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Archive for July 10th, 2007

by- Suzie-Q @ 1:05 PM MST

A Democratic Congressman called for Alberto Gonzalez’s resignation and said he wants an independent prosecutor to investigate reports that the attorney general misled Congress in denying knowledge of civil rights abuses by the FBI.

“Attorney General Gonzales has shown an apparent reckless disregard for the rule of law and a fundamental lack of respect for the oversight responsibilities of Congress,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y. “The man entrusted with enforcing our nation’s laws must also abide by them – and Mr. Gonzales has apparently failed in that duty.”

Tuesday’s Washington Post reports that Gonzales was given at least a half-dozen reports detailing FBI abuses of power in the three months before testifying to Congress where he sought to renew the Patriot Act. In front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on April 27, 2005, he claimed he knew of no wrongdoing or abuse of power, and that the Patriot Act was free of problems, despite the reports of numerous violations of the law and FBI protocol.

The report detailed acts of unauthorized surveillance, improper searches, and other procedural and legal breaches of civil rights and privacy laws. Gonzales was also briefed on the abuse of an anti-terror tool known as the national security letter as early as 2005, well before the Justice Department’s inspector general made these violations public.

Gonzales also was apparently dishonest when answering questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year about the national security letters, that panel’s chairman said Tuesday. In written responses to questions from Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Gonzales said he did not know of the FBI’s misuse of the letters until he saw a draft copy of the inspector general’s report, which was released publicly in March of this year.


Glenn Fry – The Heat Is On

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Bu$h’s support on Iraq War is Slip Slidin Away

by Geezer Power …8:52 AM PDT

Bush loses GOP support for war

Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., latest to call for movement toward troop withdrawal

By MATT MYGATT and ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press
First published: Friday, July 6, 2007

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sen. Pete Domenici on Thursday withdrew his support of President Bush’s Iraq war policy and embraced a proposal to bring home most troops by March.
The longtime New Mexico senator is the latest of several Republican stalwarts who have abandoned Bush on Iraq in the past 10 days.

Last week, Sens. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and George Voinovich, R-Ohio, said the U.S. should significantly reduce its military presence in Iraq while bolstering diplomatic efforts. Sen. John Warner, R-Va., this month is expected to propose a new approach.

MSNBC VIDEO

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Gonzales Lied To Congress About Patriot Act Abuses

by- Suzie-Q @ 6:10 AM MST

Today’s Washington Post reports that Attorney general Alberto Gonzales was given a report detailing FBI abuses of power six days before testifying to Congress where he sought to renew the Patriot Act. In front of the Senate Intelligence Committee he claimed he knew of no wrongdoing or abuse of power, and that the Patriot Act was free of problems, despite the reports of numerous violations of the law and FBI protocol.

The report detailed acts of unauthorized surveillance, improper searches, and other procedural and legal breaches of civil rights and privacy laws. Gonzales was also briefed on the abuse of an anti-terror tool known as the national security letter as early as 2005, well before the Justice Department’s inspector general made these violations public.

Nonetheless, when the stinging IG report was issued, Gonzales reacted with surprise, saying, “I was upset when I learned this, as was Director Mueller. To say that I am concerned about what has been revealed in this report would be an enormous understatement.”

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US TAXPAYERS’ $12 BILLION A MONTH FOR CRIMINAL WARS

Sudhan@12:30 CET

Report: Wars Costing $12 Billion a Month

The Associated Press

July 9, 2007

By ANDREW TAYLOR

WASHINGTON (AP) – The boost in troop levels in Iraq has increased the cost of war there and in Afghanistan to $12 billion a month, and the total for Iraq alone is nearing a half-trillion dollars, congressional analysts say.

All told, Congress has appropriated $610 billion in war-related money since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror assaults, roughly the same as the war in Vietnam. Iraq alone has cost $450 billion.

The figures come from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, which provides research and analysis to lawmakers.

For the 2007 budget year, CRS says, the $166 billion appropriated to the Pentagon represents a 40 percent increase over 2006.

The Vietnam War, after accounting for inflation, cost taxpayers $650 billion, according to separate CRS estimates.

The $12 billion a month “burn rate” includes $10 billion for Iraq and almost $2 billion for Afghanistan, plus other minor costs. That’s higher than Pentagon estimates earlier this year of $10 billion a month for both operations. Two years ago, the average monthly cost was about $8 billion.

Among the reasons for the higher costs is the cost of repairing and replacing equipment worn out in harsh conditions or destroyed in combat.

But the estimates call into question the Pentagon’s estimate that the increase in troop strength and intensifying pace of operations in Baghdad and Anbar province would cost only $5.6 billion through the end of September.

If Congress approves President Bush’s pending request for another $147 billion for the budget year starting Oct. 1, the total bill for the war on terror since Sept. 11 would reach more than three-fourths of a trillion dollars, with appropriations for Iraq reaching $567 billion.

Also, if the increase in war tempo continues beyond September, the Pentagon’s request “would presumably be inadequate,” CRS said.

The latest estimates come as support for the war in Iraq among Bush’s GOP allies in Congress is beginning to erode. Senior Republicans such as Pete Domenici of New Mexico and Richard Lugar of Indiana have called for a shift in strategy in Iraq and a battle over funding the war will resume in September, when Democrats in Congress begin work on a funding bill for the war.

Congress approved $99 billion in war funding in May after a protracted battle and a Bush veto of an earlier measure over Democrats’ attempt to set a timeline for withdrawing U.S. combat troops from Iraq.

The report faults the Pentagon for using the Iraq war as a pretext for boosting the Pentagon’s non-war budget by costs such as procurement, increasing the size of the military and procurement of replacement aircraft as war-related items.

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