Saturday, May 26, 2007

New Bush Scandal Helping Big Oil Companies Hide Billions From Government at Taxpayer Expense


Just put these effers in prison, already! Murder, Grand Theft Democracy and billions of dollars, treason, bribery, etc.

We are surrounded by thieves and scoundrels.

New Bush Scandal Helping Big Oil Companies Hide Billions From Government at Taxpayer Expense:

Corruption within the Department of Interior may have allowed oil companies to improperly save billions at the expense of the taxpayers. The Department's Inspector General has already made at least two criminal referals to the FBI and the Justice Department, and Congressional Democrats have launched several investigations and introduced new legislation to fix the problem.

In a nutshell, oil companies leasing federal land to drill for oil are required to pay the government royalties based on a percentage of their sales. But under the Royalty-in-Kind program, the companies can pay in the form of oil and gas instead of cash. The problem is that oil prices have increased more than the value of the oil and gas royalty revenues being received, meaning that the oil companies are managing to withhold a growing amount of their profits from Uncle Sam.

Goodling's Partisan Hiring Expands, May Net Gonzales

Well Judas priest, of course the hiring was based on partisan BS.

How else would Goodling have gotten her job?

Goodling's Partisan Hiring Expands, May Net Gonzales:

The Justice Department has broadened an internal investigation into whether Monica Goodling and other department aides 'improperly took into account political considerations in hiring employees.'

Specifically, investigators want to learn more about Goodling's admission this week that she had 'considered party affiliation in screening applicants to become immigration judges.' The New York Times notes:

Some 75 of the 226 immigration judges have been appointed during the Bush administration. Forty-nine of them were appointed during the tenure of Mr. Gonzales, and it was during part of that period that Ms. Goodling was involved.

These immigration judges, stationed throughout the country, handled more than 300,000 cases last year on matters like deportation proceedings and political asylum requests.

Unlike federal judges, immigration judges are civil service employees, to be appointed by the attorney general based on professional qualifications, not their politics.

‘Fill The Jails’, Part II

Agreed! We are rapidly approaching the only real tipping point that counts: We have nothing left to lose, and as Janis Joplin said, "that's freedom, guys.?"

Liberation is something quite different.

‘Fill The Jails’, Part II - - Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community:

Fill The Jails’, Part II
by Sean Gonsalves

Part I of this essay was published on Saturday, May 19, 2007.

“Nonviolence is a universal principle and its operation is not limited by a hostile environment. Indeed, its efficacy can be tested only when it acts in the midst of an in spite of opposition. Our nonviolence would be a hollow thing and worth nothing, if it depended for its success on the goodwill of the authorities.” - Gandhi

The GOP front runners gunning for the White House in ‘08 were trying to one-up each other on torture at a “debate” two weeks ago.

Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said interrogators should use “any method they can think of,” while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney not only supported “enhanced interrogation techniques” - the contemporary euphemism for torture - he proposed doubling the size of the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay.

McCain’s support for prolonging the illegitimate occupation of Iraq aside, he’s the one torture hold out.

Jim McDermott Looks at The Bigger Picture and It's Uugly

Representative Confronts American Empire on House Floor
By Jim McDermott, AlterNet
Posted on May 26, 2007, Printed on May 26, 2007

Editor's note: After a week that saw Democrats cave to the White House in the worst possible way on Iraq, we thought this speech, offered on the House floor by Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wa., last Wednesday, was worth highlighting. In a brief, five-minute commentary, McDermott does something almost unheard of in Washington: He looks at an issue in its larger historical context instead of pretending it just sprung up overnight like mushrooms after a rainfall.

...and we agree:

Mr. Speaker:

This president and vice president have vowed to repeat the mistakes of history, and they have put into motion a plan to do just that in Iran, even as the House is about to send the president a box of blank checks for Iraq, against the will of the American people.

The history is worth knowing.

In 1953, the United States and United Kingdom launched Operation Ajax, a covert CIA operation to destabilize and remove the democratically elected government of Iran, including then Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh.
Why? Oil.

Under Mossadegh, the Iranian government decided to reclaim Iran's rightful ownership of its national oil treasure, which had been exclusively controlled by the British who were taking 85 percent of the profits.

Oh, and by the way, the U.K. also kept the books secret, merely telling Iran what its 15 percent take was.

As soon as Mossadegh began to reclaim Iran's oil treasure, it was all over. Operation Ajax was set into motion.

The U.S. embassy in Tehran provoked phony internal Iranian dissent, while the Brits engineered an Iranian financial crisis by orchestrating a global boycott of Iranian oil. We brought down the Iranian government and installed the Shah.

For two decades, we propped up the Shah against the will of the Iranian people. It was all about controlling Iran. It still is. Today, ABC News is reporting exclusively that this president has authorized a new covert CIA plot to bring down the Iranian government.

I ask unanimous consent to enter into the record the journalism produced by chief investigative reporter Brian Ross and Richard Esposito of ABC News.

This is their lead sentence in the story.

"The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert 'black' operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on"

We’re back in 1953, and that worked out so well.

Of course, the vice president wanted to invade Iran, so we can be sure he will spin new tales of fear in coming days to keep his preferred option, invasion, very much alive.
The president knows only one way -- my way or the highway.

His vice president knows only one way -- invade and seize control of what you want -- and he wants the oil treasure of Iraq and Iran to become wholly owned subsidiaries of the western oil companies he so favors.

With Iraq in civil war, the president has authorized a secret plan to repeat the doomed mistakes of history in Iran.

How many billions of reconstruction money for Iraq will be siphoned off for the deconstruction of Iran?

The American people are virtually shouting at us to pay attention and get our soldiers out of Iraq, now.

Vast sums of U.S. taxpayer money are flowing into Iraq and billions of U.S. dollars are missing.
The special inspector for Iraq reconstruction told a San Antonio newspaper last week that corruption in Iraq is endemic and debilitating.

But, Prime Minister al-Maliki has granted ministers and former ministers immunity from prosecution by Iraq’s Commission on Public Integrity.

And, in turn, the ministers can shield their own employees from prosecution.

And, a government that has been told by this president and vice president to pass an oil law that transfers control -- and profits -- to Western oil companies, just like the good old days in Iran.
Overthrowing Iran in 1953 was all about oil. Invading Iraq was all about oil. And the new secret plot against Iran is all about oil.

Oil is the only benchmark this president and vice president want, and they will keep American soldiers fighting and dying until an oil law is passed in Iraq that gives Western oil companies control of the spigot.

It is time to unmask the latest doomed plot to overthrow Iran and past time to get out soldiers out of Iraq.

Nothing less than protecting our troops is acceptable.

Thank you.

..and thank you, Rep. McDermott

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....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

War Pimp Alert!

Right Wing Itches to Strike Iran
By John Tirman, AlterNetPosted on May 26, 2007,

Printed on May 26, 2007

The case of Haleh Esfandiari's imprisonment in Iran is sparking the kind of commotion that periodically grips America's intellectual class and, more ominously, is providing reasons for America's right wing to attack Iran.

Dr. Esfandiari, 67, was born and raised in Iran but has spent much of her professional life in the United States, now as the much-respected director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a leading think tank in Washington, D.C. At the end of a visit to her ailing mother in Tehran last winter, she was detained. She was recently arrested and is now in prison awaiting trial. A citizen of both America and Iran, she has been charged with trying to foment a "velvet revolution" in Iran -- soft, nonviolent regime change. She and everyone associated with her deny the charges.

Editorials have been lambasting Iran's Intelligence Ministry, which many see as responsible for this, and a number of important public intellectuals are calling for action. Juan Cole, professor of history at the University of Michigan and a specialist on the region, wrote in his highly regarded blog, Informed Comment, "I had been planning to go to a conference in Iran in July, hosted by some French scholars, but I have cancelled in protest against this detention of my friend. I don't see how normal intellectual life can go on when a scholar at the Wilson Center can't safely visit Iran."

A boycott was rumored but apparently is not actually afoot, as Ali Banuazizi, the eminent scholar at Boston College and past president of the Middle East Studies Association, told me. "Boycotts punish too many innocent people," he says, "but letters and statements send a signal."

A strongly worded letter that Banuazizi helped craft and is signed by a Who's Who of Iran scholars in the United States, protested the arrest and imprisonment, rightly noting that "in her capacity as the director of the Middle East Program at the Wilson Center, Dr. Esfandiari has been a staunch advocate of peaceful dialogue between Tehran and Washington in resolving their disputes."

Noam Chomsky, possibly the most influential intellectual in the world, also weighed in with a sharp rebuke, as have several others.

As if on cue, the hard right in the United States has tried to exploit the Esfandiari arrest to ridicule cooperation and dialogue. In an op-ed in the New York Times, Reuel Marc Gerecht, an American Enterprise Institute fixture who describes himself as belonging to the school of "suspicious, cynical, hawkish and religiously oriented analyses of the Islamic Republic," argued that those seeking to have some dialogue with Iran are getting their deserved comeuppance in the Tehran regime's treatment of Dr. Esfandiari.

The arrest is undeniably troubling, as was last year's arrest and long detention of Ramin Jahanbegloo, a Canadian intellectual, and detentions of many others, including the Open Society Institute's representative in Iran last week.

Beyond the simple human rights considerations, there are two other aspects of this grim matter that deserve mention. First is the way in which the intellectual elite in this country pick and choose their battles. Haleh Esfandiari, whom I know, certainly deserves the protest being stirred on her behalf. But we have many cases of abuse of freedom of travel and speech -- some committed by the U.S. government -- that gain little notice. Why some and not others? To some extent, the protest in effect reflects U.S. policy preferences and the drumbeat of anti-Iran media coverage in this country.

More important, however, is how the case is becoming fodder for the attack-Iran posse. As Chomsky says in his statement, "These actions [by Iran] are deplorable in themselves, and also are a gift to Western hardliners who are trying to organize support for military action against Iran. Now is a time for diplomacy, negotiations and relaxation of tensions, in accordance with the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans and Iranians, as recent polls reveal."

The U.S. Navy is conducting extensive exercises in the Persian Gulf, what William Arkin tartly calls "dumbboat diplomacy," but is clearly meant as a signal that the United States is ready to strike. Bush is proposing new sanctions to punish Iran for its alleged nuclear activities. A covert operation by the CIA to degrade Iranian financial assets and step up anti-cleric propaganda was revealed last week by ABC News, another set of actions -- among many reported -- to bring down the regime. In the political game in Washington, "Bash Iran" is a free card used by nearly everyone to look tough on foreign policy.

In this hostile climate, some elements in Tehran are in effect saying, "We want nothing to do with America," and they are sending that message with harsh actions. Engagement by American intellectuals, athletes, NGOs and cultural groups has proceeded for several years now and can be viewed as, at worst, harmless and, at best, beneficial toward building bridges of dialogue. It was precisely such activities during the Cold War that lowered tensions and empowered a peaceful conclusion to that far more dangerous confrontation.

Very few serious analysts of the situation in the Gulf believe that hostile American action will result in a more placid outcome. Many in the U.S. military are vehemently opposed to air strikes, not least because of the catastrophe in Iraq. The Tehran state is sturdy and, like it or not, democratic in many respects. The NGO and academic engagement must continue, just as we must continue to object strenuously to unwarranted arrests. Neither tactic, however, is aided by Washington's contemptible and counterproductive strategy of regime change.

John Tirman is executive director of MIT's Center for International Studies.
© 2007 Independent Media Institute.

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....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Douglas Feith, More Fabricated Excuses For War

It is obvious by this time that the NeoCons have no regard for the truth at all. They will say or do anything that furthers their goals.

Feith Referenced Fake Company As Evidence Of Pre-War Ties Between Iraq And Bin Laden

Early last month, Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) released a declassified version of a Pentagon Inspector General report that found that in Sept. 2002, Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith gave a briefing entitled “Assessing the Relationship Between Iraq and al-Qaida” to Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff.

In this “alternative” intelligence assessment, Feith asserted that Osama Bin Laden’s al-Hijra Company had business “contacts” with a Dutch company, Vlemmo N.V. and that Vlemmo was a “front for Iraqi military procurement“:

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....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Andrew Card Was Loudly Booed At U.Mass

President Bush's former chief of staff Andrew Card was loudly booed by hundreds of students and faculty members as he rose to accept an honorary degree at the University of Massachusetts on Friday.[..]

Card smiled slightly while Seymour spoke and raised his hand in thanks, then sat down without speaking.

One faculty member onstage held a sign: "Card _ no honor, no degree." Another sign said, "War criminals go home." Read more…

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....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Find Those Damned Emails Or Else!

Published on Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (


Washington, DC – This week, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sued the Office of Administration (OA), a component of the Executive Office of the President (EOP). CREW has also requested a preliminary injunction to compel the OA to respond to a CREW Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

On April 12, 2007, CREW released its report, Without a Trace [1], based on information from two confidential sources, which disclosed the startling revelation that the White House “lost” over five million emails generated between March 2003 and October 2005.

CREW’s suit is based on a FOIA request filed with the OA on March 29, 2007 for records regarding the over five million missing emails. Although on April 27, 2007, the OA agreed to expedite CREW’s FOIA request, the OA has yet to provide CREW with so much as a single document.

According to confidential sources, the OA created documents that detail the exact dates for which the over five million emails are missing and that analyzed the scope of the problem. CREW has learned that there is also a political assessment of the harm to public perception of the White House if it became known so many emails had disappeared. In addition, the requested documents include plans CREW was told were presented almost two years ago to restore the missing emails, but were never acted on.

Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW said today, “This White House has decided to play an unlawful game of high-tech hide and seek with the American public. Thus far, CREW has learned that the Administration has both lost five million White House emails and pro-actively tried to cover up the loss. CREW has sued the Office of Administration to shine a spotlight on these reckless and possibly illegal activities and to restore these records for the benefit of future generations.”
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions.

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....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Leahy, Specter Ask Luskin For Rover Emails

A big waste of paper........

Leahy, Specter To Rove’s Lawyer: Turn Over The ‘Lost’ RNC Emails

Senate Judiciary Committee heads Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) have written Karl Rove’s attorney, Robert Luskin, asking him to turn over emails from Rove’s RNC account related to the U.S. Attorney scandal.

“White House officials have claimed many of these Rove e-mails were ‘lost,’” the senators say, “although some of Rove’s e-mails were reportedly shared with the Department of Justice as part of its probe into the Valerie Plame case.”

Earlier this month, the Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Alberto Gonzales to turn over these Rove emails. The Justice Department responded that it had “retained only the e-mails related to the Plame investigation and returned the electronic media containing the rest of Rove’s e-mails” to Luskin.

Now Leahy and Specter want Luskin to come clean. They ask, “Do you retain possession of this electronic media and will you provide the Committee with Mr. Rove’s emails related to our investigation voluntarily?” You can take a guess at the answer.

Read the full letter from Leahy and Specter, along with their press release:

WASHINGTON (Friday, May 25) — Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) sent the following letter to Karl Rove’s attorney seeking access to e-mails related to the panel’s ongoing investigation into the firings of U.S. Attorneys and politicization within the Department of Justice.

Rove, a senior political advisor to President Bush, and the White House political operation — which Rove heads — have been linked to the project that resulted in the unprecedented firings of several well-performing federal prosecutors, according to information gathered by the Committee through documents, interviews and testimony. Several of the dismissed prosecutors have testified under oath and said in public that they were unaware of performance problems and believe political influence was a factor in their firings.

White House officials have claimed many of these Rove e-mails were “lost,” although some of Rove’s e-mails were reportedly shared with the Department of Justice as part of its probe into the Valerie Plame case. The Committee issued a subpoena to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales earlier this month compelling the Department of Justice to provide all Rove e-mails it had in its possession related to the Judiciary Committee’s investigation into the fired prosecutors. The Department responded that it retained only the e-mails related to the Plame investigation and returned the electronic media containing the rest of Rove’s e-mails to Rove’s attorney, Robert Luskin.
May 24, 2007
Robert D. Luskin
Patton Boggs LLP
2550 M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037

Dear Mr. Luskin:

The White House has confirmed that an unknown number of e-mails, including those of your client, Karl Rove, from both White House accounts and those sent or received using political Republican National Committee accounts, have not been archived. You stated publicly that Mr. Rove’s emails were turned over to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald as part of the investigation into the leak of the identity of a covert CIA officer by officials in the Administration that led to the conviction of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

The Department’s response to the Committee, however, suggests that these emails were not in fact turned over permanently to Mr. Fitzgerald. According to the Department, Mr. Fitzgerald only obtained access to the “electronic media” containing these emails to do a search for documents related to the Plame investigation and then he returned this electronic media to you in a sealed condition.

Do you retain possession of this electronic media and will you provide the Committee with Mr. Rove’s emails related to our investigation voluntarily?

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....And The Truth Shall Set Us

The Last Days Of Democracy

The Last Days of Democracy is a compelling and alarming last call to awaken the slumbering promise of our Constitution - or to watch our freedom slither away forever.

Corporate media has enabled tyranny to prevail over the truth, because they value profits over patriotism. This book is a wake-up call to save us from the final descent into an Orwellian world from which we will not be able to return. --
MARK KARLIN, Editor and Publisher of

Yes, we provided a quotation of praise on the back cover of the "Last Days of Democracy." How can you resist a book that has sections that include:"The High-Priced Hookers of Mediaville" "Dumbing Down America" "Who Terrorized Whom on 9/11?""The Godfathers of K Street"And the first chapter is "The New American Dictatorship."

To boot, Elliot D. Cohen -- one of the co-authors -- writes occasionaly for BuzzFlash. In fact, one of his commentaries won a first place Project Censored Award for Buzzflash and him.How much more succinctly can you put it than the sub-title to Cohen's book: "How Big Media and Power-Hungry Government Are Turning America into a Dictatorship"?

Read it and weep. Then take to the streets and take back democracy.


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....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Put Him in Jail Now!

Patrick Fitzgerald: Up to Three Years for Libby
By Matt Apuzzo
The Associated Press
Friday 25 May 2007

Washington - Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby betrayed the public's trust and deserves to spend 2 1/2 to 3 years in prison for obstructing the CIA leak investigation, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said Friday.

Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney and an assistant to President Bush, is the highest-ranking White House official convicted since the Iran-Contra affair two decades ago.

"Particularly in a case such as this, where Mr. Libby was a high-ranking government official whose falsehoods were central to issues in a significant criminal investigation, it is important that this court impose a sentence that accurately reflects the value the judicial system places on truth-telling in criminal investigations," Fitzgerald wrote in court documents.

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton has broad discretion over Libby's fate. Walton faces two important questions: whether to send Libby to prison and, if so, whether to delay the sentence until his appeals have run out.

Libby's lawyers have not filed their sentencing documents yet but are expected to ask that he receive no jail time. They have said that if Walton orders prison time, they will ask that Libby be allowed to remain free during appeals.

Libby was convicted in March of lying to investigators about what he told reporters regarding CIA officer Valerie Plame, whose 2003 exposure touched off the leak probe. Plame was identified in a newspaper column after her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, began criticizing the Bush administration's prewar intelligence on Iraq.

No one was charged with the leak itself, including the initial source of the disclosure, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.

Libby's lawyers have said he deserves to be pardoned, but the White House has been guarded about the issue. Top Democrats have urged Bush not to pardon him.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

God Help Us!

GALLUP: Nearly 1 in 3 Believe Bible is Literal Word of God
By E&P Staff
Published: May 25, 2007

NEW YORK: About one-third of the American adult population believes the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally word for word, a new Gallup poll reveals.

This percentage is only slightly lower than several decades ago. Gallup reports that the majority of those "who don't believe that the Bible is literally true believe that it is the inspired word of God but that not everything it in should be taken literally."

Finally, about one in five Americans believe the Bible is merely an ancient book of "fables, legends, history, and moral precepts recorded by man.

There is also a strong relationship between education and belief in a literal Bible, Gallup explains, with such belief becoming much less prevalent as schooling continues.Those who believe in the literal Bible amount to 31% of adult Americans. This is a decline of about 7% compared with Gallup polls taken in the 1970s and 1980s. It is strongest in the South.

Believe in the literal word of the Bible is strongest among those whose schooling stopped with high school and declines steadily with educational level, with only 20% of college graduates holding that view and 11% of those with an advanced degree.

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....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

G__Damn It! You Had Better Get Real, NOW!

Agreed, David, and we feel your frustration.

No where is it mentioned that the Niger bruhaha started with a forgery. What's been done to investigate the forgery. Where did it come from? What were the motives of the forgers and those who made a special effort, going around the CIA, to get forgeries to Vice.

Why can't these elected officials of ours get it through their thick skulls that nothing, absolutely nothing can succeed when it is built on lies. The lies must be addressed. It seems almost certain that there was a to deceive and de-fraud the American people on a grand scale and it has cost us dealry in the lives of our young and the billions (trillions?) that have been thrown down a rat hole (Halliburton, et al.). It has cost the lives of hunderds of thousands of innocent Iraqis. We have the blood of innocents on our hands.

We cannot sweep this under the rug.


If we try, we will lose what's left of everything that should matter to an American citizen.

New Senate Report Is Worst Betrayal Yet
Submitted by David Swanson on Fri, 2007-05-25 19:07. Congress

By David Swanson

Here it is, yawn, on the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend and on the day after a war debate in Congress, all 229 pages of it, and as riveting as a phone book: the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on Bush and Cheney's war lies. This is what we've waited all these years for? Nancy Pelosi shaved her legs for THIS?

We elected Democratic majorities in November of 2006 so that they could end the occupation and hold accountable those who had launched it. We had every reason to expect serious investigations, subpoenas, and impeachment hearings. For the previous two years the Democrats in Congress had clamored for hearings and information on the lies that the White House had used to sell the war. The Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee had loudly protested the Republican Chair's refusal to produce a serious report on those lies. Progressive Democrats in the House had advanced numerous resolutions of inquiry into such matters as the Downing Street Minutes and the White House Iraq Group. In 2007, all that desire to expose the war lies evaporated. We have been betrayed.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has subpoenaed Condoleezza Rice to testify about the forged Niger documents, but she's refused to comply, and Chairman Henry Waxman has said and done nothing about it.

The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing because the Pentagon released a whitewash report on the crimes of Doug Feith, but Chairman Carl Levin never followed up on all the leads exposed in that hearing.

Other than these two instances, Congress has left the war lies completely alone for the full five months of Democratic rule. Meanwhile, polls have shown strong majority support for investigating the pre-war "intelligence."

The new Democratic House Intelligence Committee Chair Silvestre Reyes announced right away in January that he would only "look forward" and would leave the matter of the war to the Senate Intelligence Committee. The Senate Intelligence Committee proceeded to do nothing. New Chairman, and previous Ranking Member, Senator Jay Rockefeller lost all his passion for exposing the war lies at the crack of 2007. He said he would work on completing the report that had never been done. But he held no hearings and issued no subpoenas. The point of giving him the chairmanship had not been for him to sit in his office and write a "report" on information that was already public knowledge, but for him to hold hearings, call witnesses, issue subpoenas, publicize what was known and perhaps learn something new. The evidence needs to reach the public. More than enough of it has long been known and is collected at

The report that Rockefeller dumped on a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend, rather than publishing prior to Thursday's debate, was produced by a method that any of us could have employed, namely reading things that had already been published and summarizing them. To make matters worse, the report looks only at what the prewar predictions were for what the post-invasion conditions would be in Iraq. The report does not even summarize and give its stamp of approval to the existing and overwhelming body of evidence that the pre-war claims about weapons of mass destruction and ties to al Qaeda were known at the time to be false.

THAT is the report everyone's waiting to see. And we don't want just a boring report. We want hearings on television. But, just as the Democrats agreed to steer the Iran-Contra hearings away from any evidence that might lead to President Ronald Reagan's impeachment, the current crop of Cheney Democrats seems intent on avoiding discussion of high crimes and misdemeanors.

On February 12, 2004, the Senate Intelligence Committee announced that it had agreed to investigate the following list of items. The new report looks only at item E. We have not yet seen any reports, much less hearings or subpoenas, related to A-2, A-3, A-4, C, or G.

A. The matters set forth in the joint release of the Chairman and Vice Chairman on June 20, 2003:

1. the quantity and quality of U.S. intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs, ties to terrorist groups, Saddam Hussein's threat to stability and security in the region, and his repression of his own people;

2. the objectivity, reasonableness, independence, and accuracy of the judgments reached by the Intelligence Community;

3. whether those judgments were properly disseminated to policy makers in the Executive Branch and Congress;

4. whether any influence was brought to bear on anyone to shape their analysis to support policy objectives; and5. other issues we mutually identify in the course of the Committee's review;

B. the collection of intelligence on Iraq from the end of the Gulf War to the commencement of Operation Iraqi Freedom;

C. whether public statements and reports and testimony regarding Iraq by U.S. Government officials made between the Gulf War period and the commencement of Operation Iraqi Freedom were substantiated by intelligence information;

D. the postwar findings about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and weapons programs and links to terrorism and how they compare with prewar assessments;E. prewar intelligence assessments about postwar Iraq;F. any intelligence activities relating to Iraq conducted by the Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group (PCTEG) and the Office of Special Plans within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; andG. the use by the Intelligence Community of information provided by the Iraqi National Congress (INC).

Senate Intelligence Committee Member Russ Feingold (D-WI) tries to put the best spin on the current report that he can:

"The report released today by the Senate Intelligence Committee underscores that the Administration was indifferent to the predicted negative consequences of the war in Iraq. The intelligence community's assessments, made prior to the war and widely disseminated within the Administration, also directly contradict many of the assertions made at the time by the Administration. The intelligence assessments available to the Administration before the war directly contradicted assertions that the war would help us fight al Qaeda. The intelligence community assessed that, as a result of the war, al Qaeda would probably see an opportunity to accelerate its operational tempo and increase terrorist attacks, terrorist groups would probably be encouraged to take advantage of a volatile security environment to launch attacks within Iraq and al Qaeda would try to take advantage of US attention on postwar Iraq to reestablish its presence in Afghanistan. The war's devastating impact on the fight against al Qaeda and on our national security has been apparent for some time. That the Administration was warned of the negative consequences before the war shows just how reckless it was."

Enough. Serious enough. Impeachable enough. But not what is needed to shake the capital of the empire. The clock is ticking, Chairman Rockefeller. The bodies are piling up.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Friday, May 25, 2007

D.C. Madam Thing Is More Than Just A Sex Scandal

A word from the poster: Wayne Madsen is not an author that everyone finds credible. He may miss now and again. However, we find his work credible more often than not.

This revelation makes perfect sense, given what we already know for sure..

May 23, 2007 --
SPECIAL REPORT From Wayne M Madsen

The corporate media still does not get it about the so-called "Washington Madam" case. Beyond just another titillating DC sex scandal, this affair involves the U.S. Attorneys firings, massive bribery involving military and homeland security contracts, and potential blackmail of high government officials.

WMR can report that Disney and ABC executives spiked the Washington Madam story at the very last minute before new names were to be revealed on ABC News' 20/20 on May 4. For some four weeks, ABC News' special investigative reporter Brian Ross, senior executive producer Rhonda Schwartz, producer Justin Rood, and other staff and interns culled Deborah Jeane Palfrey's phone records for the names of high-profile DC area clients of Pamela Martin & Associates, some of whom are top officials in the Bush administration. Depending on one's definition of "newsworthy," there are between 25 and 100 high-profile names on the phone records that merely represent 80 percent of the last four years of phone calls -- 2002 to 2006.

Phone records from 1994 to 2002 were not provided to ABC but they may contain the most important names of past clients.

The decision by Disney and ABC to kill the 20/20 story resulted in a shocked news staff at ABC News' DeSales Street bureau across the street from the Mayflower Hotel, one of the rendezvous points for some Pamela Martin clients. Our sources stated that Ross, Schwartz, Rood, and others at ABC tried their best to get the story out but were overruled by senior executives at ABC in New York and Disney headquarters in Burbank, California who, in turn, were under heavy pressure from the Bush White House.

Sources WMR spoke to revealed that ABC not only spiked the story but created false stories in order to downplay its importance. For example, ABC reported that one of the numbers on the phone list had been misdialed. However, the number misdialed would have had to have been repeatedly misdialed for that explanation to carry any weight. Also, one client who was reported to have worked in the White House was later said to have worked across 17th Street at the Office of Thrift Supervision. This, too, was a bogus report, according to our sources.

ABC News' spiking of one of the most important public interest stories since Watergate should put into question the renewal of FCC broadcasting licenses for ABC television and radio stations across the country. At a May 21 status hearing at US District Court for the District of Columbia, Palfrey's attorney, Preston Burton, asked Judge Gladys Kessler to lift a court ban on releasing Palfrey's phone records, which span some 12 years.

The Washington Madam case also involves criminal conspiracy and malfeasance within the Justice Department, Internal Revenue Service, and Postal Inspection Service. Palfrey's case file was not opened until June 2004 after she had been in business for over a decade without any pressure from the government. After Baltimore Police Commissioner and later Maryland State Police Superintendent Ed Norris was charged in May 2004 with three criminal counts by US Attorney Thomas DiBiagio, the IRS opened a file on Palfrey the following month. It is clear that with Norris, a 20 year veteran of the New York Police Department, facing up to 30 years in prison, he entered into a plea bargain with DiBiagio. In return for his cooperation, which included Norris naming Pamela Martin as one of the recipients of Baltimore Police supplemental accounts money, he got six months in prison and six months home detention. Norris now hosts a radio show in Baltimore.

DiBiagio's assistant US Attorney Jonathan Luna, who once worked at the Brooklyn District Attorneys' office when a probe was being conducted of both Norris and his friend, former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, was on to Norris' corruption in Baltimore. Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley appointed Norris as police commissioner but soon became disenchanted with his performance. After his re-election as Governor in 2002, Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich appointed Norris as Maryland State Police Superintendent. Luna was brutally murdered near the Pennsylvania Turnpike in December 2003.

Norris' cooperation with DiBiagio resulted in Palfrey's criminal case being opened in Baltimore subsequent to Norris' plea bargain. However, Palfrey, who merely ran an escort agency, was never a target of DiBiagio we have been informed. During his probe of Norris and Palfrey, DiBiagio had uncovered much wider criminal conduct by Maryland Republican Governor
Ehrlich, convicted GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and gambling interests hoping to open casinos in Maryland. In fact, the DiBiagio probe collected evidence that Ehrlich and Abramoff were Pamela Martin clients. DiBiagio's probe was gaining steam until December 2004. That is when DiBiagio became the first U.S. Attorney fired by the Justice Department in the wake of George W. Bush's re-election. However, with the corporate media in the pocket of the Bush administration,

DiBiagio's name is not counted among the fired U.S. Attorneys, yet, his firing was the most egregious of the firings. DiBiagio was actively pursuing a Republican Governor, a GOP lobbyist linked to several Republican members of Congress, most notably convicted Ohio congressman Bob Ney; Representatives, Tom DeLay, Tom Feeney, and John Doolittle; as well as top staffers to Senators Conrad Burns, Kit Bond, and Representatives Roy Blunt and Don Young. The trail also leads to Shirlington Limousine, CIA Director Porter Goss -- Dick Cheney's handpicked man to purge the agency -- , CIA Executive Director Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, and convicted Representative Duke Cunningham.

After DiBiagio's ouster, the Palfrey investigation was out on ice. However, that all began to change when Palfrey put her Vallejo, California house up for sale in August 2006. She planned to move to Germany. In early September, there was some interest in the house, however, the phone number left with World Star Realty turned out to be bogus. It was clear that while Palfrey was on a trip to Germany, unknown persons were interested in seeing her home, not with the intention of buying it but with other motivations. However, Palfrey did not leave a key with her real estate agent while she was out of the country. On September 27, after Palfrey wired $70,000 to Germany in order to purchase an apartment, the government reacted rapidly.
On September 29, Washington DC Postal Inspection Service agents Maria Cuvio and Joe Clark showed up at World Star Realty and claimed they were married and were being transferred from Washington to San Francisco and wanted to buy Palfrey's house quickly. It was clear they were conducting a ruse while a search warrant was being obtained from a willing Federal judge. Oddly, when the warrant was obtained and a Civil Asset Forfeiture order was obtained, IRS agent Burrus was not interested in Palfrey's phone records located in her house.

Considering the fact that a top Washington DC law firm that represents Saudi Arabia was a subject of the phone lists, it is odd that the Federal government would not have wanted to cull the records for information relating to prominent and not-so-prominent Arab clients and the 9/11 attacks. The significance of Jack Abramoff's role in DiBiagio's investigation should not be understated with regard to Arab clients of Pamela Martin. The FBI received evidence that two or three of the 9/11 hijackers, including Mohammed Atta, were spotted on Abramoff's Sun Cruz casino boat with American women in Madeira Beach, Florida shortly before the 9/11 attacks. Also, several of the hijackers were known to frequent erotic dancing bars in New Jersey and Florida while planning for the 9/11 attacks. There is also a possibility that, through Abramoff, some so-called "Al Qaeda" cells, as well as Saudi embassy diplomats in the Washington and Baltimore areas, may have engaged the services of prostitutes.

The timing of the Federal government's quick seizure of Palfrey's assets and forcing her back from Germany is suspect considering that the Maryland gubernatorial election between Ehrlich and O'Malley was a month away. At the end of September, the race was considered close. The Bush administration was obviously worried that Palfrey took her "black book" to Germany and the contents might have ended up in the pages of Der Spiegel or Stern. In fact, there was no Heidi Fleiss-type "black book," but the government did not know that. The Bush administration's asset seizure was merely a ploy to get Palfrey to return to the United States.

The failure of the government's young and inexperienced agents to seize Palfrey's 46 pounds of phone records was a monumental blunder on the part of the IRS and Postal Inspectors. That is why Assistant U.S. Attorney William Cowden has been so adamant in his requests to Judge Kessler to keep the records from further release.

Palfrey and her attorney has called for the appointment of a Special Counsel in the Palfrey case. That certainly seems warranted after one of the Pamela Martin clients retained the law firm of Bracewell & Giuliani. Rudolph Giuliani was New York Mayor during the time Norris and Kerik were under a criminal probe by the Brooklyn District Attorney. Pamela Martin clients also lived in New York. We now have a murdered Assistant U.S. Attorney, a fired U.S. Attorney, several high-profile and blackmailable "johns," and the involvement of the law firm of a presidential candidate involved in defending one of the escort agency's high profile clients. This unfolding story has merely shown the tip of a huge iceberg.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Rasmussen: Edwards is kicking the crap out of everybody

with strong support from independents (unaffiliated)

Rasmussen Reports™: The most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a mid-term election.:

The latest Rasmussen Reports Election 2008 survey shows former North Carolina Senator John Edwards (D) leading former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson (R) 53% to 32%. Edwards also has a huge lead over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney 54% to 33%.

Edwards also enjoys a large advantage over the two Republicans among unaffiliated voters. Overall, the Democratic hopeful is viewed favorably by 55%, unfavorably by 33%.

Fred Thompson is viewed favorably by 39%, unfavorably by 27%. Mitt Romney is viewed favorably by 37%, unfavorably by 38%.

Op-ed: How evangelicals became part of Washington's fabric

How do we get rid of them.

That's the question, because whatever the hell they are about, it isn't peace.

The Raw Story | Op-ed: How evangelicals became part of Washington's fabric:

Rosin continues, 'Goodling is part of a new generation of evangelicals ushered in by Falwell, who insisted that Christians get involved in politics. They are graduates of the exploding number of evangelical colleges, which no longer aim to create a parallel subculture but instead to train 'Christian leaders to change the world,' as the Regent mission statement reads.'

Rosin notes that the law school at Regent University, which was founded by televangelist Pat Robertson 'has had 150 of its graduates working in the White House,' and 'the school estimates that one-sixth of its alumni are in government work.'

'Call them the Goodlings: scrubbed young ideologues, ready to serve their nation, the right's version of the Peace Corps generation,' Rosin writes.

Report: Cheney aide clearing path to bomb Iran

Someone had better stop this madman and his monkey.

I'm serious. The NeoCons are delusional when it comes to American strength, or they just don't give a damn.

They seem to think that we are invulnerable.

We aren't.

The Raw Story | Report: Cheney aide clearing path to bomb Iran:

A report published today reveals a growing game of tug-of-war between President Bush and his No. 2 regarding the US approach towards Iran.

Vice President Dick Cheney believes the US should not be pursuing a diplomatic path with Iran, and a senior aide to the vice president has been meeting with national security think tanks and consultants in Washington to 'help establish the policy and political pathway to bombing Iran,' Steve Clemons reported Thursday on his blog, The Washington Note.

Cheney trying to undercut Bush on Iran

Wait a minute! Isn't this against a major law of some-kind?

Somebody needs to apprehend this old fool, before he starts WWIII, and lock him up somewhere we he can't harm himself or the planet.

The Blue State: Cheney trying to undercut Bush on Iran:

There is a strong disagreement within the Administration over policy with Iran. Dick Cheney favors a confrontationalist approach, while Condoleezza Rice, although she is still very far to the right, favors diplomacy. According to the Washington Note, Dick Cheney is worried that Bush favors the Rice-approach, and it prepared to undercut the President: Read On^

Fmr Bush Official: Iraq probably can't be fixed

What's really just stunning to me is the Gooper oblivion. The Bush administration is imploding. The GOP will go with them and the Democrats aren't showing any signs of helping them out.

Another year and a half of this president, bullying everybody, from the Iraqis, to the Generals to the Congress and, by definition, the people, and the GOP will be through, for a very long time.

Democrats aren't endearing themselves either.

Could this finally mean there is a chance for a multi-party system?

The Blue State: Fmr Bush Official: Iraq probably can't be fixed:

Petraeus is brilliant. But he is the captain of a sinking ship,' said a former senior administration official who questioned whether Iraq's divided political leadership could prevent a descent into chaos. 'Iraq's government is a mobile phone number that doesn't answer. Iraq probably can't be fixed.'

Gonzo Been Witness Tampering

Sure sounds like witness tampering to me.

Save us all a lot of time and heartache.

Bring on the RICO squad!

The Swamp - Chicago Tribune - Blogs.:

After the congressional testimony of former Justice Department official Monica Goodling yesterday, we still don’t know who put the names of the U.S. attorneys targeted for firing on the termination list.

But Goodling did produce more information about Attorney General Alberto Gonzales many people will find disturbing. She testified that after it became clear earlier this year that Goodling and Gonzales would likely be called before Congress to testify, Gonzales discussed with Goodling facts related to the firings in a way that some could argue was an attempt by the nation's highest law enforcement official to coach or perhaps even tamper with a federal witness.

Madame Chairwoman, You Are Very Smart - So, Please Stop Playing Dumb

WorkingForChange: Madame Chairwoman, You Are Very Smart - So, Please Stop Playing Dumb:

Thursday, May 24, 2007
Madame Chairwoman, You Are Very Smart - So, Please Stop Playing Dumb

House Rules Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) has a post over at MyDD attempting to explain the rule she helped craft today that deliberately paved the way for House Dems to deliver a blank check Iraq War funding bill to President Bush. Louise, responding directly to my post earlier today, says there was nothing devious about what went on and that what happened today with the rule vote was just normal, ho-hum, nothing-to-see-here kind of stuff. I really like Louise a lot, and it's unfortunate that she's trying to play dumb in order to pull something of a fast one in her explanation. The letter to her that I pasted in the comments of her MyDD post is reposted in the extended entry.


Thanks for this post, but you are very carefully avoiding what you - as Chairman of the Rules Committee - know quite well is the crux of the issue. Everyone who knows anything about Congress knows that the power of Congress rests in its rules, and in the majority bringing rules to the floor with their own underlying bill.

U.S. May death toll rises to 88

On course to be one of the deadliest months so far, and this doesn't even count the Iraqis who have died.

York Dispatch - U.S. May death toll rises to 88

Why Not Impeachment? The problem may be us.

May 22, 2007

The Bush presidency is a lot of things. It's a secretive cabal, a cavalcade of incompetence, a blood-stained Church Militant, a bad rerun of "The Godfather" in which scary men in suits pay ominous visits to hospital rooms. But seen from the point of view of the American people, what it increasingly resembles is a bad marriage. America finds itself married to a guy who has turned out to be a complete dud. Divorce -- which in our nonparliamentary system means impeachment -- is the logical solution. But even though Bush cheated on us, lied, besmirched our family's name and spent all our money, we the people, not to mention our elected representatives and the media, seem content to stick it out to the bitter end.

There is a strange disconnect in the way Americans think about George W. Bush. He is extraordinarily unpopular. His approval ratings, which have been abysmal for about 18 months, have now sunk to their lowest ever, making him the most unpopular president in a generation. His 28 percent approval rating in a May 5 Newsweek poll ties that of Jimmy Carter in 1979 after the failed Iran rescue mission. Bush's unpopularity has emboldened congressional Democrats, who now have no qualms about attacking him directly and flatly asserting that his Iraq war is lost.

Some of them have also been willing to invoke the I-word -- joining a large number of Americans. Several polls taken in the last two years have shown that large numbers of Americans support impeachment. An Angus Reid poll taken in May 2007 found that a remarkable 39 percent of Americans favored the impeachment of Bush and Cheney. An earlier poll, framed in a more hypothetical way, found that 50 percent of Americans supported impeaching Bush if he lied about the war -- which most of that 50 percent presumably now believe he did. Vermont has gone on record in calling for his impeachment, and a number of cities, including Detroit and San Francisco, have passed impeachment resolutions. Reps. John Murtha and John Conyers and a few other politicians have floated the idea. And there is a significant grassroots movement to impeach Bush, spearheaded by organizations like After Downing Street. Even some Republicans, outraged by Bush's failure to uphold right-wing positions (his immigration policy, in particular), have begun muttering about impeachment.

Bush's unpopularity is mostly a result of Iraq, which most Americans now believe was a colossal mistake and a war we cannot win. But his problems go far beyond Iraq. His administration has been dogged by one massive scandal after the other, from the Katrina debacle, to Bush's approval of illegal wiretapping and torture, to his unparalleled use of "signing statements" to disobey laws he disagrees with, to the outrageous Gonzales and U.S. attorneys affair.

In response to these outrages, a growing literature of pro-impeachment books, from "The Case for Impeachment" by Dave Lindorff and Barbara Olshansky to "The Impeachment of George W. Bush" by Elizabeth Holtzman to "U.S. v. Bush" by Elizabeth de la Vega, argue not only that Bush's misdeeds are clearly impeachable, but also that a failure to impeach a rogue president bent on amassing unprecedented power will threaten our most cherished traditions. As Lindorff and Olshansky conclude, "If we fail to stand up for the Constitution now, it may be only a piece of paper by the end of President Bush's second term. Then it will be time to be afraid."

Yet the public's dislike of Bush has not translated into any real move to get rid of him. The impeach-Bush movement has not really taken off yet, and barring some unforeseen dramatic development, it seems unlikely that it will. Even if there were a mass popular movement to impeach Bush, it's far from clear that Congress, which alone has the power to initiate impeachment proceedings, would do anything. The Democratic congressional majority has been at best lukewarm to the idea. In any case, their constituents have not demanded it forcefully or in such numbers that politicians feel they must respond. Democrats, and for that matter Americans of all political persuasions, seem content to watch Bush slowly bleed to death.
Why? Why was Clinton, who was never as unpopular as Bush, impeached for lying about sex, while Bush faces no sanction for the far more serious offense of lying about war?

The main reason is obvious: The Democrats think it's bad politics. Bush is dying politically and taking the GOP down with him, and impeachment is risky. It could, so the cautious Beltway wisdom has it, provoke a backlash, especially while the war is still going on. Why should the Democrats gamble on hitting the political jackpot when they're likely to walk away from the table big winners anyway?

These realpolitik considerations might be sufficient by themselves to prevent Congress from impeaching Bush. Impeachment is a strange phenomenon -- a murky combination of the legal, the political and the emotional. The Constitution offers no explicit guidance on what constitutes an impeachable offense, stating only that a president can be impeached and, if convicted, removed from office for treason, bribery "or other high crimes and misdemeanors." As a result, politicians contemplating impeachment take their cues from a number of disparate factors -- not just a president's misdeeds, but a cost-benefit analysis. And Congress tends to follow the cost-benefit analysis. If you're going to kill the king, you have to make sure you succeed -- and there's just enough doubt in Democrats' minds to keep their swords sheathed.

But there's a deeper reason why the popular impeachment movement has never taken off -- and it has to do not with Bush but with the American people. Bush's warmongering spoke to something deep in our national psyche. The emotional force behind America's support for the Iraq war, the molten core of an angry, resentful patriotism, is still too hot for Congress, the media and even many Americans who oppose the war, to confront directly. It's a national myth.
It's John Wayne. To impeach Bush would force us to directly confront our national core of violent self-righteousness -- come to terms with it, understand it and reject it. And we're not ready to do that.

The truth is that Bush's high crimes and misdemeanors, far from being too small, are too great. What has saved Bush is the fact that his lies were, literally, a matter of life and death. They were about war. And they were sanctified by 9/11. Bush tapped into a deep American strain of fearful, reflexive bellicosity, which Congress and the media went along with for a long time and which has remained largely unexamined to this day. Congress, the media and most of the American people have yet to turn decisively against Bush because to do so would be to turn against some part of themselves. This doesn't mean we support Bush, simply that at some dim, half-conscious level we're too confused -- not least by our own complicity -- to work up the cold, final anger we'd need to go through impeachment. We haven't done the necessary work to separate ourselves from our abusive spouse. We need therapy -- not to save this disastrous marriage, but to end it.

Next page: The problem is that Bush is not being judged by the standards of law

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Draft Gore-Obama

Yep, that would be my dream ticket. (Gore, Edwards is a close second).

May 18, 2007
American Dream Team: Draft Gore-Obama for 2008 (Brent Budowsky)
@ 3:22 pm

A ticket of Al Gore for president and Barack Obama for vice president would create an electricity and enthusiasm that would transform American politics and send shock waves of excitement throughout a world yearning for new American leadership.

With the release of Al Gore’s new book about reason and truth in politics, and the July 7 worldwide concert for global warming, the stage is set for a new era in American politics that would be more exciting than any event since the inaugural of JFK.

Al Gore would bring the most commander-in-chief qualities in the history of presidential candidates with a passion and depth that would lift the hopes and hearts of Americans ready to inaugurate the post-Bush era.

Barack Obama would bring an enthusiasm, idealism and spirit that would make the ticket soar above partisan politics, would rally young people into public service in ways reminiscent of John and Robert Kennedy, and would be the greatest worldwide boost to American leadership for freedom and democracy in many years.

Al Gore was and has remained right about the Iraq war, and has the experience to lead America through the challenges left by the disasters of George W. Bush.

For a generation Gore has focused with great clarity and depth on the great issues facing the country, from nuclear arms control to global warming, from the power of new technology to better the world to a rousing call to respect our Bill of Rights and honor our political, civic and religious freedoms.

He has excelled in every endeavor he has undertaken as a member of Congress, senator, vice president,and idea entrepreneur who thinks big and knows how to get things done.
Gore has always been ahead of his time on great issues and his breadth of experience reaches from head of state diplomacy to financial and capital markets.

Barack Obama would be an extraordinary and unique vice president who would inspire young people everywhere, and would be a powerful symbol of American freedom, American justice and American opportunity throughout the world.

Obama’s appeal would transcend political parties, generations, and nations.

Partnered with the most experienced presidential candidate in American history, Barack Obama could well ensure his ultimate path to the presidency.

A Gore-Obama ticket would lift the hearts of Americans ready to dream again and lift the spirit of a nation that hungers for a unity of optimism, patriotism and community.

A Gore-Obama ticket would raise gigantic sums of money because it would raise gigantic hopes about what is possible for the future of America if we dare to dream again.

Personally I would enthusiastically support any of the Democratic candidates and am intrigued by the possibilities if Chuck Hagel declares independence from a decayed Republican Party.
Gore-Obama, however, is about something bigger, larger, grander and more noble than mere conventional politics.

The incumbent has divided us against each other, and has divided our generation from future generations on almost every level. Future generations will pay the price of misdeeds and mistakes today, from debt to war to pollution.

Gore-Obama is about the future, about the kids, about the generations to come and about an America that would once again believe that it is our sacred obligation to leave a better world to the kids and to the generations that follow.

Gore-Obama is about who we are, the standards we set, the future we build, and the great aspirations that should once again be our mission as men, women, Americans and citizens of the world.

The poet told us that our reach should exceed our grasp, otherwise what is heaven for?

It is time to dream again, to reach for the stars again, to have great aspirations and great expectations again.

It is time to lift the country we love again, to join a call to conscience, a call to action, and a call to confidence based on who we are, and what we stand for.

Draft Gore and Obama, and we will have a dream team for the generations.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Edwards Blasts Bush And Other Goopers

Edwards assails Bush, GOP rivals
Associated Press Writer
Fri May 25, 2:02 AM ET

Democratic presidential contender John Edwards argued on Thursday that President Bush has made the nation less safe and the Republican candidates are trying to become "a bigger, badder George Bush."

Edwards' remarks came one day after he challenged the idea of a global war on terror, calling it an ideological doctrine advanced by the Bush administration that has strained the U.S. military and emboldened terrorists.

Bush told reporters Thursday that Edwards' view was naive.

A short time later, during an appearance in Montgomery, Ala., Edwards answered back: "George Bush has made America less safe and less respected in the world. What we are seeing now in this campaign is John McCain , Rudy Giuliani and the other Republicans running for president of the United States are trying to be a bigger, badder George Bush. Is that really what America wants over the next four years?"

Edwards, who supports a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq, said he would keep the country safe by going "after terrorists where they are."

"There is an entire new generation of young people in the Islamic world sitting on the fence," he told reporters, and their status as adults "depends on whether America can change this dynamic that George Bush has created that America is a bully, that we are selfish and that we don't care anything about what is happening in other parts of the world."

At least one Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, scoffed at Edwards' comments on the global war on terror.

"Remember that old Edmund Burke quote, it's a famous quote, 'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.' And that, I am afraid is the boiled down version of what John Edwards said, is that good men should do nothing. Put their head in the sand and hope it all goes away," Romney told an audience in Jacksonville, Fla.

The Edwards campaign later issued a statement, saying: "We don't need more political huffing and puffing, we need a smart strategy that uses American power to stop terrorists from hurting us and to stop people from becoming terrorists in the first place."

Edwards was making his first campaign trip to Alabama since entering the race. He met privately with several prominent Democrats at the Alabama Education Association headquarters, including Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom Jr., and veteran civil rights lawyer Fred Gray of Tuskegee. He also attended a $1,000-per-person fundraising reception hosted by the plaintiff law firm of former Lt. Gov. Jere Beasley.

Alabama has moved its presidential primary to Feb. 5, an increasingly crowded date with about a dozen states planning to vote.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Murder Monkey Wins And More Will Die For A Lie

The next time the murder monkey holds his breath, let him turn blue...and while you're at it, put a plastic bag over his head?

In the meantime, how many more young men and women will die for a lie?

Dems: Fight over Iraq war has just begun
Associated Press Writer

Democrats may have lost the first round with President Bush on ending the war in Iraq since taking over Congress in January, but they say their fight has just begun.

In the months ahead, lawmakers will vote repeatedly on whether U.S. troops should stay and whether Bush has the authority to continue the war. The Democratic strategy is intended to ratchet up pressure on the president, as well as on moderate Republicans who have grown tired of defending Bush administration policy in a deeply unpopular war.

"I feel a direction change in the air," said Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., chairman of the House panel that oversees military funding.

Democrats looked to the upcoming votes after losing a bruising battle with Bush on an emergency war spending bill. Lacking the two-thirds majority needed to overcome another presidential veto, Democrats dropped from the legislation a provision ordering troops home from Iraq beginning this fall.

Congress passed the revised $120 billion spending bill on Thursday, providing $95 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through September. The House voted 280-142 to pass the bill, followed by a 80-14 vote in the Senate.

Democratic leaders said they hoped to ready the bill for Bush's signature by this Memorial Day weekend.

Democratic presidential rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record) both voted against the bill.

"I fully support our troops" but the measure "fails to compel the president to give our troops a new strategy in Iraq," said Clinton, D-N.Y.

"Enough is enough," Obama, an Illinois senator, declared, adding that Bush should not get "a blank check to continue down this same, disastrous path."

Their votes continued a shift in position for the two presidential hopefuls, both of whom began the year shunning a deadline for a troop withdrawal.

Thursday's legislative action capped weeks of negotiations with the White House, which agreed to accept some $17 billion more than Bush had requested as long as there were no restrictions on the military campaign.

"If all funding bills are going to be this partisan and contentious, it will be a very long year," Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (news, bio, voting record) of Kentucky said.
Democrats said they were successful in moving the war debate forward and would try again when Congress takes up spending bills for the 2008 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

"This debate will go on," vowed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif.
"Senate Democrats will not stop our efforts to change the course of this war until either enough Republicans join with us to reject President Bush's failed policy or we get a new president,"
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid D-Nev., said.

The Senate will go first when it considers a defense policy bill authorizing more than $600 billion in military spending. Sen. Carl Levin (news, bio, voting record), D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, plans to offer an amendment that would order troop withdrawals to begin within 120 days.

Sen. Robert Byrd (news, bio, voting record), D-W.Va., said he would press to repeal the 2002 resolution authorizing combat in Iraq.

Sen. John Warner (news, bio, voting record), R-Va., said Thursday that if the security situation in Iraq does not improve by mid-July, the president should consider adopting a new strategy there.

"It seems to me it's time for them (Iraqi troops) to ... step up," said Warner, R-Va.

The most critical votes on the war are likely to be cast in September when the House and Senate debate war funding for 2008. The House plans to consider one measure that would end combat by July 2008 and another intended to repeal Bush's authority to wage war in Iraq.

The September votes likely will come after Iraq war commander Gen. David Petraeus tells Congress whether Bush's troop buildup plan is working. Also due by September is an independent assessment of progress made by the Iraqi government.

"Those of us who oppose this war will be back again and again and again and again until this war has ended," said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.

The U.S. has spent more than $300 billion on Iraq military operations so far, according to the congressional Government Accountability Office.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Frist For World Bank Preznit?


I am holding my head in my hands as I type this. Is there no end to the shady characters Bush can hire?

AlterNet: From The Wire:

The White House is starting to draw up a list of potential nominees to lead the World Bank, and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a heart surgeon who has traveled widely in Africa, is getting especially close scrutiny for the job.

Also receiving long looks are Treasury Deputy Secretary Robert Kimmitt and Robert Zoellick, the former U.S. trade representative now working at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to individuals familiar with White House deliberations.

: Funding Bush's War: Are Dems Too Scared To Take on the President?

We have had the same thought.

There is no getting around the fact that the Democrats are acting goofy.

Either they are as corrupt as the people with whom we expected them to deal, they have all taken leave of their senses (is there something in the water supply?), or they are scared shit-less of something.

WTF is it?

AlterNet: War on Iraq: Funding Bush's War: Are Dems Too Scared To Take on the President?:

Congress is poised to vote on a funding bill for Iraq that offers no change of course. Those who vote for it will be undermining the troops and enabling a rogue President.

Patriots for Al Gore Statement Regarding The Assault On Reason

We add our humble, but angry voice to that of the growing chorus:


Political Cortex: Patriots for Al Gore Statement Regarding The Assault On Reason:

Patriots for Al Gore, a PAC dedicated to supporting the endeavors of the Honorable Al Gore, writes this press release to announce our pleasure at the release of Mr. Gore's new book, The Assault on Reason. We hope that its context and important message brings about the dialogue necessary in this country across all lines that must be engaged in, in order to bring back respect for our Constitution and Democracy, and an urgency that will reignite a spirit long dead and gone.

We are indeed grateful to Mr. Gore for his truthful words, his visionary concepts, and his unrelenting stewardship to our country and this planet that sees beyond the black and white talking points of a complicit media that has neglected its duty for profit, the politics of fear of a deceptive government too beholding to all that is the antithesis to true representative democracy, and an all too apathetic people willing to ignore both for their own entertainment.

Protecting America

We are all the victims of a huge protection racket worthy of RICO charges.

Al Capone would be proud.

Protecting America | Capitol Hill Blue:

It is often the case that those who claim to be protecting our nation are the very most dangerous threats to the people and the principles upon which this nation was founded. Among the greatest of those threats are fundamentalism and globalism.

There is no political will to confront either so what we hear about are false issues and what we get instead of leadership is posturing and platitudes.

With little public discussion or awareness, Democratic leadership has announced an agreement about upcoming trade negotiations without bothering to let any of us in on the contents of that agreement. What is really going on is that the Democrats are positioning themselves to get an infusion of cash for the elections of 2008 from big business just as the Republicans have done during their return to power in the past 15 years.

Reid & Pelosi: traitors and turncoats to our troops, the voters, the constitution

No comment...speaks or itself.

Reid & Pelosi: traitors and turncoats to our troops, the voters, the constitution | Capitol Hill Blue:

In the face of a petulant, pig-headed, pertinacious President, for weeks both Reid and Pelosi claimed the moral high ground. They promised to insist on timelines for the withdrawal of our troops, currently stuck like fish in a barrel.

Let's review what is happening in today's IraqNam. General David Howell Petraeus was appointed to take over command after four years of lies and misreporting, after four years of worsening conditions and growing turmoil and death. His prior success in a small region was his biggest selling point. Anyone who could actually make friends and earn the trust of several factions, despite the brain-damaged policies of Bremer, Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, Feith, Wolfowitz, had to have something going for him. Congress approved his promotion by an overwhelming majority.

Three years ago, President Bush called for the first surge (a rose by any other name still has thorns). Six months later, he increased troops again, (many thorns), and a year ago, there was a fourth, perhaps fifth surge. Each surge had a minor, temporary impact. For example, people forget that we re-invaded Baghdad no less than three times, AFTER we invaded the very first time. Each time resulted in a slight lowering of the kidnapping, death and torture rates, while there was a no noticeable increase in violence and death outside of the capitol.

Cheney Is On D.C. Madam's List!

Where are all the TeeVee newscaster who were so obsessed with the Clenis?

Huge thanks to Wonkette for following this most interesting tale of Gooper hypocrisy.

No thanks, for the image that has been forever seared into my poor aching head.

dept. of happy endings

Cheney Totally On DC Madam's Phone List

What else could anyone conclude from this bit of weirdness, in today’s Roll Call:

Vice President Cheney isn’t not on the phone records of the alleged D.C. Madam, who is accused of running a high-price call-girl ring in Washington, the accused madam’s lawyer said on Tuesday.

Hey, Brian Ross! This is Wonkette, calling you on your prop phone. Why won’t you report that Cheney is the “former CEO” in McLean who’s on the DC Madam’s list?
We suspect the reason is that some bigshot at ABC/Disney is also on the list. Come clean, Mickey, just come clean. Just do a tearful admission on World News Tonight and maybe a Teen People cover story, and all is forgiven!

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Another Blank Check, No Compromise, Betrayal

The only Democrat who has been against this war from day one, has consistently spoken out against it and has never voted for any blank check for the war preznit is Albert Gore.

Run, Al, Run

The question is not whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid flinched in their negotiations with the Bush administration over the continuation of the Iraq occupation.

They did. Despite some happy talk about benchmarks that have been attached to the Iraq supplemental spending bill that is expected to be considered by Congress this week, the willingness of Pelosi and Reid to advance a measure that does not include a withdrawal timeline allows Bush to conduct the war as he chooses for much if not all of the remainder of his presidency. This failure to abide by the will of the people who elected Democrats to end the war will haunt Pelosi, Reid and their party -- not to mention the United States and the battered shell that is Iraq.

This "compromise" legislation is such an embarrassing example of what happens when raw politics overwhelms principle -- and political common sense -- that House Democrats have divided the $12O billion measure into two sections. That will allow Republicans and sold-out Democrats to vote for the president's Iraq funding, while anti-war Democrats and their handful of Republican allies can vote "no." Then both Democratic camps can vote separately for the second section -- including a federal minimum-wage increase and more than $8 billion in funding for domestic programs -- while Republicans oppose this section.

Presuming that both parts pass the House, they will then be sent to the Senate as a single bill for members of that chamber to accept or reject. The end result of this confusing set of legislative maneuvers will be twofold: Lots of House members will be able to avoid accountability for their votes, while Bush will get his blank check. Even Pelosi says she'll vote against the Iraq funding section of the House bill because it lacks "a goal or a timetable" for extracting U.S. troops from the conflict. But, no matter how she votes, Pelosi will have facilitated a process that gives the president more war funding than he had initially requested

But the real story now is not the refusal of the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate to hold steady in the face of the president's cynical claim that refusing him a blank check to maintain his war through the end of his presidency somehow threatens U.S. troops. That has happened and no matter what games are played with voting procedures, the reality is that the Democratic leadership has failed to lead at the most critical juncture.

The question that remains to be answered is a frustrating but significant one: How many Democrats and responsible Republicans will refuse to accept this ugly political calculus?
What we know is that there will be opposition., which provided critical cover for the Democratic leadership during earlier fights on the supplemental and related matters, is now urging all Democrats to vote "no" on the war funding -- and it is threatening in-district ad campaigns against Democrats and Republicans who back the measure.

The most genuinely anti-war members will not need any encouragement to reject the deal.
Senator Russ Feingold, the Wisconsin Democrat who has led the fight to get Congress to use the power of the purse to bring the troops home, immediately announced that he would not follow Reid into the abyss of surrender to a White House that is getting everything that it wants.

"Under the president's Iraq policies, our military has been over-burdened, our national security has been jeopardized, and thousands of Americans have been killed or injured. Despite these realities, and the support of a majority of Americans for ending the President's open-ended mission in Iraq, congressional leaders now propose a supplemental appropriations bill that does nothing to end this disastrous war," says Feingold. "I cannot support a bill that contains nothing more than toothless benchmarks and that allows the President to continue what may be the greatest foreign policy blunder in our nation's history."

Anticipating the cynical gamesmanship of the debate that will play out this week, the Wisconsin Democrat says, "There has been a lot of tough talk from members of Congress about wanting to end this war, but it looks like the desire for political comfort won out over real action. Congress should have stood strong, acknowledged the will of the American people, and insisted on a bill requiring a real change of course in Iraq."

Feingold is, of course, right. But how many senators will join him in voting "no"? That question is especially significant for the four Senate Democrats who are seeking their party's presidential nomination: New York's Hillary Clinton, Illinois' Barack Obama, Delaware's Joe Biden and Connecticut's Chris Dodd. Dodd says he is "disappointed" by the abandonment of the timeline demand; if he presses the point as he did on another recent war-related vote, he could force the hands of the other candidates. If either Clinton or Obama do go ahead and vote for the legislation, and certainly if both of them do so, they will create a huge opening for former North Carolina John Edwards, who has staked out the clearest anti-war position of the front runners for the nomination. But this is about more than just Democratic presidential politics: A number of Senate Republicans who are up for reelection next year -- including Maine's Susan Collins, Minnesota's Norm Coleman and Oregon's Gordon Smith -- may well be casting the most important votes of their political careers.

Collins, Coleman and Smith have tried to straddle the war debate. If they vote to give George Bush another blank check, however, they will have removed any doubt regarding how serious they are about ending the war -- as will their colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

John Nichols' new book, THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT: The Founders' Cure for Royalism has been hailed by authors and historians Gore Vidal, Studs Terkel and Howard Zinn for its meticulous research into the intentions of the founders and embraced by activists for its groundbreaking arguments on behalf of presidential accountability. After reviewing recent books on impeachment, Rolling Stone political writer Tim Dickinson, writes in the latest issue of Mother Jones, "John Nichols' nervy, acerbic, passionately argued history-cum-polemic, The Genius of Impeachment, stands apart. It concerns itself far less with the particulars of the legal case against Bush and Cheney, and instead combines a rich examination of the parliamentary roots and past use of the "heroic medicine" that is impeachment with a call for Democratic leaders to 'reclaim and reuse the most vital tool handed to us by the founders for the defense of our most basic liberties.'"

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free