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Accused Terrorist Is Big GOP Donor

By Justin Rood
ABC News
Monday 19 February 2007

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) won't say what it plans to do with thousands of dollars in campaign donations it received from an accused terror financier.

Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari gave $15,250 to the NRCC since 2002, according to FEC records published on the Web site opensecrets.org.

On Friday, Alishtari pled not guilty to funding terrorism and other crimes, including financial fraud.

How long will you wait for a FOIA request? 17 years?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FEBRUARY 15, 2007 10:04 AM
CONTACT: National Security Archive Meredith Fuchs - 202/994-7000

House Subcommittee Asks Archive for FOIA Reform Advice Archive General Counsel Testifies that Congress Should Mandate Solutions; Cites 17 Year Delays, Lost Requests, and Agency Obstruction of FOIA

WASHINGTON - February 15 - National Security Archive General Counsel Meredith Fuchs today told the Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that, "problems [with the Freedom of Information Act system] will not be solved unless Congress mandates solutions."

Al Neuharth: Bush Is Worst President of All-Time

Editor & Publisher
Friday 16 February 2007

New York - Al Neuharth, the former Gannett chief, USA Today founder and currently weekly columnist for that newspaper, has had a change of heart.

A year ago, in honor of President's Day, he stated that while he was often critical of George W. Bush, he did not, and probably would not ever, crack his list of the five worst presidents we've ever had.

A year later he admits he was wrong. In his USA Today column today he announces that Bush has not only cracked the bottom five, he's now at the very bottom.

The Real Patriots

Published on Monday, February 19, 2007 by the New York Times
by Bob Herbert

If we could manage to get past the tedious and the odious — like the empty speculation on whether a woman can win, or whether Barack Obama is black enough — we might be able to engage the essential issue facing the U.S. at this point in our history.

And that is whether, once the Bush administration has finally and mercifully run its course, the country goes back to being a reasonably peaceful, lawful, constructive force in the world, or whether we continue down the bullying, warlike, unilateral, irresponsible, unlawful and profoundly ineffective path laid out by Bush, Cheney & Co.

a soldiers bloody tears

a poem after seing "Ground Truth"...

a soldiers bloody tears
conceived by GW Bush & R. Cheney
by rw spisak

the missing limb'
the bodies do not ever dim

anger keeps the pain at bay
the bullets easy spray
in fatal foam
driving death home in collisions colorful
long division

firefights deep in the long nights dark
the soldiers heart
locked out the pain on broken binging hinges
like gentlest rain leaks back

Support the White Flag Surrender Monkeys

Support the White Flag Surrender MonkeysThanks to Bob for pointing out the latest in wingnutterdom, the "Victory Caucus", who are going nuts over the fourteen white flag surrender monkeys (brave Republicans) who've joined co-sponser Walter Jones in supporting the toothless Democrat-led resolution dissapproving of Smirk's escalation of the Iraq war.

Show them some love....

The Human Toll of War

From a NY Times article about George Tenet and his upcoming book:

The publisher who met with Mr. Tenet said he had spoken extensively about the toll that the Iraq war had taken on his family, particularly on his son, who was “teased mercilessly” at school. “Other kids would yell, ‘Your dad’s a murderer!’ and that kind of thing,” the publisher recalled him saying.

While one feels for Tenet's son, we must remember he has not been the only one to suffer: a recent study by Johns Hopkins researchers estimated that 650,000 Iraqis have also been teased mercilessly. In addition, 3,000 U.S. soldiers have been made fun of so cruelly by the other children that they decided to run back home to America hidden in metal boxes covered in flags.

ORIGINAL

Counting Beans and Benjamins

There's been a lot a big numbers floated by the past few days. Let's review, first the really big one, Smirk's Three Trillion Dollar budget which includes $719 BILLION for the starving military, including almost $300 billion for ongoing war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. So how does he plan to pay for this obscene increase in US global military domination? By cutting the budget for Medicare, Medicaid, education, health care and children's programs. What a mean heartless little tyrant our illegitimate Dear MisLeader...

Soldiers in Iraq View Troop Surge as a Lost Cause

By Tom Lasseter
McClatchy Newspapers
Saturday 03 February 2007

Baghdad, Iraq - Army 1st Lt. Antonio Hardy took a slow look around the east Baghdad neighborhood that he and his men were patrolling. He grimaced at the sound of gunshots in the distance. A machine gunner on top of a Humvee scanned the rooftops for snipers. Some of Hardy's men wondered aloud if they'd get hit by a roadside bomb on the way back to their base.

In Washington, Contractors Take On Biggest Role Ever

By Scott Shane and Ron Nixon
The New York Times
Sunday 04 February 2007

Washington - In June, short of people to process cases of incompetence and fraud by federal contractors, officials at the General Services Administration responded with what has become the government's reflexive answer to almost every problem.

They hired another contractor.

It did not matter that the company they chose, CACI International, had itself recently avoided a suspension from federal contracting; or that the work, delving into investigative files on other contractors, appeared to pose a conflict of interest; or that each person supplied by the company would cost taxpayers $104 an hour. Six CACI workers soon joined hundreds of other private-sector workers at the G.S.A., the government's management agency.

News from the 2007 Annual Peace Alliance Conference

Greetings from the Annual Peace Alliance Conference in Washington, DC!

All of us here wanted to let those of you that couldn't join us, to know you are in our thoughts. This conference is already a huge success. Sold out and standing room only for some events. More requests from the media than we've ever had in the past. And it couldn't have happened without all of the work everyone has done over the past year. Those who were able to make it to the conference and all of those who couldn't join us in person. We know you are here in spirit and that it is our work and energy together that continues to nourish this movement...

US Reconfigures the Way Casualty Totals Are Given

By Denise Grady
The New York Times
Friday 02 February 2007

Statistics on a Pentagon Web site have been reorganized in a way that lowers the published totals of American nonfatal casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dr. Michael Kilpatrick, deputy director of force health protection and readiness at the Defense Department, said the previous method of tallying casualties was misleading and might have made injuries and combat wounds seem worse and more numerous than they really were.

War a Calamity, Ex-Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski Tells US Congress

Published on Saturday, February 3, 2007 by the Associated Press
by Barry Schweid

WASHINGTON -- Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. national security adviser, told Congress the war in Iraq is a calamity and likely to lead to "a head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of Islam at large."

Testifying before the Senate foreign relations committee Thursday, Brzezinski skewered U.S. administration policy as driven by "imperial hubris" and a disaster on historic, strategic and moral grounds.

$3T Bush Budget to Trim Domestic Programs

The Associated Press
Friday 02 February 2007

Monday plan to kick off major debate with Democratic- controlled Congress.

Washington - Keeping troops in Iraq for another year and a half will cost nearly a quarter-trillion dollars - about $800 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. - under the budget President Bush will submit to Congress Monday.

Bush will ask for $100 billion more for military and diplomatic operations in Iraq and Afghanistan this year and seek $145 billion for 2008, a senior Pentagon official said Friday. Those requests come on top of about $344 billion spent for Iraq since the 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

White House Rejects Mandatory CO2 Caps

By John Heilprin
The Associated Press
Friday 02 February 2007

Washington - Despite a strongly worded global warming report from the world's top climate scientists, the Bush administration expressed continued opposition Friday to mandatory reductions in heat-trapping "greenhouse" gases.

Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman warned against "unintended consequences" - including job losses - that he said might result if the government requires economy-wide caps on carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.

Report Says Bush Downplays Costs of Troop Increase

By Thomas D. Williams
t r u t h o u t | Report
Friday 02 February 2007

President George W. Bush's repeated statements of the need for 21,500 more combat troops in Iraq to quell the violence in Baghdad and in Anbar Province don't begin to give the full picture, a new Congressional Budget Office report reveals.

The startling report, issued Thursday by Budget Office Director Peter R. Orszag, said ordinarily another 27,500 troops would be necessary to support the additional 21,500 combat forces Bush featured in his talks to the nation. The budget office estimates range from 15,000 to 28,000 support troops that will be needed to back up the 21,500 mentioned by the administration.

Blackwater and the privatizing of the war machine

StarTribune.com
Last update: January 28, 2007 – 12:39 AM
Jeremy Scahill

Bush & Co. are using taxpayer dollars to run an outsourcing lab in Iraq.

As President Bush took the podium to deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday, five American families received news that has become all too common: Their loved ones had been killed in Iraq. But in this case, the slain were neither "civilians," as the news reports proclaimed, nor were they U.S. soldiers. They were highly trained mercenaries deployed to Iraq by a secretive private military company based in North Carolina -- Blackwater USA.

In Harm’s Way

Published on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 by CommonDreams.org
by Bill C. Davis

It sounds cozy – almost storybook. “In harm’s way.” This phrase presents what is happening to and with American troops as a static reality. Harm was there waiting for the troops to arrive and they got in the way of this thing that was coiled ready to meet the unsuspecting soldiers.

The implication is that “harm’s way” is disconnected from any provocative action. It’s presented as a prickly natural phenomenon – a bee sting, an ice patch, poison ivy – harm’s way.

The reality is that more than being “in harm’s way” – they are in the wrong place. It was wrong in 2003 and it’s wrong now. They are in the middle of a cyclone ignited by an immoral decision – by a collection of immoral decisions and abdications.

DON'T LET TORTURE BECOME THE NORM

By PHILLIP BUTLER
Guest commentary

Many peace and justice organizations have been promoting and demonstrating lately for awareness of torture and related issues. I'm amazed and profoundly disappointed that this has apparently become necessary in our country.

I spent eight years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, from 1965 to 1973. During that time, I and more than 90 percent of my fellow POWs were repeatedly tortured for the extortion of political propaganda and sometimes just for retribution. We were not recognized by Vietnam as POWs, but as criminals, because the Vietnamese had not signed the 1949 "Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War."

Petraeus! Is Baghdad Burning?

Go to Original. Posted on Jan 12, 2007
By Stan Goff
Editor’s note: In this piece, a retired U.S. Special Forces soldier takes an oil-filtered look at Bush’s “surge” plan for Iraq.

“Jodl! Is Paris burning?”
—Adolf Hitler
Aug. 25, 1944

Backstage

The United States makes up about 5 percent of the Earth’s population, but as an aggregate we burn more than 25 percent of its fossil energy. That’s roughly true of all three main forms of fossil energy—oil, natural gas and coal.

Iraq Vets Call on Congress to End War

By Stacy Bannerman
t r u t h o u t | Report
Monday 15 January 2007

As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq. Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for US troops to come home.
- Appeal for Redress

An anti-war organization launched by a 22-year-old Marine and a 29-year-old sailor has accumulated 1,028 signatures from active-duty and Reserve troops calling for an end to the war in Iraq, which has lasted nearly four years. The signatures will be delivered to lawmakers on January 16th.

Say Good-bye to a Future Republican Presidency

Say Good-bye to a Future Republican Presidency
January 8, 2007 by Ivan Eland
http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1888

President George W. Bush, contrary to the will of the American and Iraqi peoples and his own military commanders, seems ready to embark on a potentially disastrous escalation of the Iraq war, which was lost long ago. This mind-numbingly idiotic strategy is sure to needlessly cost more American and Iraqi lives and to lose the presidency for the Republicans in 2008.

CRUSHED BY THE WEIGHT OF THE FLAGS

These past few days, the touching memorial services for President Gerald R. Ford featured a cavalcade of Washington elites, including both Presidents Bush. Many members of the Bush Administrations had been nascent bureaucrats during the Nixon and Ford Administrations.

Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, James Baker and Alan Greenspan all attended the services. Their relationships with Gerald Ford spanned several decades. But while Mr. Ford retained his humanity throughout these years, his political proteges morphed into mean-spirited men. Ideologues who created an imperialist war machine out of America. The same America Gerald Ford returned to decency over thirty years before.

George W. Bush attended one President Ford memorial. Cheney and Rumsfeld attended them all. At these services, as in most official venues, Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney are in the company of our military. Courageous young men and women who volunteered to serve. I usually view the military as heroes. But in the presence of Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush, I see them as victims instead. Sacrificial pawns of these chickenhawks who prey on the children of others.

DEATH COMES IN THREES, PLUS THREE THOUSAND

I heard it in my Italian family, and in my Jewish family growing up in New York. And I've heard it in Los Angeles, or Hollywood as some would say, over the years that I've lived here. "Death comes in threes." "Watch," they'd say. "As soon as one famous person dies, two more will follow." And though I'm not superstitious, I must admit I've seen this "death comes in threes" often enough that it's really quite freaky... even scary.

Just this year (2006), Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein and spiritual leader Coretta Scott King died on the same day, January 30th. The great feminist Betty Friedan died a mere five days later on February 4th.

Also this year (2006), actors Dennis Weaver and Don Knotts died on February 24th, and actor Darren McGavin died the next day on February 25th. Not only did they all die a day apart, but all their first names began with the letter "D." Oooh... doubly scary!

In 2005, singer/actor John Raitt, free-spirit/raconteur Hunter S. Thompson, and actress Sandra Dee all passed away on the very same day, February 20th.

Happy New Year... The Clock is Ticking

By Philip A. Farruggio

Herman Goring, Hitler's right hand man during the reign of the Nazi regime, was interviewed by a psychologist while awaiting the Nuremberg trial. He was asked how Hitler and the Nazis were able to get the German people to go along so easily with their policies of war and aggression. Goring's answer was startling, yet pointedly concise and ominous. " Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war? But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy. The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. All you have to do is tell them they're being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism. It works the same in every country."

A Young Marine Speaks Out

INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE
NEWS YOU WON'T FIND ON CNN

By Philip Martin

12/08/06 "Lew Rockwell" --- I'm sick and tired of this patriotic, nationalistic and fascist crap. I stood through a memorial service today for a young Marine that was killed in Iraq back in April. During this memorial a number of people spoke about the guy and about his sacrifice for the country. How do you justify 'sacrificing' your life for a war which is not only illegal, but is being prosecuted to the extent where the only thing keeping us there is one man's power, and his ego. A recent Marine Corps intelligence report that was leaked said that the war in the al-Anbar province is unwinnable. It said that there was nothing we could do to win the hearts and minds, or the military operations in that area. So I wonder, why are we still there? Democracy is not forced upon people at gunpoint. It's the result of forward thinking individuals who take the initiative and risks to give their fellow countrymen a better way of life.

Hate Mail, Vandalism and Other Matches

The following e-mail message was received by Impeach for Peace. Impeach for Peace developed the DIY Impeachment. Evidently, that's come to someone's attention.

********************************************* *********************************************
In the not too distant future, America will once again be visited with the love and sincerity of the Islam-O-fascist, then the fun can begin.

We have a nation of narcissistic, hedonistic, comfort punks who have taken up the mantra of peace at any cost, for now.

Once this cabal of the self centered is faced with some reality, reality will once again rear its fun little head.

In the not too distant future, America hating cowards and peace punks may find themselves looking at a gallows for treason. What fun, just imagine what you would do, when your day arrives, they lead you to the place of execution and you stand there in all your peace glory, shaking like a leaf in the breeze, the noose is placed over your hippie head and you wait for the drop. I can't wait, the pissing of the pants and cries for Jesus, who you rejected when you embraced atheism, sodomy and the dumbocrap way.......That'll be a great day!

She Survived Iraq - Then Shot Herself at Home

By Greg Mitchell
Editor and Publisher
Monday 13 November 2006

New York - Her name doesn't show on any official list of American military deaths in the Iraq war, by hostile or non-hostile fire, who died in that country or in hospitals in Europe or back home in the USA. But Iraq killed her just as certainly.

She is Jeanne "Linda" Michel, a Navy medic. She came home last month to her husband and three kids (ages 11, 5, and 4), delighted to be back in her suburban home of Clifton Park in upstate New York. Michel, 33, would be discharged from the Navy in a few weeks, finishing her five years of duty.

Two weeks after she got home, she shot and killed herself.

Whither the Architects of War?

Published on Friday, November 10, 2006 by the Independent / UK

One by one, they are falling victim to conflict they engineered. Bush and Blair remain - for now

Richard Armitage

Colin Powell's number two quit at the same time as his boss after the 2004 election.

Jose Maria Aznar

Spanish PM. Victim of Islamic extremism caused by war. Ousted after Madrid bombs.

Superbug Brought Back by Iraq War Casualties

Published on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 by the Independent / UK
by Colin Brown

Injured soldiers returning from Iraq have brought back a superbug that has been linked with outbreaks in NHS hospitals where they have been treated, a health minister has confirmed. The links between casualties brought back from Iraq and outbreaks in the NHS have caused alarm within the health service and led to renewed demands for more dedicated wards for Britain's armed forces to enable wounded soldiers to be isolated more effectively.

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