Thursday, January 11, 2007

What Bush Forgot To Say About the PRTs; Run, Chuck, Run


In his Wednesday night speech on Iraq, George W. Bush tried to convince the public that he was placing his administration's Iraq policy on the right track. He noted he would do more than send 20,000 additional troops to Iraq; he would revitalize the reconstruction effort. He said:

America will change our approach to help the Iraqi government...We will give our commanders and civilians greater flexibility to spend funds for economic assistance. We will double the number of provincial reconstruction teams. These teams bring together military and civilian experts to help local Iraqi communities pursue reconciliation, strengthen the moderates, and speed the transition to Iraqi self-reliance.

Sounds good. But what about those provincial reconstruction teams? Do they make a difference? In October, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction issued a review titled Status of the Provincial Reconstruction Team Program in Iraq. It reported:

Given the security situation, the PRTs and the local governance satellite offices have varying degrees of ability to carry out their missions. Specifically, of the 9 PRTs and 4 satellite offices that we reviewed, 4 were generally able, 4 were somewhat able, 3 were less able, and 2 were generally unable to carry out their PR missions.

Five out of the thirteen offices did not make the grade. Only one-third were operating reasonably well. Doubling the number of these teams is not likely to win the day (or the war) for Bush.

RUN, CHUCK, RUN. In my latest TomPaine.com column, I explain why John Edwards and John McCain "may have the best starting positions among the major [presidential] contenders for the coming political jockeying over Iraq, even though they are advocating opposing policies." But I note:

There are potential minefields for McCain. The war, post-surge, could get so ugly that even the hardest-core Republicans become turned off and cannot be won over by McCain's tough-guy talk. McCain might also face an anti-war Republican challenger who will try to put the former Navy pilot on the spot. Sen. Chuck Hagel, a sometimes maverick-ish Republican from Nebraska and another Vietnam vet, has called for withdrawal from Iraq, and he has been pondering a presidential bid. None of the other non-McCain GOP candidates--outgoing Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback--are as qualified (or perhaps as willing) to challenge McCain as is Hagel, a member of the foreign relations committee who has been raising questions about the Iraq war since the start, even when he voted to give Bush the authority to attack. If Hagel jumps into the pool, the smart money would still be on McCain. But Republican voters--and the rest of the public--could be treated to an electrifying and dramatic debate.

Here's an example why: during Thursday's Senate foreign relations committee hearing--where Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was grilled by Democrats and Republicans opposed to Bush's escalation of the Iraq war--Hagel had the most dramatic line of the day. He declared:

I think this speech given last night by this president represents the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam -- if it's carried out. I will resist it.

Imagine him in the ring with McCain. That would be a helluva fight.

Posted by David Corn at January 11, 2007 03:58 PM

44 comments:

kathleen said...

Hagel has been standing alone on issues for quite some time. I think he would be formidable in a race against McCain.

Since sending American troops into a sovereign nation based on lies about WMD's, torturing, war profiteering, and creating an enviroment where a mass genocide is taking place in the land that the Bush administration liberated were not serious enough issues for the Republican controlled congress to consider impeachment proceedings.

I wish someone would give Cheney and Bush blowjobs so that the congress would consider IMPEACHMENT!

SOMEONE HAS TO STOP THEM! WHERE'S MONICA?

kathleen said...

Folks should go to the True Majority website and find out where "American's will be saying No" tonight near them.

Not that anyone is listening!

I keep clinging to what Peggy Gish just recently wrote from northern Iraq, "If we dare to hope, we can dare to act"

kathleen said...

So instead of taking the advice of the Baker/Hamilton report, General Wesley Clark, Zbigniew Brezenski, and many other experts, Bush continues to listen to the neo-cons and threatens Iran!

Oh so diplomatic

"Bush accused Iran and Syria of aiding the movement of "terrorists and insurgents" in and out of Iraq and said the U.S. will "seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies."
!

kathleen said...

Where is Rove? Does Fitzgerald have his balls in a vice grip?

kathleen said...

Will the MSM make a peep about the upcoming Aipac/espionage Trial coming up? Keep a watch to see if they cover it!

kathleen said...

We all quit if you tell the truth!

Jewish board members quit Carter Center over ex-President's Palestine book

RAW STORY
Published: Thursday January 11, 2007

The writings of ex-Democratic President Jimmy Carter have prompted 14 Jewish members of a foundation named for him to resign, according to a report in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today.

JTA reported that 14 Jewish staff issued a letter to Carter, criticizing his latest book, which they called one-sided. The book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, is described by the publisher Simon and Schuster as "Pulling no punches," and including "steps that must be taken for the two states to share the Holy Land without a system of apartheid or the constant fear of terrorism." It has garnered heavy criticism from Jewish groups for blaming the Israelis for too much of the conflict.

The letter comes down hard on Carter and his Center, which was founded in 1982 at Emory University in Atlanta to promote democracy, human rights and peacemaking. The group's role in election monitoring the world over is particularly well known.

JTA reports the members of the Center wrote that, "This is not the Carter Center or the Jimmy Carter we came to respect and support," adding "It is with sadness and regret that we hereby tender our resignation from the Board of Councilors of the Carter Center effective immediately."

The names of those who resigned were not given, nor were their responsibilities on the Carter Center Board of Councilors.

A recent op-ed in the Washington Times from a former Carter Center staff-member took the form of an open letter criticizing the former president. Yariv Nornberg, who worked with Carter, wrote that the book "puts all responsibility for the failure of the peace process on Israel...the reader gets the impression that Israel is the source of all wrongdoings in the region and that if it were just willing to comply with the Arab demands, peace would already be flourishing in the Middle East."

Carey said...

U.S. Forces Raid Iranian Offices in Iraq

I haven't read anything yet, I just got back from my walk and heard this on Air America. After Bush's speech alerted us that the drums are rolling for an attack on Iran and after everything we've all read about this impending doom--OH SHIT!

It's time to get the lead out and start writing letters to all the critters in Congress to tell them to stop this nonsense. Gerald was warning about this yesterday after reading Paul Craig Roberts at antiwar.com. The "surge" is a warning to Iranians and intended to be a distraction for Congress and Americans. TIME TO GET ON THAT KEYBOARD AND SHOUT, "HELL NO"! Remember that the it is an admiral Bush named to head the Central Command. NAVY! WE MUST STOP THIS.

I just can't believe this.

Gerald said...

Say No

Dear Posters:

It has been sometime since I have written an open letter. Today calls for such a letter. If you had a chance to listen to the Diane Rehm show, you would have heard the last caller on hour one of the show. Bush’s call up of more troops is affecting her husband’s place workplace. He was in the military but he was not called because he was not in special operations.

Two of his co-workers who were in special operations did receive their call to serve. Both men are in their mid 40s and they have been out of the service for 20 years. You have heard me say that once you are in the military through the draft or enlistment, you will never have an outdate, an expiration date, or a termination date. The military service has your body until you die or are too sick to fight. If you can shoot a rifle at 70 years of age, you are still eligible to serve in the military.

I call upon all women, mothers, and grandmothers to say no to military service if you love life; if you love your children; or if you love your grandchildren. Women, mothers, and grandmothers are our last hope for America to return to some kind of sanity.

Love life by saying no to the military war machine of our fascist country and government!!!!!

Sincerely,

Gerald

P.S. Have you noticed that the term flip-flop has not stuck with Hitler Bush? He continues to lie and flip-flop but nothing is said. People are killed and maimed through his lies and flip-flops. Where is the outrage? Why is their silence? Is it that Nazi Americans are glorified with the killing and the maiming of human beings?

kathleen said...

Saladin (previous post) did you read John Deans last two articles at John Dean findlaw about impeachment of lower level Bush officials?

Gerald said...

In order to save face Bush calls for more blood

kathleen said...

Why an academic boycott of Israel is necessary
Lawrence Davidson, The Electronic Intifada, 3 January 2007


Amnesty International's secretary-general, Irene Khan, visits the gate of Ras Atja in Israel's separation fence in the West Bank near Qalqilia, December 10, 2006. (MaanImages/Magnus Johansson)

Let me begin by stating that any successful academic boycott imposed upon Israeli institutions of higher education will assuredly have an impact on the academic freedom of Israeli scholars and teachers, at least in terms of its expression beyond their national borders. Is this acceptable? After all, other teachers and scholars who obviously have a stake in academic freedom, will have to cooperate with the boycott if it is to have an impact. As one of those academics, my answer to this question is that it is not only acceptable but absolutely necessary -- and for the following reasons:

1. Academic freedom is an ideal, and ideals if they are to be responsibly adhered to, must be judged against their consequences in real life situations. One of the major real life situations we are dealing with here is the fact that Israeli academic institutions and personnel have been intimately involved for nearly 40 years in their country's systematic destruction of Palestinian educational endeavors (and thus Palestinian academic freedom) within the Occupied Territories. And even longer, if less dramatically, as regards the Arab-Israeli community within Israel proper. The vast majority of Israel academics have either been silent, or active participants in this process.

The passive aspect of this complicity with the occupation has been commented upon by Tanya Reinhart, formerly a professor of Linguistics at Tel Aviv University. She tells us that "Never in its history did the senate of a any Israeli university pass a resolution protesting the frequent closure of Palestinian universities, let alone voice protest over the devastation sowed there [in the OT]....It is not that a motion in that direction failed to gather a majority, there was no such motion anywhere in Israeli academia." And then there is Professor Ilan Pappe of Haifa University, who estimates that the number of Israeli academics who have "raised their voices against occupation" is "roughly 100 out of 9000." And many of these, like Pappe himself, are subject to harassment by university administrators and social ostracization by their peers.

In terms of active collaboration with the occupation the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel has noted that "Israeli research institutes, think tanks and academic departments have historically granted legitimacy to the work of academics who advocate ethnic cleansing, apartheid, denial of refugee rights, and other discriminatory policies....Collaboration and cooperation with the intelligence services, the army, and other agencies of the occupation regime is part of the routine work of the Israeli academy."

Thus, with the passive or active assistance of the vast majority of Israeli professorate, Palestinian education at all levels in the Occupied Territory is often brought to a near standstill by closures and roadblocks while its teachers, students, and physical structures suffer repeated assaults by Israeli military and settler paramilitary forces. All of this is documented at, among other places, Birzeit University's Right2Education website.

Given this context, there is no evidence that the "free flow of ideas" enjoyed by Israeli academia over the last 40 years has ameliorated the systematic attack on their Palestinian peers in any way. Indeed, as we will see, it may in fact have helped abet that attack. Many Israeli scholars and teachers have spent a lot of this time trying very hard to deny what is going on in Palestine by questioning the existence of the Palestinians as a national group while simultaneously helping to create the justifications for a process of dispossession that has solidified Palestinian national consciousness and driven some Palestinians to radical violence. Only in the recent past has the Palestinian side of this tragedy been made available in any widespread fashion to the outside world.

Yet to a great extent the damage has been done. The decades long Zionist monopoly on the flow of information on the Israeli-Palestinian tragedy allowed the Israelis to build solid support among Americans and others based on the racist stereotyping of Arabs generally and the Palestinians in particular. Thus, not only has academic freedom and other forms of free exchange not humanized the Israelis, it has led to the corruption of a good number of people in the West, particularly American politicians.

Now, after 40 years, a growing number of academics are reacting to this inhumane state of affairs. We are insisting that the situation we are in now, as regards academic freedom, is a perverse one. Essentially, in order to maintain the academic freedom of Israeli scholars and teachers we are asked to acquiesce in their direct or indirect abetting of the destruction of, among other aspects of Palestinian life, Palestinian academic freedom. We will not do this. I suggest to you that the only way to avoid this predicament (which essentially turns the ideal of academic freedom against itself) is to qualify this principle, and make it a corollary of academic freedom that it can not apply to those who systematically and consistently deny it to others. In order to do this in as fair and consistent a way as possible, the present academic boycott movement is aimed at halting all cooperation with Israeli academic and research institutions rather than any particular list of individuals.

2. A precedent for the acceptance of such an academic boycott was established when just such an effort was made as part of the overall, worldwide boycott of Apartheid South Africa. Israel's own apartheid policies have been noted by such reputable observers as Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu, and documented by such organizations as Amnesty International, Israel's own human rights organization, B'Tselem, and even, on occasion, the U.S. State Department. Analysis of Israeli state actions, policies, and cultural imperatives as they operate on both sides of the Green Line, but especially in the Occupied Territories, reflects a purposeful and systematic violation of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of Apartheid (approved by the UN General Assembly in 1973 and coming into force in 1976). It is therefore reasonable that a tactic that may well have hastened the demise of one apartheid state be applied against another apartheid state.

3. The fact that Zionist influence spreads far beyond Israel's area of dominion and now influences many of the policy making institutions of western governments, and particularly that of the United States, makes it imperative that Israel's oppressive behavior be singled out as a high priority case from among the many other oppressive regimes that may be candidates for boycott. In other words, unlike the Chinese, the Russians and other such governments, the Israelis and their supporters directly influence the policy makers of our own countries and this often makes our governments accomplices in Israel's abusive policies. This being so, prioritizing Israel for boycott (academic and otherwise) is not hypocrisy, but rather necessity.

In conclusion, Israel's academic community cannot be allowed to proceed as if it has nothing to do with the destruction of Palestinian society, including its academy and academic freedom. Given their direct and indirect complicity in this criminal process, the placing of temporary limits on the freedom of 9000 Israeli academics is a necessary price that must be paid in the struggle to restore the fundamental rights of millions of Palestinians.


Lawrence Davidson is Professor of Middle East History at West Chester University in West Chester Pennsylvania. This is the text of a talk delivered at the Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) in Boston on November 19, 2006. The talk is reprinted with permission of the author.


Related Links

BY TOPIC: Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions

Gerald said...

SSDD

Gerald said...

The Least Immoral Choice

kathleen said...

Follow the neo-cons!

The Architect of Mr. Bush's Plan
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Report

Thursday 11 January 2007

One of the key architects of President Bush's disastrous Iraq war policy was responsible for writing the president's new plan calling for an increase in US troops in the region.

By relying on the recommendations of neoconservative scholar Frederick Kagan, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, on what steps the White House should take to address the civil war between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq, President Bush has once again ignored the advice of career military officials and even some Republican lawmakers - many of whom in recent weeks have urged Bush to resist implementing a policy that would result in escalating the war - and instead has chosen to rely on the proposals drafted by hawkish, think-tank intellectuals that could very well backfire and end up embroiling the United States in an even bloodier conflict.

Perhaps the most alarming element of Bush's "new" plan for stabilizing Iraq is how much it relies upon the recommendations of individuals who have never set foot on a battlefield. Much of what the president outlined in a prime-time speech Wednesday evening - specifically, sending more than 20,000 additional soldiers into Iraq - was culled from the white paper, "Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq," written by Kagan last month.

Some of the key points of Kagan's proposal include:

We must change our focus from training Iraqi soldiers to securing the Iraqi population and containing the rising violence. Securing the population has never been the primary mission of the US military effort in Iraq, and now it must become the first priority.

We must send more American combat forces into Iraq, and especially into Baghdad, to support this operation. A surge of seven Army brigades and Marine regiments to support clear-and-hold operations starting in the spring of 2007 is necessary, possible, and will be sufficient.

These forces, partnered with Iraqi units, will clear critical Sunni and mixed Sunni-Shia neighborhoods, primarily on the west side of the city.

After the neighborhoods have been cleared, US soldiers and Marines, again partnered with Iraqis, will remain behind to maintain security.

As security is established, reconstruction aid will help to reestablish normal life and, working through Iraqi officials, will strengthen Iraqi local government.
But these recommendations itself aren't new. In fact, this "new" plan has actually been collecting dust for two years.

In January 2005, Kagan, who at the time was associated with the controversial Project for the New American Century, signed a letter sent to Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate urging lawmakers to deploy an additional 25,000 US troops to Iraq, not so much to quell the violence between Sunni and Shiite factions as to intimidate Iraq's neighbors in the Middle East by maintaining bases. Kagan, his brother Robert, and PNAC founder and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol wrote that the Bush administration had ignored its suggestions, and chose to stick with a plan drafted by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who said the Iraq war could be won with fewer ground forces and superior air power.

"We write to ask you and your colleagues in the legislative branch to take the steps necessary to increase substantially the size of the active duty Army and Marine Corps," states the January 28, 2005, letter sent to Senators Bill Frist and Harry Reid, Congressman Dennis Hastert, and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. "While estimates vary about just how large an increase is required, and Congress will make its own determination as to size and structure, it is our judgment that we should aim for an increase in the active duty Army and Marine Corps, together, of at least 25,000 troops each year over the next several years. The administration has been reluctant to adapt to this new reality."

As US casualties piled up, Kagan publicly criticized Rumsfeld's plan for post-war Iraq and began to peddle his ideas for a substantial increase in US troops.

"The secretary of defense simply chose to prioritize preparing America's military for future conventional conflict rather than for the current mission," Kagan wrote in the January 17, 2005, issue of the Weekly Standard. "That position, based on the hope that the current mission would be of short duration and the recognition that the future may arrive at any moment, is understandable. It just turns out to have been wrong."

The lack of soldiers on the ground has been a hot-button issue since the start of the March 2003 invasion. Career military officials believe that is the reason the war hasn't been a "cakewalk." They blame former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld for designing a flawed war plan that has resulted in the deaths of more than 3,000 US soldiers and led to deep divisions between senior military officials and the defense secretary.

In Wednesday's speech, but without identifying him by name, Bush put the responsibility for the quagmire squarely on Rumsfeld's shoulders. But the president also lauded Rumsfeld's war plan. In a televised news conference last year, Bush said there was no need to send additional troops into Iraq.

The Genesis of the Iraq War Plan

In October 2002, Rumsfeld ordered the military's regional commanders to rewrite all of their war plans to capitalize on precision weapons, better intelligence, and speedier deployment in the event the United States decided to invade Iraq.

The goal was to use fewer ground troops, a move that caused dismay among some in the military who said concern for the troops requires overwhelming numerical superiority to assure victory.

Several longtime military officers said they viewed Rumsfeld's approach as injecting too much risk into war planning and said it could result in US casualties that might be prevented by amassing larger forces. Those predictions have been borne out over the past 33 months.

Still, Rumsfeld refused to listen to his military commanders, saying that his plan would allow "the military to begin combat operations on less notice and with far fewer troops than thought possible - or thought wise - before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks," the New York Times reported in its October 13, 2002, edition.

"Looking at what was overwhelming force a decade or two decades ago, today you can have overwhelming force, conceivably, with lesser numbers because the lethality is equal to or greater than before," Rumsfeld told the Times.

Rumsfeld said too many of the military plans on the shelves of the regional war-fighting commanders were freighted with outdated assumptions and military requirements, which have changed with the advent of new weapons and doctrines.

It has been a mistake, he said, to measure the quantity of forces required for a mission and "fail to look at lethality, where you end up with precision-guided munitions, which can give you 10 times the lethality that a dumb weapon might, as an example," the Times reported.

Through a combination of pre-deployments, faster cargo ships and a larger fleet of transport aircraft, the military would be able to deliver "fewer troops but in a faster time that would allow you to have concentrated power that would have the same effect as waiting longer with what a bigger force might have," Rumsfeld said.

Critics in the military said there were several reasons to deploy a force of overwhelming numbers before starting any offensive with Iraq. Large numbers illustrate US resolve and can intimidate Iraqi forces into laying down their arms or even turning against Hussein's government.

According to Defense Department sources, Rumsfeld at first insisted that our vast air superiority and a degraded Iraqi military would enable 75,000 US troops to win the war. General Tommy Franks, the theater commander in chief, convinced Rumsfeld to send 250,000 (augmented by 45,000 British). However, the Army would have preferred a much deeper force.

Kagan Reemerges

Kagan resurfaced in early December with another column in the Weekly Standard, "We Can Put More Forces in Iraq," which suggested sending more troops to the region and continuing to fight the war for up to two years.

"A study of post-conflict operations in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and elsewhere conducted by Ambassador James Dobbins showed that success in those operations - characterized by severe ethnic and sectarian violence - required force ratios of 1 soldier per 100 inhabitants," Kagan wrote. "Iraq poses challenges that are in some respects more severe, at the moment, but it also offers its own rules of thumb. Successful clear-and-hold operations in Tal Afar required a force ratio of around 1 soldier (counting both US and Iraqi troops) for every 40 inhabitants. On the other hand, in 2004, Major General Peter Chiarelli suppressed a widespread uprising in Sadr City (an area inhabited by about 2.5 million Shiites) with fewer than 20,000 US soldiers - a ratio of about 1 to 125."

Following the publication of Kagan's column, Vice President Dick Cheney and senior members of Bush's cabinet began to enter into a dialogue with Kagan to draft an alternative plan for dealing with the violence in Iraq. The move was orchestrated so the White House could avoid adopting the proposals set forth that week by the Iraq Study Group, led by longtime Bush family confidante James A. Baker III, that called for entering into a dialogue with Iran and Syria and redeploying troops in 2008.

Two weeks later, Kagan published "Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq," the AEI white paper that recycled his public statements and columns from 2005 that were highly critical of Rumsfeld's post-war planning. Like the January 28, 2005, letter he sent to Congress and the Senate, the 47-page report called for sending more troops into the region to combat the violence between Sunnis and Shiites - which ultimately would ensure the war would continue to rage for at least two years.

Ultimately, President Bush agreed with Kagan, and used the key recommendations of his study as the foundation for his new Iraq policy - a policy that even some staunch pro-war Republicans have distanced themselves from.

Gerald said...

Elect me and I will gladly be stigmatized as the president who was defeated in Iraq

kathleen said...

Seriously go check out the Camera website almost half of the website is focused on Carters new book.

REMEMBER TO CONTACT YOUR LOCAL COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO HOST CARTER AS A GUEST TO TALK ABOUT HIS NEW BOOK.

CARTER NEEDS US TO SUPPORT HIM HE HAS REALLY STUCK HIS NECK OUT ON THIS VERY SERIOUS ISSUE

Saladin said...

Mr. Corn, it matters not who makes it to the presidential running. Whoever they are will have been pre-vetted to make sure the agenda continues, regardless of who wins. Do you realize that millions and millions of people are waking up to the reality of this farce we call politics? Are you awake? Or must you walk a fine line? I've been wondering.
mookie from last thread, you are not alone in that assessment.
Kathleen, I didn't read that article, where is it?

kathleen said...

When you go to the Anti-defamation League, Camera, Aipacs, and Jinsa's website and you see and hear what people consider "anti-semitic". It really makes one wonder about what has been considered or called "anti-semitism" through history.

What a bunch of spinning and media hype calling the Mearsheimer/Walt paper and Carters Book "anti-semitic". These are strong examples of what happens when you call "apartheid apartheid" or if you address the disproportionate amount of influence that the Israeli lobby has in regard to U.s. foreign power.

kathleen said...

The Democrats asked over and over again for these documents about data mining. The best coverage of some of the companies involved with data mining in the U.s. is the four part series that was done by Carl Cameron of Fox New..it is posted at INformation Clearing house. Comverse and Amdocs INsofy are the two datamining companies under question. Some say under investigation.


January 10, 2007
Democratic senators want agency data-mining reports
By Winter Casey, National Journal's Technology Daily


The government's mining of information from public- and private-sector databases for clues to terrorism and crime is widespread and federal agencies should regularly report to Congress on such activities, lawmakers said Wednesday.
"The overwhelming majority of these data-mining programs use, collect, and analyze personal information about ordinary American citizens," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said during a hearing on balancing privacy and security. "We need look no further than the government's own terrorist watch list, which now contains the names of more than 300,000 individuals -- including infants, nuns and even members of Congress-- to understand the inefficiencies that can result from data mining and government dragnets."

Leahy said that "at least 52 different federal agencies are currently using data-mining technology," adding that there are "at least 199 different government data-mining programs operating or planned throughout the federal government." Despite its widespread use, Leahy said questions remain about how effective data mining is in preventing terrorism.

Leahy and Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., touted

kathleen said...

At John Dean Findlaw. Read both of Deans last two articles having to do with impeachment

kathleen said...

Later

capt said...

"I have never had a feeling, politically, that did not spring from ... the Declaration of Independence ... that all should have an equal chance. This is the sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence ... I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it." -- Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) 16th US President

=
"HYPOCRITE, n. One who, profession virtues that he does not respect secures the advantage of seeming to be what he depises.": Ambrose Bierce - Journalist and Editor, 1842-1914

=
"I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything." -- Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) 16th US President Source: Fourth Debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858 (The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, pp. 145-146.)
http://www.learner.org/channel/workshops/primarysources/emancipation/docs/fourthdebate.html

=
"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause." -- Abraham Lincoln - (1809-1865) 16th US President Source: Letter to Horace Greeley, August 22, 1862 http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/greeley.htm


===

Read this newsletter online http://tinyurl.com/dy6yy


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

O'Reilly said...

"I think this speech given last night by this president represents the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam -- if it's carried out. I will resist it."

I hope he means it. If he does and he runs, I would consider voting for him.

O'Reilly said...

kathleen said...
Where is Rove? Does Fitzgerald have his balls in a vice grip?

We'll find out soon. The trial starts Monday. It will last 6 to 8 weeks. There will be good coverage on Fire Dog Lake. They have press credentials and they will be blogging from the federal court in DC. Go git 'em Fitz.

FITZ!

O'Reilly said...

kathleen said...
Follow the neo-cons!

The Architect of Mr. Bush's Plan
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Report
Thursday 11 January 2007

President Bush has once again ignored the advice of career military officials and even some Republican lawmakers - many of whom in recent weeks have urged Bush to resist implementing a policy that would result in escalating the war - and instead has chosen to rely on the proposals drafted by hawkish, think-tank intellectuals that could very well backfire and end up embroiling the United States in an even bloodier conflict.

Perhaps the most alarming element of Bush's "new" plan for stabilizing Iraq is how much it relies upon the recommendations of individuals who have never set foot on a battlefield

O'Reilly said...

gottogo. all the best. fitz!

Pandemoniac said...

It's me again.... Is it Thursday already? TNF part uno.

"Today Nancy Pelosi became the first woman Speaker of the House. They say this is the furthest anyone in a dress has gotten in Washington since J. Edgar Hoover."
--Jay Leno

"President Bush is claiming that a new postal law gives him the authority to read anyone's letters without a warrant. If you're upset about the law, you can let Bush know by writing to your sister."
--Conan O'Brien

"In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the Prime Minister of Iraq says not only will he not seek a second term in office, he wishes he could quit early. He says he has other interests he'd like to pursue, like trying to stay alive."
--Jay Leno

"President Bush will go on TV tomorrow night to announce his new plan for Iraq, which means he's got about 18 hours to come up with something."
--Jay Leno

"President Bush is calling his new plan for Iraq 'The New Way Forward.' Don't confuse it with the old plan. That was called 'Winging It.'"
--Jay Leno

"President Bush will address the nation tomorrow night and his speech is going to pre-empt the television show 'Deal or No Deal.' To appease fans of the show, the president will hide his Iraq strategy in one of 26 suit cases."
--Jay Leno

"We have a new person in the mail room opening mail, President Bush. The president now says the government has the right to open anyone's mail at any time without a warrant. How crazy is that? President Bush finally decided he wants to read something and it's our mail. How about those memos on your desk?"
--Jay Leno

"Isn't that kind of frightening to open anyone's mail at any time? Today, in a huge coincidence, President Bush announced he is the winner of the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes."
--Jay Leno

"The United States Army is lowering its standards for education and DUI arrests. It's to recruit others, but let's just say they filled the job with the commander-in-chief."
--David Letterman

"President Bush announced that his nominee for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations is a state department official named Zalmay Khalilzad. Or, as President Bush calls him, 'Hey Buddy.'"
--Conan O'Brien

"The FOX network just announced they have canceled Geraldo Rivera's show, 'Geraldo at Large,' but they are going to replace it with a show called 'At Large with Geraldo Rivera.' Geraldo says that from now on, instead of being called a 'douchebag,' he'll go by 'bag of douche.'"
--Conan O'Brien

"President Bush has moved out National Intelligence Director John Negroponte and appointed Mike McConnell. Negroponte said he didn't see the move coming, which might explain why he's no longer head of intelligence."
--Jay Leno

"An Iraqi judge officially dropped all remaining charges against Saddam Hussein. That's nice. You don't want to leave a guy hanging."
--Jay Leno

Pandemoniac said...

TNF part dos:

"The Prime Minister of Iraq said he would like to step down. ... They have a special ceremony in Iraq when one of their leaders leaves office. I think it's called a funeral."
--Jay Leno

"The new Democratic Congress being sworn in and oh, former Speaker Dennis Hastert does not look happy. ... I would NOT want to be the gallon of Ben & Jerry's waiting in his freezer."
--Jon Stewart

"Those sworn in included a diverse group of Democrats, from Minnesota's Keith Ellison, America's first Muslim congressman who chose to be sworn in on a Koran, and 89-year-old Robert Byrd, sworn in on not just a Bible, but THE Bible."
--Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart: The real history was being made in the House of Representatives where Nancy Pelosi became America's first female Speaker of the House
on screen: Pelosi offering children to come 'touch the gavel' after she was elected speaker.
Jon Stewart: I'm pretty sure that's what got the last Congress in trouble"

Stephen Colbert: When the Republicans were in power, their version of reality was worth ignoring facts for
on screen: And they did.
Stephen Colbert: Now the Democrats are running the show and their version of reality is, unfortunately, based on reality, and we've got to bring the fight to them
on screen: Unless They're In A Cave in Tora Bora.
Stephen Colbert: Fight fire with fire. Fight facts with facts. Here's a fact: The Democrats labeled the last Congress 'do-nothing,' but since the Democratic Congress convened last Thursday, they've already taken half of their days off
on screen: Saturday and Sunday.
Stephen Colbert: Here's another fact: Barack Obama's middle name is Hussein. Sound familiar? Saddam Hussein's last name is Hussein
on screen: First Name: 'The Late'.
Stephen Colbert: ... Another fact: Democratic Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota was sworn into Congress on a Koran. I don't need to tell you what that means
on screen: Ousted Republicans Took Bibles With Them."

"President Bush announced he's creating 20,000 new jobs. They're all in Iraq."
--Jay Leno

"The president addressed the nation tonight. Good news -- he's got a plan! He developed his plan after playing hours and hours of Stratego™ with Barney the White House dog."
--Jimmy Kimmel

"President Bush wants to send in 20,000 more troops to Iraq because he believes we can stop the fighting. Stop the fighting in Iraq? We can't even stop the fighting between Rosie O'Donnell and Donald Trump."
--Jay Leno

"The U.S. submarine Newport News collided with a Japanese oil tanker in the Straits of Hormuz. When he heard about it, the president called immediately to make sure the oil was okay."
--Jay Leno

"Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has called for universal health care coverage for all Californians. He came up with this idea while falling down a hill in Idaho and breaking his leg."
--Jay Leno

"President Bush addressed the nation with his new Iraq plan in a live speech broadcast from the White House library. Or as President Bush calls it, 'My books-on-tape room.'"
--Conan O'Brien

"Huge fires in Malibu. ... They are calling this the worst disaster to hit Malibu since, I guess, Bush won re-election."
--Jay Leno

"President Bush called Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega to congratulate him on his election. The phone call got off to an awkward start when Bush told Ortega that he loves his taco shells."
--Conan O'Brien

"Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger gave a speech yesterday. In his speech, he said he wanted to spend billions of dollars rebuilding California's infrastructure. Apparently, everybody thought it was a great speech except for that forty-five minute part where Arnold tried to say 'infrastructure.'"
--Conan O'Brien

Gerald said...

I Accept to be President

Dear Posters:

Yes, my fellow posters, I accept with humility to be President of the United States of America. I will gladly face the stigmatized legacy that under my watch our country was defeated by Iraq. I will not lie to you and I will not blame Hitler Bush for the Iraq war. Even though he started the war through his incessant lies and policies, I will not pass off the defeat to Bush and his Nazi cabal or to a Congress that is complicit in the murders and war crimes against the Iraqi people. The sole responsibility rests with me because it was under my watch that America lost the war.

Defeat is difficult for Americans because we believe that America right or wrong will never lose. Even though we are the only nation that will drop nuclear bombs on another country and even though we are the major seller of weapons and bio-chemical warfare to other nations, we can kill and maim other human beings because America is always right even though we murder and commit war crimes.

Yet, my fellow posters, I will accept the blame and responsibility because I am proud that our American troops are home and not another soldier will be killed or maimed under my watch.

Please allow me to quote John F. Kennedy! This will be my legacy as President.

WAR WILL EXIST UNTIL THAT DISTANT DAY WHEN THE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR ENJOYS THE SAME REPUTATION AND PRESTIGE THAT THE WARRIOR DOES TODAY.

I will do all in my power as President to see to it that conscientious objectors are also honor as American patriots.

Sincerely,

Gerald, your humble President of the United States of America.

Saladin said...

Capt, lincoln was the first violator of our constitution. How is it that rogues somehow end up heroes?
Thanks Pan, I needed that!

Saladin said...

"WAR WILL EXIST UNTIL THAT DISTANT DAY WHEN THE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR ENJOYS THE SAME REPUTATION AND PRESTIGE THAT THE WARRIOR DOES TODAY."

Gerald, I would like to alter this slightly,

War will exist as long as there is profit in it. When it loses money, it will end.

Thank you.

Gerald said...

Saladin, you make a good point! As President I will do all in my power to seek out the profiteers who make money on wars and dead bodies. Thak you for the comment!

Gerald said...

As President I will not make these mistakes

Gerald said...

No Honor Among Murderers

Pandemoniac said...

I was watching the Tucker Carlson show a while ago and watched Pat Buchanan in his latest incarnation as rightwing apologist trying to defend Mr. Bush. He loudly proclaimed the death of the NEo-con movement. He says that AMericans have turned their backs on the empty promises of the Right.

I've been keeping an eye on the rightie-pollers at rASSmussenreports. Mr. Bush's poll numbers have consistently been 10 pts higher in their polls than any other. Bush ended December at his lowest point ever. He averaged 39 in December, though he spent most of the month below 39%. He started JAnuary flying high. Then came his speech. The floor came out from under him (a la Hussein) and he's back at 39%. They do a 3-day rolling average, which tells me that he's got a ways to go before he hits bottom. Ooof.

I've been looking hi and lo for any news of the AIPAC exemption in the new Lobbying Reform bill. I've not found much. Some in the Israeli commentariat have boasted that they've figured out a loophole by qualifying as "an institution of higher education within the meaning of section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965" as noted in section 206 part 3 subsection 1Bii. But if you read the amended section 101 of the Higher Ed Act of '65, AIPAC isn't an institution of HIgher learning. Unless they rename themselves AIPAC University and start admitting students. And I can't believe that guys like Walter Jones and Ron Paul would vote for a Reform Bill that exempted AIPAC somehow.

I must say loud and clear, no one, and I mean not a single one of us can let up or cut these Dems any slack. The stakes are too high to go easy on them. The Decider has been given a free ride for far too long and the condition of our country and our Constitution is beyond Critical. Pelosi and Reid absolutely have to shove Bush's ass back across the line drawn by the Constitution between the Legislative Branch and Executive branch. And we have to encourage their push by standing behind them with a long pointy dagger.

I understand that divisions between the CornBLog reglars formed when criticism of the Dems(especially on this blog) became too vehement. A little honesty goes a long way. That's all I ask.

kathleen said...

Pande I agree this is no time to let up. But lordie it is tiring!

O'reilly Rory O'connor will also be blogging from the trial!

Pandemoniac said...

Kathleen, tiring and confusing. I find it hard to keep up with the flurry of Bills being debated, amended and voted on. With the whole escalation action, bombing in Somalia, taking down the Iranians in their embassy in the Kurdish region of Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Sudan, Venezuela, Pakistan, North Korea, the economy, etc.

I completely forgot the AIPAC and Scooter Libby scandals -- totally forgot. With a 2 yr. old and a 7 yr. old running circles around me, I'm too tired to keep up with everything.

When I start to feel a little worn down, I remember that folks like Hajji live on pins and needles, work stressful jobs, and swallow the pain of wondering how things are going in Iraq.

kathleen said...

Pande you are right it is all relative. I raised three daughters now 29, 27, and 19 basically on my own after dealing with an x with serious addictions. But hell like my father who was in the military as the majority of my family is/was. always says "your breathing, count your blessings".

all of this does not stop me wondering whether all of the efforts people have been making both before the invasion and now. Have we had any effect, saved one life. Sure does not seem as though we have.

The train left the track for Iran via Iraq long ago.

kathleen said...

January 11, 2007
Scott Ritter Book: Israel and Lobby Pushing Iran War: Jewish Daily Forward

A former United Nations weapons inspector and leading Iraq War opponent has written a new book alleging that Jerusalem is pushing the Bush administration into war with Iran, and accusing the pro-Israel lobby of dual loyalty and “outright espionage.”

In the new book, called “Target Iran,” Scott Ritter, who served as a senior U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998 and later became one of the war’s staunchest critics, argues that the United States is readying for military action against Iran, using its nuclear program as a pretext for pursuing regime change in Tehran.

“The Bush administration, with the able help of the Israeli government and the pro-Israel Lobby, has succeeded,” Ritter writes, “in exploiting the ignorance of the American people about nuclear technology and nuclear weapons so as to engender enough fear that the American public has more or less been pre-programmed to accept the notion of the need to militarily confront a nuclear armed Iran.”

Later in the book, Ritter adds: “Let there be no doubt: If there is an American war with Iran, it is a war that was made in Israel and nowhere else.”

Saladin said...

"Half of writing history is hiding the truth."

Crew of Serenity, Firefly.

Saladin said...

Pan, there is plenty written about the loophole for AIPAC. But I hadn't heard that Ron Paul voted in favor, I will have words to send to him. Normally he is a good guy, as far as politicians are concerned, but certainly not above reproach. Are any of them?

Gerald said...

As Your President

Dear Posters:

I have started my presidency early. The urgency of my message required that I assume office before January 20.

As your President you have read my previous message that I willingly accept a stigmatized legacy of my presidency for losing the Iraq war.

Personally, my fellow posters, we will never lose from the outside. We have over 700 plus American bases around the world with many bases possessing nuclear missiles and nuclear bombs and we can blow up our planet ten times with our nuclear arsenal. Losing from the outside is not a concern for me. I fear that we will lose from the inside of our country. As your President I see the dry rot taking hold of millions upon millions of Americans and I see a damned nation and her people. As a nation and as a people we are wallowing in the abyss of hell.

As I am writing this letter to you, I recall Jesus’ words, “What does it matter for a person to gain the whole world and still suffer the loss of his soul?”

Winning wars is not important to me because I know that we will never lose a war with our weaponry that we have. To me, as your President, winning means that we are welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven to be with Jesus and the communion of saints for all eternity. Saving our souls means that we are winners.

We can save our souls and be a winner by following the path that reads Jesus’ words, “Love one another as I have love you.”

Wars, war crimes, and murders are for losers. To pursue love, mercy, justice, and peace are for winners.

Sincerely,

Gerald, your humble President

capt said...

New thread!

kathleen said...

Will Israel strike Iran before the Aipac trial..when Americans realize the extent of Israeli spying and undermining?