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Archive for June 14th, 2008

John McCain’s Wife Stole Drugs From Her Own Charity

By- Suzie-Q @ 4:00 PM MST

That’s no lady, that’s John McCain’s wife

23/6

June 13, 2008

Michelle Obama has been under quite a bit of media scrutiny lately, from her terrorist fist jab to the rumored (and non-existent) “whitey” tape, and the Obamas are preparing for even more wife-attacks to come. And yet, we never hear too much about the other potential first lady. So as a public service, from now until the second Tuesday in November, every time Michelle Obama is unfairly attacked or portrayed by the media or a Republican-backed 527 group, 23/6 will remind you of this terrifying and true fact about Cindy McCain.

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By- Suzie-Q @ 3:00 PM MST

Judge Sets Abramoff Sentencing Date, Investigation May Continue

TPM Muckraker
By Andrew Tilghman – June 13, 2008, 6:43PM

So how lenient will Jack Abramoff’s judge really be?

He’ll find out on Sept. 4, which a judge in Washington today set as his sentencing date.

But don’t expect that to be the end of the multi-year investigation of his lobbying ring. The feds expect him to keep up is cooperation, and possibly even testify at some point. Keep in mind that Abramoff has been cooperating from federal prison since he began serving time for his role in the separate fraud case in Florida.

Attorneys in the case came to an interesting agreement this week, according to a joint motion filed in federal court.

While the government anticipates that Mr. Abramoff’s cooperation in the form of possible testimony will continue for the foreseeable future, the parties believe that they are in a position to inform the court about the full scope of his misconduct and cooperation, and that, consistent with the commitments in the plea agreement with Mr. Abramoff, sentencing in the near future in this case is appropriate.

Under his plea agreement, Abramoff can expect to receive a jail sentence of 9 1/2 to 11 years, and he is required to make restitution of $26.7 million to the IRS and to the Indian tribes he defrauded.

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McCain Makes Stuff Up…

By- Suzie-Q @ 8:45 AM MST

John McCain Makes Stuff up

By Robert Parry, Consortium News. Posted June 14, 2008

Is John McCain like George W. Bush, someone who has learned that the media is hesitant to call a Republican politician a liar?

For years now, the U.S. political press corps has traveled with John McCain on his “Straight Talk Express,” buying into his image as a paragon of truth-telling. But the real truth is that McCain routinely makes stuff up, as he did on June 11 in lying about Barack Obama’s “bitter” comment.

During a political talk in Philadelphia, McCain claimed that Obama had described “bitter” small-town voters as clinging to religion or “the Constitution” – when the second item in Obama’s comment actually was “guns.”

But the Arizona senator didn’t stop with a simple word substitution. He added that he will tell these voters that “they have trust and support the Constitution of the United States because they have optimism and hope. … That’s what America’s all about.”

In other words, McCain didn’t just make a slip of the tongue. He willfully accused Obama of disparaging the U.S. Constitution, a very serious point that, if true, might cause millions of Americans to reject Obama’s candidacy.

Still, when some of the U.S. broadcast networks – including NBC evening news – played the clip of McCain lashing out at Obama’s purported dissing of the Constitution, they didn’t correct McCain’s falsehood.

That fits with a long-standing pattern of the political press corps giving McCain a break when he makes statements at variance with the truth. Even in the rare moments when he is caught in an inaccuracy – such as accusing Shiite-ruled Iran of training Sunni extremists in al-Qaeda – the falsehood is minimized as an unintentional gaffe.

However, McCain actually seems to be following a trail blazed by George W. Bush, saying what’s useful at the time even if it’s not true and then counting on the U.S. press corps to timidly look the other way.

Through all his misstatements, McCain’s “straight-talk” reputation survives.

Sweeping Denials

In another instructive case, McCain got away with sweeping denials in his reaction to a New York Times article on Feb. 21. The story led with unsubstantiated suspicions among some McCain staffers that their boss had gotten too cozy with female lobbyist Vicky Iseman, but McCain went beyond simply denying any sexual improprieties.

He put out a statement declaring that in his quarter-century congressional career, he “has never violated the public trust, never done favors for special interests or lobbyists.” But that simply isn’t true.

As the Times story already had recalled, McCain helped one of his early financial backers, wheeler-dealer Charles Keating, frustrate oversight from federal banking regulators who were examining Keating’s Lincoln Savings and Loan Association.

At Keating’s urging, McCain wrote letters, introduced bills and pushed a Keating associate for a job on a banking regulatory board. In 1987, McCain joined several other senators in two private meetings with federal banking regulators on Keating’s behalf.

Two years later, Lincoln collapsed, costing the U.S. taxpayers $3.4 billion. Keating eventually went to prison and three other senators from the so-called Keating Five saw their political careers ruined.

McCain drew a Senate reprimand for his involvement and later lamented his faulty judgment. “Why didn’t I fully grasp the unusual appearance of such a meeting?” he wrote in his 2002 memoir, Worth the Fighting For.

But some people close to the case thought McCain got off too easy.

Not only was McCain taking donations from Keating and his business circle, getting free rides on Keating’s corporate jet and enjoying joint vacations in the Bahamas – McCain’s second wife, the beer fortune heiress Cindy Hensley, had invested with Keating in an Arizona shopping mall.

More

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151 Congressmen Derive Financial Profit From War

anthony @ 12:39 BST

CTVN | Friday, 11 April 2008

Who profits from the Iraq war? More than a quarter of senators and congressmen have invested at least $196 million of their own money in companies doing business with the Department of Defense (DoD) that profit from the death and destruction in Iraq.

According to the latest reports, 151 members of Congress invested close to a quarter-billion in companies that received defense contracts of at least $5 million in 2006. These companies got more than $275.6 billion from the government in 2006, or $755 million per day, according to FedSpending.org, a website of the watchdog group OMBWatch.

Congressmen gave themselves a loophole so they only have to report their assets in broad ranges. Thus, they can be off as much as 160 percent. (Try giving the IRS an estimate like that.) In 2004, the first full year after the present Iraq war began, Republican and Democratic lawmakers-both hawks and doves-invested between $74.9 million and $161.3 million in companies under contract with the DoD.
(more…)

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Rumsfeld Personally Approved Brutal Interrogations

Sudhan @11:45 CET

Jason Leopold | Scoop Independent News, June 14, 2008

rumsfeld_tortures.jpg

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld personally authorized the use of brutal interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay despite warnings from the FBI that the methods amounted to inhumane treatment, was possibly illegal, and would not produce reliable intelligence, a Department of Justice inspector general testified Tuesday.

“The FBI believed that these techniques were not getting actionable information, that they were unsophisticated and unproductive,” said Glenn Fine, the DOJ’s inspector general, in testimony Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “They raised their concerns with the Department of Defense, but the Department of Defense, from what we were told, dismissed those concerns and that no changes were made in the Department of Defense’s strategy.”

Rumsfeld, who resigned immediately after the 2006-midterm elections, has vehemently denied that he approved of torture. The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel provided the Defense Department with legal guidelines that authorized techniques such as waterboarding, the use of military dogs, and “slaps” and concluded that as long as “organ failure” did not occur the methods could not be construed as torture.

Fine issued a 437-page report last month on the Bush administration’s interrogation policies, which found that White House officials ignored FBI concerns about the treatment of detainees.

His testimony comes on the heels of a letter signed by 56 House Democrats that was sent to Attorney General Michael Mukasey last week Friday requesting that he appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether White House officials, including President Bush, violated the War Crimes Act when they allowed interrogators to use brutal interrogation methods against detainees suspected of ties to terrorist organizations.

“The Bush administration may have systematically implemented, from the top down, detainee interrogation policies that constitute torture or otherwise violate the law,” the letter to Mukasey says. “We believe that these serious and significant revelations warrant an immediate investigation to determine whether actions taken by the President, his Cabinet, and other Administration officials are in violation of the War Crimes Act, the Anti-Torture Act, and other U.S. and international laws.”

In October 2002, Fine said, FBI agents raised concerns with Marion Bowman, the Justice Department’s deputy general counsel in charge of national security, about the methods used during interrogations at Guantanamo Bay. An FBI agent stationed at Guantanamo then sent the agency an analysis on November 27, 2002 calling into question the legality of the interrogation techniques, stating that the methods used appeared to violate the U.S. Torture statute. Bowman then alerted Jim Haynes, the DOD’s general counsel.

Continued . . .

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anthony @ 10:17 BST

EU risks losing all legitimacy by circumventing its own laws in pursuit of federal superstate

Paul Joseph Watson | Prison Planet | Friday, June 13, 2008

Spearheaded by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the EU and its member states, in their relentless pursuit of a federal superstate, may break its own laws and ram through the Lisbon Treaty despite it being rejected by Irish voters today.

Under EU laws, if one of its member states rejects a treaty, the EU is mandated to scrap the bill. But the European Union’s contempt for direct democracy is likely to lead them to ignore the Irish referendum and pursue the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty anyway – underscoring the fact that the EU is nothing more than an illegitimate dictatorship of manufactured consent.

The Lisbon Treaty was merely a crude repackaging of the 2005 EU Constitution that was mothballed after being rejected by France and Holland in 2005, whose citizens were barred from voting this time around.

Since Ireland’s constitution mandates that any amendment must be put to a referendum, the country remained the only bulwark against the EU’s final stumbling block to creating a federal superstate and completely eliminating all remaining vestiges of sovereignty.

(more…)

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