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Archive for June 5th, 2008

By- Suzie-Q @ 7:05 PM MST

Senate Report: Bush Used Iraq Intel He Knew Was False

June 5, 2008 10:44 AM

More than five years after the initial invasion of Iraq, the Senate Intelligence Committee has finally gone on the record: the Bush administration misused, and in some cases disregarded, intelligence which led the nation into war. The two final sections of a long-delayed and much anticipated “Phase II” report on the Bush administration’s use of prewar intelligence, released on Thursday morning, accuse senior White House officials of repeatedly misrepresenting the threat posed by Iraq.

In addition, the report on Iraq war intelligence harshly criticizes a Pentagon office for executing “inappropriate, sensitive intelligence activities” without the proper knowledge of the State Department and other agencies.

In addition to judgments that could prove troublesome for the White House and make waves in the presidential race, the report also contains some stinging minority reports from Republican committee members who allege that Democrats turned the intelligence review process into a “partisan exercise.”

However, when the GOP controlled the intelligence committee and steered its “Phase I” reporting on the use of Iraq war intelligence, critics complained that tough questions about the Bush administration’s actions had been kicked down the road, and thus required a second round of fact finding — dubbed “Phase II.” The committee’s delay in producing that full report to the public was seen by Democrats as evidence of a stonewalling campaign executed by President Bush’s Republican Senate allies.

Former Committee Chairman Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) often vacillated over whether or not the report was worth completing, first promising in 2004 that the work would be finished, and then calling it a “monumental waste of time” later in 2005. When Democrats gained control of the Senate after the 2006 midterm elections, they gained a majority of seats on the committee and set the course for the production of the final reports. Whether by partisan design or simple chance, however, the committee managed to save some of the best questions for last.

The “Phase II” report states — in terms clearer than any previous government publication — that there was no operational relationship between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, that Bush officials were not truthful about the difficulties the United States would face in post-war Iraq and that their public statements did not reflect intelligence they had at the time, and, specifically, that the intelligence community would not confirm any meeting between Iraqi officials and Mohamed Atta — a claim that was nevertheless publicly repeated.

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Evening Jukebox… Beautiful Day

By- Suzie-Q @ 7:00 PM MST

U2 – Beautiful Day

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Open Head Thread!

GEF @ 4:08 PM MST

PAIN AT THE PUMP!! OUCH!!

PANIC HITS PLEASANTVILLE USA

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by Geezer Power…1:53 pm

Wooah…what’s going on here? I mean, like, is McSame being thrown under his own bus? Here’s the mouthpiece of the corporate government, Fox News actually expressing their own opinions about this. Normally they would just change the video, or disappear it from the innertubes. Heaveeey…G?

McCain’s Stump Speech for Obama

bravenewfilms.org

Barack Obama just made history by becoming our first African-American Presidential nominee. But Obama also accomplished something else last night, something completely unintentional that Democrats haven’t done successfully in a long, long time. He compelled his Republican opponent to use his frame for a change—literally.

By all accounts, there was nothing unexpected about last night’s speeches from the three Presidential hopefuls. McCain’s speech was unconvincing and wholly uninspired. Clinton refused to acknowledge Obama’s victory and continued to talk about herself, even when pretending to talk about others: “While I traveled our country talking about how I wanted to help you, time and again, you reached out to help me, to grab my hand or grip my arm, to look into my eyes and tell me, don’t quit, keep fighting, stay in this race for us.” And Obama was his usual poised, eloquent self as he graciously celebrated Clinton, jabbed at McCain, and fired up the crowd once again by talking about “our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.”

With the exception of the press being much more critical of McCain than usual, these speeches appeared to be merely the next step in a seemingly endless 17-month primary marathon. And yet McCain played right into Obama’s hands by devoting his entire speech to countering Obama’s message of “change” with his own message of, well, “change.”

McCain appeared in front of a green board with the message “A Leader We Can Believe In” scrawled across it, which blogger Attaturk quipped made him look “like the cottage cheese in a lime jello salad.” This was an obvious ploy by McCain to repackage Obama’s “Change We Can Believe In,” coupled with the slightly subtler green, a symbol of rebirth and renewal. Within the first couple of minutes, McCain began talking about change, which, as Tim Russert later noted on MSNBC, was a word he reiterated 32 times (33 if you count “climate change”).

~MORE~

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Revealed: Secret plan to keep Iraq under US control

Sudhan @21:34 CET

Bush wants 50 military bases, control of Iraqi airspace and legal immunity for all American soldiers and contractors

By Patrick Cockburn | The Independent, June 5, 2008

A secret deal being negotiated in Baghdad would perpetuate the American military occupation of Iraq indefinitely, regardless of the outcome of the US presidential election in November.

The terms of the impending deal, details of which have been leaked to The Independent, are likely to have an explosive political effect in Iraq. Iraqi officials fear that the accord, under which US troops would occupy permanent bases, conduct military operations, arrest Iraqis and enjoy immunity from Iraqi law, will destabilise Iraq’s position in the Middle East and lay the basis for unending conflict in their country.

But the accord also threatens to provoke a political crisis in the US. President Bush wants to push it through by the end of next month so he can declare a military victory and claim his 2003 invasion has been vindicated. But by perpetuating the US presence in Iraq, the long-term settlement would undercut pledges by the Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama, to withdraw US troops if he is elected president in November.

The timing of the agreement would also boost the Republican candidate, John McCain, who has claimed the United States is on the verge of victory in Iraq – a victory that he says Mr Obama would throw away by a premature military withdrawal.

America currently has 151,000 troops in Iraq and, even after projected withdrawals next month, troop levels will stand at more than 142,000 – 10 000 more than when the military “surge” began in January 2007. Under the terms of the new treaty, the Americans would retain the long-term use of more than 50 bases in Iraq. American negotiators are also demanding immunity from Iraqi law for US troops and contractors, and a free hand to carry out arrests and conduct military activities in Iraq without consulting the Baghdad government.

Continued . . .

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GOP In Fear Of Obama’s Money Machine

By- Suzie-Q @ 12:05 PM MST

Now it’s the McCain campaign’s turn to try to match Barack Obama’s fundraising might.
Photo: AP

From: Politico

GOP fears Obama’s money machine

By | 6/5/08 4:33 AM EST

With Hillary Clinton’s campaign coming to an end this weekend, Barack Obama’s rise as the Democratic nominee brings serious bad news to a new group — John McCain’s finance team.

A review of campaign finance data offers not one ounce of good news and barely any hope for the McCain campaign’s ability to compete with Obama’s fundraising prowess.

To make matters worse, Obama’s campaign, which raised $272 million through April for the primary, now is reaching out to Clinton’s fundraisers, who raised another $200 million through April, in an effort to unite forces and bury the historically deep-pocketed Republicans.

Take a look at some of the numbers:

• If each of Obama’s donors gave him a modest $250, he’d have $375 million to spend during the two-month general election sprint. That’s $186 million a month; $47 million a week.

• During the same September to Nov. 4th period, McCain will have about $85 million to spend since he has decided to take taxpayer money to help finance his campaign activities.

• The Republican National Committee, which is charged with closing the gap between McCain and Obama, has $40 million in cash. Obama raised almost as much — $31 million – from just his small donors in the month of February. His total for the month, $57 million, exceeded the RNC’s cash balance.

• Obama has more than 1.5 million donors; McCain has a few hundred thousand. If just a million of Obama’s donors sent him the maximum donation, $2,300, he could raise $2.3 billion.

Ok, that’s not going to happen. But campaign finance experts and Democratic fundraisers say a conservative estimate of Obama’s general election fundraising potential hovers around or above $300 million.

Such a massive financial advantage will allow Obama to compete in more states than McCain and force his rival to defend states that should rightfully be Republican wins.

Obama’s use of such tactics has already been on display in the primary.

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Afternoon Jukebox… Born In The USA

By- Suzie-Q @ 12:00 PM MST

Bruce Springsteen- Born In The USA – (Paris 1985)

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The Three Amigos on 9/11

anthony @ 17:33 BST

James Corbett | 9/11 Blogger | Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Corbett Report has just released the final installment in a three-part YouTube documentary series seeking to highlight some of the bizarre facts surrounding the movements and whereabouts of President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld on the day of 9/11. The three videos can be watched in the players below.

Where Was Rumsfeld on 9/11?

The first video, regarding the whereabouts of Donald Rumsfeld on the morning of 9/11, reveals that Rumsfeld was in the Pentagon as the largest attack on U.S. soil since Pearl Harbor unfolded. In a startling admission on which he was never pressed, however, he states he was ‘out of the loop’ that morning and unaware of Flight 77�the hijacked jet streaking towards the heart of the American capital�until it actually hit the very building he was sitting in. In his well-researched article Donald Rumsfeld on 9/11: An Enemy Within Matthew Everett makes it clear how this startling revelation from the second in command of the U.S. Armed Forces goes well beyond mere incompetence. Rumsfeld’s inability to be contacted by his own staff during that crucial half hour as Flight 77 bore down on the Pentagon directly affected the Air Force’s ability to respond to that or any other threat that morning. As the video reveals, the protocol dealing with the very events which unfolded that day�namely, those dealing with the authorization to shootdown hijacked civilian aircraft�had been mysteriously revised mere weeks before 9/11. Nor can ‘Rummy’ claim ignorance of the high terror threat level in the U.S. at that time. In fact, as he revealed to Larry King in December of 2001, he was actually briefing members of Congress in a startlingly prescient talk on the likelihood of a large terror attack that would transform America in the very near future which began just minutes before the first plane hit the World Trade Center.

(more…)

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The Running Mate Dilemma

anthony @ 17:20 BST

By Joe Conason | Truthdig | Posted on Jun 4, 2008

The selection of a vice president is not only an exercise in political handicapping but also a national rite of statecraft. Candidates, advisers, pundits and assorted experts try to calculate the ethnic, geographic, gender and ideological characteristics of potential running mates, but what this choice actually reveals is the character of a presidential nominee.

For Barack Obama, the choice of a vice president is a test of his self-confidence and his vaunted judgment. Should he seek to mollify the disappointed Clinton supporters, especially among his party’s women? Or should he try to balance his own political weaknesses with somebody else’s strengths? Will he attempt to win a region with his choice, or even one crucial state? (more…)

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By- Suzie-Q @ 7:00 AM MST

Caroline Kennedy On Obama’s Team To Vet Vice Presidential Candidates

NEDRA PICKLER | June 4, 2008 04:46 PM EST | AP

WASHINGTON — Barack Obama named a three-person team including Caroline Kennedy to lead his search for a running mate Wednesday while expressing confidence that the Democratic Party would soon unify after a bruising battle for the presidential nomination.

“I’m very confident of how we’re going to be able to bring the party together,” Obama said after a brief conversation with Hillary Rodham Clinton, his vanquished rival.

Campaign officials said Kennedy, who is the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, as well as former Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder and longtime Washington insider Jim Johnson have already begun compiling information on potential running mates. They disclosed no names.

Obama clinched the Democratic nomination on Tuesday, taking a major step toward his goal of becoming the first black president. While Clinton has yet to concede defeat, she and associates have been maneuvering for the past 24 hours to gain her a place on the ticket.

Bob Johnson, the founder of the Black Entertainment Network, was among them, and said he was doing so with her blessing.

Johnson said he had written the Congressional Black Caucus asking its members to urge Obama to place Clinton on the ticket.

Clinton “didn’t direct me to do it but she certainly knows what I’m doing,” said Johnson, who angered Obama’s aides earlier in the race when he obliquely referred to Obama’s confessed drug use as a young man.

Democrats began closing ranks quickly.

Two senators swung behind Obama after remaining neutral throughout his long nominating battle with Clinton, as did Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., a member of the House leadership with close ties to both senators.

“We have a nominee of our party,” said Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa. Sen. Ken Salazar of Colorado also announced his endorsement.

Former Vice President Walter Mondale, who had been a Clinton supporter, announced he was backing Obama.

It hardly mattered in terms of delegate math _ after months of struggle, Obama had more than enough to prevail at the party convention in Denver in August.

But Mondale, Harkin, Salazar and others poised to endorse Obama later in the day were also sending a message to Clinton that her race is over, whether she will admit it or not.

Obama began his public day with an appearance before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, where he pledged support for Israel and accused Republican rival John McCain of backing a “plan for staying, not a plan for victory” in Iraq.

Earlier, McCain freshened the criticism he directed at Obama on Tuesday night.

“I think he has exercised very bad judgment on national security issues and others,” he said in a television interview.

The disclosure about the three-person veep vetting team was an unambiguous signal that Obama is turning his full attention to the general election campaign.

Kennedy’s name came as a surprise, although she endorsed Obama at a critical time in the campaign last winter, saying he could be an inspirational leader like her father. She also campaigned for Obama.

Holder is a former federal prosecutor and District of Columbia Superior Court judge who held the No. 2 job at the Justice Department under President Clinton.

Johnson is widely known among Democrats for having helped previous candidates, including John Kerry four years ago, sift through vice presidential possibilities. He is a former chief executive officer for the mortgage lender Fannie Mae.

Obama and Clinton ran into each other backstage at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee meeting, which they addressed separately Wednesday morning.

“I just spoke to her today, and we’re going to be having a conversation in coming weeks, and I’m very confident how unified the Democratic party’s going to be to win in November,” Obama told reporters as he left the Senate.

Asked if Clinton indicated she planned to concede, Obama replied: “It wasn’t a detailed conversation.”

He dismissed a question about her refusal to concede after the final two primaries Tuesday night by saying she was “understandably focused on her supporters.”

Clinton visited her campaign headquarters in suburban Virginia, where she thanked staff for their work. Aides said she was also phoning superdelegates and supporters, and planned to host an 89th birthday celebration at her Washington home for her mother, Dorothy Rodham.

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