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BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration

Amos 03 Jul 05 - 01:20 PM
Ebbie 03 Jul 05 - 12:37 PM
Amos 03 Jul 05 - 12:49 AM
GUEST,Amos 01 Jul 05 - 12:51 AM
GUEST 30 Jun 05 - 04:21 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 01:20 PM

Morally he should be prosecuted as any other leaker would be. Practically, dollars to doughnuts Bush will cover for him with clouds of empty, badly-turned rhetpric.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 12:37 PM

If the speculation is right, what happens now? Will Karl Rove slink in disgrace from public life? Or will the president stand up and say that Karl Rove is a brilliant man whom the country owes much? What happens when a "brilliant" man goes outside the law?


MSNBC Analyst Says Cooper Documents Reveal Karl Rove as Source in Plame Case
    Editor & Publisher

    Saturday 02 July 2005

    "New York - Now that Time Inc. has turned over documents to federal court, presumably revealing who its reporter, Matt Cooper, identified as his source in the Valerie Plame/CIA case, speculation runs rampant on the name of that source, and what might happen to him or her. Tonight, on the syndicated McLaughlin Group political talk show, Lawrence O'Donnell, senior MSNBC political analyst, claimed to know that name - and it is, according to him, top White House mastermind Karl Rove.

    Here is the transcript of O'Donnell's remarks:

"What we're going to go to now in the next stage, when Matt Cooper's e-mails, within Time Magazine, are handed over to the grand jury, the ultimate revelation, probably within the week of who his source is.
"And I know I'm going to get pulled into the grand jury for saying this but the source of...for Matt Cooper was Karl Rove, and that will be revealed in this document dump that Time magazine's going to do with the grand jury."

More Info


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 12:49 AM

The Two Wars of the Worlds


By FRANK RICH
Published: July 3, 2005

ON the morning after George W. Bush spoke to the nation from Fort Bragg, Americans started marching off to Steven Spielberg's "War of the Worlds." Both halves of this double feature invoked 9/11, perfectly timed for this particular holiday. Ever since "Jaws," a movie set on the July Fourth weekend, broke box office records 30 summers ago, Independence Day has come to stand for terror as much as for freedom.

Decide for yourself if "War of the Worlds" is more terrifying than "Jaws." Either way, it's scarier than the president's speech. Yet the discrepancy between Mr. Spielberg's ability to whip up fear and Mr. Bush's inability isn't merely a matter of aesthetics. On Independence Day 2005, this terror gap is an ideal barometer for gauging the waning political power of a lame-duck president waging what increasingly looks like a lame-duck war.

As we saw on Tuesday night, doomsday isn't the surefire hit it used to be for Mr. Bush. Now that the rhetorical arsenal of W.M.D.'s and mushroom clouds is bare, he had little choice but to bring back that oldie but goodie, 9/11, as the specter of the doom that awaits us if we don't stay the course - his course - in Iraq. By the fifth time he did so, it was hard not to think of that legendary National Lampoon cover: "If you don't buy this magazine, we'll kill this dog."

Planned or not, the sepulchral silence of Mr. Bush's military audience was the perfect dazed response to what was literally a summer rerun. The president gave almost the identical televised address, albeit with four fewer 9/11 references, at the Army War College in Pennsylvania in May 2004. It's so tired that this time around even the normally sympathetic Drudge site gave higher billing to reviews of "War of the Worlds." Fewer TV viewers tuned in than for any prime-time speech in Mr. Bush's presidency. A good thing too, since so much of what he said was, as usual, at odds with reality. The president pledged to "prevent Al Qaeda and other foreign terrorists from turning Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taliban" a full week after Newsweek and The New York Times reported on a new C.I.A. assessment that the war may be turning Iraq into an even more effective magnet and training ground for Islamic militants than Afghanistan was for Al Qaeda in the 1980's and 90's.

"War of the Worlds" makes as many references to 9/11 as Mr. Bush did. The alien attack on America is the work of sleeper cells; the garments of the dead rain down on those fleeing urban apocalypse; poignant fliers are posted for The Missing. There is also a sterling American military that rides to the rescue. Deep in the credits for "War of the Worlds" is a thank-you to the Department of Defense and some half-dozen actual units that participated in the movie, from the Virginia Army National Guard to a Marine battalion from Camp Pendleton, Calif. Indeed, Mr. Spielberg seems to have had markedly more success in recruiting extras for his film than the Pentagon has had of late in drumming up troops for Iraq.

That's not the only way that "War of the Worlds" shows up Mr. Bush. In not terribly coded dialogue, the film makes clear that its Americans know very well how to distinguish a war of choice like that in Iraq from a war of necessity, like that prompted by Al Qaeda's attack on America. Tim Robbins - who else? - pops up to declare that when aliens occupy a country, the "occupations always fail." Even Tom Cruise's doltish teenage screen son is writing a school report on "the French occupation of Algeria."

Mr. Spielberg's movie illuminates, too, how Mr. Bush has flubbed the basic storytelling essential to sustain public support for his Iraq adventure. The president has made a tic of hammering in melodramatic movie tropes: good vs. evil, you're with us or you're with the terrorists, "wanted dead or alive," "bring 'em on," "mission accomplished." When you relay a narrative in that style, the audience expects you to stick to the conventions of the genre; the story can end only with the cavalry charging in to win the big final battle. That's how Mr. Spielberg deploys his platoons, "Saving Private Ryan"-style, in "War of the Worlds." By contrast, Mr. Bush never marshaled the number of troops needed to guarantee Iraq's security and protect its borders; he has now defined "mission accomplished" down from concrete victory to the inchoate spreading of democracy. To start off sounding like Patton and end up parroting Woodrow Wilson is tantamount to ambushing an audience at a John Wayne movie with a final reel by Frank Capra.

Both Mr. Bush's critics and loyalists at times misunderstand where his failure leaves America now. The left frets too much that the public just doesn't get it - that it is bamboozled by the administration and won't see the light until it digests the Downing Street memo. But even if they couldn't bring themselves to vote for John Kerry, most Americans do get it. A majority of the country view the Iraq war as "not worth it" and going badly. They intuitively sense that as USA Today calculated on Friday, there have been more U.S. military deaths (roughly a third more) in the year since Iraq got its sovereignty than in the year before. Last week an ABC News/Washington Post survey also found that a majority now believe that the administration "intentionally misled" us into a war - or, in the words of the Downing Street memo, that the Bush administration "fixed" the intelligence to gin up the mission.

... (From the New York Times, this date)


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 01 Jul 05 - 12:51 AM

From the Washington Post:

Who's Listening to the President?
By E. J. Dionne Jr.

Friday, July 1, 2005; Page A25

President Bush has shown that he can win an election by mobilizing his political base. But can he win a war that way?

The most striking poll findings after the president's speech to the nation on Tuesday concerned who watched Bush in the first place. According to a Gallup Poll for CNN and USA Today, 50 percent of those who chose to listen to Bush were Republican, 27 percent were independents and only 23 percent were Democrats.

Frank Newport, Gallup's editor in chief, said the usual party split in the country as a whole was about one-third for each party and a third independent -- a finding confirmed by five Gallup Polls conducted in June.

In other words, a large share of Bush's congregation belonged to the choir. Many Democrats don't want to listen to him.

Newport says the partisan skew in Bush's television audiences has been visible for most of his presidency; there was also a partisan slant to Bill Clinton's audiences, though it was less pronounced than Bush's.

But the most troubling finding for Bush may be an indirect indicator from the Gallup survey. Before the speech, Gallup's interviewers identified 933 people who said they intended to watch the president. The night Bush spoke, the pollsters reached 648 of these people -- but only about half of them, 323, actually tuned in. Newport's conclusion: "It just suggests to us that it ended up being a less compelling occasion for Americans than other occasions."

According to Nielsen Media Research, Bush's speech was watched by just over 23 million people in roughly 18 million households. As one marker, the season finale of "American Idol" drew 30.3 million viewers. True, the president picked a tough time to make his case. People have other things to do in the summer, and many no doubt watched or read the speech (or reports about it) later. Still, this was the smallest audience for any major Bush speech. The president's address announcing a new policy on stem cell research in August 2001, the previous low, drew 8 million more viewers.

Bush's supporters could argue that the lack of interest suggests that the Iraq war has yet to arouse passionate opposition. But the obverse is also true: There is very little enthusiasm for this war. Support or acquiescence might not survive much more than another year, less if there is a significant run of bad news.

There is also this: Democrats are no longer afraid to criticize Bush, as they were for much of the two years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Indeed, the reaction to the president's repeated mentions of the attacks underscored the dissipation of national unity over the past four years.

In the past, the mere mention of that galvanizing day would unify the country. Bush and his lieutenants gave it another shot, but his five mentions of Sept. 11 brought jeers, not cheers, from Democrats. "It shows the weak ground that they're on that they would mention the sacred ground of 9/11," House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in an interview.

She was expressing a view held across her party, but she was also reflecting a critical political fact. Except for Bush's loyalists, Americans are increasingly inclined to view his Iraq policy as quite apart from the terrorist attacks. By using the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in a highly partisan way during his first term -- recall the role of Sept. 11 during last year's Republican National Convention -- Bush has squandered his ability to invoke the moment in a nonpartisan and patriotic way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 04:21 PM

From a recent mail item written by John Kerry:

...I've never met a veteran who doesn't fly the flag on the 4th of July with pride in our country. I've never met an American who doesn't believe in the greatness of our country and the strength of our ideals.

But I've met a lot of Americans who fear the President has no plan to get it right in Iraq -- and they woke up this morning feeling the same way.

The President and the administration need to get their story straight about what is happening in Iraq -- and how they are going to get our mission back on track.

From their 24th different rationale for war, to the Vice President and Secretary Rumsfeld telling us the insurgency is in its "final throes" while last night President Bush said it is more dangerous than ever, Americans just want to hear the truth.

They want leadership equal to our soldiers' sacrifice, and they know we can't win if our leaders can't even agree on the facts. This is a time for leadership, and a time for responsible answers to difficult problems.

Yesterday, I laid out a 9 point plan to get it right in Iraq. Here are 3 steps the President can take this weekend to start getting it right in Iraq and ensure greater security for our troops.


1) The President heads to Europe this weekend. He needs to bring home more commitments from our allies to shore up Iraq's borders, invest more in reconstruction and do more training of Iraqi troops. A secure and stable Iraq is in the best interest of every nation across Europe and the Middle East.
2) Send a message across the Middle East that Iraq's neighbor countries must do more to stop the rise of terrorism in Iraq. We need countries like Saudi Arabia to keep their commitment to help pay for reconstruction efforts in Iraq so the Iraqi people get electricity, water and better roads.
We also need help from Iraq's neighbors in shoring up the borders so foreign fighters and terrorists can't get in and can't get out. The President needs to take his tough message to the region and enlist support for our mission. The best way to stop the growth of terrorism is by enlisting more Arab allies.
3) Truly honor our troops' sacrifices in Iraq by immediately covering the one billion dollar shortfall in funding for veterans care this year here at home and increasing funding for armor and necessary supplies for our troops over in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Senator Byrd, Senator Murray, I and others have an amendment pending right now to address the critical funding shortage for veterans. The administration could send a powerful message about sacrifice and national unity if they act now to address this shortfall for the VA.

We need more than just words to get it right in Iraq. We need actions and focus and leadership. We saw what happened after 9/11, in the mountains of Tora Bora, when the administration took its eyes off the ball when it came to hunting down and capturing Osama Bin Laden. We can't afford to let the same thing happen in Iraq.

Our troops are depending on us and we can't let them down. It's time to bring the country together to get it right. No more excuses, no more spin, and no more dividing the country on partisan lines.

Americans have the resolve - we need action from the administration.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 01:25 PM

From today's New York Times editorials:

In anger and embarrassment, Congressional Republicans are scrambling to repair a budget shortfall in veterans' medical care now that the Bush administration has admitted it vastly underestimated the number of returning Iraq and Afghanistan personnel needing treatment. The $1 billion-plus gaffe is considerable, with the original budget estimate of 23,553 returned veterans needing care this year now ballooning to 103,000. American taxpayers should be even more furious than Congress.

The Capitol's Republican majorities have shown no hesitation in signing the president's serial blank-check supplemental budgets for waging the war, yet they repeatedly ignored months of warnings from Democrats that returning veterans were being shortchanged. One Republican who warned of the problem - Representative Christopher Smith of New Jersey - lost his chairmanship of the Veterans Affairs Committee after pressing his plea too boldly before the House leadership.

But partisan resistance melted in a flood of political chagrin once the administration admitted the budget error, which was first discovered in April but only now disclosed. The explanation offered - the gaffe was due to using dated formulas based on prewar calculations - left Republicans sputtering all the more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 12:40 AM

The Armstrong Williams NewsHour
(NY Times oped)
By FRANK RICH
Published: June 26, 2005

HERE'S the difference between this year's battle over public broadcasting and the one that blew up in Newt Gingrich's face a decade ago: this one isn't really about the survival of public broadcasting. So don't be distracted by any premature obituaries for Big Bird. Far from being an endangered species, he's the ornithological equivalent of a red herring.


Let's not forget that Laura Bush has made a fetish of glomming onto popular "Sesame Street" characters in photo-ops. Polls consistently attest to the popular support for public broadcasting, while Congress is in a race to the bottom with Michael Jackson. Big Bird will once again smite the politicians - as long as he isn't caught consorting with lesbians.

That doesn't mean the right's new assault on public broadcasting is toothless, far from it. But this time the game is far more insidious and ingenious. The intent is not to kill off PBS and NPR but to castrate them by quietly annexing their news and public affairs operations to the larger state propaganda machine that the Bush White House has been steadily constructing at taxpayers' expense. If you liked the fake government news videos that ended up on local stations - or thrilled to the "journalism" of Armstrong Williams and other columnists who were covertly paid to promote administration policies - you'll love the brave new world this crowd envisions for public TV and radio.

There's only one obstacle standing in the way of the coup. Like Richard Nixon, another president who tried to subvert public broadcasting in his war to silence critical news media, our current president may be letting hubris get the best of him. His minions are giving any investigative reporters left in Washington a fresh incentive to follow the money.

That money is not the $100 million that the House still threatens to hack out of public broadcasting's various budgets. Like the theoretical demise of Big Bird, this funding tug-of-war is a smoke screen that deflects attention from the real story. Look instead at the seemingly paltry $14,170 that, as Stephen Labaton of The New York Times reported on June 16, found its way to a mysterious recipient in Indiana named Fred Mann. Mr. Labaton learned that in 2004 Kenneth Tomlinson, the Karl Rove pal who is chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, clandestinely paid this sum to Mr. Mann to monitor his PBS bête noire, Bill Moyers's "Now."

Now, why would Mr. Tomlinson pay for information that any half-sentient viewer could track with TiVo? Why would he hire someone in Indiana? Why would he keep this contract a secret from his own board? Why, when a reporter exposed his secret, would he try to cover it up by falsely maintaining in a letter to an inquiring member of the Senate, Byron Dorgan, that another CPB executive had "approved and signed" the Mann contract when he had signed it himself? If there's a news story that can be likened to the "third-rate burglary," the canary in the coal mine that invited greater scrutiny of the Nixon administration's darkest ambitions, this strange little sideshow could be it.

After Mr. Labaton's first report, Senator Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, called Mr. Tomlinson demanding to see the "product" Mr. Mann had provided for his $14,170 payday. Mr. Tomlinson sent the senator some 50 pages of "raw data." Sifting through those pages when we spoke by phone last week, Mr. Dorgan said it wasn't merely Mr. Moyers's show that was monitored but also the programs of Tavis Smiley and NPR's Diane Rehm.

Their guests were rated either L for liberal or C for conservative, and "anti-administration" was affixed to any segment raising questions about the Bush presidency. Thus was the conservative Republican Senator Chuck Hagel given the same L as Bill Clinton simply because he expressed doubts about Iraq in a discussion mainly devoted to praising Ronald Reagan. Three of The Washington Post's star beat reporters (none of whom covers the White House or politics or writes opinion pieces) were similarly singled out simply for doing their job as journalists by asking questions about administration policies.

"It's pretty scary stuff to judge media, particularly public media, by whether it's pro or anti the president," Senator Dorgan said. "It's unbelievable."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 12:38 AM

A Glide Path to Ruin

By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Published: June 26, 2005
The biggest risk we Americans face to our way of life and our place in the world probably doesn't come from Al Qaeda or the Iraq war.

Rather, the biggest risk may come from this administration's fiscal recklessness and the way this is putting us in hock to China.


"I think the greatest threat to our future is our fiscal irresponsibility," warns David Walker, the comptroller general of the United States. Mr. Walker, an accountant by training, asserts that last year may have been the most fiscally reckless in the history of our Republic. Aside from the budget deficit, Congress enacted the prescription drug benefit - possibly an $8 trillion obligation - without figuring out how to pay for it.

Mr. Walker, America's watchdog in chief and head of the Government Accountability Office, is no Bush-basher. He started out his career as a conservative Democrat, then became a moderate Republican and has been an independent since 1997.

Now he's running around with his hair on fire, shrieking about America's finances. Well, as much as any accountant ever shrieks.

I asked Mr. Walker about Paul Volcker's warning that within five years we face a 75 percent chance of a serious financial crisis.

"If we don't get serious soon," Mr. Walker replied, "it's not a question of whether it'll come, but when and how serious."

Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel-winning economist, says he is also "very worried."

"I find it very difficult to know how to put a number" on the probability of a crisis, he added, "but there's a widespread sense in the market that there is a substantial chance."

Another issue is that three-fourths of our new debt is now being purchased by foreigners, with China the biggest buyer of all. That gives China leverage over us, and it undermines our national security.

On fiscal matters both parties have much to be ashamed of, but Republicans should be particularly embarrassed at their tumble. Traditionally, Republicans were prudent, while Democrats held great parties. But these days, the Bush administration is managing America's finances like a team of drunken sailors, and most Republicans keep quiet in a way that betrays their conservative principles.

Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican, wrote a couple of years ago: "Republicans used to believe in balanced budgets. ... We have lost our way." He's right. (...)


See today's NY Times for balance of this editorial.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 25 Jun 05 - 11:31 AM

How does one resist the Bush Regime's blatant disregard for national sovereignty, individual freedoms, and constitutional laws protecting each American's right to a fair election?


Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark and Francis Boyle, Professor of Law, have both drafted an "Impeachment Resolution Against President George W. Bush" while Ralph Nader and Kevin Zeese argue in the Boston Globe that "THE IMPEACHMENT of President Bush and Vice President Cheney, under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, should be part of mainstream political discourse." John R. MacArthur, publisher of Harper's Magazine, in "Unmasking a CIA Agent is Bad, Lying to Congress Worse. With Each US Death in Iraq, the Case Against the President Grows Stronger" writes:

Now that the U.S. government's chief weapons inspector in Iraq has, in effect, confirmed an obvious truth -- that President George W. Bush and his closest advisers promoted a non-existent nuclear and chemical weapons threat from Iraq to justify a war -- an obvious question presents itself: Why aren't Americans talking seriously about impeachment?

After all, Mr. Bush now stands plausibly accused of the lofty crime of subverting the Constitution of the United States -- that is, lying to Congress about an imminent danger to the American people in order to collect enough votes to authorize his corporate/imperial project in Iraq. (Globe & Mail (Canada), Thursday, October 9, 2003.)
The Green Party called for the impeachment of the Bush Regime on the last day of its National Convention in 2003, citing as evidence a "pattern of making false statements to Congress, the American people, and the world to win support for actions by the American government and military forces" in violation of the Constitution of the United States, Charter of the United Nations, and other international laws; "[s]quandering the resources of the American people to serve the interests of transnational corporations;" and "war crimes, including the use of depleted uranium and cluster bombs in the preemptive invasion of Iraq." (http://www.gp.org/press/pr_07_21_03.html.)

In his book Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush, John W. Dean, Counsel to President Richard Nixon, describes the impeachable offenses that should be levied against the Bush Regime, especially against the president and vice president. The "high crimes and misdemeanors" for which Bush et al. may be impeached and removed from office include 1) lies to justify the War in Iraq, 2) leaking the name of a CIA operative.

Among the list of growing offenses, these are the most prominent: 3) Ohio election fraud, 4) authorizing the torture of prisoners, 5) the Downing Street Memo, 6) illegal wiretaps of UN diplomats, 7) authorizing the kidnapping of "terror" suspects, 8) depriving citizens of First Amendment rights during the 2004 campaign and during his so-called town-hall meetings, 9) using federal tax-dollars to plant stories in the press, and 10) transferring $700 million from the Afghanistan war budget to preparations for the Iraq war.

These "alleged" offenses are sufficient evidence that a comprehensive resolution of impeachment should be drawn and introduced to Congress. Whether or not impeachment proceedings will be enacted by this Congress is not the issue. The mid-term elections are the issue. Howard Dean, as the Chairman of the Democratic National Convention (DNC), has the opportunity to take back the House and the Senate, if he and his party can develop a platform that will appeal to the populace. Since the Bush Regime's approval ratings are low -- due to the aforementioned high crimes and misdemeanors -- Dean should make impeachment the DNC's rallying cry!

Shifting the balance in Congress, so that Democrats have even a slim majority will be enough to ensure that an impeachment resolution is passed. Giving the American public that opportunity should be Dean's and the DNC's primary goal. In order to remove the Bush Regime ASAP, American voters must, first, take back the Congress from the Republican "yes men" who have allowed these crimes to go unchallenged; second, demand that the 110th Congress impeach the bastards!

http://www.swans.com/library/art11/gsmith50.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 25 Jun 05 - 01:05 AM

From the current Borowitz Report:

BUSH PROPOSES CHARGING AXIS OF EVIL NATIONS ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DUES
'The Free Ride is Over,' Says President
Looking for new ways to slash the mounting federal budget deficit, President George W. Bush today proposed charging Iran and North Korea annual dues for their membership in the Axis of Evil.

The president's plan, which took many in Congress and in the diplomatic community by surprise, would put responsibility for the rising costs of military spending, Social Security and other government programs squarely on the shoulders of America's two most despised enemies.

President Bush made the proposal in a speech in Flint, Michigan, telling his audience that for Iran and North Korea, both members of the Axis of Evil since 2001, "the free ride is over."

"Iran and North Korea have enjoyed all the benefits of Axis of Evil membership without paying a dime for them," said Mr. Bush. "Well, if they think that state of affairs can continue forever, they are sorely mistaken."

While Mr. Bush stopped short of naming an exact figure for annual membership in the Axis of Evil, he warned the two nations, "Membership in the most exclusive evil club in the world does not come cheap."
...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 24 Jun 05 - 11:38 PM

When the attacks of 9/11 occurred, the president finally found a black and white issue to focus all his energies on, and this struck a chord with the electorate.

But now that several years have passed since the attack, and Mr. Bush is finally spending time talking about other things, his true colors are showing again: he is tragically short-sighted and out of touch with what matters to most Americans.

Jeff Solomon
Cambridge, Mass., June 22, 2005


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jun 05 - 11:54 AM

Today's NY Times offers a tough editorial on Bush's hunger for the atrocities of war:

"America's founders knew all too well how war appeals to the vanity of rulers and their thirst for glory. That's why they took care to deny presidents the kingly privilege of making war at their own discretion.


But after 9/11 President Bush, with obvious relish, declared himself a "war president." And he kept the nation focused on martial matters by morphing the pursuit of Al Qaeda into a war against Saddam Hussein.

In November 2002, Helen Thomas, the veteran White House correspondent, told an audience, "I have never covered a president who actually wanted to go to war" - but she made it clear that Mr. Bush was the exception. And she was right.

Leading the nation wrongfully into war strikes at the heart of democracy. It would have been an unprecedented abuse of power even if the war hadn't turned into a military and moral quagmire. And we won't be able to get out of that quagmire until we face up to the reality of how we got in.

Let me talk briefly about what we now know about the decision to invade Iraq, then focus on why it matters.

The administration has prevented any official inquiry into whether it hyped the case for war. But there's plenty of circumstantial evidence that it did.

And then there's the Downing Street Memo - actually the minutes of a prime minister's meeting in July 2002 - in which the chief of British overseas intelligence briefed his colleagues about his recent trip to Washington.

"Bush wanted to remove Saddam," says the memo, "through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and W.M.D. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." It doesn't get much clearer than that.

The U.S. news media largely ignored the memo for five weeks after it was released in The Times of London. Then some asserted that it was "old news" that Mr. Bush wanted war in the summer of 2002, and that W.M.D. were just an excuse. No, it isn't. Media insiders may have suspected as much, but they didn't inform their readers, viewers and listeners. And they have never held Mr. Bush accountable for his repeated declarations that he viewed war as a last resort.

Still, some of my colleagues insist that we should let bygones be bygones. The question, they say, is what we do now. But they're wrong: it's crucial that those responsible for the war be held to account.

Let me explain. The United States will soon have to start reducing force levels in Iraq, or risk seeing the volunteer Army collapse. Yet the administration and its supporters have effectively prevented any adult discussion of the need to get out.

On one side, the people who sold this war, unable to face up to the fact that their fantasies of a splendid little war have led to disaster, are still peddling illusions: the insurgency is in its "last throes," says Dick Cheney. On the other, they still have moderates and even liberals intimidated: anyone who suggests that the United States will have to settle for something that falls far short of victory is accused of being unpatriotic.

We need to deprive these people of their ability to mislead and intimidate. And the best way to do that is to make it clear that the people who led us to war on false pretenses have no credibility, and no right to lecture the rest of us about patriotism.

...."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 21 Jun 05 - 08:58 AM

From the Washignton Post, excerpted:

How Cheney Fooled Himself

By E. J. Dionne Jr.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005; Page A21

President Bush planted the seeds of the destruction of his Iraq policy before the war started. Salvaging the venture will require an unprecedented degree of candor and realism from a White House that was never willing to admit -- even to itself -- how large an undertaking it was asking the American people to buy into.

The notion that the president led the country into war through indirection or dishonesty is not the most damaging criticism of the administration. The worst possibility is that the president and his advisers believed their own propaganda. They did not prepare the American people for an arduous struggle because they honestly didn't expect one.


How else to explain the fact that the president and his lieutenants consistently played down the costs of the endeavor, the number of troops required, the difficulties of overcoming tensions among the Sunnis, the Shiites and the Kurds? Were they lying? The more logical explanation is that they didn't know what they were talking about.

Because the White House failed to prepare Americans for what was to come, the administration now faces a backlash. Over the weekend Bush said that the terrorists in Iraq were seeking to "weaken our nation's resolve." But the rising impatience about which Bush complains is a direct result of the administration's blithe dismissal of those who warned just how tough the going could get.

The assertion of the "Downing Street Memo" that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" of invasion has understandably become a rallying point for the war's opponents. But in some ways more devastating are other recently disclosed documents in which British officials warned that "there was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action." The British worried at the time that "U.S. military plans are virtually silent" on the fact that "a postwar occupation of Iraq could lead to a protracted and costly nation-building exercise."

The most damaging document supporting this claim is not secret, and remains one of the most important artifacts of the prewar debate. It is the transcript of "Meet the Press" from March 16, 2003, in which Vice President Cheney gave voice to the administration's optimistic assumptions that have now been laid low by reality.

Host Tim Russert asked whether "we would have to have several hundred thousand troops there" in Iraq "for several years in order to maintain stability." Cheney replied: "I disagree." He wouldn't say how many troops were needed, but he added that "to suggest that we need several hundred thousand troops there after military operations cease, after the conflict ends, I don't think is accurate. I think that's an overstatement."

Russert asked: "If your analysis is not correct, and we're not treated as liberators but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?"

Cheney would have none of it. "Well, I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators. I've talked with a lot of Iraqis in the last several months myself, had them to the White House. . . . The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but what they want [is to] get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that."

Russert: "And you are convinced the Kurds, the Sunnis, the Shiites will come together in a democracy?"

Cheney: "They have so far." And the vice president concluded: "I think the prospects of being able to achieve this kind of success, if you will, from a political standpoint, are probably better than they would be for virtually any other country and under similar circumstances in that part of the world."

Was Cheney disguising the war's costs for political purposes? It's more likely that he believed every word he said. That suggests that the administration was not misleading the American people nearly so much as it was misleading itself.

Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska says in the current issue of U.S. News & World Report that "the White House is completely disconnected from reality" and that "it's like they're just making it up as they go along." Unfortunately, the evidence of the past suggests that Hagel's acerbic formulation may be exactly right. Those who still see the invasion of Iraq as a noble mission don't need to protect the policy from the war's critics. They need to rescue it from its architects. ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: freda underhill
Date: 21 Jun 05 - 07:45 AM

Senate stymies Bush on second UN envoy vote

Staff and agencies
Tuesday June 21, 2005 The Guardian

The White House attempt to push through the confirmation of its controversial choice of John Bolton as UN ambassador was blocked yesterday for the second time by Democrats in the Senate.
The vote left President George Bush facing difficult choices about how to proceed, with analysts saying it could leave him appearing weak when his popularity is falling in the opinion polls.

Mr Bush left open the possibility of appointing the outspoken hawk temporarily during a recess. A so-called recess appointment would only last through the next one-year session of Congress - in Mr Bolton's case until January 2007.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 20 Jun 05 - 09:42 AM

THERE is a way to get beyond the religious morass created by President Bush's position on embryonic stem cells.

Most scientists agree that while adult stem cells offer hope of a cure for some of the cruelest diseases and injuries, embryonic stem cells hold even greater and surer promise. As a result, while most scientists welcomed Mr. Bush's August 2001 offer of government resources to advance adult stem cell research, they and millions of other Americans were sorely disappointed by his refusal to consider retrieving any stem cells from the many thousands of unused embryos awaiting destruction. To most scientists, his compromise restricting federal financing only to research that used the 20 or so embryonic stem cell lines that had already been developed was politically clever but insufficient, not least because most of those cell lines are of limited and uncertain potential.

Skip to next paragraph

Forum: Op-Ed Contributors
Mr. Bush does not deny the greater potential of embryonic stem cells: he says his decision was compelled by his belief that retrieving stem cells from the embryo destroys it, thereby resulting in the killing of a human being that cannot be justified no matter how vast the potential benefits.

The president did not claim his conclusion was based on biomedical science. He said only that it was an expression of his religious faith. Asked in March 2004 about the stem cell issue, his science adviser, Dr. John H. Marburger III (who headed a fact-finding commission on the Shoreham nuclear plant in 1983 when I was governor), said: "I can't tell when a fertilized egg becomes sacred," and added, "That's not a science issue."

No doubt the president's belief that human life begins with fertilization is shared by millions of Americans, including many Christians and evangelists. But it remains a minority view and one that the president applies inconsistently. Although Mr. Bush believes that destroying an embryo is murder, he refuses to demand legislation to stop commercial interests that are busily destroying embryos in order to obtain stem cells. If their conduct amounts to murder as the president contends, it is hardly satisfactory for him to say he will do nothing to stop the evil act other than to refuse to pay for it.

However well the president has negotiated the political shoals, he has produced a moral and intellectual mishmash that has failed to dissuade Congress from going further than he has in advancing stem cell research.

Excerpted from this editorial.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 20 Jun 05 - 09:26 AM

From Bob Herbert's current Op Ed in the New York Times:

Someone Else's Child

By BOB HERBERT
Published: June 20, 2005

It has become clearer than ever that Americans do not want to fight George W. Bush's tragically misguided war in Iraq.

You can still find plenty of folks arguing that we have to stay the course, or even raise the stakes by sending more troops to the war zone. But from the very start of this war the loudest of the flag-waving hawks were those who were safely beyond military age themselves and were unwilling to send their own children off to fight.

It's easy to be macho when you have nothing at risk. The hawks want the war to be fought with other people's children, while their own children go safely off to college, or to the mall. The number of influential American officials who have children in uniform in Iraq is minuscule.

Most Americans want no part of Mr. Bush's war, which is why Army recruiters are failing so miserably at meeting their monthly enlistment quotas. Desperate, the Army is lowering its standards, shortening tours, increasing bonuses and violating its own recruitment regulations and ethical guidelines.

Americans do not want to fight this war.

Times Square in Midtown Manhattan is the most heavily traveled intersection in the country. It was mobbed on V-E Day in May 1945 and was the scene of Alfred Eisenstaedt's legendary photo of a sailor passionately kissing a nurse on V-J Day the following August. There is currently an armed forces recruiting station in Times Square, but it's a pretty lonely outpost. An officer on duty one afternoon last week said no one had come in all day.

Vince Morrow, a 10th grader from Allentown, Pa., was interviewed across the street from the recruiting station, on Broadway. He said he had once planned to join the military after graduating from high school, but had changed his mind. "It's the war," he said. "Going over and never coming back. Before the war you'd just go to different places and help people. Now you go over there and you fight."

His mother, Michelle, said: "I'd like to see him around awhile. It was different before the war. It's the fear of not coming home. Our other son just graduated Saturday and he was planning to go into the Air Force. They told him college was included and made him all kinds of promises. They almost made him sign papers before we had decided. We thought about it and researched it and decided against it." ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jun 05 - 07:44 PM

From MoveOn.org:


Congressman John Conyers and other Democratic House members deliver more than 560,000 petitions to The White House.


Yesterday, Congressman John Conyers delivered 560,000 petition signatures to the White House—including more than 360,000 from MoveOn members—demanding that President Bush address smoking-gun evidence of deception in the Downing Street Memos.1

After holding nearly four hours of hearings about the Downing Street Memos on Capitol Hill, the Congressman went over to The White House accompanied by a dozen leading Democrats. They marched solemnly towards The White House gate as swarms of media clicked, filmed and shouted questions. As they approached the gate to White House grounds a lone, young Bush staffer met the delegation—he literally trembled when Conyers said they had come to deliver the signatures of 560,000 Americans demanding the truth about Iraq. The White House staff refused Conyers entrance to see the president but accepted the petitions.

MoveOn members made a huge difference here—shooting up the number of petition signers at a critical time in the drive to bring attention to the Downing Street Memos.

And thanks in part to your pressure and Congressman Conyers' high profile hearings andpetition delivery, the media has finally begun to cover the scandalous Downing Street Memos—we counted 1,600 news stories in Google today. The Seattle Times, Denver Post, Boston Globe, CNN, ABC and hundreds of other media outlets have been forced to report on the memos.2

Howard Kurtz, media columnist for The Washington Post, wrote about the surging coverage of the Downing Street Memos, noting that:


A wide range of critics, including the ombudsmen of the NYT and WP, says the press bobbled the ball on the Downing Street Memo. The memo may not be the slam-dunk about the Bush administration fixing intelligence that its supporters believe—the British author cites no specifics as proof—but it was a newsworthy and provocative development, as the press is belatedly realizing.3


Now the press is taking notice because they couldn't ignore it anymore.




Sources:

1. "Bush pressed to answer 'Downing Street Memo' questions," Associated Press, June 16, 2005
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=750

2. Google News search for 'Downing Street Memo'
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=751

3. "Backlash on the Left," The Washington Post, June 15, 2005
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=752


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jun 05 - 06:54 PM

From the Xian Science Minotaur:

Is 'Downing Street Memo' a smoking gun?

Bush critics say it shows he lied to Americans about Iraq, but others say memo offers nothing new.

By Tom Regan | csmonitor.com

President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and some media outlets, dismiss its importance, but the so-called 'Downing Street Memo' seems to be gathering increasing public attention.
Thursday senior Democrats held a public forum on Capitol Hill and called "for a full investigation into a memo that appears to accuse [Mr. Bush] of misleading Americans into backing the war with Iraq," as the CBC reports.

The memo [see it here] is based on a briefing given to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top security advisers in July 2002, eight months before the war. Labelled "top secret," the memo summarizes a report from Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of British intelligence, who had just met senior Bush officials in Washington.
The memo says: "Military action was now seen as inevitable." That "Terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction]" would be used to justify the war. But, the memo says, "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Los Angeles Times editorial and opinion editor Michael Kinsley writes that the memo "is not proof that Bush had decided on war."

Of course, if "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy," rather than vice versa, that is pretty good evidence of Bush's intentions, as well as a scandal in its own right. And we know now that this was true. Fixing intelligence and facts to fit a desired policy is the Bush II governing style, especially concerning the Iraq war. But [Sir Richard Dearlove] offered no specifics, or none that made it into the memo. Nor does the memo assert that actual decision-makers told him they were fixing the facts. Although the prose is not exactly crystalline, it seems to be saying only that "Washington" had reached that conclusion.

But Joe Conason of Salon.com writes that Kinsley's response to the memo is just more proof that "the leading lights of the Washington press corps are more embarrassed than the White House is by the revelations in the Downing Street memo."

'Mooing in plaintive chorus, the Beltway herd insists that the July 23, 2002, memo wasn't news -- which would be true if the absence of news were defined only by their refusal to report it.'




A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 16 Jun 05 - 11:33 PM

>Source:
>
>Former Bush Team Member Says WTC Collapse
>
>Likely A Controlled Demolition & An 'INSIDE JOB'
>
>Highly recognized former chief economist in Labor Department now doubts
>official 9/11 story, claiming suspicious facts & evidence cover-up indicate
>government foul play & possible criminal implications.
>June 12, 2005 | By Greg Szymanski
>
>A former chief economist in the Labor Department during President Bush's
>first term now believes the official story about the collapse of the WTC is
>'bogus,' saying it is more likely that a controlled demolition destroyed the
>Twin Towers and adjacent Building No. 7.
>
>"If demolition destroyed three steel skyscrapers at the World Trade Center
>on 9/11, then the case for an 'inside job' and a government attack on
>America would be compelling," said Morgan Reynolds, Ph.D, a former member of
>the Bush team who also served as director of the Criminal Justice Center at
>the National Center for Policy Analysis headquartered in Dallas, TX.
>
>Reynolds, now a professor emeritus at Texas A&M University, also believes
>it's 'next to impossible' that 19 Arab Terrorists alone outfoxed the mighty
>U.S. military, adding the scientific conclusions about the WTC collapse may
>hold the key to the entire mysterious plot behind 9/11.
>
>"It is hard to exaggerate the importance of a scientific debate over the
>cause(s) of the collapse of the twin towers and building 7," said Reynolds
>this week from his offices at Texas A&M. "If the official wisdom on the
>collapses is wrong, as I believe it is, then policy based on such erroneous
>engineering analysis is not likely to be correct either. The government's
>collapse theory is highly vulnerable on its own terms. Only professional
>demolition appears to account for the full range of facts associated with
>the collapse of the three buildings.
>
>"More importantly, momentous political and social consequences would follow
>if impartial observers concluded that professionals imploded the WTC.
>Meanwhile, the job of scientists, engineers and impartial researchers
>everywhere is to get the scientific and engineering analysis of 9/11 right."
>
>However, Reynolds said "getting it right in today's security state' remains
>challenging because he claims explosives and structural experts have been
>intimidated in their analyses of the collapses of 9/11.
>
>From the beginning, the Bush administration claimed that burning jet fuel
>caused the collapse of the towers. Although many independent investigators
>have disagreed, they have been hard pressed to disprove the government
>theory since most of the evidence was removed by FEMA prior to independent
>investigation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 16 Jun 05 - 11:03 PM

This is a small excerpt from extensive notes on the Downing Street hearings, whihc were published at www.bradblog.com by somoene who was there taking notes:

"As there are many who were unable to follow the hearings live and given the historic importance of them, I am making my raw notes -- essentially live blogged, but not posted during the hearings -- available here right away...Please note that these are raw notes, not necessarily quotes even if some of them are in quotes. I did try and type as closely as I could to what was being said however.

Hopefully this will give those of you unable to listen live, an idea of these EXTRAORDINARY hearings which were chaired by Congressman John Conyers' and just adjourned in the 15' by 30' room in the basement of the Capitol Building!...Simply extraordinary hearings...

(The hearing will re-air on C-SPAN 2 tonight, Thursday, at 8pm ET, and late-night at 1:56am on C-SPAN 1 at 1:56am Friday "morning", And again on Friday at 8pm ET)...

Complete Audio now posted, courtesy of BRAD BLOG secret weapon, David Edwards!
- Streaming RealAudio
- Mirrored Streaming RealAudio

We will try to get the prepared testimony from the witnesses as soon as we can...

Though the hearings were remarkable, we don't believe they were the cause for 4.9 earthquake we experienced here in Los Angeles during the hearings (we're fine, but the ground did shake)...

PRESENT (Members joined throughout the hearings): Conyers, Maxine Waters (CA), Barney Frank (MA), Jim Moran, John Tierney (MA), Shiela Jackson Lee, McDermott, Maurice Hinchy (NY), Barbara Lee, Charles Rangel (NY), Zoe Lofgren (CA), Jerry Nadler (NY), Wexler (FL), Watson, Woolsley, Jay Ensley (WA), Jan Shackowski (IL), Markey, Kaplin (OH?), Corrine Brown (FL), Mccullam, Baldwin, Van Holland (MD), Don Paine, DiSolice, DiFazzio, George Miller, Gregory Meeks (NY), Rush Holt (NJ)

AMB. JOE WILSON (first to testify)

"The work I do is on behalf of America, not Republicans, not Democrsts, but Americans" (paraphrased)

"My wife did not have anything to do with my being hired for this job" (paraphrased)

"There is no reason to believe our departure from Iraq, or our departure five years from now will effect [the ongoing violence]"


CINDY SHEEHAN (second to testify): NOTE: Ms. Sheehan will be a guest on this weekend's BRAD SHOW, Saturday 7p - 11p ET
Son killed in Saddar City, Baghdad, on 04/04/04
(Just 11 Days after Bush's "No weapons under there" jokes, according to Ray McGovern later)

"This aggression on Iraq was based on a lie of historic proportions."

Quotes Mickey Hersowitz, Bush's original ghostwriter on his autobiography: "If I have a change to invade...political capital..."

"Seems my boy was given a death sentence before he even joined the Armed Services in May of 2000."

Coming home in flag-draped coffins, images, as if they are ashamed of our children, that our leaders won't even let them see.

Reads letter from a guy who's brother had hung himself with a garden hose after returning from Iraq.

"Casey (her son) and his buddies have been killed to line the pockets of already wealthy people"

An investigation into the DSM is completely warranted...to hold someone accountable for the many deaths that have occurred...I don't care if it's Democrats or Republicans.

The innocents being killed don't care what political party this is about.

How many more families with members in Iraq will get visits from the grim reaper in military uniforms informing them their children have been killed?

CALLED HER SON'S DEATH: "Pre-meditated Death"

"PLEASE hold someone accountable."

"I hope this is the first step in bringing the lies to the light and bringing justice to those who can no longer speak for themselves."


27-YEAR CIA ANALYST, RAY MCGOVERN (third to testify):
NOTE: Mr. McGovern was a guest on last weekend's BRAD SHOW. Archives are available at that link.

Shows video of Powell and Rice prior to 9/11 saying that Saddam was "contained" and not a threat.

Thanks the whistleblowers who released the Downing Street documents.

The V.P. (?) said "We now know that Saddam has weapons...we have testimony including from Saddam's son-in-law."... This is a lie. You can read it in his testimony that he said "all WMD were destroyed."


CONSTITUTIONAL ATTY, JOHN BONIFAZ: (last to testify)
NOTE: Mr. Bonifaz was a guest on BRAD SHOW two weeks ago. The archives for part of that interview are available. Some of interview lost in archives due to a technical problem..


Bush Letter to congress just days after launch of war:
"Military action against Iraq was necessary to protect U.S. against continuing threat against U.S. posed by Iraq...and to deal with attacks against U.S. on September 11th, 2001"

That was not true.

"If the President of the United States has committed High Crimes, he must be held accountable. The Constitution demands no less."


FROM THE Q&A SESSION:

MCGOVERN: Attorneys said that "Regime change is not a legal basis for war"

BONIFAZ: "The question is whether the President subverted the Constitution"

MAXINE WATERS: "V.P. Cheney made visits to CIA and it appears that it was more than one visit. We have been watching a VP who has done any number of things...he's the former CEO of Halliburton...has had a hand in no bid contracts... Appears to not be concerned about what the American public thinks about this and these documents...There's been a manipulation of intelligence information...that they had to make the intelligence fit the conclusion that they were indeed going to invade Iraq. Is there anything else we should know about what the V.P. did?"

MCGOVERN: "Many people have asked me about this. If it's unusual for a sitting Vice-Predident to make such visits to the CIA. It's not unusual, it's unprecedented!" I was there for 27 years, not once, even when George H.W. Bush was sitting President, did a sitting V.P. come on a working visit to CIA headquarters. He came at least 9 times...It's incredible that that should be happening."

On Tenet being present when V.P. spoke to analyists: "this is the real outrage. The head of an agency needs to protect his people from this kind of pressure from outside influence...How can that be done when their boss is standing right over there shoulder?

"here's your Director standing over your shoulder...if this doesn't have an effect ...The management of the CIA has been so corrupted, so politicized, there's a real question...In my mind on whether the agency can come up with anything reliable when it's already known what the Administration wants to hear."

Sadly, the pressure worked. Most of the people have now left, and the type of people who would bend to this kind of politicization are left.

BARNEY FRANK: "Some in the administration have said 'big deal, we already knew that'...Well if we knew that, why the hell didn't they do something about it?"

BONIFAZ: "'Democracy' as a reason for war, was not submitted to Congress in the letter that Bush submitted" (Only after WMD began to not be found was 'Democracy' used as a reason for the invasion).

MCGOVERN: By September 2002, hundreds of tons of bombs had already been dropped. The war had already started.

SHIELA JACKSON LEE: "This war has shown the highest number, percentage-wise, of suicides...Makes an "official apology to Sheehan"..."I want to apologize on behalf of the institutions of this nations, on behalf of the Senate and the House and if I can extend on behalf of the executive branch....to apologize for what happened...believes the nation owes you and the families of those who went to serve on the front lines an apology.

BONIFAZ: "This idea of preemption has no basis in International Law...This was a problem that the British Lawyers had...You have to have an iminent threat and prove that somebody is about to attack you...[The war] is illegal and that's something the American people need to understand."

WILSON: "Our obligation is to ensure we have not sent them over there to die under false pretenses in our name"

BONIFAZ: "On preemptive war doctrine. The prez announced..and when he did so...By it's own terminology, the preemptive doctrine requires proof that there is something to preempt! Which is why the DSM documents are so important."

JIM MORAN: "What do you think was the real reason for going to war?

MAXINE WATERS: "OUT OF IRAQ" Congressional Caucus has now been established. Pelosi's Amendment to ask for an exit strategy by Bush being voted on RIGHT NOW.

CHARLES RANGEL: Can't thank this panel enough. "I have sat through two impeachments...quite frankly, the evidence that appears to be building up on whether a Prez has deliberately mislead the congress...on the most important decisions a Prez can ever make...whether to place American lives in harms way...Having not heard all the testimony in these Historic Hearings...Has anyone testified whether the case is sufficient to start an official Inquiry into whether or not the proof was sufficient to go to war?"

BONIFAZ: "Yes, we have at AfterDowningSTreet.org...All we're asking at this point is for answers to these questions. To know the truth whether or not the Prez. Engaged in a deliberate campaign to deceive...If that's all it was after an investigation, a failure of intelligence, then so be it...But if the memo from Richard Dearlove was accurate, then we all deserve to know the truth about whether the Prez deliberately lied...we owe it to the people of the united States to find out."

MAURICE HINCHEY: All of us in the entire nation owes all of you a deep debt of gratitude...The idea that tht Prez lied to the American people in regard to war...What's being done today is incredibly important and I'm deeply indebted to you, Mr. Conyers for making it happen....The fact that we're in a tiny room dicussing this, indicates how irresponsible this Congress is...Congress has abrogated its responsibility completely to oversee this Administration...It's unfortunate but today in Washington we have a Monolithic government, we do not have the checks and balances required...Seems to me this policy has made us LESS secure...Despite Tenet saying "Yes, it's a slam dunk Mr. President, we'll get the information you're looking for"...Senate Intelligence committee said they were going to complete that report earlier this year...They haven't."




Of course, there is much more.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 16 Jun 05 - 10:57 PM

New "Downing Street" memos keep popping up. In recent days, several confidential memos written by senior officials in Tony Blair's government in March 2002 have garnered attention. (AfterDowningStreet.org has all of them posted.) These records--first obtained by Michael Smith, a British journalist formerly working at the Daily Telegraph and now with the Sunday Times of London--provide more evidence that Bush's case for war was less than convincing for his number-one ally. They also illustrate the hubris that drove Blair in his wartime partnership with George W. Bush.

The first and now infamous Downing Street memo chronicled a high-level briefing for Blair that occurred in July 2003, during which the head of British intelligence said Bush was already committed to war and intelligence and facts were being "fixed around the policy" and during which Foreign Minister Jack Straw reported the WMD case for war was "thin." (See my previous column on the memo.) Months before this secret meeting, British officials were already sharing similar sentiments among themselves (not with the public, of course). In a March 22, 2002, memo for Straw, Peter Ricketts, political director of Britain's foreign service, noted that "even the best survey of Iraq's WMD programmes will not show much advance in recent years on the nuclear, missile or [chemical weapons/biological weapons] fronts." He also reported that the "US scrambling to establish a link between Iraq and Al Aaida [sic] is so far frankly unconvincing."

A March 8, 2002, options paper prepared by Blair's national security aides noted that Iraq's nuclear weapons program was "effectively frozen," its missile program "severely restricted," and its chemical and biological weapons programs "hindered." Saddam Hussein, it reported, "has not succeeded in seriously threatening his neighbors." This paper also said the intelligence on Iraq's supposed WMD program was "poor." It noted that there was no "recent evidence" of Iraqi ties to al Qaeda.

All of this contradicts what Bush told Americans before the invasion of Iraq. He and his aides claimed that Iraq had reconstituted its nuclear weapons program, that Hussein was producing and stockpiling biological and chemical weapons, that Baghdad was in cahoots with al Qaeda, and that the intelligence obtained by the United States and other governments (presumably including the Brits) left "no doubt" that Iraq posed a direct WMD threat to the United States.

The British memos are further evidence that Bush overstated the main reasons for the war. They also show that his key line of defense is bunk. When confronted with questions about the lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Bush and his allies have consistently pointed to bad intelligence. But the previously released Downing Street memos and the new ones indicate that the Brits--who had access to the prewar intelligence--saw that the WMD case (based on that intelligence) was, as Jack Straw observed, weak. One might ask, why did they have such a different take than the one Bush shared with the public?


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 16 Jun 05 - 10:50 PM

WASHINGTON - Congress should conduct an official inquiry to determine whether President Bush intentionally misled the nation about the reasons for toppling Saddam Hussein, a senior House Democrat suggested Thursday.

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New York Rep. Charles Rangel was among Democratic House members who participated in a forum to air demands that the White House provide more information about what led to the decision to go to war in Iraq.

"Quite frankly, evidence that appears to be building up points to whether or not the president has deliberately misled Congress to make the most important decision a president has to make, going to war," said Rangel, senior Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee.

Rep. John Conyers and other Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee organized the forum to investigate implications in a British document known as the "Downing Street memo." The memo says the Bush administration believed that war was inevitable and was determined to use intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to justify the ouster of Saddam.

From MSN....6-16-05


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 15 Jun 05 - 09:56 PM

Congressman Conyers will be hyolding a hearing concernign the lying that is evidenced by the contents of the Downing Street memo.

From an e-mail supporting this investigation:

..."The Downing Street Memo is the "smoking gun" for those still searching for one indicting President Bush and his administration for high crimes and misdemeanors of the most serious and deadly kind. Its authenticity has not been disputed by either the British or U.S. governments since it was made public by the Times of London on May 1, 2005. While largely ignored for nearly a month by most of the corporate media here, it has now made its way into some news outlets. Rep. John Conyers and 88 other members of Congress have demanded an explanation from the White House.

The memo is a document containing minutes transcribed during a meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair, members of his cabinet and other top military and security officials, on July 23, 2002. The head of British foreign intelligence (MI 6), Richard Dearlove, identified in the memo as "C," had just returned from a meeting with the U.S. National Security Council in Washington.

"C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action."

The key phrase here is, "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." It makes clear beyond question that the Bush administration had set the course for war on Iraq at least eight months before the U.S./British invasion.

In recent days, additional leaked British memos have confirmed the underlying information in the Downing Street Memo and further revealed that the Bush administration was making its plans to launch a war against Iraq and to find a basis to justify the illegal attack as early as March 2002. For instance a memo dated March 22, 2002, revealed that officials in the Blair government recognized that additional efforts would need to be made to justify the war since there was a lack of proof of connections between the Iraqi government and Al Qaida, and that the Iraqi government was not arming itself with weapons of mass destruction as the Bush Administration had claimed.

Now, more than 26 months after the invasion, 100,000 Iraqis have been killed (according to the British medical journal The Lancet) and Iraq is in chaos. Over 1,700 U.S. troops have been killed and tens of thousands have been maimed, suffering from serious wounds, injuries and illnesses, including enormous psychological trauma.

All this killing, dying and suffering is the result of a war justified by a deliberate campaign of unmitigated lies and deception knowingly carried out by Bush and his top associates - Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, Wolfowitz, et. al. All who remain in office should be removed and face trial for their war crimes. It is worth noting that the most serious category of war crimes is the Crime Against Peace; that is, planning and carrying out a war of aggression against another state which poses no threat to the aggressor state.
" ...

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jun 05 - 02:05 AM

From today's Times, on "Lies and Truth":

"When he accepted the Republican nomination for president in 1968, Richard Nixon said, "Let us begin by committing ourselves to the truth - to see it as it is, and tell it like it is - to find the truth, to speak the truth, and to live the truth."


We've now learned, thanks to Vanity Fair, that a former top F.B.I. official, W. Mark Felt, was the legendary confidential source Deep Throat. I can't think of a better time to resurrect the Watergate saga.

The trauma of Watergate, which brought down a president who seemed pathologically compelled to deceive, came toward the end of that extended exercise in governmental folly and deceit, Vietnam. Taken together, these two disasters, both of which shook the nation, provided a case study in how citizens should view their government: with extreme skepticism.

Trust, said Ronald Reagan, but verify.

Now, with George W. Bush in charge, the nation is mired in yet another tragic period marked by incompetence, duplicity, bad faith and outright lies coming once again from the very top of the government. Just last month we had the disclosure of a previously secret British government memorandum that offered further confirmation that the American public and the world were spoon-fed bogus information by the Bush administration in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.

President Bush, as we know, wanted to remove Saddam Hussein through military action. With that in mind, the memo damningly explained, "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

That's the kind of deceit that was in play as American men and women were suiting up and marching off to combat at the president's command. Mr. Bush wanted war, and he got it. Many thousands have died as a result.

Even in Afghanistan, where the U.S. had legitimate reasons for going to war, the lies have been legion. Pat Tillman, for example, was a popular N.F.L. player who, in a burst of patriotism after Sept. 11, gave up a $3.6 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals to join the Army Rangers. He was sent first to Iraq, and then to Afghanistan, where he was shot to death by members of his own unit who mistook him for the enemy.

Instead of disclosing that Corporal Tillman had died tragically in a friendly fire incident, the Army spun a phony tale of heroism for his family and the nation. According to the Army, Corporal Tillman had been killed by enemy fire as he stormed a hill. Soldiers who knew the truth were ordered to keep quiet about the matter. Corporal Tillman's family was not told how he really died until after a nationally televised memorial service that recruiters viewed as a public relations bonanza.

Mary Tillman, Corporal Tillman's mother, told The Washington Post:

"The military let him down. The administration let him down. It was a sign of disrespect. The fact that he was the ultimate team player and he watched his own men kill him is absolutely heartbreaking and tragic. The fact that they lied about it afterward is disgusting."

At a press conference on Tuesday, President Bush, speaking about detainees who had complained of being abused, said they were "people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble - that means not tell the truth." Mr. Bush meant, of course, to say dissemble, which really means to deliberately mislead or conceal. Nevertheless, he knew what he was talking about. The president may have stumbled over the pronunciation, but he's proved time and again that he's a skillful practitioner of the art.

The lessons of Watergate and Vietnam are that the checks and balances embedded in the national government by the founding fathers (and which the Bush administration is trying mightily to destroy) are absolutely crucial if American-style democracy is to survive, and that a truly free and unfettered press (which the Bush administration is trying mightily to intimidate) is as important now as it's ever been.

There you have it in a nutshell. Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, drunk with power and insufficiently restrained, took the nation on hair-raising journeys that were as unnecessary as they were destructive. Now, in the first years of the 21st century, George W. Bush is doing the same."...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: dianavan
Date: 30 May 05 - 11:47 PM

"No federal judge can be confirmed without a vote in the Senate. It takes 60 votes to break a filibuster. If only 41 of the 50 Democratic Senators stand up to Bush and his Supremes and say that they will not approve a single judge appointed by him until a President can be democratically elected in 2004, the judicial reign of terror can end....and one day we can hope to return to the rule of law."

Found this on the net. No wonder Bush wants to end the chance of a filibuster.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 30 May 05 - 05:21 PM

Editorial: Memorial Day/Praise bravery, seek forgiveness
May 30, 2005 ED0530
   
Nothing young Americans can do in life is more honorable than offering themselves for the defense of their nation. It requires great selflessness and sacrifice, and quite possibly the forfeiture of life itself. On Memorial Day 2005, we gather to remember all those who gave us that ultimate gift. Because they are so fresh in our minds, those who have died in Iraq make a special claim on our thoughts and our prayers.

In exchange for our uniformed young people's willingness to offer the gift of their lives, civilian Americans owe them something important: It is our duty to ensure that they never are called to make that sacrifice unless it is truly necessary for the security of the country. In the case of Iraq, the American public has failed them; we did not prevent the Bush administration from spending their blood in an unnecessary war based on contrived concerns about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. President Bush and those around him lied, and the rest of us let them. Harsh? Yes. True? Also yes. Perhaps it happened because Americans, understandably, don't expect untruths from those in power. But that works better as an explanation than as an excuse.

The "smoking gun," as some call it, surfaced on May 1 in the London Times. It is a highly classified document containing the minutes of a July 23, 2002, meeting at 10 Downing Street in which Sir Richard Dearlove, head of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, reported to Prime Minister Tony Blair on talks he'd just held in Washington. His mission was to determine the Bush administration's intentions toward Iraq.

At a time when the White House was saying it had "no plans" for an invasion, the British document says Dearlove reported that there had been "a perceptible shift in attitude" in Washington. "Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The (National Security Council) had no patience with the U.N. route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action."

It turns out that former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke and former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill were right. Both have been pilloried for writing that by summer 2002 Bush had already decided to invade.

Walter Pincus, writing in the Washington Post on May 22, provides further evidence that the administration did, indeed, fix the intelligence on Iraq to fit a policy it had already embraced: invasion and regime change. Just four days before Bush's State of the Union address in January 2003, Pincus writes, the National Security Council staff "put out a call for new intelligence to bolster claims" about Saddam Hussein's WMD programs. The call went out because the NSC staff believed the case was weak. Moreover, Pincus says, "as the war approached, many U.S. intelligence analysts were internally questioning almost every major piece of prewar intelligence about Hussein's alleged weapons programs." But no one at high ranks in the administration would listen to them.

On the day before Bush's speech, the CIA's Berlin station chief warned that the source for some of what Bush would say was untrustworthy. Bush said it anyway. He based part of his most important annual speech to the American people on a single, dubious, unnamed source. The source was later found to have fabricated his information." ...

Excerpted from this article


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 30 May 05 - 11:48 AM

On the state of the nation under Bush, ibid:

"This Memorial Day is not a good one for the country that was once the world's most brilliant beacon of freedom and justice.

State Department officials know better than anyone that the image of the United States has deteriorated around the world. The U.S. is now widely viewed as a brutal, bullying nation that countenances torture and operates hideous prison camps at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and in other parts of the world - camps where inmates have been horribly abused, gruesomely humiliated and even killed.

The huge and bitter protests of Muslims against the United States last week were touched off by reports that the Koran had been handled disrespectfully by interrogators at Guantánamo. But the anger and rage among Muslims and others had been building for a long time, fueled by indisputable evidence of the atrocious treatment of detainees, terror suspects, wounded prisoners and completely innocent civilians in America's so-called war against terror.

Amnesty International noted last week in its annual report on human rights around the world that more than 500 detainees continue to be held "without charge or trial" at Guantánamo. Locking people up without explaining why, and without giving them a chance to prove their innocence, seems a peculiar way to advance the cause of freedom in the world.

It's now known that many of the individuals swept up and confined at Guantánamo and elsewhere were innocent. The administration says it has evidence it could use to prove the guilt of detainees currently at Guantánamo, but much of the evidence is secret and therefore cannot be revealed.

This is where the war on terror meets Never-Never Land.

President Bush's close confidante, Karen Hughes, has been chosen to lead a high-profile State Department effort to repair America's image. The Bush crowd apparently thinks this is a perception problem, as opposed to a potentially catastrophic crisis that will not be eased without substantive policy changes.

This is much more than an image problem. The very idea of what it means to be American is at stake. The United States is a country that as a matter of policy (and in the name of freedom) "renders" people to regimes that specialize in the art of torture.

"How," asked Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, "can our State Department denounce countries for engaging in torture while the C.I.A. secretly transfers detainees to the very same countries for interrogation?"

Ms. Hughes said in March that she would do her best "to stand for what President Bush called the nonnegotiable demands of human dignity." Someone should tell her that there's not a lot of human dignity in the venues where torture is inflicted.

The U.S. would regain some of its own lost dignity if a truly independent commission were established to thoroughly investigate the interrogation and detention operations associated with the war on terror and the war in Iraq. A real investigation would be traumatic because it would expose behavior most Americans would never want associated with their country. But in the long run it would be extremely beneficial.(...)"


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 30 May 05 - 11:46 AM

More deadheadedness at the top. From todays Times:

"One of the more bizarre aspects of the Iraq war has been President Bush's repeated insistence that his generals tell him they have enough troops. Even more bizarrely, it may be true - I mean, that his generals tell him that they have enough troops, not that they actually have enough. An article in yesterday's Baltimore Sun explains why.

The article tells the tale of John Riggs, a former Army commander, who "publicly contradicted Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld by arguing that the Army was overstretched in Iraq and Afghanistan" - then abruptly found himself forced into retirement at a reduced rank, which normally only happens as a result of a major scandal.

The truth, of course, is that there aren't nearly enough troops. "Basically, we've got all the toys, but not enough boys," a Marine major in Anbar Province told The Los Angeles Times.

Yet it's also true, in a different sense, that we have too many troops in Iraq.

Back in September 2003 a report by the Congressional Budget Office concluded that the size of the U.S. force in Iraq would have to start shrinking rapidly in the spring of 2004 if the Army wanted to "maintain training and readiness levels, limit family separation and involuntary mobilization, and retain high-quality personnel."

Let me put that in plainer English: our all-volunteer military is based on an implicit promise that those who serve their country in times of danger will also be able to get on with their lives. Full-time soldiers expect to spend enough time at home base to keep their marriages alive and see their children growing up. Reservists expect to be called up infrequently enough, and for short enough tours of duty, that they can hold on to their civilian jobs.

To keep that promise, the Army has learned that it needs to follow certain rules, such as not deploying more than a third of the full-time forces overseas except during emergencies. The budget office analysis was based on those rules.

But the Bush administration, which was ready neither to look for a way out of Iraq nor to admit that staying there would require a much bigger army, simply threw out the rulebook. Regular soldiers are spending a lot more than a third of their time overseas, and many reservists are finding their civilian lives destroyed by repeated, long-term call-ups.

Two things make the burden of repeated deployments even harder to bear. One is the intensity of the conflict. In Slate, Phillip Carter and Owen West, who adjusted casualty figures to take account of force size and improvements in battlefield medicine (which allow more of the severely wounded to survive), concluded that "infantry duty in Iraq circa 2004 comes out just as intense as infantry duty in Vietnam circa 1966."

The other is the way in which the administration cuts corners when it comes to supporting the troops. From their foot-dragging on armoring Humvees to their apparent policy of denying long-term disability payments to as many of the wounded as possible, officials seem almost pathologically determined to nickel-and-dime those who put their lives on the line for their country." (...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: freda underhill
Date: 30 May 05 - 06:12 AM

Second-term slump
Bush runs into trouble with Congress; maybe he should try playing nice;May 30, 2005; 40 minutes ago

President George W. Bush has hit a rough patch on Capitol Hill. In rapid-fire developments last week, a number of congressional Republicans broke ranks and sided with Democrats, bucking the Republican president on the filibuster in the Senate and stem cell research in the House. So, has Bush contracted a case of second-termitis, that inevitable slide into irrelevance that afflicts presidents as their time in the White House grows short? Well, no. Bush's days aren't that numbered. Not yet. But he is bumping up against the boundaries of the limited mandate voters gave him in November. There's a lesson there that Bush should heed.

Muscling Congress isn't working so well anymore. Neither is rabid partisanship. Emboldened centrist lawmakers are gaining clout. It's time for Bush to consider consulting, cajoling and compromising as better ways to get things done. Clearly, a new approach is called for, given that he hit the rocks twice last week.

On Monday, seven Republican senators joined with seven of their Democratic colleagues in a deal that saved the filibuster as a weapon for the minority party in judicial confirmation fights. Bush wanted nothing less than a guaranteed up-or-down vote for every one of his nominees. One day later, scores of House Republicans voted with Democrats to relax Bush's funding restrictions on stem cell research. And they did it despite Bush's veto threat.

Meanwhile, Bush's signature domestic priority, carving private investment accounts out of Social Security, is essentially dead in the water. Bush hasn't abandoned it yet, but the proposal is clearly going nowhere. What's a president with a full plate of issues to do?

Bush should move away from rote, free-market ideology and search instead for a pragmatic fix for Social Security. He should pay attention, rather than just lip service, to reducing the federal budget deficit. He should abandon the crusade to strip government of revenue by making costly tax cuts permanent. And he should tap judicial nominees who, while they may be conservative, are within the broad ideological mainstream of national legal thought.

That's not a formula for the partisan, conservative, total domination that the White House seems to relish. But it is a formula for making real progress on a number of fronts important to the American people.

Newsday


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 30 May 05 - 12:30 AM

A wonderful sassy article by Jeff Glenkirk on turning to the GOP for fun and profit -- something every liberal-minded humanitarian should reflect on, and every conservative should blush about!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 29 May 05 - 10:33 AM

From a news site called Fairfax DIgital:

"Washington: The Bush Administration has launched a high-level internal review of its efforts to battle international terrorism, aimed at moving away from a policy that has stressed efforts to capture and kill al-Qaeda leaders since the September 11, 2001, attacks and towards what a senior official called a broader "strategy against violent extremism".

The shift is meant to recognise the transformation of al-Qaeda over the past three years into a far more amorphous, diffuse and difficult-to-target organisation than the group that struck the US in 2001.

But critics say the policy review comes only after months of delay and lost opportunities while the Administration left key counter-terrorism jobs unfilled and argued internally over how best to confront the rapid spread of the pro-al-Qaeda global Islamic jihad.

President George Bush's top adviser on terrorism, Frances Fragos Townsend, said in an interview the review is needed to take into account the "ripple effect" from years of operations targeting al-Qaeda leaders such as Khalid Sheik Mohammed, arrested for planning the 2001 terrorist attacks, and his recently detained deputy, Abu Faraj al-Libbi.

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"Naturally, the enemy has adapted," she said. "As you capture a Khalid Sheik Mohammed, an Abu Faraj al-Libbi raises up. Nature abhors a vacuum."

Much of the discussion has focused on how to deal with the rise of a new generation of terrorists, schooled in Iraq over the past couple of years. Top government officials are increasingly turning their attention to what one called "the bleed out" of hundreds or thousands of Iraq-trained jihadists back to their home countries throughout the Middle East and Western Europe."




I think if you review the traffic on this thread and others related to the Iraq insanity you will find this exact phenomenon predicted as a clearly predictable consequence of Bush's military un-planning. People wonder why I call our furless leader stupid. One reason is his poor grasp of consequences.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 28 May 05 - 11:06 PM

My vote: impeach...

The guy lied to the Amrican people and is still lieing....

Impeach....

Return America ro its people...

Impeach...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 May 05 - 03:40 PM

"Our hearts are especially heavy this year because 1,653 soldiers have died in the past 26 months in Iraq.

Another 12,348 have been maimed, and tens of thousands are suffering from PTSD.

And things are only getting worse, not better: the majority of those killed (903) died in the 12 short months since Memorial Day 2004.

Our sadness would be diminished if we could say these brave young men and women died to defend America.

But that simply isn't true, because George W. Bush lied to us.

We now know there were no WMD's in Iraq in 2002. We also know there were no ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda or 9-11.

George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, and countless others insisted there were. But they were lying - all of them.

On May 1, the Times of London finally exposed the truth. It came in the form of the minutes of a secret war council led by Tony Blair at the Prime Minister's office on Downing Street on July 23, 2002 - eight full months before Bush invaded Iraq. The head of British intelligence reported on his trip to Washington:

"Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Read it carefully: Bush was determined to invade Iraq, and he was prepared to tell whatever lies he needed to tell to scare Americans into war.

This "smoking gun" caused a firestorm in the British media. Here in the U.S., the media barely reported it. Why? Because our media enthusiastically helped Bush tell his lies. And they want to make sure Americans never learn the truth.

Today, Democrats.com and a powerful coalition of progressive allies set out to break the media's silence and tell Americans the truth.

We are building a massive grassroots movement to support an historic letter by Constitutional scholar John Bonifaz, who is urging Congress to pass a "Resolution of Inquiry" directing the House Judiciary Committee to launch a formal investigation into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House to impeach George W. Bush.*

Of course, passing this Resolution will require a majority in the House, which is firmly controlled by Tom DeLay and his right-wing Republican allies.

DeLay is a formidable obstacle. But we simply cannot let him stand in the way of the truth after so many young Americans have died.

Please join me in urging your Representative to support this Resolution of Inquiry about Iraq."

http://www.democrats.com/peoplesemailnetwork/39

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: DougR
Date: 28 May 05 - 01:30 PM

You're welcome Amos. Obviously it doesn't take much to please you.
:>)
DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 May 05 - 12:12 AM

Thanks, Doug. I _am_ goiung through withdrawal symptoms and I miss her keen wit, her sharp ability to cut through Republican bullshit with the grace of a samurai sword, and her sharp tongue. I am sure she'll be back in fine form in due course.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: DougR
Date: 27 May 05 - 02:41 PM

I am writing this post in order to offer my sympathy to Amos for losing (at least temporarily) one of his favorite "sources of facts" for this thread.

It seems Maureen Dowd has been granted a leave of absense by The New York Times to write an important book that likely will take it's place among the classics. The title: "Are Men Really Necessary."

Don't bother running to your favorite book store for a copy, though, it is not due out until next fall.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 27 May 05 - 12:20 AM

The Complete Bushisms
Updated frequently.
By Jacob Weisberg of Slate
Updated Wednesday, May 25, 2005, at 10:06 AM PT

"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."—Bush, Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 26 May 05 - 09:08 PM

Yeah, the greatest loss of leavin' Wes Ginny to move back onto Ginny will be loosing Senator Byrd as ***MY*** Senator....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 25 May 05 - 09:11 PM

A long history of the gradual abrogation of government by the religious right can be found at this site. The threads lead from the 1890's right up to Rove and WOlfowitz, which is interesting.

Just in case you thought this was just happenstance!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 24 May 05 - 09:09 PM

In Senator Robert Byrd's (no GWB lover there) book "Losing
America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency", he
quotes a speech that president Dwigh Eisenhower gave on April
16, 1953 to the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Whether
one agrees with GWB's policies or not and, in spite of the
fact that, at today's prices, the monies are grosly
understated, I agree with Byrd that the words "are as timely
today as they were over fifty years ago":

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocker
fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those wgo
hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.
This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending
the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the
hopes of its children. The cost of one midern heavy bomber is
this: a modern brick school in more than thirty cities. It is
two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000
population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is
some fifty miles of concrete highway. We pay for a songle
fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for
a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more
than 8,000 people."

And they said that he wasn't eloquent!

    "When you come to the fork in the road, take it" - L.P. Berra
    "Always make new mistakes" -- Esther Dyson
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from
magic"
      -- Arthur C. Clarke
      "You Gotta Believe" - Frank "Tug" McGraw (1944 - 2004 RIP)
      "To achieve, you need thought. You have to know what you
       are doing and that's real power." -- Ayn Rand


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 23 May 05 - 11:35 AM

Patterns of Abuse
            
From the NY Times 5-23-05

Published: May 23, 2005

President Bush said the other day that the world should see his administration's handling of the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison as a model of transparency and accountability. He said those responsible were being systematically punished, regardless of rank. It made for a nice Oval Office photo-op on a Friday morning. Unfortunately, none of it is true.


The administration has provided nothing remotely like a full and honest accounting of the extent of the abuses at American prison camps in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. It has withheld internal reports and stonewalled external inquiries, while clinging to the fiction that the abuse was confined to isolated acts, like the sadistic behavior of one night crew in one cellblock at Abu Ghraib. The administration has prevented any serious investigation of policy makers at the White House, the Justice Department and the Pentagon by orchestrating official probes so that none could come even close to the central question of how the prison policies were formulated and how they led to the abuses.

But a two-part series in The Times by Tim Golden provides a horrifying new confirmation that what happened at Abu Ghraib was no aberration, but part of a widespread pattern. It showed the tragic impact of the initial decision by Mr. Bush and his top advisers that they were not going to follow the Geneva Conventions, or indeed American law, for prisoners taken in antiterrorist operations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 23 May 05 - 01:09 AM

From the Washington Post (excerpt). Full article here


On Jan. 24, 2003, four days before President Bush delivered his State of the Union address presenting the case for war against Iraq, the National Security Council staff put out a call for new intelligence to bolster claims that Saddam Hussein possessed nuclear, chemical and biological weapons or programs.

The person receiving the request, Robert Walpole, then the national intelligence officer for strategic and nuclear programs, would later tell investigators that "the NSC believed the nuclear case was weak," according to a 500-page report released last year by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.


It has been clear since the September report of the Iraq Survey Group -- a CIA-sponsored weapons search in Iraq -- that the United States would not find the weapons of mass destruction cited by Bush as the rationale for going to war against Iraq. But as the Walpole episode suggests, it appears that even before the war many senior intelligence officials in the government had doubts about the case being trumpeted in public by the president and his senior advisers.

The question of prewar intelligence has been thrust back into the public eye with the disclosure of a secret British memo showing that, eight months before the March 2003 start of the war, a senior British intelligence official reported to Prime Minister Tony Blair that U.S. intelligence was being shaped to support a policy of invading Iraq.

Moreover, a close reading of the recent 600-page report by the president's commission on intelligence, and the previous report by the Senate panel, shows that as war approached, many U.S. intelligence analysts were internally questioning almost every major piece of prewar intelligence about Hussein's alleged weapons programs.

These included claims that Iraq was trying to obtain uranium in Africa for its nuclear program, had mobile labs for producing biological weapons, ran an active chemical weapons program and possessed unmanned aircraft that could deliver weapons of mass destruction. All these claims were made by Bush or then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell in public addresses even though, the reports made clear, they had yet to be verified by U.S. intelligence agencies.

For instance, Bush said in his Jan. 28, 2003, State of the Union address that Hussein was working to obtain "significant quantities" of uranium from Africa, a conclusion the president attributed to British intelligence and made a key part of his assertion that Iraq had an active nuclear weapons program.

More than a year later, the White House retracted the statement after its veracity was questioned. But the Senate report makes it clear that even in January 2003, just before the president's speech, analysts at the CIA's Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation and Arms Control Center were still investigating the reliability of the uranium information.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 23 May 05 - 01:05 AM

In the midst of the debate over the filibuster, Max Baucus
had these unusually wise words to contribute:

Mr. President, last week, on Wednesday, we evacuated the Capitol. At the
instruction of the Capitol Police, more than a few Senators and staff
actually ran from this building and the surrounding offices in the very real
fear that a plane was carrying a bomb to attack this building, the center of our
democracy.

And Wednesday will likely not be the last time, that we guard against
threats to our democracy by plane and bomb.

But there are other threats to our democracy and our freedoms, just as
menacing, equally as dangerous.

Abraham Lincoln said: "America will never be destroyed from the
outside. If we falter, and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed
ourselves."

Former Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin said: "It is not slogans or
bullets, but only institutions, that can make, and keep, people free."

And Baron Montesquieu wrote in The Spirit of the Laws: "There is no
liberty, if the judiciary power be not separated from the legislative and the
executive."

Mr. President, in ancient Rome, when the Senate lost its power, and the
emperor became a tyrant, it was not because the emperor abolished the
Senate.

In ancient Rome, when the Senate lost its power, it continued to
exist, at least in name. But in ancient Rome, when the Senate lost its power,
in the words of the Senate's historian, Senator Robert Byrd, the Senate became "little more than a name."

In ancient Rome, when the Senate lost its power, the Roman Senate was
complicit in the transfer. The emperor did not have to seize all the
honors and powers. The Roman Senate, one after another, conferred greater
powers on Caesar.

It was not the abolition of the Senate that made the emperor
powerful. It was the Senate's complete deference. Like the Roman Senate before us, we
risk bringing our diminution upon ourselves. We risk bringing upon
ourselves a hollow Senate, a mere shadow of its past self. And we risk bringing upon
ourselves a loss of the checks and balances that ensure our American democracy.

Mr. President:

This is the way democracy ends;
This is the way democracy ends;
This is the way democracy ends;
Not with a bomb, but a gavel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 23 May 05 - 01:03 AM

Where Those Who Now Run the U.S. Government Came From and Where They Are Taking Us

By Wayne Madsen

Part I

A
fter several months of in-depth research and, at first, seemingly unrelated conversations with former high-level intelligence officials, lawyers, politicians, religious figures, other investigative journalists, and researchers, I can now report on a criminal conspiracy so vast and monstrous it defies imagination. Using "Christian" groups as tax-exempt and cleverly camouflaged covers, wealthy right-wing businessmen and "clergy" have now assumed firm control over the biggest prize of all – the government of the United States of America. First, some housekeeping is in order. My use of the term "Christian" is merely to clearly identify the criminal conspirators who have chosen to misuse their self-avowed devotion to Jesus Christ to advance a very un-Christian agenda. The term "Christian Mafia" is what several Washington politicians have termed the major conspirators and it is not intended to debase Christians or infer that they are criminals . I will also use the term Nazi – not for shock value – but to properly tag the political affiliations of the early founders of the so-called "Christian" power cult called the Fellowship. The most important element of this story is that a destructive religious movement has now achieved almost total control over the machinery of government of the United States – its executive, its legislature, several state governments, and soon, the federal judiciary, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

The United States has experienced religious and cult hucksters throughout its history, from Cotton Mather and his Salem witch burners to Billy Sunday, Father Charles Coughlin, Charles Manson, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Marshall Applewhite, and others. But none have ever achieved the kind of power now possessed by a powerful and secretive group of conservative politicians and wealthy businessmen in the United States and abroad who are known among their adherents and friends as The Fellowship or The Family. The Fellowship and its predecessor organizations have used Jesus in the same way that McDonald's uses golden arches and Coca Cola uses its stylized script lettering. Jesus is a logo and a slogan for the Fellowship. Jesus is used to justify the Fellowship's access to the highest levels of government and business in the same way Santa Claus entices children into department stores and malls during the Christmas shopping season.

When the Founders of our nation constitutionally separated Church and State, the idea of the Fellowship taking over the government would have been their worst nightmare. The Fellowship has been around under various names since 1935. Its stealth existence has been perpetuated by its organization into small cells, a pyramid organization of "correspondents," "associates," "friends," "members," and "core members," tax-exempt status for its foundations, and its protection by the highest echelons of the our own government and those abroad.

...(See rest of article at Exposé: The Christian Mafia

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 22 May 05 - 05:43 PM

Oldies but goodies:

William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t: "The case for war against Iraq has not been made. This is a fact. It is doubtful in the extreme that Saddam Hussein has retained any functional aspect of the chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons programs so thoroughly dismantled by the United Nations weapons inspectors who worked tirelessly in Iraq for seven years. This is also a fact."

        
It Was the Lying, Right? Clinton, Bush and Impeachment

DAVE LINDORFF, CounterPunch: "Where is the public outcry demanding that he be called to account for his shameless and bloody deception of the American public and the Congress?"

        
Short: Blair lied to cabinet and made secret war pact with US

The Guardian, Nicholas Watt and Michael White in Evian: "As an increasingly exasperated prime minister once again swept aside calls for a public inquiry into the failure to uncover banned Iraqi weapons, the former international development secretary accused Mr Blair of bypassing the cabinet to agree a "secret" pact with George Bush to go to war."

        
Revise and Conquer - Bush Family Whitewashing in Iraq and Nazi Germany

CHRIS FLOYD, CounterPunch: "This might seem a rather bizarre question at first glance--but then, Bush has a personal stake in the cultivation of historical amnesia. His own family fortune was built in part by a long and profitable collusion with the Nazis--an ugly story oft told here, and raked up again by Newsweek Poland during the presidential visit."

        
Standard Operating Procedure

Paul Krugman, The New York Times: "Am I exaggerating? Even as George Bush stunned reporters by declaring that we have "found the weapons of mass destruction," the Republican National Committee declared that the latest tax cut benefits "everyone who pays taxes." That is simply a lie. You've heard about those eight million children denied any tax break by a last-minute switcheroo."

        
Intelligence Officers Challenge Bush

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, CommonDreams.org: "Your opposition to inviting UN inspectors into Iraq feeds the suspicion that you wish to avoid independent verification; some even suggest that your administration wishes to preserve the option of ``planting'' such weapons to be ``discovered'' later. Sen. Carl Levin recently warned that, if some are found ``Many people around the world will think we planted those weapons, unless the UN inspectors are there with us.''

        Ex-U.N. weapons: Bush lied to the nation
Matt Manochio, Daily Record: Ritter, a former Marine, also said during his speech that Bush should be impeached if it is proven that he misled America. "This is a high crime. This is a misdemeanor. This is an impeachable offense" if he lied, said Ritter, who was applauded whenever he criticized the president.
        
Why the Lies About WMD Matter - A Crime Against American Values

RAY CLOSE, former CIA analyst, CounterPunch: "The Bush Administration declared that it had irrefutable, ironclad proof that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction that posed an imminent threat to the safety and security of the United States, and this claim was used as the justification for launching a preemptive war."

        
Bush's Alderaan

Robert Parry, THE CONSORTIUM: "As he marched the nation to war, Bush presented himself as a Christian man of peace who saw war only as a last resort. But in a remarkable though little noted disclosure, Time magazine reported that in March 2002 – a full year before the invasion – Bush outlined his real thinking to three U.S. senators, 'Fuck Saddam,' Bush said. 'We're taking him out.'"


All links can be found on www.impeach-bush-now.com


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,freda
Date: 22 May 05 - 09:46 AM

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Groups Sue to Stop Calif. Stem Cell Funding; http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,157262,00.html

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — President Bush's appearance at Calvin College (search) on Saturday was as much about politics as it was about his speech urging the graduates of this Christian college to commit themselves to community service. "This isn't a Democratic idea. This isn't a Republican idea. This is an American idea," Bush told the students, hoping to send a bipartisan message despite protests about his appearance.

"As your generation takes its place in the world, all of you must make this decision: Will you be a spectator or a citizen?" Bush asked about 900 seniors graduating from this liberal arts college. The students cheered him warmly before he spoke, but Bush's visit was not welcomed by all.

Several dozen people protesting outside the event and a few graduates at the ceremony wore stickers that said: "God is not a Republican or Democrat." A third of the college's faculty members signed a letter protesting his visit. The letter, published Saturday in a half-page ad in the Grand Rapids Press, said: "As Christians, we are called to be peacemakers and to initiate war only as a last resort. We believe your administration has launched an unjust and unjustified war in Iraq."

Another letter of protest from students, faculty and alumni appeared in a full-page ad in the paper on Friday. "In our view, the policies and actions of your administration, both domestically and internationally over the past four years, violate many deeply held principles of Calvin College," that ad in the Grand Rapids newspaper said.

Calvin College administrators say they were thrilled when the White House asked if Bush could speak at the commencement — his third trip this year to Michigan, which he narrowly lost to Democrat John Kerry in last year's election. Bush's speech here is one of only two commencement addresses he's giving this year. Next Friday, he speaks at the U.S. Naval Academy.

The choice of the 4,000-student Christian college led to speculation that the president wanted to reach out to his evangelical base in this Midwestern state. But some associated with the college noted the school's Christian background does not make it part of the conservative Christian movement.

In his commencement speech, Bush mentioned advancing freedom around the world and voiced his support for faith-based, or religious, groups getting involved in social service. "To make a difference in this world, you must be involved by serving a higher calling here and abroad," Bush said. "You will make your lives richer and build a more hopeful future for our world."

His appearance was not all serious.

"Some day you will appreciate the grammar and verbal skills you learned here," quipped the president who is not known for his eloquence. "If any of you wonder how far a mastery of the English language can take you, just look what it did for me."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 18 May 05 - 09:14 PM

Even Tim Russert, consomate Bushite, says that Bush's numbers in the polls are in a nose dive... Pick just about any issue and Bush is under 40% and overall approval rate, 6 months into a 2nd term, are dismal... The boy is sinkin' fast....

B


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 16 May 05 - 11:07 PM

Garrison Keillor writes, among other remarks in this fine essay, the following truism:

"The reason you find an army of right-wingers ratcheting on the radio and so few liberals is simple: Republicans are in need of affirmation, they don't feel comfortable in America and they crave listening to people who think like them. Liberals actually enjoy living in a free society; tuning in to hear an echo is not our idea of a good time. I go to church on Sunday morning to be among the like-minded, and we all say the Nicene Creed together and assume nobody has his fingers crossed, but when it comes to radio, I prefer oddity and crankiness. I don't need someone to tell me that George W. Bush is a deceitful, corrupt, clever and destructive man--that's pretty clear on the face of it. What I want is to be surprised and delighted and moved. "

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 16 May 05 - 01:47 AM

Paul Krugman in today's Ttmes:

Staying What Course?
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: May 16, 2005

Is there any point, now that November's election is behind us, in revisiting the history of the Iraq war? Yes: any path out of the quagmire will be blocked by people who call their opponents weak on national security, and portray themselves as tough guys who will keep America safe. So it's important to understand how the tough guys made America weak.

There has been notably little U.S. coverage of the "Downing Street memo" - actually the minutes of a British prime minister's meeting on July 23, 2002, during which officials reported on talks with the Bush administration about Iraq. But the memo, which was leaked to The Times of London during the British election campaign, confirms what apologists for the war have always denied: the Bush administration cooked up a case for a war it wanted.

Here's a sample: "Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and W.M.D. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

(You can read the whole thing at www.downingstreetmemo.com.)

Why did the administration want to invade Iraq, when, as the memo noted, "the case was thin" and Saddam's "W.M.D. capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea, or Iran"? Iraq was perceived as a soft target; a quick victory there, its domestic political advantages aside, could serve as a demonstration of American military might, one that would shock and awe the world.

But the Iraq war has, instead, demonstrated the limits of American power, and emboldened our potential enemies. Why should Kim Jong Il fear us, when we can't even secure the road from Baghdad to the airport?

At this point, the echoes of Vietnam are unmistakable. Reports from the recent offensive near the Syrian border sound just like those from a 1960's search-and-destroy mission, body count and all. Stories filed by reporters actually with the troops suggest that the insurgents, forewarned, mostly melted away, accepting battle only where and when they chose.

Meanwhile, America's strategic position is steadily deteriorating.

Next year, reports Jane's Defense Industry, the United States will spend as much on defense as the rest of the world combined. Yet the Pentagon now admits that our military is having severe trouble attracting recruits, and would have difficulty dealing with potential foes - those that, unlike Saddam's Iraq, might pose a real threat.

In other words, the people who got us into Iraq have done exactly what they falsely accused Bill Clinton of doing: they have stripped America of its capacity to respond to real threats.

So what's the plan?

The people who sold us this war continue to insist that success is just around the corner, and that things would be fine if the media would just stop reporting bad news. But the administration has declared victory in Iraq at least four times. January's election, it seems, was yet another turning point that wasn't.

Yet it's very hard to discuss getting out. Even most of those who vehemently opposed the war say that we have to stay on in Iraq now that we're there.

In effect, America has been taken hostage. Nobody wants to take responsibility for the terrible scenes that will surely unfold if we leave (even though terrible scenes are unfolding while we're there). Nobody wants to tell the grieving parents of American soldiers that their children died in vain. And nobody wants to be accused, by an administration always ready to impugn other people's patriotism, of stabbing the troops in the back.

But the American military isn't just bogged down in Iraq; it's deteriorating under the strain. We may already be in real danger: what threats, exactly, can we make against the North Koreans?



Refusing to listen to the hard, scarred voice of history is the classic form of political stupidity, which W has demonstrated in spades.

Clever dodger, he may be; but stupid beyond all normal measure he is without question.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 11 May 05 - 08:59 PM

Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I oppose this budget and will vote
against it. All of my colleagues should. It sets the wrong
priorities. It breaks promises to the American people. And it
is the height of fiscal irresponsibility.

Let me begin with the priorities. The priorities of the
American people are not the priorities of this budget.

It is quite clear what the priorities of this budget are: tax
cuts for the wealthy. In just one year, this budget provides a
tax cut for millionaires totaling $32 billion.

Meanwhile, education funding is cut almost $1 billion below the
services we are providing now. A total of 48 education
programs are eliminated. The promise that was made in the No
Child Left Behind Act is broken by $12 billion. Mr. President,
we should be increasing our commitment to our children, not
cutting it.

Veterans programs – for those brave men and women who served
our country and are currently serving our country in Iraq and
Afghanistan – are cut $500 million. As more and more veterans
return to this country, the demands on the VA system will only
grow. This budget ignores them.

This budget provides no funding for additional police officers
on the street. And two major programs to help local law
enforcement are eliminated.

Medicaid – the health care program for the poor and disabled, a
large portion of whom are children – is cut $10 billion.

Funding for the Centers for Disease Control – to prevent
diseases and to fight outbreaks – is cut 9 percent.

The promise we made to our farmers in 2002 is broken with cuts
of $3 billion.

Mr. President, what is going on here? Our children, our
veterans, the safety of our streets, and the health of our
people – all are taking a back seat to tax cuts for
millionaires. This budget helps the wealthiest 1 percent of
Americans at the expense of 99 percent of Americans.

Now, you would think that with all of these cuts in spending
for important programs, at least the budget would be balanced –
or at least would be more fiscally responsible than it has been
in the past four years.

You would be wrong. This budget increases our debt by $3.1
trillion over the next five years. In 2010, the federal debt
will be over $11 trillion.

That figure is so high, it is nearly incomprehensible. So let
me put it another way: $11 trillion is $1 million every day
for 30,000 years.

And, Mr. President, $11 trillion in debt is not the whole
story. This budget does not include the almost $400 billion in
costs for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This budget does
not include over $700 billion in costs for the President's plan
to privatize Social Security. This budget does not include
over $700 billion to ensure that middle-class Americans are not
hit with the Alternative Minimum Tax.

Why aren't these included? Because it would mean even more
debt. Debt upon debt upon debt upon debt. And most of it owed
to those from foreign countries. We are borrowing from the
Japanese, the Chinese, the British, and others – and sticking
the bill to our children and grandchildren.

And speaking of the President's plan to privatize Social
Security, I find it ironic that the President again tonight
tried to scare the American people by saying that Social
Security was going "bankrupt," when at the same time, this
budget steals $2.5 trillion over 10 years from the Social
Security Trust Fund. Instead of tax cuts for millionaires, we
should be paying back the Trust Fund.

Finally, Mr. President, this budget sets the stage for opening
up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. It has
nothing to do with the budget. It has nothing to do with
increasing our energy independence. It has everything to do
with destroying one of America's most environmentally pristine
areas.

This budget has the wrong priorities, bankrupts our country,
and destroys our environment. It should be soundly and
overwhelmingly rejected.


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