Check out 8--the Bush-Harkin-Saudi connection
1. Hussein Aide Says Saddam Did Get Rid of Iraq WMD
AP reports: "A close aide to Saddam Hussein says the Iraqi dictator did in fact get rid of his weapons of mass destruction but deliberately kept the world guessing about it in an effort to divide the international community and stave off a U.S. invasion. The strategy, which turned out to be a serious miscalculation, was designed to make the Iraqi dictator look strong in the eyes of the Arab world, while countries such as France and Russia were wary of joining an American-led attack...Saddam's alleged weapons bluff was detailed by an Iraqi official who assisted Saddam for many years. The official was not part of the national leadership but his job provided him daily contact with the dictator and insight into the regime's decision-making process during the past decade and in its critical final days."
2. Blair's Ministry of Defense Tried to Destroy David Kelly File
"[British] Defense chiefs were preparing to burn paperwork with Dr David Kelly's name on it three days after his death," reports the UK Mirror. "[Ministry of Defense] security guards who found the papers labeled 'media plan' called the police. An MoD spokesman said: 'There was a security breach when a 'burn bag' which should have been locked away was left uncovered. We are treating it as an internal breach of security and no further action is anticipated.'"
3. Official from Rumsfeld's OSP is Stripped of Clearance
Newsday reports: "A Pentagon official associated with a controversial Pentagon unit run by foreign policy hawks has been stripped of his security clearance after the FBI linked him to a Lebanese-American businessman under federal weapons investigation... The official, F. Michael Maloof, came to the attention of the FBI and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE) shortly after a .45-caliber handgun was seized from the businessman, Imad el Hage, at Washington's Dulles International Airport in January. It was the handgun that led the FBI to Maloof, the sources said...Maloof, 60, is a veteran Pentagon aide who had been working in the Office of Special Plans [OSP], a controversial unit run by neoconservatives who critics say manipulated intelligence to press for war against Iraq and who prepared administration plans for running Iraq after the war... el Hage is known to be an ardent anti-Syrian and backer of the hard-line Lebanese Christian faction led by Michel Aoun."
4. Did Condi Give the Game Away? Her Yellowcakegate Alibi Doesn't Add Up
Timothy Noah writes: "Tenet knew that his complaint was not a command and that somebody at the White House still needed convincing. But who would have the standing to tell the CIA director to go jump in the lake? Surely not Fall Guy No. 2, the National Security Council's nonproliferation expert, Robert Joseph. Surely not Fall Guy No. 3, the NSC's deputy, Steve Hadley. And surely not even Fall Person No. 4, Condi Rice, who'd have to be insane to lie, on national television, about dissing Tenet. (Tenet, she surely knows, is superb at exacting revenge.) Chatterbox therefore posits the existence of a Fall Guy No. 5, Vice President Dick Cheney. The one person in the White House who has no patience for addressing the Yellowcakegate mystery at all and who questions the patriotism of anybody who does."
5. Poll: Independent Swing Voters Say 'Dubya Duped Us'
Jim Lobe reports "In a poll released by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA), swing voters - people who consider themselves independent of both major political parties and very likely to vote in next year's elections - were considerably more critical of Bush's handling of Iraq and wider foreign policy than the general public and more likely to say the president [sic] deliberately misled the public about the reasons for the war. The poll, overseen by PIPA and carried out by California-based Knowledge Networks, found that an absolute majority of independents believed that both Bush and his administration were misleading when they presented evidence to justify going to war with Iraq."
6. Bush's 9-11 Secrets
James Ridgeway writes: " Even though Bush has refused to make parts of the 9-11 report public, one thing is startlingly clear: The U.S. government had received repeated warnings of impending attacks--and attacks using planes directed at New York and Washington--for several years... As [John] Dean notes, how could [Condoleezza] Rice, having known all this, say that the administration had no idea 'these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon'? 'In sum, the 9-11 Report of the Congressional Inquiry indicates that the intelligence community was very aware that Bin Laden might fly an airplane into an American skyscraper,' says Dean. 'Given the fact that there had already been an attempt to bring down the twin towers of the World Trade Center with a bomb, how could Rice say what she did?' We don't know because Bush has invoked executive privilege to withhold from Congress this key briefing on August 6, 2001."
7. 28-Pages Show Bush Invaded the Wrong Country
An official who read the report told The New Republic that support described in the report involves connections between the hijacking plot and the very top levels of the Saudi royal family. "There's a lot more in the 28 pages than money. Everyone's chasing the charities, they should be chasing direct links to high levels of the Saudi government. We're not talking about rogue elements. We're talking about a coordinated network that reaches right from the hijackers to multiple places in the Saudi government." According to TNR, "If the people in the administration trying to link Iraq to Al Qaeda had one-one-thousandth of the stuff that the 28 pages has linking a foreign government to Al Qaeda, they would have been in good shape" - and "if the 28 pages were to be made public...the entire relationship with Saudi Arabia would change overnight."
8. Realizing We'd Invaded the Wrong Country, Bush Did the Honorable Thing: He Came Out against Gay Marriages
Greg Palast writes: "Bush was in one hell of bind when it turned that that Saudi Arabia funded Al Qaeda, not Iraq. Realizing we'd invaded the wrong country, Bush did the honorable thing: he came out against gay marriages... Turns out that unlike the 18 minutes missing from the Nixon tape, the 28 pages missing from Congress' publicly released report on the September 11 attack has been found. And it turns out to be a summary of Saudi Arabia's financing of terrorist fronts including the 'charities' supporting Al Qaeda." One charity was WAMY. Why has the Bush Administration covered up for WAMY and the Saudi's other blood-soaked 'charity' operations? Harken Oil.
9. Why Did Bush Abolish Information Sharing?
Margie Burns writes: "On February 13, 2001, George W. Bush issued... the National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD), partly reorganized the National Security Council... In light of subsequent events, a single sentence is perhaps the most dramatic statement in the NSPD: 'The existing system of Interagency Working Groups is abolished.' Thus ended, with one stroke of the pen, the chief existing structural mechanism for coordinating information among federal agencies including the intelligence agencies, transportation, and immigration... There is an irony, however, in hearing the consensus expressed by those who issued the 9-11 report on national security, that a large problem was lack of information sharing or coordination among key agencies. How could the White House ever have thought that abolishing the inter-agency work groups was a good idea if security was the objective? Why was so much responsibility placed on the shoulders of one person, Condoleezza Rice?"
10. The Bush Crime Family Put Out a Contract on the Hussein Boys -- Dead Men Tell No Tales
Alan Bisbort writes: "What really is the difference between the killing of Saddam's sons Uday and Qusay and a Mafia hit? Think about it: $15 million was paid to some tipster... and another $25 million sits on Saddam's head. That's $40 million of our money used for two hits on former business partners of the Bush family. Whatever one thinks about the demise of the loathsome Hussein boys, we should at least be honest about what has occurred -- unprecedented in U.S. history. When a civilized nation's government pays to kill people -- then waves their mutilated corpses in the world's face -- there is reason to be queasy... Did anyone stop to consider that Saddam's sons may have been more valuable alive?... Imagine their value as prisoners. Bullies are cowards; they'd have spilled their guts to save their skins. Oh, that's right: Bush doesn't do intelligence. Besides, Uday and Qusay knew too much about Bush family business."
11. Martyring Mustafa Hussein: The Genesis of an Iraqi Legend?
Lisa Walsh Thomas writes: "Were it not for the pathos of Mustafa's still being a child, the events would evoke the last scene in 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.' It's not, however, very comfortable to laugh at the image of a brave 14-year old boy, his dead father and uncle at his feet, mustering the courage of legendary heroes to fight off two hundred men from the world's mightiest military, all armed to the teeth against whatever small arms one boy could grab. It's a cruel story with which civilized people will never be comfortable, as we wonder what kind of thoughts ran through the boy's head in his last moments... For reasons we don't yet understand, Uday and Qusay appear to have been wanted dead, not alive. It speaks poorly for the mentality of the designers of this killing. Captured, the brothers could have been tried by their own victims and a picture of some kind of justice could have replaced the barbaric embarrassment of two hundred soldiers."
12. Why Bush Keeps Troops Trained in Conflict Diffusion Trapped at Fort Bragg While Iraq Situation Deterioriates
"Why has Bush failed to deploy the hundreds of highly-trained, conflict-diffusing reservists from the Psychological Operations battalions - soldiers who are still, after many months, sitting in taxpayer-funded motels in North Carolina awaiting orders? Simple. Bush is not interested in 'waging peace.' As long as US soldiers are dying, Bush's friends at Halliburton, Bechtel and SAIC have the perfect excuse for not involving Iraqis in major reconstruction efforts and for stuffing oil and communications industry jobs with American personnel. As long as US soldiers are dying, Bush can continue to refuse to declare the war officially over -legally- and thus be called upon to abide by the Geneva Convention. As long as US soldiers are dying, Bush can continue to call himself a 'war time president' and manipulate Congress, the media, and the American public accordingly." - Cheryl Seal
13. Rotten Winners
William Greider: "The $300 million Enron 'settlement' government regulators worked out with the nation's two largest banks smells so bad that even Wall Street Journal editorial writers gagged on the rank odor. What Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase did, remember, was to design the funny-money financial deals that directly pumped up Enron's profits and stock price. When Enron's fraudulent scheme unraveled and the stock collapsed, the nation's pension funds lost somewhere between $25 billion to $50 billion. And these two famous banks each profited mightily from their role as financial architects for the great swindle. The pay-up costs will not even require an asterisk on their balance sheets."
14. Jobs are So Scarce, Unemployment Drops Because People Give Up
AP reports: "The nation's unemployment rate declined to 6.2 percent in July as nearly half a million discouraged Americans stopped looking for a job. Payrolls were cut for the sixth month in a row, suggesting businesses remain cautious and want to keep work forces lean despite budding signs of an economic revival [for military contractors]. The Labor Department's report Friday painted a picture of a job market that remains stubbornly sluggish and continues to frustrate people looking for work. The economy lost 44,000 jobs in July. While that's an improvement from the 72,000 shed in June, economists were hoping that positions would actually be added. They were forecasting payrolls to go up by around 10,000. Although the jobless rate dipped to a two-month low of 6.2 percent from a nine-year high of 6.4 percent in June, much of July's decline represented the exodus of 470,000 discouraged people who abandoned job searches because they believed no jobs were available."
15. Computer Voting Expert Ousted from Elections Conference
Lynn Landes reports: "Dr. Rebecca Mercuri, a leading expert in voting machine security, had her conference credentials revoked by the president of the International Association of Clerks, Records, Election Officials, and Treasurers (IACREOT)...Mercuri believes that her credentials were revoked because of her position in favor of voter-verified paper ballots for computerized election systems. 'I guess in a very troubling way it makes sense that an organization like IACREOT, that supports paperless computerized voting systems, which are secret by their very design, would not want computer experts who disagree with that position at their meetings.'"
16. Five Indicted for Buying Votes for Republicans
AP reports: "A federal grand jury indicted five people Wednesday on charges they bought votes for the November election in Caldwell County. A grand jury in Charlotte handed down the indictments on nine counts of conspiracy to commit or committing vote buying against each person. The indictment charges that Wayne Shatley, Anita Moore, Valerie Moore, Richard C. Hood and Ross Banner offered and paid people in some cases $25 to vote for all of the Republicans on the ballot or just for Republican sheriff's candidate Gary Clark."
17. Young Republicans as Hypocritical as Their Elders
"An aide to Orange County Executive Edward Diana is under fire after he and his friends invited some of the nation's brightest Young Republicans to what was advertised as a booze-soaked sex bash in Boston. The controversy surrounding Diana's 24-year-old staff assistant, Karl Brabenec, started at the Young Republicans national convention July 11, when his friends distributed fliers 'for lots of beer, liquor and sex' at a party dubbed, 'Karlpalooza '03.' Since then, copies of the incriminating invites have surfaced in Orange County, prompting cries of disgust from women's groups, county legislators and fellow Republicans. The furor reached a fever pitch yesterday as Diana asked Brabenec to step down as president of the Orange County Young Republicans, while letting him keep his $38,789-a-year staff job." Note how Diana tries to fob it off on Brabenec's friends who acted "without his knowledge." Young or old, republicans talk "personal responsibility" -- but they walk a crooked path.
18. Racist Poem Appears on Web Site for GOP
The Capital Times reports: "A racist, anti-immigrant poem that led to the resignation of a top state official in Arkansas surfaced recently on the official Web site of the Republican Party of Winnebago County. The poem, titled 'Illegal Poem,' uses broken English to suggest that white Americans are 'crazy' to pay for public assistance to illegal Mexican immigrants... On Wednesday, the head of Arkansas' emergency government resigned after e-mailing the same poem to employees of his agency... the state Democratic Party said the poem was another example of Republicans' insensitivity to minorities. Party spokesman Seth Boffeli noted that the state party recently had to remove a cartoon on Indian gambling that American Indian leaders had denounced as racist. 'Once again, we see Wisconsin Republicans showing very poor taste,' he said. 'In this poem, they are feeding into the worst racist stereotypes just to make a point on welfare.'"
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