Saturday, May 5, 2007

Climate Change: Dire Warnings From U.N. Scientists

UN scientists warn time is running out to tackle global warming· Scientists say eight years left to avoid worst effects · Panel urges governments to act immediately

David Adam, environment correspondent
Saturday May 5, 2007
The Guardian

Governments are running out of time to address climate change and to avoid the worst effects of rising temperatures, an influential UN panel warned yesterday.

Greater energy efficiency, renewable electricity sources and new technology to dump carbon dioxide underground can all help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the experts said. But there could be as little as eight years left to avoid a dangerous global average rise of 2C or more.

The warning came in a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published yesterday in Bangkok. It says most of the technology needed to stop climate change in its tracks already exists, but that governments must act quickly to force through changes across all sectors of society. Delays will make the problem more difficult, and more expensive.

Article continues

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Bush's Poll Numbers; Crashing

Newsweek Poll: Bush Hits All-Time Low Marcus Mabry May 5, 2007 12:48 PM

It's hard to say which is worse news for Republicans: that George W. Bush now has the worst approval rating of an American president in a generation, or that he seems to be dragging every '08 Republican presidential candidate down with him.

But According to the new NEWSWEEK Poll, the public's approval of Bush has sunk to 28 percent, an all-time low for this president in our poll, and a point lower than Gallup recorded for his father at Bush Sr.'s nadir.

The last president to be this unpopular was Jimmy Carter who also scored a 28 percent approval in 1979. This remarkably low rating seems to be casting a dark shadow over the GOP's chances for victory in '08.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Arianna Nails It

GOP Debate: A Competition to See Who Could Be the Biggest Neanderthal

READ MORE: U.S. Republican Party, Arianna Huffington

Last night on Anderson Cooper 360°, Anderson Cooper asked David Gergen, the Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes, and me to pick our headline for the GOP debate.

A Competition to See Who Could Be the Biggest Neanderthal was mine.

The Republican Ten seemed to be competing over: Who would stay in Iraq the longest? Who would cut taxes the deepest? Who would be alright with firing gay Americans from their jobs? Who would jump the highest if Roe v. Wade was reversed? Who would build the biggest fence around America? Who would put an end to stem cell research the fastest? Who would reject evolution most passionately?

Stephen Hayes countered that it was a good night for Republicans if they were called Neanderthals by Arianna Huffington. But the problem for the Republican Party as it presented itself to the nation last night is not that it was at odds with my views, but that it is at odds with the views of the American people. By significant majorities, the American people believe in the science of evolution, don't want Roe overturned, don't want to turn back the clock on job discrimination laws, and do want to bring our troops home from Iraq.

Flashing back to the Reagan era is one thing; flashing back to the Dark Ages is quite another.

Related News Stories
Presidential Debates Move To Cyberspace
Conservatives Split Emerges Over Evolution
GOP '08 Hopeful Brownback Breaks With Bush, Pushes Plan To Divide Iraq

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

One Of These Days....

....when the GOP declares war on the underclasses, the underclasses are gonna fight back.

When the class war goes local
David Sirota
Friday, May 4, 2007

WHEN MOST non-Montanans think of Montana, they think of "A River Runs Through It" -- they don't think of the central front in the war on anything (except, maybe trout, if you consider fly fishermen "warriors"). But for the last week, this sparsely populated state has been the central front in the war on the middle class, and the onslaught Big Sky country experienced shows that this fight could be coming to a town near you.

Our story begins in the Montana legislature, though it could be anywhere, as this lawmaking body is a microcosm of America's ideological divides. Democrats pushed to boost education spending and give each resident homeowner a $400 property tax rebate. To fund the plan, they proposed closing tax loopholes and strengthening tax enforcement in a state where roughly half of all Fortune 500 companies doing business get away with paying less than $500 a year in taxes.

But such a move offends conservative politicians and the corporate lobbyists who crowd the hallways of state capitols like the one in Helena -- and these types don't take lightly to being offended.

The GOP-controlled Montana House pressed a tax cut for corporations financed by spending cuts, including one eliminating all public-health programs. When last week it came time to negotiate a compromise, Republican class warriors dug in further, offering amendments to kill Democrats' proposal to beef up corporate tax enforcement.

The result? The legislature ended without a budget, and Montana is now on the brink of its own version of the 1996 Gingrich-Clinton government shutdown. It is a troubling situation for middle-class Montanans, but for anti-government Republican politicians and lobbyists, it is a big victory in their war on the middle class.

Days later, Montana's U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, a Democrat, joined Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in headlining an economic-development summit in Butte, a devastated city that is one of America's all-too-common casualties in this economic war. Once the bustling capital of the copper industry, Butte today is known for its salt-of-the-earth inhabitants and for its canyon-like Superfund site known as the Berkeley Pit -- a defunct open-pit mine that the Anaconda Company abandoned with a pool of deadly chemicals at the bottom.

The captains of global finance attending this summit no doubt saw Butte's boarded-up brick buildings and rusting mine shaft skeletons from the windows of their private jets that crowded the town's airport. Yet, they delivered speeches as if they were attending an executive conference at a Caribbean resort.

Corporate leaders looked out over Butte's wreckage and not only trumpeted the supposedly booming economy, but then berated worker protection laws and lavished praise on the "benefits" of free-trade policies -- policies that have decimated wages and job security by forcing American workers, farmers and small businesses to compete in a global race to the bottom.

Executive Dan Rice of Printing for Less criticized Montana for being "an employee-slanted state;" for considering a bill asking businesses to take into account the environmental and community impact of their decisions; and, thus, for being hostile to job growth. He didn't explain why, if this was true, Montana has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation.

Similarly, the $20-million-a-year CEO of McGraw-Hill, Harold McGraw III, claimed America's trade policies have "had a net positive impact on U.S. manufacturing jobs." This, despite 3 million manufacturing jobs lost since the China free-trade pact was signed in 2000.

That so many major players trekked to Montana to read the same script proved this event wasn't about local economic development -- it was about making sure Baucus remains a reliable Washington ally in the war on the middle class. The Senate Finance Committee he chairs oversees America's economic and trade policies, and Baucus has been feeling pressure to stand up for his middle-class constituents after the Montana state Senate passed a resolution demanding he oppose more free-trade deals. Such volleys rarely go unanswered by Corporate America in this war, and so the big guns came to Butte to tell the locals to back off.

At a time of growing job insecurity, stagnating wages and Great Depression-level economic inequality, the 2006 election gave us reason to hope for change. But as events in Montana show, change will not come with one election, nor will it come easy. If the war on the middle class can make its wrath felt in a small state's part-time legislature or cheerily propagandize at a decimated town's economic-development meeting, you can bet it can -- and will -- come anywhere.

David Sirota worked for Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer's 2004 gubernatorial campaign. He lives in Helena, Mont.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Bush Doesn't Give A Damn What The Majority of Americans Think.

Hey, screw us!

What the hell do we know?

Pelosi: Bush has 'tin ear' on Iraq
By Rick Pearson
Tribune political reporter
Published May 5, 2007

As the White House and congressional leaders struggle to reach a compromise on a new war funding bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused President Bush on Friday of a war strategy that ignores the public's will and internal strife in Iraq.Appearing at Rep. Jan Schakowsky's Ultimate Women's Power Lunch, a fundraiser hosted by the North Shore Democratic congresswoman at a downtown Chicago hotel, Pelosi (D-Calif.) defined the Iraq war as "the biggest ethical issue facing our country."

She questioned the ethics of sending troops to war "under a false pretense without a strategy for success," without proper equipment and training and without "demanding accountability from the Iraqi government while we dishonored our commitment to our veterans here at home."

"In the elections, when the American people were calling for a new direction, the one place where they called for it in the clearest possible way was in the war in Iraq," Pelosi told an audience of about 2,000 people."They wanted the war to wind down," she said. "Instead, the president has escalated it. He has a tin ear in terms of listening to the people and a blind eye as to what is going on in Iraq."

Meeting earlier with reporters, Pelosi defended the Democrats' move to tie funding to a withdrawal strategy for U.S. forces. Republicans have contended the withdrawal timetables amounted to a script for insurgents or Al Qaeda to take over the country, fostering new opportunities for terrorism."We'll fight terrorism," she said. "There is absolutely no question about the Democrats' commitment to fighting terrorism."

Pelosi said recent White House warnings that Al Qaeda is active in Iraq involves only "a small percentage of the insurgents and militias and those who are fighting there."

"The Iraqis will take care of Al Qaeda and we will fight terrorism wherever it exists," she said.

"But that doesn't mean we have to have our troops dying in a civil war that is not making our country safer."

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who attended the event, said that while "profound disagreements" exist on a new war funding measure, he believes there is "a constructive and positive attitude" about reaching a compromise by the end of May.

But Durbin also noted that congressional efforts to revoke the 2002 war authorization, proposed by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) would be fruitless because

Bush would never sign such a

Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

The Mis-story of Jessica Lynch

Published on Friday, May 4, 2007 by The Nation

The Whole Truth–and Nothing But

by Katrina Vanden Heuvel

“It is time for the truth, the whole truth, versus misinformation and hype.”

Those were Jessica Lynch’s words as she testified before Congress April 24– along with the brother and mother of the late Army Ranger Specialist Pat Tillman–to set the record straight on her service in Iraq.

On April 2, 2003, Army Private Lynch was carried from an Iraqi hospital and whisked away on a Black Hawk helicopter. It was a great PR opportunity for the Bush administration, and with the help of too many in the mainstream media, they spun it for all that it was worth.
Lynch’s testimony last week was timely, coming just one day before the premiere of Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, a 90-minute report entitled Buying the War. “Four years after shock and awe,” Moyers observed, “the press has yet to come to terms with its role in enabling the Bush administration to go to war on false pretenses.”

“I am still confused as to why they chose to lie and tried to make me a legend….” Lynch said.
As Daphne Eviatar reported in The Nation in 2003, media outlets across the country ran with Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks’ initial account of a daring rescue of Lynch by Special Ops forces, complete with firefights upon entering and exiting the “location of danger.” The story snowballed into a “daring raid in hostile territory,” and anonymous US officials told reporters of Lynch fighting “fiercely” and shooting “several enemy soldiers.” She had been shot and stabbed, according to these accounts.

“The whole Rambo story, that I went down fighting. It just wasn’t the truth. I didn’t even get a shot off. My weapon had jammed. And I didn’t even get to fire,” Lynch told Newsweek.

Eviatar observed that the “Saving Private Lynch” story arrived at the perfect moment for an administration obsessed with controlling the press coverage. It had been less than two weeks since the invasion and correspondents were delivering a stream of grim news: then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was receiving harsh criticism for deploying too few ground troops to contain the violence; there was “unexpectedly fierce fighting in the south”; a van full of Iraqi women and children were mistakenly killed by US forces; and four Marines died in a helicopter crash. The Lynch story offered a tale of heroism to replace the horrors of this war on the front pages and the airwaves.

“The bottom line is the American people are capable of determining their own ideals for heroes and they don’t need to be told elaborate tales,” Lynch said.

In his documentary, Moyers said of the lead up to the invasion, “This gets us right to the heart of the debate that’s going on now in our craft. We lean heavily in reporting on what [government officials] say…. We really give heavy weight to what public officials say.”

This reliance on government accounts continued as the war began and Jessica Lynch was injured. “As with many stories, we were left with our sourcing being other government agencies,” Paul Slavin, senior vice president of ABC News, admitted to Eviatar.

“There was a real sense that you don’t get that critical of a government that’s leading us in war time,” Walter Isaacson, former Chairman and CEO of CNN, told Moyers.

By mid-April, the government and media tale was debunked. Lynch hadn’t fired her weapon, nor had she been shot or stabbed (an examination did reveal that she had been sexually assaulted, however). And, according to hospital staff, the Iraqi fighters had already abandoned the hospital before she was “rescued,” casting doubt on any gunfights and characterizations of daring.

“The nurses at the hospital tried to soothe me and tried unsuccessfully at one point to return me to American troops,” Lynch testified.

The lies about the service of Lynch and the death of Tillman demonstrate the lengths to which this administration will go to protect its interests–and the necessity that the media ask tough questions to preserve our democracy. As Naomi Wolf notes in Fascist America, in 10 Easy Steps: “In a fascist system, it’s not the lies that count but the muddying. When citizens can’t tell real news from fake, they give up their demands for accountability bit by bit.”

“They could have handled situations a lot better and made sure that the truth was more accurate,” Lynch said.

They could have indeed.

Katrina Vanden Heuvel is editor of The Nation.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Hillary Clinton: Corruption For Days

I keep telling my Democratic friends that the Clintons are not the people to clean up Washington. They are in too deep.

The final straw for me was when Bill became best buddies with Poppy. Not a good sign.

I, for one, am sick to death of our corrupt capitol and I want the filth and dirt gone, I don't give a damn where it is found. It is time to clean it up.

Published on Friday, May 4, 2007 by

Hillary’s Mother-F’ing Tour Business
by Greg Palast

Before his untimely death in a plane crash, Commerce Secretary Ron Brown said,
“I’m not Hillary’s mother-f****** tour guide!”

That wasn’t a nice thing for a member of the President’s cabinet to say about the First Lady, now my Senator, Hillary Clinton.

And it’s probably not polite for me to bring it up now. But if I don’t, surely the Karl Rovarians will - if Senator Mrs. Clinton nails the Presidential nomination.

Bill Clinton used to say that, once he became president, he finally earned more money than his wife. That was a carefully crafted bit of modesty to show Bill as an aw-shucks regular guy versus Richie Rich-kid George Bush.

But Bill’s cute remark raised a question in my mind: How did Hillary get that big ol’ salary? And another question arises: how has she stayed out of prison?

The story’s a little complicated, involving a New Orleans power company, Indonesian billionaires, a New York nuclear plant and plain old influence peddling. But if we follow the money, we’ll get the picture. And it ain’t pretty.

But first, let’s stop at Wal-Mart. Read an official biography of the Senator and you’ll find her six-month stint on a child-protection task force. Yet you won’t find her SIX YEARS on the board of directors of Wal-Mart Corporation. She may have earned a Grammy for “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.” But it takes a Governor’s wife to provide cover for Wal-Mart’s profiteering off systematic wage-enslavement of children in its factories in South America.

Sam Walton called Hillary, “My little lady.” Sam paid her an eyebrow raising sum for a director - equal to 60% of her entire not-insubstantial salary as a lawyer. By contrast, Wendy Diaz (her real name), a 13-year-old in Honduras, was paid 25 cents an hour to make shirts for the “little lady’s” label.

Hillary’s rake-in was made possible by Wal-Mart’s 100% union-free operation and out-sourcing of 100% of its manufacturing, some to prison factories in China. Now, you could say that Hillary couldn’t hear the screams of the kiddies in Kamp Wal-Mart in Honduras. After all, she relied on the intelligence provided her by the President (of Wal-Mart).

Fast forward to 1994 and the Brown ‘mother-f’ing tour guide’ business. According to Nolanda Hill, the Commerce Secretary’s long-time business partner and love interest, Brown, who died in 1996, endorsed a Hillary cash-for-access scheme ($10,000 for coffee with the President, $100,000 for a night in the Lincoln bedroom). However, Brown resented the discount rate the First Lady put on US executives joining Brown’s lucrative trade missions. ‘I’m worth more than $50,000 a pop!’ he said.

One company more than happy to pony up for a cash joy-ride with Brown was Entergy International. This electric company, based in Little Rock, became one of the world’s biggest power system operators on the planet under the Clinton regime. Interestingly, Bill Clinton began his political climb by running for Arkansas Attorney General campaigning on a pledge to fight Entergy’s electric price hikes. His pro-consumer plan was defeated in court by Entergy’s law firm - which included one Hillary Rodham.

There were more favors for Entergy. In 1998, I discovered, while working under cover for the Guardian and Observer, that Tony Blair was personally fixing the system to let Entergy to violate British policy on coal plants. Why? I picked up in my secret recordings of Blair’s cronies that calls to take care of Entergy, rules be damned, had come in from the office of ‘the Flotus’ - the First Lady of the United States.

It gets creepier. In June of 1994, Entergy’s partner in Asia, the Riady family of Indonesia paid recently-resigned Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell a $100,000 consulting fee. Odd that: Hubbell was on his way to prison for the felony crime of inflating his legal bills. Why would Asians pay a lawyer for advice on Asia who was on his way to the pokey?

Maybe it had to do with his partner in crime. I’ve conducted investigations of lawyer over-billing. It is nearly impossible for a senior lawyer to pad billing records unless the junior partner also fraudulently monkeys with time logs to make sure the records don’t give away the game.

Who was Hubbell’s “little lady” junior partner? Today we call her Madame Senator.

Hillary’s logs were worth close inspection by authorities, no? But the funny thing about Hillary’s billing records: when requested for disclosure in another suit, they disappeared. First, her law firm’s computers went ka-blooey. Then the paper printouts vanished, but not before, during the 1992 Presidential campaign, they were secretly combed over, line by line, by … Web Hubbell.

Hubbell knew his own logs were phonied, and he understood the consequences of exposure.

Ultimately, bloated hours on those records caused him to lose his law license, his Associate Attorney General post and his freedom. He got 21 months in the slammer.

What did Hubbell see and know about Hillary’s logs? Hubbell won’t say, except for a cryptic remark, after seeing her bills, that ‘every lawyer’ fabricates records. Hubbell pleaded guilty, but refused to answer investigators’ questions, a requirement in any plea bargain - so the judge had to sentence him to prison.

Why would Hubbell choose to do time on the chain gang over testifying about the First Lady?

His prosecutors did not know at the time of the $100,000 Riady payment, the first of over half a million dollars Hubbell would receive from Clinton friends in the weeks up to his entering jail.
And those Hillary billing records? Hubbell lost them - how convenient. Then they reappeared two years later, just outside Hillary’s office, right after Hubbell announced he would refuse to testify against her.

Maybe the Clintons knew nothing about the big money flowing to prison-bound Hubbell. Knowledge of the payments would suggest they were buying Hubbell’s silence. In 1996, when the LA Times uncovered the payments, Mrs. Clinton’s First Man Bill stone-cold denied he knew anything about it.

Then, in 2000, in a deposition by the Justice Department, the President changed his tune.

Investigators confronted the President with this: on June 20, 1994, Hubbell met with Hillary. Two days later, James Riady, the Asian billionaire Entergy partner, met with Hubbell for breakfast. Just a few hours later, Riady returned to the White House, then met again with Hubbell, then made two more treks to the White House. Two days later, a videotape shows the beginning of another meeting in the Oval Office between Clinton and Riady — but oddly, before they talk, the tape goes blank. Two days after that, Hubbell gets his $100,000 through a Riady bank.

Lying to journalists is a venal sin, but lying to the Feds is perjury. In his deposition, the President’s denial transformed into amnesia. He couldn’t remember if Riady mentioned the payment. Then, the President slyly opened the door to the truth. “I wouldn’t be surprised if James told me,” Clinton said. Neither would I.

What did Riady get? The Flotus herself, says Nolanda Hill, forced Brown to accept the appointment of Riady’s bag man, John Huang, as a Commerce Department deputy. According to records of calls the Guardian obtained via the Freedom of Information Act, Huang’s first order of business was to wheedle his way into confidential CIA briefings on Indonesia and China, then call Riady and his Entergy partners.

The same day Riady met the President, documents show he called on a Clinton crony at the top of the department’s Export-Import Bank. “We just came over from the Oval Office,” is a nice way to provide assurance of the ‘political connection’ required for help. These and other Riady team meetings at Commerce are marked ’social’. Yet, shortly thereafter, the department agreed to promote and fund the Riady-Entergy China venture.

Influence is not a victimless crime. Riady and his minions’ visits to the White House (94 times!) included successful requests for the President to meet Indonesian dictator Suharto and to kill negative reports on East Timor and working conditions in Indonesia. Timorese and Indonesians paid for these policy flips with blood.

Has Entergy’s investment in Hillary’s jail-bird partner continued to pay dividends?

Code Pink and New York environmentalists have been pulling out their hair over Senator Clinton’s backing of the operation of the creaky old Indian Point nuclear plant just above - and within irradiating distance of - New York City. The owner of the Indian Point nuke? Hillary’s old buck buddies, Entergy.

Am I saying Hillary would arrange for a payoff to keep witnesses silent, to poison US foreign policy for the profit of corporate cronies, to vote in Washington loaded down with conflicts of interest? I would never say so. Even if the evidence will.

Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, ARMED MADHOUSE: From Baghdad to New Orleans — Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Bush Administration: Declared War On Journalists

By Scott Horton (Harper's)

Is it hyperbole to say that the Bush Administration has gone to war against journalists?

Increasingly, this claim is a literal truth.

Those who would dismiss the claim should contemplate some hard facts from the real battlefields of the “war on terror” in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, over a hundred journalists have been killed – a multiple of the number who died in World War II – and a large part of that number fell to American arms. I don’t suggest that the U.S. soldiers intentionally targeted them; but it does appear that historical rules that shielded journalists on the battlefield have disappeared, and that this has led to deaths. And with respect to certain foreign press organizations, like al-Jazeera, intentional targeting is now documented.

Thousands of journalists have been arrested by U.S. forces, and a few hundred held for significant periods. Reports of beatings and abuse are fairly routine. Journalists who take pictures or shoot film that the Pentagon and White House don’t want seen on U.S. televisions suffer the worst – consider CBS cameraman Abdul Amir, held in prison for a year, or AP Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Bilal Hussein, now held for over a year – without charges.
In both Afghanistan and Iraq, journalists have had their photographs and film seized and destroyed by U.S. forces, acting on formal orders to interdict the transmission of film footage which would undermine the White House’s message.

This is not the way it once was. America’s historical attitude has been tolerant, reflecting the values of the First Amendment. Reporters may be irksome and inconvenient – they may get in the way of the message the Pentagon and the White House want to get out. But historically the United States has respected that they play a legitimate role – a role that takes them out on to the field of battle to perform a difficult and dangerous job.

Under the Bush Administration, and particularly under the Neocon idealists who have seized the machinery of war, the historical view has been warped and subverted and something quite sinister is emerging in its place.

The notion of “communications” plays a crucial role in the Department of Defense’s last Quadrennial Review. The focus of the discussion of communications is not signals or dealing with allies, but management of the media – and particularly of the media message concerning the conduct of the war beamed back home to the United States. In the view of Neocon theorists like Stephen Cambone and Douglas Feith, the media affords access by the “enemy” to the “soft underbelly of the democratic state.” The war effort can be undermined and the will of the people to fight can be eroded. To most Americans, this would be called “democratic process,” namely the right of the people to be freely informed and to decide to authorize or reject the conduct of war as a part of their essential franchise. But the Neocon theorist has been ever mindful of the “weaknesses” and “vulnerabilities” of democracy, and frankly never so enamored of democracy.
While working in Iraq last year, I was warned repeatedly that journalists were targeted and that documents existed establishing this. I was also warned that by defending journalists, I would myself become a target.

Even more chilling: in a series of speeches given across the country, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld has assailed journalists and suggested that Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations are successfully infiltrating media organizations and controlling their message.

Today some further documents have emerged which establish the official administration viewpoint: journalists are the enemy.

Paul McLeary at Columbia Journalism Review:

It looks like it's official: the United States Army thinks that American reporters are a threat to national security. Thanks to some great sleuthing by Wired's "Danger Room" blogger Noah Shachtman, the Army's new operational security guidelines (OPSEC) hit the Web in a big way yesterday, and the implications they have for reporters -- who are grouped in with drug cartels and Al Qaeda as security threats to be beaten back -- are staggering.

Make no mistake, this is a very big deal, and every American citizen, not just reporters and soldiers, needs to understand the implications of the Army's strict new policy, because it directly affects how citizens receive information about their armed forces: information that it has every right to get.

Shachtman reproduces a slide from the new "OPSEC in the Blogosphere," document, which lists and ranks "Categories of Threat." Under "traditional domestic threats" we find hackers and militia groups, while "non-traditional" threats include drug cartels, and -- yes -- the media. Just to put that into some perspective, the foreign "non-traditional threats" are listed as warlords, and Al Qaeda. In other words, the Army has figuratively and literally put the media in the same box as Al Qaeda, warlords, and drug cartels.

The attitude that appears in these frames reflects the theory of total war. It’s a mindset I have come across many times in my career, in the former Soviet Union and in Communist China, for instance. And now: in training slides for the U.S. Army.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Uh Oh...Karl May Have Hung Himself.....

Isn't this witness tampering? Suborning perjury? Something?

Conspiring to mislead congress? (Not that that would be anything new. After all, this administration lied us into a huge war crime)

These people, who are running our country into the dirt, are about the sleaziest group of humanoids I have ever encountered.

I'd rather have Nixon back.

How Rove Shaped Testimony on Prosecutor Firings
By Michael Isikoff
Thursday 03 May 2007

Two months ago, he helped coach Justice Department officials on how to testify about the US attorneys’ firings. Was that a harmless part of his job, or an inappropriate attempt to mislead Congress?

Deputy chief of staff Karl Rove participated in a hastily called meeting at the White House two months ago. The subject: The firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year. The purpose: to coach a top Justice Department official heading to Capitol Hill to testify on the prosecutorial purge on what he should say.

Now some investigators are saying that Rove’s attendance at the meeting shows that the president’s chief political advisor may have been involved in an attempt to mislead Congress—one more reason they are demanding to see his emails and force him to testify under oath.

At the March 5, 2007 meeting, White House aides, including counsel Fred Fielding and deputy counsel William Kelley, sought to shape testimony that principal associate deputy attorney general William Moscella was to give the next day before the House Judiciary Committee.

Although the existence of the White House meeting had been previously disclosed by the Justice Department, Rove’s attendance at the strategy session was not—until both Moscella and deputy attorney general Paul McNulty talked about it in confidential testimony with congressional investigators last week. Portions of their testimony were read to Newsweek by a Democratic aide who asked not to be identified talking about private matters.

According to McNulty’s account, Rove came late to the meeting and left early. But while he was there he spoke up and echoed a point that was made by the other White House aides: The Justice Department needed to provide specific reasons why it terminated the eight prosecutors in order to rebut Democratic charges that the firings were politically motivated. The point Rove and other White House officials made is “you all need to explain what you did and why you did it,” McNulty told the investigators.

The problem, according to the Democratic aide, is that Rove and Kelley never told Moscella about the White House’s own role in pushing to have some U.S. attorneys fired in the first place. Moscella followed the coaching by Rove and others—and made no mention of White House involvement in the firings during his March 6, 2007 testimony to House Judiciary. “They let Moscella come up here without telling him the full story,” said the Democratic staffer.

Moscella at one point even appeared to specifically deny that Rove pushed to have one of his former aides, Timothy Griffin, installed at a top job at Justice. “I don’t know that he played any role,” Moscella said when asked by one committee member what Rove played in recommending Griffin to Justice. Since then, the Justice Department turned over to Congress a department email that showed Griffin was installed as U.S. attorney in Arkansas because it was viewed as “important” to Rove and then White House counsel Harriet Miers.

A White House spokesman dismissed the significance of the March meeting, saying it was not surprising that a deputy White House chief of staff like Rove would participate in internal discussions about the firings of presidential appointees. “It’s perfectly natural that he would be there,” said deputy press secretary Tony Fratto. Asked specifically whether Rove had withheld pertinent information to Moscella, and therefore participated in an attempt to mislead Congress, Fratto replied: “The White House’s role was very limited. I'm not commenting about any meetings. If the Committee wants to learn about it, they can accept our offer” to permit Rove and other White House aides to be privately questioned by Capitol Hill investigators. (Democratic leaders on the House and Senate Judiciary Committee have both rejected that offer, saying they want Rove and other White House officials to testify in public and under oath.)

At his March 6 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Moscella followed the advice of Rove and others and for the first time talked about specific “performance-related” problems that purportedly led to the prosecutors being dismissed. Moscella’s comments about the “deficiencies” of particular U.S. attorneys—such as their failure to provide “effective leadership” or follow the policy priorities of the Justice Department—infuriated the U.S. attorneys, prompting them to publicly defend themselves against what they saw as an arbitrary and highly politicized process.

At least three participants in the March 5 meeting—Rove, Kelley and Kyle Sampson, then chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales—were aware of the White House role in pushing to have U.S. attorneys fired, according to another Justice Department official who attended the meeting but asked not to be identified talking about a private meeting. But the subject of the White House role in the firings never came up, the official said, because at that point, it had not become a prime focus of congressional interest. "Quite frankly, those weren’t the questions that Congress was asking at that point," said the official.

Since then, the subject has moved front and center, as has interest in Rove’s role. Justice Department emails show that it was Rove in January 2005 who first inquired about whether the department planned to fire all 93 U.S. attorneys or just some of them. Later testimony has revealed that last fall he passed along complaints about some prosecutors—including fired U.S. attorney David Iglesias—to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee subpoeanaed the Justice Department to turn over all emails in its possession from Rove—including his computer hard drive, which was turned over to special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald in the CIA leak case. The new disclosure about his participation in the March 5 strategy session is likely to fuel the committee’s determination to keep the heat on.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Waxman Warns Rice: Don't Interfere With Niger Forgeries Probe

Well, here it comes.

This is what we have been waiting for.

Something tells me that this is where it is all going to implode.

Waxman to Rice: Step Back
By Paul Kiel
Friday 04 May 2007

Here's the latest volley in the ongoing battle between Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Waxman, the chairman of the House committee on oversight, wrote to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today to complain that State Department officials had attempted to prevent a nuclear weapons analyst at the department from speaking with his staff. This comes after Waxman's committee issued a subpoena last week for Rice's testimony on how she dealt with claims before the war that Iraq had sought uranium from Niger. Rice has said that she won't comply with the subpoena.

Waxman said that when his staff sought to meet with Simon Dodge, a nuclear weapons analyst at the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, a State Department official called and objected. According to Waxman, the official "informed Committee staff that you [Rice] were prohibiting Mr. Dodge from meeting with Committee investigators. This official claimed that allowing Mr. Dodge to speak with Committee staff would be 'inappropriate' because the Committee voted to issue a subpoena to compel your attendance at a hearing on your knowledge of the fabricated evidence."

Waxman wants to speak to Dodge because he raised alarms about the Niger evidence two weeks before President Bush cited it in his State of the Union address in 2003. Waxman said he was giving Rice the benefit of the doubt:

I assume that your legislative staff was acting without your authorization in this matter. It would be a matter of great concern - as well as an obvious conflict of interest - if you had directed your staff to impede a congressional investigation into matters that may implicate your conduct as National Security Advisor.

Waxman informed Rice that the committee would be interviewing Dodge next week.

And he also requested several documents from Rice "relating to the claim that Iraq sought uranium from Africa.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Is Leahy Going For Rove's Plame Emails?

Leahy Subpoenas Rove's Plame Emails
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t Report
Thursday 03 May 2007

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy issued a subpoena on Wednesday to Alberto Gonzales seeking emails that White House Political Adviser Karl Rove turned over to Patrick Fitzgerald related to the special prosecutor's investigation into the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson and the role the White House political adviser played in her unmasking.

The subpoena comes on the heels of news reports that said the Justice Department's inspector general is investigating a claim that former Gonzales aide Monica Goodling used political affiliation as the basis for screening applicants for assistant US attorney positions. The Justice Department said federal law prohibits such considerations in hiring prosecutors.

"Whether or not the allegation is true is currently the subject" of the investigation by the inspector general and the agency's Office of Professional Responsibility, Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said in a statement.

In a letter to Gonzales on Tuesday afternoon, Leahy reminded Gonzales that he had asked the attorney general during a hearing last month, and again in a letter dated April 25, whether the Justice Department was in possession of Rove's emails and if Gonzales would turn them over to the Judiciary Committee voluntarily.

"You responded at the hearing that you did not know, but would check and get back to me," Leahy wrote Gonzales. "I have not heard back from you since."

The lack of a response from Gonzales prompted the Judiciary Committee to issue a subpoena on Tuesday compelling the Justice Department to turn over Rove's emails, many of which were allegedly "lost" and later turned over to Fitzgerald, Leahy said, quoting Rove's attorney Robert Luskin about the whereabouts of the documents. Leahy has set a deadline of May 15 for the emails to be turned over to his committee.

The subpoena covers a wide range of emails Rove sent over the past four years, some of which are also related to investigations underway by Congressional committees about the circumstances behind the firings of eight US attorneys last year. The firings appear to be politically motivated, Leahy said, and were apparently coordinated between the White House and officials in the Justice Department.

"This subpoena includes any such emails that were obtained by Mr. Fitzgerald as part of the Plame investigation," Leahy's letter says. Furthermore, Leahy wants Gonzales to turn over "any and all emails and attachments to emails to, from or copied to Karl Rove related to the committee's investigation into the preservation of prosecutorial independence and the Department of Justice's politicization of the hiring, firing and decision-making of United States attorneys from any (1) White House account, (2) Republican National Committee [RNC] account, or (3) other account in the possession, custody or control of the Department of Justice."

Last month, the RNC disclosed that thousands of emails Rove sent over a four-year period via an email account maintained by the RNC may have been destroyed. The nonprofit government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington revealed in April that its own probe discovered that as many as five million White House emails were missing, in violation of the Presidential Records Act.

In a story first reported by Truthout last year, in a federal court document filed in January 2006 in US District Court in Washington, DC, Fitzgerald revealed that his investigative team "learned that not all email of the Office of the Vice President and the Executive Office of the President for certain time periods in 2003 was preserved through the normal archiving process on the White House computer system." That document was filed during the discovery phase of the perjury and obstruction-of-justice trial against former vice presidential staffer I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

Less than two weeks after Fitzgerald revealed that emails from the White House were missing, 250 pages of emails from President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney's offices were turned over to investigators working for the special prosecutor - more than two years after the investigation began.

The White House offered no official explanation concerning the circumstances regarding the sudden reappearance of the emails it turned over to Fitzgerald on February 6, 2006, or if there was any truth to Fitzgerald's allegations that the emails were not automatically archived. At the time, a White House spokeswoman would only say that staffers "discovered" the batch of documents during a search.

In late January 2004, Fitzgerald sent a letter to then-acting Attorney General James Comey seeking confirmation that he had the authority to investigate and prosecute suspects in the leak case for additional crimes, including evidence destruction.

The leak investigation had primarily been centered on an obscure law that made it a felony for any government official to knowingly disclose the identity of an undercover CIA officer.

Comey, who is scheduled to testify before Congress on Thursday about his knowledge of the events leading up to the firings of the US attorneys last year, responded to Fitzgerald in writing on February 6, 2004, confirming that Fitzgerald did indeed have the authority to prosecute those crimes, including "perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence and intimidation of witnesses."

Fitzgerald wrote Comey in part because he had become suspicious that White House Political Adviser Karl Rove had either hidden or destroyed an important document tying him to the leak and the effort to discredit Plame's husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson. The document Fitzgerald believed Rove had destroyed or withheld was an email Rove sent to Stephen Hadley, then-deputy national security adviser, in early July 2003. That email proved Rove had a conversation with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper about issues related to the CIA leak. Rove did not disclose that conversation when he was first interviewed by the FBI three months after he had emailed Hadley.

The same day that Fitzgerald received the written reply from Comey, the White House faced a deadline to turn over administration contacts with 25 journalists to the grand jury investigating the Plame Wilson leak. Cooper was one journalist cited in the subpoena sent to the White House on January 22, 2004. Curiously, the email Rove sent to Hadley did not show up during a search ordered by then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales in September 2003. Gonzales enjoined all White House staff members to turn over any communication pertaining to Plame Wilson and her husband, Joseph Wilson, a vocal critic of the Iraq war who had accused the Bush administration of twisting pre-war Iraq intelligence.

The directive came 12 hours after senior White House officials had been told of the pending investigation.

A number of theories emerged at the time in an attempt to explain why the emails had not been preserved. Media reports settled on the idea that White House computers simply broke down and failed to archive the emails.

According to a report in Newsweek, FBI investigators did not initially find the email Rove sent to Hadley because "the right search words weren't used" three years ago.

The Washington Post, citing an unnamed source, reported that Rove had sent the email to Hadley from his government account and it was "unclear" why the email did not turn up during a search in 2003.

Whether Fitzgerald knew in late January or early February 2004 about the existence of Rove's email to Hadley is unknown. Neither Fitzgerald nor his spokesman would respond to questions about the leak investigation.

During two of his five appearances before the grand jury investigating the Plame Wilson leak, Rove testified that the first time he discussed Valerie Plame with journalists was after syndicated columnist Robert Novak revealed her identity and CIA status in July 2003. Rove did not disclose that he had actually been a source for Cooper, whose story about Plame's work for the CIA was published less than a week after Novak's column was published.

When Fitzgerald applied pressure to Cooper to testify about the identity of the source who told him that Plame worked for the CIA, Rove's attorney Robert Luskin made a startling discovery: He found the email Rove sent to Hadley.

Luskin told Fitzgerald that he had a conversation with Time magazine reporter Viveca Novak in February 2004 and she inadvertently revealed that Rove had been a source for her colleague Matt Cooper.

Following his meeting with Viveca Novak, Luskin met with Rove and told him that Novak said he was Cooper's source. Luskin and Rove then did an exhaustive search through White House phone logs and emails to find any evidence that Rove spoke with Cooper. That's when the email Rove sent to Hadley was discovered, Luskin said, which he promptly turned over to Fitzgerald and which led Rove to change his testimony.

However, Luskin would not say when he turned it over, or why the email wasn't found when the White House was subpoenaed on January 22, 2004 or when White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales ordered all White House staff in October 2003 to turn over emails and other documentary evidence that showed officials had spoken with journalists.

Luskin testified on December 2, 2005 regarding his meeting with Viveca Novak. He said that he met with her in late January or early February 2004, the very month in which Fitzgerald had sought the authority to prosecute officials if they were found to have hindered his investigation into the leak.

Viveca Novak (who bears no relation to the columnist Robert Novak), however, testified that she met Luskin in either March or May 2004. Still, Rove didn't reveal to the grand jury until October 15, 2004 that he had spoken with Cooper.

Luskin has said that Rove did not intentionally withhold information from Fitzgerald or the grand jury about his conversation with Cooper. Rather, he said, Rove had simply forgotten about it and Luskin's meeting with Novak had jogged his memory.

Jason Leopold is a former Los Angeles bureau chief for Dow Jones Newswire. He has written over 2,000 stories on the California energy crisis and received the Dow Jones Journalist of the Year Award in 2001 for his coverage on the issue as well as a Project Censored award in 2004. Leopold also reported extensively on Enron's downfall and was the first journalist to land an interview with former Enron president Jeffrey Skilling following Enron's bankruptcy filing in December 2001. Leopold has appeared on CNBC and National Public Radio as an expert on energy policy and has also been the keynote speaker at more than two dozen energy industry conferences around the country.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Friday, May 4, 2007

GOP Candidates Need To Be Studied

Well, I see that St. Ronnie is again being invoked, this time by the most un-impressive bunch of losers since Moses was a pup.

After the last 6+ years, let alone the next endless months, I have seen all I want to of the GOP, for a very long time. Don't paticularly want to hear anymore from them either, but there is hardly anyway to avoid it.

They are still on the abortion rant; all the while, the rate of abortion has gone up under their control of both the W.H. and Congress.

While we are on the subject, here is what I don't get about their position. All of Christianity tells us that everyone is born in sin and yet they say abortion is the "killing of the innocent." How can you have it both ways?

They are, to a man, not pro-life. How can you be pro-life and support the death penalty and a war of aggression, based on cropped up evidence, during which hundreds of thousands have been killed and many, many babies will be born deformed because of Depleted Uranium that we used on the Iraqis in the first Gulf war and every military action since? Our soldiers, too, have been exposed.

These people are so full of it!

GOP debate focuses on Iraq war, abortion
By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer
Fri May 4, 3:06 AM ET

Alone among 10 Republican presidential contenders, Rudy Giuliani said in campaign debate Thursday night "it would be OK" if the Supreme Court upholds a 1973 landmark abortion rights ruling. "It would be OK to repeal it. It would be OK also if a strict constructionist viewed it as precedent," said the former New York city mayor, who has a record of supporting abortion rights.

In a party that draws strength from anti-abortion voters, Giuliani's nine GOP rivals agreed that it would be a great day if the court overturns the landmark ruling.

"Glorious day of human liberty and freedom," enthused Sen. Sam Brownback (news, bio, voting record) of Kansas.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney acknowledged he had changed his mind on the subject when he began to delve into the issue of cloning. He said his position had once effectively been "pro-choice."

But Giuliani, who said he personally hates abortion, hedged when asked about his current position.

"I think the Court has to make that decision and then the country can deal with it," he said. "... The states could then make their own decisions."

Alone among the top three contenders, Arizona Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record) has a career-long record of opposition to abortion.

The 10 rivals showed their conservative credentials across 90 minutes of debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, each claiming to be a worthy heir to the political legacy of the late 40th president.

They stressed the importance of persisting in Iraq, called for lower taxes and a muscular defense and supported spending restraint.

"The first pork barrel, earmark bill that crosses my desk I'm going to veto it and I'm going to make the author famous," said McCain.

Romney jumped in at that, saying that as governor he had cast a veto "hundreds of times."

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson put his total at some 1,900 vetoes.

The field split on another issue, with Brownback, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo raising their hands when moderator Chris Matthews asked who did not believe in evolution.

Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean boldly said the debate "confirms that a Democrat will be elected in 2008. The Republican presidential contenders are only offering more of the same failed leadership and misplaced priorities that President Bush brought to the White House."

Giuliani, McCain and Romney were the first among 10 equals on the debate stage — the men with the most money and the best approval ratings in the polls more than eight months before the first 2008 national convention delegates are selected.

Other participants included former Gov. Jim Gilmore of Virginia; and Reps. Duncan Hunter (news, bio, voting record) of California and Ron Paul (news, bio, voting record) of Texas.

They debated in the shadow of Reagan's Air Force One, the aircraft hanging suspended in the library's pavilion. The 40th president's widow, Nancy Reagan, sat in the front row next to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

One by one, the candidates invoked Ronald Reagan — he was mentioned 19 times.
The issue of abortion looms large in the 2008 presidential campaign in a party where a wide swath of political activists support the overturning of the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.

Both Romney and Giuliani must persuade conservative voters they are ready to embrace that view — or else persuade them to overlook the issue in picking a candidate for the White House.
In a debate that ranged broadly, most of the contenders said they opposed legislation making federal funds available for a wider range of embryonic stem cell research.

The technique necessarily involves the destruction of a human embryo, and is opposed by many anti-abortion conservatives as a result.

There are exceptions, though, including Reagan's widow, Nancy. Also, public opinion polls show overwhelming support for the research, which doctors say holds promise for treatment or even cures of numerous diseases.

Most of the contenders said they opposed expanded federal research.

McCain was the exception, saying unambiguously he supports expanded federal research into embryonic stem cells.

Thompson said there was "so much research" in the area that he couldn't give a yes or no answer.

Giuliani's response was open to interpretation. He said he supports it "as long as we're not creating life in order to destroy it," then added he would back funding for research along the lines of legislation pending in Congress.

The bill he cited does not expand research on embryonic stem cells, however, but deals with adult stem cells.

There was no dissent about the importance of the U.S. military mission in Iraq.

"We should never retreat in the face of terrorism," said Giuliani, adding, "terrible mistake."

Romney also said the United States must support the government of Nouri al-Maliki in its efforts to combat terrorism.

"I want to get our troops home as soon as we possibly can, but at the same time we don't want to get them out in such a precipitous way that we have to go back," he said, warning that too hasty a departure could lead to chaos in the region.

McCain said the war effort is now on the right track, although he said that until recently, the war had been "terribly mismanaged" by the Bush administration. "Terribly mismanaged," he repeated for emphasis.

The Iraq comments contrasted sharply with last week's debate among Democratic presidential hopefuls.

Then, eight presidential hopefuls called for an end to the military involvement that so far has claimed the lives of more than 3,300 U.S. troops.

Speaking of Iran, Giuliani said "they looked in Ronald Reagan's eyes and in two minutes they released the hostages." That was a reference to the U.S. hostages released from captivity on the day of Reagan's inauguration in 1981.

He didn't mention other hostages taken on Reagan's watch — those seized in Lebanon and kept for years.

Romney invoked Reagan in discussing abortion rights. "I changed my mind. I took the same course that Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush" did, he said.

Romney and McCain squared off over terrorist leader Osama bin Laden without directly addressing each other. Last week, the ex-governor said, "it's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person" and advocated a broader strategy to defeat Islamic jihadists. McCain had called the comment "naive."

Under questioning, Romney defended his comment, saying: "It's more than Osama bin Laden. But he is going to pay and he will die."

McCain shot back, saying bin Laden's responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent Americans. "We will do whatever is necessary. We will track him down. We will catch him. We will bring him to justice and I'll follow him to the gates of hell," he said.

MSNBC and The Politico co-sponsored the debate.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Is Rudy Certifiable? Seems, He Just Might Be.

...and, even more importantly, can we keep people who should be in the Nuthouse out of the White House, this time?

Many New York political pros believe Rudy Giuliani—former mayor, hero of 9/11, and now presidential candidate—is, quite literally, nuts.

The author asks whether Giuliani's lunatic behavior could be the ultimate campaign asset.
by Michael Wolff June 2007

There's no politician more fun to write about than Rudy Giuliani. He's your political show of shows—driven to ever greater public outlandishness by a do-anything compulsion always to be at the center of attention. At some point, when he was New York's mayor, it seemed to stop mattering to him that this attention was, for his political career, the bad kind of attention.

Politics appeared no longer to be his interest; to prove, over and over again, that it's his right—his art, even—to be at the center of attention was. Even this does not really explain the implausibility, and entertainment, of Rudy as a politician.

Rudy Giuliani and his third wife, the former Judith Nathan, who has become a colorful distraction for his campaign.

The explanation for what makes Rudy so compelling among people who know him best—including New York reporters who've covered him for a generation, and political pros who've worked for him—is simpler: he is nuts, actually mad.

Now, this line should be delivered with the proper timing (smack your head in astonishment when you deliver it). And it implies some admiration and affection: he's an original. But it is, too, a considered political diagnosis: every student of Rudy Giuliani—indeed, every New Yorker—has witnessed, and in many cases suffered, his periods of mania, political behavior that, in the end, can't have much of a rational explanation.

So, if you are not from New York, if you haven't had the pleasure of what Jack Newfield, that querulous old-school New York City columnist and reporter, called "the Full Rudy"—also the title of his 2002 book about the former mayor—you perhaps cannot appreciate our sense of emperor's-new-clothes incredulity. Despite what's in front of everybody's face—behavior that's not only in the public record but recapped on the front pages every day—becoming president could really happen for Rudy.

No, that is wrong: virtually every Full Rudy veteran expects the implosion to happen any second. It's in some bizarro parallel reality that the Rudy campaign achieves verisimilitude and even—strange, too, when you consider the cronies and hacks who surround him—appears, at times, adept.

It's a Catch-22 kind of nuttiness. What with all his personal issues—the children; the women; the former wives; Kerik and the Mob; his history of interminable, bitter, asinine hissy fits; the look in his eye; and, now, Judi!, his current, prospective, not-ready-for-prime-time First Lady—he'd have to be nuts to think he could successfully run for president. But nutty people don't run for president—certainly they don't get far if they do.

Newfield, who died in 2004, desperately, and to little avail, tried in his short, apoplectic book to demonstrate the existence of a real Rudy as opposed to the post-9/11 heroic Rudy. "Are you crazy? He's just insane," Newfield kept yelling at me over lunch one day, when I was trying to come up with a strategic explanation for Rudy's wild swings of temperament, judgment, and sense of proportion. (Similarly, Newfield quotes the New York politician Basil Paterson as saying Giuliani has "a devil in him," and Giuliani's former school chancellor Rudy Crew as diagnosing a "very, very powerful pathology," and former New York congressman Rev. Floyd Flake as seeing in Rudy, simply, a deep "mean streak.")

I argued, having voted for Rudy once, that, in certain contexts, nuttiness—for instance, his need for virtually round-the-clock media attention and affirmation—can be a positive governing approach, as well as an effective public-relations strategy. Rudy's manic domination of the city's airwaves and consciousness during New York's most disturbing crime years, when many people felt the city was beyond anybody's control, was palliative (David Dinkins, his more modest predecessor, always seemed overwhelmed). And, of course, his hysteric nature was part of what enabled him to appear so reassuring on 9/11: When everyone is crazy, he, being actually crazy, is calm. When everyone is stunned, he's expressive. (He may be the best off-the-cuff speaker in politics—conversational, witty, personal.)

Here Newfield went on, during lunch, to harangue me about the willful blindness, the consensus cowardice of the media. We (that is, we in the media) quite refuse to acknowledge the possibility that an entirely inappropriate character (a "nutso" was, I believe, Newfield's term) might be able to navigate all the hurdles and scrutiny of a campaign and actually become president. (The instances—e.g., Howard Dean, Wesley Clark—when oddball candidates do get dinged reinforces the belief that, if you make it, you deserve to make it.) The better your poll numbers are, and the closer you get to being president, the more that certifies you as being sane enough to be president (the Bush and Cheney example notwithstanding).

New York magazine, for instance, has been covering Rudy's antics for a generation. The magazine was, itself, subject to a famous blitz of Rudy loopiness: he banned from city buses an ad for the magazine with a tagline saying it was "possibly the only good thing in New York Rudy hasn't taken credit for."

But its recent cover story on the Rudy presidential phenomenon was written by a neophyte political journalist rather than one of the legions of New York reporters who've been gobsmacked over the years by Rudy (there's a whole new generation of reporters who don't know the real Rudy).

So instead of being a story about the sheer preposterousness, the zaniness and lunacy, of the notion of Rudy as president—the exceptionalness of the whole enterprise—it was about, in essence, the logic of perception.

Rudy is, necessarily, what others see him as—that was the magazine's eminently politic point.

Similarly, Newsweek, in its Rudy cover story, made the case for transformation by polls—you are what an unexpected number of people are willing to believe you are, no matter how outside the realm of credibility and reason that might be. In both critiques, Rudy is far along in the process of making himself into a realistic presidential being, a legitimate, if curious, front-runner, a man for all seasons, a plausible model—this character famous for his dramatic mood swings—of steadfastness and determination. If he doesn't implode, then, in fact, he's sound.

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(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Fox Viewers Are Dumbases! Pew Reasearch Poll

While we have long suspected this, it's nice to have evidence to back up the claim.

Now, when is "Fox News" going to have to drop the label "news" and just call itself what it is: Uniformed, Ideological Opinion Network.

The dumbing-down of America has been highly successful, don't you think?

What's worse, is that the chosen stupidity of some of our fellow Americans is, at least, somewhat responsible for every death in Iraq!

‘Daily Show’ Viewers Know More
Posted on May 2, 2007

According to the latest Pew Research survey, the most knowledgeable Americans are regular viewers of “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” and avid newspaper readers. At the other end of the spectrum are viewers of Fox News and morning shows.

Jon Stewart frequently protests that his goal is to be funny rather than purely informative, yet people who watch his show, according to Pew, are more knowledgeable than viewers of the Lehrer “NewsHour” on PBS.

(h/t: Crooks and Liars)

Editor and Publisher:

Other details are equally eye-opening.

Pew judged the levels of knowledgeability (correct answers) among those surveyed and found that those who scored the highest were regular watchers of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and Colbert Report. They tied with regular readers of major newspapers in the top spot—with 54% of them getting 2 out of 3 questions correct.

Watchers of the Lehrer News Hour on PBS followed just behind.

Virtually bringing up the rear were regular watchers of Fox News. Only 1 in 3 could answer 2 out of 3 questions correctly. Fox topped only network morning show viewers.

Told that Shia was one group of Muslims struggling in Iraq, only 32% of the total sample could name “Sunni” as the other key group.

Read more

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

GOP and Democracy Theft (Using The DOJ)

Having been born and raised in the South, I have no problem with voter registration drives, as a matter of fact, I am all for them!.

Democracy is not a spectator sport, though it certainly seems like it at times. The more eligible voters we have voting the better for Democracy, whatever is left of it.

But for gawdsake, DO NOT register people who are not eligible to vote in the first place.

Having said that, I read before the 2006 elections, that the GOP planned to use voter fraud against the Democrats everywhere they possibly could, but especially in battleground states. This was not a well kept secret, except from the MSM, and they are easy

The kind of voter fraud described here is not likely to effect most elections, one way or the other.

But wholesale voter disenfranchisement, through voter roll scrubbing, as in Florida in 2000, voter intimidation, like the threats of arrest at the polls, if a voter has outstanding traffic tickets and electronic manipulation of vote tallies have proven themselves very effective at, literally, stealing Democracy, right out from under us.

By Bill Boyarsky

Since Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ inept stonewalling before the Senate Judiciary Committee shed no light on the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, let’s dig into one of the real reasons—the Republican effort to stop voter registration campaigns in poor neighborhoods.

The assault is an early battle of the 2008 presidential campaign. Republicans are trying to limit registration of African-Americans and Latinos in a number of states that Democrats have a chance of carrying. It’s not the only reason that attorneys were fired, but it is the most reprehensible.

U.S. attorneys are political appointees. When a new president and his party take power, the old are swept out for the new. But once in office, the attorneys usually work with local law enforcement and lawyers and are not often micro-managed from Washington. There have been exceptions to this. The power of local segregationists sent Kennedy administration lawyers into action to take over some law enforcement in the South during the civil rights movement.

This operation is different.

The Kennedys wanted to give African-Americans rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

The Bush crowd is trying to exclude African-Americans and Latinos.

One of the fired attorneys is David Iglesias of New Mexico, who was dismissed after state Republican officials complained that he wouldn’t prosecute registration fraud allegations.
(The state produced another, unrelated, example of Republicans using the Justice Department to win elections. Republican Sen. Peter Domenici complained that Iglesias was too slow in prosecuting a political corruption case that would have helped the campaign of Rep. Heather Wilson, a Republican who eventually won a tight race.)

In 2004, President Bush beat Sen. John Kerry in New Mexico by just a single percentage point, 50 percent to 49 percent.

In 2008, the state’s five electoral votes are within Democratic grasp. Although that’s not a lot of votes, the Democrats’ near success in 2004 reflects the party’s hopes of big gains throughout the Southwest and Rockies next year.

Another U.S. attorney firing was linked to efforts to stop a Democratic registration drive in Washington state. Kerry carried it in 2004, but a Republican came within 129 votes of the Democratic winner in last year’s election for governor. U.S. Attorney John McKay, who was appointed by Bush, was dumped by Gonzales after Republican officials complained he would not investigate supposed registration fraud.

The Republicans’ main target in New Mexico, Washington and other states is a progressive grass-roots group, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, ACORN. It has chapters in more than 100 cities engaged in organizing the poor for a living wage, improved housing, jobs, healthcare, better schools and child care.

What angers the Republicans are ACORN’s voter registration efforts, mostly in poor African-American and Latino neighborhoods. In the last few years, it has registered about 500,000 voters in poor communities.

ACORN members tend to be tough and focused. They organize poor families ignored by the politicians, the big contributors and the reporters and pundits who dominate today’s political dialogue. While political writers report on the so-called money primary—the contribution competition among the top contenders—ACORN is signing up voters in neighborhoods where the major candidates and journalists seldom venture.

It’s the hardest kind of political organizing. The organizers—invariably low paid—must convince the overworked and poor to give up a portion of their limited time to activities such as staging marches, visiting city halls and state capitols and organizing registration drives.

Professor Peter Dreier, director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Program at Occidental College in Los Angeles, told me that “of all the organizations in the country that represent the poor, except for the labor unions, ACORN is the most effective.” With a good political research operation and a grasp of local, state and national politics, ACORN targets its work in swing districts, “registering voters who are likely to be Democrats,” Dreier said.

ACORN’s success woke up New Mexico State Republican Chairman Allen Weh and other state party officials. They accused ACORN of fraud in the 2004 drive that registered 35,000 potential voters, according to The Albuquerque Tribune.

U.S. Attorney Iglesias investigated the complaints. He formed a task force that took a close look at more than 300 of them. In fact, some ACORN workers, who were paid for each person they registered, weren’t too fussy about whom they signed up. ACORN fired a worker for registering a 13-year-old boy.

But in January 2005, The Albuquerque Tribune reported that the U.S. attorney’s office had said most of the complaints were “not criminally prosecutable.”

Unhappy about this, Weh met with Iglesias over coffee. “I told him there were well-known instances of voter fraud and people expect them to be prosecuted,” Weh told the Tribune. Weh said he then took his complaint to an aide to Karl Rove, President Bush’s political brain. “The next time I saw that [Rove] staffer, I said, ‘Man, you guys need to get a new U.S. attorney. This guy is hopeless,’ ” Weh said.

When he saw Rove at a White House function a few months later, Weh asked him about Iglesias. Rove replied that Iglesias was “gone,” Weh told the Tribune.

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearings revealed what had happened. A firing list was assembled in the White House and the Justice Department, and Iglesias and McKay were on it.

The accusations were phony.

On April 12, The New York Times reported that the Bush administration campaign had turned up virtually no evidence of an organized operation to fix elections. In the last five years, only 120 people, most of them Democrats, have been charged. Only 86 were convicted. Most of the offenses involved mistakes in filling out registration forms or misunderstood eligibility rules.

Iglesias and McKay refused to use the tremendous power at their disposal to bring indictments on the basis of flimsy evidence. Unlike the attorney general, and the president, they would not abuse their authority. Of course they had to be fired.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Canada: Not the Oasis It Once Was.

May 3, 2007 TORONTO -- One morning in late February, Canadian police arrived at a house in the small town of Nelson, British Columbia, and arrested Kyle Snyder, a U.S. soldier who had gone AWOL from the Army. Snyder, a former combat engineer who left the United States in
April 2005 to avoid deployment for a second tour in Iraq, was detained for several hours but never charged with a crime. It remains unclear why he was arrested.

The local police said they were told to detain Snyder by the Canadian Border Services Agency but acknowledged that the immigration agency was not their "original source" for information on Snyder. In fact, Snyder was released after a Canadian immigration official contacted the local police and informed them there was no basis for Snyder's detention. After he was back home, Snyder said he was told by Josie Perry, the Canadian immigration official who ordered his release, that his arrest had come at the behest of officials from the U.S. Army.

A few weeks later, in Toronto, three men wearing trench coats knocked at the home of Winnie Ng, a Canadian resident who harbored an American soldier named Joshua Key. Key, who'd also been a combat engineer, went AWOL from the Army in 2003 after serving in Iraq. According to Ng, one of the men announced they were Toronto police officers and told her they wanted to speak to Key, though Ng was suspicious about their identities. One of the three was in fact a local police officer, but according to a local news report, a spokesperson for the Toronto police department acknowledged that at least one of the other two men was an official from the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Command, or CID.

The incidents have sparked allegations that Canadian law enforcement has been collaborating with U.S. officials to help track down American soldiers who have fled to Canada. Some critics, including a left-leaning member of Parliament who represents Nelson, say they believe it is a campaign of intimidation.

"Our concern is that there could be other Kyle Snyders in Canada," Alex Atamanenko, the parliamentarian, said following Snyder's arrest on Feb. 23. "Are there those that are being apprehended now?"

In a formal letter of complaint to the Conservative Party Cabinet ministers responsible for public safety and immigration, Atamanenko noted that Snyder was apprehended without a search warrant or permission to enter the residence. "Has Canada ever raised official objection to the U.S. about the operation of U.S. police, security, intelligence or military officials in Canada?" Atamanenko asked, adding, "It is important for Canadian citizens and visitors to our country to know that our Canadian sovereignty is respected."

With the Iraq war in its fifth year, an increasing number of American soldiers have been going AWOL and fleeing to Canada, particularly over the last six months. One lawyer who works on their behalf puts the number of American war resisters currently living in Canada at 250 or more. Advocates for them here talk of a kind of "underground railroad" that has developed south of the border to help war resisters make their way north.

Ever since the Vietnam War, many Americans have viewed Canada as a liberal oasis, ready to welcome those who no longer want to take part in Uncle Sam's wars. But the reality is more complicated these days, especially with the conservative Harper government in power since 2006. Although the Canadian people are still largely welcoming, some war resisters say they have faced hostility here. And all of them who are seeking refugee status to remain in the country face complex legal obstacles, according to experts on Canada's refugee laws. Meanwhile, the alleged cooperation between Canadian and U.S. law enforcement authorities to track them down raises thorny legal questions of its own.

Speaking by phone recently from an undisclosed location in the Canadian prairies, Key told Salon that he generally feels safe in Canada, although he said one person threatened to "put him on a boat and take him back to the U.S." and another told him that his daughter "deserved to be shot in the head." He said that he was unnerved after he heard about Snyder's arrest in B.C. in February. "After what I saw in Iraq," he said, "I know that a snatch-and-grab operation doesn't take long."

It would be illegal under Canadian law for U.S. officials to make an arrest on Canadian soil, according to Audrey Macklin, a professor at the University of Toronto Law School. "U.S. law enforcement officers have no jurisdiction here," she said. The picture gets murkier, however, with the prospect of Canadian police working on behalf of U.S. officials. "Sometimes officials cooperate in cross-border criminal investigations," Macklin said. But the incidents involving Snyder and Key, she said, didn't strike her as typical cross-border cooperation. "It's sheer conjecture on my part, but I do wonder if it is more about intimidation."

While the Canadian police have publicly acknowledged cooperating with Army CID on the search for Key -- who has not committed a crime in Canada -- U.S. officials have remained circumspect.

In a recent report in the Globe and Mail, a spokesperson for the CID, which investigates criminal matters for the military, acknowledged only that they were "interested" in talking with Key because of allegations he has made about the conduct of American soldiers in Iraq. Key recently wrote a book called "The Deserter's Tale," published in February by Grove/Atlantic, in which he alleges war crimes by his fellow soldiers.

Key wrote, among other things, that he believes American soldiers raped Iraqi women and that he watched soldiers from the 124th Infantry Division playing soccer with the heads of dead Iraqi civilians. (Key also notes in the book that when torture at Abu Ghraib became public in spring 2004, he was not surprised, because it struck him as consistent with the brutality he had witnessed.) Key says he refused to participate in such acts and is now seeking refugee status in Canada.

Requests to CID by Salon for further details about the Army agency's pursuit of Key were not answered.

Next page: "They used lies and plays on words to get us over there, and ordered us to commit crimes against another country"

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.