Evidence of Fraud Found by Iraq Audit

A watchdog agency sees poor oversight in a defunct U.S. program to let private firms train Iraqis to guard oil and power infrastructure.
By T. Christian Miller, LA Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — An American initiative to use private security companies to protect Iraq's oil and power infrastructure collapsed amid reports of possible fraud, missing weapons and destroyed documents, according to a federal audit released Saturday.

Billions Wasted in Iraq, Says US Audit

Published on Monday, May 1, 2006 by the Guardian / UK
· Projects behind schedule despite massive outlay
· Roadside bomb kills 3 contractors, wounds 2
by Ewen MacAskill

A US congressional inspection team set up to monitor reconstruction in Iraq today publishes a scathing report of failures by contractors, mainly from the US, to carry out projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Stark Calls for an End to the Iraq War

CONTACT: Congressman Pete Stark
Yoni Cohen, Stark (202) 225-3202

Three years later, mission not accomplished

WASHINGTON - May 1 - U.S. Representative Pete Stark (D-Fremont), a member of the Out of Iraq Caucus, issued the following statement on the third anniversary of President Bush’s aircraft carrier landing and “Mission Accomplished” address.

“Mr. President, you and your administration lost the war in Iraq,” said Representative Stark. “In the three years since you declared major combat operations to have ended, more than 2,250 American soldiers have died unnecessary deaths. Rather than facilitate a lasting peace, the American occupation has led Iraq into civil war. At a cost of nearly $10 billion a month, the American presence continues to embolden our enemies and weaken our friends.”

After hyping Iraqi nuclear threat in 2002-03, conservative media now doing the same with Iranian nuclear program

Media Matters for America

Summary: On the third anniversary of President Bush's premature declaration of victory in Iraq, Media Matters has compiled examples of media that sounded alarms over Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction capabilities now sounding similar alarms over Iran.
In recent months, Media Matters for America has noted numerous instances in which conservative commentators and media sources have hyped Iran's progress in developing a nuclear capability and have made assertions that contradict the public estimates provided by the United States intelligence community and independent experts. Many of these same commentators similarly touted Iraq's purported efforts to develop nuclear weapons in 2002 and early 2003 while making the case for war. On the third anniversary of President Bush's premature declaration of victory in Iraq, Media Matters has compiled examples of media that sounded alarms over Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction capabilities now sounding similar alarms over Iran:

Bitter Sweet Honey for Iraq's Disadvantaged

From: Mathaba

The sweetness of the change in Iraq is getting bitter - it is a bitter honey according to Dr Bayan Alaraj, whose charity World Wide Welfare is helping orphans and refugees who have returned home.

In 1982 one of Dr Bayan Alaraji’s patients told her that Saddam's regime was plotting the execution of her husband’s Alhakim family. The news prompted her to escape to Britain with her husband and two children. Today World Wide Welfare, the charity which Dr Alaraji set up to help Iraqis who fled to Iran after the 1991 uprising is assisting orphans and the needy in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf, Karbalaa&Basra. Attempts to work in Baghdad were also started, but had to be abandoned because of the security situation.

Radio Today

Catch David Swanson of After Downing Street on the radio in Sacramento with Michelle Shockley at 6 a.m. PT today and at 6 p.m. ET on:

Bush of a Thousand Days

By FRANK RICH, New York Times

LIKE the hand that suddenly pops out of the grave at the end of "Carrie," the past keeps coming back to haunt the Bush White House. Last week was no exception. No sooner did the Great Decider introduce the Fox News showman anointed to repackage the same old bad decisions than the spotlight shifted back to Patrick Fitzgerald's grand jury room, where Karl Rove testified for a fifth time. Nightfall brought the release of an NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll with its record-low numbers for a lame-duck president with a thousand days to go and no way out.

Iran Seeks `Urgent' UN Action Against U.S. `Threats'

May 1 (Bloomberg) -- Iran is asking United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Security Council to take unspecified action in response to what it says is the threat of a U.S. attack against its nuclear facilities.

A letter from Javad Zarif, Iran's ambassador to the UN, describes ``public and illegal threats of resort to force'' by the U.S., according to a copy provided by Iran's mission to the world body. Zarif seeks an ``urgent, concerted and resolute response'' from Annan and the Security Council.

Fatal flaw in fiasco of a war

The Australian
The sad death of a young soldier highlights John Howard's greatest blunder, writes Phillip Adams

HAVING driven one president to his political grave, you'd have thought Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward wouldn't be too popular with oval officers. Yet the opposite is true. Richard Nixon's successors have granted him considerable, even unprecedented, access. Woodward has been given more on and off the record interviews with presidents and administration heavies than the rest of the White House press corps put together.

Iraq War Similar to Vietnam, Say Americans

Angus Reid Global Scan, Canada

Many adults in the United States believe the coalition effort will lower their country’s international prestige, according to a poll by Hart/McInturff released by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News. 48 per cent of respondents think the war in Iraq will be more like the Vietnam War.

Conversely, 35 per cent of respondents compare the coalition effort with the Korean War, and 11 per cent believe it is similar to World War II.

Americans Decry Iraq War Casualties, Cost

Angus Reid Global Scan, Canada

Adults in the United States remain upset over their country’s involvement in the coalition effort, according to a poll by Hart/McInturff released by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News. 52 per cent of respondents think removing Saddam Hussein from power was not worth the number of U.S. military casualties and the financial cost of the war.

The coalition effort against Hussein’s regime was launched in March 2003. At least 2,397 American soldiers have died during the military operation, and more than 17,700 troops have been wounded in action.

Pelosi speaks to dissonance on Iraq war funding

By Luke Thomas, www.sanfranciscosentinel.com

Congresswoman and Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have a "whole different policy" regarding the war in Iraq when, and if, she becomes the majority speaker in congress in November.

"Well, if I become speaker of the house, we have a whole different policy. You have to think completely differently. You talk about an agenda for change, an agenda for progress, an agenda that says if you want peace, work for justice," Pelosi told the Sentinel.

Republican Ratings Lowest Since 1998, Poll Finds

May 1 (Bloomberg) -- Favorability ratings of Republicans in Congress are at their lowest since December of 1998, when the party suffered a backlash after the impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton, a USA Today/Gallup poll shows.

The April 28-30 survey found 36 percent of Americans said they have a favorable view of the party's performance, according to results published by the Gannett News Service. Democrats haven't benefited from public dissatisfaction with the Republicans. While 48 percent said they viewed Democrats favorably, the party's rating has fallen 4 points since October.

`War' a howl of dissent from rocker Neil Young

Protest album made in 3 weeks
By Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune

Only weeks after the release of a gently moving concert documentary, "Heart of Gold," Neil Young is back with a snarl.

In three weeks beginning in late March, he performed, recorded, mixed and mastered 10 songs for a new album, "Living With War," that play like a string of bulletins from the front line of a battlefield.

Young calls for the impeachment of the president, and describes a world where TV commercials push pain relief while soldiers come home in boxes. The music is equally blunt: a guitar-bass-drums trio augmented by trumpet and a choir, but powered by feedback and rampaging drums.

Don't Start a War in Iran

Dennis Kucinich speaking from the Floor of the House

Speaking in opposition to H.R. 282, the Iran Freedom Support Act, Congressman Kucinich said:

"Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Texas [Ron Paul] for the point that he made that is well taken.

"With all due respect to my colleagues who may have a difference of opinion about this bill, I think that most American people know that this administration has already made a mess of international relations with respect to the illegal and unwarranted invasion of Iraq.

Iran shells Kurdish rebel positions in Iraq

Associated Press

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iranian forces again shelled a border area used by Iranian Kurdish rebels, forcing some families to flee their homes Monday but causing no casualties, a Kurdish official said.

Mustafa Qader, a member of the political bureau of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party, said the shelling began at about 9 a.m. Sunday and continued until 5:30 a.m. Monday.

"It was so heavy that it forced families in these villages to flee the area to find shelter with their relatives," Qader said in a telephone interview from Sulaimaniyah, which is 160 miles northeast of Baghdad. advertisement

Eight killed in fresh Iraq violence

Pakistan Daily Times

BAGHDAD: A bomb exploded in an outdoor market in a city south of Baghdad on Monday, killing four Iraqi civilians and wounding two, police said.

In the capital, the bullet-ridden, handcuffed and blindfolded bodies of three Iraqi men were found, a drive-by shooting killed a Shia grocer in his shop, and three roadside bombs exploded, one of them wounding two Iraqis, said police.

Test blast linked to nuke weapons

By LAUNCE RAKE, Las Vegas Sun

LAS VEGAS -- Contrary to the Pentagon's earlier denials, a government official overseeing a test explosion at the Nevada Test Site in June says the blast could help with the development of nuclear weapons.

The detonation could simulate "a number of weapon concepts," said Doug Bruder, director of the counter-weapons of mass destruction program for the Defense Department's Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

Neil Young Clobbers the Thought Police

Pray for peace By John Stauber, http://www.gnn.tv

A sneak peak at the controversial new album reveals a new American classic
I’m listening to Neil Young’s new album, Living With War. It’s not my first time; I was lucky enough to be at a private listening last week in California. But now, along with millions of others connected to the Internet, I’m hearing it live today through my computer speakers, streaming for 24 hours, courtesy of Mr. Young and his absolutely brilliant bunch of guerrilla marketers and movement builders (stream the album here).

Woodstockers say Yes to Impeachment Investigation

By Ed Sanders and Michael Veitch

Woodstock NY, home to many artists, musicians, writers and craftspeople, has been an arts colony for over a hundred years. In the past it has provided safe haven to radicals and to those with controversial beliefs, but its government has not always been considered a hotbed of progressive politics. The demographics, however, have changed drastically during the past several decades, so that now Democrats hold a 3-1 edge over Republicans among registered voters. In spite of this change, the town’s government has tended to remain in the control of social conservatives and those who seemed more interested in developing some of the town’s beautiful landscape than in worrying about the klingonization of American foreign policy and the savaging of the Roosevelt-Kennedy-Johnson safety nets.

Vermonters deliver impeachment resolutions to Congress

By Shay Totten | Vermont Guardian

WASHINGTON — An effort that began in March culminated Monday when three Vermont communities delivered a message to House Speaker Dennis Hastert: Start the process to impeach Pres. George Bush.

Six Vermont towns passed resolutions on Town Meeting Day calling for Bush’s impeachment. On Monday, Ellen Tenney, a bookstore owner from Rockingham, hand delivered petitions to Hastert, an Illinois Republican.

Re-Improved Colbert transcript (now with complete text of Colbert-Thomas video!)

Daily Kos: Re-Improved Colbert transcript (now with complete text of Colbert-Thomas video!)
by Frederick

I've taken the existing transcripts I've seen of Stephen Colbert's brilliant monologue at the White House Correspondents Dinner, and the actual footage (complete video available at Democratic Underground; more links to it here), and edited the transcripts (correcting spelling and punctuation, adding mistakenly omitted words, etc.) to produce the following improved transcript. I have now also transcribed all of Colbert's Press Secretary "audition video." Continue below the fold with me.

Iraq future uncertain three years after Bush 'mission accomplished' speech

New report says US has failed to protect oil infrastructure, while Iraqi VP says 100,000 have fled homes in sectarian violence.
By Tom Regan | http://www.csmonitor.com

Three years to the day after President Bush stood on the carrier USS Lincoln in front of a huge banner that read "Mission Accomplished" and gave a major speech declaring major fighting in Iraq over, Iraq continues to struggle to find a secure future.


No 2006/10: May 1
Email office@stopwar.org.uk
Telephone 020 7278 6694
Web www.stopwar.org.uk



At the Rubicon: US Asks Turkey to Host Iran Attack


YNet News reports we are at the threshold of the most terrifying moment in human history: a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Iran. Contrary to the public story, the Bush Administration is proceeding full speed ahead, Congressional authorization be damned:

Turkey won't let U.S. attack Iran from its land
Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said Sunday that his country refused a request from the United States to attack Iran from its Air Force base in Incirlik, despite the U.S. offer of a nuclear reactor, according to a report in Al Biyan.

MSNBC Confirms Plame Was Working on Iran

MSNBC Confirms Plame Was Working On Iran When She Was Outed [UPDATED w/link to video]

Mon May 01, 2006 at 03:48:28 PM PDT

Per Raw Story:

A Cheney Free America

A Cheney Free America

An informed citizenry--it's the Anti-Cheney. Get involved.

Impeach Cheney First

By David Swanson

We should impeach Vice President Dick Cheney first, and President George Bush immediately thereafter. This idea is not original with me. It's been seen on bumper stickers for quite some time. My attention has been called to it by the fact that Congresswoman and Judiciary Committee Member Maxine Waters is talking about it. See below.

I'm persuaded of thevalue of this approach for several reasons. Among activists who very much want impeachment, one can hear a long list of fears and concerns about how things might go wrong, how impeachment could help Republicans who come around and back it, how impeachment could take energy away from elections, etc. But by far the most common of the nonsensical fears one hears is this one: "Impeaching Bush would give us Cheney, who is worse."

Two More Congress Members Back Impeachment Investigation, Bringing Total to 36

Congress Members Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois and Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania have joined the growing list of Representatives who have officially co-sponsored House Resolution 635, Rep. John Conyers' bill to create an investigation into grounds for impeachment of the President. More information:

Sacramento Impeachment Forum is a Huge Success

By Bob Fertik, http://www.democrats.com

On Saturday I flew to Sacramento for an outstanding forum on Impeachment organized by the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party, led by Joye Swan and Jo Olson. ImpeachPAC.org was a co-sponsor and Sophie de Vries, the national impeachment coordinator of Democrats.com, did yeoperson's work, not the least of which was persuading me to go and suppressing her exhaustion to get me home on the redeye.


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