Impeach Bush--Index 64
July 17, 2007

Seattle Times: Leave Iraq

There is no good time to walk away from a war that has spurred hideous violence and bloodshed in a country the U.S. is supposedly helping. There is no good time.

U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe, Richard Lugar and Pete Domenici, Republicans from Maine, Indiana and New Mexico, respectively, have changed their minds. They don't want to sit idly by while Bush heads down to the ranch for August R&R and Iraq spins further out of control.

The July report on progress in Iraq offers few reasons to wait until September.

The Pentagon knows there's no justifiable reason for the US to be in Iraq so its primary mission is to insure the war profiteers make a profit.

July 17, 2007

Pentagon approves disputed Iraq costs

Through last October, almost two-thirds of costs challenged by Pentagon auditors as inflated, erroneous or otherwise improper — more than $1 billion — were eventually approved by project managers. That compares with 44% for all defense contracts in 2005.

The low rate of withholding payments to Iraq contractors is evidence the Pentagon is turning a blind eye to waste and fraud, says Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, who has chaired several hearings into Iraq reconstruction problems for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.

July 17, 2007

Food and Drug Administration a "sorry mess"

In the wake of reports of contaminated food not only from China but also from domestic processors, the FDA's approach of relying on voluntary compliance "appears inadequate in responding to the changing food industry," said David Nelson, a senior investigator for the committee.

"FDA's ill-conceived decision to close seven of its 13 laboratories likely would expose American consumers to even more danger from unsafe foods, particularly imports," said Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., chairman of the oversight subcommittee.

Criticism of the FDA was bipartisan. "The FDA must enter the 21st century," said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.

We didn't need more proof. We already knew the CIA said Saddam wouldn't use his WMD unless we attacked him and we already knew the UN inspectors couldn't verify a single word of Bush's bogus intelligence. The al Qaeda link was also known to be fabricated.

An Impeachable Offense
July 18, 2007

Intelligence Puts Rationale For War on Shakier Ground

A new National Intelligence Estimate concludes that al-Qaeda "has protected or regenerated key elements of its Homeland attack capability" by reestablishing a haven in Pakistan and reconstituting its top leadership. The report also notes that al-Qaeda has been able "to recruit and indoctrinate operatives, including for Homeland attacks," by associating itself with an Iraqi subsidiary.

Although only a portion of the instability in Iraq is attributed to al-Qaeda and the group had no substantial power base there before the U.S. invasion, Bush again cast the war as a battle against its members, whom his aides have described as key provocateurs there.

The WH and military tried to tell us civilian deaths were falling in Iraq, but that's because the military banned ambulances from picking up the dead. By any standard what the WH and military told us was a lie. One of the articles of impeachment against Nixon was he lied to the American people.

An Impeachable Offense
July 16, 2007

Mass Graves Dug to Deal With Death Toll

BAQUBA, Jul 17 (IPS) - The largest morgue in Diyala province is overflowing daily. Officials told IPS they have had to dig mass graves to dispose of bodies.

"The morgue receives an average of four or five bodies everyday," Nima Jima'a, a morgue official, told IPS. "Many more are dropped in rivers and farms -- or it is sometimes the case they are buried by their killers for other reasons. The number we record here is only a fraction of those killed."

Ambulances, now able to move again after weeks of restrictions, have been removing bodies of victims from the current fighting. But they have also found skulls and bones, evidence of other killings long ago.

July 16, 2007

Army's middle ranks are dwindling

More than five years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan have put the all-volunteer Army under tremendous strain. Time at home is supposed to be longer than time at war — two years to one. Instead, deployments are longer than respites — 15 months versus a year. And there is little or no R&R in combat.

By giving soldiers incentives to stay, the Army has met and even exceeded retention goals. Housing and family services have been improved. Signing bonuses have soared.

Rigby and other military experts recall the aftermath of Vietnam, when the NCO corps was drastically reduced by combat deaths and permanent injury.

"That significantly contributed to the downfall or the hollowness of the Army in the post-Vietnam era. If you don't have a strong NCO corps, you don't have a strong Army," said Timothy Muchmore, a former soldier who is now the civilian deputy director of the Army's Quadrennial Defense Review, a comprehensive examination of national defense strategy, plans and programs.

July 13, 2007

Cheney's Actions Put Impeachment on the Table

Congressman Bob Filner, the chair of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, added his name, along with another veteran Democratic representative from California, Sam Farr.

The additional cosponsorships from Washington Democrat Jim McDermott, a Vietnam-era veteran who has been one of the House's sharpest critics of the war in Iraq, and Virginia Democrat James Moran bring the number of supporters for the articles to 14, including sponsor Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio.

But at the heart of the growing enthusiasm for putting the process in motion is a sense that Congress can no longer neglect abuses of power by a lawless executive branch.

"The Founders intended impeachment to be used when those running the government forgot that they worked for the people, and the Founders intended impeachment to be used when those running the government acted as though they were above the law," explains Congressman McDermott, who argues that, "The vice president holds himself above the law, and it is time for the Congress to enforce the law."

July 16, 2007

Pittsburgh Newspaper Calls for Withdrawal -- Questions Bush's 'Mental Stability'

NEW YORK The Pittsburgh newspaper owned by conservative billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife yesterday called the Bush administration's plans to stay the course in Iraq a "prescription for American suicide."

The editorial in the Tribune-Review added, "And quite frankly, during last Thursday's news conference, when George Bush started blathering about 'sometimes the decisions you make and the consequences don't enable you to be loved,' we had to question his mental stability."

A Possible Impeachable Offense
July 16, 2007

44 Former State's Attorney's Ask Congress to Investigate Political Prosecution

(AP) Forty-four former state attorneys general have asked Congress to investigate whether politics at the Justice Department influenced the prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman on corruption charges.

Last month, a Republican lawyer who worked on the campaign of Siegelman's opponent in 2006 signed a sworn affidavit saying that she overheard conversations among GOP operatives suggesting that the White House was involved in Siegelman's prosecution.

The group includes Democrats and Republicans and is led by Jeff Modisett, an Indiana Democrat, Bob Abrams, a New York Democrat, Bob Stefan, a Kansas Republican, and Grant Woods, an Arizona Republican.

A Possible Impeachable Offense
July 16, 2007

20.5M decisions to classify documents

WASHINGTON -- There were 20.5 million decisions to classify government secrets last year, and a report to the president found serious shortcomings in the process.

The Information Security Oversight Office said more than 1 in 10 documents it reviewed lacked a basis for classification, "calling into question the propriety" of the decisions to place them off limits to public disclosure.

The report comes as the office of Vice President Dick Cheney is refusing to cooperate with the office of the National Archives. The report noted that Cheney's office "did not report data to ISOO this year."

July 16, 2007

Sen. Voinovich: 'White House "f—ed up" the war'

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A Republican senator says he warned top White House aide Karl Rove that President Bush quickly needs to craft a workable plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq in order to salvage his legacy.

"I won't mention anyone's name. But I have every reason to believe that the fur is going to start to fly, perhaps sooner than what they may have wanted."

In private, Voinovich is more blunt, using a profanity to describe the White House's handling of Iraq by charging the administration "f—ed up" the war.

The Bush debt is about $3.1 trillion or almost twice as much debt as Reagan created. Conservatives think an economy based nearly entirely on the government borrowing money is a good economy. They are fools. Since the Reagan tax cuts just 26 years ago our national debt increased from less than one trillion to almost nine trillion. And since the Reagan debt we haven't been able to pay back one penny of what Reagan borrowed. Anyone who thinks this is success is an idiot.

The UN inspectors disarmed Iraq (not the US) so giving the US credit for something the UN did in the 90's is silly.

July 16, 2007

Why Bush Will Be A Winner

I suppose I'll merely expose myself to harmless ridicule if I make the following assertion: George W. Bush's presidency will probably be a successful one.

The economy first: After the bursting of the dot-com bubble, followed by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, we've had more than five years of steady growth, low unemployment and a stock market recovery. Did this just happen? No. Bush pushed through the tax cuts of 2001 and especially 2003 by arguing that they would produce growth. His opponents predicted dire consequences. But the president was overwhelmingly right. Even the budget deficit, the most universally criticized consequence of the tax cuts, is coming down and is lower than it was when the 2003 supply-side tax cuts were passed.

At some point the military should simply stop following Bush's silly orders. Clearly his argument for war was always based on lies or bad intelligence. How many military careers have been destroyed by this war? Is it worth it?

July 16, 2007

How Bush Uses His Generals

President Bush says that he should be trusted on military issues because he listens to his commanders. But he has a tendency to celebrate his generals when they're providing him political cover -- then stick a knife in their backs when they're no longer of any use to him.

Last week, Bush rejected any blame for the chaos that ensued in Iraq after the March 2003 invasion. So whose fault was it? Bush pointed the finger at Gen. Tommy Franks, the Central Command chief at the time. "My primary question to General Franks was, do you have what it takes to succeed? And do you have what it takes to succeed after you succeed in removing Saddam Hussein? And his answer was, yes," Bush said.

John Dean exposes how corrupt the Bush White and the GOP have become. It's good to see real Republicans attacking the lawlessness in this White House and this congress.

July 13, 2007

Harriet Miers's Contempt of Congress

As a result of Miers's "no show," the full House Judiciary Committee will no doubt support the subcommittee, and vote to deem Miers in contempt. One can only hope - but probably this hope is in vain -- that Republicans may realize this is not a partisan issue, but an institutional matter, and thus will either abstain or vote to support the dignity of the committee on which they serve. Republicans should remember that they will one day be back in control, and may then be confronted by a Democratic president defying their subpoenas - and relying on this very precedent to do so. Realistically, however, there is zero chance that Republicans will place their constitutional interest ahead of their partisan interests.

Most Democrats in Congress could care less about the crimes Bush has committed. They're more interested in keeping power than the Constitution. Pelosi should be forced to resign for failing to do her job.

July 12, 2007

Barbara Boxer says Impeachment should be on the table

BOXER: Yeah. I mean, you left out a bunch of things — spying on citizens without a warrant, going around FISA, on and on. Look, I have always said it should be on the table. Ed, I've always said it. I was on a book tour and I ran into John Dean of Watergate fame. He was on the book tour that I was on, for his book. And it was right after we discovered that the administration was spying on our people without a warrant. And he just said, he looked at me and basically just said, as far as he could see, unless there was some explanation for this, this was impeachable.

We have criminals in the White House and cowards in the Congress. Who needs enemies?

July 16, 2007

Bill Moyers Puts Impeachment On the Media Table

Fein for his part noted that most of Bush's and Cheney's abuses of power and violations of the Constitution and the rule of law have been done not openly and in consultation with Congress, but in secret and in the dark of night. His secret monitoring of American's communications-phones, mail and internet for example-went on for four years before it was exposed in an article in the New York Times. And the president has still not explained to anyone why he felt the need to break the law.

Fein and Nichols both blasted the current Democratic leadership of Congress for cowardice, lack of principle, and a basic failure to honor their oaths of office to uphold and defend the Constitution, in refusing to impeach the president. Fein said that in earlier administrations, there were always at least a few members of Congress who were honorable enough to put country and the Constitution above party. "We don't have anyone like that in Congress now," he said.

For years the US government, including the military have been saying the biggest attacks come from al Qaeda. Like puppy dogs the media lapped it up. Now we know the truth, just as with 911 most insurgents come from our allies in Saudi Arabia.

July 15, 2007

Most foreign insurgents in Iraq are Saudis

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Most foreign fighters and suicide bombers in Iraq come from Saudi Arabia, despite attempts by US officials to portray Syria and Iran as the main culprits of violence, a US newspaper reported Sunday.

Citing an unnamed senior US military officer and Iraqi lawmakers, the Los Angeles Times newspaper said about 45 percent of all foreign militants targeting US troops and Iraqi security forces were from Saudi Arabia, 15 percent from Syria and Lebanon, and 10 percent from North Africa

The senior US officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said 50 percent of all Saudi fighters in Iraq come as suicide bombers, The Times pointed out.

posted July 17, 2007

Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles

MRAP vehicles exist today. Companies abroad and in the United States produce MRAP systems, and both Army and Marine Corps engineers are successfully exploiting this technology in Iraq and Afghanistan. MRAP-equipped units that before required dedicated infantry support to complete their mission would now be equipped with a survivable, offensive weapon system that would enable independent operations. MRAP vehicles are inherently offensive in character, built from the ground up to survive a combination of mines, RPGs and small arms fire, and would better support Marine concepts of Ship to Objective Maneuver and the emerging concept of distributed operations.

MRAPs are 1970s technology and the US still doesn't have it? We spend more than any country in the world on the military and the soldiers still don't have basic equipment. Since requests were repeatedly made and denied this is an impeachable offense.

An Impeachable Offense
July 17, 2007

Pentagon Refused Requests For Safer Vehicles

As early as December 2003, when the Marines requested their first 27 MRAPs for explosive disposal teams, Pentagon analysts sent detailed information about the superiority of the vehicles to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, e-mails obtained by USA TODAY show. Later pleas came from Iraq, where commanders saw that the approach the Joint Chiefs embraced— adding armor to the sides of Humvees, the standard vehicles in the war zone — did little to protect against blasts beneath the vehicles.

Despite the efforts, the general who chaired the Joint Chiefs until Oct. 1, 2005, says buying MRAPs "was not on the radar screen when I was chairman." Air Force general Richard Myers, now retired, says top military officials dealt with a number of vehicle issues, including armoring Humvees. The MRAP, however, was "not one of them." Something related to MRAPs "might have crossed my desk," Myers says, "but I don't recall it."

Why the issue never received more of a hearing from top officials early in the war remains a mystery, given the chorus of concern. One Pentagon analyst complained in an April 29, 2004, e-mail to colleagues, for instance, that it was "frustrating to see the pictures of burning Humvees while knowing that there are other vehicles out there that would provide more protection."

The analyst was referring to the MRAP, whose V-shaped hull puts the crew more than 3 feet off the ground and deflects explosions. It was designed to withstand the underbelly bombs that cripple the lower-riding Humvees. Pentagon officials, civilians and military alike, had been searching for technologies to guard against improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. The makeshift bombs are the No. 1 killer of U.S. forces.

It doesn't seem to matter who the Speaker is, they're all corrupt. Pelosi should clean out the intelligence committee or resign.

July 16, 2007

House Intelligence Committee Entangled in Cunningham Bribery Scandal

When the committee's investigation was completed last year, the Republican-controlled panel would not release the results; now that the committee is controlled by Democrats, it still will not release the findings.

The report provides the most detailed account to date of how former CIA Executive Director Kyle Dustin "Dusty" Foggo, whose indictment on charges of defrauding the government was recently expanded, allegedly used committee connections to advance his career at the agency.

Overall, the document provides a penetrating look into how the committee itself became central to the scandal, describing an atmosphere in which senior aides were deeply troubled by Cunningham's actions but nevertheless complied with his requests out of fear.

But the report and committee members' ongoing disagreement over whether it should be released also reflect the political currents still swirling around the scandal.

For all its finger-pointing at staffers, the document fails to address whether other committee members were aware of Cunningham's abuses or were culpable. For instance, the report avoids any scrutiny of former Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.), who was chairman of the panel when Cunningham's most egregious abuses occurred. Goss went on to serve as CIA director, from September 2004 to May 2006.

July 14, 2007

Halliburton Employee Guilty in Iraq Kickback Case

The employee, Roger A. Heaton, 58, of Houston, worked for the subsidiary, KBR, as part of a logistics contract. KBR, formerly known as Kellogg, Brown & Root, was a subsidiary of Halliburton until it became a separate entity earlier this year. The contract has so far paid the companies $20 billion to supply the military with food, fuel, housing and other necessities.

Mr. Heaton pleaded guilty in Federal District Court in the Central District of Illinois to awarding two major contracts in exchange for what was to have been over $200,000 in kickbacks, although it is unclear how much of the money he actually received.

Oil and gas prices were falling - that's unacceptable. So Bush orders the surge and prices reach all time record highs. Ah, all is well with the world again.

July 13, 2007

$80 a barrel prediction as oil soars again

The price of oil jumped to an 11-month high yesterday, moving even closer to record levels hit last summer as fears mounted over shortages in supply.

Speculation in the world's most actively traded commodity, rapidly rising demand and reports that production would slow over the next five years pushed Brent crude up to $77.07 briefly during early-afternoon trading, within $2 of the all-time high of $78.65 set last August.

July 14, 2007

Air Force Surge Underway

Statistics tell the story: Air Force and Navy aircraft dropped 437 bombs and missiles in Iraq in the first six months of 2007, a fivefold increase over the 86 used in the first half of 2006, and three times more than in the second half of 2006, according to Air Force data. In June, bombs dropped at a rate of more than five a day.

As chronicled in the Air Force's daily summaries, more and more pilots are getting the "cleared hot" clearance for bombing runs, usually with 500-pound bombs. In recent Army operations north of Baghdad, for example, Air Force planes have struck "factories" for makeshift bombs, weapons caches uncovered by ground troops and, in one instance, "several houses insurgents were using as fire positions."

Iraq Body Count, a London-based, anti-war research group that monitors Iraqi war deaths, says the step-up in air attacks appears to have been accompanied by an increase in Iraqi civilian casualties from air strikes. Based on media reports, it counts a recent average of 50 such deaths per month.

July 15, 2007

Time is up for Bush in Iraq... even if he doesn't know it yet

WE HAVE reached, at long last, the beginning of the end in Iraq. President Bush is still suggesting that "staying the course" remains an option but he cuts an increasingly isolated, forlorn figure in Washington these days. Were Republican members of Congress to take their constituents' views into account, the majority of conservatives would be seeking a way to end the war now. It is just a matter of time before blood persuades them to reach that conclusion for themselves.

Electoral realities may force their hand. Thanks to gerrymandering and the financial advantages handed to incumbents, no fewer than 98% of sitting members of the House of Representatives are re-elected. It takes a political earthquake to change that, but Republicans worry, in private if not always yet in public, that such an earthquake is coming next November. The Senate offers no comfort either; 21 Republicans face re-election next year, compared with just 12 Democrats.

July 17, 2007

UK Sends Message to Bush

He told the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington that isolationism simply "does not work in an interdependent world", and that while a country's might was measured in the 20th century by what it could destroy, we were now in a different time, when strength should be measured by "what we can build together". Alexander subsequently talked of new alliances based on common values which "reach out to the world".

The message was clear: Bush's US neocon fantasy of a New American century, based on liberal interventionism and pre-emption linked to the spread of US-style democracy, was dead in the water and the new British prime minister wanted Bush to know Britain would be doing business differently from now on. Congress has been telling the White House something similar for months, and Alexander's tone wouldn't have come as a shock. In fact, it would have been interpreted as a show of solidarity by the Democrats and by some Republicans who have had enough of Bush's stance on Iraq and the Middle East.

July 13, 2007

More entering Army with criminal records

WASHINGTON -- Nearly 12 percent of Army recruits who entered basic training this year needed a special waiver for those with criminal records, a dramatic increase over last year and 2 1/2 times the percentage four years ago, according to new Army statistics obtained by the Globe.

With less than three months left in the fiscal year, 11.6 percent of new active-duty and Army Reserve troops in 2007 have received a so-called "moral waiver," up from 7.9 percent in fiscal year 2006, according to figures from the US Army Recruiting Command. In fiscal 2003 and 2004, soldiers granted waivers accounted for 4.6 percent of new recruits; in 2005, it was 6.2 percent.

July 13, 2007

Iraqi lawmakers to take August break

"My understanding is at this juncture they're going to take August off, but you know, they may change their minds," said spokesman Tony Snow, who refused to say whether there had been US efforts to dissuade them.

"You know, it's 130 degrees (54 Celsius) in Baghdad in August. I'll pass on your recommendation," he said when a reporter asked about the impact on an Iraq progress report due by September 15.

Reminded that the heat affected the roughly 160,000 US troops in Iraq, Snow replied: "You know, that's a good point. And it's 130 degrees for the Iraqi military."

When the WH released Ms. Wilson's name to the media (in order to destroy her career and stop her husband) they argued it was clear the air. In reality they successfully deceived the media and the American people about Mr. Wilson and the war raged on.

The WH could have released the truth about Tillman's death within days, but chose to withhold the facts because it hurt their cause - the truth always does. The same is true with the threat to Air Force One on 911. The Secret Service knew a call regarding AF1 was a mistake on 911 but the WH let the lie about the threat to AF1 continue for weeks.

This WH has given us no reason whatsoever to trust anything they say or do and yet the media spent years letting them make excuses every time they were caught lying.

An Impeachable Offense
July 13, 2007

White House Refuses To Give Congress Records on Tillman's Death

House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Tom Davis, R-Va., the committee's top-ranking Republican, said Friday the documents were inadequate. They insisted that the Defense Department turn over the additional material by July 25 and asked that the White House do likewise.

Although Pentagon investigators determined quickly that he was killed by his own troops, five weeks passed before the circumstances of his death were made public. During that time, the Army claimed he was killed by enemy fire.

As newspapers around the country catch up with us we'll see more and more abandon the war they foolishly supported. We'll try to track what major papers are saying (now that most Americans disagree with their pro war agenda).

July 15, 2007

Minneapolis Tribune: "end the war"

President Bush, having dispatched top officials to Capitol Hill to shore up support on Iraq, saw defections occurring instead and ended up in a high-stakes power showdown on Thursday. After lecturing Congress on its role (consultation, by his lights), he emphasized his power as chief decider. But it's way past time for all that. Members of Congress must counter his stance with a strong new, and newly bipartisan, effort to responsibly end this war.

Perhaps strangest -- if he truly believes what he said -- were the president's repetitive attempts Thursday to portray the struggle in Iraq as principally a fight against Al-Qaida. This is getting old, and it suggests acute persuasion desperation. We all know that Al-Qaida in Mesopotamia is one of the extremist elements in Iraq, that it is responsible for a high percentage of suicide attacks there. But it is neither the principal problem in Iraq nor connected to the 9/11 attacks in 2001, as he continues to imply. In fact, it didn't exist then, and has enlisted support largely because of the U.S. occupation.

Since Bush is having his logic all ways and clearly is in denial about the state of affairs in Iraq, senior members of Congress -- despite Bush's implication that they are overstepping their authority -- must get beyond their party interests and/or 2008 campaign maneuvering and craft a firm, joint message to Bush.

The media seems utterly incapable of understanding or stating the obvious. The mainstream was pro war when there was no evidence to support war. The mainstream was pro Bush after Bush failed to defend our homeland and after he lied to us about WMD. The mainstream didn't support impeaching Bush or Cheney just a few months ago and now polls show a majority support impeaching Cheney and nearly a majority support impeaching Bush. The mainstream is over rated. Where the country is headed is not determined by the mainstream....liberals are pushing the nation's agenda and the rest of the country is slowly catching up.

We were anti war when it wasn't popular. We were pro impeachment before it was popular and we said the war was lost long before it was popular. When was the mainstream ever right?

July 13, 2007

The Iraq Debate That Wasn't

One way or another, something along the lines the President is describing will likely occur in 2008, if not sooner. And then, regardless of the situation on the ground, Bush will say he moved the right number of troops at the right time. The Democrats will say they forced him to do so, and will find new ways to keep the mess in Iraq front and center in the national debate - without necessarily pushing to bring all the troops home right away. If you're looking for someone who will lead a speedy withdrawal from Iraq, you'll have to go to the extreme left or right of the parties. Nobody in the mainstream is looking to get out soon.

July 15, 2007

Marine: Beating of Iraqis became routine

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - A Marine corporal testifying in a court-martial said Marines in his unit began routinely beating Iraqis after officers ordered them to "crank up the violence level."

Cpl. Saul H. Lopezromo testified Saturday at the murder trial of Cpl. Trent D. Thomas.

"We were told to crank up the violence level," said Lopezromo, testifying for the defense.

When a juror asked for further explanation, Lopezromo said: "We beat people, sir."

He said Marines consider all Iraqi men part of the insurgency.

July 14, 2007

Poll: 68% say surge has failed

Nearly two thirds of Americans believe that the president's troop "surge" has been a failure, poll respondents said. The survey also found broad public support for cutting the number of troops deployed on the battlefield. But in a bright spot for the president, less than 20 percent favored immediate withdrawal.

Nearly seven in 10 (68 percent) Americans disapprove of the way the president is handling the war in Iraq. Public approval of the president's handling of Iraq has remained below the 30 percent mark since January, when he announced his plans to increase the number of troops deployed there. (The public's approval of Bush's overall handling of the war has been below the 50 percent mark since February of 2004).

Still, Americans remain cautious about the prospect of a hasty withdrawal from Iraq, afraid it would leave the country in chaos. Out of four possible options in the poll, 19 percent of the respondents chose immediate total withdrawal. Slightly fewer (13 percent) don't want any cutbacks at all. Nearly a quarter of all Americans (24 percent) would implement a gradual withdrawal plan that would start in the fall and extend until the spring, when the last troops would come home. Forty percent favor keeping a substantial number of troops on the ground there, but only on the condition that they fall back to their bases and focus solely on training Iraqis and targeting Al Qaeda. And yet a majority (53 percent) want troops to remain for no more than a year. Only 19 percent could embrace the idea of maintaining a military presence in Iraq for up to two years, even at a reduced number.

During a period of gross violations of law by the CIA, no reports....does anyone find this strange anymore?

An Impeachable Offense
July 15, 2007

In Intelligence World, A Mute Watchdog

The President's Intelligence Oversight Board -- the principal civilian watchdog of the intelligence community -- is obligated under a 26-year-old executive order to tell the attorney general and the president about any intelligence activities it believes "may be unlawful." The board was vacant for the first two years of the Bush administration.

The FBI sent copies of its violation reports directly to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. But the board's mandate is to provide independent oversight, so the absence of such communications has prompted critics to question whether the board was doing its job.

"It's now apparent that the IOB was not actively employed in the early part of the administration. And it was a crucial period when its counsel would seem to have been needed the most," said Anthony Harrington, who served as the board's chairman for most of the Clinton administration.

The board now in place is led by former Bush economic adviser Stephen Friedman. It includes Don Evans, a friend of the president and a former commerce secretary; former Adm. David Jeremiah; and lawyer Arthur B. Culvahouse.

Kos is the largest and most popular political blog on the Internet. It's also a party blog - that is it's a blog that panders to party even when the party is wrong. This means it has to pander to conservative Democrats (blue dogs) when necessary. Blue Dogs will vote against the party more often than not and they're a far bigger threat to the two party system than anything Sheehan could say or do. Blue Dogs Democrats are republicans who pretend to be Democrats - they support war but don't want to pay for it with higher taxes. They want tax cuts and don't give a damn about the debt they create. Blue Dog conservative Democrats have as much value as neocons - that is none.

July 13, 2007

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan banned from Democratic blog

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan is being kicked off the Democratic blog Daily Kos because she is considering a challenge to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Sheehan posted a goodbye message Thursday, writing: "I can't post here anymore because my potential run for Congress is not on the Democratic ticket. I know a lot of you are hostile towards my candidacy."

Sheehan said earlier this week she would mount an independent campaign against Pelosi if the speaker did not initiate impeachment proceedings against President Bush within two weeks.

July 12, 2007

Judge Okays Libby Probation

A former White House aide who had his 2 and 1/2 year prison sentence for obstruction of justice commuted to no jail time by President Bush, I. Lewis Libby Jr., will be required to serve two years supervised release similar to probation, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

However, Judge Reggie Walton said he reached that conclusion "with great reservation" and he also delivered a forceful rebuttal to Mr. Bush's assertion that the sentence imposed in the case was too severe.

"It is fair to say that the Court is somewhat perplexed as to how its sentence could be accurately characterized as 'excessive,'" Judge Walton wrote in a footnote to his 10-page opinion upholding Libby's probation. "Although it is certainly the president's prerogative to justify the exercise of his constitutional commutation power in whatever manner he chooses (or even to decline to provide a reason for his actions altogether), the Court notes that the term of incarceration imposed in this case was determined after a careful consideration of each of the requisite statutory factors … and was consistent with the bottom end of the applicable sentencing range as properly calculated under the United States Sentencing Guidelines."

An Impeachable Offense
July 12, 2007

U.S. agency threatened whistleblowers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Managers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences may have threatened employees about testifying to Congress about problems there, Chuck Grassley, ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, said on Thursday.

He asked National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Elias Zerhouni to ensure that employees at the agency know they are free to testify.

"Several people, both inside and outside of NIEHS, alerted my staff to the fact that NIEHS employees have recently had discussions with management that left them with the impression that there would be retaliation if it was discovered that they had provided information to among others, congressional investigators," Grassley, an Iowa Republican, wrote in the letter.

July 12, 2007

Harris Poll: Bush Approval Drops to 26%

President George W. Bush's job performance continues to move downward as just one-quarter (26%) of U.S. adults currently view his job performance positively. This is the lowest since he took office and is tied with Richard Nixon's lowest ratings in the months before Watergate. Almost three-quarter of adults (73%) view the president's job performance in a negative light.

Vice President Dick Cheney also continues to see record low job approval – just one in five (21%) of adults view him in a positive light while three-quarters (74%) view his job performance negatively.

One in five adults (19%) currently view the country as going in the right direction while 70 percent say it is going off on the wrong track. These are the lowest numbers for right direction since 1992, when the first President Bush was losing his re-election bid. In June of that year, 12 percent of adults thought the country was going in the right direction while 81 percent said it was going off on the wrong track.

July 11, 2007

Bogus company gets radioactives license

WASHINGTON - Congressional investigators set up a bogus company with only a postal box and within a month obtained a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that allowed them to buy enough radioactive material for a small "dirty bomb."

Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., who will ask the NRC about the incident at a Senate hearing Thursday, said the sting operation raises concerns about terrorists obtaining such material just as easily.

Nobody at the NRC checked whether the company was legitimate and an agency official even helped the investigators fill out the application form, Coleman said in an interview Wednesday.

Gonzales continues to be screwed. He could say he had no idea what he was talking about when he lied to congress or he can say he sententially lied to congress.

An Impeachable Offense
July 10, 2007

Gonzales knew of FBI violations

WASHINGTON - Democrats raised new questions Tuesday about whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales knew about FBI abuses of civil liberties when he told a Senate committee that no such problems occurred.

Lying to Congress is a crime, but it wasn't clear if Gonzales knew about the violations when he made his statements to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

One Democrat called for a special counsel to investigate. President Bush continued to support his longtime friend.

July 11, 2007

Military files left unprotected online

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Detailed schematics of a military detainee holding facility in southern Iraq. Geographical surveys and aerial photographs of two military airfields outside Baghdad. Plans for a new fuel farm at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

The military calls it "need-to-know" information that would pose a direct threat to U.S. troops if it were to fall into the hands of terrorists. It's material so sensitive that officials refused to release the documents when asked.

But it's already out there, posted carelessly to file servers by government agencies and contractors, accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.

July 11, 2007

Battalion leader responsible for 24 Iraqi murders charged with 'dereliction of duty'

SAN DIEGO - The leader of a battalion involved in the killings of 24 Iraqis in Haditha should face a court-martial for dereliction of duty, the investigating officer recommended in a report obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, 43, was charged in December with dereliction of duty and violation of a lawful order for failing to report and investigate the deaths of the men, women and children in the biggest U.S. criminal case involving civilian deaths to come out of the Iraq war.

Thank god we have free elections - the GOP is scared shitless. You can bet your bottom dollar that if GOP senators weren't up for re election they'd still be supporting this lost cause.

July 11, 2007

GOP senators beseech Bush on Iraq

WASHINGTON - Nervous Senate Republicans beseeched the White House without apparent success Wednesday for a quick change in course on Iraq as congressional Democrats insisted on high-profile votes calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops by spring.

Prospects for a less-sweeping, bipartisan challenge to President Bush suffered a setback when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the leading proposal has "less teeth than a toothless tiger."

Taken together, the events pointed toward a 10-day period of politically charged maneuvering in the Senate in which Democrats push for a withdrawal, the White House's allies resist and a small but growing collection of Republicans — most of them facing re-election in 2008 — is caught in the middle.

Whom do we believe? Bush and his generals say we're winning in Iraq but the military says we're not.

July 12, 2007

Despite U.S. Assertions, Terrorists Thriving in Iraq, Senior Military Official Says

A military intelligence report that concludes al Qaeda has largely restored itself to pre- 9/11 strength will be the focus of a meeting at the White House today. The meeting was called to discuss a pending National Intelligence Estimate.

While the military has maintained that al Qaeda is on the run in Iraq, by any number of measures the terror group and its affiliates are as strong as ever, and June was the most violent month since the start of the war, a senior U.S. military official told ABC News.

July 10, 2007

Euro Hits New High Against U.S. Dollar

The euro soared to an all-time high against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, topping the $1.37 mark as key U.S. retailers and homebuilders lowered their growth forecasts, causing more concern about the American economy.

Along with the rise in the pound, the stronger euro also makes visits to much of Europe more expensive for travelers from elsewhere and makes shopping trips to the U.S. more appealing to Europeans.

"The dollar is a basket case," said Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital Inc. "We are going to pay the piper for years of having the underlying fundamentals of our economy disintegrate beneath our feet."

Our democracy is teetering on the brink of collapse because of the lawlessness in this White House. Maybe the only way it can survive is for Congress to authorize spending on a monthly basis so it can force the White House to comply with subpoenas and our laws.

July 11, 2007

Senate panel cuts off funding for Cheney's office

WASHINGTON  — Senate Democrats moved Tuesday to cut off funding for Vice President Dick Cheney's office in a continuing battle over whether he must comply with national security disclosure rules.

A Senate appropriations panel chaired by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., refused to fund $4.8 million in the vice president's budget until Cheney's office complies with parts of an executive order governing its handling of classified information.

Bush has been fighting al Qaeda for six years now and they're stronger than they were before he was appointed president by the Supreme Court. We know al Qaeda uses Iraq to train and we know they've raised money because of Iraq. In other words, there was no al Qaeda in Iraq until after we invaded and after four years of war, al Qaeda is stronger than its ever been.

July 12, 2007

Al-Qaida stronger than ever

Al-Qaida Has Rebuilt, U.S. Intel Warns

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A new threat assessment from U.S. counterterrorism analysts says that al-Qaida has used its safe haven along the Afghan-Pakistan border to restore its operating capabilities to a level unseen since the months before Sept. 11, 2001. A counterterrorism official familiar with a five-page summary of the document -- titled "Al-Qaida better positioned to strike the West" -- called it a stark appraisal. The analysis will be part of a broader meeting at the White House on Thursday about an upcoming National Intelligence Estimate.

Republican Unity Fraying on Iraq War

Vitter said Clinton should have resigned after we learned of Monica. He should follow his own advice and resign.

July 11, 2007

New Orleans Madam Names Senator

NEW ORLEANS -- New allegations tie Sen. David Vitter to a high-priced brothel in his hometown, one day after he publicly apologized for his connection to an alleged prostitution ring in Washington, D.C.

On Monday, Vitter acknowledged being involved with a D.C. escort service that federal prosecutors say was a prostitution ring. A day later, new revelations linked him to a former madam in New Orleans and old allegations that he frequented a former prostitute resurfaced, further clouding his political future.

Bush's war on terror has created more terrorism - he knows this. But not only is he creating more enemies but his war has made Iraq into a fund raising bonanza for al Qaeda. Helping the enemy is an impeachable offense.

An Impeachable Offense
July 11, 2007

Bush again links Iraq violence to 9/11

WASHINGTON — Struggling to stem growing opposition to his Iraq policy even among Republicans, President Bush contended anew Tuesday that the perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States are the same as al Qaida in Iraq, a violent Iraqi insurgent group that didn't exist until after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

It was the second time in two weeks that Bush has made the link in an apparent attempt to transform lingering fear of another U.S. terrorist attack into backing for the current buildup of U.S. troops in Iraq.

It seems painfully clear what's really happening. After the polls for congress dropped like a bomb after supporting more war funding it became apparent the war was over. No sane congress would continue funding a war the American people opposed, so now Bush is looking for a graceful way to end his little war.

The biggest problem facing Bush isn't the war, or its end per se, but what happens after the war is over. When there is no war, it's very easy to impeach and very easy to remove a president who lied us into war.

In 2002 the CIA said Saddam wasn't a threat to our national security - that is, he wouldn't use his weapons unless we first invaded him. How can Bush square his countless lies with that report? The UN inspectors told us Bush's intelligence was "outdate" and "garbage" and the IAEA called Bush a liar after he made a claim about Saddam being six months away from having nukes. The lies are falling apart and as they fall, so does the Bush presidency.

July 9, 2007

Report will say none of Iraq's goals met

WASHINGTON - A progress report on Iraq will conclude that the U.S.-backed government in Baghdad has not met any of its targets for political, economic and other reform, speeding up the Bush administration's reckoning on what to do next, a U.S. official said Monday.

One likely result of the report will be a vastly accelerated debate among President Bush's top aides on withdrawing troops and scaling back the U.S. presence in Iraq.

The "pivot point" for addressing the matter will no longer be Sept. 15, as initially envisioned, when a full report on Bush's so-called "surge" plan is due, but instead will come this week when the interim mid-July assessment is released, the official said.

"The facts are not in question," the official told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because the draft is still under discussion. "The real question is how the White House proceeds with a post-surge strategy in light of the report."

July 9, 2007

Iraqis Turning Surge Into "Joke"

(CBS/AP) President Bush is not contemplating withdrawing forces from Iraq now despite an erosion of support among Republicans for his war policy, the White House said Monday. However, a senior administration official who has been to Iraq many times tells CBS News the Iraqis have made the surge "a joke," adding that they lack the ability, the firepower and the discipline to take over anything.

A senior Pentagon official tells CBS News chief White House correspondent Jim Axelrod that a debate is underway to determine what conditions must exist, short of victory, to begin pulling troops out of Iraq.

July 9, 2007

Hurricane Director forced to resign

A 20-year veteran of the National Hurricane Center and already its deputy director, Ed Rappaport last year declined an opportunity to apply for the top job -- the most prominent post in government meteorology.

He ended up with it anyway Monday, appointed as the center's interim director in the climax of an unprecedented, unseemly staff mutiny that cost Bill Proenza his job after a tenure so abbreviated it didn't include a single hurricane.

Superiors in Washington said Proenza's turbulent six-month reign threatened the hurricane center's ability "to protect the American people."

Bush is your typical conservative. He can't take responsibility for his own failing so he blames Democrats and liberals. It's they only thing the GOP has done well during the past 30 years. God knows they don't know how to govern or protect us from our enemies.

July 7, 2007

AP Calls Bush on his Lies

The White House has said the failure of a broad immigration overhaul was proof that Democratic-controlled Capitol Hill cannot take on major issues. "We saw this with immigration, and we're seeing it with some other issues where Congress is having an inability to take on major challenges," said spokesman Tony Fratto.

The main reason the immigration measure died, however, was staunch opposition from Bush's own base — conservatives. The president could not turn around members of his own party despite weeks of intense effort.

Bush has spent years lying about the threat of terrorism and without his secrets hidden away at Guantanamo we won't know how many or his lies were in fact always lies. A president will end this war on terror and the war in Iraq - that's an absolute. So few people have been tried for terrorism that its become a national joke. In fact, far more military personnel have been tried and convicted of crimes than terrorists.

July 9, 2007

Lawmakers work on shutting down Guantanamo facility

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress plan to push measures to stop funding for the Guantanamo Bay detention center and grant new legal rights to detainees when Congress returns this week.

"As long as Guantanamo stays open, it undermines our defining principles as a nation of equal justice under law," said Rep Jim Moran, D-Va., author of a funding proposal that would give the Bush administration six months to close the Cuban facility.

The Bush administration wants to close the 51/2-year-old camp if authorities can keep holding dangerous detainees who "should never be released" or put on trial, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said June 29.

Never underestimate what war-profiteers will do for money.

July 8, 2007

Blackwater manager blamed for 2004 massacre in Fallujah

When four Blackwater USA security guards were ambushed and massacred in Fallujah in 2004, graphic images showed the world exactly what happened: four men killed, their bodies burned and dragged through the streets. A chanting mob hung two mutilated corpses from a bridge.

Shupe argued back, according to his memo: "I stated very sarcastically, 'you are going to split my team so you can have an admin guy and a phone watch. ... [M]y guys were fighting jet lag, we have not sighted our weapons in, we have no maps of the route, and no one is familiar with the route.' "

Powell responded: "The route is easy you just drive to Falluja, then through Fallujah to Al Ramiadia then to the boarder."

Do the job or go home

July 9, 2007

Iraq, Afghanistan costing $12 billion a month

Washington, DC (ap)  -- The boost in troop levels in Iraq has increased the cost of war there and in Afghanistan to $12 billion a month, and the total for Iraq alone is nearing a half-trillion dollars, congressional analysts say.

All told, Congress has appropriated $610 billion in war-related money since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror assaults, roughly the same as the war in Vietnam. Iraq alone has cost $450 billion.