bush lies.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Bush renames 'war on terrorism'
Nearly three years after declaring a "war on terrorism," US President George W. Bush said Friday that there's a more precise name for the campaign sparked by the September 11 2001 attacks.

"We actually misnamed the 'war on terror.' It ought to be 'the struggle against ideological extremists who do not believe in free societies and who happen to use terror as a weapon to try to shake the conscience of the free world,'" he said in a speech.

The president made the remarks to 7 000 minority members of the media attending the "UNITY: Journalists of Color Convention" in downtown Washington before he headed to New Hampshire for a reelection campaign stop.

He was describing the people behind violence in Iraq, where more than 300 people were believed to have died in two days of heavy fighting between foreign troops and Shiite Muslim militiamen.
[News24.com (South Africa), 8/6/04]

Aha - so the fighting in Iraq is part of the "War On Terrorism" after all.

Friday, August 06, 2004

From As Defense Chief in 1992, Cheney Opposed Intelligence Czar by Walter Pincus

"About this big - why?"
While he was defense secretary in 1992, Vice President Cheney said he would recommend a presidential veto of a bill that would have established a director of national intelligence with authority over the Pentagon's intelligence-collection activities.

Cheney's view then, spelled out in two letters on March 17, 1992, to the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, differs from the position President Bush took on Monday. Bush said he supports the creation of a single intelligence director, but with no authority over the Defense Department budget pertaining to intelligence.
Cheney's 1992 views were detailed in two letters, one by his acting general counsel, Chester Paul Beach Jr., to Rep. Les Aspin (D-Wis.), dated March 17, 1992. They were disclosed yesterday by Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists.

At the time, the argument against giving a new intelligence czar control over Pentagon collection operations, particularly satellites that collect electronic signals and imagery, was that it would interfere with war-fighting capabilities.

Cheney argued that the roles of the defense secretary and director of central intelligence "have evolved in a fashion that meets national, departmental and tactical intelligence needs" and should not be changed.

The vice president's spokesman, Kevin Kellems, told the Associated Press that Cheney does not discuss his conversations with the president and cautioned against comparing current and historical positions.
[Washington Post, 8/6/04]

Excuse me? Don't compare current and historical positions? Isn't that the entire basis for the "flip-flop" charges against Kerry? Sorry Dick, you can't have it both ways.

From Veteran retracts criticism of Kerry by Michael Kranish
A week after Senator John F. Kerry heralded his wartime experience by surrounding himself at the Democratic convention with his Vietnam "Band of Brothers," a separate group of veterans has launched a television ad campaign and a book that questions the basis for some of Kerry's combat medals.

But yesterday, a key figure in the anti-Kerry campaign, Kerry's former commanding officer, backed off one of the key contentions. Lieutenant Commander George Elliott said in an interview that he had made a "terrible mistake" in signing an affidavit that suggests Kerry did not deserve the Silver Star - one of the main allegations in the book. The affidavit was given to The Boston Globe by the anti-Kerry group to justify assertions in their ad and book.

Elliott is quoted as saying that Kerry "lied about what occurred in Vietnam...for example, in connection with his Silver Star, I was never informed that he had simply shot a wounded, fleeing Viet Cong in the back."

The statement refers to an episode in which Kerry killed a Viet Cong soldier who had been carrying a rocket launcher, part of a chain of events that formed the basis of his Silver Star. Over time, some Kerry critics have questioned whether the soldier posed a danger to Kerry's crew. Crew members have said Kerry's actions saved their lives.

Yesterday, reached at his home, Elliott said he regretted signing the affidavit and said he still thinks Kerry deserved the Silver Star.

"I still don't think he shot the guy in the back," Elliott said. "It was a terrible mistake probably for me to sign the affidavit with those words. I'm the one in trouble here."
[Boston Globe, 8/6/04]

So he lied, but he's sorry. Well, that's better than Bush can manage.

[Update: Elliott has now apparently reinstated his criticism, calling the Globe article "inaccurate".]

From Suit Accuses Halliburton of Fraud in Accounting by Gretchen Morgenson
Four former finance employees at the Halliburton Company contend that a high-level and systemic accounting fraud occurred at the company from 1998 to 2001, according to a new filing in a class-action lawsuit on behalf of investors who bought the company's shares.

The filing accuses the company of accounting improprieties that go far beyond those outlined by the Securities and Exchange Commission in its civil suit against Halliburton, which the company settled on Tuesday, paying $7.5 million.

The charges in the complaint and in the S.E.C.'s action cover the two years when Vice President Dick Cheney was Halliburton's chief executive.
"What we found to be compelling about this is that there appeared to be a series of schemes designed to bolster Halliburton's financial health that did not allow people to really understand the true financial picture at the company," said David Scott, a lawyer at Scott & Scott in Colchester, Conn. "We found that this was not just one isolated event; it appears to be a course of conduct designed to deceive the public."
[New York Times, 8/6/04]

Why am I not surprised?

Bush Lies in Canton, Ohio...I have had enough! by Christine M. Hoffman
Yes, I have a comment or question...how do I get the biased newspapers and TV newscasters to cover what is REALLY going on in Canton, Ohio? After standing outside the Civic Center protesting the Bush rally in Canton on Saturday, July 31, 2004 for at least 6 hrs. with approximately 300-400 other protesters who clearly did not want him here or to hear ONE MORE LIE...I was disgusted to see the in the local paper, The Repository (and now I know the nickname The Suppository is an accurate title for the paper) did not report at all on the protestors, only that Bush received a very positive response in Canton, Ohio. It was truly embarrassing to read all of it as I know it is not true at all!

And to make matters worse, local news channels reported workers from the Timken and Hoover plants being inside showing support to Bush...as if they are fine with thousands of jobs being lost in the Canton and Massillon area. Again, I know this is blatant lie because I was standing next to most of these workers and 10 workers does not represent the majority! I cannot believe not one report gave a thought to interviewing one of us standing outside or taking a single picture. It makes me think the Canton Mayor who was previously Bush's campaign leader in Canton before the last election is paying off the local newspaper and newcasters to keep out of the news what is really going on.

Do you have any suggestions as to how I get out the word to show there were protestors outside of this Bush rally and that workers from this plant hardly support a man who does not care if they cannot feed their children or pay their bills because they cannot find a job? I doubt if I write to the paper they will bother printing my opinion of their lack of honest journalism.

[This e-mail was received at the bush lies Home Office earlier this week.]

From Who's the Flip-Flopper? by Richard Cohen

Shouldn't he be on the far right side?
John F. Kerry now finds himself accused of aggravated flip-flopping in the first degree. The charge comes from various Republican Party front groups, individual GOP fellow travelers and, of course, the president himself. Campaigning hither and yon, George W. Bush has had great fun mocking Kerry for, among other things, his vote for the war and a subsequent vote not to fund it. Not mentioned is that in between the two votes came ample evidence of incompetence on the part of Bush. And so Kerry, as behooves a thinking man, chose to voice a protest. The vote did not lend itself to sound-bite analysis, but it made a certain amount of sense: The war in Iraq was a mess; Bush had not earned a blank check.

In supposed contrast to Kerry, Bush presents himself as the immutable politician, a man of fixed, firm beliefs who sticks to them not because they are popular but because they are right - despite all evidence or reason. This is certainly the case when it comes to his core beliefs. His devotion to minimal taxes on the rich, for instance, is touching, but it has put the government in such debt that it will take our children's children to pay it off. By then, Bush imagines, his visage will be on Mount Rushmore.
But it is the areas in which Bush's convictions have not changed that are the most troubling, and this includes a religiosity that comforts him in his intellectual inertness and granite-like beliefs that are impervious to logic, such as his tax policy and his relentless march to war in Iraq. Flip-flopping, like beauty, is in the mind of the beholder. It can be an indicator of an alert mind, one that adjusts to new realities, or it can be evidence of ambition decoupled from principle. With Kerry it's a mix of both. With Bush, who changes his positions but never his mind, it is always the latter.
[Washington Post, 8/5/04]

From It's Not All Fair Game

John Kerry and the Swift Boat Crew
The GOP's war against Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry's Vietnam record has a history. It began in 1971 when the Nixon administration tapped another Vietnam veteran, John E. O'Neill, to form an organization called Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace to discredit Kerry, then a freshly minted antiwar protester. Now a new group, called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which has O'Neill on its steering committee as well as other members with ties to the Republican Party, is rolling out a $500,000 ad campaign in swing states Wisconsin, Ohio and West Virginia to attack the Massachusetts senator's war record.

The GOP has no monopoly on deceptive tactics. But the smear campaign against Kerry relies on highly dubious accusations to sow doubts about a well-documented military record.

It's a strategy that has worked in the past. Despite his own murky stint in the National Guard, President Bush did not hesitate to allow GOP operatives to distort Republican Sen. John McCain's Vietnam POW years during the 2000 South Carolina primary by claiming that being a captive wasn't a heroic action, like actively attacking the enemy. At a campaign rally for Bush on Feb. 3, 2000, veteran Tom Burch even declared that "Sen. McCain has abandoned the veterans. He came home and forgot us." This despite McCain's tireless efforts to discover if there were any missing Americans remaining in Vietnam.

Then there was the GOP's depiction of then-Georgia Sen. Max Cleland during the 2002 midterm election as soft on terrorism — not to mention far-right columnist Ann Coulter's preposterous claim that it was Cleland's own fault that he lost three limbs in Vietnam because he mishandled a grenade.
[Los Angeles Times, 8/6/04]

From Bush's pointless treaty
While hardly anyone was watching, the Bush administration has rejected provisions of an international treaty calling for inspections and verifications of nuclear weapons. It's a significant, unexpected and imprudent shift in U.S. policy that clashes sharply with the president's oft-stated support for global nonproliferation.

The Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty would ban the production of highly enriched uranium and plutonium for weapons. In the works for 10 years, it was the result of collaboration among 66 nations, in part to tighten control over India, Pakistan and Israel which until now had rebuffed any effort to curb their nuclear stockpiles.

But the White House tossed in a monkey wrench: In a dumbfounding announcement, the administration said it supported the treaty, but not its call for inspections and verifications, without which the treaty is meaningless. The announcement, coming as a whisper last week when the Democratic National Convention held much of the nation's attention, called such oversight too costly and intrusive, but offered few details.

This means the White House is declining to adhere to the kinds of inspections that it has long insisted upon for much of the rest of the world.
[San Francisco Chronicle, 8/6/04]

Evidently America, like Bush himself, is above the law.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

From Why Bush has more to fear than fear itself by Lawrence Martin
The latest terrorism alert - which, like the others, has thankfully produced nothing but fear itself - was based primarily on at least three-year-old communications in Pakistan. Though there is unsettling material, nothing in these documents suggests that any attack was planned for this period of time.

Yet the Bush administration went ahead with another dire terror alert anyway, spreading alarm through Gotham. The President then turned up the hysteria volume another notch. "We are a nation in danger," he said.

For George W. Bush's reign of fear, it was a fitting declaration. With his narcissistic strut, he tries to project strength. But how does a president project anything but weakness in having the world's greatest power tremble over evidence of file-updating by an enemy with a tiny fraction of his military capacity?
Having handed the enemy its first gift by attacking a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, Mr. Bush now bestows on them a second: victory on the battlefield of psychological warfare. The President's terror alerts, whatever their motivation, are enough to do it. Osama bin Laden is like David, slingshot at the ready, in the centre of the ring. His Goliath, George Bush, cowers in the corner, repeatedly sending out warnings to his people to run for cover.

Ernest Hemingway defined courage, rather incompletely, as grace under pressure. Mr. Bush demonstrates something approaching the opposite. History tells us that the last thing strong leaders do is send a signal that their side is frightened. Can anyone imagine a Churchill or Napoleon demonstrating this kind of fear over documents that spell out no plot but that - O heavens! - have been updated?
[The Globe and Mail (Canada), 8/5/04]

From McCain condemns anti-Kerry ads, calls on White House to follow suit by Ron Fournier

John McCain is Outraged
Republican Sen. John McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, called an ad criticizing John Kerry's military service "dishonest and dishonorable" and urged the White House on Thursday to condemn it as well.

The White House declined.

"It was the same kind of deal that was pulled on me," McCain said in an interview with The Associated Press, comparing the anti-Kerry ad to tactics in his bitter Republican primary fight with President Bush.

The 60-second ad features Vietnam veterans who accuse the Democratic presidential nominee of lying about his decorated Vietnam War record and betraying his fellow veterans by later opposing the conflict.

"When the chips were down, you could not count on John Kerry," one of the veterans, Larry Thurlow, says in the ad. Thurlow didn't serve on Kerry's swiftboat, but says he witnessed the events that led to Kerry winning a Bronze Star and the last of his three Purple Hearts. Kerry's crewmates support the candidate and call him a hero.
McCain, chairman of Bush's campaign in Arizona, later said the Bush campaign has denied any involvement and added, "I can't believe the president would pull such a cheap stunt."
[SFGate.com, 8/5/04]

You ain't seen nothin' yet, John.

From Bush bitten by own soundbite
U.S. President George W. Bush has told a roomful of top Pentagon brass his administration would never stop looking for ways to harm the United States.

The latest installment of misspeak from a president long known for his malapropisms came during a signing ceremony for a new $417 billion (228.4 billion pounds) defence appropriations bill that includes $25 billion in emergency funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we," Bush said on Thursday.
[Reuters, 8/5/04]

From the mouths of babes.

From Bush’s fake war on terror: Three-year-old warnings, phony reforms, and a suspiciously timed arrest in Pakistan
George W. Bush is staking his claim to the presidency on his supposed strength in dealing with terrorism. But two developments this week show once again that though the president has mastered the politics of terrorism, his grasp of its substance is pathetically inadequate.

Last weekend Bush’s much-mocked secretary of homeland security, Tom Ridge, announced that Al Qaeda was planning attacks on five financial institutions in and around New York City and Washington, DC. Unlike previous such warnings, this one was said to be based on specific information. Accordingly, the alert was raised from yellow to orange in only a few locations, sparing the nation’s hardware stores another run on plastic sheeting and duct tape. The White House was praised for learning from its past mistakes.

Then, on Monday, we learned the truth. It turned out that the data on which Ridge was relying were three to four years old, and that there was little evidence to suggest that the threat is any higher now than it has been in the past, notwithstanding subsequent talk of new information that appeared largely aimed at butt-covering. On the other hand, there was incontrovertible evidence that the Democratic Party had just concluded a successful convention. Perhaps a certain Republican president whose job-approval rating is stuck below 50 percent might have wanted to get the media to change the subject.
Terrorism remains the most critical threat facing us. Yet we have a president who has thoroughly politicized his approach — endorsing hollow reforms, letting his people scare us on the basis of three-year-old information, silencing critics, possibly even coordinating counterterrorism efforts with key dates on the election schedule. It’s sad, and it’s a lot worse than sad. The American people must wake up before it’s too late.
[Boston Phoenix, August 6-12, 2004 issue]

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

From They Knew... Despite the whitewash, we now know that the Bush administration was warned before the war that its Iraq claims were weak by David Sirota and Christy Harvey
If desperation is ugly, then Washington, D.C. today is downright hideous.

As the 9/11 Commission recently reported, there was “no credible evidence” of a collaborative relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda. Similarly, no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq. With U.S. casualties mounting in an election year, the White House is grasping at straws to avoid being held accountable for its dishonesty.

The whitewash already has started: In July, Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee released a controversial report blaming the CIA for the mess. The panel conveniently refuses to evaluate what the White House did with the information it was given or how the White House set up its own special team of Pentagon political appointees (called the Office of Special Plans) to circumvent well-established intelligence channels. And Vice President Dick Cheney continues to say without a shred of proof that there is “overwhelming evidence” justifying the administration’s pre-war charges.

But as author Flannery O’Conner noted, “Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” That means no matter how much defensive spin spews from the White House, the Bush administration cannot escape the documented fact that it was clearly warned before the war that its rationale for invading Iraq was weak.

Top administration officials repeatedly ignored warnings that their assertions about Iraq’s supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and connections to al Qaeda were overstated. In some cases, they were told their claims were wholly without merit, yet they went ahead and made them anyway. Even the Senate report admits that the White House “misrepresented” classified intelligence by eliminating references to contradictory assertions.

In short, they knew they were misleading America.

And they did not care.
[In These Times, 8/3/04, found via The Daily Mislead]

This lengthy and convincing article is filled with links to articles and other documents that prove its case.

From War and Peace, and Politics by Todd S. Purdum

Daniel R. Coats
In an election that could well turn on questions of war and peace, danger and safety, all politics sometimes seem to be security these days. And all security has an unmistakable overtone of politics, whatever the reality or immediacy of any announced threat.

"We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security," Secretary Tom Ridge said on Tuesday in dismissing any suggestion that his latest threat warning had a political motive. But on Sunday, Mr. Ridge, a former Republican congressman and governor of Pennsylvania, did do some politics all the same, when he declared that the intelligence behind his alert was "the result of the president's leadership in the war against terror."
And even [Howard Dean's] remarks, barbed as they are, are no sharper than the comments some Republicans leveled at President Bill Clinton six years ago, when he ordered cruise missile strikes against Qaeda outposts in retaliation for the bombing of American embassies in East Africa days after confessing to his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

Daniel R. Coats, then a Republican senator from Indiana and now Mr. Bush's ambassador to Germany, summed up his feeling at the time.

"The danger here," Mr. Coats said then of Mr. Clinton, "is that once a president loses credibility with the Congress, as this president has through months of lies and deceit and manipulations and deceptions, stonewalling, it raises into doubt everything he does and everything he says, and maybe everything he doesn't do and doesn't say." He added: "I just hope and pray the decision that was made was made on the basis of sound judgment, and made for the right reasons, and not made because it was necessary to save the president's job."
[New York Times, 8/4/04]

And what does Mr. Coats say now?

From Manipulating fear: When terror alerts are three years late
Manhattan this week looks as it did on Sept. 12, 2001, minus the smoke -- armored vehicles in the streets, police officers armed like soldiers patrolling subways and sidewalks, roadblocks barring vans and trucks from crossing bridges and tunnels. But where's the fire? In intelligence reports based on 3- or 4-year-old threats.

When the Bush administration revealed the threats specific to certain landmarks in New York and Washington on Sunday, it did not mention that its information was older than the 2001 attacks. It did not mention that only the government's discovery of the information was fresh - a critical difference that by Monday turned orange-coded anxiety among the public into various shades of ire.

The government can't be faulted for doing its best to warn the public about what threats are known. Nor should it be faulted for taking reasonably strong-handed precautions in proportion to the threats' precision. Better err on the side of over-caution. But what looked like necessary vigilance on Sunday looked, by Monday, like gratuitous manipulation of information on the government's part.

Whatever the government does regarding potential threats may be misinterpreted. But the Bush administration has a questionable track record in the way it periodically and erroneously has used the Department of Homeland Security's color-coded terror warning system during the last three years. The heightened alerts have flashed repeatedly. But so have the false alarms and the overreactions. Instead of ensuring that Americans are better prepared, the alerts risk making them more complacent. When the alerts turn out to be based on very old news, they risk making people cynical. Instead of weighing the dangers of the warnings and moving on, people start questioning the motive of the warnings.
[Daytona Beach News-Journal, 8/4/04]

Laura Bush Visits Citicorp In NY Amid Terror Alert
First Lady Laura Bush, New York Governor George Pataki and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited the headquarters of Citicorp on Monday, a day after Homeland Security officials issued a terrorist alert for the financial company's offices, Cable News Network reported.

Citicorp was one of several financial institutions that the government said could be a target of an al Qaida terrorist attack. It was the first time warnings were issued for specific sites in the U.S. The other locations include the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU) in Newark, N.J., and the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington.

Amid tight security, Bush, Pataki and Bloomberg sat among hundreds of Citicorp employees in the atrium of the headquarters facility, CNN said.
[CNN, 8/2/04]

How serious can this latest terror alert be if the president sends his wife directly into harm's way? Or doesn't he like her any more?

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

From What Color Is the Wolf Today? by Ivan Eland
New Yorkers and Washingtonians are justifiably skeptical and nonchalant about the heightened warning level. Although urging Americans to “keep shopping” during all prior orange alerts, the government has never told us how to behave differently at various “threat” levels. The rhetoric by Tom Ridge, the nation’s Secretary of Homeland Security, and other anonymous U.S. officials would have us believe that the current threat level is very severe. Yet, they didn’t change the alert system to red, its highest color, probably because people would be too frightened to leave their homes for the shopping mall.

Come to think of it, since the inception of the alert system, the government has toggled the levels only between yellow and orange. We’ve never seen blue or green either. Maybe it’s because these lower levels might encourage the terrorists to attack by signaling that U.S. defenses were relaxed. More important, no self-respecting cautious bureaucracy would open itself to the risk of future post-attack criticism for not sufficiently warning the American people.

To cover their backsides, the tendency of security bureaucrats has been to “over-warn” Americans by crying wolf with unneeded episodes of heightened alert. So there is plenty of room for suspecting that the system has been politicized, especially in the wake of Attorney General Ashcroft’s recent manipulation of terrorist threats for political gain and John Kerry’s unexpected challenge to President Bush’s record on security issues at the Democratic National Convention.
[Media Monitors Network, 8/3/04]

Bush Criticism of Frivolous Lawsuits Hypocritical
President Bush has repeatedly criticized what he calls a plague of frivolous lawsuits. In 2001, he said, "It's really important that we not have our system ladened down by unnecessary lawsuits." More recently he complained that "there's too many lawsuits, a lot of them frivolous and junk lawsuits." Yet, as the historical record shows, it was George W. Bush who in 1998 actually hired a trial lawyer and filed a lawsuit against a rental car company that legal experts called "unnecessary."

On November 2, 2000, the New York Daily News reported that Bush sued Enterprise Rent-a-Car in Austin over a fender bender involving his daughter, even though no one was hurt, and insurance would have covered the collision. Bush "also tried to sue the woman who was driving the rental car but was unable to serve her with papers." Lawyers familiar with Texas insurance law "said such a suit would normally be unnecessary." One lawyer involved in the case said Bush sued because he "had paid for the repairs out of his own pocket" and that Bush pursued legal action even though the parties "exhaustively tried to resolve it short of a lawsuit."
[Daily Mislead, 8/3/04]

From 'Can't Blair See that this Country is About to Explode? Can't Bush?' by Robert Fisk
Indeed, watching any Western television station in Baghdad these days is like tuning in to Planet Mars. Doesn't Blair realise that Iraq is about to implode? Doesn't Bush realise this? The American-appointed "government" controls only parts of Baghdad - and even there its ministers and civil servants are car-bombed and assassinated. Baquba, Samara, Kut, Mahmoudiya, Hilla, Fallujah, Ramadi, all are outside government authority. Iyad Allawi, the "Prime Minister", is little more than mayor of Baghdad. "Some journalists," Blair announces, "almost want there to be a disaster in Iraq." He doesn't get it. The disaster exists now.

When suicide bombers ram their cars into hundreds of recruits outside police stations, how on earth can anyone hold an election next January? Even the National Conference to appoint those who will arrange elections has been twice postponed. And looking back through my notebooks over the past five weeks, I find that not a single Iraqi, not a single American soldier I have spoken to, not a single mercenary - be he American, British or South African - believes that there will be elections in January. All said that Iraq is deteriorating by the day. And most asked why we journalists weren't saying so.

But in Baghdad, I turn on my television and watch Bush telling his Republican supporters that Iraq is improving, that Iraqis support the "coalition", that they support their new US-manufactured government, that the "war on terror" is being won, that Americans are safer. Then I go to an internet site and watch two hooded men hacking off the head of an American in Riyadh, tearing at the vertebrae of an American in Iraq with a knife. Each day, the papers here list another construction company pulling out of the country. And I go down to visit the friendly, tragically sad staff of the Baghdad mortuary and there, each day, are dozens of those Iraqis we supposedly came to liberate, screaming and weeping and cursing as they carry their loved ones on their shoulders in cheap coffins.
[truthout, 8/1/04]

[This article originally appeared in The Independent, from the UK.]

From Mr. Bush's Wrong Solution
At a time when Americans need strong leadership and bold action, President Bush offered tired nostrums and bureaucratic half-measures yesterday. He wanted to appear to be embracing the recommendations of the 9/11 commission, but he actually rejected the panel's most significant ideas, and thus missed a chance to confront the twin burdens he faces at this late point in his term: the need to get intelligence reform moving whether he's re-elected or not, and the equally urgent need to repair the government's credibility on national security.

Mr. Bush spoke on a day when Americans were still digesting the terrifying warning of possible terrorist attacks against financial institutions in New York, Newark and Washington. The authorities in those cities did the right thing by stepping up security. But it's unfortunate that it is necessary to fight suspicions of political timing, suspicions the administration has sown by misleading the public on security. The Times reports today that much of the information that led to the heightened alert is actually three or four years old and that authorities had found no concrete evidence that a terror plot was actually under way. This news does nothing to bolster the confidence Americans need that the administration is not using intelligence for political gain.
[New York Times, 8/3/04]

My impression is that this administration uses everything for political gain.

From Look at the evidence: George Bush backpedals by J. Michael Condon
After 9/11, Bush resisted every effort to reorganize the government by creating the Homeland Security Department, and even Republicans abandoned him on that issue.

He not only opposed Condoleezza Rice testifying before the 9/11 Commission, but also fervently opposed the very creation of the commission, until pressure from the victims' families became too intense. He also opposed, incredibly, another commission charged to investigate prewar intelligence - and now, of course, wants to portray the formation of both commissions as his idea.

The Bush administration's smear campaign against the United Nations was a disgraceful backdrop leading up to the Iraq war, and now Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell go crawling hat in hand to the U.N. for assistance.

Bush also flip-flopped on steel tariffs, the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill, the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate-reform bill, and also called gay marriage a state issue, and then backed a federal ban on it. So much for states' rights.

But the all-time champion of flip-flops is his 2000 campaign opposition to "nation building," and 900 U.S. deaths later and counting, thousands of wounded and maimed American soldiers and counting, and $150 billion and counting, we have a "nation," in name only, in Iraq.

But now Bush has another opportunity to backpedal. Recently the 9/11 Commission recommended a Cabinet-level post to oversee U.S. Intelligence, and the administration opposes the change. Prediction: he will do a flip-flop on that also. Of course, he has only until Nov. 2 to change his mind.
[The Free Lance-Star (VA), 8/3/04]

It's amazing that the Fox viewers and Limbaugh listeners can still call Kerry a "flip-flopper" in the face of all this.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Support for Bush questioned by David D. Fischer
President Bush has taken this country to war under false pretenses, killing nearly a thousand U.S. soldiers, wounding more than 6,000 while spending billions in tax dollars. His war has alienated our nation in the world and made us an even more hated target of terrorism.

Four years after Bush took office, America has a budget deficit of record proportion and a health care system financed by fewer citizens.

And yet, Bush backers ask Americans to give four more years to a president with this legacy because he's anti-choice and discriminates against gays. Inconceivably, this is reason enough for some.
[Aberdeen News (SD), 8/1/04]

Mr. Fischer struggles with the question we have all asked: why does this administration have any support at all, given its record? Check out this rather abstruse article by Manuel Garcia, Jr., for another take on the same question.

From Reagan: Amazing cry against Bush

Ron Reagan
The son of former Republican President Ronald Reagan has taken a remarkable step. In the upcoming issue of Esquire, in an essay titled “The Case Against George W. Bush,” Ron Reagan warns the public that the Republican president is hurting America through a needless war, giveaways to the rich, environmental ravages and other ills.

“The Bush administration can’t be trusted,” he writes. “Politicians will stretch the truth. ... But George W. Bush and his administration have taken ‘normal’ mendacity to a startling new level far beyond lies of convenience. On top of the usual massaging of public perception, they traffic in big lies, indulge in any number of symptomatic small lies, and, ultimately, have come to embody dishonesty itself. They are a lie. And people, finally, have started catching on.”

All of the White House’s reasons for the Iraq war turned out to be false, Reagan notes. Worse, he says, the Bush team had planned the attack even before gaining office. The 9/11 terrorist attack merely provided an excuse, allowing the president to manipulate the patriotism that surged after the suicide horror.

“The Bush administration no doubt had its real reasons for invading and occupying Iraq,” Reagan says. “They’ve simply chosen not to share them with the American public.” Reagan doesn’t speculate about what Bush’s hidden reasons for the war may be. He says the White House “tenaciously clings to secrecy, not to protect the American people, but to protect itself.”
[Charleston Gazette (WV), 8/2/04]

President is on the wrong track in terror war by Tom Terez
On September 11, my brother went to work at his office in 7 World Trade. As the day unfolded, our family watched TV and said a life's worth of prayers. After that day, we strongly supported President Bush as he took the fight to al-Quaida and its Taliban sponsors in Afghanistan.

But now, three years and several investigations later, we learn just how badly the President is misleading our country in the war on terror. The facts are out, and they all point to the same conclusion: President Bush is on the wrong track, and he has pulled us on the wrong track with him.

I'm a registered Republican, and Republicans aren't supposed to say such things. But look at the record. President Bush and Vice President Cheney kept telling us that Iraq and al-Quaida were teaming and scheming together. Now the 9/11 Commission conclusively reports that there's "no credible evidence" of any relationship. The President scared us into supporting the war, warning of Iraq's fearsome weapons of mass destruction. None have been found.

More than 880 Americans have been killed in combat in Iraq. More than $150 billion has been spent. Yet bin Laden, al-Zawahiri (bin Laden's second in command), and Mullah Omar (the former Taliban leader of Afghanistan) are still on the loose and continue to plot against America. As for Iraq, it has become the ultimate breeding ground for more terrorists. And we call this "progress" in the war on terror?

My brother fled his building and survived, but so many others perished. We can honor them all by demanding more from our leaders - and we'll get that chance on November 2.
[Another Republican For Kerry]

I continue to hear numerous anecdotes about Republicans NOT voting for Bush this time, and very few about Gore supporters voting FOR him. Bush lost the popular vote last time, and seems to have fewer voters this time. How can he win?

Sunday, August 01, 2004

From Administration now opposes inspections as part of nuclear treaty by Dafna Linzer
In a shift of U.S. policy, the Bush administration announced this week that it will oppose provisions for inspections and verification as part of an international treaty that would ban production of nuclear-weapons materials.

For several years the United States and other nations have been pursuing the treaty, which would ban new production by any state of highly enriched uranium and plutonium for weapons. At U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva this week, the Bush administration told other nations it still supported a treaty, but not verification.

The planned treaty wouldn't affect existing stockpiles or production for non-weapons purposes, such as energy or medical research. Mainly, it was designed to impose restraints on India, Pakistan and Israel, whose nuclear programs operate outside the reach of Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty inspectors.

Administration officials said they made the decision after concluding such a system would cost too much, require overly intrusive inspections and wouldn't guarantee compliance with the treaty.
[Seattle Times, 7/31/04]

I wonder if this "shift of U.S. policy" counts as a flip-flop for Bush. And what does he have against inspections and verification, anyway? They could prevent an unnecessary invasion someday.

Florida Republican Voters Told to Use Absentee Ballots
You've got to run this image of the GOP flyer calling for the faithful to vote by absentee ballot since the machines have no paper trail. The look on bush's face says it all. "Make sure your vote counts," it states. Logically, that says they've known all along that your vote WON'T count if it's cast by machine.

Remember that ultimately it's jebbie's brother gee-dubya who's in control of what happens in Florida. I think that message is clear in this flyer as well. By telling repugs to cast paper absentee ballots, has the Florida GOP just tipped its hand?

Yep. I think I saw their cards.

[BuzzFlash, 7/31/04]

Paper votes for Republicans, "virtual" ones for Democrats. How conveeenient.

From All Bush Has to Sell, Is Fear Itself by Anthony Wade
I sit here day after day wondering who in the world these 47% of the people are in this country that can still sit there and support the worst President in modern history. What does George W. Bush offer us any more? What has he ever offered? I know he promised to be uniter, not a divider and then proceeded to be the most polarizing President ever. I know he promised to return integrity back to the White House and then proceeded to treat the American people and the Constitution as his own personal blue dress. When you look back over these past three and a half years, what can he sell to you? Fear. All Bush has left to sell, is fear itself.

Ironically, George W. Bush shows us his deficiencies when he tries to talk about what he views as his successes. Yesterday, in Springfield Mo. , Bush touted his record of legislative and military “results”, talking about his tax cuts, education agenda, and improvements to homeland security. What?? Bush has had three and half years to come up with a domestic agenda; unfortunately, he only found the time to develop one for Iraq. If he wants to run on this record, BRING IT ON.

Bush’s tax cuts were a lie when they were contrived and have crippled the economy since being enacted. Even the most ardent Bush supporter if they are truly conservative will have to admit as much. You cannot spend at the reckless rate that Bush does, fight a war on multiple fronts, and hand back so much money in tax cuts. What it does is drive up the debt, and eventually we all pay more money in other areas. The fact is that this tax cut does little to help middle class families and the majority of the money goes to the top 1% of this country. This tax cut was not for us; it was for whom Bush refers to as his “base”. The most frightening thing is that Bush is obviously proud of his tax cut for the filthy rich, which has led to this horrific economy. Proud of it!
[OpEdNews.com, 8/1/04]

From Retired general: Bush foreign policy a 'national disaster'
A former Air Force chief of staff and one-time "Veteran for Bush" said Saturday that America's foreign relations for the first three years of President Bush's term have been "a national disaster" but that the president's Democratic rival was "up to the task" of rebuilding.

Retired Gen. Tony McPeak, the Air Force chief of staff during the first Gulf War, delivered the Democratic radio address supporting implementation of the 9/11 commission's recommendations for national security.

"As president, John Kerry will not waste a minute in bringing action on the reforms urged by the 9/11 commission," McPeak said of the Massachusetts senator nominated by the Democrats this week. "And he will not rest until America's defenses are strong."

The president, on the other hand, "fought against the very formation of the commission and continues to the present moment to give it only grudging cooperation, no matter what he says," the general said. "Why should we believe he will do anything to institute the needed change?"
[CNN< 7/31/04]