Impeach Bush--Index 59

This is the same military that took years investigation gross violations of the Geneva Conventions by US soldiers and commanders, but in a few days was able to recommend a discharge for someone who tells the truth about the liar who took us to war and the liars who continue to command that illegal war.

June 4, 2007

Military Panel Suggested Discharge for Anti-War Marine

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A military panel has recommended a general discharge for an Iraq war veteran who wore his uniform during a war protest and later responded with an obscenity to a superior who told him he might have violated military rules.

"This is a nonpunitive discharge," said Col. Patrick McCarthy, chief of staff for the mobilization command. "The most stringent discharge that could have been received is other than honorable, and the board chose to raise that up to a general discharge."

The media continues to ignore the fact that Bush's war on terror isn't finding or prosecuting any real terrorists.

An Impeachable Offense
June 5, 2007

The dysfunctional tribunals

The Bush administration could have saved itself a lot of grief, and the United States a lot of embarrassment, by adhering to the Geneva Convention and other treaties on the treatment of prisoners of war.

But, instead, the administration decided that prisoners taken in the war on terror, principally in Afghanistan, would be tried by a special process it threw together for that purpose. The first try was nothing but a kangaroo court. Since then, the system has been through several refinements and, five years later, it still doesn't work.

There has been only one conviction, and that a plea bargain leading to the defendant's serving a nine-month sentence in his native Australia.

Even an oaf knows global warming poses a bigger threat to our national security than terrorism ever has. So what is Bush doing about it? He's insuring we don't have accurate scientific data, which would be similar to gutting our intelligence agencies so they'd give him what he wanted to hear about WMD.

An Impeachable Offense
June 4, 2007

The Bush administration scales back climate science via satellites

"Unfortunately, the recent loss of climate sensors ... places the overall climate program in serious jeopardy," NOAA and NASA scientists told the White House in the Dec. 11 report obtained by the AP.

The reduced system of four satellites will now focus on weather forecasting. Most of the climate instruments needed to collect more precise data over long periods are being eliminated.

Instead, the Pentagon and two partners — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA — will rely on European satellites for most of the climate data.

But seven other separate climate sensors are still being eliminated or substantially downgraded by lower-quality equipment to save money, according to the report to the White House. Most of the satellites, which were scheduled to launch starting next year, have been delayed to between 2013 and 2026.

The Federal Reserve remains utterly delusional about what's really going on in the economy - prices are soaring, or put another way, we have massive inflation working its way through our entire economy. If the Fed doesn't increase interest rates to combat this inflation (caused by Bush's war and high energy costs associated with war in the Middle East) we're heading towards stagflation, followed by a very deep recession.

It's important to remember that US wages adjusted for inflation stopped increasing in 1973 when the first oil shock started. In other words we still haven't recovered.

June 4, 2007

Food Prices Increasing 7%

Rising gasoline prices have been getting all the attention, but the cost of another, more-important staple is actually rising even more: food.

In the past year, food prices have increased 3.7 percent and are on track to jump by as much as 7 percent by year's end. The current increase is more than double the 1.8 percent jump seen the year before, according to the consumer price index.

Meanwhile, gas prices rose 2.9 percent. Only the cost of health care rose more, and then just slightly.

Since US commanders are now giving amnesty to insurgents/terrorists and they're under orders to seek a cease fire with insurgents/terrorists. For all practical purposes the war is coming to an end and what the Dems are doing has little value. They pissed off the entire anti war movement and they think a few hearings and votes will change our opinions...they're in for a rude awaking. They had a chance to make things happen and didn't do anything. Now the GOP is bailing on Bush and that's what's forcing the change in policy.

June 4, 2007

Democrats plan a Capitol assault over Iraq

"The debate on Iraq will continue," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said last week. Pelosi, who in March helped push Democrats to embrace a withdrawal of American combat forces, has pledged that the House will vote on numerous measures aimed at ending the war.

Tom Matzzie, campaign manager for Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, the leading coalition against the war, promised an equally unpleasant summer for Republicans whenever they return home.

For all practical purposes the war in Iraq is winding down and now Guantanamo is exposed for what it's always been - a farce and gross violation of US and International Law.

June 4, 2007

Two Guantanamo POWs' Cases Thrown Out

All Things Considered, June 4, 2007 · U.S. military judges have thrown out terrorism-related charges against two prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The rulings could jeopardize the Bush administration's efforts to mount war-crimes tribunals at the detention camp.

The cases were dismissed as the government sought to arraign two Guantanamo detainees, 20-year-old Omar Khadr, charged with the murder of a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan, and Salin Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemeni national who the military says was a driver for Osama bin Laden.

Both trials quickly collapsed when two separate judges dismissed all charges against the men.

Only three people have been charged with terrorism and yet the Bush White House says it's absolutely necessary to keep the prison open. In what world does this man live? Why hasn't the Supreme Court or the cowards in congress done anything to shut it down?

An Impeachable Offense
June 5, 2007

U.S. terror system in limbo after Khadr ruling

A military judge dropped a legal bombshell by dismissing the charges against Omar Khadr, leaving his future in limbo and rocking an already embattled terror system established by the U.S. administration.

Monday's surprise ruling doesn't put 20-year-old Khadr any closer to a trial or release, but the decision could derail the heavily criticized terror tribunals.

On Monday, the judge dismissed the charges against the Canadian native, who has been held at Guantanamo Bay for five years, and the charges brought against Yemen's Salmi Ahmed Hamdam, who was accused of being al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's chauffeur.

May 31, 2007

RNC hit with grass-roots donors' rebellion

The Republican National Committee, hit by a grass-roots donors' rebellion over President Bush's immigration policy, has fired all 65 of its telephone solicitors, Ralph Z. Hallow will report Friday in The Washington Times.

Faced with an estimated 40 percent fall-off in small-donor contributions and aging phone-bank equipment that the RNC said would cost too much to update, Anne Hathaway, the committee's chief of staff, summoned the solicitations staff last week and told them they were out of work, effective immediately, the fired staffers told The Times.

June 4, 2007

Anti-war Marine blasts military

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - An Iraq war veteran accused the Marine Corps on Monday of causing a "disgusting waste of government resources" by holding a hearing about whether he should be punished for wearing his uniform during a war protest.

Marine Corps officials argue they are enforcing military codes in the case of Cpl. Adam Kokesh.

Kokesh, 25, participated in an anti-war demonstration in Washington in March. When he was identified in a photo caption in The Washington Post, a superior officer sent him an e-mail saying he might have violated a rule prohibiting troops from wearing uniforms without authorization. Kokesh responded with a letter that contained an obscenity.

June 4, 2007

Commanders Say Surge Isn't Working

BAGHDAD, June 3 — Three months after the start of the Baghdad security plan that has added thousands of American and Iraqi troops to the capital, they control fewer than one-third of the city's neighborhoods, far short of the initial goal for the operation, according to some commanders and an internal military assessment.

The American assessment, completed in late May, found that American and Iraqi forces were able to "protect the population" and "maintain physical influence over" only 146 of the 457 Baghdad neighborhoods.

In the remaining 311 neighborhoods, troops have either not begun operations aimed at rooting out insurgents or still face "resistance," according to the one-page assessment, which was provided to The New York Times and summarized reports from brigade and battalion commanders in Baghdad.

June 4, 2007

Gas Exceeds Food, Housing, Health Care and Entertainment

But for those living paycheck to paycheck, rising gasoline prices can mean the difference between being able to pay bills and going into debt.

On average, U.S. households spent 3.6% of their after-tax income on gasoline in 2005, the period of most recent data. That trails expenses for food, housing, health care and entertainment.

June 3, 2007

Mercenary firms fear bloodbath in Iraq

MERCENARY chiefs are urgently reviewing rules dictating when they can use force in Iraq, amid growing fears that another confrontation between private security operators and police could explode into a bloodbath.

Now a confidential memo to the heads of almost 200 private security companies providing bodyguard services in Iraq has laid bare the tensions between local security forces and the growing army of 'hired guns' protecting foreigners involved in reconstruction.

May 31, 2007

Ginsburg asserts conservative judges are making decision based entirely on politics, not law

The oral dissent has not been, until now, Justice Ginsburg's style. She has gone years without delivering one, and never before in her 15 years on the court has she delivered two in one term. In her past dissents, both oral and written, she has been reluctant to breach the court's collegial norms. "What she is saying is that this is not law, it's politics," Pamela S. Karlan, a Stanford law professor, said of Justice Ginsburg's comment linking the outcome in the abortion case to the fact of the court's changed membership. "She is accusing the other side of making political claims, not legal claims."

In spite of themselves the Dems seem to have forced the Bush White House into surrender. Now they have to figure out a way to take credit for it. The GOP won't stop supporting this war until they think it'll hurt them in the next election and that should be very soon. Dems don't get much credit for this fact...but still, they should try to take credit for getting us out of that mess, even if they didn't lift a finger.

June 1, 2007

American General Orders Commanders to Seek Peace With Terrorists in Iraq

Odierno cited some progress in Iraq and said U.S. forces are negotiating cease-fires with local Sunni and Shiite insurgent groups that it considers "reconcilable" in an effort to reduce violence.

Odierno said he recently gave military commanders authority to strike such agreements with insurgent groups that have staged attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces. He said that he thinks 80 percent of the fighters -- including Sunni insurgents, Shiite militia such as the Mahdi Army, and possibly a small number of al-Qaeda in Iraq members -- are "reconcilable," meaning they could be persuaded to lay down their weapons.

We didn't reach this point in a few years. The facts were well known but the Bush White House, the GOP and the media censored the truth. In fact, it's only been within the past year or so that the media stopped inserting fake science in their global warming stories.

May 30, 2007

NASA: Earth Climate Is Reaching the 'Dangerous' Point

NASA and Columbia University Earth Institute research finds that human-made greenhouse gases have brought the Earth's climate close to critical tipping points, with potentially dangerous consequences for the planet.

From a combination of climate models, satellite data, and paleoclimate records the scientists conclude that the West Antarctic ice sheet, Arctic ice cover, and regions providing fresh water sources and species habitat are under threat from continued global warming. The research appears in the current issue of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

If the military could win wars we wouldn't have anti war vets.

June 1, 2007

Veterans group backs anti war marine

WASHINGTON - The nation's largest combat veterans group on Friday urged the military to "exercise a little common sense" and call off its investigation of a group of Iraq war veterans who wore their uniforms during anti-war protests.

"Trying to hush up and punish fellow Americans for exercising the same democratic right we're trying to instill in Iraq is not what we're all about," said Gary Kurpius, national commander of the 2.4 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars.

May 31, 2007

UN Inspector: Iranian War Supporters Are "New Crazies"

The head of the UN's nuclear watchdog has given one of his sternest warnings against using military action to halt Iran's uranium enrichment programme.

Dr Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, described those wanting to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities as "new crazies".

After Iraq, Dr ElBaradei said he did not want to see "another war".

If the Dems had the noise machine the GOP has, this scandal would be headline news on every network for months.

An Impeachable Offense
May 24, 2007

Report accuses GSA chief of illegal politicking for GOP

WASHINGTON — Federal investigators have written a sharply worded critique of the beleaguered chief of the General Services Administration, Lurita Alexis Doan, accusing her of violating the law by improperly attempting to use her agency to help Republican political candidates.

"The GSA administrator displayed no reservations in her willingness to commit GSA resources, including its human capital, to the Republican Party," the report says. "Her actions constitute an obvious misuse of her official authority and were made for the purpose of affecting the result of an election."

The GOP continues to tell us Americans don't want to hear the war is lost. Are they going to be delusional for the rest of time or are they still in denial?

June 4, 2007

General Sanchez: US can't win in Iraq

SAN ANTONIO: The man who led coalition forces in Iraq during the first year of the occupation says the US can forget about winning the war.

"I think if we do the right things politically and economically with the right Iraqi leadership we could still salvage at least a stalemate, if you will — not a stalemate but at least stave off defeat," retired Army Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez said in an interview.

Sanchez, in his first interview since he retired last year, is the highest-ranking former military leader yet to suggest the Bush administration fell short in Iraq. "I am absolutely convinced that America has a crisis in leadership at this time," Sanchez said after a recent speech in San Antonio, Texas.

When the Taliban attack US forces, will Bush say "no one connected the dots" again?

June 3, 2007

Taliban warn civilians of big Afghan offensive

KABUL (Reuters) - The Taliban will stage a "massive" operation against Western troops in Afghanistan and civilians must stay away from them in order to avoid casualties, a spokesman for the group said on Sunday.

After the traditional winter lull, followed by last year's bloodiest fighting since the Taliban's ouster in 2001, the militants have stepped up their attacks in recent months against Afghan and foreign troops led by NATO and the U.S. military.

What do we call the people who are defending their homeland - terrorists, which is what the Bush White House has been saying or do we now call them "insurgents?"

"Bush offers amnesty to terrorists" won't cut it so the word smiths simply change the words. Right wingers will accept that the party tells them.

June 3, 2007

Amnesty possible for Iraq insurgents: US ambassador

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Washington's ambassador to Iraq hinted Sunday that the United States was open to granting amnesty to former Al-Qaeda insurgents who fought against it in the blood-soaked country.

"As part of a political reconciliation process, amnesty can be very important," Ambassador Ryan Crocker told Fox News television, speaking from Baghdad.

I see the AP is using the more GOP friendly phrase "climate change" (something they said wasn't real) instead of "global warming."

May 29, 2007

Damage from climate change could cost Alaska $10 billion

BELIZE CITY — Collapsing bridges, bursting sewer pipes and crumbling roads caused by global warming could cost Alaska up to $10 billion over the next few decades, researchers said.

Atmospheric temperatures in the northernmost U.S. state have risen by more than 3ºF over the past five decades, Peter Larsen, a resource economist at the University of Alaska Anchorage, told a climate change conference in the Central American country of Belize.


May 31, 2007

Marine vet faces hearing over anti war protest

After Kokesh was identified in a photo cutline in The Washington Post, a superior officer sent him a letter saying he might have violated a rule prohibiting troops from wearing uniforms without authorization.

Kokesh, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, responded with an obscenity.

Now, a military panel has been scheduled to meet with Kokesh on Monday to decide whether his discharge status should be changed from "honorable" to "other than honorable."

The embassy will be around for a very long time and future generations can marvel at how much the GOP and Bush spent. Let it be their final legacy - the party that bankrupted America.

June 1, 2007

US Iraq embassy plans put on net

Plans for the new US embassy in Baghdad have been posted online by the architects, but had to be removed amid fears they could compromise security.

The State Department ordered that the architects remove the drawings, but not before they had been copied by blogs.

Ten images appeared showing the overall layout plus individual buildings.

They included computer-generated pictures of office annexes, a swimming pool, recreation centre, and the ambassador's residence.

May 29, 2007

White House Counselor Bartlett Resigning

Bartlett, 36, told reporters at the White House he has no immediate plans but would "see what type of opportunities are there for me with, obviously, the experiences I've had working at the highest levels of government."

Bartlett joins several top Bush administration officials, including Sara Taylor, the White House political director, and deputy national security advisers J.D. Crouch and Meghan O'Sullivan, all of whom departed last month.

There's no way anyone can convince me the GOP, Democrats or Bush care about the troops. They're more interested in protecting the backsides. Let's hope history records that our entire leadership in Washington is made up of cowards and imbecile.

May 29, 2007

Guardsmen train with wrong equipment

For example, Wayt said some Army Guard troops will begin three weeks of training starting June 9 using standard-issue M-16 rifles when they would be using shorter, lighter M-4 rifles in the field.

The soldiers also can't train with the type of night-vision goggles or armored vehicles they would use in combat, the Guard said.

Now that Dems have put their stamp of approval on this war they're responsible for forcing amputates to fight in the war they support.

If Dems had the an ounce of courage they'd stop this war. But we've known for years the Democratic Party is made up of cowards and misfits.

When given an opportunity to fix health care when they controlled the entire government what did they do? They went on vacation and let republicans destroy the Clinton Health Care Plan. Within months they lost the election and were consigned to minority status for 12 years. You'd think they'd have grown some balls in 12 years but they're still as weak as they were 12 years ago.

We can blame Bush all we want, but it's no different with Dems in control. They're just as bad as Bush.

May 29, 2007

Amputee Soldiers Return to Active Duty

In an about-face by the Pentagon, the military is putting many more amputee back on active duty — even back into combat, in some cases.

Williamson, a 30-year-old Chicago native who is missing his left leg below the knee and three toes on the other foot, acknowledged that some will be skeptical of a maimed soldier back in uniform.

"But I let my job show for itself," he said. "At this point, I'm done proving. I just get out there and do it."

It's becoming increasingly clear that Democrats weren't misled by Bush's lies, but instead, knew he was lying and didn't care. If it were possible to impeach an entire political party, I'd support it.

Any politician associated with this war can't be trusted.

May 29, 2007

Dems Wimp Out on Bush & Prewar Intelligence

As the committee's report notes, before the war the top intelligence analysts of the United States government concluded that creating a stable democratic government in Iraq would be a difficult and "turbulent" challenge, that sectarian conflict could erupt in a post-invasion Iraq, that al Qaeda would view a US invasion of Iraq as an opportunity to increase and enhance its terrorist attacks, that a heightened terrorist threat would exist for several years, that the US occupation of Iraq would probably cause a rise of Islamic fundamentalism and a boost in funding for terrorist groups, and that Iran's role in the region would enlarge.

Now that we know violence is on the rise and we know Democrats own this war because they're funding it, what's left to be done?

May 31, 2007

Iraq's bloodiest month for US troops since Fallujah invasion

Six more US soldiers have been killed in Iraq, the military announced on Thursday, confirming that May has become the deadliest month for American forces in two-and-a-half years.

The number two US commander in Iraq, Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno admitted to reporters Thursday that violence was on the rise in Iraq, particularly in Baghdad, despite recent increases in US troop levels.

Confronted with the fact that the world sees the US as anti human rights, what have the Democrats done...nothing. Does anyone still think we have a two-party system?

An Impeachable Offense
June 1, 2007


In a world community which has adopted global measures to counter terrorism, the United States is a leader. This position carries with it a special responsibility also to take leadership in the protection of human rights while countering terrorism. The example of the United States will have its followers, in good and in bad. The Special Rapporteur has a deep respect for the long traditions in the United States of respect for individual rights, the rule of law, and a strong level of judicial protection. Despite the existence of a tradition in the United States of respect for the rule of law, and the presence of self-correcting mechanisms under the United States Constitution, it is most regretful that a number of important mechanisms for the protection of rights have been removed or obfuscated under law and practice since the events of 11 September, including under the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, the Military Commissions Act of 2006, and under Executive Orders and classified programs.

Confronted with this reality, what did the Democrats do...they gave Bush more money for his war. They're pathetic. Would it be any different if republicans ran the government?

May 30, 2007

U.S. ranks low, just above Iran on new peace index

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is among the least peaceful nations in the world, ranking 96th between Yemen and Iran, according to a new index released on Wednesday that evaluates 121 nations based on their peacefulness.

According to the Global Peace Index, created by The Economist Intelligence Unit, Norway is the most peaceful nation in the world and Iraq is the least, just after Russia, Israel and Sudan.

This man still didn't have a lawyer even though he's been a POW for five years. The US Supreme Court remains utterly worthless.

An Impeachable Offense
May 29, 2007

Gitmo suicide was Saudi veteran

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The detainee who died at Guantanamo Bay in an apparent suicide was identified Thursday as a Saudi military veteran and self-described Islamic holy warrior who denied he ever intended to kill Americans.

The military and Saudi Arabia identified the detainee as Abdul Rahman Maadha al-Amry. Though it gave no details about him, U.S. records say he was 34 and had been held without charges at the prison at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in southeastern Cuba since February 2002.

Al-Amry had no attorney of record, although the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights has filed a blanket legal challenge on behalf of all Guantanamo detainees. Lawyers say many detainees have little faith in the American legal system but others simply do not understand it.

Will GOP candidates running for the presidency be asked to denounce the politicalization of the Justice Department?

May 31, 2007

DOJ Expands Attorney Firing Investigation

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department said Wednesday it has expanded its internal inquiry on the firing of U.S. attorneys into whether politics played a part in hiring career prosecutors.

In a rare note updating lawmakers on its investigation, the department said it also was looking into hiring practices within its Civil Rights Division. Lawmakers have questioned whether the division has hired prosecutors with strong political resumes but little civil rights experience.

May 29, 2007

Could Alberto Gonzales Be Disbarred?

While the political world obsesses over whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales can survive the outcry over the politically motivated dismissal of eight United States Attorneys, the legal academy has been debating a different aspect of the fallout:

Could a case be made that the chief law-enforcement officer of the United States should be disbarred?

Bar-association rules, which are established by state associations—Mr. Gonzales is licensed in the state of Texas in addition to being admitted to the Supreme Court bar—typically forbid "conduct that involves deceit, fraud or misrepresentation." There are also various means of censuring lawyers for bad behavior that fall short of disbarment, such as a public reprimand.

"Lawyers are not allowed to lie," said Nancy Rapoport, an ethics expert and the former dean of the University of Houston Law Center. "That one, everyone agrees on."

May 30, 2007

Conyers: Impeach Bush & Cheney

DETROIT (AP) - Detroit Congressman John Conyers says he supports a national effort calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

But he stopped short today of pledging to take action to back it.

The veteran democratic lawmaker chairs the House Judiciary Committee, which would lead any impeachment hearings.

Conyers did say that he encourages nationwide efforts to build support for impeaching Bush.

The assault of science is also taking place in the Bush White House. What are the Democrats doing about it? Nothing. If they were forced to vote on the fake science of creationism they would in favor.

There's a sad irony to all this. Democrats are mostly the pro science anti religion party and republicans are mostly the anti science pro religion party. The problem is and republicans, not science.

May 24, 2007

Creation Museum: Yabba-dabba science

THE CREATION MUSEUM, a $27-million tourist attraction promoting earth science theories that were popular when Columbus set sail, opens near Cincinnati on Memorial Day. So before the first visitor risks succumbing to the museum's animatronic balderdash — dinosaurs and humans actually coexisted! the Grand Canyon was carved by the great flood described in Genesis! — we'd like to clear up a few things: "The Flintstones" is a cartoon, not a documentary. Fred and Wilma? Those woolly mammoth vacuum cleaners? All make-believe.

Science is under assault, and that calls for bold truths. Here's another: The Earth is round.

Since the Speaker of House is allowing the lawlessness in this White House to continue without threats of impeachment, she should be removed from office as soon as possible.

An Impeachable Offense
May 29, 2007

Fitzgerald: Plame was covert agent

May 29, 2007 - In new court filings, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has finally resolved one of the most disputed issues at the core of the long-running CIA leak controversy: Valerie Plame Wilson, he asserts, was a "covert" CIA officer who repeatedly traveled overseas using a "cover identity" in order to disguise her relationship with the agency.

Fitzgerald cites Wilson's covert status as part of his argument—advanced in two strongly worded memos filed in recent days—that I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, should be sentenced to up to three years in prison.

Which begs the question; why are our intelligence agencies using torture? Is it because they're run by outmoded, amateurish and unreliable leaders?

An Impeachable Offense
May 30, 2007

Intelligence Agencies: harsh techniques are outmoded, amateurish and unreliable

WASHINGTON, May 29 — As the Bush administration completes secret new rules governing interrogations, a group of experts advising the intelligence agencies are arguing that the harsh techniques used since the 2001 terrorist attacks are outmoded, amateurish and unreliable.

The psychologists and other specialists, commissioned by the Intelligence Science Board, make the case that more than five years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Bush administration has yet to create an elite corps of interrogators trained to glean secrets from terrorism suspects.

Americans saw our wounded and dead during previous wars. We even honored our dead upon their return. Now, the media allows the military to hide the truth from the American people and instead they're given a script - Pat Tillman, Jessica Lynch etc. It's disgusting.

An Impeachable Offense
May 28, 2007

Military Rules Ban A Free Press

Since last year, the military's embedding rules require that journalists obtain a signed consent from a wounded soldier before the image can be published. Images that put a face on the dead, that make them identifiable, are simply prohibited.

If Joseph Heller were still around, he might appreciate the bureaucratic elegance of paragraph 11(a) of IAW Change 3, DoD Directive 5122.5:

"Names, video, identifiable written/oral descriptions or identifiable photographs of wounded service members will not be released without the service member's prior written consent."

We know crimes were committed at the highest levels and the Speaker of the House said she took impeachment off the table. With any luck she'll either lose the speakership or her seat in the next election.

An Impeachable Offense
May 29, 2007

Fitzgerald: Cheney Authorized CIA Agent Leak

The investigation, Fitzgerald writes, "was necessary to determine whether there was concerted action by any combination of the officials known to have disclosed the information about Ms. Plame to the media as anonymous sources, and also whether any of those who were involved acted at the direction of others. This was particularly important in light of Mr. Libby's statement to the FBI that he may have discussed Ms. Wilson's employment with reporters at the specific direction of the Vice President."

When confronted with the fact that the GOP has bankrupted America (both fiscally and morally) what did the Democrats do...they gave Bush more money to fight his phantom war on terror - a war that creates more terrorism. Kick the bums soon as possible.

We need new leaders...Pelosi and Reid have to go.

May 28, 2007

2007 Liability: $516,348 per U.S. household

The federal government recorded a $1.3 trillion loss last year — far more than the official $248 billion deficit — when corporate-style accounting standards are used, a USA TODAY analysis shows.

The loss reflects a continued deterioration in the finances of Social Security and government retirement programs for civil servants and military personnel. The loss — equal to $11,434 per household — is more than Americans paid in income taxes in 2006.

Bottom line: Taxpayers are now on the hook for a record $59.1 trillion in liabilities, a 2.3% increase from 2006. That amount is equal to $516,348 for every U.S. household. By comparison, U.S. households owe an average of $112,043 for mortgages, car loans, credit cards and all other debt combined.

Bush and the GOP say they support the troops when it's politically expedient and convenient. The fact that Democrats are afraid of these attacks continues to show us how utterly inept they are. They need another decade in the minority. Maybe then they'll grow up and govern.

May 28, 2007

Families charge inadequate mental health care fosters suicide among vets of Iraq war

Paul Rieckhoff, executive director and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, says that although suicides among troops returning from the war is a significant problem, the scope is unknown.

"The problem that we face right now is that there's no method to track veterans coming home," said Rieckhoff, who served in Iraq as a platoon leader in the first year of the war. "There's no system. There's no national registry."

More than four years into the war, the government has little information on suicides among Iraq war veterans.

"We don't keep that data," said Karen Fedele, a VA spokeswoman in Washington. "I'm told that somebody here is going to do an analysis, but there just is nothing right now."

The Defense Department does track suicides, but only among troops in combat operations such as Iraq and Afghanistan and in surrounding areas. Since the war started four years ago, 107 suicides during Iraq operations have been recorded by the Defense Manpower Data Center, which collects data for the Pentagon. That number, however, usually does not include troops who return home from the war zone and then take their lives.

The law says there shall be no discrimination based on sex. The Supreme Court thinks otherwise and effectively rewrote the law without the consent of the American people. They should be impeached and removed from office.

An Impeachable Offense
May 29, 2007

Supreme Court Decimates Employment Anti Discrimination Law

The decision came in a case involving a supervisor at a Goodyear Tire plant in Gadsden, Ala., the only woman among 16 men at the same management level, who was paid less than any of her colleagues, including those with less seniority. She learned that fact late in a career of nearly 20 years — too late, according to the Supreme Court's majority.

The court held on Tuesday that employees may not bring suit under the principal federal anti-discrimination law unless they have filed a formal complaint with a federal agency within 180 days after their pay was set. The timeline applies, according to the decision, even if the effects of the initial discriminatory act were not immediately apparent to the worker and even if they continue to the present day.

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.

May 28, 2007

Paul Krugman: The Lunatic Fringe of the GOP Goes Mainstream

Here's the way it ought to be: When Rudy Giuliani says that Iran, which had nothing to do with 9/11, is part of a "movement" that "has already displayed more aggressive tendencies by coming here and killing us," he should be treated as a lunatic.

When Mitt Romney says that a coalition of "Shia and Sunni and Hezbollah and Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda" wants to "bring down the West," he should be ridiculed for his ignorance.

And when John McCain says that Osama, who isn't in Iraq, will "follow us home" if we leave, he should be laughed at.

But they aren't, at least not yet. And until belligerent, uninformed posturing starts being treated with the contempt it deserves, men who know nothing of the cost of war will keep sending other people's children to graves at Arlington.

Homeland Security is a joke. How long will it take to dismantle that monstrosity?

May 28, 2007

Homeland Security: 0.01 percent of cases are related to terrorism

  • Group analyzed millions of records obtained from immigration courts
  • 12 of 814,073 charged in past three years faced terrorism charges
  • Report also found DHS filed very few "national security" charges
  • DHS spokesman calls report "ill-conceived"

Of the 814,073 people charged by DHS in immigration courts during the past three years, 12 faced charges of terrorism, TRAC said.

Those 12 cases represent 0.0015 percent of the total number of cases filed.

The TRAC analysis also found that DHS filed a minuscule number of what are called "national security" charges against people in the immigration courts. The report stated that 114, or 0.014 percent of the total of roughly 800,000 individuals charged were charged with national security violations.

TRAC reported more than 85 percent of the charges involved more common immigration violations such as not having a valid immigrant visa, overstaying a student visa or entering the United States without an inspection.

May 28, 2007

Terror Seeps Out of Iraq

The Iraq war, which for years has drawn militants from around the world, is beginning to export fighters and the tactics they have honed in the insurgency to neighboring countries and beyond, according to American, European and Middle Eastern government officials and interviews with militant leaders in Lebanon, Jordan and London.

Estimating the number of fighters leaving Iraq is at least as difficult as it has been to count foreign militants joining the insurgency. But early signs of an exodus are clear, and officials in the United States and the Middle East say the potential for veterans of the insurgency to spread far beyond Iraq is significant.

May 28, 2007

Another Top Bush Aide resigns

As the Bush administration inches closer to its concluding months, more top aides are headed out to the private sector. Sara M. Taylor, the White House political director and microtargeting guru who has been with George W. Bush from the outset of his first presidential campaign, is the latest staff member to leave the president's employ.

Taylor, 32, was one of the first people put on the payroll of the Bush campaign, trekking through snowy Washington to interview with Karl Rove and Bush, who was then governor of Texas. Taylor worked on the 2000 campaign, and later became a political aide in the White House.

And while the reputation of the US decays under Bush, the GOP candidates for president want to torture more POWs and the Democrats do little or nothing to lead their party in a new direction. Where are our leaders...they've been whipped by conservatives and centrists into doing nothing. Cowards.

May 26, 2007

Where have all the leaders gone?

LEE IACOCCA: Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!

I hardly recognize this country anymore. The president of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs.

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!"

May 28, 2007

Analysis: The Bush take on U.S. opinion

WASHINGTON — Confronted with strong opposition to his Iraq policies, President Bush decides to interpret public opinion his own way. Actually, he says, people agree with him.

Also in that session, Bush said: "I recognize there are a handful there, or some, who just say, 'Get out, you know, it's just not worth it. Let's just leave.' I strongly disagree with that attitude. Most Americans do as well."

In fact, polls show Americans do not disagree, and that leaving — not winning — is their main goal.

Faced with a "wrong track" record high, what did the Democrats do? They continued funding Bush's war. Throw the bums out.

May 24, 2007

U.S. Opposition to Iraq War at All-Time High, Poll Shows

Americans now view the war in Iraq more negatively than at any time since the war began, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Six in 10 Americans surveyed say the United States should have stayed out of Iraq, and more than three in four say that things are going badly there — including nearly half who say things are going very badly, the poll found.

Beyond the war issue, the poll found widespread concern over the nation's overall direction. More Americans — 72 percent — now say that "generally, things in the country are seriously off on the wrong track" than at any time since the Times/CBS News poll began asking the question in 1983. The figure had been in the high 60's earlier this year.

May 24, 2007

War Stretches Nation's Ammo Supply

"There are millions of rounds backordered because the war has put such a demand on the manufacturers," said Lana Ulner, manager of Rapid City, S.D.-based Ultramax Ammunition, a distributor for several manufacturers. "In some cases, it can take eight to 12 months."

The Army's demand for small caliber ammunition has soared from 426 million rounds in 2001 to 1.5 billion rounds in 2006, according to the Joint Munitions Command at the Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois.

May 26, 2007

Afghan children are forced to eat mud

Rural communities have seen some improvements, but essential services are scarce or inadequate. In provinces where Oxfam works such as Daikundi, there is no mains water or electricity, and virtually no paved roads. Average life expectancy in Daikundi is 42 and one in five children dies before the age of five. Afghan children chew on mud they scratch from the walls of their homes to stave off hunger.

America is bankrolling Afghanistan. It is responsible for more than half of all aid to the country (aid that accounts for about a third of GDP), and it plans to provide $10.6bn in the next two years. But as in Iraq, a vast proportion of aid is wasted. Political pressure in donor countries for rapid results has led to projects that are unsuitable and unsustainable. Most aid money goes to programmes in the opium-intensive, insecure provinces in the south. To neglect secure provinces is to invite the insurgency to spread.

A third of Afghans think democracy is incompatible with Islamic values, and many resent the massive foreign presence.

Certain types of people don't care if something is right or not. In an attempt to be "fair and balanced" they report (or repeat) knowable lies.

May 25, 2007

Flack or Flak: McCain vs Obama

Radio host Rush Limbaugh, Politico senior political writer Jonathan Martin, and other media figures uncritically repeated Sen. John. McCain's (R-AZ) attack on Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) spelling of "flack jacket" with a "c" in "flack," without noting -- as MSNBC congressional correspondent Mike Viqueira did -- that "flack" is an "alternative to the spelling of 'flak.' " Indeed, the phrase "flack jacket" with a "c" appears on dozens of military websites.

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.