Sunday, April 30, 2006

Clear and Present Danger: The Bush Presidency

There has never been a worse president than Bush. Those who work with him say the president is dangerously unhinged. They see him as a failure, as they pump up their own resumes.

The smart ones ran for higher ground years ago. The rest of them are stuck walking in lock step with the neorepublican agenda. Why, you say?

Rumor is the NSA has taped congress members phone calls and threatens them with blackmail if they refuse to tow the line.

A rumor we cannot verify, because Dubya wants to make darn sure there are no questions about his policies and no way to find out any background information on those policies.(See Chicago Tribune article- AT&T Case)

A lawyer friend said that there are still documents online which have been reclassified as secret. Dubya is telling us if you have looked at such documentation, it could be jail time for you. Doesn't matter if it was legal when you looked!

He would like to do the same with documents labeled "sensitive". Prissy has access to this type of documentation, and so do you. Much of the information Prissy gets from the US Army War College could be classified as such and if Dubya gets his way, it will be.

If he gets his way on this one, it will be a matter of time until the news will consist of nothing but missing college students on vacation and gushing over his booming two tiered economy-one for the rich, the other for the rest of us...

Hot Links

UPDATES: From the DOJ April 12 letter to Judge Walton from Patrick Fitzgerald, Special Prosecutor

Re: United States v. I. Lewis Libby. Cr. No. 05-394 (RBW1)

We are writing to correct a sentence from the Government's Response to Defendant's Third Motion to Compel Discovery, filed on April 5,2006. The sentence, which is the second sentence of the second paragraph on page 23, reads, "Defendant understood that he was to tell Miller, among other things, that a key judgment of the NIE held that Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure' uranium." That sentence should read, "Defendant understood that he was to tell Miller, among other things, some of the key judgments of the NIE, and that the NIE stated that Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure' uranium." (In pdf) DOJ link

Note to Dearest Readers from Prissy Voice Of the White House- while certainly making for lively reading, is not checking out according to a diary on KOS. Darn, it was so much fun.

Yahoo Powell Forces Rice to Defend Iraq Planning

In January, Pentagon officials acknowledged that Paul Bremer, the senior U.S. official in Iraq during the first year of the war, told Rumsfeld in May 2004 that a far larger number of U.S. troops were needed to effectively fight the insurgency, but his advice was rejected.

Bremer said his memo to Rumsfeld suggested half a million troops were needed — more than three times the number there at the time.

"There will be time to go back and look at those days of the war and, after the war, to examine what went right and what went wrong," Rice said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

"But the goal and the purpose now is to make certain that we take advantage of what is now a very good movement forward on the political front to help this Iraqi government," she said.

Moscow Times Russia Still Wary of Iran Sanctions

"A diplomatic option implies different ways to react. We will discuss this with our European partners, the United States and the international community," President Vladimir Putin said Thursday in Tomsk at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Putin added that any response should be coordinated between governments.

The president also said the Iranian imbroglio remained an IAEA issue and should not be handed over for the Security Council to deal with alone.

The enrichment of uranium is not prohibited by international law, but Western governments are wary of Iran's intentions. Tehran insists its nuclear program is solely for generating power.

On Thursday, Putin reiterated Russia's position that Iran has a right to peaceful nuclear energy. But the president also called for enforcing the nonproliferation treaty.

Center for Immigration Studies. Prissy is against amnesty for illegal immigrants. (It doesn't solve the problem) Sorry in advance to Prissy's liberal friends...Businesses want illegal immigrants so they can exploit them. If the businesses were fined heavily, the problem would stop.

Prissy is always against the exploitation of other human-beings. Undocumented illegal immigrants are a problem and they are not only from Mexico. However, that may be how they get in to the US. Census Bureau: Over 100,000 Illegal Aliens from the Middle East Flashback- January 22,2002

The fact that more than eight million illegal aliens now live in the country demonstrates that amnesties don't solve the problem of illegal immigration. Although 2.7 million of the estimated five million illegal aliens living in the country in 1986 were given amnesty (legal permanent residence), the new estimates indicate that they have been entirely replaced by new illegal aliens and that by 2000 the illegal population was at least three million larger than before the last amnesty.

Although the INS has very serious shortcomings, it is not primarily responsible for this situation. Instead, the problem lies with Congress and successive administrations, Democratic and Republican. All have failed to provide the money or political support the INS needs to enforce the ban on hiring illegals and to track down those who overstay their visas.

"It is difficult to overstate the implications of this new report for the security of our nation," said Steven A. Camarota, Director of Research at the Center for Immigration Studies. "While the vast majority of illegals from the Middle East are not terrorists, the fact that tens of thousands of people from that region and millions more from the rest of the world can settle in the United States illegally means that terrorists who wish to do so face few obstacles. We can'’t protect ourselves from terrorism without dealing with illegal immigration."

Washington Times Israel has told the Bush administration that Iran is closer to having a nuclear weapon than was previously thought

The chapter leaves military action as a last resort, but the other two permanent members -- China and Russia -- are reluctant to approve even economic sanctions.

Diplomats are discussing compromises that include a ban on foreign travel by top Iranian officials.

The Tehran government remained defiant yesterday.

"Iran will not implement any forced resolution," chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani was quoted as saying in speech to university students in Tehran. "Iran's plan is to have research and development and the nuclear fuel cycle in Iran."

The negotiator also referred again to remarks by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who said last week that Iran would harm U.S. interests around the world if it was attacked.

If one reads the Israeli papers, one would find Israel wants a war with Iran, and they intend for the United States to do something about this view.

Using diplomacy is not on the top of their list. Yet diplomacy doesn't ruin the environment or cause needless deaths and humanitarian crisis. Have you noticed who has poor diplomacy skills? Duyba, Israel and Iran. Bad combination. They really do want Armageddon.

As far as Israel and pre-emptive war, consider this from the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute

This text can be found at: (Must type in title) Preventative War and its alternatives:The Lessons of History by Dr. Dan Reiter

Some regard the 1981 Israeli attack on the Iraqi Osiraq nuclear reactor as the best example of a successful attack against an NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical weapons in the hands of rouge leaders)program, because it dealyed the Iraqi acquisition of a nuclear weapon, preventing Iraq from fashioning one by the time it invaded Kuwait in 1990.

However, according to the existing evidence, we cannot claim that the 1981 attack substantially delayed the Iraqi nuclear weapons program, because,absent the attack, Iraq would not have been close to building a nuclear weapon.

Talking Points Memo TMP

With respect to what's coming on Iran, what is in order is a little honesty, just as was the case with the Social Security debate a year ago. The only crisis with Iran is the crisis with the president's public approval ratings. Period. End of story. The Iranians are years, probably as long as a decade away, and possibly even longer from creating even a limited yield nuclear weapon. Ergo, the only reason to ramp up a confrontation now is to help the president's poll numbers.

This is a powerful message because it is an accurate message. We have many challenges overseas today. Chief among them, as one of the Democrats' senate candidates puts it, is "refocusing America's foreign and defense policies in a way that truly protects our national interests and seeks harmony where they are not threatened." The period of peril the country is entering into isn't tied to an Iranian bomb. It turns on how far a desperate president will go to avoid losing control of Congress.

Go to his heart. Go to his weaknesses. Though the realization of the fact is something of a lagging indicator, the man is a laughing stock, whose lies and failures are all catching up with him.

To the president the Democrats should be saying, Double or Nothing is Not a Foreign Policy.

He's got that right!

Washington Post-caught telling the truth The Untold Story of Israel's Bomb

By the time Prime Minister Levi Eshkol visited President Lyndon B. Johnson in January 1968, the official State Department view was that despite Israel's growing nuclear weapons potential, it had "not embarked on a program to produce a nuclear weapon." That assessment, however, eroded in the months ahead. By the fall, Assistant Defense Secretary Paul C. Warnke concluded that Israel had already acquired the bomb when Israeli Ambassador Yitzhak Rabin explained to him how he interpreted Israel's pledge not to be the first country to introduce nuclear weapons into the region. According to Rabin, for nuclear weapons to be introduced, they needed to be tested and publicly declared. Implicitly, then, Israel could possess the bomb without "introducing" it.

The question of what to do about the Israeli bomb would fall to Nixon. Unlike his Democratic predecessors, he and his national security adviser, Henry A. Kissinger, were initially skeptical about the effectiveness of the NPT. And though they may have been inclined to accommodate Israel's nuclear ambitions, they would have to manage senior State Department and Pentagon officials whose perspectives differed. Documents prepared between February and April 1969 reveal a great sense of urgency and alarm among senior officials about Israel's nuclear progress.

As Defense Secretary Melvin R. Laird wrote in March 1969, these "developments were not in the United States' interests and should, if at all possible, be stopped." Above all, the Nixon administration was concerned that Israel would publicly display its nuclear capabilities.

Prissy's fear is that Israel will use their nukes (that they still don't admit they have) on Iran -a move which would not be without serious repercussions for the entire world. Prissy wonders if their government is too one sided to see the environmental concerns alone-should give them pause.

UK Sunday Times US admits Iraq is terror 'cause'

Report says that 11,000 attacks worldwide shows the war has become driving factor for extremists

THREE years after its invasion of Iraq the US Administration acknowledged yesterday that the war has become "a cause" for Islamic extremists worldwide and there is a risk of the country becoming a safe haven for terrorists hoping to launch fresh attacks on America.

According to CIA data released yesterday, there were 11,111 terrorist incidents last year, killing more than 14,600 non-combatants, including 8,300 in Iraq. Of the 56 American civilians killed by terrorists in 2005, some 47 of them were in Iraq.

The figures in the State Department'’s annual report on terror represented a fourfold rise compared with 2004, partly because it has adopted a broader definition of such incidents since having to withdraw data used two years ago on the ground that it was grossly understated. Officials conceded yesterday that the rising violence in Iraq was a factor in last year'’s figures, saying that fatalities from terrorism there had "probably doubled"”.

Yet Dubya won't admit he lied and caused all of this mess. Helen Thomas, bless her heart-continues to ask the White House "So, why did we really invade Iraq?" Helen is another American hero-one of the few in the press!

From the American Federation of Scientists. Dubya and Israel think it "could work" if we use nuclear bunker busters on Iran or whoever. Look what those weapons really do-and they don't even bust bunkers. Short flash movie: Nuclear Bunker Busters Are Dangerous, Ineffective, and Unneeded

Zaman-Turkey Turkish Army Conduct Military Maneuvers on Iraqi Border

According to information gathered from a high-ranking official, the Turkish army is concentrating a military buildup on the border to prevent terrorists, infiltrating across the border and to preserve its own border security in the case of a possible US intervention in Iran. The official who wanted to remain anonymous told that routine operations against the PKK will continue. The special forces in Northern Iraq will try to clear Kandil Mountain, considered to be the headquarters of the PKK from terrorists, in a direct operation,” the official informed. In the case of possible US military action against Iran, Turkey will conduct its own military intervention in Iran "to prevent terrorists" crossing the border and to preserve border security. In the meantime, security measures on the border have increased to the highest level. The military convoy, which was photographed by Zaman as it was making military dispatch to the border yesterday, passed through the Habur-2 Border

Gate on the Uludere-Beytussebab highway. Turkish troops are expected to conduct military maneuvers on the Iraq border within a week. Across the border, it is claimed that settlements close to Kandil and the Turkey border are being evacuated and the residents of these settlements are being moved to the inner regions of Northern Iraq. Over 20 villages in the region of Kandil were evacuated to prevent any loss of life. The peshmergas in Northern Iraq will be deployed to the border at the request of the U.S.

This is a bad move on the part of Turkey. Experts said the war in Iraq would open a Pandora's box and so it has. How much longer will Dubya play chicken, hiding behind American soldiers ? He will mess around and cause massive fuel shortages in the United States. Of course, he will have plenty...

Wall Street Journal Prosecutors May Widen Congressional-Bribe Case

In recent weeks, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents have fanned out across Washington, interviewing women from escort services, potential witnesses and others who may have been involved in the arrangement. In an interview, the assistant general manager of the Watergate Hotel confirmed that federal investigators had requested, and been given, records relating to the investigation and rooms in the hotel. But he declined to disclose what the records show. A spokeswoman for Starwood Inc., Westin's parent company, said she wasn't immediately able to get information on whether the Westin Grand had been contacted by investigators.

Mr. Cunningham, a Republican from San Diego, was sentenced March 3 to more than eight years in federal prison after he admitted taking $2.4 million in bribes. The bribes were taken in exchange for helping executives obtain large contracts with the Defense Department and other federal agencies. Mr. Cunningham, who resigned from Congress in November, pleaded guilty to two criminal counts, one of tax evasion and one of conspiracy.

In documents filed in federal court in San Diego, prosecutors listed four "co-conspirators" in the bribing of Mr. Cunningham. The two who allegedly played the biggest role, listed as co-conspirators No. 1 and No. 2, have been confirmed by Justice Department officials and defense lawyers to be Mr. Wilkes and Mitchell Wade, the founder and former head of MZM Inc., a software and computer-services firm that Mr. Cunningham helped to gain federal contracts.

MZM you say? Here's more MZM Inc. (Center for Public Intergrity)

MZM Inc. is a high-tech national security firm based in Washington, D.C. The private firm provides intelligence gathering, technology and homeland security analysis and consulting for both international and domestic governments and private-sector clients. The firm also provides consulting on political and public message strategies.

Boston Globe Bush challenges hundreds of lawsPresident cites powers of his office

President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.

Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ''whistle-blower" protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.

Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush's assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty ''to take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to ''execute" a law he believes is unconstitutional.

And...Many legal scholars say they believe that Bush's theory about his own powers goes too far and that he is seizing for himself some of the law-making role of Congress and the Constitution-interpreting role of the courts.

Alrighty. Need any more proof he is a dictator or believes he is?

Editor and Publisher Colbert Lampoons Bush at White House Correspondents Dinner-- President Not Amused?

Addressing the reporters, he said, "Let's review the rules. Here's how it works. The president makes decisions, he's the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Put them through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know--fiction."

He claimed that the Secret Service name for Bush's new press secretary is "Snow Job."

Colbert closed his routine with a video fantasy where he gets to be White House Press Secretary, complete with a special "Gannon" button on his podium. By the end, he had to run from Helen Thomas and her questions about why the U.S. really invaded Iraq and killed all those people.

As Colbert walked from the podium, when it was over, the president and First Lady gave him quick nods, unsmiling, and handshakes, and left immediately.

Get used to it Dubya, we don't like your kind around in these here United States...Hand sign for "Down with W"

Wired Bush to Shield AT&T From Lawsuit

"[T]he fact that the United States will assert the state secrets privilege should not be construed as a confirmation or denial of any of Plaintiffs allegations, either about AT&T or the alleged surveillance activities," the filing reads. "When allegations are made about purported classified government activities or relationships, regardless of whether those allegations are accurate, the existence or non-existence of the activity or relationship is potentially a state secret."

The Justice Department has not formally invoked the privilege yet.

But they will invoke "state secrets"- because they know this lawsuit will prove how they disregarded F.I.S.A. and the Fourth Amendment.

Chicago Tribune Bush team imposes thick veil of secrecy

But after the Sept. 11 attacks, and amid growing concern about information that terrorists might obtain from the government, then-Bush Chief of Staff Andrew Card issued an order in March 2002 demanding that any "Sensitive but Unclassified Information" related to homeland security be released only after careful consideration "on a case-by-case basis."

That has led to a proliferation of documents stamped "Sensitive but Unclassified" or simply "For Office Use Only," according to experts who track government record-keeping.

The Bush administration is "objectively more secretive" than its recent predecessors, Aftergood said.

"Anyone who calls or writes a government agency for information encounters barriers that were just not there a decade ago," he said. "The government is undergoing a mutation in which we are gradually shifting into another kind of government in which executive authority is supreme and significantly unchecked."

But Dubya expects you to willingly give up your personal information. He is making sure to gut any privacy protections the American people still have.

Reuters-About the Poodle Blair fights to put scandals behind him

Blair has staggered from one bad headline to another in the last two months and a Sunday poll showed most people think his government is "sleazy and incompetent" and indicated a slide in his personal ratings to a historic low.

All Dubya's international buddies are feeling the heat of We the People...

BBC Italy's Berlusconi set to resign

We comply because we are democratic, but inside ourselves we remain convinced that the majority prize has been wrongly assigned."

Give it up Berlusconi-you lost fair and square. Prissy is embarrassed for you.

Berlusconi looks upon the results of he and Dubya's deadly decision

Alertnet Reuters Italy salutes return of fallen soldiers from Iraq

Unlike in the United States, Canada and other countries, the return of fallen Italian servicemen is given a high media profile and the event was broadcast live on television.

The funeral of the men -- Nicola Ciardelli, Carlo De Trizio and Franco Lattanzio -- will take place in one of Rome's most well-known churches on Tuesday.

And...Under Berlusconi's government, Italy deployed some 3,000 troops in Iraq, the fourth largest foreign contingent there, despite widespread domestic opposition to the war.

Dubya hides his shame from the cameras, in the same breath calling the ones he sent to death heroes- whose funerals he has no time for.

EuroNews EU governments unaware of CIA ops - not likely -report

More than 1,000 CIA-operated flights crossed EU territory with suspect motives; Only one EU country asked questions about them - Spain. That is according to a key European Union lawmaker.

He has supported allegations that U.S. intelligence kidnapped and illegally held terror suspects on EU territory - and flew them to countries that used torture.

And...On the basis of his investigations, following a Washington Post report late last year, that the CIA had run secret prisons in Eastern Europe, Fava said several European governments were probably aware.

He singled out Italy, Sweden and non-EU Bosnia.

But Condi and Rummi claim of "great progress in Iraq" BBC Iran 'attacks Iraq Kurdish area

Nice going Dubya, Granny said to tell you "the more you stir it, the more it stinks." Speaking of Grannies

Meet Bush's latest enemy in the war on Iraq: the Raging Grannies of Tucson, Arizona

Three years after the start of the Iraq war, one thing New York police do not lack is experience in dealing with protesters - so when they were called to a disturbance at the military recruitment centre in Times Square last October, it sounded like just another routine demonstration.

Instead, they found 18 elderly women, many in their 80s and one aged 90, blocking the entrance and demanding to enlist in place of young men.

Let us see...Dubya has enraged Vietnam Vets, Iraq Vets, Grandma & Grandpa, Military Families, West Point and the rest of the sane world.Iraq Vets Against the War-New York, yesterday. 300,000+ protested the war.

Don't miss the May 13, 2006 Mother of all protests! Mother's Day weekend in Washington D.C.

More information at Military Families Speak Out

Quotes of the Day

Persuasion is often more effectual than force.--Aesop

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.--Aesop

I will have nought to do with a man who can blow hot and cold with the same breath.--Aesop, The Man and the Satyr

I never dared to be radical when young. For fear it would make me conservative when old.--Robert Frost, 'Ten Mills,' A Further Range, 1936

"Josh Bolten has put together a five-point recovery plan to help push President Bush up in the opinion polls. How about a five-point plan to get out of Iraq, wouldn't that push up the opinion polls?" --Jay Leno

(paraphrased) "While New Orleans may be considered the chocolate city, Washington D.C. is a chocolate city with a white marshmallow center and a graham cracker crust of corruption..." Stephen Colbert

Part One and Two of the Colbert Report at the White House Correspondence Dinner-A Must See!

Part 1

Part 2