Bad Deeds for 7-16-2007

US intelligence watchdog silent for over five years under Bush/Cheney - The President’s Intelligence Oversight Board — the principal civilian watchdog of the intelligence community — is obligated under a 26-year-old executive order to tell the attorney general and the president about any intelligence activities it believes “may be unlawful.” The board was vacant for the first two years of the Bush administration and has been silent ever since.

Pentagon balked at pleas from officers in field for safer vehicles - Military officials repeatedly balked at appeals from commanders on the battlefield and from the Pentagon’s own staff to provide life-saving Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle for patrols and combat missions in Iraq. As early as December 2003, when the Marines requested their first 27 MRAPs for explosive disposal teams, Pentagon analysts sent detailed information about the superiority of the vehicles to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Later pleas came from Iraq, where commanders saw that the approach the Joint Chiefs embraced— adding armor to the sides of Humvees, the standard vehicles in the war zone did little to protect against blasts beneath the vehicles. Despite the efforts, the general who chaired the Joint Chiefs until Oct. 1, 2005, says buying MRAPs “was not on the radar screen when I was chairman.” Air Force general Richard Myers, now retired, says top military officials dealt with a number of vehicle issues, including armoring Humvees. The MRAP, however, was “not one of them.” Something related to MRAPs “might have crossed my desk,” Myers says, “but I don’t recall it.”

Some Democrats Still Not On Board To Restore Habeas Corpus - The following Democratic Senators have still not signed up to cosponsor the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007:

Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
Max Baucus (D-MT)
Evan Bayh (D-IN)
Robert Casey (D-PA)
Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Byron Dorgan (D-ND)
Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Ben Nelson (D-NE)
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Charles Schumer (D-NY)
Jon Tester (D-MT)
James Webb (D-VA)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Tim Johnson (D-SD) (recuperating from brain hemorrhage)

Bush Iraq policy controlled by Bill Kristol - KATTY KAY, BBC reports: “Hawks have been calling the White House all week saying: ‘We hope you’re not going to wobble on Iraq.’ And I understand they’ve been getting reassurance from the White House: ‘No, the policy is not changing.’ Bill Kristol wrote a very condemning article saying that the White House must not change policy, must stick with the surge. The White House called back, said: ‘Why are you giving us such a hit; we’re staying with the surge.” The Weekly Standard [Owned by Rupert Murdock] and the AEI control our foreign policy now….Since the White House complied, Kristol wrote a “Bush was Right” Op-ed in the Washington Post

Five hours after the 9-11 terrorist attacks, Rumsfeld said: “My interest is to hit Saddam Hussein at the same time we go after al-Qaida.” - “We ought not to look only” at Osama bin Laden, Rumsfeld allegedly said before holding a conference call with President Bush. During the conversation, “Rumsfeld says not to focus solely on al-Qaida, consider all those range of options. And the president’s response was yes.”

Does the Bush Administration Support the Troops? Yes, Like a Noose Supports a Hanging Man! - Retired Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni told a gathering of the U.S. Naval Institute and the Marine Corps Association, “We can’t go on breaking our military and doing things like we’re doing now.” Then, invoking parallels with Vietnam, Zinni asserted: “My contemporaries, our feelings and sensitivities were forged on the battlefields of Vietnam, where we heard the garbage and the lies, and we saw the sacrifice. We swore never again would we allow that to happen. I ask you, is it happening again?” There were hundreds of Marine and Navy officers present, and many of them arose to give his denunciation of their civilian leaders a standing ovation.

Zinni also was one of the first Americans to suspect that the Bush administration was lying to the American public about Saddam’s so-called weapons of mass destruction. In fact, Zinni was sitting on the stage at the VFW national convention in Nashville, Tennessee on 26 August 2002 — sitting on the stage behind Cheney as the vice president told the audience: “the Iraqi regime has in fact been very busy enhancing its capabilities in the field of chemical and biological agents, and they continue to pursue the nuclear program they began so many years ago. Many of us are convinced that Saddam Hussein will acquire nuclear weapons fairly soon.” Zinni subsequently asserted that he nearly fell off his chair: “In my time at Centcom, I watched the intelligence and never — not once — did it say ‘He has WMD.’” As Ricks adds: “Since retiring he [Zinni] had retained all his top-secret clearances, he was still consulting the CIA on Iraq, he had reviewed all the current intelligence — and he had seen nothing to support Cheney’s certitude.”

Fox News Alert: You’re Stupid! - Bernie Goldberg, on Fox News said, “Except for partisans, you can’t find three people who live between Manhattan and Malibu who even know who Lewis Libby is. [...] “We go to the American people and we ask them if they can pick out Kansas on a map and they can’t. We ask them if they can pick out England on a map and they can’t. We ask them who the Vice-president is, they don’t have any idea. Who’s the Secretary of State? “I don’t know.” Then we go to them and ask them what they think of the Lewis Libby commutation? I don’t care what the American people have to say about these things.”

Right-Wing Lawmaker Says Let’s Oppress Burqa-Wearing Women Because They’re Oppressed - A right-wing Dutch lawmaker wants women jailed for wearing the head-to-toe Islamic robe known as a burqa, calling it a “symbol of oppression.” Geert Wilders, whose Freedom Party has nine lawmakers in the 150-seat lower house of Dutch parliament, filed a proposal Thursday to make wearing a burqa in public a crime punishable by up to 12 days jail.

Regards,

Jim

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About Jim Vogas

Texas A&M Aggie, Retired aerospace engineer, former union member, Vietnam vet, Demcratic Party organizer, husband and father.

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