Archive for July 9th, 2007

Bush Stays Course, Rebuffs Demand For Change

by- Suzie-Q @ 7:23 PM MST

WASHINGTON — President Bush dug in Monday against demands for change in his Iraq policy, despite eroding support within his party and growing doubts that his troop increase will make a significant difference.

Through his spokesman Bush urged patience at the start of what’s likely to be a rough week for his policy. Members of Congress returned to Washington from their July Fourth break feeling heat from voters to come up with a plan to bring the troops home.

“There is no intensifying discussion about reducing troops,” said White House spokesman Tony Snow, rejecting reports that internal administration discussions were doing precisely that. “You are talking about a surge that literally just got completed, in terms of troop complements, two weeks ago. . . . Don’t expect us to lift a veil and have a whole different strategy.”

The Senate got back to work Monday by debating the first in a series of proposals intended to wind down or pull out of Iraq. Senate votes later in the week could test Republican loyalty to Bush.

Three senior Republican senators have questioned Bush’s war strategy recently, although it’s not clear that any of them are ready to break with the president when voting on legislation.

Speculation about a possible policy shift increased over the weekend when Defense Secretary Robert Gates canceled a trip to Latin America to work on the Iraq progress report.


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Evening Jukebox… At Your Side

by- Suzie-Q @ 7:22 PM MST

The Corrs- At Your Side

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Accused D.C. Madam Releases Phone Records

by- Suzie-Q @ 5:40 PM MST

WASHINGTON — The phone records of the accused D.C. Madam have been posted online and are available for public viewing.

Deborah Jeane Palfrey’s attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, tells WTOP he changed his plan of distributing the information — which includes calls from 1994-2006 — only to journalists after he learned of one organization’s plan to post the numbers in their entirety.

Sibley says after he began distributing CDs with the information, he was alerted that their security coding wasn’t sophisticated enough to prevent hacking, and it would be easy to make someone’s number appear on the list even if it hadn’t been originally.

When he initially offered the records to journalists and bloggers last week, it was with the condition that the information would not be posted in its entirety.

“I sent out 54 discs with the records on them,” Sibley says. “[Monday] morning, we got calls and emails saying there wasn’t any security on the coding and the numbers were going to be all over the place anyway. I got one email that said the agreement isn’t enforceable, and that group intended to release the records for free.”

Sibley wouldn’t identify the group further than saying it was a D.C.-based organization. When he initially offered the records, Sibley pledged he wouldn’t disclose which news organizations received copies.

“It’s an evolution from how we planned to put the numbers out,” he says. “Our original thought of coding each disc so we’d know who violated the agreement wasn’t sophisticated enough. It’s so easy to accuse somebody, and once you do that, the retraction is useless.”

Posting the numbers online does leave him open for criticism, but Sibley says in balancing the evils, this was the correct decision.

“That’s why we’re putting out the numbers, so there’s one official list, and any list that’s different can be compared to ours,” he says.

Palfrey is accused of running a prostitution service catering to men in the area. Her business, Pamela Martin & Associates, is said to have entertained 15,000 customers in the Washington, D.C. area between 1993 and 2006.


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by- Suzie-Q @ 2:08 PM MST

This weekend at the Aspen Ideas Festival, President Bush’s political adviser Karl Rove seemed incapable of uttering a single honest statement.

Facing a chilly reception from the audience, who “shook their heads and groaned in unison” during the speech, Rove grossly distorted administration’s policies, on everything from Guantanamo to Iraq to the leak case:

On Guantanamo:

“Our principal health problem down there is gain of weight, we feed them so well.” In fact, Guantanamo prisoners are facing a mental health crisis, with over 40 suicide attempts since its opening, including one suicide in May. Some have been so severely tortured that they were treated by “experts in treating torture victims.”

On Iraq:

“80-90 percent of violence in Iraq is due to al Qaeda.” As former Secretary of State Colin Powell noted earlier in the conference, only 10 percent of violence in Iraq is due to al Qaeda. As the Carpetbagger noted, “by all indications, Powell was rounding up.” Now, the mainstream media is buying into the al Qaeda fearmongering, as Glenn Greenwald reported.

“We all thought [Saddam Hussein] had weapons of mass destruction. The whole world did.” U.N.weapons inspectors and prominent members of the international community strongly disagreed with this assessment before the invasion. One weapons inspector referred to pre-war U.S. intelligence as “garbage after garbage after garbage.”

On the CIA leak case:

“My contribution to this was to say to a reporter, which is a lesson about talking to reporters, the words ‘I heard that, too.’” Rove leaked Valerie Plame’s identity not only to Novak, but to Time’s Matthew Cooper. Cooper said his conversation with Rove was the first time he heard anything about Plame.

Despite participating in egregious and illegal wrongdoings, Rove expressed unwaivering confidence in his boss’s decisions. “Look, I make no apologies,” he said.

Think Progress

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by Geezer Power …10:56:42 AM PDT

Bu$h and Co. can tie this up in the courts until these ideologues are replaced in 2008. They are obviously miss-using the powers of the president and the solidarity of the judicial department. It looks like they will use the questionable claims of executive privilege to deny access to witnesses and records. Now it’s up to the House and Senate committees to seek contempt citations against the White House.The White House will undoubtedly lose the game, but will not concede to the obvious outcome, until all vestiges of real power are removed.
Bush invokes executive privilege to deny testimony

Last Update: Jul 9, 2007 11:29 AM

WHITE HOUSE (AP) – President Bush has invoked executive privilege to deny requests by Congress for testimony from two former aides in connection with the firings of federal prosecutors.

However, the White House has again offered to make former counsel Harriet Miers and one-time political director Sara Taylor available for private, off-the-record interviews.

In a letter to the heads of the House and Senate Judiciary committees, White House counsel Fred Fielding insisted that the president was acting in good faith. Fielding also refused demands from lawmakers that the president explain the basis for invoking the privilege.

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy says Taylor may testify as scheduled before the Senate panel on Wednesday. Congressional aides say the House Judiciary Committee has scheduled Miers’ testimony for Thursday, but it is unclear whether she will appear.

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Iraq al-Qaida group threatens Iran

CAIRO, Egypt – The leader of an al-Qaida umbrella group in Iraq threatened to wage war against Iran unless it stops supporting Shiites in Iraq within two months, according to an audiotape released Sunday.


punditman says @ 12:08 PM EDT:

Let’s see if I get this straight: al-Qaida in Iraq (an organization that never existed before the US invaded), has threatenened Iran, accusing them of arming Shite insurgents in Iraq. Sound familiar? This pronouncement may as well have come straight out of a White House press conference. As usual, the interests of the neo-cons and those of their supposed enemy dovetail in rather convenient fashion.

At the same time, the Bush administration has a history of accusing Iran of harbouring al-Qaida fighters. This, despite the fact that Iran handed hundreds of al-Qaida and Taliban detainees over to Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and other Arab and European countries, after the US invaded Afghanistan. Iran hates al-Qaida and the US neo-cons sabatoged an opportunity work closely with Iran on the war against al-Qaida and its Taliban sponsors, back in 2002. Moreover, it was revealed recently that the Bushies have a policy to blame Iran for any future al-Qaida attacks on the US and use it as an excuse to bomb them.

There you have it. “Gotcha! Your war on terror is a fraud.” Future historians will debate just how deep the rot goes–providing there is a livable world once the wackos of all stripes are done with it. But one thing is clear: these insane and deceptive ruses are part and parcel of the Bush administration’s MO–contradiction and hypocrisy, mere tools of their deadly trade. Thinking people understand this, but they need to act decisively to expose all of the crimes and lies intended to instill fear and paralysis. Meanwhile, the rest of the population needs to escape the matrix.

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They Are Winning Again – And Here’s Why

by- Mentarch … 10:18 EDT

While progressives continue their petty, self-indulging, cacophonic, disorganized rants and raves within their favorite echo chambers, the neocons, the right-wingers and the G.O.P. continue doing what they’ve always done: stay on unified, but disinformative, messages. Why should they do anything differently? Especially since that what worked before is apparently working still for them …


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Conyers: Reprieve May Have Quieted Libby

by- Suzie-Q @ 5:53 AM MST

WASHINGTON — The Democrat probing President Bush’s decision to erase the prison sentence of a former White House aide said Sunday there is “the suspicion” the aide might have fingered others in the Bush administration if he served time.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers spoke of “the general impression” that Bush last week commuted I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s 2 1/2 year sentence in the CIA leak case to keep Libby quiet. The White House said Conyers’ claim was baseless.

Conyers, D-Mich., has scheduled a committee hearing Wednesday on the matter.

Bush contended Libby’s sentence was too harsh. Libby was convicted of lying and obstructing justice in an investigation into the leak of a CIA officer’s identity. The former operative said the White House was trying to discredit her husband, a critic of Bush’s Iraq policy.

Conyers said the hearings would include pardons made by President Clinton, the first President Bush and possibly other past presidents. In the closing hours of his presidency, Clinton pardoned 140 people, including fugitive financier Marc Rich.

“What we have here _ and I think we should put it on the table right at the beginning _ is that the suspicion was that if Mr. Libby went to prison, he might further implicate other people in the White House, and that there was some kind of relationship here that does not exist in any of President Clinton’s pardons, nor, according to those that we’ve talked to … is that it’s never existed before, ever,” Conyers said in a broadcast interview Sunday.


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Sudhan@11:30 CET

An Open Letter to Nancy Pelosi


By John Atchenson

Madam Speaker:

It is time to impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney.

We all know the case for doing so: the litany of this administration’s offenses is long and tragic, the damage they have wrought to our nation and the principles it was founded upon profound.

And yet many of us understood – even if we did not agree – when you said “impeachment is off the table.” Your case was credible, if not persuasive. The proceedings would have been disruptive, making progress in other areas difficult, and the fact that three of the last six presidents would have been impeached by the opposition party could have damaged the presidency and sank this nation into a permanent partisan war. It could have fed the notion that impeachment proceedings were simply another political maneuver to be used by partisans to cripple their opponents, much as partisan Republicans did with Clinton. And with two years remaining, this did seem a high price to pay for getting rid of George Bush and his partners in crime. Taking the high road had a certain nobility, even if it didn’t satisfy a hunger for justice many of us felt.

But now – with scarcely eighteen months left – you have no choice but to impeach Bush and Cheney regardless of the cost, because it has become increasingly clear that the very foundations of this nation have been assaulted as never before in our history, and to let that record stand would be an act of cowardice on your part and a dangerous precedent to future presidents.

Others have laid out the specific charges, and they are legion. But it is the nature and character of the offenses which leave you no choice. This administration has not simply broken specific provisions of arcane laws, or committed “misdemeanors.” They have sought to fundamentally rewrite the Constitution in a manner that is more to their liking. They have systematically put the interest of a political party over the interests of the nation, committing serious crimes in the process.


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