Sunday, February 12, 2006

US Morphs Into Cambodia -- In Less Than Ten Years

The Sunday London Times reported on February 12, 2006 that the U.S. is helping to build a prison in Morocco which will be run by Moroccan secret police. Morocco has been cited as one of the U.S.’s principal partners in our “extraordinary rendition” program, wherein torture is used by foreign nationals to interrogate US prisoners, thus to avoid US anti-torture statutes.

In 1997, I headed a public defender project in Cambodia. Many practices of the infamous Pol Pot regime were still in evidence. Our attorneys encountered numerous instances of pre-trial torture, illegal detention in private prisons set up by government officials, and extra-judicial executions.

The experience gave me great respect for the American criminal justice system where such practices were virtually non-existent...then.

Now, less than ten years later, the use of torture for interrogation is promoted and defended by President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

The Bush administration has established private jails in foreign countries for the extra-judicial imprisonment and tortured interrogation of "detainees", even using former Soviet prisons in Eastern Europe. Those imprisoned are not afforded counsel, notice of the charges against them, trial by impartial magistrate or jury, not even notification to their families of their imprisonment.

We learn this week too that President Bush lied when he said that all the GITMO prisoners in Cuba were "bad guys". In fact, 90% of the GITMO prisoners are not Al Qaeda, Taliban or terrorists, but were kidnapped and sold to the US by Pakistani and Afghan allies at so much per head. FBI reports indicate that some of these prisoners have been tortured by U.S. agencies. It is no wonder that Bush didn't want these GITMO prisoners to be brought to a U.S. court. He had no evidence against them.

The Pol Pot regime was responsible for the death of almost two million Cambodians. Millions were killed in Hitler's death camps and Stalin and Mao's gulags.

It is no longer possible to say that the same can't happen in the United States when we learn from a January 27, 2006 press release that Vice President Cheney's Halliburton company has just received a billion dollar plus contract to construct detention camps inside the U.S. for "an overflow of immigrants and other special programs".

Yesterday a top CIA official quit or was fired because he opposed the Bush-Cheney pro-torture policy.

How much longer will it be before casting a vote for a Democratic candidate qualifies one for a berth in one of Halliburton's special detention facilities?

It is imperative that Americans who value democracy and our Constitution, be they conservative or liberal, unite to stop the Bush administration's imperial presidency.

We must demand that our congressional representative, Congressman Ed Case and Senators Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye, do everything they can to shut down the funds for secret detention centers, torturing interrogation teams, death squads, and new military excursions into the Middle East, Africa and South and Central America.

We must vote corrupt Republicans out of office and put a Democratic majority in Congress to restore our democracy.

Leader of the Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight

Cheney Shoots Fellow Hunter - Officially, It's The Other Guy's Fault


Yes, Deadeye Dick shot a fellow hunter while quail hunting in Texas yesterday, and the VP's office didn't report this until a day later.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Letter to Congressman Conyers: Ask Fitz to Investigate FISA Violations

Dear Congressman Conyers:

I am writing to urge you to request Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate FISA act violations by President Bush and numerous members of his administration.

President Bush has admitted to authorizing surveillance in violation of the FISA statute. Cheney was instrumental in pushing for warrantless surveillance. Steven Hadley, Condi Rice, Alberto Gonzales and likely Rumsfeld and Bolton were also involved. Were all these people to be charged and convicted of violating the FISA Act, a five-year felony, they could all be impeached and removed.

It would not be necessary to seek the appointment of another special prosecutor to investigate FISA violations as Fitzgerald already has the authority to follow the Plame leak investigation wherever it leads.

It is highly likely that under Bush's authorization, the NSA was tapping Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson, as well as other governmental officials and journalists. Might they not also have tapped Fitzgerald phones and that of his investigators and cooperating witnesses? (And would Congressman Conyers and his staff have been spared?)

Please ask Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the FISA violations as part of his brief. We know he is competent and ethical.

Thank you for considering my views.

Justina

Fitz: After Rove, Go for FISA Violators!

OK, Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald. The holidays are over. Lobbyist Abramoff has been pled guilty to corruption and pledged to cooperate in taking down more corrupt Republicans. DeLay, indicted in Texas, has caved to Republican demands that he give up his dreams of returning as Congressional majority leader, and more indictments against him seem likely. It's time for Rove to be put out of action as well.

I would suggest, however, that you team up with some state prosecutors to make sure there are state charges against Rove as well as federal. (Possibly Rove could be charged with obstruction of justice in connection with his involvement in Bush's removing the Guam U.S. Attorney from office just as he was investigating Abramoff.) Bush doesn't have the power to pardon on state indictments or convictions.(But does Guam have non-federal laws in place?).

It would be nice if Rove, Bush, Cheney, Gonzales, Rice and Rumsfeld could all be charged as conspirators in violating the FISA Foreign Surveillance Act. It's a five year felony for each occurence. They've admitted to re-authorizing the illegal taps at least 30 times. Since hundreds of U.S. citizens have likely been illegally tapped, that would be enough to get the whole lot of them impeached, removed and jailed.

Wow, Hadley,Cherfoff, the whole National Security Council and perhaps even John Bolton could be charged with FISA violations. Each illegal tap might even establish violations of state criminal laws as well. State convictions would insure that Bush couldn't pardon them all.

Please, Mr. Fitzgerald, hurry up and indict Rove and Cheney on Plamegate, so you can go on to prosecute the entire Bush administration for FISA felonies, including, no doubt, the illegal tapping of the Plame-Wilson household. The sixty-four billion dollar question (inflation, you know) is whether Fitz could prove that the Bush administration has been illegally wiretapping his phones and that of his investigators and cooperating witnesses. Proof of that would crumble the entire Bush cabal. Let us pray...

Well, It Could Have Been Tom Delay...

War and Piece
"Comedy, Congressional GOP style. Ellen Miller writes:

Dennis Hastert is making the House take a refresher course on ethics rules.

Guess who the instructor is?

That would be "Representative #1" from the Abramoff plea agreement, a.k.a Bob Ney.

Posted by Laura at 04:19 PM"
http://www.warandpiece.com/

Thursday, December 29, 2005

British Used Info Based on Torture

Daily Kos: Leaked torture documents the UK Government are trying to block under Secrecy Act - published here

"Compare and Contrast the government's public position on Torture, with the information they were recieving at the time from their own Ambassador, and the legal advice they were seeking.
We have archived a selection of government spin and lies on the use of torture in these 4 pages:
http://www.blairwatch.co.uk/node/708
http://www.blairwatch.co.uk/node/709
http://www.blairwatch.co.uk/node/710
http://www.blairwatch.co.uk/node/711

and you can listen to Jack Straw and Tony Blair deny what you read in these hitherto 'secret' documents here.
http://www.blairwatch.co.uk/down/strawhust.mp3
http://www.blairwatch.co.uk/down/blairrend.mp3

What you can do:

We have published the documents in full here, and ask that anyone who can will do the same.
http://www.blairwatch.co.uk/node/715
http://www.blairwatch.co.uk/node/714

If you could publish, host and link to these documents on your own webspace, then it will be harder for anybody to be prosecuted here in the UK, and ensure that they get maximum coverage.

Craig Murray stood up for what many of us believe, and it cost him his Job, his health, and his professional reputation. The least we can do his stand by him as he defies the UK government's attempts at censorship, and possible prosecution.

Craig's own post on the subject can be found here:



I attach our latest post on the subject.
http://www.blairwatch.co.uk/node/716
"
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/12/29/13730/539

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Look Who Lost the Iraqi Election.

CHENEY'S MAN IN BAGHDAD GOT CLOBBERED

Chalabi got less than one percent of the vote, missing gaining even one seat in the Iraqi Parliament by some 8000 votes. Meanwhile, the great former prime minister, the State Department's "boy in Baghdad" former interim Prime Minister, Allawi, didn't do very much better. Thus explains the leftcoaster.

So if Chalabi and Allawi both find themselves out of power this year, who will be left to steer Iraqi oil towards the United States? No one.

See, I have no doubt that the major reason why Cheney is fighting the release of his Energy Task Force documents isn't so much his long-standing belief in unfettered executive power, but rather the reality that months before 9/11, this group of oil men were told in the White House that the Bush Administration would topple Saddam and get its hands on Iraqi oil by hook or by crook. There were already stories in the media that among the documents being reviewed and discussed at these meetings were the maps of Iraqi oil fields, so it isn't a long shot that Cheney and the PNAC/AEI soulmates were telling the oil companies to start planning for how to access these new fields and break OPEC's stranglehold on world oil supplies and prices.

One of the things that these oil execs would have been told was the grand plan to get rid of Saddam one way or another, and have him replaced with someone like Chalabi or Allawi, two guys only too willing to take our offer of installing them at the head of a new government in exchange for an Oil Ministry that let American firms car
ve up the country. You can almost hear the speeches by the AEI and PNAC guys to these oil execs now, about how now with the Bush team in charge, a number of dreams could now come true for Big Oil, and as a sidelight, oh yeah, we'd "liberate" the Iraqis and bring the benefits of capitalism to them while their national resources are once again plundered for our benefit. And if we can help Israel and cripple the Palestinians at the same time, great. The PNAC guys and the AEI whiz kids like Ledeen and the others could become the new "Wise" mean.


One thing is for sure: the American people and the Iragi people have also been clobbered by a lawless administration out for control of the world, but who are too incompetent to control even the six mile road between the Green Zone and the Baghdad airport.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Democrats Report on Impeachable offenses


| House Judiciary Democrats issues report
alleging gross misconduct by Bush over Iraq

"There is at least a prima facie case that these actions by the President, Vice-President and other members of the Bush Administration violate a number of federal laws, including (1) Committing a Fraud against the United States; (2) Making False Statements to Congress; (3) The War Powers Resolution; (4) Misuse of Government Funds; (5) federal laws and international treaties prohibiting torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment; (6) federal laws concerning retaliating against witnesses and other individuals; and (7) federal laws and regulations concerning leaking and other misuse of intelligence.

While these charges clearly rise to the level of impeachable misconduct, because the Bush Administration and the Republican-controlled Congress have blocked the ability of Members to obtain information directly from the Administration concerning these matters or responding to these charges, more investigatory authority is needed before recommendations can be made regarding specific Articles of Impeachment. As a result, we recommend that Congress establish a select committee with subpoena authority to investigate the misconduct of the Bush Administration with regard to the Iraq war detailed in this Report and report to the Committee on the Judiciary on possible impeachable offenses."
[Thanks to rawstory.coml

2001 CONGRESS SPECIFICALLY REFUSED TO GRANT DOMESTIC WAR POWERS

Rawstory reports an article in today's Washington Post by former Senate Majority Leader, Tom Daschle,which explodes the White House claim that the "Authorization of Force" resolution passed immediately after the September 11th, 2001 attacks gave the president authority to conduct warrantless surveillance within the United States:

"As drafted, and as finally passed, the resolution authorized the president "to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations or persons" who "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the Sept. 11 attacks.

"Literally minutes before the Senate cast its vote, the administration sought to add the words 'in the United States and' after 'appropriate force' in the agreed-upon text," Daschle wrote. "This last-minute change would have given the president broad authority to exercise expansive powers not just overseas -- where we all understood he wanted authority to act -- but right here in the United States, potentially against American citizens. I could see no justification for Congress to accede to this extraordinary request for additional authority. I refused."

Daschle wrote that Congress also rejected draft language from the White House that would have authorized the use of force to "deter and pre-empt any future acts of terrorism or aggression against the United States," not only against those responsible". http://www.washingtonpost.com,

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Impeach, Convict, Remove



Restore Democracy


Impeach Bush &Cheney

President Bush has publicly admitted to authorizing the warrantless surveillance of American citizens in violation of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) He said he had re-authorized the warrantless surveillance more than 30 times. The 1978 Act makes it a felony with a five year maximum and a $10,000.00 fine for each violation of the statute.

FISA creates a secret federal court to rule on warrant applications under FISA. Since 1978, over 19000 warrant applications have been made to the court. Up to 2002, no warrant applications had been refused. Since 2002 and under the Bush administration some 4 applications have been questioned by the court, while one was denied. That denial was appelled to a special appellate court, the first such appeal in the FISA court's history. The appellate court reversed the district court's denial of the warrant.

The FISA act provides that it is the exclusive procedure for the authorization of foreign intelligence surveillance involving American citizens on American territory.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Bush is claiming that as commander in chief of the military, as conferred by Article II of the Constitution, and under the September, 2001 Congressional resolution authorizing the use of force against those who committed the 9-11 attacks and their supporters, he has the inherent right to authorize warrantless searches without applying for FISA warrants through the FISA court. Initially he claimed that the government had to act very swiftly to surveil potential terrorists and this need for speed obviated the requirement to get warrants from the FISA court.

When confronted by the provision in the FISA statute which allowed the government to begin surveillance immediately without a warrant so long as they applied for a warrant within 72 hours, General Michael Hayden then claimed that doing the paperwork for the FISA warrant was "inconvenient".

Bush is claiming the right to ignore any statutes which he decides interfer with his ability to
conduct the war on terror. He successfully claimed, in the Padilla case, that he had the right to detain an American citizen as an "enemy combatant" without charging him with a crime or according him the right to counsel, the right to trial by jury, the right to bail, or any of the other rights according to American citizens in our Bill of Rights. The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit agreed that Bush had that power. Padilla has since sought review by the U.S. Supreme Court, but the Supreme Court has not yet indicated whether it will review the lower court's decision.

The Bush administration has made no effort at all to ask the Congress to amend the FISA Act to make it more "convenient" for conducting surveillance. They have chosen to simply ignore FISA and the warrant requirement.

Bush's theory that he has the right to surveil without warrants and detain American citizens without according him normal constitutional rights, suggests that Bush is claiming that he has
the right to ignore any Constitutional provisions or criminal laws which he considers inconvenient. This is contrary to the fundamental structural underpinning of the American government of checks and balances in which the Congress is given the power to create the laws and the president has the authority to carry out those laws; both to be subject to review by the judicial branch.

Bush has sought to avoid judicial review of questionable policies by locating imprisonment of detainees from Afghanistan and elsewhere in Cuba and in secret prisons in eastern Europe, Asia, and Diego Garcia island, among other places. He has employed extreme interrogation methods in those secret prisons, as well as sending detainees to countries who employ torture for interrogations. Bush and Cheney adamently opposed Senator John McCain's bill prohibiting the use of torture against any detainee.

In Bush's State of the Union speech in 2003, he suggested that his administration had arranged for terrorists to "disappear", a practice formerly associated only with Latin American dictatorships. This president and his administration believe that they have the right to violate U.S. laws with impunity.

Since coming to office, President Bush has consistently attempted to avoid congressional and judicial oversight. He claims the right to an imperial presidency under color of his "commander in chief" role. No U.S. Supreme Court decision has ever held that the president has the authority to ignore U.S. statutes or constitutional provisions. He took an oath to execute the laws faithfully, not to assassinate them.

The Constitution provides that the president, vice president and all government officers can be impeached for commiting treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors.

Bush has admitted to violating the FISA criminal statute on 30 or more occasions, which amounts to 30 or more felonies. Oversight of the warrantless surveillance took place in the vice president's office. Both Bush and Cheney must be impeached and removed.

Monday, September 19, 2005

A FEW QUESTIONS FOR MRS. CHENEY.....

Submitted to Mrs. Cheney via "Ask the White House" web interview of 9/18/05

Mrs. Cheney:

Can you tell us precisely where you and Vice President Cheney were and what you both were doing each day from August 28, 2005 to Saturday, September 3, 2005?

Between August 28, 2005 and Friday, September 2, 2005, on what dates did you or Vice President Cheney watch TV news? For how long on each respective day did you watch TV news concerning the Katrina hurricane and flooding?

If you know, where was Donald Rumsfeld and what was he doing on those same dates from August 28th to September 3rd?

On what day did you close the purchase of your new Maryland property?

On what date did your husband first learn that power companies in the North East needed fuel diverted for their use? Who did he call and when did he call or otherwise communicate the need for the diversion of fuel to the power companies?

Do you or Vice President Cheney own any stock in any of the power companies who received the diverted fuel or in any companies which were dependent upon those power companies for fuel?

Does Vice President Cheney or you own any stock or stock options in any of the companies which have received no-bid contracts from the government for repairs or restoration of Katrina storm or flood damage? If so, please identify each company in which you or Vice President Cheney own stock or stock options.

On what days between Sunday, August 28th and Friday, September 2, 2005 did you or Vice President Cheney talk with President Bush about the Katrina storm or flood damage or the delays by FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security in getting rescue workers, food, water and medical care to Katrina victims? What was the nature of each such conversation?

What, if any, immediate steps were taken, and when, by you, Vice President Cheney or President Bush to personally order immediate relief to Katrina victims? When was the requested aid first delivered to actual victims in La, Ms. or Alabama?

In hindsight, what steps would you, Vice President Cheney and/or President Bush have taken to provide timely rescue, supplies and safe, sanitary accommodations to Katrina victims?

Are you aware that neither Mr. Chertoff, Mr. Brown nor five out of the eight other top FEMA officials have any training or professional experience in emergency management? Do you feel safer today than you did five years ago when a trained emergency management professional, James Witt, was running the FEMA agency under the Clinton administration?

Do you agree with President Bush that workers in the flooded Gulf states should be paid less than the prevailing wages in their job categories in the disaster areas?

Do you believe that reducing the wages of Katrina victims and recovery workers, many of whom lost everything they owned in the storms and floods, will assist these citizens to re-establish sane lives? If so, please explain your answer.

Do you believe that all CEO's and executive officers of firms receiving federal contracts for flood repairs and reconstruction, such as Halliburton, should be ordered by President Bush to donate the value of at least one year's salary and all stock options to local recovery charities?

If not, why should low wage workers be forced to donate from their salaries to the companies employing them?

Were you present during any meetings with Karl Rove and other government officials when Rove directed that state and local Democratic officials should be blamed for the delays in getting aid to the residents of the disaster areas?

Did you receive a copy of any "talking points" intended to divert press and public from blaming FEMA or President Bush for their inexcusable incompetence in failing to provide aid to our Southern citizens? Who drafted any such talking points and when were they given to you? On how many occasions did you use them in public interviews?

Were you aware that Governor Blanco requested federal emergency aid on August 26, 2005?

What, in your view, is the reason that emergency assistance requested from the federal government on August 26, 2005 was not supplied by the federal government by August 29, 2005, or even by September 2, 2005, and in some cases has still not arrived in the affected areas?

As a mother and grandmother, are you concerned that the failure of our Environmental Protection Agency and FDA to regulate mercury and other poisons in our water, soil, air and even children's vaccination serum may damage them? What steps have you taken personally to reduce pollution damage in our environment?

Are you aware that Vice President Cheney has apparently ordered the military to prepare a plan for attack on Iran which includes the use of nuclear weapons?

Are you aware that the nuclear weapons we are already using in Iraq, in the form of depleted uranium, cannot be removed from the environment or the human body and remains deadly to humans and our food chain for at least its half life of 4.5 billion years?

Are you aware that the cancer rate among children in Iraq has increased at least 600% since depleted uranium was first used in the First Gulf War?

Are you aware that our soldiers are being poisoned, some to death, by depleted uranium for which there is no treatment, and that some soldiers have produced horribly mutant children as a result of the depleted uranium exposure?

What have you done to stop your husband's reckless and irrational push for the use of any nuclear weapons against anyone?

Thank you in advance for addressing these questions. Most of them have not been asked by the national media. Do you have any idea why not?

Best wishes on your new 2 + million dollar beachfront property in Maryland. I'm sure it is big enough to house many homeless Katrina victims. Can you tell us how many of the homeless you have housed there or in your Jackson Hole, Wyoming property so far?

[ End -- And Don't Hold Your Breath for A Reply]

Saturday, September 17, 2005

I'm Left Speechless by Bush Disasters

Mot Juste:

bush disaster.bmp


Thanks to:

Steve Clemons:Thanks to JI for sending this photo -- which I offer you in humor.

-- Steve Clemons"
http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/

Friday, September 02, 2005

FEMA REFUSED TO ALLOW HELP INTO NEW ORLEANS

Not only did the Bush Administration withdraw funding for levee repairs in New Orleans, not only did they fail to pre-position ships with emergency supplies and personnel prior to the Katrina hit, not only did they fail to provide assistance in evacuating the city prior to the Katrina storm, but...

INCREDIBLE! The Bush Government refused to allow Canadian rescue teams to cross the northern border, [the determined Canadians put their teams and equipment on boats and sailed to Louisana, where state officials let them in to help.]

FEMA also refused to allow fourteen airboats from Florida to enter the city for search and rescue work, as well as refusing former Vice President Gore's donated air planes to remove hospital patients from N.O. Naturally Bush refused offers of medical personnel and supplies from Cuba and oil and gas from Venezuela, but....

EVEN MORE INCREDIBLE: FEMA prohibited the American Red Cross from bringing food and water to the refugees in the N.O. Convention Center and Sports complex on the grounds that if the Red Cross brought in emergency supplies, the refugees wouldn't want to leave the city. People, including babies, were dying there from dehydration and FEMA intentionally ignored them.

Bush and FEMA officials Should be Criminally Prosecuted For Negligent Homicide If Not Manslaughter.

Red Cross NEVER allowed into New Orleans.

Fri Sep 2nd, 2005 at 18:02:05 PDT

My first diary! This whole week has been so depressing. My Red Cross donation was one bright spot. At least I had done something to help.

Then, after reading dKos and the other blogs all week and seeing over and over again comments that that FEMA and the NG were no where to be seen from the people on the ground in NO, I was wondering where the Red Cross was in all this. They were never mentioned. It was like they didn't exist. And, after yesterday's drama at the convention center, the Brown and Chertoff lies, the Red Cross was still MIA. Then, earlier today, I saw a note that the Red Cross was not allowed to enter NO. Hmm, that's doesn't make sense. This simmered for a couple hours.

So I called the Red Cross and asked them if its true....

[editor's note, by SteveRose] updated to more blatant title.

And, to my surprise, the nice lady answering the phone said it was true and they told/asked/ordered not to enter NO. She then went right into her spiel about all the other work the Red Cross was doing across the region. I said that's nice, but I still didn't understand why they weren't in NO. To my amazement, she patiently explained it to me. I even called back to verify what she said. This time she asked if I was media, I said no, just a concerned and confused contributor.

So here goes: Homeland Security (her term, not mine) told the Red Cross DO NOT enter New Orleans and says this still now. And why, you may ask? Not Security. Not worker safety. Not lack of access. It was because people would be drawn to the Red Cross food and they wouldn't want to go to be evacuated. So I asked: "The people starving and dying at the convention center yesterday couldn't get Red Cross food and water because they would be drawn to the food at the convention center, where they were, and not want to be evacuated from the convention center where no evacuations were going on or planned and all the while they are dying". (Actually, it was a couple questions.) She went back into her spiel about all of the other good work they were doing. When I asked again, she said yes, that was true. She seem relieved to admit it.

In closing, I asked if she asked this question before since she was very familiar with the answer she gave. She said yes. And I promised another donation. Which they will get after this post.

So, the question for Bushies, why was the Red Cross banned from NO when they knew people were starving? Could it be they were saving the convention center rescue until Bush's visit today? It certainly seems like it. Doesn't it?

Red Cross National Affairs number (202-303-5551)

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Is This Why U.K. Joined the Iraq Invasion?

Blair to Get $855,000 Job with Bush
Family Pals i
n the Carlyle Group


Exclusive By Rupert Hamer

08/22/05 "Sunday Mirror"
-- -- TONY Blair is expected to join one of the most exclusive groups of businessmen in the world after he leaves Downing Street.

The PM is being lined up for a highly lucrative position with the Carlyle Group - an American-based investment giant with strong links to the White House and the defence industry.

The firm has been nicknamed "The Ex-Presidents Club" because it has had a host of former world leaders on its books including George Bush Senior, his former secretary of state James Baker and former British PM John Major. There a also a large number of former US Army top brass.

Mr Blair has been keeping quiet about his plans after his departure from Number 10 - which could be as early as 2007 according to some Labour insiders.

But sources in the City have revealed that he is "seriously considering" a high-profile role with Carlyle - which manages $30billion (£20million) of investments worldwide.

The job could net Mr Blair up to £500,000 a year for only a few days work a month giving speeches and making "networking" trips on behalf of the company.

The move comes after it emerged that the premier's financial affairs are in an increasingly perilous state His dream home has crashed in value by £700,000 in just seven months and he and Cherie have to find £13,000 a month for the mortgage.

The £3million loan the couple took out to buy the house in London's Connaught Square is 17 times Mr Blair's current salary.

[End of Fair Use Quote from Sunday Mirror]]


But Who Pays His $22,000 A Month Mortgage?

Carlyle is the former financial home of George Bush, Sr. and a number of Bin Laden family investments.

Upon George Bush Senior's forced retirement from the presidency, he became Carlyle's ambassador plenipotentiary to the top officials in all the countries he'd visited as U.S. president, giving Carlyle immediate entree for its desired investments as well as enormous cachet to match its vast cash. It is the top private equity investment firm in the world.

A job offer from Carlyle at U.S. $855,000 a year --for just a few days work a month--might just turn the head of a previously modest Labour Party official and lawyer. Would it turn the official's head far enough to buy an otherwise unjustified military invasion of Iraq?

Hamer reports that Blair's new U.S. $5,130,000 house is 17 times his yearly salary of approximately $25,000 a month, and he is scrambling to make the $22,000 a month mortgage payments.

Poor dear. He could hold rent parties or take in boarders to make the mortgage but surely President Bush's Dad would float Tony a loan to cover his monthly payments until he's on board at Carlyle. After all, Blair did go to the trouble of invading Iraq just to keep young George company, and what's a $264,000 a year loan among friends?

If Blair put the usual ten percent down on his 5 million dollar house, he would have plunked down $513,000 in cash. Dare we ask where that came from? The families of the dead British soldiers certainly should.

Didn't glorious young George have lots of loose millions in cash lying around in Iraq? Perhaps he gave Tony a tip off the top? Thats the least he could do when he refused Blair's pleas to sign the Kyoto Treaty or to make a substantial contribution to Blair's povery fund.

But Bush does believe in rewarding loyal friends, as long as it doesn't damage his standing with his neo-conservative pals and as long as it doesn't come out of his his own pocket. Didn't Bush hand out a few billion in non-bid contracts to his friend Cheney's Halliburton firm as well as to several Carlyle owned defense contractors? That money came from the US tax payers and Iraqi oil profits.

But what the hell is the head of the British Labour Party doing with a five million dollar house and a $22,000 a month mortgage? Why is the head of the British Labour Party, the ruling British prime minister, taking a job with the wealthiest capitalist investment company in the world?

Carlyle, which owns many defense contractor companies, has made billions off the Iraq war. Did it first buy off the British Prime Minister with a job offer to smooth the way toward Britain's active participation in the invasion, even though Blair and all his advisors knew the factually unjustifiable invasion was illegal?

Will we next learn that Bill and Hillary Clinton have been on the Carlyle's payroll as well? That might explain their odd enthusiasm for "staying the course to accomplish the mission" in Iraq.

Exactly What is the Remaining Mission in Iraq?

The remaining mission in Iraq obviously does not include ferreting out weapons of mass destruction. All Bush's carefully chosen expert ferretors, who ferreted to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, had to admit that there were no weapons of mass destruction to be found in Iraq.

The remaining mission in Iraq obviously does not include removing Saddam as a threat to us and his neighbors. He is in jail and on the fast track to being executed before he can tell how much help, and what chemical and biological weapons he was given for his fight with Iran, by that now cannonized saint of Washington National Airport and the Republican Party, President Ronald Reagan.

And for heaven sakes don't let Saddam bring up George Bush Senior's treasonous manipulations to forestall Iran from releasing the American hostages before the November election. That stopped President Carter's re-election. It was just pure luck that Iran released those hostages on the very day that Reagan and Bush Senior were sworn into office.

Then of course, Saddam must be convicted and killed before he tells all he probably knows about the details of Bush Senior's involvement in selling weapons to our terrorist enemy, Iran, so he could funnel the profits to the right wing Contra's to fund their illegal war against the duly elected Sandinistas government.

But who cares about that old Iran-Contra business anyway? People have long forgotten that Congress specifically prohibited our government from giving funds or aid the Contras. Most of those who were convicted for their illegal smuggling or perjury, were pardoned by Bush Senior. Now many of those same criminals have been re-hired to prestigious jobs in the current Bush administration. The Bush family is truly loyal to the crooks who serve them. Karl Rove needn't worry a bit.

Well, we've now learned that for several years prior to the 2003 Iraq invasion, Saddam was too busy writing romance novels to organize any threats against the US or his neighbors, and, besides, he didn't have any of the necessary weapons. Isn't it a shame that the CIA's intelligence on Iraq was so bad?

We'll Fire Our Nukes on Iraq, to Stop Nuclear Proliferation

Saddam's neighbor and old enemy, Iran, is severely threatened now -- by us, or more properly by Bush and his band of rogue neo-conservative terrorists -- who are threatening to attack Iran with "tactical" nuclear weapons no less.

Or, if it seems more politically expedient, Bush will allow Israel to carry the nuclear bombs to Iran. Don't worry, it will all appear to be perfectly legal. To justify their pre-emptory attacks on Iran, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld will stage....


Yet Another Fake Pearl Harbor?

A recent British publication reported that Vice President Cheney had directed the Pentagon to prepare plans for an attack on Iran if the US was the target of another terrorist attack, whether or not Iran had any connection to the terrorist attack. (And whether or not it was a "real" terrorist attack or one Cheney cooked up to look that way).

[ Funny, I thought our founding fathers only gave war powers to the president. I guess Bush hasn't read that far in the Constitution or maybe he likes having his co-president Cheney do all that annoying reading and, while Cheney does all the hard work, like starting wars, Bush can go blissfully off on his bike rides and five week vacations.]

As I write, while Bush "vacates" in Crawford and hides from Cindy Sheehan, Cheney is busy making plans for the imposition of martial law on the country "if there should be another terrorist attack". Cheney really means "when he orchestrates the next fake terrorist attack, not "if".

Right on point are several American news reports relating the Pentagon's extraordinary demotion of a four star general who only has a few months before his retirement date.

The Associated Press reports that General Kevin Byrnes was "relieved of his duties" because he had unpermitted telephone communications with a civilian woman to whom he was not married, while he was separated from his wife and awaiting the final divorce decree. There was no suggestion of sexual harassment complaints against the General, and the telephone calls in question were apparently mutually consensual.

General Byrnes was one of only eleven four star generals in our military.

The Pentagon probably spends half a billion dollars or more training and grooming a four star. It wouldn't toss that investment out lightly, and certainly not for the military equivalent of failing to walk within the white lines of a pedestrian crossing. The General was not even alleged to have known the woman in question while he was still living with his wife.


Another American website report (www.arcticbeacon.com) makes more logical, if much more terrifying, sense: General Byrnes, in charge of all the military Training and Doctrine programs, was demoted because he had interfered with the execution of a Cheney plan to use a live nuclear weapon in a training exercise which would intentionally be detonated in Charlestown, South Carolina attributed to terrorists, Iranian terrorists. The nuclear detonation would be blamed on Iranians terrorists, thus giving the US and Israel legal justification for an immediate nuclear attack on Iran.

General Byrnes was in charge of the "nuclear terrorist attack drill" to take place in Charleston, South Carolina in August.

There is also an assertion that General Byrnes was part of a group of Army officers who were actively working to prevent the Pentagon's neo-conservatives from starting a nuclear war on Iran which would might cause a general global conflagation.

If this story is true, my deep thanks to General Byrnes and all those working with him. Your actions, along with those of Cindy Sheehan and all her supporters, may help us to stop this mad cabal of war mongers and profiteers.

If the story about the General Byrnes interfering with a faked nuclear terrorist attack has truth to it though, I wonder how the General avoided assassination long enough to be officially demoted.

Byrnes has not made any public statements. I pray he lives long enough to tell his tale in sworn testimony to a joint session of of Congress. That's what it may take to wake our Congressional delegations and our citizens to fact that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are quite prepared to re-enact the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on US towns just so they can justify nuking Iran to control its oil.


Maybe its just pure fantasy that Cheney is planning to fake a terrorist attack and to nuke Iran. But what worries me is that Cheney's statements concerning the nuclear threat presented by Iran are so very, very similar to his statements about the non-existent weapons of mass destruction and nuclear program in Iraq. It appears quite likely that like the 9-11 attacks which set the stage for the Iraq invasion, Cheney would welcome a terrorist attack if it meant he could permanently change Iran's regime by "tactical" nuking of all its leaders around Tehran and points north, while leaving its southern oil fields uncontaminated so they could be seized.

See Greg Syzmanski for details. [Warning: I just saw a web note saying that Syzmanski makes up stories, but who can tell fiction from fact with this insane administration?]

Footnote 1: The story of Cheney's planned fake nuclear attack for 2005 brings to mind the questions many of us had about whether the Bush administration had prior knowledge of the 9-11 attack and just let it happen. Now I wonder if they had that foreknowledge of the 9-11 attack because they engineered it.

Syzmanski quotes a former Vietnam War and Pan Am pilot who flew the same planes that crashed into buildings on 9-11:

Concerning 9/11, Wittenberg knew right off the bat the hijackers - who couldn’t handle a Piper Cub - couldn’t fly the ‘big birds” he flew for so many years, knowing the planes were also incapable of performing such high speed maneuvers as the government claimed.

He also knew the possibility of jet fuel bringing down the towers made no sense. ["Jet fuel burns cold, not hot", he said.] In fact, he knew the whole 9/11 story made about as much sense as crossing the Atlantic in a row boat...* * *

Knowing the flight characteristics of the “big birds” like the back of his hand, Wittenberg convincingly argued there was absolutely no possibility that Flight 77could have “descended 7,000 feet in two minutes, all the while performing a steep 270 degree banked turn before crashing into the Pentagon’s first floor wall without touching the lawn.”

Wittenberg claimed the high speed maneuver would have surely stalled the jetliner sending it into a nose dive, adding it was “totally impossible for an amateur who couldn’t even fly a Cessna to maneuver the jetliner in such a highly professional manner, something Wittenberg said he couldn’t do with 35 years of commercial jetliner experience.

footnote 2: I watched a tall building being imploded in Honolulu years ago. I repeatedly watched a video of the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 which was not hit by any airplanes and suffered no fuel explosions. Building 7 collapsed as neatly into its own footprint as the professionally set detonation of that Honolulu building. Odd.

footnote 3: Another web site linked to Syzmanski's asserts that the outing of Valerie Plame was not a personal attack on her career, but was the intentional destruction of the CIA front company where she worked and the undercover status of its many operatives around the world. It states that the leaking of Plame's undercover role at the CIA's energy company was devastating to the CIA's capacity to track nuclear weapons, and may have resulted in the deaths of some of its agents or sources.

The site suggests that knocking out all the CIA's surveillance capabilities on nuclear weapons components, especially those known to be badly secured in Russia, allowed Israel's intelligence operation, Mossad, to be the only source of information on their location at any given time. Mossad's control over the all information about the Russian nukes would allow them to claim a nuke had been stolen by Iranian terrorists. The intentional detonation of a similar nuke on US soil could then be attributed to the Iranians, providing the US and Israel with the preferred legal justification for the immediate nuking Iran.

Footnote 4: This article rings true concerning the substantial consequences suffered by the CIA as a result of illegal disclosure of Valerie Plame's identity as an undercover CIA agent. The Appellate Court's opinion upheld the appealed order to journalist Judith Miller to testify before the grand jury concerning information she received from a putative confidential source concerning the identity of Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA operative on nuclear proliferation issues. The Appellate Court emphasized the seriousness of the crime, which had to mean its adverse impact on the CIA and its other proliferation agents.

Democracy Means that He Who Stuffs the Most Votes in the Ballot Box Wins, No?

The remaining mission in Iraq isn't to establish a democracy. Bush dispensed with democracy when he successfully stole two presidential elections in the U.S. His luck was not as good in Iraq. Even though he loaded his chosen election candidates with money, media coverage, intelligence, his candidates lost badly.

But even without the benefit of the easily altered electronic voting equipment, Bush's boys gave it the old college try. They simply extended the vote counting for a few days to allow them to manually fix the vote totals so that the winning party didn't carry a voting majority of the total, and had to enlist allies to carry to the day. But even with the vote fixing, Bush soon lost control of the constitutional drafting process.

The winning Shi'ite fundamentalists are now in the process of approving the theocratic constitution they drafte which enshrines Islam as the official state religion and the basic source of law, putting Islamic Shar'ia rules in force as the determinant of family and domestic law.

Shi'ite Iran, which trained and protected Iraqi Shi'ite mullahs during Saddam's anti-Shi'ite, anti-clerical regime, will be delighted. As the apt saying goes, " Bush went to war on Iraq -- and Iran won." And Iraqi women lost.

Occupation Subverts Iraqis Women's Rights

Even before Islam becomes the official state religion and source of law, women are being attacked in the streets, even in the Universities, for not wearing scarfs or otherwise dressing and acting as mandated by the Sadr Shi'ite mullahs. Acid has been thrown in the faces of the non-compliant. Women fear to stand for election because targetted assassination is a distinct possibility.

[There were more homicides in Iraq this past July than there were in the all of New York City for the year 2004, so homicide, targeted or otherwise, is a distinct possibility for all Iraqi citizens.]

Women can no longer walk to work, school or shopping alone, not only because of fear of the Shi'ite extremists, but because the rate of rape and kidnapping is so high. Bush has failed to provide even minimal civil security from crime; such crime control as there is is being carried out by armed party or religious militias.]

Well, Bush never said that accomplishing the mission in Iraq meant preserving women's rights -- to dress as they wish, to go to work, school or shopping without a male relative as chaperon, to marry, to divorce and to obtain custody of their children. Perhaps when the religious extremists begin chopping off the fingers of women who wear the forbidden nail polish, Laura Bush and Cherie Blair will take an interest.

The civil rights that women had under Saddam's secular regime, however despotic in other respects, produced more highly educated, employed women than anywhere else in the Middle East. Now access to higher education and employment for many women will no longer be possible.

The Real Reasons for the Invasion of Iraq

The only missions remaining to be accomplished in Iraq are the real reasons we invaded that country in the first place. They are the reasons Bush refuses to leave.

He wants permanent U.S. control of Iraqi oil fields and the establishment of 14 military bases there, so US can control access to oil by other countries, especially China and Russia, and so the US can bully the rest of the Middle East into keeping their oil sales in dollars, not Euros, - following the dictates of our neo-conservative rulers. When these conditions are satisfied, we can reward our Israeli friends with an oil pipeline direct from the Iraqi oil fields to Israel.

We haven't had the opportunityto bomb Iran and seize its southern oil fields yet, nor have we managed to change the regime in Syria to a more US-compliant ruler. Those items remain on the Bush-Cheney-Sharon "To Do" list for their mission in the Middle East.

Thus are recited above the noble causes for which Casey Sheehan, 2000 other US soldiers and some hundred thousand Iraqis have given their lives -- and will continue to give their lives until our troops are all brought home and Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and all their neo-conservative would-be world rulers are removed from office.

Bush Cheerleads As Our Soldiers Play for Keeps

Our President Bush is so deeply endowed with "noblesse oblige" that he will manfully stay the course until the last US soldier and the last Iraqi has died for his noble cause of US control of oil resources and the 14 military bases which will provide US dominance over the entire the Middle East.

Meanwhile the formerly Laborite Blair is going off to toil dutifully in the fields of capitalist filth for the Carlyle Group, so he can continue to pay his $22,000 a month mortgage. Is that the noble cause for which British soldiers have died, and for which more will die if their troops remain with ours in Iraq?

We must stop this madness and restore our constitutional democracy before we are all sweating in Gulag Gitmo wondering how the hell we lost our country in five short years.


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bush Is So Afraid of Cindy, He Declared Her a Threat to National Security

GO CINDY!

DONATE AT WWW.CRAWFORDPEACEHOUSE.COM





Peace_moms

RUMSFELD COULDN'T ORGANIZE A SUCCESSFUL WAR, MAYBE HE'LL DO BETTER AT A PARADE

Nothing Honors the Dead like an Old-Fashioned Hoedown
Posted by James Wolcott

When one thinks of the great showmen and impresarios who have brought to world so much culture and entertainment, certain names step to the fore.

Diaghilev. P.T. Barnum. Billy Rose. Mike Todd. Sol Hurok. Ed Sullivan.

Now add another name to that illustrious roster.

Secretary of Defense and future host of the Grand Ol' Opry, Donald Rumsfeld.

"PENTAGON TO HOST
9/11 MARCH, SHOW

BY MICHAEL McAULIFF
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon will hold a massive march and country music concert to mark the fourth anniversary of 9/11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an unusual announcement tucked into an Iraq war briefing yesterday.

"'This year the Department of Defense will initiate an America Supports You Freedom Walk,' Rumsfeld said, adding that the march would remind people of 'the sacrifices of this generation and of each previous generation.'

"The march will start at the Pentagon, where nearly 200 people died on 9/11, and end at the National Mall with a show by country star Clint Black."

Rumsfeld was disappointed that famed documentarian Leni Riefensthahl will be unable to film the event for posterity because, well, she's dead. But he's pleased as punch ("you bet!") that he'll be able to duet with Clint Black as they perform Rumsfeld's original honkytonk composition "It Takes Big Feet to Fill Big Boots (and I'm in the High Teens, Baby)."


Saturday, July 30, 2005

Here Comes the Recessive UN Ambassador, the Epitome of the Mayberry Machiavellies

I am the WALRUS or Lewis Carroll=Nostradamus (none / 1)

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"


My Name is John Bolton, and I'm Here to Stop The Diplomacy

Fri Jul 29th, 2005 at 20:27:32 PDT

It's been a long, winding road of "misstatements", forged intelligence, botched diplomacy, and spectacular tales of obsessive "kick-down" middle management vengeance, but it's looking like a recess appointment of John Bolton as America's U.N. Ambassador is likely to happen in the next few days. Current reports are citing officials inside the White House saying Bush wants to get it over with before he leaves for his summer vacation. (No, I'm not kidding. It's like he's a kid packing for camp or something.)





Saturday, July 23, 2005

If North Korean Terrorists Attack U.S., Cheney Will Nuke Iran

Justin Logan excerpts an article that's apparently in the print issue of The American Conservative:
The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney's office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States. The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing--that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack--but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections.

Thanks to http://yglesias.tpmcafe.com/

Friday, July 22, 2005

Johnny Bolton & Judy Miller, Up in a Tree, L-E-A-K-I-N-G

SCOOP from WashingtonNote.com:

John Bolton Was Regular Source for Judith Miller WMD and National Security Reporting.

TWN has just learned from a highly placed source -- and in the right place to know -- that John Bolton was a regular source for Judith Miller's New York Times WMD and national security reports.

The source did not have any knowledge on whether Bolton was one of Miller's sources on the Valerie Plame story she was preparing, but argues that he was a regular source otherwise.

It's all "thickening."