Saturday, May 26, 2007

Congress is the Decider, Under The Constitution

The Framers Got It Right: Congress is the Decider
Created by
(Rockridge Institute staff member)
on Friday, May 25, 2007 04:35 PM

In this new article by George Lakoff and Glenn Smith, the Rockridge Institute issues a call to action in response to Congress's passage of the Iraq supplemental spending bill.
Critics of Congress's passage this week of the Iraq supplemental spending bill lament a lack of political courage. But Congress would find it easier to act courageously if the public understood the constitutional stakes. And that public understanding requires correct and persistent framing by Congress itself. What needs to have been framed — indeed what still needs to be framed — is Congress's constitutional responsibility and power to set the course on military missions like Iraq.

Here is what two of the country's most distinguished scholars on Constitutional powers testified to Congress on January 30, 2007:

"Congress possesses substantial constitutional authority to regulate ongoing military operations and even to bring them to an end."— David J. Barron, Harvard Law School

"The legislative judgment to take the country to war carries with it a duty throughout the conflict to decide that military force remains in the national interest. ... Congress is responsible for monitoring what it has set in motion. In the midst of war, there are no grounds for believing that the President's authority is superior to the collective judgment of its elected representatives. Congress has both the constitutional authority and the responsibility to retain control and recalibrate national policy whenever necessary."— Louis Fisher, Constitutional Specialist, Library of Congress (PDF)

Here's what this means:
The Framers of the Constitution framed the current debate over Iraq: Congress sets the overall strategy, and retains control over troop levels, redeployment dates, etc. The president's job is to carry out the strategic mission set by Congress.

The United States Constitution designates Congress as The Decider: they decide on overall military strategy. That is their constitutional duty. The president is the commander in chief of the military — and only the military. He is not commander over Congress, nor is he commander over the people of the United States. As such, the president's duty is to carry out the strategic mission given to him by Congress.

But Congress has abdicated its duty.
Congressional leaders have neglected to remind the nation what the Constitution says. They have allowed the president to reframe the Constitution, usurping their power for himself. The Framers framed it right. The Congress irresponsibly let the president reframe the Constitution.

The issue is more than the vital details of Iraq spending, withdrawal, timetables, and the safety of our troops. The issue is whether Congress will continue to allow the president to exercise dictatorial powers. Or whether Congress will insist on the framing of the Framers.

Framing has been vital. Opponents of the president's Iraq policies should have framed the issue immediately when Democratic leaders took control in January 2007. The message should have been: Congress defines the strategic mission; the president's job is to carry it out. He is refusing to carry out his mission.

Congress allowed the president to take over its job to decide the strategic mission and to put Congress in the role of merely providing funding. This allowed the president to cast Congress in the role of "refusing to fund the troops," "endangering the safety of our troops," "playing chicken with the lives of our troops," "hamstringing our troops," and so on. It allowed President Bush to portray Congress as responsible for the safety of our troops, whereas the real responsibility lay with him. By allowing the president to reframe the Constitution and take away their powers, Congress made itself fatally vulnerable. Most of the Democrats wound up adopting the president's framing of them as responsible for the safety of the troops.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid excused the vote by saying that the Democrats did not have a veto-proof Congress. But they did not need one. They could have chosen to exercise their authority by refusing to pass a spending bill without redeployment timetables.

House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey said it was the best deal Congress could make because "the White House is in a cloud somewhere in terms of understanding the realities of Iraq." This is tantamount to saying that Congress has no choice but to accede to an irrational demand of the President.

Representative Louise Slaughter defended her vote this way:

"As such, we had a choice. We could send Mr. Bush the same bill, or allow something to pass that wouldn't be vetoed. And we elected to let something pass - to let Republicans, if they so choose, fund their own war. Considering that 90% of the Out of Iraq Caucus was with us in this decision, there must have been at least some reason for it. In fact, there are two in my opinion. With this White House, and with this Republican minority, it is safe to say that a standoff with the Administration would have meant that our troops would be left in harm's way, only now with even less funding to back them up. I don't think that would have been right to do - to make them do even more with even less. The President doesn't seem to care how much our troops suffer. All evidence indicates that he will make them fight if they have needed funding or not.

Secondly, a standoff would have allowed the President to keep using our soldiers as pawns, accusing Democrats of abandoning them while it is really his war that has left them to fend for themselves."

In other words, allowing themselves to be framed in a subordinate position, many who originally voted to impose timetables retreated, thinking that they were forced to accept the president's framing of them. And being progressives — with the fundamental values of empathy and responsibility — they were doubly trapped. Their empathy for the troops — and their inability to take on their Constitutional role — forced even many Out of Iraq Caucus members to vote against their own position.

Now, one might read the Constitution a bit differently, perhaps maintaining that the Congress is only co-equal with the president. But that still does not put the president in a superior position and Congress in the position of merely a funding funnel for the mission he determines. Even under this interpretation, Congress has abdicated its Constitutional duty.

If you mistakenly believe that framing is mere PR or spin, recall that there is a reason why we speak of the "Framers" of the Constitution. All of our concepts come in the form of frames. Our deepest values and most enduring truths were "framed" by our "Framers." To protect those values and those truths requires the right framing. And to remind the public of those values and truths requires repeating over and over how the Framers framed our form of government, and why it matters today. Framing is a matter of life and death — and the survival of our democracy.

Many public critics of the Iraq occupation have accused the Democrats of cowardice, of weakness, of "caving in" — even of "betraying" the American people who voted for withdrawal from Iraq. But that is too easy a judgment. The result was determined in January 2007 when they allowed the president to reframe the Constitution.

The good news is that the present spending authorization is for "only" until September. We have until then to get the Framers' framing right. By "we," we don't mean just those in Congress, or those on the blogs. We mean the progressive grassroots throughout the country. We all need to act, and we can!

But before discussing actions, it is important to recognize other framing mistakes that need to be avoided.

Using the term "war." Literally, a war is a battle between two armies over territorial control. It is over when one army defeats the other. That happened in May, 2003, with the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime and when President Bush stood on that battleship under the "Mission Accomplished" banner. At that point an "occupation" began — an "occupation" of a country engaged in ethnic and religious conflict. Bush is technically no longer a war president; he is an occupation president. "War" has given the president a chance to claim extraordinary powers.

There are other terms to use: occupation, military engagement, military operation, and so on. If Senator Jim Webb can use the term "occupation," as he did in his campaign, so can every other elected official.

"The power of the purse." Controlling appropriation is a constitutional duty. Referring to this duty with such a dismissive term promotes the idea that the president sets the mission and the job of Congress is just a cashier.

"Providing a check on presidential power." This sounds like Congress is just getting in the way, keeping the president from exercising his legitimate authority.

"Micromanaging the war," "overriding the commanders in the field." Congressional leaders should never let the president get away with such claims. Congress sets the overall policy agenda. The job of the commander-in-chief is to carry out that agenda, making sure that the commanders in the field are serving the Congressional mission. Say this over and over.

Permitting the Betrayal Myth: America, as a moral country with a strong military, should defeat all enemies. If America does lose a war, it is a result of too little support at home. In other words, but for betrayal, our good intentions and military might would win all conflicts. If the U.S. loses, the opponents of the military operation at home are to blame for "not supporting our troops," and for "undermining their morale."Progressives must point out that it is the president, with an enabling Congress, who commenced a foolhardy adventure with no clear exit strategy or way to "win." That same president has refused to properly prepare or adequately equip soldiers — and now he is blaming Congress. When Congress passed a supplemental spending bill with reasonable timetables attached, he refused it.

The betrayer is the president.

Say it over and over: The president has betrayed our troops and the nation.

Allowing the question to be asked whether "Congress has a constitutional duty to fully fund troops during wartime." It is Congress that determines what "wartime" is.T

hat is its Constitutional duty. The president does not have the Constitutional authority to declare whether we are at war. Only Congress has that authority, and it can only exercise it for at most two years at a time.The president wants the country to believe that he is the soldier's protector and Congress is the villain. This is a cynical, revisionist narrative. The storyline that must be maintained casts Congress as the helper of heroic troops, the president as the false-hero or villain who sent them into harm's way inadequately armed and unprotected on a mission based upon lies. It is Bush who, with his veto, stood in the way of providing the troops with the funding they need. Progressives have missed this framing opportunity.

The continued abdication of the proper Constitutional role for Congress comes from the fear of blame for military casualties. Opponents of the Iraq occupation are concerned, and rightly so, that the Bush administration will frame killed or wounded soldiers as victims of Democratic mismanagement or partisan politicking. It is a fair guess that Democratic consultants are fretting that, if the Democratic Congress takes control of setting the mission in Iraq, Bush will lift the blackout on news coverage of returning injured and dead U.S. soldiers, using them as props in allegations that the casualties are the fault of "politicians." Progressives must publicly confront the president about this as they reclaim their Constitutional power, derailing any attempt to shift responsibility.

Those are the pitfalls to be avoided. Now it is time to plan a course of unified grassroots action.

ACTION: Write to your Congresspersons and Senators and ask them to frame their Constitutional role as the Framers did. We suggest that you raise the following issues:

The Constitution provides Congress with the power to define the military agenda, including troop re-deployment and the establishment of timetables.

The role of the president is to carry out the agenda defined by Congress.

Congress must continuously assert its Constitutional power and responsibility.

Congress must not give in to the betrayal myth. The president was offered funding with timetables but he turned it down — he is the betrayer.

Congress must frame the matter as an issue of Constitutional authority

Congress must place the safety of the troops directly in the hands of the commander-in-chief, whose job is to carry out the agenda given by Congress, which includes protecting the safety of our troops.

Don't just write to your Congressperson. Write to the editors of your local newspapers. Flood the email boxes of the television and radio news shows, as well as national magazines. Send this call for action to your email lists. And write to progressive activist organizations like MoveOn, Democracy for America, and so on, to ask their memberships to support this action.

And don't do it just once. Repetition is the key to success. Keep it up until the next funding vote in September.

Research Assistant Christina M. Smith contributed to this report.

(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.

America the Ignorant

So true, so true. The dumbing down of America, at least since 1980, has been stunningly successful.

With freedom comes responsibility. One would think that would be obvious, but perhaps not, if there are no civics classes in which young Americans are taught this, and the parents are also ignorant of basic government and American history.

I remember, well, how African Americans fought, were beaten in the streets, jailed and even murdered for the right to vote, and yet the majority of Americans don't bother to educate themselves on the issues and exercise that precious right every two years.

Most American can tell you who the judges are on American Idol, but cannot name three members of the supreme court, let alone who nominated them or their judicial philosophies.

The simple fact is, we no longer have a Democracy. American ignorance is a huge part of the reason why we don't? Establishing Democracy again will take knowledge and will, both of which are in frighteningly short supply.

Would a knowledgeable citizen sit still for the amount of control that wealthy, powerful corporations have over our political process, not to mention our daily lives. I seriously doubt it.

Would a knowledgeable citizen sit still for having an administration run a protection racket on them, while employing every tool of deception and manipulation available to gain support for an illegal, immoral and unjust war? Hell No. Who wants to be held responsible by the rest of the global community for the mother of all war crimes, a war of aggression.

Any citizen who genuinely cares about regaining their Democratic Republic needs to be teaching others about what's happened in this country; what went so terribly wrong. He or she would also be demanding, with every breath, public funding for campaigns and paper ballots.

And they would be demanding the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, for treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors. Until that is done, our nation remains in great peril..

You Say You Want A Revolution?

You Say You Want A Revolution?
by Jeffrey Abelson

The new precinct captains of cyberspace are in perpetual high five mode these days over the key role the Internet is playing in the 2008 presidential campaigns. And understandably so, as websites, blogs, and YouTube videos have become a powerful two-way megaphone for candidates and voters alike. And that's exciting. And it's becoming more so on a daily basis for a certain subset of politically engaged, web-savvy citizens.

But outside the new media choir, the vast majority of Americans still sing themselves to sleep.

Civic apathy runs rampant in the home of the brave, and it's smothering our democracy. Not just in terms of low voter turnout, but in terms of the quality of thought that goes into the act of voting -- and the degree of disengagement in between elections. The result is a massive level of ignorance about the big issues, and the policies that allegedly address them. And if that purple haze doesn't lift soon, there'll be no way to keep this nation healthy and thriving -- regardless of who the next president is, or which party controls Congress.

America faces a litany of increasingly complex crises. That was true even before terrorism and climate change emerged to threaten us to the core. But breakthrough solutions are few and far between. Power swings left, then right, then back again -- but our chronic problems just sit and fester. Yet every four years, we act like hypnotized sheep in our self-deluded search for a new savior to help unravel this mess. As if we, the people, have no greater responsibility in the matter.

But we do. And we must. Because in this day and age, no president or party can be wise enough, on their own, to solve America's many problems. And that's when they're acting virtuously. Which is not easy in the environment we place them in. For even well-intentioned politicians become corrupted or stymied by the special interests that fill the power vacuum created by a nation of absentee civic landlords.

Will we wait for another September 11 to jolt us out of our stultifying civic slumber? Or is there some other way we can be inspired to invest in a radical upgrade of the operating system of democracy?

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know, We all want to change the world- Lennon/McCartney --

Before you change a thing, you need to be able to identify it.

We all know the sad story about how many of our fellow Americans thought (probably still think) that Saddam and Osama were fraternity brothers, and other astonishing examples of ignorance about current events and national affairs -- but consider, and really reflect on, these less sensational but equally frightening results of recent surveys assessing only rudimentary knowledge levels:-

42% of all Americans failed to name all 3 branches of government. Forty-two percent!

More than half don't know how many U.S. Senators we have.-More citizens can name "American Idol" judges than can name the 1st Amendment rights.

31% of us don't know the name of the Vice President. Of this Vice President!

America is 49th in the world in literacy. How is that possible?

65% of 12th graders are not proficient in reading. Think about the implications.-31 million adults have trouble reading basic prose. Forget about analyzing the news.

Report cards like these are just incredible in a nation that claims to value education so highly. And let's not even get into foreign affairs. Told that Shia was one key Muslim group in Iraq, 68% of us couldn't name Sunni as the other. But, hey, we support the troops!

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was, and never will be."-- Thomas Jefferson --

The latest exclamation point on this national embarrassment comes in a new survey by the Pew Research Center which says that the average American's knowledge of national and international affairs is not only dismal, but that it hasn't improved one iota in the twenty years since the emergence of 24-hour cable news and the Internet. This is true for all age groups, though it appears that young people know the least. No surprise there, as civics education in our schools has been in free fall for a long time. And that insanity clearly needs to be healed in a hurry. But even if that were achieved tomorrow, it'll be 20-30 years before those kids are running the society. Can we afford to wait that long?

Making matters even worse for American democracy is that even among the well-educated, too many fail to set aside enough time every day to stay fully up to speed on matters of national import.We're not just in Kansas anymore.

You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know, We all want to change the world"

We the snoozers need a powerful and sustained wake-up call -- to lead us to a new understanding that our civic responsibility goes well beyond the simple act of voting -- especially if that vote is influenced by little more than spin-tested slogans oozing out of emotionally manipulative TV spots.

We need to be encouraged to accept the fact that 21st century citizenship requires a dedication to keeping oneself fully informed, and to conscientiously monitoring the performance of those elected to manage our collective affairs. And these tasks need to be done on a near daily basis. Otherwise we can kiss this thing goodbye -- and have no one to blame but ourselves.

But who will dare speak to the country like that? You sure won't see any pols or pundits or mainstream news figures poking their fingers in the eye of the voter/viewer/consumer. And the soapbox is too often a counter-productive platform for music and movie stars of conscience.There's only one sector of influence that can immediately pick up the torch from America's founding revolutionaries -- and that's the political blogosphere -- if they would choose to use their distributed power and collaborative intelligence to help spark a comprehensive civic renewal campaign. A ruggedly non-partisan, long term effort to virally infect all key nodes of the culture -- the schools, the churches, the workplace, the dinner table, the social networks, and by all means the mainstream news and entertainment media.

The Internet is the enabling tool. Potentially, a miracle tool. But if we really want a revolution, then we need a message worthy of the medium. A bottom-up, culture-wide, multi-generational message that urges a new definition of patriotism -- and what it means to be a responsible citizen in these trying times.

A compelling and soulful message that helps ordinary Americans recognize that it's in their own self-interest to stay informed and engaged -- because that's how we ultimately learn how to shape national priorities, rather than be shaped by them.In a recent speech at Occidental College, Bill Moyers remarked that when Woodrow Wilson spoke of democracy releasing the energies of every human being, "he was declaring that we cannot leave our destiny to politicians, elites, and experts; either we take democracy into our own hands, or others will take democracy from us."But before we take it back, we first need to get a lot smarter about how to run it.

Because there are no white knights coming to save us. We really must retire that fantasy once and for all.Yes, elections matter. Subpoena power will soon testify to that. And we surely cannot survive another disaster-in-chief. So working passionately to elect your preferred candidates is clearly noble and necessary. But on a big picture level, we need to focus not just on winning elections -- but on winning back the very idea of America -- without which we're lost no matter who sits in the Oval Office, or on Capitol Hill.

You tell me it's the institution, Well, you know, You'd better free your mind instead"

There's only one way we're going to keep the American dream alive for future generations. We-the-peeps have to step up. Commit an hour or more a day to reading serious newspapers, magazines, blogs, and websites. Everybody. Every day. And that's just for starters.Idealistic? Yes. But what's the alternative? More zero sum game, ping-pong politics-as-usual? More "trust us pros to run things?" How's that been working out for us lately?Something revolutionary needs to happen. And it needs to rise from the roots -- from the virtual to the real world. From the Self to the Governing.

"The future does not belong to those who are content with today, apathetic toward common problems and their fellow man alike, timid and fearful in the face of bold projects and new ideas. Rather, it will belong to those who can blend passion, reason and courage in a personal commitment to the great enterprises and ideals of American society."-- Robert F. Kennedy --

We've reached a point where it's no longer enough for disgruntled voters to simply criticize or complain about politicians, or the media, or big business and their arm-twisting lobbyists who thrive only because the owners of America aren't minding the store. It's time to flip the mirror around -- to offer some long overdue constructive criticism of ourselves -- to try to inspire ourselves to reclaim our roles as true citizen patriots.And the internet is where that conversation can and should start -- where the seed can be planted, where the meme can be manufactured.

"You say you've got a real . Well, you know, We'd all love to see the plan"

It's axiomatic. If we want wiser and more effective government, we need wiser and more effective citizens. It's a simple syllogism for a self-governing society, but pols and pundits won't discuss it.

Who will then?

Political bloggers are fearless, and their voices are being heard and echoed by more and more of the mainstream press, and in turn the general public. So imagine what might happen if -- between now and November 2008 -- the netroots were to use their increasingly loud megaphone, and almost limitless creativity, to help ignite a sea to shining sea conversation among the American people. By the people. For the people.

Imagine what might happen if masses of bloggers and videomakers and other new-media opinion shapers put down their partisan swords for a few minutes each day, and helped launch a truly revolutionary civic renewal campaign worthy of our founding ideals. And not just for this election, but ongoing.

Want to use the wisdom of the crowd? Use it to challenge -- not just those running for president -- or those running major news outlets -- but also challenge us, the people. The citizen slackers. Help us connect the dots -- between rights and responsibilities -- between the individual and the collective -- between civic apathy and political corruption, and all that flows from that. Help us make all the critical connections you can think of to demonstrate that the personal is political. Never more so than today.

Blog about it. Make an endless stream of YouTube videos about it. Start a "Take The Pledge" campaign ("I pledge allegiance to the idea that I will take my job as a citizen seriously"). In short, become a tidal wave of Tom Paines -- encouraging your audience to not only adopt a new citizenship manifesto, but to fire up their friends and family as well. Reverse the curse of civic apathy and ignorance. That’s a revolution worthy of the word. A revolution of the American mind.

"It just isn’t worthy of us, is it Toby? (No, sir). It isn’t worthy of us, it isn’t worthy of America. It isn’t worthy of a great nation. We’re gonna write a new book, right here, right now, this very moment today.You know what? Break’s over."-- Aaron Sorkin/"The West Wing" --

(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

Clinton, Obama defend votes on war bill - Yahoo! News

The Gooper attacks on Clinton and Obama ring terribly hollow. They were so predictable, I could have stated, word for word, what was said, before it was said.

The Goopers are going down in flames.

Clinton, Obama defend votes on war bill - Yahoo! News:

MASON CITY, Iowa - Democrats

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record) forcefully defended their votes against paying for the
Iraq war as the top Republican presidential candidates angrily accused the two of weakness on national security.

Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., assailed his Democratic foes for embracing 'the policy of surrender,' while Mitt Romney said the two showed a willingness to 'abandon principle in favor of political positioning.' Rudy Giuliani argued both 'flip-flopped' and said: 'They've gone from an anti-war position to an anti-military, anti-troops position.'

Campaigning in Iowa, Clinton argued that she backs U.S. troops but it was time to stand firm as the four-year-old war rages on.

Cheney trying to undercut Bush on Iran

Holy Crap!

We may well be facing the worst constitutional crisis in our history.

The Blue State: Cheney trying to undercut Bush on Iran:

"Multiple sources have reported that a senior aide on Vice President Cheney's national security team has been meeting with policy hands of the American Enterprise Institute, one other think tank, and more than one national security consulting house and explicitly stating that Vice President Cheney does not support President Bush's tack towards Condoleezza Rice's diplomatic efforts and fears that the President is taking diplomacy with Iran too seriously.

This White House official has stated to several Washington insiders that Cheney is planning to deploy an 'end run strategy' around the President if he and his team lose the policy argument.

The thinking on Cheney's team is to collude with Israel, nudging Israel at some key moment in the ongoing standoff between Iran's nuclear activities and international frustration over this to mount a small-scale conventional strike against Natanz using cruise missiles (i.e., not ballistic missiles).

Friday, May 25, 2007

A Disaster In The Making: Gang-bangers in Iraq.

...and before any neanderthal says, "maybe we should send our "baddest" to Iraq," let me remind you that these clowns will be coming home trained, with our tax dollars, in the very latest in urban warfare.

Besides, aren't we supposed to be liberating the Iraqis?

Gangs of Iraq

Desperate to shore up its flagging ranks, the military is quietly enlisting thousands of active gang members and shipping them to Iraq. Will a brutal murder finally wake up the Pentagon?

By Seamus McGraw

He was groggy, thirsty, and in terrible pain. His bowels and kidneys felt like they were about to explode. Faint bruises, some the size of a soldier's fist, others the size of a military-issue combat boot, were already forming on Sergeant Juwan Johnson's skin. A trickle of blood oozed from the corner of his mouth.

It was almost a miracle he was able to stand, some of the soldiers who were with him that night would later recall. They were amazed he still had the blue bandanna clutched tightly in his fist.
Things had gotten out of hand.

A ghost army of gangbangers presents a terrifying challenge for the military. It is "setting the stage for a disaster," says one longtime military advisor.

Only a few guys were supposed to be beating him—maybe three or four, definitely no more than six. They were men Johnson knew and trusted, soldiers he had fought with in Iraq. The beating was only supposed to go on for a minute or so. After all, they weren't trying to kill him. They were trying to make him one of their own.

All he had to do was hold onto the blue rag and silently suffer through the slaps and kicks and punches. When it was over, he would become an official member of the Gangster Disciples, a man with connections all over the United States. Hell, all over the world.

But something had gone awry on that summer night at the Kaiserslautern Army Base in Germany. It seemed like everybody in that secluded pavilion, a grill house not far from the barracks, had taken turns pummeling the small young sergeant from Baltimore. In the frenzy, no one even knew for sure how long the assault had lasted.


(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 Bushites Were Warned About Iraq

They were warned about 9/11 as well, time and time again.

It's hard to believe that anyone is a stupid as these people seem to be. But either they are that stupid, or they knew and, as in the instance of 9/11 did nothing, and in the nightmare of Iraq went ahead with the invasion against all advice.

Did they want a war for profit?. Because they flat got one. That is all that has been accomplished. portfolios got fatter and we became more despised the world over.

Can anyone really be as stupid as the Bushites seem to be, given all we know?

Senate Report Says U.S. Was Warned Iraq Invasion Could Help Iran, al Qaeda
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- U.S. intelligence agencies warned senior members of the Bush administration in early 2003 that invading Iraq could create internal conflict that would give Iran and al Qaeda new opportunities to expand their influence, according to an upcoming Senate report.
Officials familiar with the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation also say analysts warned against U.S. domination in the region, which could increase extremist recruiting. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the report's declassification is not finished. It could be made public as soon as this week.

The committee also found that the warnings predicting what would happen after ...

(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.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Giuliani is more of a crook that America can afford

From WMR

May 24, 2007 -- Yesterday, we reported on Bracewell & Giuliani's involvement in the Washington Madam case in representing one of the principals who was a client of Pamela Martin & Associates.

Our sources in Houston have informed us that Bracewell & Giuliani's previous incarnation, Bracewell & Patterson, represented George H. W. Bush's bank, First International/InterFirst of Houston. Our Houston sources also tell us that Carol S. Vance, the Harris County District Attorney who investigated George W. Bush's cocaine bust in Houston in 1972, became a partner at Bracewell & Patterson after he opted no to indict and prosecute Bush for cocaine possession.

George H. W. Bush flew from New York, where he was serving as U.S. ambassador to the UN, to Houston to ensure that the charges against his son were dropped and the incident buried.
Vance, now retired from the firm, is heavily involved in the Christian Right's proselytizing efforts in the Texas prison system. In representing First International/InterFirst Bank, Bracewell & Patterson helped shield Bush-Bin Laden business dealings and the flow of significant amounts of Saudi money into Bush family coffers from regulatory agencies and public scrutiny.

(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.

Al Gore: Why We Have All Gone Insane

....or why we might, any second.

AlterNet: Al Gore's New Book Examines 'The Assault on Reason':

"In his new book, Al Gore explores why reason, logic and truth seem to play a sharply diminished role in the way America now makes important decisions and what we can do to change that."

Pessimism sweeps America

Right-on. I cannot remember a time in my 58 years when the collective American spirit has been so far down, across the board.

It's about a lot more than the Iraq war, though that war symbolizes, else nothing else could everything that is wrong with this administration, our government, in general and our campaign/election process. in particular.

It's time for a new beginning...a revolution...hopefully a non-violent one; because if it errupts in violence, we will only have to repeat this god-awful nightmare sometime in the future.

Pessimism sweeps America | Capitol Hill Blue:

It's gloomy out there. Men and women, whites and minorities — all are feeling a war-weary pessimism about the country seldom shared by so many people.

Only 25 percent of those surveyed say things in the U.S. are going in the right direction, according to an AP-Ipsos poll this month. That is about the lowest level of satisfaction detected since the survey started in December 2003.

Rarely have longer-running polls found such a rate since the even gloomier days of 1992 ahead of the first President Bush's re-election loss to Democrat Bill Clinton.

The current glumness is widely blamed on public discontent with the war in Iraq and with President Bush. It is striking for how widespread the mood is among different groups of people.

Isn't it against the law.... pay protection money?

Well, we are doing it, every time we pay taxes.

Protecting America | Capitol Hill Blue:

It is often the case that those who claim to be protecting our nation are the very most dangerous threats to the people and the principles upon which this nation was founded. Among the greatest of those threats are fundamentalism and globalism.

There is no political will to confront either so what we hear about are false issues and what we get instead of leadership is posturing and platitudes.
With little public discussion or awareness, Democratic leadership has announced an agreement about upcoming trade negotiations without bothering to let any of us in on the contents of that agreement. What is really going on is that the Democrats are positioning themselves to get an infusion of cash for the elections of 2008 from big business just as the Republicans have done during their return to power in the past 15 years.

Goodling: A Classic Authoritarian Follower-type

This article, written before Goodlings testimony, yesterday, describes an authoritarian follower-type person, who is easily led by the authority she worships, namely George W. Bush, and who will not hestitate to break laws for the authority.

They are crusading-crackpots and they pose a far greater danger to our nation and our constitution than al Qaeda could ever dream of posing.

We have seen this before in American government, but never to this degree.

The terrifying part is, there have been hundreds of people of Goodlings background (like Messiah College) hired into career positions in various government agencies.

Officials Describe Interference by Former Gonzales Aide
By Dan Eggen and Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, May 23, 2007; A04

When Jeffrey A. Taylor, interim U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, wanted to hire a new career prosecutor last fall, he had to run the idea past Monica M. Goodling, then a 33-year-old aide to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales.

The candidate was Seth Adam Meinero, a Howard University law school graduate who had worked on civil rights cases at the Environmental Protection Agency and had served as a special assistant prosecutor in Taylor's office.

Goodling stalled the hiring, saying that Meinero was too "liberal" for the nonpolitical position, said according to two sources familiar with the dispute.

The tussle over Meinero, who was eventually hired at Taylor's insistence, led to a Justice Department investigation of whether Goodling improperly weighed political affiliation when reviewing applicants for rank-and-file prosecutor jobs, the sources said.

A 1999 graduate of Regent University law school in Virginia Beach with six months of prosecutorial experience, Goodling was among a small coterie of young aides to Gonzales who were remarkable for their inexperience and autonomy in deciding the fates of seasoned Justice Department lawyers, according to current and former officials who worked with the group.

She worked closely last year with D. Kyle Sampson, then the attorney general's chief of staff, sifting through lists of U.S. attorneys considered for removal, according to congressional interviews and Justice Department documents released to the public. Goodling also was central to the department's stumbling efforts to defend its handling of the firings of nine prosecutors, at times by attacking their reputations. She resigned in April.

Goodling is scheduled to testify today before the House Judiciary Committee about the firings, under an offer of immunity.

"All I ever wanted to do was serve this president, this administration, this department," Goodling tearfully told a senior Justice official shortly before she quit, according to a transcript of his interview released by the House committee last night.

Goodling's attorney, who has accused Democratic lawmakers of having already made up their minds about his client's role, did not return e-mail and telephone messages left at his office yesterday.

Goodling had been a divisive figure at the Justice Department since she arrived in early 2002, gaining a reputation for having a mercurial temperament and being prickly toward career employees, said numerous current and former officials who worked with her.

Goodling and Sampson "knew politics, not law," said Bruce Fein, a senior Justice official during the Reagan administration. "This extent [of] neophytes running the department is highly irregular."

Goodling started at Justice in a newly created position as senior counsel to the head of the public affairs office.

Nearly everyone who worked with her agreed that she was a tireless employee who often worked late into the night, and said she had deep loyalty to President Bush and his administration.

"She was very hardworking, she was dedicated, she was professional," said one former Justice official who worked closely with Goodling. "She is the type of person who is good at carrying out tasks. She was dependable."

In 2004, Goodling spent six months in the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of Virginia, in a special program designed to give Justice employees and other government lawyers a chance to gain courtroom experience.

Reviews of her tenure there are mixed. Three current or former Justice officials said she quickly developed a reputation for having an antagonistic and sharply ideological style. Others said she carried out her responsibilities professionally.

Goodling's next stop was as deputy director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, which oversees the department's 93 chief prosecutors. In April 2006, she began working for Gonzales, who granted her and Sampson broad powers to make personnel choices and other major decisions, according to officials and documents.

E-mails and other documents show that Goodling, who was also Justice's liaison to the White House, played a central role in arranging for the appointment of Tim Griffin, a former Republican National Committee official and aide to presidential adviser Karl Rove, as the U.S. attorney in Little Rock.

Goodling also met last summer with two New Mexico Republicans who complained about then-U.S. Attorney David C. Iglesias, who was later fired. In another case, she single-handedly blocked the dismissal of a North Carolina prosecutor who for more than a year had been on the list of candidates to be fired.

The dispute with Taylor came last fall, when Taylor heard that Goodling was thwarting his effort to hire Meinero, sources said.

Taylor complained to Goodling directly, according to two sources who were told about the conversation, saying that a U.S. attorney's office hires all kinds of people. Taylor also complained to Sampson, who was a friend and eventually gave Taylor the authority to bypass Goodling.

Taylor mentioned the experience to U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg of Alexandria, the sources said. After Rosenberg became Gonzales's temporary chief of staff following Sampson's resignation, he asked the department's inspector general to look into Taylor's allegations, they added.

Before she and Sampson resigned, Goodling wrote a series of memos summing up the longtime U.S. attorneys she helped to fire. She said that Iglesias was "in over his head," that Carol C. Lam of San Diego showed "a failure to perform" and that Arizona's Paul K. Charlton was guilty of "repeated instances of insubordination."

Yet Goodling's final list, assembled as "talking points" for Congress and the media, also noted that nearly every fired prosecutor had received stellar reviews from Justice Department evaluators.

Goodling's public troubles began in mid-March, when Sampson disclosed to Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty and others that the plan to fire the U.S. attorneys had begun more than two years earlier in the White House, contrary to what McNulty and another official had testified to Congress.

He and Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General William E. Moschella were livid, believing that Goodling and Sampson had misled them during preparations for the testimony, according to new transcripts released yesterday by the House Judiciary Committee.

"They were dead to him," Justice official David Margolis said, referring to Moschella. "They had burned their bridges with him."

Margolis said that Goodling was "shaken to her core" by the controversy and that she sobbed for "30 to 45 minutes" during a meeting in his office shortly before she resigned.

"I knew she must think that everything was unraveling," he said. "And, you know, she was right about that."

Staff writers Amy Goldstein and Jerry Markon contributed to this report.

(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.

What Every American Should Know About Who's Really Running America (Paperback)

It's the freakin' greed, Stupid!

BuzzFlash Review: What Every American Should Know About Who's Really Running America (Paperback):

We'll begin with Rossi's introductory quote, because BuzzFlash readers will get the picture immediately: 'This book may break your heart, because this book is about a beautiful idea that has gone tragically wrong, or so it certainly appears at the moment. It's about the government of the United States of America, and what the hell has happened to it. This is about how thugs took over the steering wheel of our country -- but they didn't yank it by force, they won it with money. This is a book about how our government has been corroded inside and out.'

When we think about what we have learned as we mark our seventh anniversary of what has now become the BuzzFlash Internet News Network, we've come to take the long view. A large enough segment of individuals and corporations have become outrageously wealthy and solely interested in preserving their financial power through political means. The electoral and legislative system has become corrupted by money. War and death are just collateral damage in the rush for a greedy, gluttonous wealth -- and feeling that as the sole remaining superpower, America has the right to plunder the world.

Congress seeks missing billions in Iraq

They might start their search in Pakistan, where al Qaeda has regained their financial health, with an influx of American dollars from Iraq! / In depth - Congress seeks missing billions in Iraq:

Members of Congress dem­anded on Tuesday that the Bush administration explain how billions of dollars of US taxpayers’ money had gone missing in Iraq in what they called a disastrous effort to rebuild the country.

Responding to the latest report by Stuart Bowen, the special inspector-general for Iraq reconstruction, members of the House foreign relations committee also directed much of their criticism at the Iraqi coalition government, venting their frustration with corruption.

“It is simply outrageous that we are mired in the same mud of incompetence that we got stuck in last year and the year before that. But knowing the administration’s abysmal track record on Iraq reconstruction planning, this is no surprise,” Tom Lantos, the committee’s Democratic chairman, said.

Iraq was losing perhaps $5bn (€3.7bn, £2.5bn) a year through corruption, he said.

What the Democratic Blank Check on Iraq Means

If the Democrats vote for this nauseating supplemental, they own this fucking war right along with the Murder Monkey and his Dick and they can expect consequences.

WorkingForChange: What the Democratic Blank Check on Iraq Means

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Monica. Monica....

Goodling, like many before her, claims to have had no real dealings with "the list."

NOBODY, did it.?

Just try impeaching "nobody!" Ain't gonna be an easy task, brother blue.

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

Light Blogging Today

Light blogging today, as we are invoved in reasearch project, so gnaw on the post below.

That should keep you busy and up nights.

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

Be Very Afraid......

Is this Junior's "Enabling Act?"

Might as well get everything in order for the next attack.

National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive
White House News



Subject: National Continuity Policy


(1) This directive establishes a comprehensive national policy on the continuity of Federal Government structures and operations and a single National Continuity Coordinator responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of Federal continuity policies. This policy establishes "National Essential Functions," prescribes continuity requirements for all executive departments and agencies, and provides guidance for State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector organizations in order to ensure a comprehensive and integrated national continuity program that will enhance the credibility of our national security posture and enable a more rapid and effective response to and recovery from a national emergency.

(2) In this directive:

(a) "Category" refers to the categories of executive departments and agencies listed in Annex A to this directive;

(b) "Catastrophic Emergency" means any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions;

(c) "Continuity of Government," or "COG," means a coordinated effort within the Federal Government's executive branch to ensure that National Essential Functions continue to be performed during a Catastrophic Emergency;

(d) "Continuity of Operations," or "COOP," means an effort within individual executive departments and agencies to ensure that Primary Mission-Essential Functions continue to be performed during a wide range of emergencies, including localized acts of nature, accidents, and technological or attack-related emergencies;

(e) "Enduring Constitutional Government," or "ECG," means a cooperative effort among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal Government, coordinated by the President, as a matter of comity with respect to the legislative and judicial branches and with proper respect for the constitutional separation of powers among the branches, to preserve the constitutional framework under which the Nation is governed and the capability of all three branches of government to execute constitutional responsibilities and provide for orderly succession, appropriate transition of leadership, and interoperability and support of the National Essential Functions during a catastrophic emergency;

(f) "Executive Departments and Agencies" means the executive departments enumerated in 5 U.S.C. 101, independent establishments as defined by 5 U.S.C. 104(1), Government corporations as defined by 5 U.S.C. 103(1), and the United States Postal Service;

(g) "Government Functions" means the collective functions of the heads of executive departments and agencies as defined by statute, regulation, presidential direction, or other legal authority, and the functions of the legislative and judicial branches;

(h) "National Essential Functions," or "NEFs," means that subset of Government Functions that are necessary to lead and sustain the Nation during a catastrophic emergency and that, therefore, must be supported through COOP and COG capabilities; and

(i) "Primary Mission Essential Functions," or "PMEFs," means those Government Functions that must be performed in order to support or implement the performance of NEFs before, during, and in the aftermath of an emergency.

(3) It is the policy of the United States to maintain a comprehensive and effective continuity capability composed of Continuity of Operations and Continuity of Government programs in order to ensure the preservation of our form of government under the Constitution and the continuing performance of National Essential Functions under all conditions.
Implementation Actions

(4) Continuity requirements shall be incorporated into daily operations of all executive departments and agencies. As a result of the asymmetric threat environment, adequate warning of potential emergencies that could pose a significant risk to the homeland might not be available, and therefore all continuity planning shall be based on the assumption that no such warning will be received. Emphasis will be placed upon geographic dispersion of leadership, staff, and infrastructure in order to increase survivability and maintain uninterrupted Government Functions. Risk management principles shall be applied to ensure that appropriate operational readiness decisions are based on the probability of an attack or other incident and its consequences.

(5) The following NEFs are the foundation for all continuity programs and capabilities and represent the overarching responsibilities of the Federal Government to lead and sustain the Nation during a crisis, and therefore sustaining the following NEFs shall be the primary focus of
the Federal Government leadership during and in the aftermath of an emergency that adversely affects the performance of Government Functions:

(a) Ensuring the continued functioning of our form of government under the Constitution, including the functioning of the three separate branches of government;

(b) Providing leadership visible to the Nation and the world and maintaining the trust and confidence of the American people;

(c) Defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and preventing or interdicting attacks against the United States or its people, property, or interests;

(d) Maintaining and fostering effective relationships with foreign nations;

(e) Protecting against threats to the homeland and bringing to justice perpetrators of crimes or attacks against the United States or its people, property, or interests;

(f) Providing rapid and effective response to and recovery from the domestic consequences of an attack or other incident;

(g) Protecting and stabilizing the Nation's economy and ensuring public confidence in its financial systems; and

(h) Providing for critical Federal Government services that address the national health, safety, and welfare needs of the United States.

(6) The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government. In order to advise and assist the President in that function, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (APHS/CT) is hereby designated as the National Continuity Coordinator. The National Continuity Coordinator, in coordination with the Assistant to the President for National

Security Affairs (APNSA), without exercising directive authority, shall coordinate the development and implementation of continuity policy for executive departments and agencies. The Continuity Policy Coordination Committee (CPCC), chaired by a Senior Director from the Homeland Security Council staff, designated by the National Continuity Coordinator, shall be the main day-to-day forum for such policy coordination.

(7) For continuity purposes, each executive department and agency is assigned to a category in accordance with the nature and characteristics of its national security roles and
responsibilities in support of the Federal Government's ability to sustain the NEFs. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall serve as the President's lead agent for coordinating overall
continuity operations and activities of executive departments and agencies, and in such role shall perform the responsibilities set forth for the Secretary in sections 10 and 16 of this directive.

(8) The National Continuity Coordinator, in consultation with the heads of appropriate executive departments and agencies, will lead the development of a National Continuity Implementation Plan (Plan), which shall include prioritized goals and objectives, a concept of operations, performance metrics by which to measure continuity readiness, procedures for continuity and incident management activities, and clear direction to executive department and agency continuity coordinators, as well as guidance to promote interoperability of Federal Government continuity programs and procedures with State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure, as appropriate. The Plan shall be submitted to the President for approval not later than 90 days after the date of this directive.

(9) Recognizing that each branch of the Federal Government is responsible for its own continuity programs, an official designated by the Chief of Staff to the President shall ensure that the executive branch's COOP and COG policies in support of ECG efforts are appropriately coordinated with those of the legislative and judicial branches in order to ensure interoperability and allocate national assets efficiently to maintain a functioning Federal Government.

(10) Federal Government COOP, COG, and ECG plans and operations shall be appropriately integrated with the emergency plans and capabilities of State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure, as appropriate, in order to promote interoperability and to prevent redundancies and conflicting lines of authority. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall coordinate the integration of Federal continuity plans and operations with State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure, as appropriate, in order to provide for the delivery of essential services during an emergency.

(11) Continuity requirements for the Executive Office of the President (EOP) and executive departments and agencies shall include the following:

(a) The continuation of the performance of PMEFs during any emergency must be for a period up to 30 days or until normal operations can be resumed, and the capability to be fully operational at alternate sites as soon as possible after the occurrence of an emergency, but not later than 12 hours after COOP activation;

(b) Succession orders and pre-planned devolution of authorities that ensure the emergency delegation of authority must be planned and documented in advance in accordance with applicable law;

(c) Vital resources, facilities, and records must be safeguarded, and official access to them must be provided;

(d) Provision must be made for the acquisition of the resources necessary for continuity operations on an emergency basis;

(e) Provision must be made for the availability and redundancy of critical communications capabilities at alternate sites in order to support connectivity between
and among key government leadership, internal elements, other executive departments and agencies, critical partners, and the public;

(f) Provision must be made for reconstitution capabilities that allow for recovery from a catastrophic emergency and resumption of normal operations; and

(g) Provision must be made for the identification, training, and preparedness of personnel capable of relocating to alternate facilities to support the continuation of the performance of PMEFs.

(12) In order to provide a coordinated response to escalating threat levels or actual emergencies, the Continuity of Government Readiness Conditions (COGCON) system establishes executive branch continuity program readiness levels, focusing
on possible threats to the National Capital Region. The President will determine and issue the COGCON Level. Executive departments and agencies shall comply with the requirements and
assigned responsibilities under the COGCON program. During COOP activation, executive departments and agencies shall report their readiness status to the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Secretary's designee.

(13) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall:

(a) Conduct an annual assessment of executive department and agency continuity funding requests and performance data that are submitted by executive departments and agencies as part of the annual budget request process, in order to monitor progress in the implementation of the Plan and the execution of continuity budgets;

(b) In coordination with the National Continuity Coordinator, issue annual continuity planning guidance for the development of continuity budget requests; and

(c) Ensure that heads of executive departments and agencies prioritize budget resources for continuity capabilities, consistent with this directive.

(14) The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall:

(a) Define and issue minimum requirements for continuity communications for executive departments and agencies, in consultation with the APHS/CT, the APNSA, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the Chief of Staff to the President;

(b) Establish requirements for, and monitor the development, implementation, and maintenance of, a comprehensive communications architecture to integrate continuity components, in consultation with the APHS/CT, the APNSA, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the Chief of Staff to the President; and

(c) Review quarterly and annual assessments of continuity communications capabilities, as prepared pursuant to section 16(d) of this directive or otherwise, and report the results and recommended remedial actions to the National Continuity Coordinator.

(15) An official designated by the Chief of Staff to the President shall:

(a) Advise the President, the Chief of Staff to the President, the APHS/CT, and the APNSA on COGCON operational execution options; and

(b) Consult with the Secretary of Homeland Security in order to ensure synchronization and integration of continuity activities among the four categories of executive departments and agencies.

(16) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall:

(a) Coordinate the implementation, execution, and assessment of continuity operations and activities;

(b) Develop and promulgate Federal Continuity Directives in order to establish continuity planning requirements for executive departments and agencies;

(c) Conduct biennial assessments of individual department and agency continuity capabilities as prescribed by the Plan and report the results to the President through the APHS/CT;

(d) Conduct quarterly and annual assessments of continuity communications capabilities in consultation with an official designated by the Chief of Staff to the President;

(e) Develop, lead, and conduct a Federal continuity training and exercise program, which shall be incorporated into the National Exercise Program developed pursuant to Homeland Security Presidential Directive-8 of December 17, 2003 ("National Preparedness"), in consultation with an official designated by the Chief of Staff to the President;

(f) Develop and promulgate continuity planning guidance to State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector critical infrastructure owners and operators;

(g) Make available continuity planning and exercise funding, in the form of grants as provided by law, to State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector critical infrastructure owners and operators; and

(h) As Executive Agent of the National Communications System, develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive continuity communications architecture.

(17) The Director of National Intelligence, in coordination with the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall produce a biennial assessment of the foreign and domestic threats to the Nation's continuity of government.

(18) The Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall provide secure, integrated, Continuity of Government communications to the President, the Vice President, and, at a minimum, Category I executive departments and agencies.

(19) Heads of executive departments and agencies shall execute their respective department or agency COOP plans in response to a localized emergency and shall:

(a) Appoint a senior accountable official, at the Assistant Secretary level, as the Continuity Coordinator for the department or agency;

(b) Identify and submit to the National Continuity Coordinator the list of PMEFs for the department or agency and develop continuity plans in support of the NEFs and the continuation of essential functions under all conditions;

(c) Plan, program, and budget for continuity capabilities consistent with this directive;

(d) Plan, conduct, and support annual tests and training, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, in order to evaluate program readiness and ensure adequacy and viability of continuity plans and communications systems; and

(e) Support other continuity requirements, as assigned by category, in accordance with the nature and characteristics of its national security roles and responsibilities
General Provisions

(20) This directive shall be implemented in a manner that is consistent with, and facilitates effective implementation of, provisions of the Constitution concerning succession to the Presidency or the exercise of its powers, and the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 (3 U.S.C.

19), with consultation of the Vice President and, as appropriate, others involved. Heads of executive departments and agencies shall ensure that appropriate
support is available to the Vice President and others involved as necessary to be prepared at all times to implement those provisions.

(21) This directive:

(a) Shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and the authorities of agencies, or heads of agencies, vested by law, and subject to the availability of appropriations;

(b) Shall not be construed to impair or otherwise affect (i) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budget, administrative, and legislative proposals, or (ii) the authority of the Secretary of Defense over the Department of Defense, including the chain of command for military forces from the President, to the Secretary of Defense, to the commander of military forces, or military command and control procedures; and

(c) Is not intended to, and does not, create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by a party against the United States, its
agencies, instrumentalities, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(22) Revocation. Presidential Decision Directive 67 of October 21, 1998 ("Enduring Constitutional Government and Continuity of Government Operations"), including all Annexes thereto, is hereby revoked.

(23) Annex A and the classified Continuity Annexes, attached hereto, are hereby incorporated into and made a part of this directive.

(24) Security. This directive and the information contained herein shall be protected from unauthorized disclosure, provided that, except for Annex A, the Annexes attached to this directive are classified and shall be accorded appropriate handling, consistent with applicable Executive Orders.


(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.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

American Tax Payers Are Funding al Qaeda

Not only has this administration made us all war criminals, with the illegal, unjust and immoral war in Iraq, but now we find out that they are also funding Al qaeda with American money sent to Iraq.

Isn't it a crime to fund the people who declared war on us and bombed our buildings? Don't people go to jail for that kind of thing? Isn't that what our war preznit said?

Any tax payer could, conceivably, be charged with treason, under the patriot act.,1,3996913.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

Influx of Al Qaeda, money into Pakistan is seen

U.S. officials say the terrorist network's command base is increasingly being funded by cash coming out of Iraq.

By Greg Miller
Times Staff Writer
May 20, 2007

WASHINGTON — A major CIA effort launched last year to hunt down Osama bin Laden has produced no significant leads on his whereabouts, but has helped track an alarming increase in the movement of Al Qaeda operatives and money into Pakistan's tribal territories, according to senior U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the operation.In one of the most troubling trends, U.S. officials said that Al Qaeda's command base in Pakistan is increasingly being funded by cash coming out of Iraq, where the terrorist network's operatives are raising substantial sums from donations to the anti-American insurgency as well as kidnappings of wealthy Iraqis and other criminal activity.

The influx of money has bolstered Al Qaeda's leadership ranks at a time when the core command is regrouping and reasserting influence over its far-flung network. The trend also signals a reversal in the traditional flow of Al Qaeda funds, with the network's leadership surviving to a large extent on money coming in from its most profitable franchise, rather than distributing funds from headquarters to distant cells.

Al Qaeda's efforts were aided, intelligence officials said, by Pakistan's withdrawal in September of tens of thousands of troops from the tribal areas along the Afghanistan border where Bin Laden and his top deputy, Ayman Zawahiri, are believed to be hiding.

Little more than a year ago, Al Qaeda's core command was thought to be in a financial crunch. But U.S. officials said cash shipped from Iraq has eased those troubles."

Iraq is a big moneymaker for them," said a senior U.S. counter-terrorism official.The evolving picture of Al Qaeda's finances is based in part on intelligence from an aggressive effort launched last year to intensify the pressure on Bin Laden and his senior deputies. As part of a so-called surge in personnel, the CIA deployed as many as 50 clandestine operatives to Pakistan and Afghanistan — a dramatic increase over the number of CIA case officers permanently stationed in those countries. All of the new arrivals were given the primary objective of finding what counter-terrorism officials call "HVT1" and "HVT2." Those "high value target" designations refer to Bin Laden and Zawahiri.

The surge was part of a broader shake-up at the CIA designed to refocus on the hunt for Bin Laden, officials said.

One former high-ranking agency official said the CIA had formed a task force that involved officials from all four directorates at the agency, including analysts, scientists and technical experts, as well as covert operators.

The officials were charged with reinvigorating a search that had atrophied when some U.S. intelligence assets and special forces teams were pulled out of Afghanistan in 2002 to prepare for the war with Iraq.Arduous searchNevertheless, U.S. intelligence and military officials said, the surge has yet to produce a single lead on Bin Laden's or Zawahiri's location that could be substantiated. "We're not any closer," said a senior U.S. military official who monitors the intelligence on the hunt for Bin Laden.

The lack of progress underscores the difficulty of the search more than five years after the Sept. 11 attacks. Despite a $25-million U.S. reward, current and former intelligence officials said, the United States has not had a lead on Bin Laden since he fled American and Afghan forces in the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan in early 2002."We've had no significant report of him being anywhere," said a former senior CIA official who, like others interviewed for this article, spoke on condition of anonymity when discussing U.S. intelligence operations. U.S. spy agencies have not even had information that "you could validate historically," the official said, meaning a tip on a previous Bin Laden location that could subsequently be verified.

President Bush is given detailed presentations on the hunt's progress every two to four months, in addition to routine counter-terrorism briefings, intelligence officials said. The presentations include "complex schematics, search patterns, what we're doing, where the Predator flies," said one participant, referring to flights by unmanned airplanes used in the search. The CIA has even used sand models to illustrate the topography of the mountainous terrain where Bin Laden is believed to be hiding.

Still, officials said, they have been unable to answer the basic question of whether they are getting closer to their target."Any prediction on when we're going to get him is just ridiculous," said the senior U.S. counter-terrorism official. "

"It could be a year from now or the Pakistanis could be in the process of getting him right now."

In a written response to questions from The Times, the CIA said it "does not as a rule discuss publicly the details of clandestine operations," but acknowledged it had stepped up operations against Bin Laden and defended their effectiveness.

"The surge has been modest in size, here and overseas, but has added new skills and fresh thinking to the fight against a resilient and adaptive foe," CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said in the statement. "

It has paid off, generating more information about Al Qaeda and helping take terrorists off the street."

The CIA spies are part of a broader espionage arsenal aimed at Bin Laden and Zawahiri that includes satellites, electronic eavesdropping stations and the unmanned airplanes.Pakistan pulloutCurrent and former U.S. intelligence officials involved in the surge said it had been hobbled by a number of other developments. Chief among them, they said, was Pakistan's troop pullout last year from border regions where the hunt has been focused. Just months after the CIA deployed dozens of additional operatives to its station in Islamabad — as well as bases in Peshawar and other locations — Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf announced "peace agreements" with tribal leaders in Waziristan.Driven by domestic political pressures and rising anti-American sentiment, the agreements called for the tribes to rein in the activities of foreign fighters, and bar them from launching attacks in Afghanistan, in exchange for a Pakistani military pullback.

But U.S. officials said there was little evidence that the tribal groups had followed through.

Everything was undermined by the so-called peace agreement in north Waziristan," said a senior U.S. intelligence official responsible for overseeing counter-terrorism operations. "

Of all the things that work against us in the global war on terror, that's the most damaging development. The one thing Al Qaeda needs to plan an attack is a relatively safe place to operate.

Some in the administration initially expressed concern over the Pakistani move, but Bush later praised it, following a White House meeting with Musharraf.

The pullback took significant pressure off Al Qaeda leaders and the tribal groups protecting them. It also made travel easier for operatives migrating to Pakistan after taking part in the insurgency in Iraq. Some of these veterans are leading training at newly established camps, and are positioned to become the "next generation of leadership" in the organization, said the former senior CIA official. "Al Qaeda is dependent on a lot of leaders coming out of Iraq for its own viability," said the former official, who recently left the agency.

"It's these sorts of guys who carry out operations."

The former official added that the resurgent Taliban forces in Afghanistan are "being schooled" by Al Qaeda operatives with experience fighting U.S. forces in Iraq. The administration's concern was underscored when Vice President Dick Cheney and Deputy CIA Director Stephen Kappes visited Musharraf in Pakistan in February to prod him to crack down on Al Qaeda and its training camps.

The Pakistani pullback also has reopened financial channels that had been constricted by the military presence. The senior U.S. counter-terrorism official said there were "lots of indications they can move people in and out easier," and that operatives from Iraq often bring cash.

"A year ago we were saying they were having serious money problems," the official said. "That seems to have eased up."The cash is mainly U.S. currency in relatively modest sums — tens of thousands of dollars. The scale of the payments suggests the money is not meant for funding elaborate terrorist plots, but instead for covering the day-to-day costs of Al Qaeda's command: paying off tribal leaders, hiring security and buying provisions.

Contributors mobilized Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, as the network's Iraq branch is known, has drawn increasingly large contributions from elsewhere in the Muslim world — largely because the fight against U.S. forces has mobilized donors across the Middle East, officials said.

"Success in Iraq and Afghanistan is the reason people are contributing again, with money and private contributions coming back in from the Gulf," said the senior U.S. counter-terrorism official. He added that Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia also has become an effective criminal enterprise."The insurgents have great businesses they run: stealing cars, kidnapping people, protection money," the counter-terrorism official said. The former CIA official said the activity is so extensive that the "ransom-for-profit business in Iraq reminds me of Colombia and Mexico in the 1980s and '90s."

U.S. officials got a glimpse of the Al Qaeda leadership's financial dependency when American forces intercepted a lengthy letter Zawahiri sent to now-deceased Iraq insurgent leader Abu Musab Zarqawi in 2005. In the letter, Zawahiri alluded to financial difficulties, saying "the lines have been cut off," and asked Zarqawi for fresh funds."We need a payment while new lines are being opened," Zawahiri wrote, according to a translation released publicly by the U.S. government. "So, if you're capable of sending a payment of approximately one hundred thousand, we'll be very grateful to you."

The payments appear to have given Al Qaeda leaders in Iraq new influence in the organization, officials said. In particular, officials noted that Zawahiri appears to have abandoned his effort to persuade Sunni Arab insurgents not to divide Muslims by striking Shiites, and has more recently moved closer to sanctioning such bloodshed.

U.S. officials believe they had Zawahiri in their sights on at least one occasion. Acting on reports that Zawahiri was to attend an Al Qaeda gathering in a remote village in northwest Pakistan in January 2006, the CIA launched a missile strike on the compound, missing Zawahiri but killing a senior Al Qaeda operations commander. U.S. officials believe Zawahiri changed plans at the last minute.

Within months of that strike, the CIA began sending dozens of additional case officers to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The impetus for the surge is unclear. Several former CIA officials said it was launched at the direction of former CIA Director Porter J. Goss, and that the White House had been pushing the agency to step up the effort to find Bin Laden.

But the CIA disputed those accounts, saying in its written statement that "this initiative was and is driven solely by operational considerations." The effort, according to CIA spokesman Gimigliano, grew out of an assessment in mid-2005 in which "the agency itself identified changes in the operational landscape against Al Qaeda."

Several months before the surge, the CIA disbanded a special unit known as "Alec Station" that had led the search for Bin Laden. At the time, the move was seen as a sign that the hunt was being downgraded, but officials said it was a prelude to a broader reorganization.

The surge included what one former CIA official described as a "new breed" of spy developed since the Sept. 11 attacks. These so-called "targeting officers" are given a blend of analytic and operational training to become specialists in sifting clues to the locations of high-value fugitives.

The CIA's ability to send spies into the tribal region is limited, officials said. "We can't go into the tribal areas without protection," said the former CIA official who was involved in the planning of the surge. "For the most part they have to travel with [the Pakistan intelligence service] and their footprint is not small because they're worried about getting shot too."Instead, the effort is designed to cultivate sources in the outer perimeters of the security networks that guard Bin Laden, and gradually work inward. The aim, another former CIA official said, is "to find people who had access to people who had access to his movements. It's pretty basic stuff."

(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.

Free To Be Al Gore

I would not blame Gore for not wanting to be anywhere near national politics, especially after what was done to him by the media and Gooper thugs in 2000.

But it seems only right that the legitimate president of the U.S. be in the White House. Of course, that would mean cleaning up the mess of the man who stole the White house from him in the first place.

No, I don't blame Al for saying, "enough is enough."

E. J. Dionne Jr. - Free To Be Al Gore -

Boy, it would be fun if Al Gore changed his mind and ran for president -- fun for the voters, anyway. Imagine a candidate whose preelection book is devoted in large part to an attack on the media for waging war on reason.

Politicians, it is often said, never win by attacking the media. That's simply not true. Conservatives have been attacking the media for decades, to good effect from their point of view. Their intimidation sometimes worked -- go back to the coverage of the 2000 Florida recount if you want to see media bias. When intimidation fails, they declare inconvenient facts to be merely 'liberal' opinions.