Friday, May 4, 2007

Paul and Shaha: How Sweet It Is!


From my "Capital Games" column at www.thenation.com.....

At the start of the scandal triggered by the revelation that World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz had helped arrange generous pay boosts for his girlfriend Shaha Riza, Wolfowitz declared, "I made a mistake, for which I am sorry."

Two and a half weeks later, Wolfowitz had readjusted his rhetoric. "The ethics charges are unwarranted" and "bogus," he said.

On Friday, the Bank's board of directors was working to complete its report on the Wolfowitz affair and pondering whether to reprimand or even remove Wolfowitz. But regardless of the outcome of the official deliberations--which have been affected by behind the scenes maneuvering and the individual agendas of member nations--the Wolfowitz and Riza tale is one of Washington insiderism, a story in which a powerful player was able to guarantee that his companion would make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and be entitled to a lucrative pension while working at a fledgling foundation with a friend of his. This is not how most public servants in Washington live.

After Wolfowitz, a former deputy defense secretary who was a prime architect of the Iraq war, assumed the Bank's presidency, he was faced with what he has called "a potential conflict of interest." He would be the boss (albeit not the direct boss) of his girlfriend, who was a communications officer in the Middle East section. He subsequently worked out a deal under which Riza would remain a Bank employee but be reassigned out of the Bank. What has caused the fuss is that this arrangement included a 36 percent pay hike--which raised her annual salary from $132,660 to $180,000--and guaranteed yearly pay increases of 8 percent. (She is now pulling in $193,000 a year.)

Wolfowitz has justified the initial compensation boost by arguing that when he arrived at the Bank Riza was short-listed for a promotion to communications adviser to the vice president of the Middle East region. Such a promotion would entail a jump in pay grade. The office of the vice president of the region had placed Riza's name on a short list of nine candidates, but, according to an official familiar with the deliberations of the human resources committee overseeing this job opening, Riza's position on the short list was not initially approved by the committee--a necessary step for her to receive the job. That did not end the matter. "It became clear the board was under strong pressure from upstairs to keep her on the short list," this official says.

Whether or not she made it to the final short list--Bank officials have different recollections--she was no shoe-in for the promotion. Two years earlier, Jean-Louis Sarbib, then the vice president for the Middle East region, had proposed Riza for a similar position, and the human resources board had rejected her. The board noted, according to a report made available to The Nation, that Sarbib should have sought other applicants for the position, that Riza "needs to establish herself as a communications professional," and that she should not receive a "promotion through the backdoor." Riza did not meet the minimum job qualifications: an advanced degree in communications and 15 years of experience. She was a gender specialist at the Bank--a well-known Arab feminist-- who had done communications work for only a few years.

In statements to the Bank's board, Wolfowitz has pointed to Riza's candidacy for the communications adviser post as a reason for awarding her a $47,340 compensation increase. "This raise is about double what you'd be allowed to get if you got that promotion," the official familiar with these deliberations said. "For Wolfowitz to use the argument that she was short-listed goes against what the committee said about her two years before. It does not justify the salary increase."

The Riza deal included more than that first big pay hike and annual increases. It also essentially guaranteed Riza subsequent promotions to higher pay grades. And the deal would provide her the yearly pay increases for up to ten years, if Wolfowitz remained at the Bank for a second term. By the end of a second Wolfowitz term, Riza, were she to stay a Bank employee, would make close to $400,000, possibly more.

These pay increases would lead to an outsized pension. According to a Bank source familiar with the institution's pension rules and formulas, pensions for Bank retirees are based on the average salary of an employee's last three years at the Bank. Under the Wolfowitz deal, Riza could expect an annual pension of about $110,000, if she retired in 2015 (assuming Wolfowitz served two terms). If Wolfowitz had not awarded her that initial salary hike of nearly $50,000 and she instead received steady annual raises of 4 percent over this ten-year period, her pension would be about $56,000. With the Wolfowitz deal, Riza could look forward to a rather comfortable pension.

And she could retire after working with a close friend of her boyfriend.

In September 2005, the Riza deal was finalized, and the World Bank and State Department agreed she would be seconded to the department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. She was given the task of developing a foundation that would focus on reform in the Middle East and North Africa. It would eventually be called the Foundation for the Future. (At the time, Elizabeth Cheney, the daughter of the vice president, was a principal deputy assistant secretary in the bureau, coordinating Middle East initiatives.) But there apparently was some question about her status at the State Department. The next month, J. Scott Carpenter, a deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, faxed a note to the World Bank saying that "we do not view Ms. Riza as detailed or seconded to the U.S. Government." He offered to "further refine this arrangement." Documents released by the World Bank do not indicate what subsequently transpired between the State Department and the Bank regarding Riza's employment status.

Over a year later, on October 1, 2006, Anwar Ibrahim, chairman of the Foundation for the Future, wrote Robin Cleveland, a senior Wolfowitz aide at the Bank, and requested the transfer of Riza from the State Department to the Foundation for the Future. Two months later, after Cleveland instructed the Bank's vice president of human resources to approve the transfer, the Bank okayed the switch.

The Anwar letter and other Bank documents related to this transfer did not mention that Anwar is a longtime friend of Wolfowitz. One of Asia's most prominent Muslim politicians, Anwar was a former deputy prime minister of Malaysia. He and Wolfowitz met and developed a friendship in the mid-1980s, when Wolfowitz was U.S. ambassador to Indonesia, according to Aasil Ahmad, an adviser to Anwar. In 1998, after addressing a rally protesting the government, Anwar was arrested and subsequently jailed on corruption and sodomy charges. During his years in jail, Wolfowitz was an outspoken champion of Anwar. Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, Anwar, while still imprisoned, wrote an essay condemning the attacks and calling on the Muslim worked to address "the suffering inflicted on the Muslim masses in Iraq by its dictator."

When Anwar was released from prison in 2004, Wolfowitz flew to Germany to meet him. The next year, Anwar, a former finance minister for Malaysia, endorsed Wolfowitz's appointment to the Bank, though he noted that he didn't share Wolfowitz's view of the Iraq war. ("The best the Americans can do is to withdraw their forces from Iraq," Anwar said.) These days, Anwar is back in Malaysia, advising the PKR opposition party, which is led by his wife, and preparing to run for president.

While helping to establish the Foundation for the Future at the State Department, Riza had recruited Anwar to serve as its initial adviser, according to Ahmad. The two then went about selecting a board of directors and drawing up the mandate for the group, which calls on the foundation to "advance and strengthen freedom and democratic trends and practices" in Middle Eastern and North African nations by supporting reform, media, human rights, and women's groups in those countries. The foundation, which is not a US government entity, has received a $35 million funding commitment from the United States and about $20 million in pledges from other governments. The board includes prominent citizens of Muslim nations. Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is the only American on the board.

The foundation has not gotten off to a big start. It has yet to provide a single grant. Its first president, Bakhtiar Amin, an Iraqi who served as a minister in the first interim government set up following the invasion of Iraq, left the post after a short time in the job. "He was not up to the task," says a source who has worked with the foundation. No replacement has yet been selected. The group also does not have a chief financial officer or a chief operations officer at this time. Last year, it decided to open its main Middle East office in Beirut--right before the war in Lebanon. It has no permanent office in Washington. Email requests for information on its activities have gone unanswered. Its website lists no phone number. But Ahmad, the adviser to Anwar, says the foundation will soon begin awarding grants, perhaps in the beginning of June. Riza, he says, has continued to handle the day-to-day operations of the foundation. Riza, who is qualified for the job, has not been talking to the media.

Bloggers have raised conspiratorial questions about the foundation. (See here.) The available evidence is that the outfit is legitimate, though it has been beset with logistical problems. But until it gets around to handing out grants, its work and aims cannot be fully assessed.

In the Paul and Shaha saga, the work (or non-work) of the Foundation for the Future is not the main issue. Riza ended up there after a Wolfowitz friend (Anwar) wrote the Bank and asked for Riza to be detailed to the foundation--and a Wolfowitz crony (Cleveland) said yes. Whether such actions violate any Bank rules, this is incestuous. Consider the overall scenario: thanks to her boyfriend, Shaha Riza, after receiving a hefty pay raise, could serve as an adviser to a barely-functioning foundation she helped create, working with a friend of her romantic partner, and pull in $200,000 to $400,000 annually over the next ten years. And then she could retire with a $110,000 per year pension. This is quite a deal for the average foundation aide in Washington. In all that, is there nothing wrong? (Wolfowitz attorney Robert Bennett told Newsweek that it was Riza who "worked up the numbers" and pressed Wolfowitz to craft such generous terms.)

After first admitting he committed an error, Wolfowitz now fiercely argues he is the victim of a smear campaign waged by Bank employees who opposed him from the get-go due to his role in the Iraq war. His detractors at the Bank may be out to bring him down as payback for Iraq and for his heavy-handed management ways at the Bank. But Wolfowitz, who entered the Bank a self-styled scourge of corruption, has handed them potent ammunition. Every recipient of World Bank money must now want deals with terms so sweet.

With reporting from Stephanie Condon.

Posted by David Corn at May 4, 2007 04:56 PM

19 comments:

capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

Seems like more of the same nepotism-cronyism. The grants will be divided up between pals, friends and fellow neocons.

SSDD



Thanks

Kirk

capt said...

Reagan, Islamophobia, and Slamming Hillary: The Republicans Debate (Also, More Reagan)


My thoughts on tonight's GOP debate at the Ronald Reagan library in Southern California:

- MSNBC.com and Politco.com, don't you dare advertise live web broadcasts again unless you make that thing work. MSNBC's video player delivered audio and video that would start and stop constantly, causing me to miss endless things and almost punch my computer. Politico's was basically the same, but with bonus out-of-focusness. Thanks, guys.

- Reagan, Reagan, Reagan. The candidates on stage couldn't stop invoking the former president. I know the event was held in a building named after him and overseen by his widow, but Jesus, it's like there was only one inspiring Republican in the last twenty five years. What, Bob Livingston doesn't cut it?

- The first half of the debate was all about foreign policy and everyone tried to out macho one another, claiming in increasingly shrill fashion that Muslim extremists want to end the American way of life. They spoke of Iran in tones that were similar to Dick Cheney's talk of Iraq six years ago. Put in the tough position of being unable to slam the president (because he's from their party) and being unable to praise the president (because he has screwed everything up and has comically low popularity), the candidates resorting to setting up Islamic extremism as a straw man and beating the crap out of it rhetorically. It was kind of scary, if you don't like the prospect of bombing/invading another country sometime soon.

- Talking about hawkish one-ups-manship: Romney said of Osama bin Laden: "He will die." McCain trumped that by saying, "I will follow him to the gates of hell." Good heavens, John.

- It has always bugged me that these guys misunderstand or understand and then deliberately misrepresent the reasons why certain factions of the Muslim world hate the United States. They don't hate our freedoms. Okay, maybe a tiny number of al Qaeda types do, but the 70 percent of the Islamic world (rough estimate) that currently tells pollsters that they can't stand the U.S. don't hate our freedoms; they hate that we have supported pro-Western dictatorships in their region, they hate that we reliably and sometimes unthinkingly support Israel, and they hate that we invaded a country that posed no threat to us and completely destroyed it. These are everyday folks, not terrorists, we're talking about. In their position, we might hate us too.

- John McCain continued the tough talk on Iraq, saying stuff like "We cannot surrender" and "Failure is not an option." And yet he also says that we've got a new strategy and a new general and we need to give them a chance to succeed. Well, what happens if six months pass and nothing gets better? Does John McCain finally advocate pulling out? Does he call that surrender? This war isn't going to get better. John McCain will eventually have to agree to what the Democrats are suggesting now: smartly and strategically redeploying the troops out of the country. Will he call that defeat? For his own sake, he better stop throwing around those words.

- Romney was asked for one thing wrong about America, and he said, completely stunned, "I love America." Then he gushed about the American people for 30 seconds. Why have we reached a point as a country where it is politically dangerous to say one damn thing we could improve about ourselves? We couldn't get health insurance for some portion of the 47 million Americans who don't have coverage, Mitt? You couldn't even say something like, "Improve inner city schools"?

- The day Roe v. Wade is overturned, according to Sam Brownback, will be a "glorious day of human liberty and freedom." According to Tancredo, it would be "the greatest day in this country's history." Really, Tom? Not the day of the Emancipation Proclamation? Or, oh I don't know, the Fourth of July?

- Why can't John McCain stop squinting?

- Ron Paul is the GOP's Mike Gravel and I love him for it.

- Towards the end, Chris Matthews asked if it was a good idea for Bill Clinton to be back in the White House again. Dumb question, clearly, because the answer for everyone (they're running for president after all) is obviously "No." But it gave each candidate a chance to rip Hillary. It was like Matthews strung her up as pinata and handed the GOP a big ol' stick. And boy, they beat the daylights out of her.

Okay, that's it. Last observation: this may be the last presidential primary debate for either party that is composed exclusively of white men. Times are changing, folks. Oh, and Reagan Reagan Reagan.


More HERE

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Per MoJo.



capt

capt said...

The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.: William Hazlitt (1778-1830)

=
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, science for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable an ignorable war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder." : Albert Einstein

=
Big money and big business, corporations and commerce, are again the undisputed overlords of politics and government. The White House, the Congress and, increasingly, the judiciary, reflect their interests. We appear to have a government run by remote control from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the American Petroleum Institute. To hell with everyone else: Bill Moyers - PBS Commentator

=
The principal power in Washington is no longer the government of the people it represents. It is the Money Power. Under the deceptive cloak of campaign contributions, access and influence, votes and amendments are bought and sold. Money established priorities of action, holds down federal revenues, revises federal legislation, shifts income from the middle class to the very rich. Money restrains the enforcement of laws written to protect the country from abuses of wealth--laws that mandate environmental protection, antitrust laws, laws to protect the consumer against fraud, laws that safeguard the securities markets, and many more: Richard N. Goodwin - Speechwriter for John F. Kennedy

===
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http://www.ichblog.eu/text/

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Thanks ICH Newsletter!

Gerald said...

Day by Day by Day

When you find yourself overwhelmed by past problems or worries about the future, consider this principle championed by Dr. William Osler.

Osler, sometimes called the Father of Modern Medicine, was a celebrated Canadian physician and medical educator at the turn of the 20th century. He believed in “living for the day only, and for the day’s work…in day-tight compartments.”

He got the idea while on a ship. A warning bell sounded, and all the watertight compartments below deck were slammed shut. He realized that by shutting out other concerns or problems and focusing simply on the work of the day, it would eliminate “mental distress (and) worries about the future.”

Osler suggested that we concentrate on what we can accomplish today rather than fretting about yesterday or tomorrow.

Trust God and live today, just today, as well as you can.

Look at the birds of the air…consider the lilies of the field…do not worry about tomorrow. (Matthew 6:26,28,34)

I often dwell on the past or fear the future. Lord Christ, take my burdens.

Gerald said...

Baskets Full of Blessings

Theresa Wilson was devastated when her marriage ended. One of the things that helped her was the support of friends. She put all the notes and cards she received into a basket and frequently reread the kind words. “I started calling it my blessing basket,” she said. “I always felt encouraged after I went through it.”

In time, Wilson realized that a blessing basket could help not only the person who owned one, but also the person who made it. So she started a non-profit organization called The Blessing Basket Project. It purchases baskets from weavers in poor countries around the world which are then sold to buyers on-line and in certain retail stores.

“No matter how bad things are, always take time to count your blessings,” says Wilson. “Gratitude can pull you out of even the deepest hole.”

Take time to appreciate your blessings and to thank the Creator who gave them to you.

O give thanks to the God of heaven, for His steadfast love endures forever. (Psalm 136:26)

I have so much for which to be grateful, Generous Father. Enable me to grow in gratitude day by day.

Gerald said...

Principles to Live By

Everyone needs encouragement. The periodical Bits and Pieces asked readers to write in with the encouraging words that direct their lives. Here are a few of those guiding principles:

Kathy Hague of Northwood, Ohio, wrote: “Use wisdom…if wisdom isn’t enough use diplomacy…if diplomacy isn’t enough use courage!

Robert Vera of Dorado, Puerto Rico, said: “A bridge uncrossed is like a life never lived, a door never opened, a gift never given, a love never shared.”

And Bill Binder of Kinnelon, New Jersey, suggested: “It’s not worth getting up in the morning if you can’t learn something new by the time you get back in bed at night.”

What words guide your life? Are they optimistic and heartening? Or do you stress the difficulties of life? Stay positive and you’ll help yourself more than you could imagine.?

The human body is a fleeting thing, but a virtuous name will never be blotted out. (Sirach 41:11)

Loving Friend, help me to speak to myself with enthusiasm and encouragement – and to speak to others with the same upbeat support.

WE MUST STAY POSITIVE EVEN THOUGH NAZI AMERICA WAS FOUNDED FOR THE NAZIS WHO NOW RULE OVER US.

Gerald said...

Desperately Needed Heath Care

With their Harvard medical degrees and MacArthur “genius” awards, Paul Farmer and his colleague Jim Yong Kim could be doing anything. But the two physicians have chosen to help bring health care to poor and disadvantaged people.

In 1987, Drs. Farmer and Kim established a charity called Partners in Health in Boston. Well-equipped with all the components of modern medicine, it’s a model for delivering public health services to poor people in Boston, as well as in Haiti, Russia, and Rwanda.

They solicit foundation grants, negotiate lower drug prices, train paid community health workers and provide hands-on treatment in clinics.

Dr. Farmer says, “I believe we can convince people that it’s wrong for the destitute sick of the world to die unattended.”

You may not be a physician, but you can help the destitute sick in your neighborhood, your state, your country and your world.

Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom…I was thirsty and you gave me…drink…sick and you took care of me. (Matthew 25:34,35,36)

Divine Physician, remind us that we are responsible for one another, especially the destitute sick among us.

THOSE WHO WORK WITH THE POOR WILL NEVER HAVE TO FEAR JUDGMENT DAY!!!

Gerald said...

Savior, guide my efforts to speak with as much kindness as wisdom.

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day: May 4

With Hitler Bush in TOTAL CONTROL Nazi Americans are building bonfires to burn our Constitution, Bill of Rights, and any link to our freedom and basic human rights.

O'Reilly said...

Hi Corn and Cornbloggers. David, thanks for the fine article on the details of Wolfie's sweetheart deal. Capt, I think you draw the right conclusion about the grants - so frequently I mistake pointed rhetorical questions for sincere ones. Gerald, you engage in more productive metaphysical and philisophical meditation than anyone I know. I trust it brings you peace. Sometimes, I just have to get out of my own head by engaging in a consuming activity or other excertion. It clears my head, and drains me for a good long renewing sleep.

micki said...

Capt posts: Romney was asked for one thing wrong about America, and he said, completely stunned, "I love America." Then he gushed about the American people for 30 seconds. Why have we reached a point as a country where it is politically dangerous to say one damn thing we could improve about ourselves?

Why? Because we have become a nation of narcissistic, needy compliment junkies. Praise, praise, praise! My kid is an honor student blah blah blah. My kid made the reading honor roll blah blah blah. Reading honor roll? WTF!

Now, it's a political liability to point out that, "hey, there are some things that are not so great about us."

Therefore, the slide of U.S. *greatness* is excelerating....

micki said...

From that same article posted by Capt: Ron Paul is the GOP's Mike Gravel and I love him for it.

Well....no. Paul may be outspoken as Gravel is. But that's where the similarity ends.

Ron Paul is not interested in The Commons; Gravel is.

Paul's *thinking* is the antithesis of Gravel's.

capt said...

Maggots Rid Patients Of Antibiotic-resistant Infection, MRSA



University of Manchester researchers are ridding diabetic patients of the superbug MRSA - by treating their foot ulcers with maggots. Professor Andrew Boulton and his team used green bottle fly larvae to treat 13 diabetic patients whose foot ulcers were contaminated with MRSA and found all but one were cured within a mean period of three weeks, much quicker than the 28-week duration for the conventional treatment.

Professor Boulton, who published the results in the journal Diabetes Care, has now been awarded a £98,000 grant by Diabetes UK to carry out a randomized controlled trial to compare this treatment with two others.

"Maggots are the world's smallest surgeons. In fact they are better than surgeons - they are much cheaper and work 24 hours a day," Professor Boulton jokingly said.

"They have been used since the Napoleonic Wars and in the American Civil War they found that those who survived were the ones with maggots in their wounds: they kept them clean. They remove the dead tissue and bacteria, leaving the healthy tissue to heal.

"Still, we were very surprised to see such a good result for MRSA. There is no reason this cannot be applied to many other areas of the body, except perhaps a large abdominal wound."

More HERE

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I had a good friend that was a POW in Korea. His leg had a gangrenous wound and the "doctors" in the POW camp used maggots on him. It saved his leg.



capt

DEN said...

Humanity has been given all the tools necessary to survive and prosper, but will they use them?

Or will they cast the tools aside for promise of riches and fame?

capt said...

Scientists move a step closer to being able to make objects invisible


A computer model designed by a mathematician at the University of Liverpool has shown that it is possible to make objects, such as aeroplanes and submarines, appear invisible at close range. Scientists have already created an ‘invisibility cloak’ made out of ‘metamaterial’ which can bend electromagnetic radiation – such as visible light, radar or microwaves – around a spherical space, making an object within this region appear invisible. Until now, scientists could only make objects appear invisible from far away. Liverpool mathematician Dr Sébastien Guenneau, together with Dr Frédéric Zolla and Professors André Nicolet from the University of Marseille, have proven - using a computer model called GETDP - that objects can also be made to appear invisible from close range when light travels in waves rather than beams. Scientists predict that metamaterials could be of use in military technology, such as in the construction of fighter jets and submarines, but it will be some years before invisibility cloaks can be developed for human beings.

Dr Guenneau, at the University’s Department of Mathematical Science, explains: "The shape and structure of aeroplanes make them ideal objects for cloaking, as they have a fixed structure and movement pattern. Human beings and animals are more difficult as their movement is very flexible, so the cloak - as it is designed at the moment - would easily be seen when the person or animal made any sudden movement.

"A cloak, such as the one worn by the Harry Potter character for example, is not yet possible but it is a good example of what we are trying to move towards. Using this new computer model we can prove that light can bend around an object under a cloak and is not diffracted by the object. This happens because the metamaterial that makes up the cloak stretches the metrics of space, in a similar way to what heavy planets and stars do for the metrics of space-time in Einstein’s general relativity theory.

"In order for the cloaking device to work in the first place light has to separate into two or more waves resulting in a new wave pattern. Within this pattern we get light and dark regions which are needed in order for an object to appear invisible.

"Until now, however, it was not clear whether photons – particles that make up all forms of light – can split and form new waves when the light source is close to the object. If we use ray optic techniques – where light travels in beams - photons break down at close range and the object does not appear invisible. If we study light as it travels in waves however, invisibility is maintained."


More HERE

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I just don't see it?




capt

capt said...

US holds Iranians as bargaining chips



WASHINGTON - When the administration of US President George W Bush announced in January that it was targeting Iranian officials in Iraq, it justified the policy as necessary because of the Iranians' alleged involvement in attacks on US forces.

But recent developments have underlined the reality that those Iranian officials are serving as bargaining chips in the Bush administration's effort to get Iran to use its influence with Iraqi Shi'ites to help stabilize the situation in Iraq.

The administration's decision to hold on to five Iranians seized by US troops in the Kurdish city of Irbil in January, rather than release them to reciprocate Iran's unconditional release early last month of 15 British sailors and marines captured in the Persian Gulf in March, raises the question of what calculations administration officials have been making in regard to their Iranian prisoners.

The US refusal to reciprocate the Iranian prisoner release was apparently the reason for Iran's refusal to allow Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki to meet privately with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the international meeting on Iraq in Egypt on Thursday and Friday.

The issue of whether to release the Iranians in light of Iran's release of the British captives was discussed at a meeting of top Bush administration officials on April 10, according to a Washington Post report by Robin Wright.

Rice argued that the administration should release the five Iranian officials because they were no longer useful. But Wright reported that an unnamed official representing Vice President Dick Cheney insisted on holding them, arguing that it would convey to Iran that even more Iranian officials in Iraq might be seized, and that Rice had "gone along with the consensus" on the issue.

More HERE

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As we have held these guys since before the British troops were held - hypocrisy is as rank as ever.




capt

capt said...

NEED A VIABLE CANDIDATE TO OPPOSE PELOSI!


Robert E. Fisher

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES POLITITIANS ARE INTERESTED IN RE-ELECTION ONLY!

A SUFFICIENT THREAT TO PELOSI'S RE-ELECTION IS THE ONLY WAY THAT SHE WILL LISTEN. DEMONSTRATIONS AND LETTERS WILL NOT GET THE JOB DONE.

THEREFORE, THE PEACE ORGANIZATIONS NEED TO PLACE A VIABLE CANDIDATE ON THE BALLOT FOR THE PRIMARY ELECTION IN THE ATTEMPT TO UNSEAT PELOSI IN 2008. THIS WOULD BE THE ONLY THING THAT SHE UNDERSTANDS.

rbrtfis@aol.com


More HERE

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I think we all should keep this simple fact in mind. The security of incumbency allows our representatives to defy their constituencies. There should ALWAYS be a real threat to MAKE them listen and actually represent.

It might not help but it couldn't hurt.


capt

capt said...

As always - Bob Geiger Saturday Cartoons one of my favorites.



capt

capt said...

New Thread!