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Impeach Bush--Index 49

Under Bush, the innocent are assumed guilty, therefore, Bush is held to the same standard...guilty until proven innocent.

An Impeachable Offense
May 15, 2007

Terror suspect claims CIA tortured him

WASHINGTON — A Pakistani terrorism suspect denied any connection to al-Qaida and said he was tortured and his family was hounded by U.S. authorities, according to a transcript released Tuesday by the Pentagon.

Majid Khan, in a lengthy written statement, said the CIA and the Defense Department tortured him after his capture in Pakistan as well as when he was transferred to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

"I swear to God this place in some sense worst than CIA jails. I am being mentally torture here," said Khan in a statement read by his personal representative about his time in Guantanamo. "There is extensive torture even for the smallest of infractions."

An Impeachable Offense
May 15, 2007

White House recertified counterterrorism program without DoJ backing

At the heart of the story is what Comey viewed as the White House's efforts to circumvent his refusal to sign off on the recertification of a controversial counterterrorism program.

To achieve that goal, Alberto Gonzales — the former White House chief counsel and current attorney general — and former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card visited the bedside of an ill John Ashcroft, who at the time was attorney general, to get him to overrule Comey's decision. Comey, who was the acting attorney general and was on the same page with Ashcroft regarding the decision, had informed the White House that DoJ would not back recertification of the program.

An Impeachable Offense
May 15, 2007

Former DOJ Official: Gonzales and Cheney Staff Subverted Warrantless Wiretapping Program

The former second-in-command at the Justice Department from 2003 through 2005 on Tuesday detailed a March 2004 incident in which top members of the Bush administration, including Alberto Gonzales and members of Vice President Dick Cheney's staff, worked to subvert a legal certification process for the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program. One Republican senator compared the episode to President Richard Nixon's efforts to disrupt the Watergate investigation.

James Comey was the Deputy Attorney General first under Attorney General John Ashcroft, and briefly under Alberto Gonzales. He testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday as part of continuing oversight pertaining to the firing of US Attorneys by the Bush administration.

May 15, 2007

Gonzales blames his deputy for firings

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Tuesday he relied on his outgoing deputy to determine which federal prosecutors should be fired last year.

Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, the No. 2 official at the Justice Department, submitted his resignation to Gonzales on Monday, the department announced.

"The recommendations reflected the views of the deputy attorney general. He signed off on the names," Gonzales said while responding to questions at a forum on the Justice Department's Safer Communities Initiative.

May 9, 2007

Paul J. McNulty, Fourth Justice Department official resigns

What a morning it's been for devotees of the U.S. Attorney scandal. While former Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey was testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about ghoulish behavior on the part of then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, the Attorney General himself was throwing under the bus his former deputy, Paul J. McNulty, who resigned under fire yesterday from the Justice Department. Got that? The guy who should be Attorney General was highlighting the backhanded way in which the current Attorney General operated back in 2004. And Gonzales, the guy who has kept his job thanks to blind loyalty on the part of President Bush, was unable and unwilling to show any measure of fealty to his own subordinate, savaging him less than 24 hours after McNulty decided to go.

May 13, 2007

'More troops' call as Iraq murders soar

he US military surge in Iraq, designed to turn around the course of the war, appears to be failing as senior US officers admit they need yet more troops and new figures show a sharp increase in the victims of death squads in Baghdad.

In the first 11 days of this month, there have already been 234 bodies - men murdered by death squads - dumped around the capital, a dramatic rise from the 137 found in the same period of April. Improving security in Baghdad and reducing death-squad activity was described as one of the key aims of the US surge of 25,000 additional troops, the final units of whom are due to arrive next month.

May 14, 2007

Climate change to force mass migration

A billion people - one in seven people on Earth today - could be forced to leave their homes over the next 50 years as the effects of climate change worsen an already serious migration crisis, a new report from Christian Aid predicts.

The report, which is based on latest UN population and climate change figures, says conflict, large-scale development projects and widespread environmental deterioration will combine to make life unsupportable for hundreds of millions of people, mostly in the Sahara belt, south Asia and the Middle East.

May 12, 2007

US general asks for more troops in northern Iraq

The commander of US forces in northern Iraq said yesterday that he did not have enough troops to bring stability, sharpening the debate in America about the effectiveness of George Bush's war plan.

Major General Benjamin Mixon told a video press conference that his region was a haven for militants fleeing a crackdown by US forces in Baghdad, and that the local Iraqi authorities were virtually non-functioning. "I am going to need additional forces in Diyala province to get the situation there to an acceptable level," he said. There are 3,500 troops in the region.

May 13, 2007

Why Wolfowitz should have been out on his ear

Now he is under pressure from European shareholders in the bank to resign: they are horrified that he is hanging on to power while the institution continues to lecture developing countries about the need for good corporate governance. Wolfowitz might have quit by now, but the US administration is trying to persuade him to stay to avoid losing face. He is, after all, an American appointment. But therein lies the problem. The bank's credibility would be better served if its president were selected by an independent body with power to hire and fire. If that were the case, he would have been shown the door weeks ago.

US soldiers are being sent into Iraq with little or no training, yet Iraqis have had years to train a new army and have refused to do so. What makes anyone think they ever will and why should we fight a war they're unwilling to fight?

May 12, 2007

Iraq President asks US troops to stay for two more years

Iraq's president asked America to keep its troops in Iraq for up to two more years after the US Congress voted to limit funding for the war.

Speaking at the Cambridge Union Society, Jalal Talabani said Iraqi forces would not be prepared to take charge of security for "one or two years".

"We are concerned and we hope that Congress will review this decision and help the American army to stay until the Iraqi army will be ready," he said.

Maybe one of the reasons liberals refuse to watch CBS is because they only hire pro war consultants. During the lead- up to war, most of the networks hired "experts" who had a financial interest in war-making. If Gen. Batiste did a pro war commercial you can bet your bottom dollar he'd still be working for CBS and they'd give him a pay raise.

I strongly suggest that liberal leaning peoples boycott the CBS Evening News. When their rating fall far enough they'll figure out the problem is and has been their pro war and anti truth positions.

May 11, 2007

CBS News Fires Gen. Batiste

Last night, retired Army Maj. Gen. John Batiste appeared on MSNBC's "Countdown With Keith Olbermann." Batiste has been a CBS News consultant, but last night it was disclosed that he has been asked to leave that position due to his participation in an ad criticizing President Bush. Says Batiste in the ad: "Mr. President, you have placed our nation in peril."

CBS News Vice President, Standards and Special Projects Linda Mason confirmed to me that Batiste was asked to vacate his position.

"When we hire someone as a consultant, we want them to share their expertise with our viewers," she said. "By putting himself front and center in an anti-Bush ad, the viewer might have the feeling everything he says is anti-Bush. And that doesn't seem like an analytical approach to the issues we want to discuss."

An Impeachable Offense
May 12, 2007

New Charges Against Kyle "Dusty" Foggo - Former CIA Official

New charges have been filed alleging that a former top CIA official pushed a proposed $100 million government contract for his best friend in return for lavish vacations, private jet flights and a lucrative job offer.

The indictment, returned Thursday, replaces charges brought in February against Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, who resigned from the spy agency a year ago, and Poway-based defense contractor Brent Wilkes. The charges grew from the bribery scandal that landed former U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham in prison.

The pair now face 30 wide-ranging counts of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.

May 12, 2007

Hub judge scolds Gonzales for misconduct case pace

The chief federal judge in Boston sent a scathing letter to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales yesterday, accusing his office of dragging their feet by taking more than six months to provide records in the investigation of misconduct by a federal prosecutor.

Mark Wolf freed notorious Mafioso Vincent Ferrara in 2005 after he discovered federal prosecutor Jeffrey Auerhahn withheld a statement from a witness disputing Ferrara's role in a murder.

The First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Wolf's decision, calling Auerhahn's actions "egregious," "outrageous," "feckless," and "painting a grim picture of blatant misconduct," Wolf wrote in his new letter to Gonzales, mailed yesterday.

Recall a few years ago when the US insisted that Saddam turn over every piece of information about his weapons programs - programs that didn't exist. Today, oil is missing and there's no accountability. Where is Bush and why won't he turn over every piece of information?

May12, 2007

U.S. study finds billions of Iraqi oil missing

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Billions of dollars' worth of Iraq's declared oil production over the past four years is unaccounted for, possibly having been siphoned off through corruption or smuggling, The New York Times said on Saturday.

Between 100,000 and 300,000 barrels of Iraq's daily output of roughly 2 million barrels is missing, it said, citing a draft report prepared by the U.S. Government Accountability Office and government energy analysts which is expected to be released next week.

The discrepancy was valued between $5 million and $15 million daily, using a $50 per barrel average, the report said. That adds up to billions of dollars over the four years since the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

May 12, 2007

Momentum builds against GOP candidates

The week had the feel of 1974. Republican members of Congress marched to the White House to deliver a frank message to an embattled president: You are a liability.

Three decades ago, it was Watergate. Now, it's Iraq.

President Bush's meeting with the 11 Republican House members grew out of a sudden decline in the party's fortunes that has recently come into sharp relief.

The evidence of the trend is anecdotal and quantifiable: Public opinion polls show that the electorate has shifted to the left since the 2004 elections, with the war a leading drag on Republicans.

May 11, 2007

FBI probes Nevada governor for corruption

The key facts are familiar. A politician gets a fancy vacation and perhaps other lucrative benefits. And a defense contractor gets multi-million-dollar government contracts. The question now: Was any of it criminal?

The new governor of Nevada, Jim Gibbons, is being investigated by the FBI because of alleged gifts and payments from Warren Trepp, a defense contractor whose Nevada firm received tens of millions of dollars in federal contracts.

The FBI wants to know if Gibbons, while a member of Congress, improperly used his influence to help Trepp get those contracts.

Sources close to the investigation say a key focus is a lavish week-long Caribbean cruise in March 2005 by Gibbons, his wife and son, and Trepp, who paid for almost everything. In photos obtained by NBC News, Gibbons is seen hamming it up — kicking back with a drink and posing with his wife, Dawn, Trepp and Trepp's other guests.

May 13, 2007

Governors worry about depleted National Guard

TAMPA, Fla. — With repeated deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan leaving state National Guards without nearly half of their required equipment, some governors are loudly questioning whether they will be able to handle the next hurricane, wildfire or terrorist attack at home.

"We are not going to be able to continue to rely on the National Guard as a full-time operational force," North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley said.

Easley said his state has about half the equipment it needs and could probably respond adequately to a hurricane, but "a pandemic or something like that may be a different question."

May 12, 2007

Gonzales lacks the ability or the moral compass to do his job

Consider Mr. Gonzales's performance the other day before the House Judiciary Committee, where the chairman, John Conyers Jr., framed the questioning with admirable simplicity: who made up the list of prosecutors to be fired, and why? That should not be a hard question. The nine prosecutors who are now known to have been purged — it was eight until the case of Todd Graves of Missouri came to light this week — are nearly 10 percent of all United States attorneys. It defies belief that an attorney general would allow so many top officials to be fired without being well aware of the reasons.

Yet that was just what Mr. Gonzales claimed. He delegated, he was not informed, he just could not recall. None of it was believable. When asked by Representative Robert Wexler who decided to fire David Iglesias, the United States attorney in New Mexico, Mr. Gonzales flatly stated that President Bush and Vice President Cheney did not. He said he did not know who chose individual prosecutors to be fired, but he was certain that it was not his bosses.

May 12, 2007

Gen. Montano: Iraq Straining National Guard

WASHINGTON -- The National Guard isn't as strong as it should be because of the war in Iraq and American communities will suffer as a result, retired Air Force Gen. Melvyn Montano said Saturday.

Delivering the Democrats' weekly radio address, Montano said the strain means it will take longer for Greensburg, Kan., to recover from a devastating tornado that leveled the town a week ago.

"Crucial equipment used by the Guard for disaster relief is now in Iraq instead of standing ready to respond to crises here at home," said Montano, who was once adjutant general of the New Mexico National Guard.

May 12, 2007

Iraq MPs gather votes to force US withdrawal

Iraqi MPs are gathering votes to force their government to set a deadline for US forces to withdraw from the country and think they have a majority, a leading Shiite politician said on Friday.

Baha al-Aaraji, a supporter of radical anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, told AFP that 144 members of the 275-seat national assembly had signed a draft law that would set a departure timetable for US troops.

However, other legislators said the bill would probably be watered down before becoming a non-binding petition, and that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki would martial enough support to renew the US mandate next month.

May 9, 2007

Gallup Poll: No matter what we do in Iraq things will get worse

Withdrawal Heightens Risk of Civil War, al Qaeda Base of Operations

The new poll tested public attitudes about the likelihood of seven outcomes of the Iraq war happening either as a result of the United States keeping its troops in Iraq for the foreseeable future, or as a result of the United States removing all of its troops by the middle of next year, or -- where applicable -- under both scenarios.

While Americans consider the risk of terrorism against the United States the same regardless of whether U.S. troops stay in Iraq or leave, they do perceive greater negative consequences stemming from U.S. withdrawal in two areas.

  • One is a full-scale civil war in Iraq: A substantial minority (47%) says this will happen if the United States remains in Iraq, but an even larger proportion (68%) foresees it occurring if the United States leaves the country.
  • The other negative impact is the establishment of Iraq as a base of terrorist operations for al Qaeda: 47% say this will happen if the United States stays, while 66% say it will happen if the United States goes.

When this is a void in leadership someone or something fills it. There is clearly a void in leadership in both political parties. The White House seems clueless and unconcerned about its legacy of failure but these other guys have to run for reelection next year and time is running out.

The next election will be the "anti Bush" election so Dems should solidify their majority but from the looks of things they seem too afraid to do anything with the power we gave them.

May 8, 2007

Poll: 25% of Americans satisfied with direction of the country

All of the candidates can perhaps take some solace in Americans' dissatisfaction with the way things are going in the United States at this time (only 25 percent are satisfied; 71 percent dissatisfied). American dissatisfaction ratings last hit 71 in the NEWSWEEK poll in May 2006, at the height of the scandal over secret government wiretapping inside the United States. The last time that even half of our survey respondents were happy with the direction of the country was in April 2003, shortly after the start of the Iraq war. With that many unhappy Americans, the nation should have a strong appetite for new leaders and new ideas.

May 10, 2007

11 House Republicans Meet with Bush - war is harming the GOP

WASHINGTON - House Republican moderates, in a remarkably blunt White House meeting, warned President Bush this week that his pursuit of the war in Iraq is risking the future of the Republican Party and that he cannot count on GOP support for many more months.

The meeting, which ran for an hour and a half Tuesday afternoon, was disclosed by participants yesterday as the House prepared to vote this evening on a spending bill that could cut funding for the Iraq war as early as July. GOP moderates told Bush they would stay united against the latest effort by House Democrats to end U.S. involvement in the war. Even Senate Democrats called the House measure unrealistic.

But the meeting between 11 House Republicans, Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, White House political adviser Karl Rove and presidential press secretary Tony Snow was perhaps the clearest sign yet that patience in the party is running out. The meeting, organized by Rep. Charlie Dent (Pa.), one of the co-chairs of the moderate "Tuesday Group," included Reps. Thomas M. Davis III (Va.), Michael N. Castle (Del.), Todd R. Platts (Pa.), Jim Ramstad (Minn.) and Jo Ann Emerson (Mo.).

Snow, who sat in on the meeting in the president's private quarters, said it should not be overdramatized or seen as another "marching up to Nixon," a reference to the critical moment during Watergate in 1974 when key congressional Republicans went to the White House to tell President Richard M. Nixon that it was time to resign.

The GOP listened to the generals who told them what they wanted to it's a little late.

May 9, 2007

Retired generals challenge GOP in ads

CONCORD, N.H. - Three retired generals challenged a dozen members of Congress in a new ad campaign Wednesday, saying the politicians can't support, President Bush's policies in Iraq and still expect to win re-election.

"I am outraged, as are the majority of Americans. I'm a lifelong Republican, but it's past time for change," retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste told reporters.

"Our strategy in Iraq today is more of the same, a slow grind to nowhere which totally ignores the reality of Iraq and the lessons of history," Batiste said. "Our president ignores sound military advice and surrounds himself with like-minded and compliant subordinates."

Batiste and Paul Eaton, also a retired major general, are featured in the ads by They challenge the president's argument that he listens to his commanders on the ground in Iraq and say the president's Iraq policies endanger U.S. security.

May 3, 2007

Poll: Americans Alarmed About Declining US Global Reputation

Those are among the key findings of a just-released survey commissioned by Business for Diplomatic Action (BDA), an organization of multinational American companies working to improve the standing of America in the world by engaging the private sector in public diplomacy efforts. The survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted for BDA by Zogby International this April found that:

• 76 percent are concerned about America's global reputation;
• 74 percent believe the U.S. is viewed negatively by people in other countries;
• 66 percent of voters say U.S. relations with the rest of the world are on the wrong track;
• Nearly half of Americans (47 percent) say U.S. multinational corporations should play a "major role" in trying to improve the reputation of the United States, while another 39 percent believe American companies have a "minor role" to play.

May 8, 2007

Poll: 39% support impeaching Bush AND Cheney

About four out of 10 Americans favor impeaching the president and vice president. But the biggest news from this survey is not the overall results, but the opinions of independent voters, who usually decide presidential elections.

Forty-two percent of independents want Bush and Cheney impeached. These aren't just voters who disapprove of the White House. Instead, they're for initiating a process that could remove them from office.

May 8, 2007

Oil execs plead guilty to bribing Alaskan lawmaker

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- The founder of a multinational oil services company and one of his top executives have admitted to illegally paying more than $400,000 to Alaska lawmakers in a widening political corruption scandal.

Bill J. Allen, chief executive of Anchorage-based VECO Corp., and Rick Smith, a vice president, pleaded guilty Monday to bribing state legislators with cash and the promise of jobs and favors for their backing on bills supported by the company.

Allen, 70, and Smith, 62, appeared separately in U.S. District Court to plead guilty to extortion, bribery and conspiracy to impede the Internal Revenue Service.

The pleas came days after the indictment of one current and two former Republican members of the Alaska House of Representatives on federal bribery and extortion charges related to last year's negotiations for a new oil and gas tax and a proposed natural gas pipeline that would have benefited VECO.

May 9, 2007

NATO air raid kills 21 Afghans

Kandahar, Afghanistan: A NATO air strike killed 21 civilians, including women and children, in southern Afghanistan, a provincial governor said on Wednesday, the latest in a string of civilian casualties that have riled Afghans.

The air strike late on Tuesday night hit houses in a village in the Sangin district on Helmand province, where Western forces have been hunting Taliban militants in recent weeks, Helmand governor Assadullah Wafa told Reuters.

"Last night, NATO forces carried out an operation in Sangin and as a result of its bombing, 21 civilians, including women and children and men, have been killed," he said

May 9, 2007

Sharp increase in mortar attacks on the Green Zone

BAGHDAD - A sharp increase in mortar attacks on the Green Zone — the one-time oasis of security in Iraq's turbulent capital — has prompted the U.S. Embassy to issue a strict new order telling all employees to wear flak vests and helmets while in unprotected buildings or whenever they are outside.

The order, obtained by The Associated Press, has created a siege mentality among U.S. staff inside the Green Zone following a recent suicide attack on parliament. It has also led to new fears about long-term safety in the place where the U.S. government is building a massive and expensive new embassy.

The situation marks a sharp turnaround for the heavily guarded Green Zone — long viewed as the safest corner of Baghdad with its shops, restaurants, American fast-food outlets and key Iraqi and American government offices.

May 6, 2007

Iraq is a lost cause

Roanoke Times Editorial (Virginia): We have come to the painful conclusion that Iraq is a lost cause. Further expenditure of blood, lives and treasure will not lead to victory.

Though President Bush seems psychologically incapable of the act, it is time for everyone else in the United States to recognize the inevitable: The occupation of Iraq is an utter, irredeemable failure. We cannot win there militarily or politically.

Further expenditure of blood, lives and treasure will gain the United States nothing. Nor will it gain anything for the Iraqi people, who have seen only chaos and bloodshed from this intervention.

Read the full letter.

April 28, 2007

CIA Officers Letter to Tenet

We agree with you that Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bush administration officials took the United States to war for flimsy reasons. We agree that the war of choice in Iraq was ill-advised and wrong headed. But your lament that you are a victim in a process you helped direct is self-serving, misleading and, as head of the intelligence community, an admission of failed leadership. You were not a victim. You were a willing participant in a poorly considered policy to start an unnecessary war and you share culpability with Dick Cheney and George Bush for the debacle in Iraq.

April 29, 2007

Officers: Ex-CIA chief Tenet a 'failed' leader

(CNN) -- In a letter written Saturday to former CIA Director George Tenet, six former CIA officers described their former boss as "the Alberto Gonzales of the intelligence community," and called his book "an admission of failed leadership."

The writers said Tenet has "a moral obligation" to return the Medal of Freedom he received from President Bush.

The letter, signed by Phil Giraldi, Ray McGovern, Larry Johnson, Jim Marcinkowski, Vince Cannistraro and David MacMichael, said Tenet should have resigned in protest rather than take part in the administration's buildup to the war.

Johnson is a former CIA intelligence official and registered Republican who voted for Bush in 2000. McGovern is a former CIA analyst.

Cannistraro is former head of the CIA's counterterrorism division and was head of intelligence for the National Security Council in the late 1980s.

The writers said they agree that Bush administration officials took the nation to war "for flimsy reasons," and that it has proved "ill-advised and wrong-headed."

May 8, 2007

Federal student loan official resigns

WASHINGTON — The head of the Education Department's student loan office is stepping down amid growing criticism that the agency has been lax in overseeing the student loan industry.

Theresa Shaw is leaving her post as chief operating officer of the Federal Student Aid office, a job she has held since 2002, the department said in a statement. The office administers federal student aid programs.

The statement said Shaw told Education Secretary Margaret Spellings in February that she planned to leave the department, but not until June 1.

May 8, 2007

GOP 'Poison pill' kills prescription drug plan

WASHINGTON -- The Senate on Monday effectively killed a measure that would have let Americans buy prescription medicines from foreign suppliers, which sponsors said could have saved consumers billions of dollars.

By a 49-40 vote, senators approved a provision requiring the government to certify that imports are safe -- a step the Bush administration is unlikely to take. The amendment, offered by Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), was seen as a major victory for the pharmaceutical industry.

Cochran's caveat "is clearly a poison pill," said Sen. Bernard Sanders, a Vermont Independent and a strong supporter of allowing imports.

Infant morality is rising in the South (US) and in Iraq. What do they have in common besides conservative government?

May 8, 2007

Iraq Child Mortality Rate Soars

(AP) The chance that an Iraqi child will live beyond age 5 has plummeted faster than anywhere else in the world since 1990, according to a report released Tuesday, which placed the country last in its child survival rankings.

One in eight Iraqi children died of disease or violence before reaching their fifth birthday in 2005, according to the report by Save the Children, which said Iraq ranked last because it had made the least progress toward improving child survival rates.

Iraq's mortality rate has soared by 150 percent since 1990. Even before the latest war, Iraq was plagued by electricity shortages, a lack of clean water and too few hospitals.

May 8, 2007

Poll: Most back Congress over Bush in war funding

Former Sen. John Edwards said Congress shouldn't back down. "If we don't have the votes to override the veto, the Congress should send him another bill with the funding authority for the troops, with a timetable for withdrawal," the Democratic presidential candidate said.

The public agrees. In the new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday, 57 percent want Congress to pass another bill with funding and timetables.

The poll surveyed 1,028 American adults between Friday and Sunday. It has a sampling error of 3 percentage points.

The surge has failed. What more needs to be said?

May 8, 2007

Commanders in Iraq See 'Surge' Into '08

U.S. commanders in Iraq are increasingly convinced that heightened troop levels, announced by President Bush in January, will need to last into the spring of 2008. The military has said it would assess in September how well its counterinsurgency strategy, intended to pacify Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, is working.

"The surge needs to go through the beginning of next year for sure," said Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the day-to-day commander for U.S. military operations in Iraq. The new requirement of up to 15-month tours for active-duty soldiers will allow the troop increase to last until spring, said Odierno, who favors keeping experienced forces in place for now.

May 7, 2007

Resignations Hit Bush Security Team

At the White House, four top officials have stepped down, including Crouch; Meghan O'Sullivan, another deputy national security adviser who worked on Iraq; Tom Graham, the senior director for Russia, and director for Asian affairs Victor Cha, point man for the Koreas.

O'Sullivan's departure has set off a search for a "war czar" to oversee operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, a job reportedly turned down by a number of senior or retired generals.

Graham's resignation comes as tensions with Russia rise over U.S. missile defense plans in Europe, and Cha leaves amid concerns over North Korea's failure to comply with deadlines to eliminate its nuclear weapons programs.

Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld resigned under fire in November and is not included in the list of 20.

How many Americans died needlessly in Katrina and other US natural disasters because of Bush's man made disaster in Iraq?

May 7, 2007

Kansas Governor: Guard Troops Needed at Home

CHICAGO — For months, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas and other governors have warned that their state National Guards were ill-prepared for the next local disaster, be it a tornado or a flash flood or a terrorist's threat, because of large deployments of their soldiers and equipment in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Then, on Friday night, a deadly tornado all but cleared the small town of Greensburg off the Kansas map. With 80 square blocks destroyed, Sebelius said her fears had come true: The emergency response was too slow, she said, and there was only one reason.

"As you travel around Greensburg, you'll see that city and county trucks have been destroyed," Sebelius, a Democrat, said on Monday. "The National Guard is one of our first responders. They don't have the equipment they need to come in, and it just makes it that much slower."

Another corrupt neocon is going's going to be a good day.

May 4, 2007

Wolfowitz offered deal to step down

WASHINGTON, May 7 — Leading governments of Europe, mounting a new campaign to push Paul D. Wolfowitz from his job as World Bank president, signaled Monday that they were willing to let the United States choose the bank's next chief, but only if Mr. Wolfowitz stepped down soon, European officials said.

European officials had previously indicated that they wanted to end the tradition of the United States picking the World Bank leader. But now the officials are hoping to enlist American help in persuading Mr. Wolfowitz to resign voluntarily, rather than be rebuked or ousted.

The goal, they said, is to avert a public rupture of the bank board over a vote, possibly later this week, to sanction Mr. Wolfowitz. Even if the vote is a reprimand, they said, it could effectively make it impossible for him to stay on.

May 7, 2007

UN Report: Global Warming can be mitigated

Insurance Journal: The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has already produced several reports detailing the rise in global temperatures, their probable cause(s) and the devastating effects they will have on the environment, if they remain unchecked.

In its summary of the report [available at:] notes: "A range of policies, including those on climate change, energy security, and sustainable development, have been effective in reducing GHG emissions in different sectors and many countries. The scale of such measures, however, has not yet been large enough to counteract the global growth in emissions [citations]."

The IPCC report summarizes the growth of GHG emissions as follows [some citations omitted]:
"Global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have grown since pre-industrial times, with an increase of 70 percent between 1970 and 2004 (high agreement, much evidence).

A neocon broke the rules? Wow...what a shocker. These self-righteous bigots think the law doesn't apply to them.

May 7, 2007

World Bank panel finds Wolfowitz broke rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A World Bank panel has found that bank President Paul Wolfowitz's handling of a promotion and pay increase for his companion represented a conflict of interest and broke rules, but made no recommendation on how he should be reprimanded, board sources said on Monday.

The former U.S. deputy defense secretary, a key architect of the Iraq war, has been given several days to respond to the findings of the panel involving a lucrative deal for his companion, Shaha Riza, a World Bank Middle East expert.

One source close to the World Bank board said the panel found Wolfowitz's actions amounted to conflict of interest, while another source said the panel found he broke internal rules by personally directing Riza's transfer to the State Department with a promotion and salary increase.

May 7, 2007

Wolfowitz aide resigns from World Bank

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - One of two key aides to World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz resigned on Monday, saying he could no longer effectively help advance the mission of the institution under the current leadership crisis.

Kevin Kellems, who was an advisor to Wolfowitz since 2002 at the Pentagon and throughout the planning of the Iraq war, told Reuters he was leaving "for other opportunities."

"Given the current environment surrounding the leadership of the World Bank Group, it is very difficult to be effective in helping to advance the mission of the institution," Kellems said.

Since it's a war crime for Iraq to illegally imprison Iraqis, then surely it's a war crime when the US does the same. Besides, the US can't complain about Iraqi war crimes since the US military is doing the same thing.

An Impeachable Offense
May 6, 2007

Iraqis jail many innocents

BAGHDAD — U.S. officers here say they are increasingly troubled by the high number of innocent Iraqis being detained and held — in some cases for many months — by the Iraqi army.

Several officers who serve as advisers to the Iraqis said at least half the people detained by the Iraqi army in Baghdad are innocent.

And the advisers say their close association with the units doing the detaining is placing the Americans on the horns of an ethical dilemma: On one hand, they are forbidden from taking unilateral action in order to free the prisoners; on the other hand, by not freeing innocent detainees being held by their close allies, they feel complicit in what some termed "a war crime."

First the US ceased to be the leader of the free world because very few countries are willing to follow us. Now, it looks like we won't be able to afford another war - matter how good the reason for war might be. The debt stands at $8.8 trillion, social programs are about to explode because of baby boomers and we have Bush's war machine that needs trillions of dollars.

The next generation is saddled with the cost of this war, the cost of the tax cuts and the cost of social programs because Bush was interested in helping the rich. What does the next generation get in return - higher taxes and the knowledge that conservatives did this to them.

May 7, 2007

Iraq war costs spinning out of control

Even if the war were to end in days, its costs to taxpayers will drag on for decades. A study by Linda Bilmes, an economist at Harvard University, and Columbia University's Joseph Stiglitz last fall estimated total costs could reach $2.2 trillion – "and counting." That was before the president's recent "surge" plan.

Such calculations are rough and depend on assumptions. Nonetheless, the sum is miles away from the administration's original estimate that the war would cost $50 billion. Lawrence Lindsay, a White House economic adviser at that time, lost his job after suggesting the war might cost $200 billion.

Professors Bilmes and Stiglitz put the long-term budgetary costs, assuming the US maintains a small presence in Iraq through 2016, in the $1.4 trillion range. If all troops are home by 2010, the Iraq operations would cost $1 trillion.

These numbers include veterans' healthcare and disability compensation. In addition, there are demobilization costs. And the military will have to replace or refurbish much worn-out equipment. For instance, the Army's tanks were not built for sandy desert conditions and deteriorate rapidly in Iraq.

May 4, 2007

America's Idiotic Political Debates

If you go back to the time of H.L. Mencken or Mark Twain, the educated classes also complained that American politicians were divided into two classes, vapid windbags and screeching baboon. Yet the country prospered.

If things are worse today it is because the windbags are gone. Most of today's pols are not able to deliver a sustained utterance in their own words of five minutes' duration. That leaves us with baboons emitting their loud short cries when the TV ringmaster tells them it's their turn. And still the Republic endures.

IMO, career soldiers, including generals are responsible for the break down in ethics and morals in the military. The next president will have fire a lot people, especially the person is charge of the Marine Corps (Marines are in almost every scandal).

May 4, 2007

US troops 'condone torture'

The Pentagon survey found that less than half the troops in Iraq thought Iraqi civilians should be treated with dignity and respect.

More than a third believed that torture was acceptable if it helped save the life of a fellow soldier or if it helped get information about the insurgents.

About 10% of those surveyed said they had actually mistreated Iraqi civilians by hitting or kicking them, or had damaged their property when it was not necessary to do so.

May 2, 2007

Iraqi lawmakers demand U.S. withdrawal

BAGHDAD, May 2 (UPI) -- As calls in the U.S. Congress grow for a scheduled troop withdrawal from Iraq, similar demands are escalating in Iraq's National Assembly.

Some 133 Iraqi lawmakers from different political blocs, calling themselves the "free deputies," signed a document demanding a scheduled withdrawal of the U.S.-led multinational troops from their country, according to the Sadrist bloc in Parliament.

A legislator from the Sadrist bloc, Saleh al-Okaili, told reporters Wednesday that his group initiated the document ahead of a U.N. Security Council review on Iraq slated for next month. The Sadrist bloc, whose Cabinet ministers had resigned, represents members of a group led by Shiite maverick leader Moqtada Sadr, who has been calling for setting a timetable to end the U.S.-British occupation of Iraq.

We've all seen it...a heckler taunting a comedian or politician. It's as American as apple pie. Usually the heckler is escorted out of the building and the assembly continues. But not anymore. It appears that if you disagree with the governing party, you'll end up in jail. For pushing closer to a fascist state Bush should be impeached and removed from office.

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller should also be impeached.

An Impeachable Offense
April 30, 2007

Peaceful Protestors Arrested - Charged with disturbing a public assembly

Four undergraduate protesters arrested at the Federal Bureau of Investigation director's speech last Thursday are now saying that their removal from the event was a breach of Harvard policy. And they said their subsequent arrest may have been a violation of their first amendment rights.

The students, who were arrested on charges of disturbing a public assembly, face a hearing before Middlesex County Court on May 10. Michael A. Gould-Wartofsky '07, one of the students, said that they are in close contact with the American Civil Liberties Union and several other civil liberties organizations regarding pro bono legal representation, though they have not yet chosen an attorney.

Gould-Wartofsky, Kelly L. Lee '07, J. Claire Provost '07, and Maura A. Roosevelt '07 were placed under arrest by Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) officers when they staged a protest against federal law enforcement practices during FBI Director Robert S. Mueller's talk at the Institute of Politics.

May 5, 2007

Conservative think tank linked to Abramoff scandal

WASHINGTON - When Rep. Tom Feeney first told Congress about a 2003 golf junket he took with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the Oviedo, Fla., Republican named a conservative think tank called the National Center for Public Policy Research as the trip's sponsor.

In the years since - and as recently as January - the think tank's directors said it played no role in the Scotland visit.

But congressional records show a direct link between the Washington-based policy group and a foundation identified by Senate investigators as Abramoff's personal "slush fund" that he used to evade taxes and lavish luxuries on his friends on Capitol Hill.

In previous wars we knew who the good guys, it seems the world has gone mad. Israel, the US and the Iraqi government torture prisoners. Are the Geneva Conventions dead? It looks like it.

A War Crime
May 6, 2007

Palestinian POWs Tortured in Israel

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli rights groups in a report published on Sunday condemned ill-treatment of Palestinian detainees, saying that in some cases it amounted to torture and calling for a halt to the practice.

Sixty-seven percent of those asked said they were subjected to "beatings, painful binding, swearing, humiliation and denial of basic needs" from the moment of their arrest to their transfer to the Shin Beth internal security service for interrogation, the report said.

Such measures "are defined by international law as ill-treatment and may reach the level of torture," it said.

May 4, 2007

Bush mentioned only once during debate

SIMI VALLEY – The 10 Republican presidential candidates eagerly embraced the legacy of Ronald Reagan yesterday while barely acknowledging the current occupant of the White House.

In fact, President Bush's name was mentioned only once by one candidate during a 90-minute, nationally televised debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.

The debate marked the first time the Republican White House hopefuls appeared together, and there was broad agreement about continuing the present policy in Iraq for now. But some of the candidates offered pointed criticism about how the war has been waged.

May 5, 2007

Iraq is hemorrhaging doctors as violence racks the nations

BAGHDAD -- Iraq is hemorrhaging doctors as violence racks the nation. To stem the flow, the Iraqi government has recently taken a cue from Saddam Hussein: Medical schools are once again forbidden to issue diplomas and transcripts to new graduates.

Hussein built a fine medical system in part by withholding doctors' passports and diplomas. Although physicians can work in Iraq with a letter from a medical school verifying their graduation, they say they need certificates and transcripts to work abroad.

The American Bar Association still thinks there are lawyers on the US Supreme Court - there are not. We have ideologues, who've allowed this farce to continue by letting Bush keep POWs in jail without being charged for years. Blame Bush if you must (and I do) but also blame those lazy bastards on the US Supreme Court. What they have done is unforgivable and history will damn them for all time.

An Impeachable Offense
April 30, 2007

Bar Criticizes Proposed POW Rules

In a court filing this month, the department said that the lawyers' use of mail to communicate with their clients had "enabled detainees' counsel to cause unrest on the base by informing detainees about terrorist attacks."

The mail system was "misused" to inform detainees about military operations in Iraq, activities of terrorist leaders, efforts to fight terrorism, a Hezbollah attack on Israel and abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison, the department said in the filing.

In his letter to Mr. Gonzales, the bar association's president, Barry M. Kamins, said, "This is an astonishing and disingenuous assertion."

"Blaming counsel for the hunger strikes and other unrest is a continuation of a disreputable and unwarranted smear campaign against counsel," the letter said.

Impeach the US Supreme Court - they allowed the Justice Department to destroy justice.

May 5, 2007

Many POWs at Guantánamo Rebuff Lawyers

Some of the lawyers accuse Guantánamo officials of feeding the detainees' suspicions of the lawyers, a charge Pentagon officials deny.

Lawyers said many of the relationships appeared to have deteriorated as the detainees' legal cause has suffered setbacks in Congress and the courts, and as Justice Department officials have begun efforts to limit lawyers' access to detainees, raising new concerns among the detainees about their lawyers' effectiveness.

"Every lawyer is afraid, every time they go down there, that their clients won't see them," said Mark P. Denbeaux, a professor at Seton Hall University School of Law who represents two Guantánamo detainees. "And it's getting worse, because it's pretty hard to say we're offering them anything."

The Courts have to know by now that Bush will veto any legislation that will offer protection the POWs Guantánamo Bay. Their refusal to stop the DOJ and the Bush White House from destroying our justice system speaks volumes about the utter corruption on display in the US Supreme Court.

Supreme Court justices must be impeached and removed from office.

An Impeachable Offense
April 26, 2007

Justice Department Asked to Limit Lawyers Access at Guantánamo

The Justice Department has asked a federal appeals court to impose tighter restrictions on the hundreds of lawyers who represent detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and the request has become a central issue in a new legal battle over the administration's detention policies.

Saying that visits by civilian lawyers and attorney-client mail have caused "intractable problems and threats to security at Guantánamo," a Justice Department filing proposes new limits on the lawyers' contact with their clients and access to evidence in their cases that would replace more expansive rules that have governed them since they began visiting Guantánamo detainees in large numbers in 2004.

I have my own theory - I think the gun nuts and their supporters in the Bush White House want another terrorist attack...that's why they supporting arming terrorist suspects.

May 4, 2007

NRA: Don't Ban Gun Sales to Terror Suspects

In a letter this week to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, NRA executive director Chris Cox said the bill, offered last week by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., "would allow arbitrary denial of Second Amendment rights based on mere 'suspicions' of a terrorist threat."

"As many of our friends in law enforcement have rightly pointed out, the word 'suspect' has no legal meaning, particularly when it comes to denying constitutional liberties," Cox wrote.

A 2005 study by the Government Accountability Office found that 35 of 44 firearm purchase attempts over a five-month period made by known or suspected terrorists were approved by the federal law enforcement officials.

The bible says man and animal were created on the same day but the first dinosaur roamed the earth hundreds of millions of years before the first man. The bible is wrong. It's time for people to get over it.

May 4, 2007

150 million-year-old dinosaur unearthed in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - Paleontologists unearthed a flesh-eating dinosaur some 150 million years old in southern Argentina with all its joints in place, the first time such a beast has been dug up so intact, one of the finders told AFP on Friday.

The seven-meter (23-foot) tall, two-legged dinosaur, dubbed the Condorraptor, was found fossilized with parts of its jaw and head showing in rock near the village of Cerro Condor in Patagonia, at a site where paleontologists had been working for five years.

"It is an unprecedented discovery. It is the first time in the world that a carnivorous dinosaur of the Middle Jurassic period has been found fully jointed," said Pablo Puerta, a paleontologist at the Egidio Feruglio museum in the town of Trelew.

Back in 1992 Al Gore wrote a book about global warming. The GOP, with the help of the media tried to create the illusion that global warming wasn't real. That was 14 years ago. Now, it's evolution. There are absolutely no facts supporting the creation theory, yet conservatives are still arguing over it. It's like WMD or tax article of faith based on beliefs and not facts.

May 5, 2007

Evolution Splits GOP

On one level the debate can be seen as a polite discussion of political theory among the members of a small group of intellectuals. But the argument also exposes tensions within the Republicans' "big tent," as could be seen Thursday night when the party's 10 candidates for president were asked during their first debate whether they believed in evolution. Three — Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas; Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas; and Representative Tom Tancredo of Colorado — indicated they did not.

For some conservatives, accepting Darwin undercuts religious faith and produces an amoral, materialistic worldview that easily embraces abortion, embryonic stem cell research and other practices they abhor. As an alternative to Darwin, many advocate intelligent design, which holds that life is so intricately organized that only an intelligent power could have created it.