"The rules of war have changed"
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Friday, August 3, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Here is the text of that letter:
The Honorable Paul D. Clement
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20530
Dear Mr. Clement:
We write to you in your capacity as Acting Attorney General for matters where Attorney General Gonzales has recused himself. We ask that you immediately appoint an independent special counsel from outside the Department of Justice to determine whether Attorney General Gonzales may have misled Congress or perjured himself in testimony before Congress.
We do not make this request lightly. We believe a special counsel is needed because it has become apparent that the Attorney General has provided – at a minimum – half-truths and misleading statements about the removal and replacement of U.S. Attorneys, about his role in trying to circumvent Acting Attorney General Comey, and about the Administration’s position on the NSA wiretapping program. For example:
- Attorney General Gonzales testified on February 6, 2006 that within the Administration “there has not been any serious disagreement about the [Terrorist Surveillance Program].” Yet, Attorney General Gonzales indicated in his testimony this week that the purpose of the March 10, 2004 briefing for the “gang of eight” was to advise them “that Mr. Comey had informed us that he would not approve the continuation of a very important intelligence activity.” General Hayden stated in unclassified testimony on May 18, 2006, that the very same briefing for the “gang of eight” was on the “warrantless surveillance program.” Thus, Mr. Gonzales’s statements about the lack of disagreement regarding the surveillance program are deeply troubling.
- Attorney General Gonzales testified that the purpose of the March 10, 2004, meeting “was for the White House to advise the Congress that Mr. Comey had advised us that he could not approve the continuation of vitally important intelligence activities,” which the Attorney General later testified was “not” the NSA wiretapping program. This is contradicted by an unclassified letter from John Negroponte, then Director of National Intelligence, to then-Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert on May 17, 2006, describing the same “Gang of Eight” briefing as being “on the Terrorist Surveillance Program.”
- On April 19, 2007 when discussing his role in the U.S. Attorney investigation, Attorney General Gonzales testified, “I haven't talked to witnesses because of the fact that I haven't wanted to interfere with this investigation”; however, Monica Goodling testified before the House Judiciary Committee that she had an “uncomfortable” conversation with the Attorney General where he outlined his recollection of what happened and asked her for her reaction.
The special counsel should be an independent person of unimpeachable integrity, ability, and experience, who can approach this investigation without any hint of conflict of interest or question of character, and who can be read into classified programs sufficiently to perform these duties.
The scope of the special counsel’s jurisdiction should include the veracity of the Attorney General’s testimony before Congress related to issues including the replacement and removal of U.S. Attorneys, the implementation of the PATRIOT Act’s provisions relating to U.S. Attorneys, and the authorization for the NSA wiretapping program. It should examine whether misleading statements have been made to Congress and the public, and whether potential charges should be filed involving obstruction of justice, perjury, and false statements.
Signed by Senators Schumer, Feinstein, Feingold and Whitehouse.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
"Rumfeld Remains Defense Department ‘Consultant,’ Opens ‘Transition Office’ Near Pentagon"
On Jan. 4, Mr. Rumsfeld opened a government-provided transition office in Arlington and has seven Pentagon-paid staffers working for him, a Pentagon official said.
The Pentagon lists Mr. Rumsfeld as a “nonpaid consultant,” a status he needs in order to review secret and top-secret documents, the official said.
The Times reports that Rumsfeld has brought with him close adviser Stephen Cambone, a fierce advocate of the Iraq war and the chief planner of questionable interrogation tactics at military and CIA detention sites around the world.
Rumsfeld’s new office is reportedly raising eyebrows at the Pentagon:
The Pentagon official said former secretaries are entitled to a transition office to sort papers, some of which can be taken with them for a library, for archives or to write a book.
The transition office has raised some eyebrows inside the Pentagon. Some question the size of the staff, which includes two military officers and two enlisted men. They also ask why the sorting could not have been done from the time Mr. Rumsfeld resigned Nov. 8 to when he left the building Dec. 18.
Rumsfeld’s predecessors, William Cohen and William Perry, both returned to private life immediately after leaving the Defense Department. Cohen had “two military personnel…sort through his papers for about six weeks,” while Perry had his papers mailed via compact disk to Stanford University.http://thinkprogress.org/2007/01/25/rumsfeld-consultant/
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Can You Believe This?
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)(NEA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,
I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that, due to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, it is in the interests of the United States to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004. I hereby order:
Section 1. (a) Except to the extent provided in section 203(b)(1), (3), and (4) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(1), (3), and (4)), or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the date of this order, all property and interests in property of the following persons, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons, are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense,
(i) to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of:
(A) threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq; or
(B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people;
(ii) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, such an act or acts of violence or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or
(iii) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.
(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section include, but are not limited to, (i) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order, and (ii) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
Sec. 2. (a) Any transaction by a United States person or within the United States that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
Sec. 3. For purposes of this order:
(a) the term "person" means an individual or entity;
(b) the term "entity" means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization; and
(c) the term "United States person" means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.
Sec. 4. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.
Sec. 5. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that, because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render these measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1(a) of this order.
Sec. 6. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government, consistent with applicable law. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order and, where appropriate, to advise the Secretary of the Treasury in a timely manner of the measures taken.
Sec. 7. Nothing in this order is intended to affect the continued effectiveness of any rules, regulations, orders, licenses, or other forms of administrative action issued, taken, or continued in effect heretofore or hereafter under 31 C.F.R. chapter V, except as expressly terminated, modified, or suspended by or pursuant to this order.
Sec. 8. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right, benefit, or privilege, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, instrumentalities, or entities, its officers or employees, or any other person.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
July 17, 2007.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Bush Is Prepared to Veto Bill to Expand Child Insurance
WASHINGTON, July 14 — The White House said on Saturday that President Bush would veto a bipartisan plan to expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program, drafted over the last six months by senior members of the Senate Finance Committee.
The vow puts Mr. Bush at odds with the Democratic majority in Congress, with a substantial number of Republican lawmakers and with many governors of both parties, who want to expand the popular program to cover some of the nation’s eight million uninsured children.
Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman, said: “The president’s senior advisers will certainly recommend a veto of this proposal. And there is no question that the president would veto it.”
The program, which insured 7.4 million people at some time in the last year, is set to expire Sept. 30.
The Finance Committee is expected to approve the Senate plan next week, sending it to the full Senate for action later this month.
Senator Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat who is chairman of the committee, said he would move ahead despite the veto threat.
“The Senate will not be deterred from helping more kids in need,” Mr. Baucus said. “The president should stop playing politics and start working with Congress to help kids, through renewal of this program.”
The proposal would increase current levels of spending by $35 billion over the next five years, bringing the total to $60 billion. The Congressional Budget Office says the plan would reduce the number of uninsured children by 4.1 million.
The new spending would be financed by an increase in the federal excise tax on tobacco products. The tax on cigarettes would rise to $1 a pack, from the current 39 cents.
Mr. Fratto, the White House spokesman, said, “Tax increases are neither necessary nor advisable to fund the program appropriately.”
Democrats in the House would go much further than the bipartisan Senate plan. They would add $50 billion to the program over five years, bringing the total to $75 billion. By contrast, in his latest budget request, Mr. Bush proposed an increase of $5 billion over five years, which would bring the total to $30 billion.
White House officials said the president had several other reasons to veto the bipartisan Senate plan.
“The proposal would dramatically expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program, adding nonpoor children to the program, and more than doubling the level of spending,” Mr. Fratto said. “This will have the effect of encouraging many to drop private coverage, to go on the government-subsidized program.”
In addition, Mr. Fratto said, the Senate plan does not include any of Mr. Bush’s proposals to change the tax treatment of health insurance, in an effort to make it more affordable for millions of Americans.
Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the senior Republican on the Finance Committee, said he would like to consider such tax proposals. But, he said, “it’s not realistic — given the lack of bipartisan support for the president’s plan — to think that can be accomplished before the current children’s health care program runs out in September.”http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/15/washington/15child.html?ex=1342152000&en
Friday, July 13, 2007
Nancy Pelosi a few days ago, I have been very thrilled
that issues like impeachment and the inherent
corruption of the “two” party system have been brought
to the forefront of public discourse. Every interview
that I have done has given me the opportunity to throw
the impeachment issue out there. The democratic
blogosphere has predictably lined up against me and
must be very frightened because they are repeating the
scandalous lies of the right. Wow, the right and left
are finding common ground over slandering me. I must
be a uniter.
I received an email from David Swanson from
AfterDowningStreet.org yesterday saying that ADS was
in trouble because the blogs were trashing us for
targeting John Conyers and Nancy Pelosi. My question
for these bloggers is whom should we target? Should we
go after House Minority Leader John Boehner? Repugs
are literally like rats jumping off the sinking ship
of state and they are distancing themselves from
George and Dick faster than the Democrats. With the
mood of the country, we know this is not a moral
position but a politically expedient one. Why can’t we
urge the Democrats to a moral position? Because they
have been elected with a (D) they become one of the
Instead of trashing David Swanson and I for wanting
our leadership to do their jobs why can’t the left
join with us and be concerned with the people who are
being killed, maimed and displaced on a daily basis
and not worry about Dems being held to the same
standards that we have been trying to hold the Repugs
to? David has a baby boy named Wesley that deserveds a
better future. There are millions of children in Iraq
that deserve a better future. There are over 600
American troops that have been killed since the Dems
took over the power structure in DC and did nothing to
stop George’s murderous surge. When the Repugs were in
power we targeted them. Now the Dems are in power so
they are the ones that we have to focus on. It is not
a difficult concept.
There must be an underlying shady reason that Speaker
Pelosi took impeachment off the table. Her office
stated the other day that she will not put the issue
back on the table because she is focused on “ending
the war.” The statement would be laughable if it
weren’t for the fact that she is using a neo-con
strategy of saying the exact opposite of what is true.
Ms. Pelosi would not allow Rep. Barbara Lee’s bill
that truly supported the troops by fixing a quick
timeline for their withdrawal to be brought to the
floor and instead used her power to whip her caucus
into approving a “non-binding” resolution that by its
very name is meaningless and useless. The Dems can
accomplish much if they put their muscle behind it and
the Dems could impeach BushCo and end the war if that
was truly their focus. Besides all this, actions speak
louder than words and one cannot say that she is
focused on ending the war with her mouth while she is
signing a one hundred BILLION dollar check to keep the
war going with her signing hand.
Since I announced, along with the expected slurs from
the “left,” my team of my sister and assistant, and I
have received thousands of messages of support. People
are lining up to donate to a potential campaign and
are pledging to close businesses and quit jobs to move
across the country to San Francisco to work on my
campaign. I have been asked to run for Congress from
districts all over the country, but I am a California
home-girl and have spent the last 15 years less than
an hour away from what we call “The City.” If Ms.
Pelosi does not exercise her mandatory (A president
and vice-president SHALL BE impeached) constitutional
duty to remove the uncontrollable Bush mob from power
and I do run against her it will be a pleasure to
sleep in the same bed every night and live near my
family and friends!
I will be running on the People for Humanity platform
that is coalescing right now with other possible
exciting candidates coming on board to challenge other
corrupt Repugs and do-nothing Dems. Politics are not
the be-all and end-all of our society and one thing we
all need to learn is that people power should run this
county not a bunch of corporately controlled wealthy
elitists that are disconnected from humanity and
reality. The system of constant war and constant war
profiteering needs to be challenged in a very
pronounced way if we want constant peace and a system
of sustainability. Great social change will not happen
without great sacrifice and maybe its time to suck it
up and work for a better country, and then a better
world by default.
Our Journey for Humanity and Accountability has gotten
off to a great start. We left Camp Casey in Crawford
on July 10th. Our “parade” (we got in lots of trouble
for not having a permit) that walked along the Lone
Star Parkway in Crawford for about a mile received
honks and waves and not one middle Our first stop was
Houston, the former home of Halliburton and the
headquarters of many immoral oil companies. Our second
stop was New Orleans where mostly people of color are
still homeless, or inadequately housed and still
desperately seeking help. The young people who still
put their own lives on hold to come from around
America to help them are still my heroes.
Change is hard and scary, I know this all too well. My
life changed irrevocably when Casey was killed in the
occupation of Iraq that has been supported and funded
by both parties. But oftentimes change can be good.
Don’t fear change especially when the status quo is so
For more information, or to donate money to our
Caravan, please go to
Thursday, July 12, 2007
By Craig Crawford | 10:45 AM; Jul. 10, 2007 |
Perhaps when President George W. Bush leaves office in January 2009, with about as many U.S. troops in Iraq as are currently deployed there, Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill will finally figure out that they’ve been the victims of a shell game — with many Republicans playing his shill.
Once again the administration is putting out contradictory hints about plans for fewer troops, more troops or just talk of yet another “new strategy.”
As in the street version of a shell game, nobody but the operator knows which shell contains the correct answer — and, if skilled at the required sleight of hand, the operator can always move the shells around without detection.
Democrats have built their strategy upon the hope and expectation that enough GOP lawmakers will abandon Bush to allow them to take control of war policy. But until those Republicans cast actual votes to do so, there is every chance that Democrats are just getting played.http://www.cqpolitics.com/2007/07/craig_crawfords_trail_mix_bush_6.html
Here I go, again. 7/11/07
Saturday, July 07, 2007
An e-mail from a friend
Interesting that you bring up the topic of the illegal aliens and their extraordinarily multifaceted impact upon us, as well as your getting 'dissed' for speaking of a Mexican alien encounter in any manner. The negative feedback situation that you ran into just by making a casual rather neutral reporting reference to an alien interaction is not at all unusual. This thing of giving the 200% benefit of the doubt to an illegal alien with obvious social graces issues just has to stop and stop right now. As US law breakers, we owe them zero. If you feel that I am prejudiced because I lived elbow to elbow with swarms of illegal aliens and had my own series of substantially less than positive encounters with them wherever I turned, then so be it. I found their collective least common moral and social denominator driven wolf pack activity mentality to be quite disturbing. I once found myself in a rather tenuous position directly witnessing one of the local Mexican alien wolf packs harassing a young Caucasian woman at a local convenience store and there was not much that I could do about it because they out numbered me 6 to 1. That was really pretty unnerving for me. My only option was to call 911 and I did not like that at all.
Personally, I believe that your reaction to typically uncouth and rather rude personal behavior of the non English speaking roofer was totally understated and about as middle of the road and neutrally nice as you could be. There was absolutely no reason there for anyone to take offense at your statement, however that particular illegal Mexican alien supporting behavior just seems to be par for the course today. For me, I get absolutely seethingly incensed whenever someone starts a sentence with, "Well, you know that we cannot round them up and deport them, . . . " Candidly, I have absolutely no idea why we in the US cannot do exactly that. Why in holy hell should we have to foot the social bill for decades and decades of total government despotic corruption and associated government condoned crime in Mexico that has forced the native Mexicans out. The government of Mexico has made their legacy of government graft and corruption our problem (totally in spades).
And for me, the very first tip off for finding the illegals here is to look for packs of Spanish speaking folks with brown skin, brown eyes, and in many cases seriously bad oral hygiene. Another clue is that in a lot of instances this particular target group doesn't have any appropriate legal immigration status indicating documentation. Surprise, surprise, surprise. For openers as a solution, whenever an illegal crosses paths with any aspect of our US law enforcement or US social services (via domestic disturbance, traffic accident, traffic law infraction, applications for services, etc.) and they cannot document their legal existence here then lock them up and deport them.
It would also be prudent for our prison system to deport back to Mexican custody all of the illegals currently incarcerated. That would supposedly free up a minimum of 35% of our overall prison system capacity. Then, why not have the US government set up a special deal with Aero Mexico after which we can do a wholesale round up, deportation, and dump of each and every illegal Mexican alien on a remote airfield on the way southern border of Mexico? Then let's see then how many illegals can make the entire pan Mexican cross country trip in order to reenter the US illegally again. Maybe those that can figure out how make it again can be allowed to stay as they are really some pretty seriously stout folks.
Additionally, the porous border problem could be fixed in several months at minimal expense by establishing a series of tall, armored, and secure guard towers along the border and populating the towers with round the clock border guards armed with night vision equipped .50 caliber sniper type of weapons and instructions of shoot to kill at the border line. That is a 100% clean, relatively inexpensive, and totally workable solution. Overnight you would find that our borders would be secure and that they would stay that way for the duration. With numerous people coming across our southern border seemingly wishing to do us in, the use of deadly force to guard our border only makes good sense. As an additional benefit, this armed border guard approach would also immediately stem the entire flow of illegal drugs from over the border. As you might notice, I am not in the the moderate or the liberal camp of what to do with all of the illegals.
And then while we are at it, I believe that we should rescind the 14th Amendment to the Constitution which allows the illegals to come over pregnant and drop their 'anchor' babies. That Amendment was originally designed to give bona fide unquestionable citizenship status to the children of emancipated black slaves. It was not designed to provide a safe haven for Mexican criminals.
So, those are my off the top of the head seriously proposed solutions to the illegal alien problem and my suggestions to stem the tide of the additional flow of illegals. Given the widening stress fractures that I see developing throughout our entire societal economic and social fabric, we are in truly deep shit already and it is time for quite serious measures to bring us back to just a moderate social and economic loss position as a country. Otherwise, my sincere fear is that we are headed toward some type of a general uprising and eventual revolution. Not cool, but perhaps necessary. Really big sigh here.