Archive for September 26th, 2006

A memo received by United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice shortly after she became National Security Advisor in 2001 directly contradicts statements the Secretary made to reporters yesterday, RAW STORY has learned.”We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaeda,” Rice told a reporter for the New York Post on Monday. “Big pieces were missing,” Rice added, “like an approach to Pakistan that might work, because without Pakistan you weren’t going to get Afghanistan.”

Rice made the comments in response to claims made Sunday by former President Bill Clinton, who argued that his administration had done more than the current one to address the al Qaeda problem before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. She stopped short of calling the former president a liar.

However, RAW STORY has found that just five days after President George W. Bush was sworn into office, a memo from counter-terrorism expert Richard A. Clarke to Rice included the 2000 document, “Strategy for Eliminating the Threat from the Jihadist Networks of al-Qida: Status and Prospects.” This document devotes 2 of its 13 pages of material to specifically addressing strategies for securing Pakistan’s cooperation in airstrikes against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The strategy document includes “three levers” that the United States had started applying to Pakistan as far back as 1990. Sanctions, political and economic methods of persuasion are all offered as having been somewhat successful.

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So Many GOP Blunders, So Few Weeks till Midterms

I can’t remember which upset me more….the stolen election in 2000 or the war in Iraq. Or was it when they outed Valerie Plame, a woman working in the service of her country’s intelligence apparatus who had the “misfortune” of being married to a government official who dared to contradict this White House’s right-wing-nut-bag agenda in Baghdad?

Or was it that the withering Republican stooge, Robert Novak, made it all seem so business-as-usual? Or was it when scientists, on the government’s payroll and otherwise, were being told to shut up about global warming? It might have been when they actually started editing government reports to suit their pro-business purposes. I can’t recall. Maybe it was when I read that David Addington really runs the government. Never heard of him? Oh.

It might have been when Secretary Rice, like any good secretary covering up for her boss, smirked her way through the 9/11 hearings and never seemed to flinch in the face of “Bin Laden Determined to Attack Within the US.” Then again, I could be wrong. It might have been when I read in the New York Times of March 3, 2006, that Jason Peltier, a former agricultural lobbyist in California’s San Joaquin Valley, had gone to work in the Bush Interior Department and was responsible for awarding government water contracts to his former employers. Actually, on second thought, I might be confusing the Peltier issue with the revelations about Jack Abramoff and the Interior Trust scandals. Or the Klamath Basin questions in 2003. Or the Interior Department’s own Inspector General who said last week that the place is rife with “cronyism and cover-ups.”


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WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 (HalliburtonWatch.org) — Halliburton spent $4.6 million since 2000 buying influence in Washington via campaign donations and lobbying, a HalliburtonWatch analysis reveals.

The board of directors and their spouses personally gave $828,701 to candidates for Congress and the presidency while Halliburton’s political action committees gave $1.2 million, most of it donated to Republicans and political organizations with strong Republican ties.

The company spent an additional $2.6 million lobbying members of Congress, the White House and federal agencies.

Conclusion: Halliburton’s $4.6 million in political arm-twisting since 2000 has paid-off magnificently as the company’s government contracts ballooned by over 600 percent in value by the end of 2005, mostly because of the war in Iraq.

In 2000, Halliburton was the 20th largest federal contractor, receiving $763 million in federal contracts. By 2005, Halliburton had grown to become the 6th largest federal contractor, receiving nearly $6 billion in federal contracts during that year.

Between March 2003 and June 30, 2006, Halliburton received $18.5 billion in revenue from the federal government for the war in Iraq. The company has seen its profits in government contracting almost quadruple to $330 million in 2005 compared to $84 million in 2004.


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Global temperature highest in millennia

WASHINGTON – The planet’s temperature has climbed to levels not seen in thousands of years, warming that has begun to affect plants and animals, researchers report in Tuesday’s issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Earth has been warming at a rate of 0.36 degree Fahrenheit per decade for the last 30 years, according to the research team led by James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.

That brings the overall temperature to the warmest in the current interglacial period, which began about 12,000 years ago.

The researchers noted that a report in the journal Nature found that 1,700 plant, animal and insect species moved poleward at an average rate of about 4 miles per decade in the last half of the 20th century.

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WASHINGTON — There is no mystery or manipulation behind the recent fall in gasoline prices, analysts say. Try telling that to many motorists.
Almost half of Americans believe the plunge at the pump has more to do with politics and the November elections, than economics.

Retired farmer Jim Mohr of Lexington, Ill., rattled off a tankful of reasons why pump prices may be falling, including the end of the summer travel season and the fact that no major hurricanes have disrupted Gulf of Mexico output.

“But I think the big important reason is Republicans want to get elected,” Mohr, 66, said while filling up for $2.17 a gallon. “They think getting the prices down is going to help get some more incumbents re-elected.”

According to a new Gallup poll, 42% of respondents agreed with the statement that the Bush administration “deliberately manipulated the price of gasoline so that it would decrease before this fall’s elections.” Fifty-three percent of those surveyed did not believe the conspiracy theory; 5% said they had no opinion.

Not surprising, almost two-thirds of those who suspect President Bush intervened to bring down energy prices before Election Day are registered Democrats, according to Gallup.


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