Archive for July 13th, 2007

punditman says @ 11:55 EDT:

Interviews with US veterans show for the first time the pattern of brutality in Iraq
By Leonard Doyle in Washington
Published: 12 July 2007

It is an axiom of American political life that the actions of the US military are beyond criticism. Democrats and Republicans praise the men and women in uniform at every turn. Apart from the odd bad apple at Abu Ghraib, the US military in Iraq is deemed to be doing a heroic job under trying circumstances.

That perception will take a severe knock today with the publication in The Nation magazine of a series of in-depth interviews with 50 combat veterans of the Iraq war from across the US. In the interviews, veterans have described acts of violence in which US forces have abused or killed Iraqi men, women and children with impunity.

Full Article…

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McCain Campaign Running Out Of Money

by- Suzie-Q @ 7:51 PM MST

CNN has learned McCain’s campaign has only $250,000 left.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – CNN has learned the already-dire situation for Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign has actually gotten even worse, with two sources close to the candidate saying the campaign only has a paltry $250,000 left.

The sources tell CNN that next week the McCain campaign will reveal it has about $1.75 million in unpaid debts, wiping out the $2 million in cash-on-hand the campaign currently has in the bank.

It was not immediately clear whether the campaign debt must be repaid immediately or whether the debt can be paid back over time, including after the presidential campaign ends.

Even though McCain has raised just over $11 million overall in the last three months, his campaign has spent large sums of money, one of the primary reasons for the departure earlier this week of his top two strategists, Terry Nelson and John Weaver.

A McCain spokesman had no comment on the latest financial troubles, which will spark a new round of speculation about the candidate’s viability. Campaign officials are expected to release details about campaign’s financial situation early next week.


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by GEF @ 10:46 PM EDT

WH Claims Executive Privilege Over Tillman Documents

pattillman.jpg And the disgraceful Pat Tillman saga continues.. How’s this for “supporting the troops” and respecting their families?

Seattle Times:

The White House has refused to give Congress documents about the death of former NFL player Pat Tillman, with White House counsel Fred Fielding saying that certain papers relating to discussion of the friendly-fire shooting “implicate Executive Branch confidentiality interests.”

Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Tom Davis R-Va., the leading members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, objected to the refusal Friday in letters to the White House and the Defense Department.

White House and Pentagon officials have turned over about 10,000 pages of material, but Waxman and Davis said those papers lack critical documents that would show communications between senior administration officials and top military officers shortly after Tillman was killed in Afghanistan in 2004.

Is there anything this administration is not secretive about? And why would they want to conceal their role in the cover-up informing of the Tillman family?

C & L Coverage–>

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by- Suzie-Q @ 1:50 PM MST

After former White House Counsel Harriet Miers failed to attend a Thursday hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on the firing of 8 US Attorneys, House Democrats issued a subpoena for e-mail accounts supplied by the Republican National Committee and used by senior White House staff.

The committee’s chairman, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) also explicitly warned Miers that she may face criminal contempt charges for failing to comply with earlier subpoenas

“The White House has been stonewalling this investigation at every turn,” said Rep. Conyers in a statement. “[W]e hope that the RNC – unlike Ms. Miers yesterday – will choose to comply with the legal obligation set out in this subpoena, as opposed to the opinion of the White House.”

Conyers also warned Miers through her attorney that she could face a criminal contempt citation for failing to appear before the House Committee in a separate letter.

“This letter is to formally notify you that we must insist on compliance with the subpoena, and that your client’s continued failure to promptly remedy her noncompliance could subject her to contempt proceedings,” he wrote to George T. Manning of the Jones Day law firm.

He went on to set the deadline for compliance at 5 PM on July 17.

“If I do not hear from you in the affirmative by then, the Committee will have no choice but to consider appropriate recourse,” he stated.

Conyers’ subpoena offered further details of the document sought by the Judiciary Committee, also with a deadline of July 17.

“[T]he RNC has identified, collected, and processed what I understand to be a substantial number of e-mail documents relevant to our investigation,” he notes. “As I understand the circumstances, these documents are ready and available for production, and it is for this reason that I am comfortable issuing a subpoena with this relatively prompt return date.”

Raw Story

Phil Collins- In The Air Tonight (Live- Farewell Tour)

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Black Guilty of Fraud, Acquitted of Racketeering

by- Suzie-Q @ 10:40 AM MST

NEW YORK Fallen media tycoon Conrad Black was convicted Friday of mail fraud and obstruction of justice, but a jury acquitted him of wire fraud, racketeering and several other counts.

Black, the former head of the Hollinger International Inc. newspaper empire, had been accused of swindling shareholders out of millions of dollars.

A federal court jury of nine men and three women delivered their verdict after deliberating 11 days following 14 weeks of testimony at the racketeering and fraud trial.

Black, 62, a member of the British House of Lords, faced a maximum of 35 years in prison for the offenses the jury convicted him of, plus a maximum penalty of $1 million.

The case reflected the U.S. government’s efforts to crack down harder on corporate malfeasance in recent years, following the Enron, Tyco and WorldCom scandals, and to hold top executives personally accountable for their companies’ actions.


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by- Suzie-Q @ 9:07 AM MST

Today [7/12/07] was a historic first for religion in America’s civic life: For the very first time, a Hindu delivered the morning invocation in the Senate chamber — only to find the ceremony disrupted by three Christian right activists.

We have video of the astonishing scene, and we’ll be sharing it with you shortly.

The three protesters, who all belong to the Christian Right anti-abortion group Operation Save America, and who apparently traveled to Washington all the way from North Carolina, interrupted by loudly asking for God’s forgiveness for allowing the false prayer of a Hindu in the Senate chamber.

“Lord Jesus, forgive us father for allowing a prayer of the wicked, which is an abomination in your sight,” the first protester began.

“This is an abomination,” he continued. “We shall have no other gods before You.”

TPM Cafe

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by- Suzie-Q @ 7:50 AM MST

Today on Fox News, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow defended the President’s Initial Benchmark Assessment Report, which argues that the administration is making “progress” in Iraq.

Snow attacked proposals to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq, claiming:

To walk out of Iraq right now would plant a seed that ultimately would lead to destabilization there, hundreds of thousands of deaths, loss of our influence in the region, would create instability throughout the Middle East throughout East Asia, throughout Europe. And sooner or later it would come to our shores, to a shopping mall near you.

Watch the video/Think Progress

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by Sudhan@10:15 CET


Life under occupation has been an unending tragedy for the people of Iraq. Over 34,000 Iraqi civilians were killed in 2006, and the violence has forced over one million Iraqis to flee their country. One in five Iraqis are living in poverty and more than half are unemployed, all while the costs of basic goods have skyrocketed. Many Iraqis still don’t have enough drinking water or electricity.

No wonder more than 80% of Iraqis want the U.S. military to leave.


All people of conscience are concerned with the intensifying civil war in Iraq. But the U.S. military cannot prevent civil war. This was clear when Sunni guerrillas blew up a sacred Shiite shrine in February 2006, sparking attacks and counter-attacks among Iraqis. “The [U.S.] military largely watched the violence from the sidelines,” according to the L.A.Times.

The only way to end the civil war in Iraq is for the different groups of Iraqis to negotiate a solution. This is impossible as long as the U.S. military remains in Iraq, because many of these groups are opposed to the occupation and the U.S. is openly trying to destroy them. Furthermore, extremist groups who actually do want civil war have very little support among the Iraqi people and are only tolerated because they are attacking occupation forces. If the US troops leave, these groups will be isolated and powerless.

The vast majority of Iraqis think the US military is creating more conflict than it is preventing. They are right. A series of atrocities created widespread anger against U.S. soldiers and fueled the armed insurgency: torture in the Abu Ghraib prison, arbitrary and indefinite imprisonment, massacres such as the shooting of 24 civilians at close-range in Haditha, and the rape and murder of a 14 year-old girl, to name a few.


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