Thursday, October 27, 2005

News Snippets That Say it All

DeLay acknowledges failure to report money
WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Tom DeLay has notified House officials that he failed to disclose all contributions to his legal defense fund as required by congressional rules.
The fund is currently paying DeLay's legal bills in a campaign finance investigation in Texas, where DeLay has been indicted, and in a federal investigation of Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The lobbyist arranged foreign travel for DeLay and had his clients pay some of the cost. DeLay, R-Texas, has denied wrongdoing in both cases.

Col. Janis Karpinski, the Former Head of Abu Ghraib, Admits She Broke the Geneva Conventions But Says the Blame "Goes All the Way to The Top”

Karpinski, the highest-ranking officer demoted in connection with the torture scandal, speaks out about what happened at the Abu Ghraib prison. She discusses:

How the military hid "ghost detainees" from the International Red Cross in violation of international law;
Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller calling for the Gitmoization of Abu Ghraib and for prisoners to be "treated like dogs";
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's secret memos on interrogation policies that hung on the prison’s walls;
The military’s use of private (and possibly Israeli) interrogators;
Her dealings with the International Red Cross;
Why she feels, as a female general, she has been scapegoated for a scandal that has left the military and political leadership unscathed; and
Calls for Donald Rumsfeld, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, Alberto Gonzalez and Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller to be held accountable for what happened.

Cheney's Dirty Little Secret

In the top right corner of The New York Times front-page -- where the biggest news happens daily -- a news scoop has placed Vice President Cheney atop the CIA leak scandal pyramid.

The revelation was discovered in Lewis (Scooter) Libby's own notepad, according to sources identified by the Times only as "lawyers involved in the case." The new evidence sheds bright light on the vice president's role, at last. And it sheds dark light on the past statements of the loyal vice presidential chief-of-staff. Libby had maintained, publicly and under oath that he just couldn't remember who told him the key info that became the centerpiece of his effort to discredit former ambassador Joseph Wilson, who had emerged as Bush-Cheney Iraq policy critic. Libby's notes show it was his boss who told him it was Wilson's wife, a CIA officer, who suggested her husband for the controversial mission to Niger.

Cheney's outing comes some two years after President Bush, Cheney and their spokespeople promised they would urge everyone connected with the incident to be candid and forthcoming with the public and the prosecutor. Straight truth has been hard to come by for the prosecutor and for the press _ the latter sadly often knew more than it reported publicly. No evidence has surfaced that Cheney knew Valerie Plame was a secret agent, so his actions so far seem political but not illegal. But Cheney apparently touched off the chain of events that began as a political-getting-even-as-usual but wound up as a special prosecutor's probe that has shaken the Bush-Cheney White House to its foundation.

On June 12, 2003, reportedly according to Libby's notes, Cheney told him that it was Wilson's wife who suggested her husband for the mission Niger. That mission ultimately led to Wilson's report that he found no evidence to support Bush's 2003 State of the Union claim that Iraq sought yellow-cake uranium from Niger. Libby's notes reportedly also show that Cheney got his info from then-CIA director George Tenet, who apparently answered a direct question from the veep.

Libby and Bush strategist Karl Rove, in talks with journalists, then used the info about Wilson needing a boost from his wife to land his job to discredit his credentials in talks with journalists. But their zeal became their problem _ for Plame, Wilson's wife, was a CIA secret agent, and it is a federal felony to intentionally disclose a covert agent's identity. Columnist Robert Novak's disclosure of her role triggered special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's two-year probe.

The revelation of Cheney's pyramid-topping role and Libby's real intent should shock no one who thought about how Washington and the Bush-Cheney White House really operate. Yet here in the ever-competitive capital city, the scoop became a source of both revelation and frustration. Including right here in this corner.

US lawmakers call for pullout from Iraq: Reaction to 2,000th death

WASHINGTON, Oct 26: The grim milestone of 2,000 US military deaths in Iraq prompted several US lawmakers on Tuesday to call for sharp reductions in US forces there.

Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, who failed to unseat President Bush last year, said in a blistering speech at Georgetown University that the administration must change course in Iraq or there will be ‘the prospect of indefinite, and even endless conflict’.

Mr Kerry said the United States should pull 20,000 troops from Iraq after parliamentary elections there in December, arguing that it would weaken support for the resistance.

“This is another tragic milestone in this costly war, in which too much blood has been spilled already,” said Democratic Senator Robert Byrd on the floor of the Senate, where lawmakers observed a moment of silence to honour the fallen troops.

Leading Democrats in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives also called for troop reduction in Iraq.

“Two thousand American troops have now lost their lives in Iraq. It is time to end this war,” said Representative James McGovern on the House floor. He plans to introduce a bill this week which would bar the use of taxpayer money to deploy additional troops to Iraq.

“This war is based on a fiction. There were no weapons of mass destruction and no ties to Al Qaeda. There was no imminent threat,” the Massachusetts Democrat continued.

“We have spent over 300 billion dollars on the war — with no end in sight. It is estimated that another two years will boost that amount to one trillion dollars,” Mr McGovern said.

The same view was held by Senate Democrat Frank Lautenberg, who called on President Bush to speed the departure of US troops.

“I urge the president to pay tribute to their memory by offering this country a concise, realistic plan that will allow us finally to transfer power to Iraqis and bring our troops home,” Mr Lautenberg said.


Karen Zipdrive said...

...And let's not forget that Bush's unqualified SCOTUS nominee Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination today...

You know the country is in a total mess when we eagerly await indictments that will excise at least a few of the Bush criminals.

Karen Zipdrive said...

When is a Milestone Not a Milestone?

Americans this week paid grim tribute to the 2,000 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. But on Monday, the "chief spokesman for the American-led multinational force" in Iraq "called on the media not to consider the 2,000 number as some kind of milestone." According to Editor & Publisher, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boylan wrote in an e-mail to reporters, "I ask that when you report on the events, take a moment to think about the effects on the families and those serving in Iraq. The 2,000 service members killed in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom is not a milestone. It is an artificial mark on the wall set by individuals or groups with specific agendas and ulterior motives."

dusty said...

it only took half the time to collect 2k bodies of american service personnel compared to the losses in Vietnam for the first four years. Fuck those bastards. They wont let us see the coffins for fear that it will wake up even more citizens..

it is pathetic that we all wait for justice..on some damn level at least.

Karen Zipdrive said...

The worst thing is how the Fox News types, including that whore Daryl Whooozits from CNN, keep harping on the concept that 2000 is just a number the MSM came up with to tie into the "WHY2K" campaign.
Two thousand of our troops are dead. That's no concept, it's a horrible, tragic fact.