(Via Dispatches from the Culture Wars.)
Posted by Jim Lippard at 10/31/2006 03:47:00 PM
One former CPA employee who had an office near O'Beirne's wrote an e-mail to a friend describing the recruitment process: "I watched résumés of immensely talented individuals who had sought out CPA to help the country thrown in the trash because their adherence to 'the President's vision for Iraq' (a frequently heard phrase at CPA) was 'uncertain.' I saw senior civil servants from agencies like Treasury, Energy . . . and Commerce denied advisory positions in Baghdad that were instead handed to prominent RNC (Republican National Committee) contributors."Loyalists with dubious experience also replaced highly competent and experienced people who were already in place:
Further quotes and commentary can be found at Dispatches from the Culture Wars and The Agitator.
Haveman, a 60-year-old social worker, was largely unknown among international health experts, but he had connections. He had been the community health director for the former Republican governor of Michigan, John Engler, who recommended him to Paul D. Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense.
Haveman was well-traveled, but most of his overseas trips were in his capacity as a director of International Aid, a faith-based relief organization that provided health care while promoting Christianity in the developing world. Before his stint in government, Haveman ran a large Christian adoption agency in Michigan that urged pregnant women not to have abortions.
Haveman replaced Frederick M. Burkle Jr., a physician with a master's degree in public health and postgraduate degrees from Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth and the University of California at Berkeley. Burkle taught at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, where he specialized in disaster-response issues, and he was a deputy assistant administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Development, which sent him to Baghdad immediately after the war.
He had worked in Kosovo and Somalia and in northern Iraq after the 1991 Persian Gulf War. A USAID colleague called him the "single most talented and experienced post-conflict health specialist working for the United States government."
But a week after Baghdad's liberation, Burkle was informed he was being replaced. A senior official at USAID sent Burkle an e-mail saying the White House wanted a "loyalist" in the job. Burkle had a wall of degrees, but he didn't have a picture with the president.
Posted by Jim Lippard at 10/22/2006 09:37:00 AM
Woman's sultry voice: "Hi sexy. You've reached the live one-on-one fantasy line." (Soft music plays in the background.)The facts of the matter are that an Arcuri aide made a call to the number in question for less than a minute, which was in error. He then called a number with a different area code (instead of a toll-free number) but the rest of the digits the same, which is the number of the state Department of Criminal Justice Services. Arcuri is the district attorney in Oneida County.
Announcer: "A phone number to an adult fantasy hot line appeared on Michael Arcuri's New York City hotel room bill while he was there on official business. And the call was charged to Oneida County taxpayers. Arcuri has denied it, but the facts are there. Who calls a fantasy hot line and then bills taxpayers? Michael Arcuri."
Woman's sultry voice: "Bad call."
Hovind attempted to manipulate funds from the start of his ministry, she said. In 1996, he filed for bankruptcy, a move Heldmeyer said Hovind designed to prevent the IRS from collecting taxes. The IRS later determined Hovind filed under an "evil purpose," Heldmeyer said. She called Hovind a "very loud and vocal tax protester," recalling a number of lawsuits he filed against the IRS over the past decade. Each was deemed frivolous and was thrown out, she said. And on April 13, 2004, when IRS officials issued a search warrant for Hovind's property, he resisted.Hovind has some interesting theories about corporate liability and government action:
Popp testified that Hovind warned employees not to accept mail addressed to "KENT HOVIND." He said Hovind told the workers the government created a corporation in his "all-caps name." Hovind said if he accepted the mail, he would be accepting the responsibilities associated with that corporation, Popp testified.Hovind uses Scientology-style tactics against the IRS (though without their success--apparently 50 separate lawsuits against agents from a large criminal cult has more effect):
Hovind tried several bullying tactics against her, Powe testified. A recording that Hovind made of a phone conversation was then played. In the phone conversation, Hovind tried to make an appointment with Powe by 10 a.m. that day. When Powe said she couldn't meet him because she had a staff meeting, Hovind threatened to sue her, which he did. "Dr. Hovind sued me three times, maybe more," Powe testified. "It just seemed to be something he did often." She testified that the cases were dismissed.Blog Coverage:
107 YES Protect marriage amendment. If people want gay unions, polygamy, bestiality or whatever, I say let them, but not under government sanction and funding. I'd like to see us return to "holy matrimony" without any government involvement. Getting married for tax breaks is so wrong.But this argument presumes the effect of 107 is to get the government out of the marriage business, which it isn't. Rather, 107 has the effect of enshrining existing statutory prohibitions on a form (or multiple forms) of legal contract between consenting adults into the Constitution, and going further to restrict any such arrangement "similar to" marriage. It isn't pro-liberty, it's anti-liberty. It isn't eliminating special privileges, it is adding them to the Arizona Constitution.
BUSH: So, what's the plan again?
CHENEY: Well, we need to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. So what we've decided to do is crash a whole bunch of remote-controlled planes into Wall Street and the Pentagon, say they're real hijacked commercial planes, and blame it on the towelheads; then we'll just blow up the buildings ourselves to make sure they actually fall down.
RUMSFELD: Right! And we'll make sure that some of the hijackers are agents of Saddam Hussein! That way we'll have no problem getting the public to buy the invasion.
CHENEY: No, Dick, we won't.
RUMSFELD: We won't?
CHENEY: No, that's too obvious. We'll make the hijackers Al Qaeda and then just imply a connection to Iraq.
RUMSFELD: But if we're just making up the whole thing, why not just put Saddam's fingerprints on the attack?
CHENEY: (sighing) It just has to be this way, Dick. Ups the ante, as it were. This way, we're not insulated if things go wrong in Iraq. Gives us incentive to get the invasion right the first time around.
BUSH: I'm a total idiot who can barely read, so I'll buy that. But I've got a question. Why do we need to crash planes into the Towers at all? Since everyone knows terrorists already tried to blow up that building complex from the ground up once, why don't we just blow it up like we plan to anyway, and blame the bombs on the terrorists?
RUMSFELD: Mr. President, you don't understand. It's much better to sneak into the buildings ourselves in the days before the attacks, plant the bombs and then make it look like it was exploding planes that brought the buildings down. That way, we involve more people in the plot, stand a much greater chance of being exposed and needlessly complicate everything!
CHENEY: Of course, just toppling the Twin Towers will never be enough. No one would give us the war mandate we need if we just blow up the Towers. Clearly, we also need to shoot a missile at a small corner of the Pentagon to create a mightily underpublicized additional symbol of international terrorism -- and then, obviously, we need to fake a plane crash in the middle of fucking nowhere in rural Pennsylvania.
RUMSFELD: Yeah, it goes without saying that the level of public outrage will not be sufficient without that crash in the middle of fucking nowhere.
There's lots more dialogue in the article... Taibbi summarizes:
None of this stuff makes any sense at all. If you just need an excuse to assume authoritarian powers, why fake a plane crash in Shanksville? What the hell does that accomplish? If you're using bombs, why fake a hijacking, why use remote-control planes? If the entire government apparatus is in on the scam, then why bother going to all this murderous trouble at all -- only to go to war a year later with a country no one even bothered to falsely blame for the attacks? You won't see any of this explored in 9/11 Truth lore, because the "conspiracy" they're describing is impossible everywhere outside a Zucker brothers movie -- unbelievably stupid in its conception, pointlessly baroque and excessive in its particulars, but flawless in its execution, with no concrete evidence left behind and tens of thousands keeping their roles a secret forever.Check it out--highly recommended, along with these other 9/11 conspiracy debunking sites.
America's strength is found in the spirit and character of our people. During National Character Counts Week, we renew our commitment to instilling values in our young people and to encouraging all Americans to remember the importance of good character.UPDATE (November 8, 2006): Don Sherwood lost, and it looks like George Allen will also lose.
5 stages of Republican scandal:I'm sure these work just as well in a bipartisan manner (with minor rewording), but today it is most fitting as written.
1. “I have not been informed of any investigation or that I am a target”
2. “I am cooperating fully, but this whole thing is a political ploy by the Democrats”
3. “I’m SHOCKED by the mistakes made by my subordinates”
4. “I’m deeply sorry for letting down my friends and family. I now recognize that I am an alcoholic. I will be entering rehab immediately, so I have no time for questions”
5. “Can I serve my time at Eglin Federal Penitentiary (aka Club Fed)?”
Posted by Jim Lippard at 10/17/2006 10:48:00 AM
Posted by Jim Lippard at 10/14/2006 02:38:00 PM
Preying on these and similar fears, advocates of same-sex "marriage" argue that proposed state marriage amendments will undermine the ability of government and even private entities to grant benefits to unmarried people. This false argument is being used to confuse many people...
Same-sex "marriage" advocates argue that eliminating domestic partnerships or other counterfeit marital institutions is hateful and mean spirited, because it will undermine benefits granted to unmarried people. Unfortunately, many people (including some so-called "conservative" politicians) have bought into this fallacious argument.
But the ADF is just lying. They themselves, once such amendments have been passed, have been leading the legal efforts to do exactly that, as they have in Wisconsin (and other similar groups have done in Michigan and Ohio):
Conservative lawmakers in Wisconsin also are seeking to block gay state employees from winning the right to employee partnership benefits. That state's Legislature last month approved sending a constitutional amendment to a statewide vote in November that says "a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state."...
The Wisconsin amendment passed partly in response to a lawsuit filed by several gay state university employees seeking health insurance for their partners. The Legislature also has retained the services of a conservative evangelical law firm, the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), in an attempt to intervene in the workers' lawsuit...
I suspect what the ADF really meant to say in their blog entry quoted above is that they are OK with domestic partnership benefits for unmarried persons of the opposite sex, but not if they are the same sex.
- claiming another minister's leper colony as his own, and videotaping said lepers for a promotional videoHastert should resign simply for showing such bad judgment.
- transporting children in an airplane one former crew member called a "flying death trap"
- leaving a trail of unpaid bills for the plane's fuel and maintenance
- interfering with a murder investigation in India, earning the wrath of that country's National Council of Churches
- fleeing to the United States from India after nine of his American volunteers were arrested and thrown in prison
- abandoning an 11-year-old girl after checking her into a hospital
From the start, his ministry has depended solely on the wealthiest evangelicals in America. With such a tenuous infrastructure, it would have shattered Kilari's ministry if any one of these Christian men had publicly criticized him.
Fortunately for Kilari, none ever has, which is why the unairworthy Global Peace One is still in Kilari's possession, patiently awaiting the day when it can carry another group of orphans across the ocean.
More than five years after President Bush created the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, the former second-in-command of that office is going public with an insider’s tell-all account that portrays an office used almost exclusively to win political points with both evangelical Christians and traditionally Democratic minorities.
The office’s primary mission, providing financial support to charities that serve the poor, never got the presidential support it needed to succeed, according to the book.
He says some of the nation’s most prominent evangelical leaders were known in the office of presidential political strategist Karl Rove as “the nuts.”
“National Christian leaders received hugs and smiles in person and then were dismissed behind their backs and described as ‘ridiculous,’ ‘out of control,’ and just plain ‘goofy,’” Kuo writes.
More seriously, Kuo alleges that then-White House political affairs director Ken Mehlman knowingly participated in a scheme to use the office, and taxpayer funds, to mount ostensibly “nonpartisan” events that were, in reality, designed with the intent of mobilizing religious voters in 20 targeted races.
Hat tip to stranger fruit.
But McCain is wrong. In 1994, the North Koreans were producing weapons-grade plutonium. The Clinton Administration negotiated the Agreed Framework, under which they halted their program and allowed inspections of the plutonium they had produced. The North Korean plutonium program remained halted until 2002. In 2000, George W. Bush came into office wanting to terminate the agreement over plutonium, and in 2002 he did so on the basis of evidence that the North Koreans were trying to enrich uranium. As a result of U.S. withdrawal from the agreement, the North Koreans again began producing weapons-grade plutonium, which was used in their bomb test.
"I would remind Senator [Hillary] Clinton and other Democrats critical of the Bush administration's policies that the framework agreement her husband's administration negotiated was a failure," McCain said at a news conference after a campaign appearance for Republican Senate candidate Mike Bouchard.
"The Koreans received millions and millions in energy assistance. They've diverted millions of dollars of food assistance to their military," he said.
"Ugly the words contained in it really are. ... They are not mine and I disavow them completely. Worse still, the website links to a group whose politics are the ugliest imaginable. I am saddened and embarrassed that this went out with my name on it and I am also saddened at the loss of the friend who sent this to me. His heart is dark and I am unable to get him to see that what drives him is ugly and evil at its core."This comes after Pearce has been under fire for his comments in support of a 1954 federal deportation program called "Operation Wetback." Pearce has defended himself by observing that this was, in fact, what the program was called. I don't know if he prefaced his references to it by pointing out that he recognizes that the name is offensive, but if he did so he shouldn't have been criticized for the use of the name. His support of the program, however, is certainly subject to criticism.
Even though mortgage interest rates have been declining for the last few months, limited home appreciation and household income continues to raise concern about the ability of some homeowners to maintain their homes. ... This may be especially evident for those that have used some of the more creative financing instruments, such as option payment plans and initially low interest rate adjustable mortgages.Florida is seeing growing foreclosures, especially among those with Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) with negative amortization options. There are $200 billion in ARMs resetting their rates in 2006 and another $1 trillion plus will be resetting in 2007, expected to lead to more foreclosures. This will apply further downward pressure on prices, and we should expect to see some of the same here (an increase has already been seen in Maricopa County notices of trustee sales), though I think Arizona has had a lower percentage of ARMs, interest-only, and negative amortization option loans than other parts of the country.
Peak-to-Trough Peak TroughI think that their predicted 9.3% decline between first quarter of 2006 and second quarter of 2008 for Phoenix is wildly optimistic--it wouldn't surprise me if we saw that level of decline by the end of this year or first quarter of next year. It depends on whether Phoenix continues to have rapid population growth, which in turn depends on job growth (especially outside of real estate-related jobs, which will be declining).
% House Price Decline Year/Quarter Year/Quarter
Tucson, AZ -13.4 06:1 08:2
Phoenix, AZ -9.3 06:1 08:2
Prescott, AZ -2.0 06:1 08:2
But for so many reasons -- its relative simplicity, its crystal clarity, the involvement of emotionally-charged issues, the salacious sex aspects -- this Foley scandal circumvents that whole dynamic. People are paying attention on their own. They don't need pundits or journalists to tell them what to think about it because they are able to form deeply held opinions on their own. None of the standard obfuscation tactics used for so long by Bush followers are working here. To the contrary, their attempted use of those tactics is making things much worse for them, because people can see that Bush followers are attempting -- through the use of patently dishonest and corrupt tactics -- to excuse the inexcusable. And seeing that, it gives great credence to all of the accusations voiced over the last five years that this is how the Bush movement operates in every area, because people can now see it for themselves.Read the rest. Greenwald suggests that this scandal almost appears to have been divinely inspired.
In that regard, this scandal is like the Cliffs' Notes version of a more complicated treatise on how the Bush movement operates. Every one of their corrupt attributes is vividly on display here:
The absolute refusal ever to admit error. The desperate clinging to power above all else. The efforts to cloud what are clear matters of wrongdoing with irrelevant sideshows. And the parade of dishonest and just plainly inane demonization efforts to hide and distract from their wrongdoing: hence, the pages are manipulative sex vixens; a shadowy gay cabal is to blame; the real criminals are those who exposed the conduct, not those who engaged in it; liberals created the whole scandal; George Soros funded the whole thing; a Democratic Congressman did something wrong 23 years ago; one of the pages IM'd with Foley as a "hoax", and on and on. There has been a virtual carousel -- as there always is -- of one pathetic, desperate attempt after the next to deflect blame and demonize those who are pointing out the wrongdoing. This is what they always do, on every issue. The difference here is that everyone can see it, and so nothing is working.
Posted by Jim Lippard at 10/07/2006 10:51:00 AM
Yesterday at a fundraiser for an Arizona Congressman, Mr. Bush claimed, quote, "177 of the opposition party said 'You know, we don't think we ought to be listening to the conversations of terrorists."
The hell they did.
177 Democrats opposed the President's seizure of another part of the Constitution*.
Not even the White House press office could actually name a single Democrat who had ever said the government shouldn't be listening to the conversations of terrorists.
President Bush hears… what he wants.
Tuesday, at another fundraiser in California, he had said "Democrats take a law enforcement approach to terrorism. That means America will wait until we're attacked again before we respond."
Mr. Bush fabricated that, too.
And evidently he has begun to fancy himself as a mind-reader.
"If you listen closely to some of the leaders of the Democratic Party," the President said at another fundraiser Monday in Nevada, "it sounds like they think the best way to protect the American people is — wait until we're attacked again."
The President doesn't just hear what he wants. He hears things, that only he can hear.
It defies belief that this President and his administration could continue to find new unexplored political gutters into which they could wallow.
Yet they do.
It is startling enough that such things could be said out loud by any President of this nation.
Rhetorically, it is about an inch short of Mr. Bush accusing Democratic leaders; Democrats; the majority of Americans who disagree with his policies — of treason.
But it is the context that truly makes the head spin.
Just 25 days ago, on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, this same man spoke to this nation and insisted, quote, "we must put aside our differences and work together to meet the test that history has given us."
Mr. Bush, this is a test you have already failed.
If your commitment to "put aside differences and work together" is replaced in the span of just three weeks by claiming your political opponents prefer to wait to see this country attacked again, and by spewing fabrications about what they've said, then the questions your critics need to be asking, are no longer about your policies.
They are, instead — solemn and even terrible questions, about your fitness to fulfill the responsibilities of your office.
No Democrat, sir, has ever said anything approaching the suggestion that the best means of self-defense is to "wait until we're attacked again."
No critic, no commentator, no reluctant Republican in the Senate, has ever said anything that any responsible person could even have exaggerated into the slander you spoke in Nevada on Monday night, nor the slander you spoke in California on Tuesday, nor the slander you spoke in Arizona on Wednesday… nor whatever is next.
You have dishonored your party, sir — you have dishonored your supporters — you have dishonored yourself.
But tonight the stark question we must face is - why?
Why has the ferocity of your venom against the Democrats, now exceeded the ferocity of your venom against the terrorists?
Why have you chosen to go down in history as the President who made things up?
In less than one month you have gone from a flawed call to unity, to this clarion call to hatred of Americans, by Americans.
If this is not simply the most shameless example of the rhetoric of political hackery, then it would have to be the cry of a leader crumbling under the weight of his own lies.
We have, of course, survived all manner of political hackery, of every shape, size, and party.
We will have to suffer it, for as long as the Republic stands.
But the premise of a President who comes across as a compulsive liar — is nothing less than terrifying.
A President who since 9/11 will not listen, is not listening — and thanks to Bob Woodward's most recent account — evidently has never listened.
A President who since 9/11 so hates or fears other Americans, that he accuses them of advocating deliberate inaction in the face of the enemy.
A President who since 9/11 has savaged the very freedoms he claims to be protecting from attack. Attack by terrorists, or by Democrats, or by both — it is now impossible to find a consistent thread of logic as to who Mr. Bush believes the enemy is.
But if we know one thing for certain about Mr. Bush, it is this:
This President — in his bullying of the Senate last month and in his slandering of the Democrats this month — has shown us that he believes whoever the enemies are — they are hiding themselves inside a dangerous cloak, called the Constitution of the United States of America.
How often do we find priceless truth in the unlikeliest of places?
I tonight quote, not Jefferson nor Voltaire — but "Cigar Aficionado Magazine."
On September 11th, 2003, the editor of that publication interviewed General Tommy Franks — at that point, just retired from his post as Commander-In-Chief of U.S. Central Command — of Cent-Com.
And amid his quaint defenses of the-then nagging absence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, or the continuing freedom of Osama Bin Laden, General Franks said some of the most profound words of this generation.
He spoke of "the worst thing that can happen" to this country:
First, quoting, a "massive casualty-producing event somewhere in the Western World — it may be in the United States of America."
Then, the general continued, "the western world, the free world, loses what it cherishes most, and that is freedom and liberty we've seen for a couple of hundred years, in this grand experiment that we call democracy."
It was this super-patriotic warrior's fear that we would lose that most cherished liberty, because of another attack, one — again quoting General Franks — "that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass-casualty-producing event. Which, in fact, then begins to potentially unravel the fabric of our Constitution."
And here we are, the fabric of our Constitution being unraveled anyway.
Habeus Corpus neutered; the rights of self-defense now as malleable and impermanent as clay; a President stifling all critics by every means available and when he runs out of those, by simply lying about what they said or felt.
And all this, even without the dreaded attack.
General Franks, like all of us, loves this country, and believes not just in its values, but in its continuity. He has been trained to look for threats to that continuity from without.
He has, perhaps been as naive as the rest of us, in failing to keep close enough vigil on the threats to that continuity, from within:
Secretary of State Rice first cannot remember urgent cautionary meetings with counter-terrorism officials before 9/11.
Then within hours of this lie, her spokesman confirms the meetings in question.
Then she dismisses those meetings as nothing new — yet insists she wanted the same cautions expressed to Secretaries Ashcroft and Rumsfeld.
Mr. Rumsfeld, meantime, has been unable to accept the most logical and simple influence, of the most noble and neutral of advisers. He and his employer insist they rely on the 'generals in the field.'
But dozens of those generals have now come forward to say how their words, their experiences, have been ignored.
And, of course, inherent in the Pentagon's war-making functions, is the regulation of Presidential war-lust. Enacting that regulation should include everything up to, symbolically wrestling the Chief Executive to the floor.
Yet — and it is Pentagon transcripts that now tell us this — evidently Mr. Rumsfeld's strongest check on Mr. Bush's ambitions, was to get somebody to excise the phrase "Mission Accomplished" out of the infamous Air Force Carrier speech of May 1st, 2003 - even while the same empty words hung on a banner over the President's shoulder.
And the Vice President is a chilling figure, still unable, it seems, to accept the conclusions of his own party's leaders in the Senate, that the foundations of his public position, are made out of sand.
There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.
But he still says so.
There was no link between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda.
But he still says so.
And thus, gripping firmly these figments of his own imagination, Mr. Cheney lives on, in defiance and spreads — around him and before him — darkness… like some contagion of fear.
They are never wrong, and they never regret. Admirable in a French torch singer. Cataclysmic in an American leader.
Thus the sickening attempt to blame the Foley Scandal on the negligence of others or "The Clinton Era" — even though the Foley Scandal began before the Lewinsky Scandal.
Thus last month's enraged attacks on this Administration's predecessors, about Osama Bin Laden — a projection of their own negligence in the immediate months before 9/11.
Thus the terrifying attempt to hamstring the fundament of our freedom — the Constitution — a triumph for Al-Qaeda, for which the terrorists could not hope to achieve with a hundred 9/11's.
And thus, worst of all perhaps, these newest lies by President Bush about Democrats choosing to await another attack and not listen to the conversations of terrorists.
It is the terror and the guilt within your own heart, Mr. Bush, that you re-direct at others who simply wish for you to temper your certainty with counsel.
It is the failure and the incompetence within your own memory, Mr. Bush, that leads you to demonize those who might merely quote to you the pleadings of Oliver Cromwell: "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken."
It is not the Democrats whose inaction in the face of the enemy you fear, sir.
It is your own — before 9/11 - (and you alone know this), perhaps afterwards.
Mr. President, these new lies go to the heart of what it is that you truly wish to preserve.
It is not our freedom, nor our country — your actions against the Constitution give irrefutable proof of that.
You want to preserve a political party's power. And obviously you'll sell this country out, to do it.
These are lies about the Democrats piled atop lies about Iraq which were piled atop lies about your preparations for Al-Qaeda.
To you, perhaps, they feel like the weight of a million centuries.
As crushing. As immovable.
They are not.
If you add more lies to them, you cannot free yourself, and us, from them.
But if you stop — if you stop fabricating quotes, and building straw-men, and inspiring those around you to do the same — you may yet liberate yourself and this nation.
Please, sir, do not throw this country's principles away because your lies have made it such that you can no longer differentiate between the terrorists and the critics.
Good night, and good luck.
Guards at Guantanamo Bay bragged about beating detainees and described it as common practice, a Marine sergeant said in a sworn statement obtained by The Associated Press.(Via stranger fruit.)
The two-page statement was sent Wednesday to the Inspector General at the Department of Defense by a high-ranking Marine Corps defense lawyer.
Posted by Jim Lippard at 10/06/2006 12:34:00 PM
The 11 British suspects recently charged with plotting to blow up airliners with liquid explosives were not on it, despite the fact they were under surveillance for more than a year.I'd say that particular name is well known outside of the government now, Ms. Berrick.
The name of David Belfor who now goes by Dahud Sala Hudine, is not on the list, even though he assassinated someone in Washington, D.C., for former Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini. This is because the accuracy of the list meant to uphold security takes a back seat to overarching security needs: it could get into the wrong hands. "The government doesn't want that information outside the government," says Cathy Berrick, director of Homeland Security investigations for the General Accounting Office.
Former CIA Director George Tenet gave the independent Sept. 11, 2001, commission the same briefing on Jan. 28, 2004, but the commission made no mention of the warning in its 428-page final report. According to three former senior intelligence officials, Tenet testified to commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste and to Philip Zelikow, the panel's executive director and the principal author of its report, who's now Rice's top adviser.Ashcroft has claimed that he didn't receive a briefing from Tenet, saying through a spokesman that he does not recall a July 17, 2001 briefing. A Pentagon spokesman had "no information" about whether Rumsfeld received such a briefing.
"Well, Mr. Chairman, I took an oath of office on the day that I took this job to protect and defend. And like most government officials, I take it very seriously. And so, as you might imagine, I've asked myself a thousand times what more we could have done. I know that, had we thought that there was an attack coming in Washington or New York, we would have moved heaven and earth to try and stop it. And I know that there was no single thing that might have prevented that attack."Some of the above is covered in this truthout.org piece by William Rivers Pitt, but it mistakenly says that the 9/11 Commission was not informed of the Tenet/Rice briefing. The question is not only why Rice, Ashcroft, and Rumsfeld didn't take action in response to these briefings from the CIA, and not only why Rice didn't report it to the 9/11 Commission, but why the 9/11 Commission didn't put it in their report.
Posted by Jim Lippard at 10/04/2006 08:43:00 AM
Posted by Jim Lippard at 10/04/2006 08:39:00 AM
"Almost the first day I got there I was warned," said Mark Beck-Heyman, a San Diego native who served as a page in the House of Representatives in the summer of 1995. "It was no secret that Foley had a special interest in male pages," said Beck-Heyman, adding that Foley, who is now 52, on several occasions asked him out for ice cream.Halfway There:
“My daughter was in the capital page program.”It's not plausible that the Republican Leadership was unaware.
I had forgotten. JM went on.
“She had dinner with the congressman.”
This did not compute.
“With Foley? Really?”
“Yeah. He invited two pages to have dinner with him and they invited my daughter and another girl to go with them.”
“These pages were boys?”
“Yeah, but they were too smart to go by themselves, so they took the girls to their dinner with Foley.”
Posted by Jim Lippard at 10/03/2006 06:45:00 AM
Posted by Jim Lippard at 10/02/2006 08:02:00 PM
Posted by Jim Lippard at 10/02/2006 07:33:00 PM
Posted by Jim Lippard at 10/02/2006 04:34:00 PM
“As best as they can tell Badr Zamen Badr and his brother were imprisoned in Guantanamo for three years for telling a joke. Actually, for telling two jokes. They ran a satire magazine in Pakistan that poked fun at corrupt clerics, sort of the Pashtu edition of the Onion. The first joke that got them in trouble was when they published a poem about a politician…He called them up, he threatened them, and as best as they can tell, he told authorities they were involved with al-Quaeda.”In other words, political leaders in other countries have used the United States to get rid of their critics, by using false claims of involvement with terrorism. When you accept hearsay evidence, don't conduct an investigation, and don't allow a trial, the process unsurprisingly gets abused, and people get imprisoned for years not because they've done anything wrong, but because they've criticized the people in power.
Posted by Jim Lippard at 10/01/2006 12:18:00 PM
While Shimkus is saying he saw the emails, his spokesman is denying it.
Just consider, Denny Hastert has repeatedly said he didn't know anything about the Foley problem until Thursday. But two members of the leadership -- Boehner and Reynolds -- say no, they warned him about it months ago. Hastert got Boehner to recant; Reynolds is sticking to his guns.
Rodney Alexander brought the matter to the Speaker's office. And Hastert's office tonight put out the results of a detailed internal review of what happened in which they revealed that no member of the House leadership -- not Hastert or Shimkus or the House Clerk -- had actually laid eyes on the emails in question.
Only Hastert's office apparently didn't touch base with Rep. Shimkus, since as Hastert's crew was writing out their statement, Shimkus was offer giving an interview to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in which he described how he and the Clerk had read the emails.
(ed.note: 2:19 AM, 10/1/06 ... What makes this even more comical is that, according to the AP "Shimkus, who avoided reporters for hours, worked out his statement with Speaker Dennis Hastert's office." Didn't seem to help.)
So the centerpiece point of the Hastert statement this evening appears to have been a fabrication.
It stood up for maybe three or four hours.
At present, the Speaker is committed to portraying himself as a sort of Speaker Magoo. We're supposed to believe that pretty much everyone in the House GOP leadership knew about this but him.
Posted by Jim Lippard at 10/01/2006 07:00:00 AM