel fool's errand.

We are not naturally a nation of brutish intimidators, attacking anyone who won't bow and scrape at our command, who don't pray to our particular interpretation of God. But we stupidly allowed such people into high office and now we and the rest of the world are paying the price.

Bush has got to go. Join those who are trying to retrieve our nation's honor by logging onto www.VotetoImpeach.org.

Stop him before he kills again.

John David Rose is a long-time Hilton Head Islander and political observer.

Copyright 2002 Carolina Morning News. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy

Commentary:
I still haven't found one article in which a reporter calls Bush a liar. This one gets close when it says the White House lied, so some in the media are being forced to report the truth for a change. But never forget how Bush operates. As soon as the story turns away from him, he does another alert and gets the press all worked up again.


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