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Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category

 

Bush pinocchioAt this point, there should be no doubt in the mind of any intelligent person that George W. Bush has repeatedly lied and altered the truth to fit his own agenda. His “war on terror”, based on lies and prevarications, has resulted in the deaths of untold numbers of people – both Americans and Iraqis – and the deaths are unlikely to end in the foreseeable future as he continues and expands his warmongering.

However, just exactly how dishonest is this guy? Are his lies restricted to his “war on terror”, or do his lies go much, much further?

Finally, we have the answer. It appears that he regularly lies and twists the truth with the specific intent of misleading Congress and the American public on other important issues as well. As if that’s not bad enough, he also edits official reports to leave out information he doesn’t want us to know. Worst of all, he seems to be doing this in order to further his own financial interests, and that of his friends in the oil industry.

Here is the House Oversight Committee’s Executive Summary of their investigation into allegations that the Bush administration has improperly manipulated the findings of scientists with regard to global warming.

For the past 16 months, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has been investigating allegations of political interference with government climate change science under the Bush Administration. During the course of this investigation, the Committee obtained over 27,000 pages of documents from the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Commerce Department, held two investigative hearings, and deposed or interviewed key officials. Much of the information made available to the Committee has never been publicly disclosed.

This report presents the findings of the Committee’s investigation. The evidence before the Committee leads to one inescapable conclusion: the Bush Administration has engaged in a systematic effort to manipulate climate change science and mislead policymakers and the public about the dangers of global warming.

In 1998, the American Petroleum Institute developed an internal “Communications Action Plan” that stated: “Victory will be achieved when … average citizens understand’ uncertainties in climate science … [and] recognition of uncertainties becomes part of the ‘conventional wisdom.’” The Bush Administration has acted as if the oil industry’s communications plan were its mission statement. White House officials and political appointees in the agencies censored congressional testimony on the causes and impacts of global warming, controlled media access to government climate scientists, and edited federal scientific reports to inject unwarranted uncertainty into discussions of climate change and to minimize the threat to the environment and the economy.

Here is a listing of their findings:

The White House Censored Climate Scientists

The White House Controlled which Climate Scientists Could Speak with the Media

The White House Extensively Edited Congressional Testimony Regarding Climate Science

The Administration’s Censorship of Climate Scientists was Widespread

The White House Extensively Edited Climate Change Reports

The White House Edited the Strategic Plan of the Climate Change Science Program

The White House Edited EPA’s Report on the Environment

The White House Edited Our Changing Planet

The White House Eliminated the Climate Change Section of EPA’s Air Trends Report

The White House was Involved in Editing EPA’s Legal Opinions

The White House Edited the EPA Administrator’s Op-ed n Climate Change

And here is their conclusion:

The Committee’s 16-month investigation reveals a systematic White House effort to censor climate scientists by controlling their access to the press and editing testimony to Congress. The White House was particularly active in stifling discussions of the link between increased hurricane intensity and global warming. The White House also sought to minimize the significance and certainty of climate change by extensively editing government climate change reports. Other actions taken by the White House involved editing EPA legal opinions and op-eds on climate change.

I very strongly suggest you read the actual documents, linked under sources below, because it gives an interesting insight into just how dishonest George W. Bush really is, and how far he will go to hide the truth from Congress and the American people when it fits his various agendas to do so.

What I don’t understand, and will never understand, is why Congress hasn’t impeached this pathological liar.

____________________

Sources:

House Oversight Committee Synopsis of Findings

House Oversight Committee Report: Political Interference with Climate Change Science Under the Bush Administration

____________________

Originally written and posted by ElfNinosMom on Adventures in Frickintardistan

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Does this actually surprise anyone?

The Central Intelligence Agency in 2005 destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of two Al Qaeda operatives in the agency’s custody, a step it took in the midst of Congressional and legal scrutiny about the C.I.A’s secret detention program, according to current and former government officials.

The videotapes showed agency operatives in 2002 subjecting terror suspects — including Abu Zubaydah, the first detainee in C.I.A. custody — to severe interrogation techniques. They were destroyed in part because officers were concerned that tapes documenting controversial interrogation methods could expose agency officials to greater risk of legal jeopardy, several officials said.

The C.I.A. said today that the decision to destroy the tapes had been made “within the C.I.A. itself,” and they were destroyed to protect the safety of undercover officers and because they no longer had intelligence value. The agency was headed at the time by Porter J. Goss. Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Goss declined this afternoon to comment on the destruction of the tapes.

So they destroyed evidence to save their own asses.  I’d be far more surprised if they didn’t do it, to be quite honest.  The CIA believes that it is a law unto itself, and always has.

I doubt it was really done to protect the safety of undercover officers, though.  It was undoubtedly done to cover up evidence of war crimes.

Source:  New York Times

Originally posted on Adventures in Frickintardistan

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George PhilliesWe Don’t Attack Our Allies

share_data={max_recipients:20}

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, August 16, 2007

Phillies: We Don’t Invade Our Allies

“It’s very simple. Invading a foreign country is an act of war,” Libertarian Presidential candidate George Phillies said in answer to fellow candidate Barack Obama. “I am shocked that an allegedly serious Presidential candidate would call for invading Pakistan. Not only is Pakistan an ally, but it is a nuclear power.”

Under pressure from Republican opponents and fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton that he appeared too soft on terrorism, on August 1 Senator Obama said* that the United States might invade Pakistan to pursue Al Qaeda members. Obama said “I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges. But let me make this clear…If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.”

Phillies strongly disagrees. “Thank goodness Obama is not our President. It has always been understood that when you invade a foreign country you are potentially at war with them. President of Musharaf of Pakistan is honor-bound to defend his country. He cannot afford to look weak. Apparently these issues are beyond Senator Obama’s understanding of foreign affairs.” Phillies asks Mr. Obama, ‘What is your working plan if the Pakistanis respond to our act of war with their own acts of war? They might arm the guerrillas now fighting our forces in Iraq. They might send their army to deny us bases in Afghanistan. Worse, Pakistan knows that their nuclear arsenal is not secure against an American strike. Any militarist can start a war. Stopping one is far more challenging.’

In a recent statement on pursuing Al Qaeda, Professor Phillies said that the United States needs to stop fighting “the last war,” and update its tactics. “Finding Mr. Bin Laden is a job for spies, not a job for tank divisions. The Afghan people have been governing themselves for a very long time. They will not long tolerate foreign occupation, even ours. Only a Libertarian President will give the Bin Laden problem to the right people.”

*For the text of Senator Obama’s speech: http://www.barackobama.com/2007/08/01/remarks_of_senator_obama_the_w_1.php To support the George Phillies campaign, please visit http://phillies2008.org/donation.

Contact Information:
Carolyn Marbry,Press Director
pressdirector@phillies2008.org
(510) 276-3216
http://phillies2008.org

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A class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Iraq War veterans against the US Department of Veterans Affairs. A copy of the lawsuit complaint may be seen at http://www.mofo.com/docs/pdf/PTSD070723.pdf

Along with a plethora of abuses alleged in that lawsuit, it is additionally alleged (as previously touched upon in this forum, when I noted that this is a longstanding action dating back to at least the early 1980s) that the VA has conspired with the Pentagon to falsely categorize veterans as suffering from preexisting personality disorders, as a way of denying them their veteran benefits.

According to the lawsuit, the Veterans Administration has a backlog of between 400,000 and 600,000 claims. It states that it takes 177 days to process an initial claim, and 657 days to process an appeal, and some benefit claims take up to ten years to decide while injured veterans suffer and, sometimes, die awaiting necessary care. The suit additionally compares this timeline to healthcare claims made in the private sector, which take on average less than 70 days to decide.

Additionally, according to the lawsuit, senior VA officials were given $3.8 million in bonuses during 2005, the same year in which the VA spent $1 billion over budget while timely and appropriate treatment of injured veterans continued to decline.

Most recently, there have been a rash of suicides by Iraq War veterans, which were attributed to the agency’s failure to provide sufficient and appropriate mental health care to war veterans.

The law firm representing the veterans, Morrison and Foerster, stated that the lawsuit does not seek to make a statement about the war, but instead is intended to force action on veterans’ benefit issues.

Recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a sharply worded decision regarding the failure of the VA to pay retroactive benefits to Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and suffered from a form of leukemia, “The performance of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs has contributed substantially to our sense of national shame.”

According to the newest complaint, which seeks a court order directing the Veterans Administration to make drastic changes in order to properly and timely treat injured and ill veterans, “Unless systemic and drastic measures are instituted immediately, the costs to these veterans, their families and our nation will be incalculable, including broken families, a new generation of unemployed and homeless veterans, increases in drug abuse and alcoholism, and crushing burdens on the health care delivery system.”

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Reno GonzalezFrom Reno Gonzalez’s myspace blog…..

Understand this please…
Current mood: peacefulfor those that do not yet understand; I am not at Elaine or Ed’s home any longer.

There are three stories, what I was told by Ed and what Ed tells others, then the real reason. You can go ask ed why, I am tired of the lies flying around. Just another distraction from the stand I have taken on and it needs support.

Understand this…

I am working at holding our very own government accountable for the wrongs in the past and in the here and now.

I am not holding a protest march, not asking for permission to stand on a corner to tell others the truth… I am not giving into the non laws that control us.

I was sad to leave the home, but they made the choice to ask me to leave. But that does not mean much to me really. Sitting on my ass waiting for what? Security, I gave my two cents… And got nothing.

Waiting? For what? Ask to leave? Yes I was, but being on the move is where I am more at ease. Waiting for what!?!

If not me then who? If not now then when?

I have not gone home. I have been helping others setup their own orgs to networks and reach out to others…

I am not going home. Not while I still have the means… And the means I have. Thanks to your very own support and from the donations to the cause that moves this movement forward.

I will not ask for permission to continue, I have the personal responsibility to push myself forward. I determine my own level of involvement.

I sit on my ass only when I have to drive and eat. Sometimes both of those at the same time.

I cannot just sit and wait for others to wake up. So I am pushing myself to find others that are ready to cut the bullshit off. Too god damn many are hurt everyday just waiting… fuck that!

I have some interesting news for you all…

For those of you that did not know, Cindy Sheehan is going to Jordan, Syria and then to Iraq as part of her peace efforts.

A good friend of mine called and updated me about the Camp Casey’s change of command and then went on to explain the peace efforts that he will be joining Cindy Sheehan on. After a long pause, I offered my services to the group going.

He and I talked at length about what would be expected and I assured him I was ready. This is not my first time to Iraq and this is not my first time at a war zone. Nor is it my first time placing myself in harms way.

It has occurred to many that I have been allowed to travel freely about after my time with the Elaine and Ed Brown.

And I myself wonder; along with others if I will be grabbed at the airport or will they wait to allow me to leave and have someone else do their dirty work… Either way… This is new for me…

A chance to work with people that are known and actively working to end what I first saw as a must be stopped war.

I mean I have done the anti war marches and the peace marches, but none of them I felt really did anything. And the coverage was just suck.

Cindy on the other hand, moves around and gets in people’s faces and demands answers. And demands them then and there. My kinda activist.

I remember hearing about Cindy going to Cuba, and I so fucking wanted to go meet that group there… But instead I set my focus on something that could be tracked and explained to bring our government back to the people’s will and control; and hold those that lied accountable for their actions.

On Easter weekend of this year I met Cindy in person. It was part of my trip on my way to offer my services to Elaine and Ed Brown. Funny how some things work out.

Once I have things all set I will update my status on my work here at home. Perhaps I could blog about my account of what happens over seas…

IF, I am not able to go with them on their “Peace Efforts”… Then I will carry on here. California and Arizona have been asking for a meeting there and I want to go talk to them.

Plus I understand that Bree Walker would like to speak with me… I would love to visit Camp Casey again…

Reno

I am glad to hear that someone with experience in a war zone will be accompanying Ms. Sheehan, and I send their entire peace party the very best wishes for a safe and fruitful journey.

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From ABC News:

A Marine corporal testifying in a court-martial said Marines in his unit began routinely beating Iraqis after officers ordered them to “crank up the violence level.”

Cpl. Saul H. Lopezromo testified Saturday at the murder trial of Cpl. Trent D. Thomas.

“We were told to crank up the violence level,” said Lopezromo, testifying for the defense.

When a juror asked for further explanation, Lopezromo said: “We beat people, sir.”

Within weeks of allegedly being scolded, seven Marines and a Navy corpsman went out late one night to find and kill a suspected insurgent in the village of Hamandiya near the Abu Ghraib prison. The Marines and corpsman were from 2nd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment.

Lopezromo said the suspected insurgent was known to his neighbors as the “prince of jihad,” and had been arrested several times and later released by the Iraqi legal system.

Unable to find him, the Marines and corpsman dragged another man from his house, fatally shot him, and then planted an AK-47 assault rifle near the body to make it appear he had been killed in a shootout, according to court testimony.

Four Marines and the corpsman, initially charged with murder in the April 2006 killing, have pleaded guilty to reduced charges and been given jail sentences ranging from 10 months to eight years. Thomas, 25, from St. Louis, pleaded guilty but withdrew his plea and is the first defendant to go to court-martial.

Lopezromo, who was not part of the squad on its late-night mission, said he saw nothing wrong with what Thomas did.

“I don’t see it as an execution, sir,” he told the judge. “I see it as killing the enemy.”

Read the rest of this disturbing story here.

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A while back I wrote about the Energy Vortex and others have commented on the same issue.

The most cited instance of this is the War in Iraq (and possibly Afghanistan; it may have had a lot to do with the proposed oil pipeline through Afghanistan).

This view of

Operation
Iraqi
Liberation

has worked its way into popular culture:

Many have denied the connection, but the new Iraqi Oil Law
makes it harder to give any credibility to such denials.

Nor is the regime’s energy fascism solely confined to grand projects abroad; sometimes, it can also be quite petty and domestic.
Francois Tremblay
reports:

Despite his good intentions, the state fined Teixeira $1,000 for not paying motor fuel taxes. North Carolina officials also told him that to legally use veggie oil here he’d have to first post a $2,500 bond.

Such penalties have also been levied against other North Carolina drivers whose vehicles were powered by alternative fuels.

It’s enough to make you do a Katrina Clap…

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