Impeach Bush--Index 31

July 20, 2006
50% now believe Iraq had WMD and 64% now believe Saddam had ties to al-Qaeda. If Journalists were even reasonably good at their jobs, no one would believe these Bush lies.

Rove Blasts Journalists' Role in Politics
"There are some in politics who hold that voters are dumb, ill informed and easily misled, that voters can be manipulated by a clever ad or a smart line," said Rove, who is credited with President Bush's victories in the 2000 and 2004 elections. "I've seen this cynicism over the years from political professionals and journalists. American people are not policy wonks, but they have great instincts and try to do the right thing."

August 1, 2006
The Failure of Conservatism
In Why Conservatives Can't Govern political scientist Alan Wolfe observes. "Contemporary conservatism is a walking contradiction. Unable to shrink government but unwilling to improve it, conservatives attempt to split the difference, expanding government for political gain... The end result is not just bigger government, but more incompetent government."

July 21, 2006
Why does the GOP attract so many anti-Semites

Drunken Mel Gibson threatens officer with anti-Semitism
LOS ANGELES - A blitzed Mel Gibson launched into an obscenity-laced tirade when he was busted on suspicion of drunken driving early yesterday, threatening an officer and making anti-Semitic and sexually abusive remarks, according to a police report.

The "Passion of the Christ" director repeatedly said, "My life is f----d," according to the report by Los Angeles County Deputy James Mee, which was obtained by The celebrity news Web site posted excerpts of the handwritten report.

July 28, 2006
An Impeachable Offense
No act of congress car rewrite the constitution. All US citizens are guaranteed the right to a public trial and have charges brought against them by a Grand Jury.

Bush wants U.S. citizens suspected of terror ties detained indefinitely and barred from access to civilian courts
WASHINGTON - U.S. citizens suspected of terror ties might be detained indefinitely and barred from access to civilian courts under legislation proposed by the Bush administration, say legal experts reviewing an early version of the bill

July 31, 2006
This article tries to get it right, but can't get past the Israeli lobby. There's isn't one mention of Israeli atrocities against Lebanese citizens. Why? Do the deaths of Israeli soldiers have more value than hundreds of innocent civilians?

Why the Middle East Crisis Isn't Really About Terrorism
"Waging war in Iraq to combat terrorism has transformed Iraq into a nexus of terrorism it hadn't been before. Justifying the operation in Lebanon by putting Hizballah on the same terrorism shelf as al-Qaeda is getting radical Sunnis to back radical Shi'ites in a way we'd have never imagined." By failing to make distinctions between groups--differentiations that are clear to people who actually live with these various conflicts--Bush feeds Muslim paranoia that his war on terrorism is just a cover for a war on Islam. Says Brian Jenkins, a Rand Corp. counterterrorism expert: "We created an artificial composite of enemies. The reality is that we can't address each of these terror enterprises with this simplistic approach."

July 26, 2006
The sad fact is the entire media is pro Israel and they should be ashamed of themselves. Israel kills hundreds of civilians and it barely hits the news. One Israeli soldier is killed or kidnapped and it's headline news and reason for war. It's shameless pandering to the Israeli lobby.

Fox News (Officially) Abandons Journalism in the Middle East
Based on a review of the blatantly one-sided collection of guests and experts FNC has booked to discuss the conflict recently, it's obvious Fox News has opted to present an hermetically sealed version of events from the Middle East and spoon feed its viewers a preschool-like account of the news. Fox News has moved beyond the warmongering it trademarked during the run-up to the Iraq war in 2003 and slipped into a conscious, company-wide decision to purposely cordon off topics of discussion.

That the Middle East battle is told primarily through the eyes of Israelis is not surprising. American news organizations have more resources inside Israel, better sources within the Israeli government and most Americans clearly sympathize with the Israelis in their never-ending conflict with Arabs. And Fox News has certainly had its thumb on the scale. Last week Bill O'Reilly warned about a coming Holocaust. And during one of the endlessly looping FNC conversation about Iran's alleged puppet-like manipulation of Hezbelloh, Fox News' on-screen text asked, "Are Saddam Hussein's WMDs Now in Hezbollah's Hands?"

July 21, 2006
The reader needs to understand that US agencies, such as the "United States Agency for International Development" are just as corrupt and US companies.

Audit Finds U.S. Hid Actual Cost of Iraq Projects
BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 29 — The State Department agency in charge of $1.4 billion in reconstruction money in Iraq used an accounting shell game to hide ballooning cost overruns on its projects there and knowingly withheld information on schedule delays from Congress, a federal audit released late Friday has found.

The agency hid construction overruns by listing them as overhead or administrative costs, according to the audit, written by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, an independent office that reports to Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department.

Called the United States Agency for International Development, or A.I.D., the agency administers foreign aid projects around the world. It has been working in Iraq on reconstruction since shortly after the 2003 invasion.

July 27, 2006
Ms's Bush and Rice know how to read their assigned lines, but remain clueless about the real world in Iraq. These women should stay at home, in the kitchen.

Bechtel dropped from hospital contract in Iraq
In a gala for Project HOPE last October, Mrs. Bush praised the project, describing its plan for 94 beds, a state-of-the-art neonatal unit, a linear particle accelerator for radiation therapy and CAT scanners. Ms. Rice added that the hospital "will make a real difference, a life-saving and lasting difference, to the thousands of children and their families."

But like so many other reconstruction projects in Iraq, the hospital was blindsided by changing realities on the ground. Once considered a relatively tranquil section of Iraq, the south has become increasingly dangerous with the rise of Shiite militias in the past two years — so much so, said Mr. Mumm, the Bechtel official, that construction was often forced to shut down.

July 27, 2006
Bush is too inept to run the government and the GOP Congress is too lazy to do proper oversight. Why anyone votes for a republican is beyond me.

Homeland Security contracts oversight deemed poor
WASHINGTON - The Homeland Security Department spent $34 billion in its first two years on private contracts that were poorly managed or included significant waste or abuse, a congressional report concluded Thursday.

Faulty airport screening machines, unused mobile homes for hurricane victims and lavish employee office space — complete with seven kitchens, a gym and fancy artwork — were among 32 contracts on which Homeland Security overspent, the report found.

July 28, 2006
Sergeant Tells of Plot to Kill Iraqi Detainees
For more than a month after the killings, Sgt. Lemuel Lemus stuck to his story.

Then, on June 15, Sergeant Lemus offered a new and much darker account.

In a lengthy sworn statement, he said he had witnessed a deliberate plot by his fellow soldiers to kill the three handcuffed Iraqis and a cover-up in which one soldier cut another to bolster their story. The squad leader threatened to kill anyone who talked. Later, one guilt-stricken soldier complained of nightmares and "couldn't stop talking" about what happened, Sergeant Lemus said.

July 21, 2006
It's happening again. The right wing is able to get people to believe things that are not true.

Harris Poll - Untruths: 64% Think Saddam Had Strong Links to al-Qaeda and 50% think Iraq had WMD
Despite being widely reported in the media that the U.S. and other countries have not found any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, surprisingly; more U.S. adults (50%) think that Iraq had such weapons when the U.S. invaded Iraq. This is an increase from 36 percent in February 2005.

July 27, 2006

Fox News war-on-terror analyst steals $50 million from American taxpayers
Mike Battles — former Republican candidate for Congress in Rhode Island and Fox News war-on-terror analyst — figured he could make a quick fortune off the rebuilding of Iraq. So he and pal Scott Custer set up a contracting firm with the catchy name of Custer Battles. The company proceeded to steal a cool $50 million from American taxpayers, according to two of its 'employees. In March, Custer Battles became the first U.S. contractor to be found liable for fraud in Iraq.

Ex-employees now accuse two 'Pentagon officials of plotting with Custer Battles to set up shell companies that, among other things, sold arms on the Iraqi black market — weapons that could have been used against American troops. These startling charges come in a sealed federal lawsuit obtained by the Associated Press (AP).

The latest suit says that acting Navy Secretary Hansford Johnson and former acting Navy Undersecretary Douglas Combs were in on a scheme "to set up sham companies" to conceal Custer Battles's ownership and control, according to AP. Last year, one of those companies bought Danubia.

July 21, 2006
An Impeachable Offense
War crimes.

Soldiers Say Ordered to "kill all military age males"
EL PASO, Texas (AP) - Four U.S. soldiers accused of murdering suspected insurgents during a raid in Iraq said they were under orders to "kill all military age males," according to sworn statements obtained by The Associated Press.

The soldiers first took some of the men into custody because they were using two women and a toddler as human shields. They shot three of the men after the women and child were safe and say the men attacked them.

"The ROE (rule of engagement) was to kill all military age males on Objective Murray," Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard told investigators, referring to the target by its code name.

July 27, 2006
The role of the media in electing Bush can be reviewed at If you think "war for no reason" is appalling wait till you read how the press lied to us so they could have Bush as their president.

Bush Presidency: Failure Upon Failure
Imagine a surgeon who is completely clueless, who has no idea what he or she is doing.

Imagine a pilot who is equally incompetent.

Now imagine a president.

The Middle East is in flames. Iraq has become a charnel house, a crucible of horror with no end to the agony in sight. Lebanon is in danger of going down for the count. And the crazies in Iran, empowered by the actions of their enemies, are salivating like vultures. They can't wait to feast on the remains of U.S. policies and tactics spawned by a sophomoric neoconservative fantasy — that democracy imposed at gunpoint in Iraq would spread peace and freedom, like the flowers of spring, throughout the Middle East.

If a Democratic president had pursued exactly the same policies, and achieved exactly the same tragic results as George W. Bush, that president would have been the target of a ferocious drive for impeachment by the G.O.P.

July 28, 2006
Who Needs Congress or Courts With Bush in Charge?
July 28 (Bloomberg) -- Congress passes a law that says the U.S. won't torture people. The president says OK, we won't -- unless we really need to, thus adopting an exception Congress had specifically and vociferously rejected.

Congress passes the Sarbanes-Oxley law to reform business practices. In signing it, the president issues a statement to cut back on protection for corporate whistle-blowers.

Congress passes a law telling the administration to inform it on specific matters. The president issues statements saying he won't disclose anything he doesn't think he should.

So Congress tells him to notify it when he decides to ignore a law. He repeats that he will disclose only what he thinks he should, claiming, as he always does, constitutional authority to resist.

July 28, 2006
Previous republicans allowed Newt to stay in power after he lied under oath. Was that the time of republican ethics this author eludes to?

Republican Says We Need A Dem Congress
It has been difficult, nevertheless, to conclude as I have, that the Republican House leadership has been so unalterably corrupted by power and money that reasonable Republicans should support Democrats against DeLay-type Republican incumbents in 2006. Let me try to explain why. . . .

I have therefore reluctantly concluded that party loyalty should be set aside, and that it is in the best interests of the nation, and indeed the future of the Republican Party itself, to return control of the House to temporary Democrat control, if only to return the House for a time to the kind of ethics standards practiced by Republicans in former years.

July 28, 2006
An Impeachable Offense. Under the Conventions the Red Cross must be allowed to see all POW's. When the US hides the prison, it's impossible for the RC to do their jobs. It's a disgrace and a crime.

U.S. under fire for secret prisons
GENEVA, Switzerland (AP) -- The U.S. should immediately shut down any secret detention facilities and grant prompt access to the Red Cross to any person detained in connection with an armed conflict, a U.N. rights panel said in a report released Friday.

July 27, 2006
First rule of GOP governance - break it.

Two-thirds of Army combat brigades are not ready for wartime missions
WASHINGTON (AP) — Up to two-thirds of the Army's combat brigades are not ready for wartime missions, largely because they are hampered by equipment shortfalls, Democratic lawmakers said Wednesday, citing unclassified documents.

July 27, 2006
Judges that lie under oath during the Senate hearings should be impeached and removed from office. Roberts and Alito must be impeached and removed.

Threats Against Judges Are on the Rise
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Threats against federal judges are on a record-setting pace this year, nearly 18 months after the family of a federal judge was killed in Chicago.

This year alone, the Marshals Service has had 822 reports of inappropriate communications and threats, a pace that would top 1,000 for the year.

A threat typically includes a direct reference to harm, a weapon, or a violent act. Inappropriate communications range from rambling letters to accusations of bias to envelopes that contain feces.

July 27, 2006
Conservatives Without Conscience: 'is US on the road to fascism?'
John Dean's new book "Conservatives Without Conscience" is a sequel of sorts to his 2004 best seller, "Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush."

LOS ANGELES - John Dean, the White House lawyer who famously helped blow the whistle on the Watergate scandal that drove Richard Nixon from office, says the country has returned to an "imperial presidency" that is putting the United States and the world at risk.

In his new book, "Conservatives Without Conscience," Dean looks at Republican-controlled Washington and sees a bullying, manipulative, prejudiced leadership edging the nation toward a dark era.

"Are we on the road to fascism?" he writes. "Clearly, we are not on that road yet. But it would not take much more misguided authoritarian leadership, or thoughtless following of such leaders, to find ourselves there.

July 26, 2006
Afghanistan needs more troops, says envoy to U.S
NEW YORK, July 26 (Reuters) - Afghanistan needs more mobile foreign troops as it suffers its bloodiest phase in nearly five years, with militants gearing up to test NATO-led forces, the country's ambassador to the United States said on Wednesday.

"We see Taliban coming to Afghanistan in large numbers and there are a variety of reasons why we are witnessing that spike in terrorist activities", Jawad said.

July 28, 2006
Pentagon to deploy 5,000 more troops in Baghdad
In the wake of increased bloodsheds in Baghdad since mid-June and a failed crackdown by U.S. and Iraqi forces, U.S. President George W. Bush announced Tuesday he will boost U.S. military presence in Baghdad.

Earlier, Pentagon officials had said they will shift some U.S. forces to the capital from other locations in Iraq.

Withholding the departure of 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team also signals that the U.S. current troop levels in Iraq, about 127, 000, won't change in any time soon.

July 28, 2006
The economy almost always grows. Getting it to grow without government deficits OR inflation is the hard part.

Economy Slows Sharply, Inflation Heats Up
The 2.5 percent pace was the slowest since a 1.8 percent growth rate in final quarter of 2005, when the economy was suffering fallout from the devastating Gulf Coast hurricanes.

Even though the economy slowed in the second quarter, inflation heated up.

An inflation gauge closely watched by the Federal Reserve showed that core prices - excluding food and energy - jumped by 2.9 percent in the second quarter - far outside the Fed's comfort zone. That was up from a 2.1 percent increase in the first quarter and marked the highest inflation reading since the third quarter of 1994, when core inflation rose by 3.2 percent.

July 21, 2006
Ex-Pentagon Officials Accused of Fraud
Two former Pentagon officials, including an acting secretary of the Navy, have been accused of scheming with a banned American contractor to get lucrative rebuilding contracts in Iraq, The Associated Press has learned.

The contracting firm, Custer Battles LLC, was suspended two years ago by the military for submitting millions of dollars in fake invoices.

July 27, 2006
If you're super rich, call yourself republican or Christian, you can break just about any law these days.

Tax Fraud Is Not a Crime (If You're Rich)
Within the next 70 days, the IRS will permanently eliminate the jobs of half of the lawyers who audit the wealthiest Americans' tax returns.

According to internal IRS documents leaked to the New York Times by outraged IRS employees, six of whom agreed to be interviewed by the paper, the IRS is axing 157 of its 345 estate tax lawyers and 17 support personnel.

July 27, 2006
We can only hope there's a special place in hell for people who call themselves Christian and vote republican.

GOP Christians hit new low in Ohio gubernatorial campaign
The e-mail, obtained by The Dispatch, was sent to an undisclosed group of GOP supporters — with instructions to forward it to others — by Gary Lankford, whom the party hired in July as its "social conservative coordinator." He was paid $16,000 as a "voter contact consultant" for the primary-election campaign of GOP gubernatorial candidate J. Kenneth Blackwell before taking the party job.

Among other things, the e-mail says Strickland married his wife, Frances, at 46, has no children and lives apart from her. It also links readers to an Internet blog that directly questions the sexual orientation of both Stricklands and notes accusations he is "soft on those who sexually assault children."

July 25, 2006
The GOP stands for pork barrel spending, always has and always will. That's why deficits soar under republican presidents.

GOP Stressing Pork, Not The Party
Republican incumbents around the country are talking up how they brought big government's largess to their constituents.

It doesn't matter that they claim to be against that very same big government. Faced this year with a choice between running on their party's record and delivering pork, they'll take pork.

July 26, 2006
For One Senate Candidate, the 'R' Is a 'Scarlet Letter'
The candidate, immersed in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country, sat down to lunch yesterday with reporters at a Capitol Hill steakhouse and shared his views about this year's political currents.

On the Iraq war: "It didn't work. . . . We didn't prepare for the peace."

On the response to Hurricane Katrina: "A monumental failure of government."

On the national mood: "There's a palpable frustration right now in the country."

It's all fairly standard Democratic boilerplate -- except the candidate is a Republican.

July 25, 2006
From Planning to Warfare to Occupation, How Iraq Went Wrong
By virtue of the author's wealth of sources within the American military and the book's comprehensive timeline (beginning with the administration's inflammatory statements about Saddam Hussein in the wake of 9/11, through the invasion and occupation, to the escalating religious and ethnic strife that afflicts the country today), "Fiasco" is absolutely essential reading for anyone interested in understanding how the United States came to go to war in Iraq, how a bungled occupation fed a ballooning insurgency and how these events will affect the future of the American military.

July 24, 2006
The GOP thinks national security is a tool to be used against political opponents.

No Security Clearances Revoked Over Plame
WASHINGTON — No one in the Bush administration has been stripped of security clearances over the leak of former CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity to reporters three years ago.

In a letter to Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., the CIA said it had no record of anyone in the administration who is no longer privy to the nation's most sensitive secrets because of the Plame leak.

July 24, 2006
Specter Preparing to Sue Bush
WASHINGTON (AP) - A powerful Republican committee chairman who has led the fight against President Bush's signing statements said Monday he would have a bill ready by the end of the week allowing Congress to sue him in federal court.

"We will submit legislation to the United States Senate which will...authorize the Congress to undertake judicial review of those signing statements with the view to having the president's acts declared unconstitutional," Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said on the Senate floor.

May 28, 2006
An Impeachable Offense

Cheney aide Addington is architect of illegal "signing statements"
The officials said Cheney's legal adviser and chief of staff, David Addington, is the Bush administration's leading architect of the "signing statements" the president has appended to more than 750 laws. The statements assert the president's right to ignore the laws because they conflict with his interpretation of the Constitution.

July 25, 2006
Iraqi Speaker Calls Americans Butchers
BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 22 — The speaker of the Iraqi Parliament criticized the American government's involvement in Iraq on Saturday, likening the invasion and its consequences to "the work of butchers" and demanding that the American authorities disentangle themselves from Iraq's political affairs.

The speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, a Sunni Islamist who quickly developed a reputation for provocative public comments after his election in late April, also said the American government wanted Iraq "to stay under the American boot."

"We know there was a corrupt regime in Saddam, but a regime should be removed by surgery, not by butchering," he said during a speech at a United Nations-sponsored conference on transitional justice. "The U.S. occupation is butcher's work under the slogan of democracy and human rights and justice."

July 23, 2006
Bush's opinions about the # of stem cell lines available for research were based on opinion that were not true. Just like WMD, tax cuts, surpluses, deficits, balanced budgets and paying down the debt and a fake threat to our national security.

Bush's anti-intellectual, callously cynical stem cell veto
I could not decide if I was more offended by the President's anti-intellectualism, his imposition of his moral convictions on the nation, or his callous cynicism.

This is the President who, in his Commencement Address at his alma mater, Yale University, bragged that his mediocre academic record had not impeded his career. He is proud of the fact that he rarely reads books. And he apparently has no interest in scientific advances. It is as if he said, "I made up my mind five years ago. Don't confuse me with anything that has happened since." Our nation cannot afford to ignore advances in science. The work of scientists on embryonic stem cell lines has shown great promise in curing diseases that afflict literally millions of Americans. To the President, apparently, that work is irrelevant.

July 23, 2006
Pro torture democrats MUST be defeated. One immoral party is enough.

No More Joe - 'Dead Wrong' On The War And Defense Of Bush, White House Excesses
His blind support of the Iraq war, begun illegally and a continuing catastrophe, is monstrous.

And his defense of an incompetent president, a vice president who fits the dictionary definition of fascism and an extremist administration that has perpetrated torture, illegal eavesdropping and a general shredding of the Constitution is insulting to the people who elected him in the first place.

July 17, 2006
Nothing new. When was the last time a republican knew what he was talking about? WMD, tax cuts, surpluses, deficits, balanced budgets?

Rep. Harman: Specter Legislating in the Dark
Senator Arlen Specter is a careful lawyer who has been one of the few Republicans willing to take on the President when he sees an executive branch power-grab.

That's why I was so disappointed to read his legislation on the NSA program. Not only does it fail to force the President to comply with the law, but it actually authorizes the President to make an end-run around FISA and gives him a blank check to conduct warrantless spying on Americans.

The Bush Administration has refused to brief Senator Specter on the details of the NSA program. As a result, he's legislating in the dark.

July 25, 2006
American Bar Association Report on Presidential Signing Statements
RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association opposes, as contrary to the rule of law, and our constitutional system of separation of powers, the issuance of presidential signing statements that claim the authority or state the intention to disregard or decline to enforce all or part of a law the President has signed, or to interpret such a law in a manner inconsistent with the clear intent of Congress

July 25, 2006
An Impeachable Offense
Bush is violating the constitution and where are the courts, the congress and the media? Asleep as usual. Not much has changed.

American Bar Association: Bush signing statements violate constitution
President George Bush's practice of writing exceptions to legislation as he signs it into law represents a violation of the constitution and a danger to democracy, America's leading lawyers alleged yesterday.

The American Bar Association, an independent lawyers' organisation, issued a report on President Bush's prolific use of "signing statements" and found he was using them to create unconstitutional loopholes to laws passed by Congress.

July 22, 2006
The GOP is bent on destroying our planet and bankrupting our country. Will they delete references to their deficit spending next?

NASA mission statement deletes reference to understanding Planet Earth
From 2002 until this year, NASA's mission statement, prominently featured in its budget and planning documents, read: "To understand and protect our home planet; to explore the universe and search for life; to inspire the next generation of explorers ... as only NASA can."

In early February, the statement was quietly altered, with the phrase "to understand and protect our home planet" deleted. In this year's budget and planning documents, the agency's mission is "to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research."

July 23, 2006
More war crimes.

UN: Israel bombing breaks humanitarian law
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Israeli bombing of a Beirut neighborhood where Hizbollah had its headquarters has breached humanitarian law, a senior U.N. official said on Sunday.

"It is horrific. I did not know it was block after block of houses," Jan Egeland, the U.N. emergency relief coordinator, told reporters as he toured the shattered Haret Hreik district. "It makes it a violation of humanitarian law."

September 29, 2002 (posted July 25, 2006)
Mr. Bush, What about Israel's defiance of UN Resolutions?
Dear Mr. President:

As we watched your speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 12, 2002, we were struck by the ironic proximity of the Israeli and Iraqi delegations. Ironic, because many of the accusations you leveled against Iraq could, with ample justification, be directed toward Israel.

We commend you for calling upon the United Nations to prove its relevance in keeping peace and harmony among nations in today's world. In order to maintain United States credibility in the international arena, we expect that you and the United Nations would apply to Israel the same standards of compliance with provisions of the UN Charter. The Israeli leadership continues to defy countless UN resolutions pertaining to its policies and military tactics of the past 35 years.

July 22, 2006
Israel is engaged in ethnic cleansing - a war crime.

'Christians, Muslims, we're all together now because of the war . . . we're all Lebanese
While Shia refugees from the Hezbollah-controlled south were pouring into Zgharta, none went to the nearby village of Bcharré. The reason: Zgharta is dominated by supporters of Suleiman Franjieh, the head of a Christian faction that is pro-Syria and allied with Hezbollah. Bcharré is near the hometown of Samir Geagea, the head of a rival faction that is vehemently anti-Syria and blames Hezbollah for instigating the conflict with Israel.

It's happening across the country, refugees from the south are pouring into areas that are seen as under the control of pro-Syrian forces, such as Mr. Franjieh's faction and that of General Michel Aoun, another Christian leader. Meanwhile, areas where anti-Syrian political blocks hold sway — including Mr. Geagea's faction and the main Druze and Sunni groupings — have been almost entirely untouched by the conflict.

July 21, 2006
The other side of the coin.

Opinion: Lebanon let terrorists thrive, now gets its due
Lebanon's elected leaders will not do the thing that Israel has begged them to do for years: put the Lebanese army on the southern border, and disarm Hezbollah in accordance with a U.N. resolution calling for the disbanding of all militias within Lebanon).

July 23, 2006
Very good history of conflict dating back to the 1940's.

Opinion: Lebanon has shown its desire for peace
Throughout the last three decades, the people who live along Lebanon's border with Israel have suffered repeated shelling, terrorist attacks and occupation. In contrast, Israel's borders with Egypt, Jordan and Syria have remained largely quiet. Since the recent abduction of two Israeli servicemen by the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, however, international attention has returned to this extremely troubled region.

June 30, 2006 (posted July 25, 2006)
Why is it headline news when ONE Israeli soldier is kidnaped?

Palestinians demand Israel release 1,000 prisoners
GAZA (Reuters) - Palestinian militant factions who captured an Israeli soldier demanded on Saturday that Israel free 1,000 prisoners from its jails and end an assault on Gaza launched to win the soldier's release.

July 21, 2006
Judge Declines to Dismiss Lawsuit Against AT&T
A federal judge yesterday rejected the government's effort to throw out a lawsuit about its warrantless surveillance program, arguing that a dismissal of the case would restrict civil liberties without strengthening national security.

The class-action suit against AT&T Inc., filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in January, alleges that the nation's largest phone company collaborated with the federal government in an illegal domestic spying program to monitor Americans' phone calls and e-mails.

July 21, 2006
Another Holocaust - this one started by the Jews.

Willful Fantasies and Reality in Today's Mideast Conflict
Israelis are reading off of the same script they wrote decades ago. In 1982, for example, they convinced themselves that by using overwhelming force they would, as General Eitan put it, once and for all "crush the head and break the fingers" of the Palestinian resistance and then turn establish a relationship with a pacified Lebanon.

Their long and brutal assault on Lebanon, however, yielded a very different outcome.

After 18,000 Lebanese and Palestinian deaths and the massive destruction of Lebanon, up to and including West Beirut, the PLO was forced to leave the country. But the story was far from over.

The Lebanese President elected under the cloud of this war did sign a peace agreement with Israel. But then in rapid succession: this Lebanese President was assassinated; Lebanese militia, with the support of Israel, massacred hundreds of Palestinians in the Sabra & Shatila refugee camps; world-wide revulsion forced Israel to redeploy to the area of the south of Lebanon they had occupied since 1978; and the Lebanese civil war continued to rage for another 8 years.

July 20, 2006
An Impeachable Offense
Dictators don't need congress or the courts. Had Congress not abdicate its powers to Bush we wouldn't be in this mess.

Lawmakers Chide Bush Over F-16 Sale
(AP) Lawmakers accused the Bush administration Thursday of rushing a sale of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, saying Congress' role in approving arms sales had been compromised. Opponents acknowledged they could do little stop the $5 billion deal.

Democrats and Republicans lashed out at the State Department for giving them only 30 days to consider the deal; that period runs out next week. The administration, they say, failed to provide a traditional extra 20 days.

July 22, 2006
U.S. Speeds Up Bomb Delivery for the Israelis
WASHINGTON, July 21 — The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, American officials said Friday.

The decision to quickly ship the weapons to Israel was made with relatively little debate within the Bush administration, the officials said. Its disclosure threatens to anger Arab governments and others because of the appearance that the United States is actively aiding the Israeli bombing campaign in a way that could be compared to Iran's efforts to arm and resupply Hezbollah.

July 22, 2006
Israeli troops raid Lebanese village
ON THE ISRAEL-Lebanon BORDER - Hundreds of Israeli troops moved in and out of Lebanon Saturday, taking control of a village and engaging Hezbollah militants by land, sea and air as part of the country's limited ground campaign.

July 13, 2006
U.S. to compensate Afghan accident victims $112,000
KABUL, Afghanistan - The U.S. military said Thursday it was paying $112,000 in compensation to victims of a traffic accident involving an American cargo truck that sparked the deadliest riot in Kabul in years.

A statement issued by the military said the payments for 24 claims of property and personal damage related to the May 29 traffic accident demonstrated the U.S. government's "commitment to responsibility and accountability for the actions of U.S. armed forces."

The U.S. military had accepted 26 claims for compensatory damages for the traffic accident under the Foreign Claims Act, the statement said. Some 14 claims had been settled and 10 others had been approved awaiting payment — in total $112,651.

Bush Gropes German Chancellor

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July 20, 2006
Sharp rise in Baghdad violence reported
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Bombings and shootings soared by 40 percent in the Baghdad area in the past week, the U.S. military said Thursday. An American general said extremists were preparing "an all-out assault" on the capital in a decisive battle for the future of Iraq.

July 20, 2006
The US can't do anything. Our military is tied down in a winless war and we've lost our moral standing (unless some still think killing innocent civilians is moral).

Somali Islamists poised to gain total control of country
The Islamic militia that seized control of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, last month has said it is on the verge of capturing the base of the country's powerless interim government.

July 19, 2006
Why are republicans so dumb. They're forced to believe things that are demonstrably not true.

Experts rip Rove stem cell remark
But Rove's negative appraisal of embryonic stem cell research--echoed by many opponents of funding for such research--is inaccurate, according to most stem cell research scientists, including a dozen contacted for this story.

July 19, 2006
Bush should stop this shit in Iraq.

Bush's Profane Middle East Gaffe: Let them Get Syria to Get Hezbollah to Stop Doing this Shit
Chatting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair over lunch, Bush said "What they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit, and it's over."

July 18, 2006
An Impeachable Offense

Bush blocked Justice Dept. review of spy program
WASHINGTON (Reuters) President Bush prevented an investigation earlier this year by Justice Department ethics lawyers of his warrantless domestic spying program, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified on Tuesday.

July 17, 2006.
Blair mocked as U.S. poodle
"Yo, Bush! Start treating our prime minister with respect," the Daily Mirror said, joining others in seeing the U.S. president's greeting as disrespectful.

The broadcast chat "reinforces the damaging public image of Blair as the U.S. president's poodle", it said.

July 19, 2006
Al-Qaida regrouping, on the march
In the ensuing four years since the attack, the organization has evolved into what bin Laden set out to create: a fractured, worldwide movement inspired by bin Laden and united by a single vision, as well as a central organization that continues to direct the implementation of terrorist attacks.

"To the idea al-Qaida is on the run -- how can that be if al-Qaida was directly responsible for the most consequential terrorist incident of the last year? (The London bombings) was not Sept. 11 but it was still a very significant attack," Hoffman said. "It's wishful thinking."

July 20, 2006
Israel kills hundreds of civilians with impunity. It should be banned from the world of nations.

500,000 Lebanese flee the carnage
The first signs of a full-blown humanitarian disaster emerged with an estimated 500,000 Lebanese driven from their homes. Many civilians have been killed as they tried to flee the fighting, with Israel announcing that it regarded vehicles as legitimate targets.

July 19, 2006
The Butcher of Baghdad is GWB.

U.N.: 14,000 Iraqis killed in 2006
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- More than 14,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq in the first half of this year, an ominous figure reflecting the fact that "killings, kidnappings and torture remain widespread" in the war-torn country, a United Nations report says.

July 19, 2006
An Impeachable Offense

Student protests on a database tracking foreign terrorism
A federal Department of Homeland Security agent passed along information about student protests against military recruiters at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz, landing the demonstrations on a database tracking foreign terrorism, according to government documents released Tuesday.

July 13, 2006
Will the media ever stop using euphemisms. POWs are not detainees.

Will US military treat detainees differently now?
But so far as he is concerned, Tuesday's memo will not usher in sweeping changes in how the military treats detainees. Rather, its significance is in the message that the United States is abandoning its efforts to exploit a legal gray area outside the Geneva Conventions and is willing to embrace the increased safeguards against torture that the document represents.

Note: there are NO legal gray areas when it comes to abusing POWs. The media should stop lying. Torture is and always has been banned by the Conventions.

July 13, 2006
Army reshapes training to spare enlistees the boot
"You'll get guys who have never run a mile," Hilferty said of some recruits. "Rather than throw them out, we said, 'Let's change the training so we don't injure them.' "

July 13, 2006
Very good.

The southern third of Afghanistan ungovernable after Taliban take control
"I will not tolerate warlords," insisted the new president to me in 2002, adding jokingly, "I'll hang them all!" Yet they have found themselves named as ministers, governors and police chiefs.

July 13, 2006
Won't happen. 24-hour news requires pre-packaged sound bites. The days of going out and getting the news and then reporting it is over. CNN, like Fox simply repeats what the AP writes.

Fighting back against the PR presidency
The Summer 2006 issue of Nieman Reports is about 'Reflections on Courage.' Veteran Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus thinks that Washington editors and reporters should be brave enough not to cover any statements made by the president or any other government official that are designed solely as a public relations tool, offering no new or valuable information to the public.

July 14, 2006
Why is it so hard for a 24-hour news station to give us news?

CNN's Lebanon Problem
Thanks to CNN, I'd learned that Israeli forces had bombed Beirut International Airport and a blockade was in place to cut off Lebanon's ports, that president Bush announced Israel had the right to defend herself, that Hezbollah had fired missiles into the seaside city of Haifa, and that an Israeli woman in Nahariya had been killed amidst the cross-border violence. But I hadn't learned many details about the more than four dozen civilians in Lebanon being killed, a fact that struck me as central to the unfolding story.

July 14, 2006
As long as the US arms one side of the conflict the US can't broker peace. If the US wanted to stop the endless war, the first thing we'd have to do is bomb Israel. If we bombed Israel all the fighting would stop in a second.

US Must Act To Stop Mideast Escalation
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has unconvincingly urged restraint, but does little to back up that call. Meanwhile, President George Bush has sounded more like Israel's coat holder and cheerleader, alternately pointing fingers at Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran, appearing to give Israel "carte blanche" to "defend" itself. Thus the damage done by Israel's asymmetric power edge has been amplified by our own asymmetries of compassion and pressure--Israel gets the compassion, while pressure is reserved for the Arabs.

July 13, 2006
I'll never accuse a republican president of being smart.

Welcome to the Hornets' Nest
By our justified overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan, though unsuccessful decapitation of al Qaeda, we removed a thorn in Iran's side. By removing Saddam Hussein, we removed a thorn in Iran's other side.

July 13, 2006
Fox doesn't do news. Its opinion show hosts spew lies.

O'Reilly, Ingraham baselessly attacked NY Times for publishing photo of Rumsfeld's summer home
Bill O'Reilly and Laura Ingraham baselessly attacked the The New York Times for publishing a photo of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's vacation home. In fact, Rumsfeld's public affairs director confirmed that he granted the Times permission to run the photo, the Secret Service confirmed that the photo "is not a threat" to Rumsfeld's security, and numerous media -- including Fox News -- had previously reported the location of Rumsfeld's residence. Further, a nearly identical photo ran in The Washington Post six months earlier.

July 13, 2006
Previous generations werent ashamed to honor their war dead. This is the first that fears this truth. Shame on the GOP. Besides, it's not news until republicans say it's news. Shame on the media.

Republicans blast Emanuel for coffin pictures
WASHINGTON -- More than a dozen Republicans angrily denounced Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) Thursday for his decision to air video of flag-draped coffins of American troops as part of a fundraising appeal for Democratic House candidates.

July 12, 2006
Will the WH ask congress to raise taxes to pay for this spending? Hell no. Being a republican means you have a license to be inept, incompetent and irresponsible.

Administration might seek $110 billion more for Iraq, Afghanistan
The White House might ask Congress for another $110 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan early next year, according to the Bush administration's annual "mid-session" budget review released Tuesday.

That includes a fiscal 2007 supplemental request in the $60 billion range, followed by another $50 billion "bridge fund" as part of the regular fiscal 2008 budget to fund military operations through the first part of that fiscal year.

July 12, 2006
FEMA worked until Bush became president and the problem is FEMA? Good grief. Another bout of insanity hit Washington. Let's hope it's not as contagious as the last strain.

Senate Votes to Replace FEMA With a New Federal Agency
Final passage of the bill by Congress is far from assured. The House is still considering legislation proposed by Representative Don Young, Republican of Alaska, that would keep FEMA but move it outside the Homeland Security Department, returning it to the more prominent, stand-alone status it had during the Clinton administration.

July 15, 2006
One wonders if GOP voters admire their leaders after they abuse classified information.

Wilson's sues Rove, Libby and Cheney
She and her husband filed a civil lawsuit Thursday in U.S. District Court accusing Cheney, Rove, former top Cheney aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and other unnamed government officials of violating Plame's and Wilson's constitutional rights, invading their privacy, endangering their children and ruining their careers.

June 30, 2006
Note to right wing nuts. Leaks are bad when the NY Times report them, but good when the WSJ prints them.

What are the obligations of the press in wartime?
The Times decided to publish anyway, letting Mr. Fratto know about its decision a week ago Wednesday. The Times agreed to delay publishing by a day to give Mr. Fratto a chance to bring the appropriate Treasury official home from overseas. Based on his own discussions with Times reporters and editors, Mr. Fratto says he believed "they had about 80% of the story, but they had about 30% of it wrong." So the Administration decided that, in the interest of telling a more complete and accurate story, they would declassify a series of talking points about the program. They discussed those with the Times the next day, June 22.

Around the same time, Treasury contacted Journal reporter Glenn Simpson to offer him the same declassified information. Mr. Simpson has been working the terror finance beat for some time, including asking questions about the operations of Swift, and it is a common practice in Washington for government officials to disclose a story that is going to become public anyway to more than one reporter. Our guess is that Treasury also felt Mr. Simpson would write a straighter story than the Times, which was pushing a violation-of-privacy angle; on our reading of the two June 23 stories, he did.

July 13, 2006
Put simply, the editors of the WSJ simply lie. They're republican. Does anyone expect a republican to tell the truth?

Civil War at the The Wall Street Journal
How many times is the publisher of the Wall Street Journal, one of America's truly great journalistic enterprises, going to allow the right-wing ideologues on the paper's editorial page embarrass the company and diminish the extraordinary work done by the news team? The question's relevant again because editorial page has produced another spectacle. The twist this time is the Journal's own newsroom is on the receiving end of the slime and reporters there want somebody at the Journal to stand up and denounce the reckless behavior of the extreme right editorial page. So far though, the silence emanating from managing editor Paul Steiger's office has ricocheted around the newsroom.

July 12, 2006
Fake scandals during the Clinton years, fake threats to our national security, fake surpluses, fake WMD and now fake debates. Do republicans live in the real world? do they care if their leaders live in the real world?

Graham fabricated Senate debate
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham may have a future as a fiction writer.

He's being accused of fabricating a Senate debate and sending it to the U.S. Supreme Court, which didn't think much of the work. The high court dismissed it.

July 12, 2006
Fox doesn't do news, it does propaganda. The AP should stop selling its service to Fox, then they'll have to make up all their news.

Fox bans AP photographers
NEW YORK - The Associated Press is protesting plans by Fox to bar photographers from its news conferences at the Television Critics Association press tour and says it will not cover the events unless the network changes the policy.

July 12, 2006
An Impeachable Offense
Do you need more proof that no conservative should ever sit on the bench?

Justice Department Lawyer To Congress: 'The President Is Always Right'
The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday heard testimony from Steven Bradbury, head of the Justice Department's office of legal counsel. When questioned by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on whether the President's interpretation of the Hamdan case was right or wrong, Bradbury replied, "The President is always right."

July 12, 2006
Right wing nuts now say we have proof of WMD in Iraq. The rewriting of history has begun. If they succeed, they'll make Bush look as good as Reagan (both of whom were imbeciles )

Hoekstra: U.S. overclassifying Iraq papers
Hoekstra believes the intelligence community has abdicate its responsibility to review the confiscated documents as part of a lessons-learned study on the state of Iraq before the U.S.-led invasion. Instead, he said, the government is leaving the work to a "cottage industry" of private sector experts.

With such a review, Hoekstra suspects new details about the regime's ugly behavior could emerge. He pointed to one 1998 document about a standing order to hide or destroy information on Iraq's weapons to stifle United Nations weapons inspectors.

July 11, 2006
Pay Scale: White House Raises
President Bush's most senior aides -- the ones who hold the coveted title of "assistant to the president" -- recently received a $4,200 cost-of-living bump-up in compensation and now earn a top pay rate of $165,200, according to an internal White House list of staff salaries.

July 13, 2006
I've always marveled at how well conservatives can rewrite their own words and history. Bush and the GOP are failures because they lie. Carlson knows they're liars, yet now he says Bush tells the truth. Amazing.

Tucker Carlson: Bush's truth-telling "is exactly what's needed around the world"
On MSNBC, Tucker Carlson claimed that "one of the few redeeming things about" Bush is his "bravado," because "telling the truth is exactly what's needed around the world." But Carlson himself has questioned the usefulness of Bush's "overconfidence" and the truthfulness of the Bush administration's rhetoric prior to the invasion of Iraq.

July 12, 2006
Never forget the role of the media in all these lies. They were his biggest cheer leaders.

Book Review: "The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina"
NEW YORK A new book by New York Times columnist Frank Rich, "The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina" will be published by Penguin on Sept. 26. In the book, Rich delivers a savaging sermon on the US government's "rampant cronyism, the empty sloganeering of 'compassionate conservatism,' the reckless lack of planning for all government operations except tax cuts"—and so much more.

July 12, 2006
Robert Novak, Traitor to His Country; Traitor to His Profession
Harlow, the former CIA spokesman, said in an interview yesterday that he testified last year before a grand jury about conversations he had with Novak at least three days before the column was published.  He said he warned Novak, in the strongest terms he was permitted to use without revealing classified information, that Wilson's wife had not authorized the mission and that if he did write about it, her name should not be revealed.

July 13, 2006
Another "holier than thou" bites the dust.

Creationist arrested on tax evasion
A Pensacola evangelist was arrested Thursday and indicted in federal court on 58 charges that include income tax evasion, making threats against investigators and filing false complaints against Internal Revenue Service agents.

July 14, 2006
If you're still not sure the "war on terror" is a joke, like WMD, this is a must read

At least the popcorn factory is safe
The inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, in a report released this week and described first in the New York Times, spotlighted problems with the department's database of sites deemed to be of national or local importance. Among the sites listed: the Amish Country Popcorn Factory (in Berne, Ind.), the Groundhog Zoo (in Punxsutawney, Pa.), Sweetwater Flea Market (in Sweetwater, Tenn.) and Old MacDonald's Petting Zoo (in Woodville, Ala.). Among the anomalies cited: Washington state lists more national monuments and icons (65) than Washington, D.C. (37); New Mexico claims the lion's share of the information technology sector (553 assets), with Virginia coming in second (68); Indiana boasts more assets (8,591) than any other state, including New York (5,687). Among the questions raised: Why are mortuaries, water parks and jails included in the inventory?

July 13, 2006
Baghdad starts to collapse as its people flee a life of death
In fact the US military generally responds only to request for support from Iraqi security forces. But as many of those forces are at best turning a blind eye to the Shia death squads, and at worst colluding with them, calling the Americans is literally the last thing they do.

West Baghdad is no stranger to bombings and killings, but in the past few days all restraint has vanished in an orgy of ethnic cleansing.