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Impeach Bush--Index 69

Republicans whine about how bad government is, then they rape the government of every penny they can get. Cheney did it and now Neil Bush is doing it. Less government means less for us and more for them.

September 12, 2007

CREW: Investigate why "No Child Left Behind" funds are being spent on Neil Bush's company

Congress in the midst of debating legislation to re-authorize the controversial "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) program. A three-month long investigation by CREW raises serious questions about the use of NCLB funds to pay for products sold by Neil Bush, the younger brother of President George Bush.

CREW is requesting that the Department of Education's Inspector General (IG) investigate why federal NCLB funds are being spent on educational products sold by Ignite! Learning, a company founded and headed by Neil Bush. Our letter to the IG can be found here.

There are two possibilies; either McConnell intentionally lied to congress or he had no idea what he was talking about. Either way he's unfit and should be fired or prosecuted.

An Impeachable Offense
September 12, 2007

Mike McConnell lied to Congress about major terror plot in German

Sept. 12, 2007 - In a new embarrassment for the Bush administration's top spymaster, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell is withdrawing an assertion he made to Congress this week that a recently passed electronic-surveillance law helped U.S. authorities foil a major terror plot in Germany.

After questions about his testimony were raised, McConnell called Lieberman to clarify his statements to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, an official said. (A spokeswoman for Lieberman confirmed that McConnell called the senator Tuesday but could not immediately confirm what they spoke about.) Late Wednesday afternoon, McConnell issued a statement acknowledging that "information contributing to the recent arrests [in Germany] was not collected under authorities provided by the 'Protect America Act'."

September 13, 2007

CNN: Mystery 9/11 aircraft was military 'doomsday plane'

Shortly before 10 am on the morning of September 11, 2001, amid rumors of a fourth hijacked plane headed for Washington, DC, a mystery aircraft appeared in restricted airspace over the White House. There has never been an official explanation for this incident, which has provided abundant fuel for 9/11 conspiracy theories.

CNN has now learned from two government sources that the mystery plane was a military aircraft and has determined that the blurry image on video appears to match photos of the Air Force's E-4B, a specially modified Boeing 747 with a communications pod behind the cockpit.

Bush failed to win a war against a nearly defenseless country and now the US looks weak and our adversaries believe they will prevail. What more needs to be said?

September 12, 2007

US sufffers decline in prestige

The US has suffered a significant loss of power and prestige around the world in the years since George W. Bush came to power, limiting its ability to influence international crises, an annual survey from a well regarded British security think-tank concluded on Tuesday.

The 2007 Strategic Survey of the non-partisan International Institute for Strategic Studies picked the decline of US authority as one of the most important security developments of the past year – but suggested the fading of American prestige began earlier, largely due to its failings in Iraq.

But a more fundamental loss of clout occurred at a strategic level. "It was evident that exercise of military power – in which, on paper, America dominated the world – had not secured its goal," the survey says. The failings in Iraq created a sense around the world of American power "diminished and demystified", with adversaries believing they will prevail if they manage to draw the US into a prolonged engagement.

Bush says one thing, the facts say otherwise. Why does Bush lie? And why has the media let him get away with all these lies without calling him a liar? They had no problem calling Bill Clinton a liar and he never lied about anything that had to do national security or his duties as president. The media remains seriously dysfunctional.

An Impeachable Offense
October 2007 (posted Sept.15, 2007)

Al-Qaeda in Iraq: 1 to 5 percent

The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), which arguably has the best track record for producing accurate intelligence assessments, last year estimated that AQI's membership was in a range of "more than 1,000." When compared with the military's estimate for the total size of the insurgency—between 20,000 and 30,000 full-time fighters—this figure puts AQI forces at around 5 percent. When compared with Iraqi intelligence's much larger estimates of the insurgency—200,000 fighters—INR's estimate would put AQI forces at less than 1 percent. This year, the State Department dropped even its base-level estimate, because, as an official explained, "the information is too disparate to come up with a consensus number."

September 10, 2007

Majority of Sunnis and Shia Support Attacks on US Forces

For example, by 57% to 43%, those polled back "attacks on coalition forces." This broke down to 93% of Sunnis in favor, 50% of Shia, and 5% of Kurds. In contrast, only 7% of the sample supports attack on Iraqi forces.

Asked separately, 48% said attacks by al-Qaeda in Iraq on U.S. forces were "acceptable" with 51% finding them unacceptable. Yet only 1% backed al-Qaeda attempts to take over any areas. So sympathy for al-Qaeda was extremely low -- except when it comes to hitting U.S. troops.

A commander who can't win a war in a country that has no army, navy or air force has limited shelf life.

September 13, 2007

President Petraeus?

The US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, expressed long-term interest in running for the US presidency when he was stationed in Baghdad, according to a senior Iraqi official who knew him at that time.

Sabah Khadim, then a senior adviser at Iraq's Interior Ministry, says General Petraeus discussed with him his ambition when the general was head of training and recruitment of the Iraqi army in 2004-05.

"I asked him if he was planning to run in 2008 and he said, 'No, that would be too soon'," Mr Khadim, who now lives in London, said.

September 7, 2007

Corruption has crippled Iraq

U.S. officials say the battle to clean up Iraq's government has suffered a "serious blow" with the resignation of the nation's top corruption fighter. The former watchdog, Judge Radhi Al Radhi, tells NBC News that Iraq's current government, headed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, is riddled with so much corruption that the U.S. must stop supporting it. Rahdi is now in the United States, and his departure from the Iraqi government comes just as the U.S. prepares for a key report from Gen. David Petraeus about the military "surge" in Iraq.

September 10, 2007

Arctic Ice the Size of Florida Gone in a Week

An area of Arctic sea ice the size of Florida has melted away in just the last six days as melting at the top of the planet continues at a record rate.

2007 has already broken the record for the lowest amount of sea ice ever recorded, say scientists, smashing the old record set in 2005.

From September 3 to September 9, researchers say 69,000 square miles of Arctic ice disappeared, roughly the size of the Sunshine State.

September 11, 2007

Admiral William Fallon: Attacking Iran Will Not Happen On My Watch

WASHINGTON, May 15 (IPS) - Admiral William Fallon, then President George W. Bush's nominee to head the Central Command (CENTCOM), expressed strong opposition in February to an administration plan to increase the number of carrier strike groups in the Persian Gulf from two to three and vowed privately there would be no war against Iran as long as he was chief of CENTCOM, according to sources with access to his thinking.

Fallon's resistance to the proposed deployment of a third aircraft carrier was followed by a shift in the Bush administration's Iran policy in February and March away from increased military threats and toward diplomatic engagement with Iran. That shift, for which no credible explanation has been offered by administration officials, suggests that Fallon's resistance to a crucial deployment was a major factor in the intra-administration struggle over policy toward Iran.

September 10, 2007

Admiral William Fallon: Pull Troops Out of Iraq

Reports suggested that Admiral William Fallon, chief of US Central Command in the region, had pressed for a significant withdrawal of troops so that there would be sufficient forces for other pressing challenges.

According to an account to a video-conference meeting beamed to Mr Bush in the White House last week, he disagreed with General David Petraeus, the US commander in Iraq, who wants to keep as many troops there as possible. Along with Ryan Crocker, the US Ambassador in Baghdad, General Petraeus is expected to tell Congress today that making any significant changes to strategy would put at risk the fragile political and military progress of recent months. Their report has become a pivotal moment for Washington and Baghdad.

September 10, 2007

60% of Iraqis think attacks on US forces are justified

About 70% of Iraqis believe security has deteriorated in the area covered by the US military "surge" of the past six months, an opinion poll suggests.

The survey for the BBC, ABC News and NHK of more than 2,000 people across Iraq also suggests that nearly 60% see attacks on US-led forces as justified.

This rises to 93% among Sunni Muslims compared with 50% for Shia.

September 6, 2007

Five percent of Americans say they trust the Bush Administration to resolve the Iraq conflict

ONLY 5 per cent of Americans say they trust the Bush Administration to resolve the Iraq conflict, says a poll published on the eve of the American commander's appearances before Congress.

The Times/CBS poll published yesterday underscores why the Administration is banking on General Petraeus and its ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, to convince Republicans in Congress and the public to stick with the surge strategy.

Twenty-one per cent said they would most trust Congress to resolve the Iraq war while 68 per cent expressed the most trust in military commanders.

September 6, 2007

Iraqis Say Surge Worsened Security

WASHINGTON - Overwhelming numbers of Iraqis say the U.S. troop buildup has worsened security and the prospects for economic and political progress in their country, according to a poll released Monday that provides a strikingly bleak appraisal of the war.

Forty-seven percent want American forces and their coalition allies to leave the country immediately, the survey showed, 12 points more than said so in a March poll as the troop increase was beginning. And 57 percent — including nearly all Sunnis and half of Shiites — said they consider attacks on coalition forces acceptable, a slight increase over the past half year.

Since every conservative in the country was wrong about Iraq and WMD, wrong about tax cuts and surpluses etc. I think it's safe to say we know conservatives are hot wired to be always be wrong. They simply don't allow facts to dissuade them.

September 9, 2007

Brain function of liberals, conservatives differ

PARIS (AFP) - The brain neurons of liberals and conservatives fire differently when confronted with tough choices, suggesting that some political divides may be hard-wired, according a study released Sunday.

Conservatives tend to crave order and structure in their lives, and are more consistent in the way they make decisions. Liberals, by contrast, show a higher tolerance for ambiguity and complexity, and adapt more easily to unexpected circumstances.

September 9, 2007

Thousands of GIs cope with traumatic brain injury

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The war in Iraq is not over, but one legacy is already here in this city and others across America: an epidemic of brain-damaged soldiers.

Thousands of troops have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, or TBI. These blast-caused head injuries are so different from the ones doctors are used to seeing from falls and car crashes that treating them is as much faith as it is science.

The US has been declining in relative terms for decades. It's only a matter of time before we bankrupt ourselves. The US debt now stands at $9 trillion. Before the Reagan Revolution it was only $900 billion. Conservatism and specifically tax cuts are bankrupting the US.

September 9, 2007

Fading superpower?

Americans, who grow up believing in their country's exceptionalism (which in foreign policy terms often seems to mean not believing that the historical constraints that apply to other nations apply to the U.S.), are not predisposed to believe that American predominance could possibly be coming to an end. And yet it seems more like wishful thinking than rational analysis to believe that the United States -- which in the coming decades will certainly have to adapt to a multipolar world in geo-economic terms, as China and India reoccupy the central place in the global economy that they had 500 years ago -- can continue indefinitely to play a hegemonic role.

The truth is that whether it is imperial Rome, imperial Spain or imperial Britain, economic strength and political strength have always gone together. Because no one denies that the U.S. will decline in comparative terms economically (though it will almost certainly remain one center of the world economy), the only way one can believe that geopolitics will not also become multipolar is to believe that the U.S. is somehow exempt from what seems one of history's few ironclad laws. And that is not analysis; that is faith.

When will the Times call for Impeaching Bush for lying to American people?

September 9, 2007

Hiding Behind the General

General Petraeus has his own credibility problems. He overstepped in 2004 when he published an op-ed article in The Washington Post six weeks before the election. The general — then in charge of training and equipping Iraq's security forces — rhapsodized about "tangible progress" and how the Iraqi forces were "developing steadily," an assessment that may have swayed some voters but has long since proved to be untrue.

Nothing has changed about Mr. Bush's intentions. Waving off the independent reports, he plans to stay the course and make his successor fix his Iraq fiasco. Military progress without political progress is meaningless, and Mr. Bush no more has a plan for unifying Iraq now than when he started the war. The United States needs a prudent exit strategy that will withdraw American forces and try to stop Iraq's chaos from spreading.

September 7, 2007

Two-thirds of the world's polar bears will disappear by 2050

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 — Two-thirds of the world's polar bears will disappear by 2050, even under moderate projections for shrinking summer sea ice caused by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, government scientists reported on Friday.

The finding is part of a yearlong review of the effects of climate and ice changes on polar bears to help determine whether they should be protected under the Endangered Species Act. Scientists estimate the current polar bear population at 22,000.

September 8, 2007

IAEA: Iranian rhetoric is a reminder" of the run-up to the Iraq war

The United Nations' top nuclear cop yesterday slammed critics of a new inspection deal with Iran as "back-seat drivers" trying to justify a war with Tehran in the same way they cleared a path for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency, named no names in a briefing for reporters at the IAEA's headquarters in Vienna, Austria. But his harsh words reflected the depth of suspicion and distrust between the Egyptian diplomat and critics in the United States, both inside and outside the Bush administration.

With all these resignations we have to ask "Did anyone in the Justice Department work for the American people and not just the GOP?"

September 6, 2007

Justice Department Official Resigns

WASHINGTON - Assistant Attorney General Peter D. Keisler, who oversaw the Bush administration's lengthy legal fight over the rights of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, announced his resignation Thursday as head of the civil division.

Keisler's departure comes in the wake of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' own resignation. Keisler is the latest senior official to leave at a time when lawmakers have criticized the department for not being politically independent from the White House.

September 6, 2007

Foreclosures Hit New Record

WASHINGTON - The number of homeowners receiving foreclosure notices hit a record high in the spring, driven by problems with subprime mortgages.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported Thursday that mortgage-holders starting the foreclosure process in the April-June quarter reached 0.65 percent, marking the third consecutive quarter that this figure has set an all-time high.

Put simply, nothing this Pentagon says can be trusted. Period.

September 6, 2007

Military Statistics Called Into Question

The U.S. military's claim that violence has decreased sharply in Iraq in recent months has come under scrutiny from many experts within and outside the government, who contend that some of the underlying statistics are questionable and selectively ignore negative trends.

The intelligence community has its own problems with military calculations. Intelligence analysts computing aggregate levels of violence against civilians for the NIE puzzled over how the military designated attacks as combat, sectarian or criminal, according to one senior intelligence official in Washington. "If a bullet went through the back of the head, it's sectarian," the official said. "If it went through the front, it's criminal."

Recent estimates by the media, outside groups and some government agencies have called the military's findings into question. The Associated Press last week counted 1,809 civilian deaths in August, making it the highest monthly total this year, with 27,564 civilians killed overall since the AP began collecting data in April 2005.

The GAO report found that "average number of daily attacks against civilians have remained unchanged from February to July 2007," a conclusion that the military said was skewed because it did not include dramatic, up-to-date information from August.

September 6, 2007

Iraqi Army Unable To Take Over

  • U.S. and Iraqi alliances with Sunni tribal forces in Anbar province have produced "real and encouraging" military progress and intelligence cooperation, and there are promising signs they can be replicated elsewhere. Such relationships, however, "will have to be managed very carefully in order for them to contribute to Iraq's long-term security."
  • The Defense Ministry is increasingly capable, though "capacity is hampered by bureaucratic inexperience, excessive layering, and overcentralization" that undermine the military's readiness and effectiveness.
  • Iraqi special operations forces are the most capable and well-trained element of the Iraqi armed forces, but the border protection force is ineffective.
  • The Iraqi army is short of "seasoned leadership" at all levels, with a particular shortage of noncommissioned officers. High levels of army absenteeism strain the system, though there is an "abundance of volunteers for service."
  • Logistics remain the Iraqi army's "Achilles' heel," and adequate capability in this area is "at least 24 months away."
  • Sectarian problems in local police forces -- as opposed to the national force -- are mitigated by their deployment within their own ethnic and religious areas, and the force itself is "showing promise."
  • The Interior Ministry has "little control" over the 140,000 armed members of the Facilities Protection Service, which guards government buildings.

Family values? Where?

September 5, 2007

For GOP, affairs are OK if they aren't gay

If you are a politician who wants to engage in an extramarital sex romp, the GOP is the place to be.

As long as you pick a lover of the opposite sex and keep the number of liaisons discreetly low, fellow Republicans won't rush to oust you.

But know this: Should there be even a whiff of homosexual goings-on, you're toast.

September 8, 2007

A HISTORY OF INDECISION

MARCH 15 US Congress creates the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, known as the Baker-Hamilton Commission after co-chairmen James Baker and Lee Hamilton, and directs the group to study the situation in Iraq and offer policy suggestions.

DECEMBER 6 Iraq Study Group report calls situation in Iraq "grave and deteriorating" and makes 79 policy suggestions, including engaging Syria and Iran in diplomacy. President Bush vows to study the report carefully, but does not promise to abide by its recommendations.

Bush rejects the Iraq Study Group recommendation to withdraw troops from Iraq, and announces his decision to send 21,000 more US troops to Iraq as part of a "surge" to pacify Baghdad and other parts of Iraq. He says this will lead to a political agreement among violently feuding Shiite and Sunni factions to share political power in Iraq.

September 7, 2007

Global poll shows most people want US out of Iraq

Most people across the world think American troops should withdraw from Iraq within a year, according to a BBC poll published today.

The BBC World Service survey, released just before Congress receives a landmark report on George Bush's "surge", underlined the unpopularity of the president's Iraq policy.

In the poll, 39% of people in 22 countries said troops should leave now, and 28% backed a gradual withdrawal. Only 23% wanted them to stay until Iraq is safe.

September 6, 2007

Iraq government near collapse, secret report says

WASHINGTON - Lawmakers returning here this week got hit with more bad news about Iraq in a confidential report that says the fragile democracy is "collapsing," the Daily News has learned.

The boycott of the government by certain Shiite and Kurdish political blocs has left Iraq's leadership hanging by a thread, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.

The report by CRS, Congress' research and analysis arm, was completed Aug. 15 for the House and Senate.

September 6, 2007

GAO: Homeland Security Dept. poorly managed its mission

WASHINGTON - Congressional auditors gave a stinging assessment of the Homeland Security Department's progress and said the department could not take credit for the absence of a terrorist attack on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

The department's primary mission is to prevent such a strike to and minimize the damage should an attack occur. Auditors said the U.S. is safer than it was that day in 2001, but the department has poorly managed its mission over the past four years.

September 4, 2007

Gay Blogger: The Most Feared Man on the Hill

Larry Craig wasn't "the first on my list," the gay blogger says. And the Idaho senator, who announced his resignation Saturday, "won't be the last."

Rogers, sitting on a club chair in his Northwest Washington apartment, is basking in the attention. For three years now, he's been a feared one-man machine, "outing," he says, nearly three dozen senior political and congressional staffers, White House aides and, most damagingly, Congress members on his blog. On Capitol Hill, a typical phone call from Rogers -- "Are you gay?" he'd ask -- is "a call from Satan himself," says a former high-ranking congressional staffer whose name is on the list.

September 7, 2007

Judge Invalidates Patriot Act Provisions

A federal judge struck down controversial portions of the USA Patriot Act in a ruling that declared them unconstitutional yesterday, ordering the FBI to stop its wide use of a warrantless tactic for obtaining e-mail and telephone data from private companies for counterterrorism investigations.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in New York said the FBI's use of secret "national security letters" to demand such data violates the First Amendment and constitutional provisions on the separation of powers, because the FBI can impose indefinite gag orders on the companies and the courts have little opportunity to review the letters.

September 4, 2007

How Bush betrays Reagan

Reagan never repudiated any of these right-wing political positions. Yet as president, he caved in on every one of them. As Joshua Green argued in 2001 in the Washington Monthly, "beyond his conservative legacy, Ronald Reagan has bequeathed a liberal one." After taking office, he promised to "rebuild the foundation of our society" by slashing the size of the federal government, but during his eight years in office, the federal government expanded. He inveighed against the deficit, but on his watch the deficit grew enormously. Instead of killing Social Security, he saved it with a $165 billion bailout. And, most heretically, he raised taxes -- a whopping $100 billion increase over three years, the largest increase in almost 40 years.

By backing the dictatorial regime in El Salvador, which he saw as a bulwark against communism, Reagan abetted a brutal civil war that cost 75,000 lives. Similarly, his support for the Nicaraguan Contras, whom he infamously described as "the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers," led to fighting that killed as many as 50,000 people. Instead of building on Jimmy Carter's breakthrough at Camp David, his incompetence and unwillingness to challenge the right-wing Israeli government of Menachem Begin severely weakened America's ability to broker a Mideast peace. As the Washington Post's David Ignatius wrote, "The Reagan years saw the demise of the Great American Mediation Machine in the Middle East." The consequences of Reagan's Mideast failures haunt us today.

During Reagan's second term, when his conservative supporters realized he was not going to live up to their expectations, they blamed moderates, who, they said, were tying his hands. Their deluded mantra was "let Reagan be Reagan." Bush is the living embodiment of that dream of a "real" Reagan. But the figure from the past is a fake, a Freddy Krueger, wearing a mask adorned not with a smile but a twisted grimace. By summoning up the wrong Reagan, Bush has brought to life not an American dream, but an American nightmare.

If you're not familiar with "cureball" use the Custom Google Search Engine for this site and learn more.

An Impeachable Offense
September 5, 2007

Bush knew Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction

Sept. 6, 2007 | On Sept. 18, 2002, CIA director George Tenet briefed President Bush in the Oval Office on top-secret intelligence that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, according to two former senior CIA officers. Bush dismissed as worthless this information from the Iraqi foreign minister, a member of Saddam's inner circle, although it turned out to be accurate in every detail. Tenet never brought it up again.

Nor was the intelligence included in the National Intelligence Estimate of October 2002, which stated categorically that Iraq possessed WMD. No one in Congress was aware of the secret intelligence that Saddam had no WMD as the House of Representatives and the Senate voted, a week after the submission of the NIE, on the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq. The information, moreover, was not circulated within the CIA among those agents involved in operations to prove whether Saddam had WMD.

September 5, 2007

Six Nuclear Weapons Involved in Incident

It was originally reported that five nuclear warheads were transported, but officers who tipped Military Times to the incident who have asked to remain anonymous since they are not authorized to discuss the incident, have since updated that number to six.

Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, said a host of security checks and warning signs must have been passed over, or completely ignored, for the warheads to have been unknowingly loaded onto the B-52.

The Defense Department uses a computerized tracking program to keep tabs on each one of its nuclear warheads, he said. For the six warheads to make it onto the B-52, each one would have had to be signed out of its storage bunker and transported to the bomber. Diligent safety protocols would then have had to been ignored to load the warheads onto the plane, Kristensen said.

September 6, 2007

B-52 carried nuclear missiles over US by mistake

The nuclear weapons expert said the air force keeps a computerized command and control system that traces any movement of a nuclear weapon so that they have a complete picture of where they are at any given time.

He said there would be checks and detailed procedures at various points from the time they are moved out of bunkers until they are loaded onto planes, and flown away.

"That's perhaps what is most worrisome about this particular incident -- that apparently an individual who had command authority about moving these weapons around decided to do so," he said.

September 6, 2007

Senate pushes higher vets' funding over Bush objection

Opposition from the Bush administration will not stop the Senate from passing a $109.2 billion funding bill for veterans' programs and military construction.

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., acting chairman of the appropriations subcommittee responsible for the bill, said a $4 billion increase over the Bush administration's request would go mostly to boost veterans' health care programs. He called it "an obvious response to spiraling health care needs."

As stated in other articles troop deaths are up over last year. Civilian deaths are up. And the government is dysfunctional and on the verge of collapse. If the surge is a failure, but it was never intended to succeed. Its real purpose was to buy more time so Bush could keep this war going and pass it to the next guy.

September 4, 2007

Troop buildup fails

BAGHDAD -- The U.S. military buildup that was supposed to calm Baghdad and other trouble spots has failed to usher in national reconciliation, as the capital's neighborhoods rupture even further along sectarian lines, violence shifts elsewhere and Iraq's government remains mired in political infighting.

In the coming days, U.S. military and government leaders will offer Congress their assessment of the 6-month-old plan's results. But a review of statistics on death and displacement, political developments and the impressions of Iraqis who are living under the heightened military presence reaches a dispiriting conclusion.

Part of this story is incorrect. Australia has become very anti Bush and anti US. The latest PEW poll says 60% of Australians think the US has a mostly negative influence on the world while only 29% think most positive/

September 4, 2007

52% of Australians think Bush worst US president

SYDNEY: Most Australians believe George W Bush is the worst United States president in history, a poll showed on Tuesday as the US leader headed Down Under for a state visit.

The Galaxy poll, commissioned by the Medical Association for the Prevention of War (MAPW), found 52 per cent of Australians rated him the worst, just 32 per cent disagreed while the rest were undecided.

"Australians are not anti-American, they're anti the policies of George Bush, particularly the invasion of Iraq," said MAPW spokesman Robert Marr.

September 5, 2007

GAO: Iraqi Government 'Dysfunctional'

RTTNews) - A gloomy assessment on the political and military situation in Iraq released Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office has drawn criticism from commanders on the ground and reignited calls for troop withdrawals.

The congressional report, which concluded that Iraq had failed to meet all but two of the nine security goals Congress had set as part of a list of 18 benchmarks, comes just days before Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan Crocker deliver their much-anticipated progress report to federal lawmakers next week.

An Impeachable Offense
September 4, 2007

Pattern Cited in Killings of Civilians by U.S

Newly released documents regarding crimes committed by United States soldiers against civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan detail a pattern of troops failing to understand and follow the rules that govern interrogations and deadly actions.

The documents, released today by the American Civil Liberties Union ahead of a lawsuit, total nearly 10,000 pages of courts-martial summaries, transcripts and military investigative reports about 22 cases. They show repeated examples of troops believing they were within the law when they killed local citizens.

The killings include the drowning of a man soldiers pushed from a bridge into the Tigris River as punishment for breaking curfew, and the suffocation during interrogation of a former Iraqi general believed to be helping insurgents.

September 1, 2007

Second British general bashes US strategy in Iraq

LONDON (AFP) - The British backlash over the US handling of post-invasion Iraq grew Sunday as another military commander blasted Washington's "fatally flawed" policy.

Major General Tim Cross, the top British officer involved in planning post-war Iraq, said he raised serious concerns with then US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld about the possibility of the country descending into chaos.

But Rumsfeld "ignored" or "dismissed" his warnings, the general told the Sunday Mirror newspaper.

If these were normal times, a time when we had a real congress instead of a rubber stamp congress, any attempt to take us to war with another country who has not provoked us would result in impeachment and removal from office within days. But not this congress. Democrats have chosen a pathetic Speaker who thinks her job is to increase her party control of congress and nothing more.

September 2, 2007

Pentagon 'three-day blitz' plan for Iran

THE Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians' military capability in three days, according to a national security expert.

Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for "pinprick strikes" against Iran's nuclear facilities. "They're about taking out the entire Iranian military," he said.

Debat was speaking at a meeting organised by The National Interest, a conservative foreign policy journal. He told The Sunday Times that the US military had concluded: "Whether you go for pinprick strikes or all-out military action, the reaction from the Iranians will be the same." It was, he added, a "very legitimate strategic calculus".

The two largest intelligence failures in US history happened under her watch; 911 and WMD. 911 may have been a colossal mistake but the Iraqi War was intentional. Long after she knew the excuses for war were lies, she continued to defend it and there's no justifiable reason why anyone should think they can learn anything from someone with little moral standing.

The UN inspectors told us they couldn't find anything in Iraq and instead of waiting until they found something or sending US inspectors into Iraq she and other idiots supported war. Failure and idiocy of this magnitude should never be rewarded.

September 1, 2007

Condoleezza Rice has trashed the basic values of academia: reason, science, expertise, and honesty

On May 25, Stanford University's independent student newspaper, The Stanford Daily, devoted the bulk of its front page to the university's former provost, who is on leave while she serves out her term as secretary of state. "Condi Eyes Return," read the headline, "but in What Role?"

Within hours, the letters to the editor started coming in. "Condoleezza Rice serves an administration that has trashed the basic values of academia: reason, science, expertise, and honesty. Stanford should not welcome her back," Don Ornstein, an emeritus professor of mathematics, wrote in a letter published on May 31.

August 31, 2007

Stamping documents 'secret' cost taxpayers $8.2 billion last year

WASHINGTON -- Government secrecy is expanding at an unprecedented clip, despite growing public concern about barriers to information, a report expected to be released Saturday found.

OpenTheGovernment.orgreports that stamping government documents "secret" cost American taxpayers $8.2 billion last year -- a 7.5 percent increase over the year before.

The coalition found that for every dollar spent declassifying documents, the federal government spends $185 to conceal government documents. Over all, classification cost 2 1/2 times what it cost in 1997.

August 16, 2007

Poll: Majority mistrustful of upcoming Iraq report

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A majority of Americans don't trust the upcoming report by the Army's top commander in Iraq on the progress of the war and even if they did, it wouldn't change their mind, according to a new poll.

 President Bush frequently has asked Congress -- and the American people -- to withhold judgment on his so-called troop surge in Iraq until Gen. David Petraeus, the commander in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, U.S. ambassador to Iraq, issue their progress report in September.

The CEOs who made a fortune off of low interest rates are now wondering why there's the problem. Not to worry though. The US government knows how to take care of big investors who made bad investments. They'll get another bailout.

August 31, 2007

Leading lender likens US credit crisis to Great Depression

The US financial industry displayed fresh signs of distress from the credit crunch afflicting global money markets yesterday, with one mortgage provider describing lending conditions as the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Leading accountancy firm H&R Block revealed huge losses at its up-for-sale mortgage arm, Option One, and said it was considering a halt on new loans. Reporting a quarterly loss of $302m (£150m), Mark Ernst, chief executive, said: "The loan originations market is in the midst of the most severe dislocation it has seen in years, maybe the most severe since the 1930s."

August 30, 2007

Iraq benchmark findings

IRAQ HAS NOT MET REQUIREMENTS TOWARD:

  • Providing three trained and ready Iraqi brigades to support Baghdad operations
  • Ensuring that the Baghdad security plan will not provide a safe haven for outlaws, regardless of sectarian or political affiliation, as Bush says Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has pledged to do
  • Enacting and implementing legislation on de-Baathification
  • Enacting and implementing legislation to ensure the equitable distribution of hydrocarbon resources of the people of Iraq without regard to the sect or ethnicity of recipients, and enacting and implementing legislation to ensure that the energy resources of Iraq benefit Sunni Arabs, Shia Arabs, Kurds, and other Iraqi citizens in an equitable manner
  • Providing Iraqi commanders with all authorities to execute this plan and to make tactical and operational decisions, in consultation with U.S commanders, without political intervention, to include the authority to pursue all extremists, including Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias
  • Ensuring that the Iraqi Security Forces are providing evenhanded enforcement of the law
  • Increasing the number of Iraqi security forces units capable of operating independently
  • Ensuring that Iraq's political authorities are not undermining or making false accusations against members of the Iraqi Security Forces
  • Reducing the level of sectarian violence in Iraq and eliminating militia control of local security
  • Enacting and implementing legislation establishing an Independent High Electoral Commission, provincial elections law, provincial council authorities, and a date for provincial elections
  • Forming a Constitutional Review Committee and then completing the constitutional review
  • Enacting and implementing legislation addressing amnesty
  • Enacting and implementing legislation establishing a strong militia disarmament program to ensure that such security forces are accountable only to the central government and loyal to the constitution of Iraq.

The Pentagon is run by idiots who lost a war against an unarmed country and now they don't want us to learn how bad it is until have the truth is "revised." Give me a break. This war should have never been fought and after it began it should have been over within weeks.

August 29, 2007

Pentagon disputes bleak GAO Iraq report

The Pentagon has asked that some of the negative assessments be revised.

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said Thursday that after reviewing a draft of the Government Accountability Office report — which has not yet been made public — policy officials "made some factual corrections" and "offered some suggestions on a few of the actual grades" assigned by the GAO.

Whom do we listen to - the liberals who were right about WMD and Iraq not being part of the war on terror, or the White House, the military and the media who were consistently wrong. Hmmm, I'll have to get back to you on that one.

August 29, 2007

Study: Troops could leave with little risk

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most U.S. troops can be withdrawn safely from Iraq in roughly one year and the Bush administration should begin planning the pullout immediately, according to a study released Wednesday.

With the exception mostly of two brigades of about 8,000 troops who would remain in the touchy Kurdish region in the north for a year, trying to guard against conflict with Turkey, the U.S. troops would be moved to Kuwait initially, says the study by the Center for American Progress, a self-described "progressive think tank" headed by John D. Podesta, a former chief of staff to former President Clinton.

Reporters who get paid millions of dollars a year to repeat what AP and Reuters reporters write won't see a problem with any of this.

August 29, 2007

CEOs Earn More in A Day than Most Workers in A Year

Top executives at major U.S. businesses last year made as much money in one day of work on the job as the average worker made over the entire year, according to a report released on Wednesday.

Chief executive officers from the nation's biggest businesses averaged nearly $11 million in total compensation, according to the 14th annual CEO compensation survey released jointly by the Institute for Policy Studies based in Washington and United for a Fair Economy, a national organization based in Boston.

On the bright side of things, it seems most people now accept the basic fact that the military can't be trusted to investigate itself anymore. It's too corrupt.

August 28, 2007

Criminal Investigations Focus on Defense Department Weapon Contracts

BAGHDAD, Aug. 27 — Several federal agencies are investigating a widening network of criminal cases involving the purchase and delivery of billions of dollars of weapons, supplies and other matériel to Iraqi and American forces, according to American officials. The officials said it amounted to the largest ring of fraud and kickbacks uncovered in the conflict here.

That federal agency, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, responded with a report in October 2006 that found serious discrepancies in American military records of where thousands of the weapons actually ended up. The military did not take the routine step of recording serial numbers for the weapons, the inspector general found, making it difficult to determine whether any of the weapons had ended up in the wrong hands.

In July 2007, the Government Accountability Office found even larger discrepancies, reporting that the American military "cannot fully account for about 110,000 AK-47 rifles, 90,000 pistols, 80 items of body armor, and 115,000 helmets reported as issued to Iraqi security forces as of Sept. 22, 2005."

Where's the money going to come from? The same place the tax cuts came from - we're going to borrow it. This is the weakest and most pathetic generation this country has created. All the Democrats have to do is force the GOP to pay for this war with a tax increase and NONE of them would support it. But, we don't have leaders in either party - we have bumbling idiots.

August 29, 2007

Bush Wants $50 Billion More for Iraq War

President Bush plans to ask Congress next month for up to $50 billion in additional funding for the war in Iraq, a White House official said yesterday, a move that appears to reflect increasing administration confidence that it can fend off congressional calls for a rapid drawdown of U.S. forces.

The request -- which would come on top of about $460 billion in the fiscal 2008 defense budget and $147 billion in a pending supplemental bill to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq -- is expected to be announced after congressional hearings scheduled for mid-September featuring the two top U.S. officials in Iraq. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker will assess the state of the war and the effect of the new strategy the U.S. military has pursued this year.

Translation: The US military is run by a bunch of criminal and incompetents.

August 21, 2007

Army officer reprimanded in Abu Ghraib trial

A U.S. military court in Fort Meade, Maryland has heard opening arguments in the court martial of the only U.S. military officer charged in connection with the abuse scandal at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Lieutenant Colonel Steven Jordan entered a plea of not guilty Monday to charges of mistreatment of detainees and disobeying a superior officer. Two more serious charges were dismissed by the military judge because of technicalities.

A jury of nine Army colonels and one brigadier general promised the court it will not use the case against Jordan as a judgment on the Abu Ghraib scandal as a whole.

Colonel Jordan, who was in charge of interrogation at the prison, is the only officer to be court-martialed in the case. Eleven enlisted men and women were convicted, receiving sentences of up to 10 years in prison.

A more senior officer who admitted approving the use of dogs during interrogation was given a reprimand and a fine.

August 29, 2007

Active-duty US troops become outspoken critics of Iraq war

A recent op-ed about the war in Iraq charged that upbeat official reports amount to "misleading rhetoric." It said the "most important front in the counterinsurgency [had] failed most miserably." And it warned against pursuing "incompatible policies to absurd ends."

Five years into a controversial war, that harsh judgment in a New York Times opinion piece might not seem surprising, except for this: The authors were seven US soldiers, writing from Iraq at the end of a tough 15-month combat tour.

September 1, 2007

Snow's on way out; Rove's gone

WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Tony Snow will leave this month to devote time to writing, speaking and playing a more active public role in combating cancer, a disease he has confronted for three roller-coaster years.

Snow is the latest in a long line of senior Bush advisers to leave before the end of the president's second term. Friday was White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove's last day. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced his resignation this week. Former White House counselor Dan Bartlett, White House attorney Harriet Miers, budget director Rob Portman, political director Sara Taylor, deputy national-security adviser J.D. Crouch and Meghan O'Sullivan, a national-security adviser who worked on Iraq, also have stepped down.

An Impeachable Offense
August 29, 2007

U.S. weapons end up in Turkey

WASHINGTON: Weapons that were originally given to Iraqi security forces by the American military have been recovered over the past year by the authorities in Turkey after being used in violent crimes in that country, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.

The discovery that serial numbers on pistols and other weapons recovered in Turkey matched those distributed to Iraqi police units has prompted growing concern by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates that controls on weapons being provided to Iraqis are inadequate. It was also a factor in the decision to dispatch the department's inspector general to Iraq next week to investigate the problem, the officials said.

August 31, 2007

Deadliest Summer in Iraq

June-July-August 2003: 113 American troops died

June-July-August 2004: 162 American troops died

June-July-August 2005: 217 American troops died

June-July-August 2006: 169 American troops died

June-July-August 2007: 260 American troops died

September 1, 2007

Iraqi civilian deaths climb again in August

BAGHDAD -- Bombings, sectarian slayings and other violence related to the war killed at least 1,773 Iraqi civilians in August, the second month in a row that civilian deaths have risen, according to government figures obtained Friday.

In July, the civilian death toll was 1,753, and in June it was 1,227. The numbers are based on morgue, hospital and police records and come from officials in the ministries of Health, Defense and the Interior. The statistics appear to indicate that the increase in troops ordered by President Bush this year has done little to curb civilian bloodshed, despite U.S. military statements to the contrary.