Thursday, April 26, 2007

we can thank President Bush

* josh:
"After half a decade, the verdict is pretty clear: President Bush has been the biggest ally Osama bin Laden has. He's helped bin Laden at pretty much every turn -- even if only by his own stupidity, incompetence and cowardice. And when the next big terrorist attack comes, we can thank President Bush for helping make it happen."
'ironic' huh?

* digby:
"For all his faults, one of the hoariest myths about Bush that persists to this day is that he is loyal to a fault --- one of those backhanded criticisms that actually makes him somewhat sympathetic. It's nonsense. Bush uses people like kleenex, always has. He keeps people like Rummy and Gonzales around long after any other president would have because they serve a purpose ---- reinforcing the idea that he is not personally responsible for anything that's happened.

In this case, Gonzales keeps the eye off of Rove, Bush's brain (and conscience.) The longer they leave him out there as degree of separation between the corruption of the DOJ and the white house, he serves his purpose. That's why he hasn't resigned and why Bush hasn't asked for it. He's doing his job."
* amy:
"UN: Iraqi Gov. Refusing to Disclose Civilian Toll
The UN has renewed criticism of the Iraqi government for refusing to disclose figures on civilian casualties amidst what it calls “a rapidly worsening humanitarian crisis.” The UN mission in Iraq says Iraqi officials have turned down repeated requests for numbers on the civilian toll so far this year. No reasons were given. The UN did release figures showing at least three thousand people have been arrested since the launch of the security crackdown on Baghdad two months ago. Overall some thirty-seven thousand people are detained in US and Iraqi prisons."
* amy:
Kucinich Introduces Measure to Impeach Cheney
In other news from Washington, Democratic Congressmember and presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich has introduced a measure to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. Rep. Dennis Kucinich: "Because I believe the vice president's conduct in office has been destructive to the founding purposes of our nation, today I have introduced house resolution 333 articles of impeachment of Richard B. Cheney." Kucinich says Cheney should be held to account for manipulating the intelligence process and deceiving the public to build support for the invasion of Iraq.
* amy:
Counsel Probing White House Led by Scandal-Linked Bush Appointee
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has created a task force to look into whether top White House or Justice Department officials violated federal law in three different scandals. Special Counsel Scott Bloch says his office will examine the firing of at least one of the eight U.S. attorneys, the White House claim to have lost key e-mails, and administration efforts to keep appointees in line with Republican policies. But questions are already being raised about the independence of the investigation. Bloch himself is an appointee of President Bush. He previously served as a lawyer for companies defending whistleblower lawsuits. During his three year-tenure he’s faced allegations of employee intimidation, harboring anti-gay views and refusing to enforce a discrimination ban within his office. Melanie Sloan is the director of the Washington-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics. She said: “Having transformed the Office of Special Counsel into a virtual black hole for legitimate complaints of retaliation, Bloch is decidedly not the right person to tackle the issues of misconduct and illegality that surround top White House officials.”

* amy:
Pentagon to Close Controversial Spy Database
The Reuters news agency is reporting the Pentagon plans to end use of a controversial database that has collected information on several protests and activists groups around the country. The Talon database was intended for use in monitoring threats to U.S. military facilities. But it came under scrutiny after it was revealed it contained intelligence on events including anti-war rallies and meetings challenging the military’s policy of ”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Internal Pentagon records show the database contained nearly three thousand reports on US citizens.
* amy:
Pentagon Charges Gitmo Detainee for Alleged Crime Committed as 14-Year Old
The Pentagon has charged a nineteen-year old Canadian prisoner at Guantanamo for the 2002 murder of a U.S. soldier. Omar Khadr is believed to be the first person in modern history to face a military commission for alleged crimes committed as a child. Groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have called on the Pentagon to treat him as a child soldier. Khadr’s lawyers have also accused U.S. prison guards of torturing him during his four years at Guantanamo.

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