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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”).

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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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