Impeachable Offenses Page 7

The lawlessness in this White House is so common the media doesn't even cover it anymore.

An Impeachable Offense
November 15, 2005 (posted May 31,2007)

Cheney Sidesteps Travel Disclosure Rules

WASHINGTON, November 16, 2005 — Vice President Dick Cheney and his staff have been unilaterally exempting themselves from long-standing travel disclosure rules followed by the rest of the executive branch, including the Office of the President, the Center for Public Integrity has discovered.

Cheney's office also appears to have stuck taxpayers with untold millions in travel costs rather than accepting trip sponsors' funds that the rules would require to be disclosed.

The Ethics Reform Act of 1989 requires every executive "agency" to file a semiannual report of payments accepted from non-federal sources. Regulations implementing this provision state that the term "includes an independent agency as well as an agency within the Executive Office of the President."

Criminals work for the Secret Service. They need to be fired - everyone of them.

An Impeachable Offense
May 29, 2007

Cheney lawyer told Secret Service not to keep copies of visitor logs

WASHINGTON – A lawyer for Vice President Dick Cheney told the Secret Service in September to eliminate data on who visited Cheney at his official residence, a newly disclosed letter states.

The Sept. 13, 2006, letter from Cheney's lawyer says logs for Cheney's residence on the grounds of the Naval Observatory are subject to the Presidential Records Act.

Such a designation prevents the public from learning who visited the vice president.

The fact that Gonzales hasn't been impeached or tried for war crimes will be noted by historians who will no doubt wonder if there were any moral leaders left in the United States.

An Impeachable Offense
May 25, 2007

Alberto Gonzales and the Geneva Convention

But Gonzales wouldn't have to go to cases from Singapore to find how inhuman treatment was defined under the Geneva Convention.

The International Military Tribunal for the Far East, the Tokyo war crimes trial of major Japanese leaders, organized by American General Douglas MacArthur held months of hearings on the inhuman treatment of POWs and civilian internees. Prosecutors spent days summing up cases of inhuman treatment before the tribunal.

All the war crimes trials at the end of the Second World War came under the jurisdiction of the UN War Crimes Commission, and the U.S. and Britain were the main countries that planned the trials, so the records defining the term inhuman treatment were easily available to anyone who looked hard enough.

While this carnage continues members of Congress can go to bed knowing they voted to keep the war going and confident they won't be hit with anti war ad from the GOP or endless whining from Limbaugh and Fox News.

An Impeachable Offense
May 29, 2007

The Shape of a Shadowy Air War in Iraq

What we do know is this: Since the major combat phase of the war ended in April 2003, the U.S. military has dropped at least 59,787 pounds of air-delivered cluster bombs in Iraq -- the very type of weapon that Marc Garlasco, the senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch (HRW) calls, "the single greatest risk civilians face with regard to a current weapon that is in use." We also know that, according to expert opinion, rockets and cannon fire from U.S. aircraft may account for most U.S. and coalition-attributed Iraqi civilian deaths and that the Pentagon has restocked hundreds of millions of dollars worth of these weapons in recent years.

Les Roberts especially laments just "how profoundly the press has failed us" when it comes to coverage of the war. "In the first couple of years of the war," he says, "our survey data suggest that there were more deaths from bombs dropped by our planes than there were deaths from roadside explosives and car bombs [detonated by insurgents]." The only group on the ground systematically collecting violent death data at the time, the NGO Coordinating Committee for Iraq, he notes, found the same thing. "If you had been reading the U.S. papers and watching the U.S. television news at the time," Roberts adds, "you would have gotten the impression that anti-coalition bombs were more numerous. That was not just wrong, it probably was wrong by a factor of ten!"

An Impeachable Offense
May 25, 2007

Senator: Gonzales Obstructed Justice, Lied Under Oath

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a former career prosecutor, states that after reviewing the testimony of Monica Goodling and other recent developments he is deeply concerned that Gonzales is guilty of obstruction of justice stemming from his efforts to coach Goodling about how to recall their prior meetings. He also noted the sharp inconsistencies between Gonzales's testimony and that of other witnesses, and its conflict with documentary evidence and focused on his statement to the House Judiciary Committee that he had not reviewed his conversations with staffers now under investigation–now revealed to be a falsehood. Democrats now state they will hold a vote of no confidence in Gonzales in mid-June.

May 28, 2007

Guantánamo detainee: stay in jail or face torture in home country

The government was under pressure last night to allow a London man held in Guantánamo Bay for four years to return to Britain after the US cleared him for release from the notorious prison.

Jamil el-Banna was detained by the US in 2002 after Britain sent the CIA false information about him. He had also failed to accept an MI5 offer to turn informant.

If refused entry to Britain, Mr Banna could be returned to face torture in his native Jordan, from where he fled to Britain in 1994 after alleging ill treatment.

May 24, 2007

Goodling admits she broke the law, accuses Gonzales of lying to congress

In her testimony to the House Judiciary Committee, Ms. Goodling removed all doubt about whether partisan politics infected the Justice Department's treatment of federal prosecutors. She admitted that she investigated the party affiliations, and even campaign contributions, of applicants for prosecutor, and other nonpolitical jobs. "I know I crossed the line," she said of her actions, which may have violated federal law. Her admission that partisan politics was used to hire people only makes it more likely that it was also used to fire people.

Ms. Goodling appeared to be straining to make her testimony helpful to Mr. Gonzales, but when backed into a corner, she conceded that he had lied about his role in the scandal.

An Impeachable Offense
May 23, 2007

Goodling Accuses McNulty of Misleading Congress

May 23 (Bloomberg) -- A former top Justice Department aide denied knowledge of any improper White House role in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys and accused Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty of misleading Congress about the dismissals.

Monica Goodling, the former White House liaison for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, told the House Judiciary Committee she had no discussions before the firings with Karl Rove, Bush's top political adviser, or then-White House Counsel Harriet Miers.

An Impeachable Offense
May 21, 2007

Smithsonian accused of altering global warming exhibit

WASHINGTON — The Smithsonian Institution toned down an exhibit on climate change in the Arctic for fear of angering Congress and the Bush administration, says a former administrator at the museum.

Among other things, the script, or official text, of last year's exhibit was rewritten to minimize and inject more uncertainty into the relationship between global warming and humans, said Robert Sullivan, who was associate director in charge of exhibitions at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

Also, officials omitted scientists' interpretation of some research and let visitors draw their own conclusions from the data, he said. In addition, graphs were altered "to show that global warming could go either way," Sullivan said.

An Impeachable Offense
May 18, 2007

Alberto Gonzales Displays Contempt for Congress

John Dean: This week, Gonzales was again shown to have lied to Congress; his ineptitude as Attorney General has resurfaced in litigation that is going to damage the government; and after ignoring a subpoena from the Senate, he made a belated but insufficient response following an angry letter from the Senate.

It's been clear for a while - and is becoming ever clearer - that the Attorney General ought to resign, or to be fired. Now, it seems that Congress is determined to force Gonzales from office or send him to jail, whichever they can do first.

An Impeachable Offense
May 19, 2007

GOP's unsubstantiated voter fraud claims

It is time to stop referring to the "fired U.S attorneys scandal" by that misnomer, and call it what it is: a White House-coordinated effort to use the vast powers of the Justice Department to swing elections to Republicans.

This is no botched personnel switch. It is not even a political spat between the fired U.S. attorneys and Bush administration officials who deemed some of them insufficiently zealous in promoting the department's law enforcement priorities. Connect the dots and you see an insidious effort to corrupt the American electoral system. It's Watergate without the break-in or the bagmen.

An Impeachable Offense
May 20, 2007

Efforts to stop `voter fraud' may have curbed legitimate voting

WASHINGTON - During four years as a Justice Department civil rights lawyer, Hans von Spakovsky went so far in a crusade against voter fraud as to warn of its dangers under a pseudonym in a law journal article.

Writing as "Publius," von Spakovsky contended that every voter should be required to produce a photo-identification card and that there was "no evidence" that such restrictions burden minority voters disproportionately.

Now, amid a scandal over politicization of the Justice Department, Congress is beginning to examine allegations that von Spakovsky was a key player in a Republican campaign to hang onto power in Washington by suppressing the votes of minority voters.

An Impeachable Offense
May 19, 2007

The fired U.S. attorney says he was targeted for not pressing charges that could have helped the GOP

Iglesias recounted the episode in an interview with The Times after meeting behind closed doors with federal investigators this week to provide new details of the events leading up to his termination as U.S. attorney. He said he now believed he was targeted because he was seen as slow to bring criminal charges that would have helped GOP election prospects.

Federal investigators are examining whether electoral considerations — such as a broader Republican initiative to enforce anti-fraud rules and cull questionable voters from rolls nationwide — played a part in the termination of Iglesias and other U.S. attorneys last year.

An Impeachable Offense
May 20, 2007

Prewar intelligence foretold Iraq upheaval

WASHINGTON — Two intelligence assessments from January 2003 predicted that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and subsequent U.S. occupation of Iraq could lead to internal violence and provide a boost to Islamic extremists and terrorists, according to congressional sources and former intelligence officials familiar with the prewar studies.

The two assessments, titled "Principal Challenges in Post-Saddam Iraq" and "Regional Consequences of Regime Change in Iraq," were produced by the National Intelligence Council (NIC) and will be a major part of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's long-awaited Phase II report on prewar intelligence assessments about Iraq. The assessments were delivered to the White House and to congressional intelligence committees before the war started.

An Impeachable Offense
May 17, 2007

The Gonzales Wiretapping Coverup

If you were Mr. Gonzales, you'd certainly want to make sure they stayed quiet. Consider: Mr. Gonzales, as the president's lawyer, went to the hospital room of a man so ill he had temporarily relinquished his authority. There, Mr. Gonzales tried to persuade Mr. Ashcroft to override the views of the attorney general's own legal counsel. When the attorney general refused, Mr. Gonzales apparently took part in a plan to go forward with a program that the Justice Department had refused to certify as legal.

What was the administration doing, and what was it willing to continue to do, that its lawyers concluded was without a legal basis? Without an answer to that fundamental question, the coverup will have succeeded.

An Impeachable Offense
May 15, 2007

Torture and Troop

Recall, for context, our national debate over torture, renditions, and the rights of prisoners captured in the "War on Terror." Recall the secret memos, endorsed by then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, that slapped aside Geneva Convention prohibitions against the torture of prisoners. Recall Abu Ghraib, and the shameful photos documenting the absence of those prohibitions in living, bleeding color.

It isn't theoretical anymore. Three American soldiers are hostages today, and God help them if their captors decide to play by our rules.

An Impeachable Offense
May 16, 2007

Evil Empire: Is Imperial Liquidation Possible for America?

George W. Bush has, of course, flagrantly violated his oath of office, which requires him "to protect and defend the constitution," and the opposition party has been remarkably reluctant to hold him to account. Among the "high crimes and misdemeanors" that, under other political circumstances, would surely constitute the Constitutional grounds for impeachment are these: the President and his top officials pressured the Central Intelligence Agency to put together a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq's nuclear weapons that both the administration and the Agency knew to be patently dishonest. They then used this false NIE to justify an American war of aggression. After launching an invasion of Iraq, the administration unilaterally reinterpreted international and domestic law to permit the torture of prisoners held at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and at other secret locations around the world.

Nothing in the Constitution, least of all the commander-in-chief clause, allows the president to commit felonies. Nonetheless, within days after the 9/11 attacks, President Bush had signed a secret executive order authorizing a new policy of "extraordinary rendition," in which the CIA is allowed to kidnap terrorist suspects anywhere on Earth and transfer them to prisons in countries like Egypt, Syria, or Uzbekistan, where torture is a normal practice, or to secret CIA prisons outside the United States where Agency operatives themselves do the torturing.

An Impeachable Offense
May 17, 2007

Senators want CIA to release 9/11 report

WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of senators is pushing legislation that would force the CIA to release an inspector general's report on the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The CIA has spent more than 20 months weighing requests under the Freedom of Information Act for its internal investigation of the attacks but has yet to release any portion of it.

The agency is the only federal office involved in counterterrorism operations that has not made at least a version of its internal 9/11 investigation public.

An Impeachable Offense
May 14, 2007

Voter-Fraud Complaints by GOP Drove Dismissals

Nearly half the U.S. attorneys slated for removal by the administration last year were targets of Republican complaints that they were lax on voter fraud, including efforts by presidential adviser Karl Rove to encourage more prosecutions of election- law violations, according to new documents and interviews.

Democrats counter that such fraud is rare and that GOP efforts are designed to suppress legitimate votes by minorities, the elderly and recent immigrants, who are likely to support Democratic candidates. A draft report last year by the Election Assistance Commission, a bipartisan government panel that conducts election research, said that "there is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud."

An Impeachable Offense
May 16, 2007

Congress demands e-mails; Justice says ask Rove camp

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Justice Department on Wednesday told an angry Senate Judiciary Committee chairman it does not have documents described in a subpoena that demands all materials relating to Karl Rove's possible involvement in the U.S. attorney firings.

Instead, it said, Rove's lawyer must have them. Rove is the chief political adviser for President Bush.

An Impeachable Offense
May 15, 2007

Terror suspect claims CIA tortured him

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

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

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

An Impeachable Offense
May 15, 2007

White House recertified counterterrorism program without DoJ backing

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

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

An Impeachable Offense
May 15, 2007

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

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

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

An Impeachable Offense
May 12, 2007

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

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

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

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

An Impeachable Offense
May 6, 2007

Iraqis jail many innocents

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

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

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

An Impeachable Offense
April 30, 2007

Peaceful Protestors Arrested - Charged with disturbing a public assembly

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

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

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

An Impeachable Offense
April 30, 2007

Bar Criticizes Proposed POW Rules

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

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

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

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

An Impeachable Offense
April 26, 2007

Justice Department Asked to Limit Lawyers Access at Guantánamo

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

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

An Impeachable Offense
May 5, 2007

Study finds lapses in battlefield ethics

WASHINGTON - In a survey of U.S. troops in combat in Iraq, less than half of Marines and a little more than half of Army soldiers said they would report a member of their unit for killing or wounding an innocent civilian.

More than 40 percent support the idea of torture in some cases, and 10 percent reported personally abusing Iraqi civilians, the Pentagon said Friday in what it called its first ethics study of troops at the war front. Units exposed to the most combat were chosen for the study, officials said.

"It is disappointing," said analyst John Pike of the think tank. "But anybody who is surprised by it doesn't understand war. ... This is about combat stress."

An Impeachable Offense
May 4, 2007

Goodling's Lawyers Protest Justice Department Probe Revelation

May 3 (Bloomberg) -- Lawyers for former U.S. Justice Department aide Monica Goodling protested the agency's announcement of an internal investigation into whether she improperly considered the political affiliation of applicants to be prosecutors.

Goodling, 33, who resigned last month as an aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, has invoked her constitutional right against self-incrimination to refuse to tell Congress about her role in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys.

Her Washington lawyers, John Dowd and Jeffrey King, said in a letter they are disturbed that the Justice Department revealed the inquiry eight days after a House committee voted to compel Goodling's testimony by authorizing a grant of limited immunity from prosecution.

An Impeachable Offense
May 3, 2007

Justice probes hiring bias for Republicans

The Justice Department has launched an internal investigation into whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's former White House liaison illegally took party affiliation into account in hiring career federal prosecutors, officials said yesterday.

The allegations against Monica Goodling represent a potential violation of federal law and signal that a joint probe begun in March by the department's inspector general and Office of Professional Responsibility has expanded beyond the controversial dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys last year.

In newly released statements, the two alleged that they were threatened by Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty's chief of staff immediately before Gonzales testified in the Senate in January.

An Impeachable Offense
April 30, 2007

Balancing budget now won't solve U.S. debt woes

Let's assume that all of Bush's projections were to come true and a surplus was realized in 2012. According to his playbook, the story either ends there or reverts to the old ploy of more tax cuts. But the story neglects one detail: The national debt. During the Bush years, the debt grew from $5.7 trillion to $8.8 trillion, a 54 percent increase. By the time Bush leaves office, it'll have grown past $10 trillion. In other words, Bush will have saddled the country with almost more debt than all previous presidents combined, including Ronald Reagan, the last champion of Republican fiscal discipline.

Bush built his economic promises on two lies: That tax cuts would "generate strong revenues to the Treasury" -- demonstrably false, considering the near doubling of the national debt. And that balancing the budget was the end game. Why, then, did his administration report last week once again that Medicare and Social Security are heading for bankruptcy by 2019 and 2041 respectively, even as the administration keeps badgering Congress to make permanent the tax cuts that amplified bankruptcy? Because the true end game is to use bankruptcy as a means of ending government programs socially beneficial to tens of millions while rigging the tax code to benefit the nation's wealth and dividend class -- its richest 1 percent and overwhelming profiteers of the Bush years.

An Impeachable Offense
April 28, 2007

America's war on tourists

In a recent poll of international travelers, commissioned by Discover America Partnership, a coalition of US tourist organisations, 70 per cent of respondents said they feared US officials more than terrorists or criminals. Another 66 per cent worried they would be detained for some minor blunder, such as wrongly filling out an official form or being mistaken for a terrorist, while 55 per cent say officials are "rude."

Such fears are fuelled by the horror stories. Earlier this year a friend of mine was detained for hours and strip-searched at LAX for a minor visa infraction. He was finally allowed to enter the US, on the condition he departed the next day. "I won't be coming back," he said.

An Impeachable Offense
April 30, 2007

Administration Withdraws Pledge - will not seek warrants

WASHINGTON, May 1 — Senior Bush administration officials told Congress on Tuesday that they could not pledge that the administration would continue to seek warrants from a secret court for a domestic wiretapping program, as it agreed to do in January.

Rather, they argued that the president had the constitutional authority to decide for himself whether to conduct surveillance without warrants.

As a result of the January agreement, the administration said that the National Security Agency's domestic spying program has been brought under the legal structure laid out in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which requires court-approved warrants for the wiretapping of American citizens and others inside the United States.

But on Tuesday, the senior officials, including Michael McConnell, the new director of national intelligence, said they believed that the president still had the authority under Article II of the Constitution to once again order the N.S.A. to conduct surveillance inside the country without warrants.

An Impeachable Offense
April 29, 2007

Inspectors Find Rebuilt Projects Crumbling in Iraq

In a troubling sign for the American-financed rebuilding program in Iraq, inspectors for a federal oversight agency have found that in a sampling of eight projects that the United States had declared successes, seven were no longer operating as designed because of plumbing and electrical failures, lack of proper maintenance, apparent looting and expensive equipment that lay idle.

The United States has previously admitted, sometimes under pressure from federal inspectors, that some of its reconstruction projects have been abandoned, delayed or poorly constructed. But this is the first time inspectors have found that projects officially declared a success — in some cases, as little as six months before the latest inspections — were no longer working properly.

An Impeachable Offense
April 26, 2007

Bush Mired in Stealth, Lies and Cover-Ups

April 26 (Bloomberg) -- The Bush administration will do, say and spend anything to maintain its façade of command and control.

To hear them tell it, the administration would be winning the war, if only those traitorous Democrats would stop pointing out that they aren't. Everything would be fine at Walter Reed Army Hospital and likewise New Orleans, if only the locals weren't wasting money. Those fired U.S. attorneys? Mishandled maybe, but they were properly let go ``for performance-related reasons."

Two of the most disgraceful attempts to replace the truth with propaganda were brought to vivid light on Tuesday at a congressional inquiry into the death of Corporal Pat Tillman, killed by friendly fire in 2004, and the capture of Private Jessica Lynch.

In the interest of their own PR machine, which has spent more than a billion dollars on propaganda, the Pentagon shamed itself by lying about what really happened to these two heroic patriots, who need no government flackery to make them so.

An Impeachable Offense
April 27, 2007

Administration considered firing at least a dozen U.S. attorneys

WASHINGTON - Congressional sources who have seen unedited internal documents say the Bush administration considered firing at least a dozen U.S. attorneys before paring down its list to eight late last year. The four who escaped dismissal came from states considered political battlegrounds in the last presidential election: Missouri, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The latest revelation could provide new evidence to critics who contend that politics, not performance, played the determining role in the firings. The White House and the Justice Department have repeatedly denied that politics played any role.

An Impeachable Offense
April 25, 2007

Put Bush's 'puppy dog' terror theory to sleep

Does the President think terrorists are puppy dogs? He keeps saying that terrorists will "follow us home" like lost dogs. This will only happen, however, he says, if we "lose" in Iraq.

RICHARD CLARKE: The puppy dog theory is the corollary to earlier sloganeering that proved the President had never studied logic: "We are fighting terrorists in Iraq so that we will not have to face them and fight them in the streets of our own cities."

Remarkably, in his attempt to embrace the failed Iraqi adventure even more than the President, Sen. John McCain is now parroting the line. "We lose this war and come home, they'll follow us home," he says.

How is this odd terrorist puppy dog behavior supposed to work? The President must believe that terrorists are playing by some odd rules of chivalry. Would this be the "only one slaughter ground at a time" rule of terrorism?

An Impeachable Offense
April 26, 2007

Justice Dept. Lists Withheld Documents

The Justice Department released a list of internal documents Thursday focusing on lawmakers' concerns and media questions about the firings of eight federal prosecutors, but the department resisted congressional demands for copies of the memos.

The list of 159 e-mails and memos, spanning nearly three months, at the least demonstrates concern about how the dismissals were being publicly received before they erupted into a firestorm that has resulted in calls for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign.

The House Judiciary Committee has demanded the full text of all documents that had been partially or completely blacked out among nearly 6,000 pages of e-mails, calendar pages and memos released to Congress as it investigates whether the firings were politically motivated. The documents being sought include correspondence with lawmakers and journalists about the firing.

An Impeachable Offense
April 26, 2007

Political briefings at 15 agencies could have violated Hatch Act

White House officials conducted 20 private briefings on Republican electoral prospects in the last midterm election for senior officials in at least 15 government agencies covered by federal restrictions on partisan political activity, a White House spokesman and other administration officials said Wednesday.

The previously undisclosed briefings were part of what now appears to be a regular effort in which the White House sent senior political officials to brief top appointees in government agencies on which seats Republican candidates might win or lose and how the election outcomes could affect the success of administration policies, the officials said.

The existence of one such briefing, at the headquarters of the General Services Administration in January, came to light last month and provoked the Office of Special Counsel to begin an investigation into whether the officials at the briefing felt coerced into steering federal activities to favor those Republican candidates cited as vulnerable.

An Impeachable Offense
April 25, 2007

A failure in generalship

Lt. Col. Paul Yingling : For the second time in a generation, the United States faces the prospect of defeat at the hands of an insurgency. In April 1975, the U.S. fled the Republic of Vietnam, abandoning our allies to their fate at the hands of North Vietnamese communists. In 2007, Iraq's grave and deteriorating condition offers diminishing hope for an American victory and portends risk of an even wider and more destructive regional war.

These debacles are not attributable to individual failures, but rather to a crisis in an entire institution: America's general officer corps. America's generals have failed to prepare our armed forces for war and advise civilian authorities on the application of force to achieve the aims of policy. The argument that follows consists of three elements. First, generals have a responsibility to society to provide policymakers with a correct estimate of strategic probabilities. Second, America's generals in Vietnam and Iraq failed to perform this responsibility. Third, remedying the crisis in American generalship requires the intervention of Congress.

An Impeachable Offense
April 27, 2007

Tenet Says WH Lied About 'Slam Dunk' Remark

WASHINGTON (AP) - When CIA Director George Tenet uttered the now-infamous phrase ``slam dunk" at a 2002 White House meeting, he says he was referring broadly to the case that could be made against Saddam Hussein - not his alleged weapons of mass destruction.

"We can put a better case together for a public case. That's what I meant," Tenet said, explaining his remark for the first time in an interview to air Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes." Short excerpts were released Thursday.

The phrase "slam dunk" was associated with Tenet after it was leaked by a senior administration official to author and journalist Bob Woodward. According to Woodward's book "Plan of Attack," Bush turned to Tenet during the meeting and asked if the information he had just presented on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was the best Tenet had.

An Impeachable Offense
April 24, 2007

Rove Investigator Faces Own Allegations

But government watchdogs have accused (Scott) Bloch himself of similar behavior. In April 2005, they and others complained the White House appointee had allowed his office to "sit on" a complaint that then-White House National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice used government funds to travel in support of President Bush's re-election bid.

By contrast, they said, Bloch ordered an immediate on-site investigation of a complaint that Bush's challenger for the White House, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., improperly campaigned in a government workplace, which had been filed around the same time.

In late 2005, the White House-run President's Committee on Integrity and Efficiency opened an investigation into that charge and several others, including accusations that Bloch's office retaliated against employees who took issue with internal policies and discriminated against employees who were gay or members of religious minorities. The investigation is pending.

Those charges led the left-leaning group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington to charge that Bloch is "the wrong choice" to investigate. In addition to probing Hatch Act violations, OSC is also responsible for defending the rights of government whistle-blowers and protecting government employees from discrimination and other prohibited practices.

An Impeachable Offense
April 25, 2007

U.N. officials accused Iraq of withholding civilian death figures

BAGHDAD - U.N. officials accused Iraq on Wednesday of withholding civilian death figures to try to  deflect attention from escalating violence and a worsening humanitarian crisis despite the U.S.-led Baghdad security crackdown.

Those conclusions by the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq drew a sharp rebuke from the Iraq's political leadership, which called the report "unbalanced" and said it raised questions about the credibility of the U.N. staff in Iraq.

The clashing views over the document — which covered three months ending March 31 — reflect a wider debate that goes beyond attempts to tally the bloodshed: whether the Baghdad security operation has made any lasting progress since the crackdown was launched in mid-February.

An Impeachable Offense
April 25, 2007

OSHA Leaves Worker Safety in Hands of Industry

WASHINGTON, April 24 — Seven years ago, a Missouri doctor discovered a troubling pattern at a microwave popcorn plant in the town of Jasper. After an additive was modified to produce a more buttery taste, nine workers came down with a rare, life-threatening disease that was ravaging their lungs.

Puzzled Missouri health authorities turned to two federal agencies in Washington. Scientists at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which investigates the causes of workplace health problems, moved quickly to examine patients, inspect factories and run tests. Within months, they concluded that the workers became ill after exposure to diacetyl, a food-flavoring agent.

But the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, charged with overseeing workplace safety, reacted with far less urgency. It did not step up plant inspections or mandate safety standards for businesses, even as more workers became ill.

An Impeachable Offense
April 24, 2007

Tillman's Fictional Heroic Death: Did Bush Know?

WASHINGTON, April 24, 2007 — The Bush administration and the Pentagon came under fire today for creating false myths of military heroes, and the criticism came from unlikely sources — one of the heroes, and the family of another.

He charged the Pentagon with falsifying information to achieve those ends — "writing up a field hospital report, stating that Pat was 'transferred to an intensive care unit for continued CPR' after most of his head had been taken off by multiple 5.56 rounds … stating that a giant rectangle bruise covering his chest that sits exactly where the armor plate that protects you from bullets as being, quote 'consistent with paddle marks' from a defibrillator.' These are not misleading comments," he charged. "Falsifying soldier witness statements for a Silver Star is not a misstep," Tillman said. "These are intentional falsehoods that meet the legal definition for fraud."

Noting a Pentagon e-mail from April 28 about White House speech writer John Currin seeking information about Tillman for the president's speech at the White House Correspondents' Dinner a few days later, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., suggested that it was more than just a coincidence that when "the president spoke at the Correspondents' Dinner, he was careful in his wording.

"[President Bush] praised Pat Tillman's courage but carefully avoided describing how he was killed," said Cummings. "It seems possible that the P4 memo was a direct response to the White House's inquiry. And if that is true, it means that the White House knew the true facts about Cpl. Tillman's death before the memorial service and weeks before the Tillman family was told."

Kevin Tillman added, "It's a bit disingenuous to think that the administration did not know about what was going on, something so politically sensitive."

The White House today said it could find no evidence to suggest that the president was informed of that memo at the time. The Pentagon has yet to discipline anyone for spreading any of this false information.

An Impeachable Offense
April 24, 2007

Ranger alleges cover-up in Tillman case

WASHINGTON - An Army Ranger who was with Pat Tillman when he died by friendly fire said Tuesday he was told by a higher-up to conceal that information from Tillman's family.

"I was ordered not to tell them," U.S. Army Specialist Bryan O'Neal told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

He said he was given the order by then-Lt. Col. Jeff Bailey, the battalion commander who oversaw Tillman's platoon.

Pat Tillman's brother Kevin was in a convoy behind his brother when the incident happened, but didn't see it. O'Neal said Bailey told him specifically not to tell Kevin Tillman that the death was friendly fire rather than heroic engagement with the enemy.

An Impeachable Offense
April 23, 2007

Jessica Lynch, Tillman's brother accuses military of 'intentional falsehoods'

WASHINGTON — Former Army Pvt. Jessica Lynch and the brother of Pat Tillman castigated the U.S. government on Tuesday for lying to the American public to create heroes from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is investigating inaccurate accounts of the battlefield actions of Lynch and Tillman.

Lynch was badly wounded in Iraq in 2003, in the early days of the war; Pat Tillman, a former NFL star and Army corporal, was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004.

Early versions of Lynch's capture and rescue, quoting unnamed U.S. officials, said Lynch fought her captors fiercely — "little girl Rambo," in her words. In truth she said she was wounded too badly to fight.

An Impeachable Offense
April 23, 2007

Iraqi PM Orders Halt to Baghdad Barrier

CAIRO, Egypt Apr 23, 2007 (AP)— Iraq's prime minister said Sunday that he has ordered a halt to the U.S. military construction of a barrier separating a Sunni enclave from surrounding Shiite areas in Baghdad after fierce criticism over the project at home.

The challenge to the U.S. initiative came as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki began a regional tour to shore up support from mostly Sunni Arab nations for his Shiite-dominated government as sectarian violence persists despite a nearly 10-week-old security crackdown.

The U.S. military announced last week that it was building a three-mile-long and 12-foot-tall concrete wall in Azamiyah, a Sunni stronghold in northern Baghdad whose residents have often been the victims of retaliatory mortar attacks by Shiite militants following bombings usually blamed on Sunni insurgents.

An Impeachable Offense
April 23, 2007

$3.6B in FEMA awards probed

WASHINGTON — FEMA exposed taxpayers to significant waste - and possibly violated federal law - by awarding $3.6 billion worth of Hurricane Katrina contracts to companies with poor credit histories and bad paperwork, investigators say.

The new report by the Homeland Security Department's office of the inspector general, set to be released later this week, examines the propriety of 36 trailer contracts designated for small and local businesses in the stricken Gulf Coast region following the 2005 storm.

It found a haphazard competitive bidding process in which the winning contract prices were both unreasonably low and high. Moreover, FEMA did not take adequate legal steps to ensure that companies were small and locally operated, resulting in a questionable contract award to a large firm with ties to the Republican Party.

An Impeachable Offense
April 21, 2007

Feds investigate "No child left behind"

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is conducting a probe of a $6 billion reading initiative at the center of President Bush's No Child Left Behind law, another blow to a program besieged by allegations of financial conflicts of interest and cronyism, people familiar with the matter said Friday.

The disclosure came as a congressional hearing revealed how people implementing the $1 billion-a-year Reading First program made at least $1 million off textbooks and tests toward which the federal government steered states.

"That sounds like a criminal enterprise to me," said Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the House education committee, which held a five-hour investigative hearing. "You don't get to override the law," he angrily told a panel of Reading First officials.

An Impeachable Offense
April 22, 2007

US Soldiers Accept Tortured Prisoners

BAGHDAD, April 21 — Out here in what the soldiers call Baghdad's wild west, sometimes the choices are all bad.

In one of the new joint American-Iraqi security stations in the capital this month, in the volatile Ghazaliya neighborhood, Capt. Darren Fowler was heaping praise on his Iraqi counterparts for helping capture three insurgent suspects who had provided information he believed would save American lives.

"The detainee gave us names from the highest to the lowest," Captain Fowler told the Iraqi soldiers. "He showed us their safe houses, where they store weapons and I.E.D.'s and where they keep kidnap victims, how they get weapons, where weapons come from, how they place I.E.D.'s, attack us and go away. Because you detained this guy this is the first intelligence linking everything together. Good job. Very good job."

The Iraqi officers beamed. What the Americans did not know and what the Iraqis had not told them was that before handing over the detainees to the Americans, the Iraqi soldiers had beaten one of them in front of the other two, the Iraqis said. The stripes on the detainee's back, which appeared to be the product of a whipping with electrical cables, were later shown briefly to a photographer, who was not allowed to take a picture.

An Impeachable Offense
April 19, 2007

Training Iraqi troops no longer driving force in U.S. policy

WASHINGTON - Military planners have abandoned the idea that standing up Iraqi troops will enable American soldiers to start coming home soon and now believe that U.S. troops will have to defeat the insurgents and secure control of troubled provinces.

Training Iraqi troops, which had been the cornerstone of the Bush administration's Iraq policy since 2005, has dropped in priority, officials in Baghdad and Washington said.

No change has been announced, and a Pentagon spokesman, Col. Gary Keck, said training Iraqis remains important. "We are just adding another leg to our mission," Keck said, referring to the greater U.S. role in establishing security that new troops arriving in Iraq will undertake.

An Impeachable Offense

The US military lied to us and Bush knew it was a lie. Bush did nothing to stop the lie because the war was going badly and he needed a diversion.

April 19, 2007

AP details Tillman's death cover-up

SAN FRANCISCO — Within hours of Pat Tillman's death, the Army went into information-lockdown mode, cutting off phone and Internet connections at a base in Afghanistan, posting guards on a wounded platoon mate, and ordering a sergeant to burn Tillman's uniform.

New investigative documents reviewed by The Associated Press describe how the military sealed off information about Tillman's death from all but a small ring of soldiers. Officers quietly passed their suspicion of friendly fire up the chain to the highest ranks of the military, but the truth did not reach Tillman's family for five weeks.

The clampdown, and the misinformation issued by the military, lie at the heart of a burgeoning congressional investigation.

An Impeachable Offense
April 19, 2007

DOJ, White House pursued an aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout

WASHINGTON - For six years, the Bush administration, aided by Justice Department political appointees, has pursued an aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in ways that favor Republican political candidates.

The administration intensified its efforts last year as President Bush's popularity and Republican support eroded heading into a midterm battle for control of Congress, which the Democrats won.

Facing nationwide voter registration drives by Democratic-leaning groups, the administration alleged widespread election fraud and endorsed proposals for tougher state and federal voter identification laws. Presidential political adviser Karl Rove alluded to the strategy in April 2006 when he railed about voter fraud in a speech to the Republican National Lawyers Association.