SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R-NE) IN ESQUIRE TODAY...
w/ Brad & Desi
w/ Brad & Desi
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R-NE) IN ESQUIRE TODAY...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
California Representative (and mine) Henry Waxman, the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, answers questions about Iraq last night with Tavis Smiley on PBS. After Waxman explains how at least $12 billion allocated for Iraqi reconstruction went missing, an incredulous Smiley states:
Waxman lays most of the blame on the Republican-led Congress which failed in its oversight responsibilities. Similarly deplorable is what the reconstruction effort accomplished, considering Iraq's billions and our own additional $20 billion. According to Waxman:
But while "Iraqis and the American people are not better off" for the war, Waxman does identify one group that has made out extraordinarily well:
Conventional wisdom is that when a jury spends much time deliberating, it will find a defendant not guilty. After two and a half days deliberating, the jury in the Libby trial went home today for the weekend.
So the rightwing noise machine thinks it smells blood and is starting some early gloating. Here, for example, is Rush Limbaugh --- premature but already tasteless: “So Fitzpatrick is sweating it out. Fitzrussert sweating it out. Fitzmatthews is sweating it out. Nobody knows what it means that the jury has yet to come back. Fitzsulzberger at the New York Times is probably sweating this out just a little bit.”
I don’t have time to rebut the kind of dishonesty that would connect the excellent and dedicated Special Prosecutor in the Libby trial, Patrick Fitzgerald, with NBC and the New York Times. I heard closing arguments in the trial last Tuesday and have not changed my own opinion that the prosecution rebuttal by Fitzgerald was awesome. Phenomenal. ...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
Stereograms are 3D, optical illusions contained within two-dimensional images that were popularized in the '90s by the Magic Eye book and poster phenomenon. Here and here are two examples. Stereograms are very frustrating not only because of the difficulty involved in finding hidden 3D images, but also for how simple and obvious images appear once discovered.
"The Long War (PDF)" by Kenneth Anderson in the just released March/April The Humanist is similar to a stereogram in that after reading it, the seemingly complicated reasons for invading Iraq appear simple and obvious. For instance, once you suppose that the real reason for the Iraq invasion was OIL as Anderson does, you are free to view the White House justifications for war in their totality, which is revealing:
So why was the administration hell bent on immediate military action? "The oil law," which most media outlets have avoided much as they have avoided the 14 permanent American military bases built near Iraqi oil fields, might have something to do with it:
PER DAY! Why that's almost enough money to justify "the surge":
Are you starting to get the picture? To get the complete picture you'll have to stare at the stereogram for a few minutes by reading "The Long War (PDF)" .
As the congressional report released in 2004 (referenced in previous blog) makes clear, if U.S. intelligence agencies were unable to connect Iraq to weapons of mass destruction before the war, it was not for lack of trying.
From May 2002 to September 2002, five documents were produced by the intelligence community pertaining to Iraq WMDs. A CIA briefing book prepared on May 10, a Department of Energy (DOE) intelligence report on July 22, and a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) intelligence assessment in September all mentioned the Niger uranium issue, although the DOE report included caveats. The US embassy in Niger cabled on June 24, 2002, about an IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) agreement safeguarding Niger uranium. A CIA paper was published on August 1, 2002, titled ‘Iraq’s Reemerging Nuclear Program,’ but did not mention Niger uranium. (48)
As noted in the previous blog on this topic, investigation had ruled out any threat from Niger uranium in regard to Iraq. Evidently these efforts were not good enough. In September and October 2002, according to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee report, the White House contacted the intelligence community at least five times to clear language regarding alleged Iraqi efforts to purchase uranium. On September 11, 2002 – the first anniversary of 9/11 --- the NSC asked the CIA to clear uranium language for inclusion in a possible statement by Bush...
When the full history of bogus WMD propaganda is written, a few individuals and agencies in our government will stand out for having tried to be rational voices during the administration’s juggernaut PR campaign to invade Iraq. Among these is the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) in the State Department.
The whole Niger story, that Iraq tried to buy tons of unenriched uranium, called yellowcake, from the African nation of Niger, displays the chasm between genuine analysts on one side and weird administration war boosters on the other. This story, which birthed the famous 16 words in a State of the Union speech, led to former ambassador Joseph Wilson’s trip to Niger, his subsequent criticisms of the administration, pundit Robert Novak’s outing Wilson’s wife as a CIA operative, at least two investigations into the leak --- with Novak and George W. Bush among those hiring attorneys – and the current trial of Lewis Libby, Vice President’s former Chief of Staff.
The Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq is 521 pages online (http://intelligence.senate.gov/iraqreport2.pdf; link down). Part II, on Niger, is pages 36-83. Numbers in parentheses, below, are the pages cited.
“Reporting on a possible yellowcake sales agreement between Niger and Iraq first came to the attention of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) on October 15, 2001,” when the CIA Directorate of Operations (DO) passed along a report from a “foreign government service indicating that Niger planned to ship several tons of uranium to Iraq.” At the time, all IC analysts regarded this forwarded cable to be limited and lacking in detail. The CIA, DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), and Department of Energy (DOE) called it “possible.” The State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) regarded it as “highly suspect.” (36) The INR turned out to be right...
Blogged by Brad Friedman from Phoenix, AZ...
In a conference call with several bloggers concluded moments ago, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) had a number of harsh words concerning today's procedural bickering and fillibustering by Republicans in the Senate, which stifled both votes on his own legislation to end the Iraq War as well as amendments offered by other lawmakers to several non-binding resolutions that also failed to come to the floor for a full vote.
Feingold's remarks were highly critical not just of the Republicans, but even moreso of his own Democratic caucus colleagues, "Washington insider consultants," and even former Senatorial colleague-turned-presidential candidate John Edwards, for failing to take a tough stand to end the war in Iraq.
In a passionate, thirty-minute call, Feingold stressed, "This is an important moment to see if we're gonna try and end this war. Frankly, I'm disappointed that Democrats are playing it safe on this one."
"We need to play hardball on this. We're gonna have to take the lead on this issue and we're gonna need to tie this place up as long as it takes," he said in describing what he sees as a fear and timidity in his colleagues who now hold a slight majority in the Senate...
On Thursday we covered the announcement of hearings to be held by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) in the House Judiciary Committee and by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Conyers' hearing will look at the questions of legality surrounding Bush's "Signing Statements" and Feingold will look at issues surround de-funding the War in Iraq in advance of a legislative proposal to do just that. More details, and the expected witnesses for both of those hearings are in our previous article.
The BRAD BLOG has now obtained details from Feingold's office concerning what his proposal to exercise Congressional control of the purse strings over military deployment in Iraq will and won't do. A fact sheet concerning his upcoming legislation and how the defunding and re-deployment of U.S. troops would be conducted is below.
As well, the statement lists several other historical instances in which Congress voted to hold back funding while American troops were deployed, including in 1998 when the Republican-controlled legislature included a provision in a Defense Authorization bill prohibiting additional funding for U.S. troops in Bosnia after a date-certain, unless certain assurances were given to Congress by then-President Bill Clinton.
Feingold's fact-sheet follows in full...
At the turn of the new year, we dubbed 2007 "The Year of Accountability." So, let it begin.
Two announcements were released today concerning upcoming oversight and investigative hearings in Congress on Bush Administration policy. If you can imagine such a thing.
In the House, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee --- the one which would lead the way concerning any Articles of Impeachment for a sitting U.S. President or Vice-President --- announced today that hearings would be held next Wednesday in the committee on "Presidential Signing Statements under the Bush Administration: A Threat to Checks and Balances and the Rule of Law?" (Complete media release, with details, scheduled witnesses, etc. at end of this article.)
In the Senate, Russ Feingold (D-WI) will chair Judiciary Committee hearings on "Congress's Power to End a War." In a media advisory just released, (posted in full below) Feingold refers to Congress's "power of the purse to redeploy our troops safely from Iraq so that we can refocus on the global terrorist networks that threaten our national security."
"This hearing will help inform my colleagues and the public about Congress’s power to end a war and how that power has been used in the past," Feingold is quoted in the release. As well, he promises to to introduce new legislation to do exactly that in the Senate. "I will soon be introducing legislation to use the power of the purse to end what is clearly one of the greatest mistakes in the history of our nation’s foreign policy," the senator said.
Neither of the Constitutionally mandated oversight hearings will be held in a basement broom closet, but rather in proper Congressional Hearing Rooms.
UPDATE 8:22pm PT White House says they "will cooperate." Of course they will.
The complete media releases from Conyers and Feingold, with dates, times, locations, and expected witnesses, follow below...
With more than 5600 words in his State of the Union speech, Bush couldn't cobble together five or six of them to thank our 1.6 million new American Veterans? Let alone recognize the continuing horrors they face and what our country plans to do to help them?
A press release from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America find that pretty crappy. So do we.
Why does George W. Bush hate our troops?
Treacherous Republican wordsmith/pollster/spinman Frank Luntz sinks to new depths in pretending to offer "advice" for the Democratic Party in a condescending little screed posted at Huff Po on Sunday.
I'll let you make what you will of the bulk of his self-serving nonsense. But setting aside Luntz's apparent inability --- rather transparently, I'll add, for someone whose business is supposedly language --- to keep himself from using the pejoratively intended "Democrat" when he means "Democratic," I'll focus on only one major point.
For a man who damned well understands the importance of words he sure did manage to drop one huge rhetorical and literal LIE smack-dab into the middle of his editorial. He writes:
Of course, that's not "exactly" what Boxer said to Rice at all. Nor is it even close to what she said. What she said was EXACTLY:
Further, Luntz twists his disingenuous knife by adding:
Speaking of "cheap shots", if Luntz doesn't know by now that the phony non-incident he describes as having "made even the most hardened Washington insiders cringe" is little more than the Luntzian creation of White House spokeshole Tony Snow as aided and abetted by both the wingnut media and the NYTimes then he shouldn't be allowed in public, much less on Huff Po.
For the record, we covered the disingenuous brouhaha from the get-go as it sprang from a call we made for a Congress member to ask the White House about the casualty estimates for their Iraq "surge plan" (a Luntzian turn of phrase if we've ever seen one). As it turns out, they didn't bother to make any. Or so Condi claimed during the Senate hearings. (More relevant links to the notable points in our coverage are below.)
Shame on Luntz for purposely misleading readers. Shame on Huffington Post for giving a platform to an out-and-out liar. I don't care how much undeserved "celebrity" the man can claim, nor how much "the other side" should be heard from. If "the other side" is going to simply lie, then there is no reason that anyone, much less Huffington Post, should give them a platform to do so.
PREVIOUS RELATED BRAD BLOG ARTICLES:
In response to Condi Rice's recent comments before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the Iraqi government was working on "borrowed time," Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said:
I wish the Bush Administration would stop supporting al-Qaeda with their irresponsible rhetoric.
Do they not know we're at war? Have they forgotten what happened on September 11th, 2001? Why do they hate America?
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
On Saturday, there was a death "surge" in Iraq as at least 25 U.S. troops were killed on a single day in the worst one-day death toll for our troops since the start of the War.
Meanwhile, as Bush prepares to serve up another 21,500 American troops to Iraq, it's worth taking a look at who the hell came up with the "augmentation" plan in the first place, what it said before the Bush spin machine grabbed hold of it, and what the plan's author has had to say since Bush revealed it to the country on January 10, 2007.
According to Fred Barnes, Fox "News" perennial and editor of The Weekly Standard and as confirmed by the BBC, Washington Post and The Economist, Bush's new and improved plan for Iraq is based on a 50-page report written by retired General Jack Keane and Frederick Kagan, a "military academic" at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). The report does, in fact, read much like Bush's proposal. With one small exception. As Barnes points out, the Keane/Kagan plan originally "envision[ed] a temporary addition of 50,000 troops".
With that in mind, here are some excerpts from the report, a television appearance and other media authored by Frederick Kagan over the last two months --- beginning before last November's election, well prior to Bush's announcement of the new scheme --- along with a couple of guest appearances by Surge Master Bill Kristol...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
Hopefully this mashup evidences the insanity of George W. Bush's Iraq policy. Lies, incompetence and just plain scary - do you live on this planet - quotes are a recipe for continued disaster in Iraq. Sadly, even if the Bush were right about the consequences of leaving, it still would be our only option as long as he remained Commander In Chief. With no credibility left, the only place anyone is likely to follow the President is to the Hague. Somehow, some way, we must end the war and the Bush presidency before he and the neocons 'make the peace' with Iran.
In a harshly worded fund raising letter sent to members of John Edwards's 2008 presidential campaign e-mail list late this afternoon, his new Campaign Manager, former Congressman David Bonior (D-MI), holds little back in his sharp criticism of both George W. Bush and Democratic members of Congress for their Iraq War policies and politics. (Email posted in full at end of this article.)
The email --- with the eye-popping, if impolitic, subject line "Total Bull" --- first takes aim at Bush's recent pronouncements, as reported by U.S. News and World Report and elsewhere after Bush's appearance on CBS' 60 Minutes last Sunday, "that Congress does not have the power to stop his proposed escalation of the war in Iraq."
"That's bull," Bonior writes before going on in the email to criticize his former Democratic colleagues in Congress, taking them to task for their failure to "step up to the plate and use their power to stop the president from escalating the war."
"I can assure you that Congress does have the power to stop this escalation," says the 26-year former Congressman.
"Some [in Congress] are calling for symbolic statements that do nothing to stop the escalation," he writes. "If you hear a member of Congress say 'non-binding resolution,' then you're really hearing them say 'pass the buck.'"
Citing Edwards's position "calling on Congress to stand up and take responsibility by using its power to prevent this war from getting any worse," Bonior goes on to announce the campaign's plan to run a full page ad in Roll Call, with a petition against the escalation and the "tens of thousands" of signatures from supporters who've signed it. The e-mail asks supporters to contribute money as well towards purchase of the ad.
Edwards's short petition, which can be signed here, calls on Congress to block funding for Bush's escalation plan. It reads in full:
LATE RELATED-ISH UPDATE: First Zogby poll out of Iowa shows Edwards leading the Dem pack with 27%. Far ahead of "second tier dog-fight" between Obama, Hillary, and home state Gov. Vilsack. No big surprises on the Republican side with McCain and Giuliani duking it out, though Newt coming in an eyebrow-raisingly close third place. (Thanks reader TC for the tip.)
The e-mail sent to supporters via the JohnEdwards.com mailing list follows in full below...
A Few Great Blogs
· Baghdad Burning
· Brilliant at Breakfast
· Crooks and Liars
· Dan Froomkin
· Fired Up! Missouri
· Freedom's Phoenix
· Freeway Blogger
· Glenn Greenwald
· Huffington Post
· Jesus' General
· Juan Cole
· Washington Monthly
· Media Matters
· Nashua Advocate
· Oliver Willis
· RAW STORY
· Sanoma State's
Project Censored Sites:
· Daily Censored
· Media Freedom
· Project Censored
· Scholars & Rogues
· Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
· Talking Points Memo
· Think Progress
· Tom Tomorrow
· TV Newser
· Ben Sargent
· Bill Deore
· Bob Gorrell
· Cagle's Index
· Chan Lowe
· Don Wright
· Doug Marlette
· Glenn McCoy
· Jeff Danziger
· Joel Pett
· Mike Luckovich
· Non Sequitur
· Not Banned Yet
· Pat Oliphant
· Paul Conrad
· Ted Rall
· This Modern World
· Thomas Burns
· Tom Toles
· Tony Auth
· Stuart Carlson
Or by Snail Mail
Make check out to...
7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594
Los Angeles, CA 90028