Republican Officials Call Bush Administration Liars – Last week, several top Republican officials accused Obama Attorney General Holder of essentially fabricating a claim that the Bush administration’s Department of Justice successfully tried 300 individuals on terrorism-related charges using the criminal justice system.
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) insisted, flat out, that the number wasn’t true. “If there were [300 convictions],” he said, “we would have heard about them.” Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) called the claim “unsubstantiated” and demanded to know where it came from. Former Bush press secretary Dana Perino was even blunter, deeming Holder’s assertion baffling. “The 300 number is as false as false gets,” she declared.
So, where did the number come from? The Bush Administration Department of Justice, that’s where. Back in the FY 2009 Budget request submitted to Congress in 2008 (under the prior administration), it was the Bush DoJ which cited the 300+ figure. Not once, but twice — as evidence of its success in combating and punishing terrorist activity:
“Since 2001, the Department has increased its capacity to investigate terrorism and has identified, disrupted, and dismantled terrorist cells operating in the United States. These efforts have resulted in the securing of 319 convictions or guilty pleas in terrorism or terrorism-related cases arising from investigations conducted primarily after September 11, 2001, and zero terrorist attacks on American soil by foreign nationals from 2003 through 2007.”
“Since September 11, 2001, the Department has charged 512 individuals with terrorism or terrorism-related crimes and convicted or obtained guilty pleas in 319 terrorism-related and anti-terrorism cases. ”
Neocon Loves the Bomb – On Fox News on Feb 8, John Bolton declared that “Iran simply has no intention of being talked out of its nuclear weapons program” and that “very severe sanctions” will not work. Later, when host Gregg Jarrett asked if military action is “the only answer,” Bolton agreed:
JARRETT: Is military force probably in the end the only answer?
BOLTON: There are two outcomes, one is Iran getting its nuclear weapons, the other is Israel or somebody uses military force to stop it. That’s where we are.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said war with Iran would be “disastrous” and “the last thing we need.” “There is no military option that does anything more than buy time,” Gates said last year. Retired Gen. Anthony Zinni answered war hawks like Bolton calling for military action against Iran:
After you’ve dropped those bombs on those hardened facilities, what happens next? … [E]ventually, if you follow this all the way down, eventually I’m putting boots on the ground somewhere. And like I tell my friends, if you like Iraq and Afghanistan, you’ll love Iran.
A top defense official said an attack probably would “incentivize the Iranians to go all the way to weaponize” their nuclear material and have “a number of destabilizing” consequences for the region. Bolton actually thinks attacking Iran “would lead to greater stability in the region” Have you heard that one before? Iraq?
Three Examples of Hypocrisy – Sen. Christopher S. Bond regularly railed against President Obama’s economic stimulus plan as irresponsible spending that would drive up the national debt. But behind the scenes, the Missouri Republican quietly sought more than $50 million from a federal agency for two projects in his state. But, in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Mr. Bond noted that one project applying to the USDA for stimulus money would “create jobs and ultimately spur economic opportunities.”
Rep. Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican who became famous after yelling, “You lie,” during Mr. Obama’s addresses to Congress in September, voted against the stimulus. Nonetheless, Mr. Wilson elbowed his way into the rush for federal stimulus cash in a letter he sent to Mr. Vilsack on behalf of a foundation seeking funding. “We know their endeavor will provide jobs and investment in one of the poorer sections of the Congressional District,” he wrote to Mr. Vilsack in the Aug. 26, 2009, letter.
On Feb. 13, 2009, Sen. Robert F. Bennett, Utah Republican, issued a statement criticizing the stimulus — but two days earlier, he privately forwarded to Mr. Vilsack a list of projects seeking stimulus money. “I believe the addition of federal funds to these projects would maximize the stimulative effect of these projects on the local economy,” he wrote.
Big Money from Big Media in Comcast-NBC Merger – Comcast and NBC have given a lot of money to members of Congress involved in the hearings trying to sway policy makers to support their proposed merger.
Here’s what The Hill reported:
Comcast and NBC Universal’s parent company have showered campaign contributions on members of two panels holding hearings Thursday on the cable giant’s proposed purchase of the television network. Comcast and General Electric have already spent $474,000 on contributions to members of the panels, about 70 percent of what they spent over the entire political cycle of 2008.
And the Salt Lake Tribune:
General Electric Chairman Jeffery Immelt sent Sen. Orrin Hatch a $2,000 campaign contribution the same day his company announced a deal giving Comcast controlling interest in NBC Universal. It was the first time Immelt has donated to the Utah senator, and yet the contribution capped a fundraising barrage during the previous month where top GE vice presidents and the company’s political action committee funneled a total of $23,000 to Hatch’s campaign account. Hatch is expected to play a key role in the congressional review of the controversial merger.