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Impeach Bush--Index 63

As I see it, every conservative in government and in the media was wrong about WMD and Iraq being part of the war on terror. They were also slow in admitting the war in Iraq is lost and they were slow in seeing that a majority are open to impeachment (a majority want Cheney impeached). Democrats need to seize the initiative and stop watching the damn polls. Those of us who were anti war and pro impeachment were years ahead of the Democratic Party. In fact, Democrats called us extremists. Now we're in the mainstream. Had Dems listened to us they'd where we are today.

posted June 21, 2007 (July 9, 2007 issue)

Will the Progressive Majority Emerge?

Trends in Political Values and Core Attitudes: 1987-2007, a massive twenty-year roundup of public opinion from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, tells the story. Is it the responsibility of government to care for those who can't take care of themselves? In 1994, the year conservative Republicans captured Congress, 57 percent of those polled thought so. Now, says Pew, it's 69 percent. (Even 58 percent of Republicans agree. Would that some of them were in Congress.) The proportion of Americans who believe government should guarantee every citizen enough to eat and a place to sleep is 69 percent, too--the highest since 1991. Even 69 percent of self-identified Republicans--and 75 percent of small-business owners!--favor raising the minimum wage by more than $2.

The Pew study was not just asking about do-good, something-for-nothing abstractions. It asked about trade-offs. A majority, 54 percent, think "government should help the needy even if it means greater debt" (it was only 41 percent in 1994). Two-thirds want the government to guarantee health insurance for all citizens. Even among those who otherwise say they would prefer a smaller government, it's 57 percent--the same as the percentage of Americans making more than $75,000 a year who believe "labor unions are necessary to protect the working person."

July 8, 2007

Our national security is being outsourced

In April, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell was poised to publicize a year-long examination of outsourcing by U.S. intelligence agencies. But the report was inexplicably delayed -- and suddenly classified a national secret. What McConnell doesn't want you to know is that the private spy industry has succeeded where no foreign government has: It has penetrated the CIA and is running the show.

Over the past five years (some say almost a decade), there has been a revolution in the intelligence community toward wide-scale outsourcing. Private companies now perform key intelligence-agency functions, to the tune, I'm told, of more than $42 billion a year. Intelligence professionals tell me that more than 50 percent of the National Clandestine Service (NCS) -- the heart, brains and soul of the CIA -- has been outsourced to private firms such as Abraxas, Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

Apparently the rules apply to just the little people.

DOJ Commutation Instructions

3. Reduction of sentence only

The President's clemency power includes the authority to commute, or reduce, a sentence imposed upon conviction of a federal offense, including the authority to remit, or reduce, the amount of a fine or restitution order that has not already been paid. This form of clemency is different from a pardon after completion of sentence. Under the current regulations governing petitions for executive clemency, a person may not apply for a full pardon until at least five years after his or her release from incarceration. Accordingly, the commutation form should be used only for the purpose of seeking a reduction of sentence.

4. Completion of court challenges

Requests for commutation of a prison sentence generally are not accepted unless and until a person has begun serving that sentence. In addition, commutation requests are generally not accepted from a person who is currently challenging his or her conviction or sentence through appeal or other court proceeding. Accordingly, you should not complete and submit this petition until you have concluded all judicial challenges to your conviction and sentence and you have begun serving your sentence. You should also be aware that, in evaluating the merits of a commutation petition, clemency authorities take into consideration the amount of time the petitioner has already served and the availability of other remedies to secure the relief sought (such as parole or judicial action).

July 7, 2007

U.S. immigration woes push jobs to Canada

The United States' struggles with developing an immigration policy are providing job opportunities in this country.

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced the opening of a software development centre in Vancouver after losing a fight to ease restrictions on the admission of foreign workers to the United States.

"Unfortunately, our immigration policies are driving away the world's best and brightest, precisely when we need them most," Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said in March.

U.S. companies are desperate to hire more computer engineers from India and China.

July 6, 2007

Poll: Impeach Bush and Cheney

Question:
Do you favor or oppose the US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush?
7/5/07 Favor Oppose Undecided
All Adults 45% 46% 9%
Voters 46% 44% 10%
Democrats (38%) 69% 22% 9%
Republicans (29%) 13% 86% 1%
Independents (33%) 50% 30% 20%
3/15/06 42% 49% 9%
Based on 1,100 completed telephone interviews among a random sample of adults nationwide July 3-5, 2007. The theoretical margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points, 95% of the time. Of the total sample, 933 interviews were completed among registered voters.

 

 

Question:
Do you favor or oppose the US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney?
7/5/07 Favor Oppose Undecided
All Adults 54% 40% 6%
Voters 50% 44% 6%
Democrats (38%) 76% 24% -
Republicans (29%) 17% 83% -
Independents (33%) 51% 29% 20%
Based on 1,100 completed telephone interviews among a random sample of adults nationwide July 3-5, 2007. The theoretical margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points, 95% of the time. Of the total sample, 933 interviews were completed among registered voters.

Powell supported the war before it started and long after. Does anyone really believe he was against the war? If so, he could have resigned...but apparently he wasn't that much against the war. Powell looks and acts more and more like a fool.

July 8, 2007

Powell tried to talk Bush out of war

THE former American secretary of state Colin Powell has revealed that he spent 2½ hours vainly trying to persuade President George W Bush not to invade Iraq and believes today's conflict cannot be resolved by US forces.

"I tried to avoid this war," Powell said at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado. "I took him through the consequences of going into an Arab country and becoming the occupiers."

Powell has become increasingly outspoken about the level of violence in Iraq, which he believes is in a state of civil war. "The civil war will ultimately be resolved by a test of arms," he said. "It's not going to be pretty to watch, but I don't know any way to avoid it. It is happening now."

The flip-flopper in chief, along with his allies in the media are forced to admit they were wrong again. God, that must suck.

July 8, 2007

Bush Shaving Yardstick for Iraq Gains

The Iraqi government is unlikely to meet any of the political and security goals or timelines President Bush set for it in January when he announced a major shift in U.S. policy, according to senior administration officials closely involved in the matter. As they prepare an interim report due next week, officials are marshaling alternative evidence of progress to persuade Congress to continue supporting the war.

In a preview of the assessment it must deliver to Congress in September, the administration will report that Sunni tribal leaders in Anbar province are turning against the group al-Qaeda in Iraq in growing numbers; that sectarian killings were down in June; and that Iraqi political leaders managed last month to agree on a unified response to the bombing of a major religious shrine, officials said.

The NY Times, like most major newspapers in the country couldn't wait for the war to start. They became cheerleaders for the Bush White House even though our own intelligence agencies said Saddam wouldn't use his weapons against us unless we invaded him. That is, he was never a threat to our national security.

Faced with other facts; including the failure to find WMD, the Times still continued to support the war. In fact, all our news organization feared being called unpatriotic by right wing nuts. Now their reputations lay in ruin, like that of the US.

Had ONE reporter at the Times asked one simple question, the war could have been averted; that question could have been, "if you're intelligence is so good, why can't the UN inspectors verify a single word if it?" This White House let us down, so did the Congress, but so did our Churches and our media. Whom will history damn the most?

July 8, 2007

NY Times: Bring the Troops Home

It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit.

Like many Americans, we have put off that conclusion, waiting for a sign that President Bush was seriously trying to dig the United States out of the disaster he created by invading Iraq without sufficient cause, in the face of global opposition, and without a plan to stabilize the country afterward.

Continuing to sacrifice the lives and limbs of American soldiers is wrong. The war is sapping the strength of the nation's alliances and its military forces. It is a dangerous diversion from the life-and-death struggle against terrorists. It is an increasing burden on American taxpayers, and it is a betrayal of a world that needs the wise application of American power and principles.

She will testify or be found in contempt of Congress. Congress should find Bush in contempt if she refuses to testify.d

The Congress has already established that crimes have been committed. It's even aware the Attorney General lied under oath to the Congress. They want to see if the WH also lied - and the WH is fighting the truth, tooth and nail.

An Impeachable Offense
July 7, 2007

White House Aide Wants to Testify

WASHINGTON - The attorney for a former White House aide told Congress on Saturday he expects the Bush administration to try to block the aide from testifying on last year's firings of U.S. prosecutors, as the White House and Congress appeared headed for a court battle.

Eggleston asked that any congressional sanctions be directed at the White House, not Taylor, because his 32-year-old client faced "two untenable choices."

"She can follow the president's direction and face the possibility of a contempt sanction by the Senate, with enforcement through the criminal courts, an action that regardless of outcome, will follow her for life," he said.

Or she could try to accommodate the Senate, which would "put her at odds with the President, a person whom she admires and for whom she has worked tirelessly for years," he wrote.

Even if the surge had worked, as soon as the US left or withdrew troops, the Iraqis don't have what they need to keep the peace. The surge is and always was a joke.

July 6, 2007

Lack of backup from Iraqis frustrates U.S. troops' strategy

The Iraqi army has yet to deploy a single soldier on this 380-square-mile swath — bigger than all of New York City's five boroughs — where the U.S. military is waging an offensive to dislodge al-Qaida fighters from marshlands along the Tigris River.

In Tuesday's pre-dawn raid, the lack of Iraqi backup meant a frustrating outcome for U.S. forces. When suspects fled, there was no Iraqi cordon to catch them.

The good guys win another one.

July 6, 2007

Google apologizes for blog criticizing 'Sicko'

The Mountain View company followed up with an apology on its main corporate blog, saying the original blog posting did not reflect its official position.

"We blew it," said Missy Krasner, a Google product marketing manager. "In fact, Google does share many of the concerns that Mr. Moore expresses about the cost and availability of health care in America."

Now imagine raising taxes by $1.4 trillion to pay for this war. Would there be one vote in the House or Senate for this war? Doubtful.

July 6, 2007

War Costs Soar by a Third; Total Could Top $1.4 Trillion

Additional war costs for the next 10 years could total about $472 billion if troop levels fall to 30,000 by 2010, or $919 billion if troop levels fall to 70,000 by about 2013. If these estimates are added to already appropriated amounts, total funding about $980 billion to $1.4 trillion by 2017.

Murders that took place in 2004 are only now being investigated?

July 5, 2007

U.S. Marines face new probe over 8 Iraq deaths

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Up to 10 U.S. Marines are under investigation for the deaths of eight Iraqi prisoners during the November 2004 battle for Fallujah, marking the third war crimes probe of Marines at California's Camp Pendleton, a government spokesman said Thursday.

Ed Buice, a spokesman for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, said he could not disclose details of the inquiry at the U.S. Marine Corps base.

July 5, 2007

Independent Voters Swing Dems' Way

A major survey [http://www.fabmac.com/6-07%20National%20GOP%20Media%20Presentation%20Handout.pdf] seeking to identify characteristics of independent voters, conducted by the Washington Post, the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University, found that unaligned voters view the Democratic Party favorably by a 55-41 margin, and the Republican Party unfavorably, 55-41. Independents were asked which party they prefer on 10 different issues, and they chose the Democrats on nine issues, including healthcare, 48-20; the situation in Iraq, 44-28; global warming, 49-21; and on such social issues as abortion and gay marriage, 43-26. The only issue on which independents preferred Republicans was "the U.S. campaign against terrorism," 39 GOP, 30 Democrat.

"The Republican Party is fragmented, and it really poses a problem," said Tony Fabrizio, a Republican pollster, currently unaffiliated with any candidate, who recently conducted a study [http://www.fabmac.com/6-07%20National%20GOP%20Media%20Presentation%20Handout.pdf] comparing the GOP electorate of 1997 to that of 2007. Fabrizio found, furthermore, that the median age of Republican voters has risen substantially over the past 10 years: in 1997, 28 percent were over 55; in 2007, 41 percent were. The percentage of Republicans between the age of 18 and 34 has dropped from 25 to 17, and those between 34 and 55 dropped from 44 percent to 40 percent. This suggests that, at least in the short run, Republican ranks face the threat of depletion.

July 8, 2007

Base to Bush: It's Over

No, conservatives are unhappy because the president allied himself with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) over an immigration deal that leaned too far toward amnesty for illegal immigrants. They're unhappy because Bush has shown little interest in fiscal responsibility and limited government. And they're unhappy, above all, because he hasn't won the war in Iraq.

All of this has left Republicans saying, at least among themselves, something blunt and devastating: It's over.

"Bush fatigue has set in," declares one plugged-in GOP activist.

"We're ready for a new president," says a former state Republican Party official in the South.

"There was affection," opines a conservative strategist based well beyond the Beltway, "but now they're in divorce court."

Slowly but surely Bush's war machine will come to a grinding halt. The judges, lawyers, courts and journalists who supported his lies long after we knew they were lies will be damned by history.

We may have to have a war crimes tribunal after Bush is forced from office to cleanse our system of these war mongers and criminals.

July 6, 2007

Guantanamo judge refused to reinstate the charges against a Canadian POW

MIAMI (Reuters) - A U.S. military judge for the Guantanamo war crimes tribunals has refused to reinstate the charges against a Canadian prisoner accused of killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan.

The ruling in the case of Canadian captive Omar Khadr was released late on Friday, hours after the U.S. Supreme Court said it would hear a challenge of the law that established the war crimes tribunals and stripped Guantanamo prisoners of their right to court review of their indefinite confinement.

The government admits it broke the law...what more needs to be said?

Hasn't this judge gotten the memo yet? The war in Iraq and the war on terror are falling apart at the seams.

An Impeachable Offense
July 7, 2007

Illegal wiretaps ruled OK

A sharply divided federal appeals court in Cincinnati handed the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program a major legal victory Friday, ruling that the American Civil Liberties Union and several other plaintiffs did not have standing to challenge the program.

The 2-1 decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to a federal trial judge in Detroit and ordered her to dismiss the case, reversing a ruling the judge had issued last year that the program was unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor had rejected the argument, saying that three publicly acknowledged facts about the government's surveillance program were sufficient to establish standing.

Taylor noted that the government had acknowledged, after the program was disclosed in a New York Times article in 2005, that it was eavesdropping on international telephone and e-mail communications in which at least one of the parties was suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda and that the surveillance was being conducted without warrants.

If Democrats had led the charge for withdrawal the troops would be home already, the GOP would be stranded for the rest of time with an albatross around their neck and they'd suffer historic losses in 2008.

Democrats just threw them a lifejacket. How nice...they're protecting their political opponents after refusing to protect our troops.

Note the headline "Republicans uniting" instead of "Democrats leading."

July 6, 2007

Republicans Uniting Around Proposal for 2008 Iraq Withdrawal

July 6 (Bloomberg) -- Congressional Republicans, increasingly voicing dissatisfaction with the course of the Iraq war, are beginning to unite around a proposal that may allow for a drawdown of U.S. combat forces by March 2008.

In the Senate, six Republicans are backing legislation introduced by Democratic Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado and Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee that implements the 79 recommendations of the Iraq Study Group.

While it doesn't set a deadline for withdrawal, it aims to create conditions that could lead to a redeployment of U.S. troops as early as the first quarter of next year. In the House, 33 Republicans support similar legislation.

"There are Republicans up for re-election in 2008 who are desperate for cover, and this gives it to them," Baker said. "It's a tent under which a lot of moderates and even conservatives can camp temporarily."

Only really, really dumb people still trust US command.

July 5, 2007

U.S. command admits recent kill was killed a year ago

Washington DC (Map, News) - The U.S. command in Baghdad this week ballyhooed the killing of a key al Qaeda leader but later admitted that the military had declared him dead a year ago.

A military spokesman acknowledged the mistake after it was called to his attention by The Examiner. He said public affairs officers will be more careful in announcing significant kills.

Faced with the twin realities that our own intelligence agencies and the majority of voters say Bush's war is creating more terrorists, what did the Democrats do? They voted to keep the war going. The Congress is filled with shriveling cowards. Cowards who were too afraid to take on Bush's lies when he took us to war and too afraid to take him on today years after his lies have been exposed and his policies are proven to be making us less safe.

With a Congress like this, who needs enemies.

July 5, 2007

Voters Believe Iraq Is Creating More Terrorists

  • 82 percent say people in other countries view the United States unfavorably.
  • 71 percent say people in other countries now view the American people unfavorably.
  • 53 percent of American believe the largest threat facing the United State is from terrorist organizations.
  • 83 percent of Americans believe the U.S. should share a leadership role with allies and other countries around the world.
  • 63 percent of voters think the U.S. should focus on domestic problems instead of foreign affairs.
  • 56 percent of Americans believe that the war in Iraq is distracting us from the war on terror.
  • 67 percent believe the war in Iraq is creating more terrorists.
  • 72 percent favor diplomacy to pressure with Iran.

We have generals, constitutional scholars and lawyers from every modern administration calling for impeachment. Where is the media on this issue? They continue to hide behind blaming Bush and Congress for the war they helped him get us into. It's time for the media to push impeachment - and push it around the clock, like they pushed Bush's WMD lies. Then and only then will they regain our trust and support.

July 5, 2007

'Supporting the troops' means withdrawing them

Gen. William Odom: Every step the Democrats in Congress have taken to force the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq has failed. Time and again, President Bush beats them into submission with charges of failing to "support the troops."

Why do the Democrats allow this to happen? Because they let the president define what "supporting the troops" means. His definition is brutally misleading. Consider what his policies are doing to the troops.

If the Democrats truly want to succeed in forcing President Bush to begin withdrawing from Iraq, the first step is to redefine "supporting the troops" as withdrawing them, citing the mass of accumulating evidence of the psychological as well as the physical damage that the president is forcing them to endure because he did not raise adequate forces. Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress could confirm this evidence and lay the blame for "not supporting the troops" where it really belongs – on the president. And they could rightly claim to the public that they are supporting the troops by cutting off the funds that he uses to keep U.S. forces in Iraq.

The final step should be to put that president on notice that if ignores this legislative action and tries to extort Congress into providing funds by keeping U.S. forces in peril, impeachment proceeding will proceed in the House of Representatives. Such presidential behavior surely would constitute the "high crime" of squandering the lives of soldiers and Marines for his own personal interest.

From this vantage point, our nations newspaper editors quickly embraced a war based on faulty intelligence. Our own intelligence agencies said Iraq would only use its WMD if we attacked them, therefore it was never a threat to our national security.

It took years, but now some of these editors are trying to pull back from their support - they blame Bush, the Congress etc. and as usual they don't accept any responsibility for what they did. They used their powers as editors to let Bush lie to us and not call him a liar.

July 4, 2007

Bring home U.S. troops

On a day when Americans are supposed to wave the flag with honor and respect, many Americans are disheartened and embarrassed. They are fed up with an arrogant president and an ineffective Congress and their inability to extract this nation from the ill-conceived war that has alienated U.S. allies and unnecessarily sullied the reputation of this great nation.

This year, our day of national pride feels more like a day of national shame.

It was a lie to say we invaded Iraq to protect the United States from terrorists just as it is a lie to say leaving will aid the terrorists. Let them wallow alone in the middle of this bitter, multi-front civil and sectarian war. It isn't worth a single more American life.

July 5, 2007

Contractors Back From Iraq Suffer Trauma From Battle

WASHINGTON, July 4 — Contractors who have worked in Iraq are returning home with the same kinds of combat-related mental health problems that afflict United States military personnel, according to contractors, industry officials and mental health experts.

A vast second army, one of contractors — up to 126,000 Americans, Iraqis and other foreigners — is working for the United States government in Iraq. Many work side-by-side with soldiers and are exposed to the same dangers, but they mostly must fend for themselves in navigating the civilian health care system when they come back to the United States.

July 2, 2007

Judge Orders OSHA to Release Toxic Info

WASHINGTON -- A federal judge has ordered the Labor Department to share with the public the results of years of toxic substance sampling in American workplaces. Federal officials said Monday they were reviewing the decision. The decision, by U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper, came in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by former Labor Department official Adam Finkel, who now is a whistleblower.

Finkel was a chief regulator and regional administrator for the Labor Department's Occupational Health and Safety Administration from 1995-2003. He sued the Labor Department in 2005 after they refused to tell him the results of beryllium tests on OSHA inspectors.

July 4, 2007

'Imploding' presidency in no mood for celebration on Independence Day

Not since Harry Truman in the early 1950s has a president been as unloved for as long as Mr Bush. He slipped below the 50 per cent mark in spring 2005, and for the past year and a half, he has been stuck in the mid-30s. In one poll he fell to 28 per cent, worse even than his father at his lowest before he lost to Bill Clinton in November 1992.

With public dissatisfaction over Iraq continuing to grow, and the "right track, wrong track" barometer showing an unprecedented 74 per cent of Americans convinced the country is heading in the wrong direction, Mr Bush will probably remain deeply unpopular for the 18 months remaining until he leaves office in January 2009.

July 4, 2007

Bush presidency enters terminal phase

What the series disclosed, according to the Post's veteran, if endlessly forgiving, political columnist, David Broder, was "a vice president who used the broad authority given him by a complaisant chief executive to bend the decision-making process to his own ends and purposes, often overriding cabinet officers and other executive branch officials along the way".

The series, which provided new grist for the mills of talk-show hosts and comedians who dominate late-night television, served only to further diminish Bush. His approval ratings in successive public opinion polls have now dropped to their lowest level ever and are approaching those of Richard Nixon just before his resignation from office in the wake of the Watergate scandal and his impeachment in 1974.

That the series coincided with Cheney's unprecedented and widely mocked insistence that he did not have to abide by certain secrecy rules because, as president of the Senate, he was not part of the executive branch, only added to the derision leveled against the administration.

Indeed, Cheney's own approval ratings, like Bush's, have dropped to historical lows. Just 28% said they approved of his handling of his job in a CBS News poll taken late last week, down from 35% in early 2006, and a high of 56% in August 2002, the same month that he launched the administration's own campaign to rally support for invading Iraq.

July 4, 2007

Private contractors outnumber U.S. troops in Iraq

The number of U.S.-paid private contractors in Iraq now exceeds that of American combat troops, newly released figures show, raising fresh questions about the privatization of the war effort and the government's capacity to carry out military and rebuilding campaigns.

More than 180,000 civilians — including Americans, foreigners and Iraqis — are working in Iraq under U.S. contracts, according to State and Defense department figures obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

Including the recent troop buildup, 160,000 soldiers and a few thousand civilian government employees are stationed in Iraq.

The total number of private contractors, far higher than previously reported, shows how heavily the Bush administration has relied on corporations to carry out the occupation of Iraq — a mission criticized as being undermanned.

"These numbers are big," said Peter Singer, a Brookings Institution scholar who has written on military contracting. "They illustrate better than anything that we went in without enough troops. This is not the coalition of the willing. It's the coalition of the billing."

The numbers include at least 21,000 Americans, 43,000 foreign contractors and about 118,000 Iraqis — all employed in Iraq by U.S. tax dollars, according to the most recent government data.

How did we get to this point? First and foremost we have a very corrupt man in the White House. Second, we have a very corrupt and immoral republican party that cares more about power than their oaths of office and the good of the country. Thirdly, we have a pinless Congress and finally we have a Supreme Court that allowed Bush to decimate the Constitution while they sat on their asses. History will damn those who supported the war and those who opposed impeachment. Isn't it time for them to get it "right" just once?

July 5, 2007

A place to push impeachment

If President Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney were ever to be impeached, their foes could cite this Independence Day as a milestone — the day that the nation's first "impeachment headquarters" opened its doors in a storefront near the Beverly Center.

"This is an impeachment 4th of July," Byron De Lear, a Green Party activist, said Wednesday. He called removing Bush and Cheney "a patriotic duty to restore the integrity of the United States."

Those assembled cited various Bush actions or policies, including "lies that led the U.S. into war."

They also said that Bush--Cheney policies precipitated torture, illegal spying on American citizens, and the curtailment of privacy and civil rights in the name of fighting terrorism.

The latest irritant was the president's decision to commute the prison sentence of former Cheney aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, whom a jury convicted of obstructing justice.

"Isn't it ironic that Paris Hilton will spend more days in jail than Libby?" said De Lear.

July 1, 2007

The media responds to Libby's commutation

There is, of course, something somewhat naive about the notion that even the best question will get an honest answer from the White House these days.

Dana Milbank writes in Wednesday's Washington Post: "Lewis Carroll had nothing on the Bush White House of 2007.

"The president and his aides have been trending toward the margins of reality for some time now, but with this week's commutation of Scooter Libby's prison term, the administration's statements dissolved into nonsense.

"President Bush, fielding questions yesterday after visiting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed, declared that 'the jury verdict should stand' -- and then, in answer to the same question, said he was open to vacating the verdict by granting Libby a full pardon.

July 2, 2007

Google vs. Michael Moore's "Sicko"

Lauren Turner, an ad sales rep at Google, isn't a fan of Michael Moore's new healthcare documentary. "Sicko," she believes, "attacks health insurers, health providers, and pharmaceutical companies by connecting them to isolated and emotional stories of the system at its worst." It paints the industry as "money and marketing driven" while failing "to show healthcare's interest in patient well-being and care." Turner is entitled to her opinion, of course -- so entitled that on Friday morning, she posted her thoughts on Google's "Health Advertising Blog." And Google, she told the healthcare industry, was willing to join them in their fight against Michael Moore.

"Whatever the problem, Google can act as a platform for educating the public and promoting your message," Turner wrote. By placing ads on Google and its "ever-expanding content network," healthcare companies could inform the public of "the industry's numerous prescription programs, charity services, and philanthropy efforts."

July 4, 2007

Number of unidentified corpses found on street rises sharply

BAGHDAD, July 4 - Nearly five months into a security strategy that involves thousands of additional U.S. and Iraqi troops patrolling Baghdad, the number of unidentified bodies found on the streets of the capital was 41 percent higher in June than in January, according to unofficial Health Ministry statistics.

During the month of June, 453 unidentified corpses, some bound, blindfolded, and bearing signs of torture, were found in Baghdad, according to morgue data provided by a Health Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information. In January, 321 corpses were discovered in the capital, a total that fell steadily until April but then rose sharply over the last two months, the statistics show.

An Impeachable Offense
July 1, 2007

Congress could pursue contempt charges for Bush

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee signaled today that he would seek to hold White House officials in contempt of Congress if they do not comply with congressional subpoenas.

"If they don't cooperate, yes, I'll go that far," said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), when asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" if he would ask Congress to hold President Bush in contempt if he refuses to respond to subpoenas.

The Bush White House finally realizes it's never going to recover from their dismal economic and foreign policy failures so perhaps they're beginning the process of undoing some of the most offensive criminal acts before the next president take over.

It's not that they're doing this because they've become the "Good Guys" but instead because the Supreme Court is going to dismantle every piece of Bush's war on terror, piece by bloody piece. Conservative extremists on the Court will be left defending the crimes they allowed Bush to commit and get away with.

July 3, 2007

White House Seeks Legislation to Close Guantánamo

WASHINGTON, July 2 — Seeking a legal path to shutting down the Guantánamo detention facility, senior advisers to President Bush are exploring whether the White House and Congress can agree to legislation that would permit the long-term detention of foreign terrorism suspects on American soil, Pentagon and administration officials say.

The idea of creating a new legal category for some foreign terrorism detainees, which is still in its early stages, faces daunting political, legal and constitutional difficulties. But it is gaining support among some White House and national security officials as the most promising course to allow the president to close the site at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, that has generated intense criticism at home and abroad.

Bush has never cared what Most Americans think. He only cares about what his base thinks and his base is delusional.

July 3, 2007

Most in USA Disagree with Bush Decision to Commute Libby Prison Sentence

Most in USA Disagree with Bush Decision to Commute Libby Prison Sentence: 21% of Americans familiar with the legal case involving former White House aide Scooter Libby agree with President Bush's decision to commute Libby's prison sentence, according to a SurveyUSA nationwide poll conducted immediately after the decision was announced. 1,500 Americans were surveyed. Of them, 825 were familiar with the Libby case. Only those familiar were asked to react to the President's action. 17% say Bush should have pardoned Libby completely. 60% say Bush should have left the judge's prison sentence in place. 32% of Republicans agree with the President's decision, compared to 14% of Democrats and 20% of Independents. 26% of Republicans say Libby should have been pardoned completely, compared to 21% of Independents and 8% of Democrats. Conservatives split evenly: 31% say Libby should have been pardoned. 35% say the judge's sentence should have been left in place. 31% agree with the President's decision to commute the prison sentence, but to leave the fine and conviction in place. Reaction to the President's decision may evolve over time. This poll attempts to measure a first reaction to the news, before many individuals would have had a chance to be influenced by political spin applied to the story.

If Rice or Powell were heading for jail does anyone think Bush would pardon or commute their sentences? If Libby weren't a rich, white man, wouldn't he be in jail? Limbaugh and Libby are both rich white republican men who push(ed) the GOP agenda, broke the law and never spent a day in jail.

July 3, 2007

Editorials On Libby's Commutation

"Within minutes of the Libby announcement, the same Republican commentators who fulminated when Paris Hilton got a few days knocked off her time in a county lockup were parroting Mr. Bush's contention that a fine, probation and reputation damage were 'harsh punishment' enough for Mr. Libby.

"Presidents have the power to grant clemency and pardons. But in this case, Mr. Bush did not sound like a leader making tough decisions about justice. He sounded like a man worried about what a former loyalist might say when actually staring into a prison cell."

When the GOP pardons criminals it's never considered a scandal. When a Democrat pardons a criminal the media (whipped by GOP hysteria on talk radio) called it a scandal. How many times did you hear this commutation called a scandal? Probably zero times. The same can't be said when it happened under Clinton. Why is that? The media clearly has two standards; one for Dems and one for republicans.

In fact the GOP Congress investigated the Clinton pardons - the same pardons they now say are absolute under a republican president. The media and the GOP were and are intellectually inconsistent.

Pardons are absolute and the media should have exposed the lies put out by the GOP spin machine at the end of the Clinton Administration.

July 3, 2007

Bush Spares Libby From 30-Month Prison Term

WASHINGTON, July 2 — President Bush spared I. Lewis Libby Jr. from prison Monday, commuting his two-and-a-half-year sentence while leaving intact his conviction for perjury and obstruction of justice in the C.I.A. leak case.

Mr. Bush's action, announced hours after a panel of judges ruled that Mr. Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, could not put off serving his sentence while he appealed his conviction, came as a surprise to all but a few members of the president's inner circle. It reignited the passions that have surrounded the case from the beginning.

What are the Democrats doing to bring a timely end to the lawlessness in this White House?

A few short months ago liberals who called for Bush and Cheney's impeachment were called "extremists." Now we're in the mainstream as Democrat, Republican, Liberal and Conservatives lawyers call for impeachment.

An Impeachable Offense
June 30, 2007

The Vice President's Record of Willfully Violating the Law

Vice President Dick Cheney has regularly claimed that he is above the law, but until recently he has not offered any explanation of why.

In fact, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a law that Cheney believes does apply to him, whether that law be major or minor. For example, he has claimed that most of the laws passed in the aftermath of Watergate were unconstitutional, and thus implicitly inapplicable. His office oversees signing statements claiming countless new laws will not be honored except insofar as the President's extremely narrow interpretation allows. He does not believe the War Powers Act should be honored by the President. Nor, in his view, should the President be bothered with laws like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In fact, it appears Cheney has actively encouraged defiance of such laws by the Bush Administration.

For Cheney, the Geneva Conventions - considered among the nation's most important treaties -- are but quaint relics that can be ignored. Thus, he publicly embraced their violation when, on an Idaho talk radio program, he said he was not troubled in the slightest by our forces using "waterboarding" -- the simulated drowning of detainees to force them to talk. There are serious questions as to whether Cheney himself has also conspired to violate the War Crimes Act, which can be a capital crime.

The Democrats could simply begin the impeachment process and everything they want would have to be turned over (only the Congress can decide what information it needs after impeachment has begun).

An Impeachable Offense
June 30, 2007

Bush Is Told to Justify Executive Privilege

The chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary committees yesterday ratcheted up their fight with President Bush over documents on the firing of U.S. attorneys, sending the White House a barbed letter demanding that the president back down from a claim of executive privilege -- or give Congress a detailed explanation for withholding each document.

The committee chairmen told the White House to provide a signed letter from Bush asserting executive privilege, as well as a description of each withheld document, a list of who has seen the documents, and the legal basis for arguing that they may be shielded from public view.

June 25, 2007

Taliban Attack Unarmed Afghan Police

Colonel Hussein barked at one young man for not keeping his red simulation weapon trained on a suspect vehicle during a search exercise. But training difficulties were only half of the problem. Today, Hussein says, there is no guarantee the cash-strapped state will be able to replace the recruit's fake gun with a real one.

"The real threat is now against [the police]," says Hekmat Karzai, head of the Kabul-based Center for Conflict and Peace Studies, which focuses on security and terrorism analysis. "Strategically, it makes sense to attack Afghan security forces where morally it gives people a complex about whether it is worth joining."

The Taliban's hit-and-run tactics have killed more than 300 police in the last three months, according to the Interior Ministry, making this the worst year ever for police casualties.

There's on absolute we've learned about the GOP...no one can out spend them, period. When someone calls himself a fiscal conservative and a republican, grab your wallet...he's about to spend your money.

June 28, 2007

White House 'Duplicity' Over Pork Spending Draws GOP Ire

The president's earmarks, for projects including national park improvements, land purchases and new government facilities, have drawn unusual on-the-record criticism from Republican lawmakers, who typically eschew public displays of disaffection with the White House.

"It would appear the administration likes earmarks from their perspective," Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala.,  told the Hill newspaper, which first reported the White House earmarks. Aderholt is a member of the House Appropriations Committee. He termed the White House stance as "inconsistent," though another Republican, Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho, told the paper it was "duplicity."

The Bush White House maintains that it has "exclusive" power to appoint attorneys under the Constitution. That argument is flawed because the constitution requires Senate approval.

June 280, 2007

White House letter rejecting subpoena

On June 13, 2007, the White House received two subpoenas from your Committees requesting documents relating to the replacement of United States Attorneys, calling for the documents to be produced by June 28, 2007. I write at the direction of the President to advise and inform you that the President has decided to assert Executive Privilege and therefore the White House will not be making any production in response to these subpoenas for documents. In addition, Chairman Leahy subpoena documents from former Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Political Affairs Sara M. Taylor, with the same return date of June 28, 2007. Chairman Conyers has subpoenaed documents from former Counsel to the President Harriet E. Miers, with a return date of July 12, 2007. Counsel for Ms. Taylor and Ms. Miers have been informed of the President's decision to assert Executive Privilege and have been asked to relay to Ms. Taylor and Ms. Miers a direction from the President not to produce any documents.

Bad intelligence got us into this war and bad intelligence made it impossible to win. Every time we kill innocent civilians (daily) we create more enemies.

June 30, 2007

US, NATO airstrikes kill 65 civilians

LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan (AFP) - Anti-Taliban air strikes by US- and NATO-led forces in Afghanistan killed 65 villagers including children, a local official said Saturday, amid growing anger here over civilian deaths.

The toll from Friday's operation in the southern province of Helmand given by a district mayor was the highest since 2001, when US-led forces used heavy bombing in their campaign to drive the extremist Taliban from power.

The surge looks more and more like US replacements after Britain and Australia leave. In the real world few countries (if any) still think the Iraq war has anything to do with the war on terror. Without Iraq, there is no war on terror, so that nonsense is gradually ending also.

July 1, 2007

Australia Plans to Withdraw Troops From Iraq

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister John Howard is secretly planning to begin withdrawing Australian troops from Iraq by February 2008, Australian media reported on Sunday.

The Sunday Telegraph, quoting an unnamed senior military source, described Howard's withdrawal plan as "one of the most closely guarded secrets in top levels of the bureaucracy."

The Sunday Telegraph said the drawdown of troops would focus on soldiers based in southern Iraq on security duty with Iraqi soldiers.

An Impeachable Offense

Private contractors are answerable to no one since they don't work for the congress or the executive branch...they work for the military and god knows the military is answerable to no one as it is.

Is Aegis getting intelligence from torture victims? It's highly likely.

An Impeachable Offense
July 1, 2007

Private Contractors Provide Military With Intelligence

The intelligence was compiled not by the U.S. military, as might be expected, but by a British security firm, Aegis Defence Services Ltd. The Reconstruction Operations Center is the hub of Aegis's sprawling presence in Iraq and the most visible example of how intelligence collection is now among the responsibilities handled by a network of private security companies that work in the shadows of the U.S. military.

Legal questions 'open or dodged'
The deepening and largely hidden involvement of security companies in the war has drawn the attention of Congress, which is seeking to regulate the industry. The House intelligence committee stated in a recent report that it is "concerned that the Intelligence Community does not have a clear definition of what functions are 'inherently governmental' and, as a result, whether there are contractors performing inherently governmental functions."

"There is simply not the management and oversight in place to handle this properly, not only to get the best of the market but to ensure that everything is being done," said Peter W. Singer, a Brookings Institution senior fellow who wrote a book on private security and has been critical of the lack of government oversight. "It leaves a lot of legal questions that are open or dodged."

The good guys win another one.

The US military thought the right to free speech was reserved to pro war soldiers....now they know better. Land of the free...my ass.

June 29, 2007

Marines drop case against veteran

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Marines won't kick out an Iraq war veteran who made anti-war statements in a speech and wore part of his uniform at a protest, the service said Friday, despite a recommendation to discharge him early.

Madden insists he never reached an agreement with the Marines and planned to keep wearing his uniform at protests. He did write in an e-mail to the Marine Corps on Tuesday that he would agree to stop wearing his uniform at protests if the corps put in writing "that my statements are neither disloyal nor inaccurate."

This lame duck can't keep anyone. This is the seventh DOJ official to resign since the Democrats started investigating the US attorney firings.

June 29, 2007

Justice Department Official Resigns

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Justice Department official who was eyed as a possible replacement for one of several fired U.S. attorneys announced her resignation Friday.

Rachel Brand, the assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Policy, will step down July 9, the department said in a statement. The statement did not give a reason for her departure, but Brand is expecting a baby soon.

Brand was a member of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' leadership team. When officials were planning to fire U.S. attorneys in San Diego, San Francisco, Michigan and Arkansas, Brand was named as a possible replacement for Margaret Chiari in Michigan, according to documents released as part of a congressional inquiry.