Saturday, April 29, 2006

Carl Bernstein Calls for a Senate Investigation of the Bush Conspiracy

A real investigation will surely be the end of what's become a criminal conspiracy that is literally being run out of the White House. Some have suggested prosecution under RICO statutes. Bernstein's call for a Senate investigation comes at a time when a grass roots movement to impeach Bush "state by state" is gaining momentum even as Bush's ratings plunge seems driven by angry conservatives.

The Bush administration is not a "Presidency"; it's a criminal conspiracy. The GOP is not a political party; it's a crime syndicate.

Carl Bernstein is sure to shake up the "inside the loop" crowd with this one:

Senate Hearings on Bush, Now

In this exclusive, a Watergate veteran and Vanity Fair contributing editor calls for bipartisan hearings investigating the Bush presidency. Should Republicans on the Hill take the high road and save themselves come November?


Worse than Watergate? High crimes and misdemeanors justifying the impeachment of George W. Bush, as increasing numbers of Democrats in Washington hope, and, sotto voce, increasing numbers of Republicans—including some of the president's top lieutenants—now fear? Leaders of both parties are acutely aware of the vehemence of anti-Bush sentiment in the country, expressed especially in the increasing number of Americans—nearing 50 percent in some polls—who say they would favor impeachment if the president were proved to have deliberately lied to justify going to war in Iraq.

John Dean, the Watergate conspirator who ultimately shattered the Watergate conspiracy, rendered his precipitous (or perhaps prescient) impeachment verdict on Bush two years ago in the affirmative, without so much as a question mark in choosing the title of his book Worse than Watergate. On March 31, some three decades after he testified at the seminal hearings of the Senate Watergate Committee, Dean reiterated his dark view of Bush's presidency in a congressional hearing that shed more noise than light, and more partisan rancor than genuine inquiry. The ostensible subject: whether Bush should be censured for unconstitutional conduct in ordering electronic surveillance of Americans without a warrant. ...
Dare we hope that Bush's criminal conspiracy is falling apart? An indictment of Rove is a safe bet. An indictment of Dick Cheney may follow. Bush, himself, has no where to run, no place to hide.

Bush's overall approval rating is at about 32 percent depending on which poll you choose to quote.

WASHINGTON - Angry conservatives are driving the approval ratings of President Bush and the GOP-led Congress to dismal new lows

... according to an AP-Ipsos poll that underscores why Republicans fear an Election Day massacre.

Six months out, the intensity of opposition to Bush and Congress has risen sharply, along with the percentage of Americans who believe the nation is on the wrong track.

The AP-Ipsos poll also suggests that Democratic voters are far more motivated than Republicans. Elections in the middle of a president's term traditionally favor the party whose core supporters are the most energized.
While various state legislatures could petition congress to convene a new National Convention, the so-called "Thomas Jefferson Manual" seems to be the course of choice. When enough state legislatures demand it, a bill of impeachment may be brought against George W. Bush. The Senate investigation that Bernstein supports may turn out to be the crack that breaks the damn.

Goodbye, Bush! The worst President in American History.

Additional resources:Bush, Oil Prices,War in Iraq

'Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission


Friday, April 28, 2006

Bush Flips off the Nation: It's the oil, Stupid!

It's always been about oil —but more specifically: big oil profits! Recent big oil contracts prove it. And so do record prices at the pump.

Those who thought that an oil grab in Iraq would lower prices at the pump are chagrined. Bush lied to them with GOP code words and now he's all but flippin' them off. Bush lied about the reasons prices at the pump have reached record levels just as he lied about the reasons for the war of aggression against Iraq. Despite the spin, high prices at the pump translate into record profits for big oil. Exxon-Mobil is a case in point.

The huge no bid contracts given Halliburton are, of course, old news. But the breaking news are the huge, lucrative contracts now awarded to British Petroleum, Shell and Chevron.I would like to hear Bush try to tell a nation that is paying through the nose for fuel that this was just a big GOP coincidence. What makes the contracts look like payoffs and war booty is the fact that in the short hours leading up to the U.S. attack and invasion, engineers from British Petroleum were busy teaching combat troops how to pump oil in southern Iraq.
Now —at a time when the Bush administration has yet to rebuild New Orleans, BP manager Robert Spears was picked to rebuild Iraqi refineries. Mind you, they were making plans to rebuild them even before the invasion. Bush, by contrast, knew that Katrina would be the "big one" and plans for the rehabilitation of New Orleans have yet to materialize or make a difference.

The beneficiaries of Bush's war policies are not confined to BP, Shell and Chevron.

Exxon-Mobil Posts Record Profits

NEW YORK - ... it's been a record quarter and year for Exxon Mobil. The oil giant raked in $8.42 billion in the fourth quarter and more than $25 billion for all of 2004, both record-high profits in its history.


There are, it would appear, no delays when it comes to looting oil from a sovereign nation.

Amazingly, many people were willing to believe GOP propaganda that with Iraqi oil in U.S. hands, gasoline prices would come down. And, as I recall, there were similar expectations that oil prices would fall after Persian Gulf I. Well, that didn't happen either. Honestly —how realistic is it to expect that gasoline prices would fall when control of much of the world's largest oil reserves falls into the hands of an oil oligopoly?

The facts on the ground paint a different picture. BP got it's first payoff in mid-July consisting of " of the first tankers of oil from Southern Iraq". According to published reports, that first shipment amounted to an initial sale of 8 million barrels of Iraqi oil; and Chevron had already shipped back just as much oil. That makes a total of some 16 million barrels of oil.

Why did Bush go to war against Iraq? Oil is now money and Iraq is home to the world's second largest proven oil reserves. Experts, meanwhile, are quoted as saying that new exploration —presumably by American oil companies — will raise the reserves by some 200 billions barrels. We're talking high grade crude.

But don't expect gasoline prices to go down without extreme political pressure. The answer is to be found in Bush Sr's Persian Gulf I. Public transcripts of Ambassador April Glaspie's meeting with Saddam on the eve of his invasion of Kuwait proves conclusively that Hussein was lured into attacking Kuwait. He was told that the U.S. Took no position on his "Arab-Arab disputes". Bush Sr —upset because Hussein was pumping too much oil and thus depressing the spot market price of oil —needed a pretext to attack. Hussein took the bait and the trap was sprung. Hussein was pumping too much oil.

Meanwhile, the four multi-national oil companies in the U.S. and the U.K. are, as the brits would say, keen to get to Iraq. They had been excluded by the nationalization of 1972 when Hussein himself was largely responsible for the nationalization of Iraqi oil fields and oil processing plants. Until that time, the oil had been under the control of western oil companies. Despite the various stories that are told about Hussein, it was, after all, his country's oil.

Hussein actively modernized the Iraqi economy and created a secular society. But upon assuming power, Hussein sealed his own fate. The ruling oil oligopoly in the United States would never allow Hussein to control the oil spigot; they would never support the lower prices that would result from increased production in Iraq.

It's all about big oil and what big oil is willing to do to the world in the name of profits!

Additional resources: Bush, Oil Prices,War in Iraq

'Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Inside Iraq

As the Bush administration flies its victims in and out of gulags around the world in order to skirt the laws against torture and other crimes, Iraq continues to descend into civil war and chaos —most of it created by the United States.

Much is made of some 140,000 civilians that were murdered by George W. Bush in the bombing campaign and the invasion —a crime against the peace begun upon a pack of lies. But where is the media coverage of U.S. atrocities that are perpetrated almost daily against the people of Iraq since that time? I am getting weary of trying to sift through the garbage that is passed off daily by the MSM.

I hope to be featuring more links and information inside Iraq.

News From Inside Iraq

Weary of the overall failure of the US media to accurately report on the realities of the war in Iraq for the Iraqi people and US soldiers, Dahr Jamail went to Iraq to report on the war himself.

His dispatches were quickly recognized as an important media resource and he is now writing for the Inter Press Service, The Asia Times and many other outlets. His reports have also been published with The Nation, The Sunday Herald, Islam Online, the Guardian and the Independent to name just a few. Dahr's dispatches and hard news stories have been translated into French, Polish, German, Dutch, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic and Turkish. On radio as well as television, Dahr reports for Democracy Now!, the BBC, and numerous other stations around the globe. Dahr is also special correspondent for Flashpoints.

Dahr has spent a total of 8 months in occupied Iraq as one of only a few independent US journalists in the country. Dahr uses the website and his popular mailing list to disseminate his dispatches.
Here's a first installment:

Tuesday 25 April 2006

This weekend I received an email from a friend in Iraq. It read, "Salam Dahr, I was in Ramadi today to ask about the situation. I was stunned for the news of a father and his three sons executed in cold blood by US soldiers, then they blasted the house. The poor mother couldn't stand the shock, so she died of a heart attack." ...

Continue reading "Subject to the Penalty of Death"

Organize now to bring George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condo Rice, Alberto Gonzales, John Ashcroft and Colin Powell to trial in the Hague for crimes against the peace with regard to the pack of lies told to justify the un-justifiable war of aggression — and war crimes with regard to what is clearly a deliberate, planned, and on-going policy of torture and atrocity.

Americans, this is being done in your name. Can you live with that?

If you think you can, then I suggest you do a little reading. If you profess to be Christian, then read your own Bible, especially the Sermon on the Mount. If you're not particularly religous, that's ok — read Sartre, Kierkegaard, Frankl, Kafka, Brecht. In the vernacular, you cannot not have an opinion. If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem. I was told very early in my broadcasting career that everyone does what they want to do; everything else is just excuses. What excuse do Americans have for continuing to let George W. Bush get away with mass murder?

The time has come to bring George W. Bush and his band of perverts and war criminals to justice.

Bush, Torture, War Crimes
'Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission


More Bush Lies: Bush's Transparent Dodge Exposed

An interim report of the Council of Europe exposes Bush lies about "extraordinary renditions". It is interesting that the Bush administration has always engaged in tortured, legalistic defenses of the very practice that it denies. It would appear, however, that the latest reports coming out of Europe prove that the Bush administration has been torturing the truth about "rendition". Clearly —the CIA has been flying "detainees" in and out of various locations —primarily eastern Europe —for the purpose of carrying out a program of torture. If the Council's report is accurate, the Bush administration is in violation of the Geneva Convention.
Article 13

Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention. In particular, no prisoner of war may be subjected to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind which are not justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the prisoner concerned and carried out in his interest.

Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.

Measures of reprisal against prisoners of war are prohibited.

—Article 13, Geneva Convention

From the MEP's report:

MEPs reveal extent of CIA flights

Kidnapping has "clearly" happened, the report says. The CIA has run more than 1,000 flights within the European Union since 2001, often transporting terror suspects for questioning overseas, MEPs have said.

The MEPs began a probe after claims the US flew suspects to secret prisons in countries that regularly use torture.

The US admits some terror suspects were flown overseas for interrogation, but denies sending them for torture.

Report author Claudio Fava said many EU states had ignored the hundreds of CIA flights that had used their airports.

Mr Fava, an Italian socialist MEP, singled out Sweden, Italy and Bosnia, which is not an EU member, for particular criticism.

A string of former detainees have come forward with stories alleging kidnap and transport by the US for interrogation in third countries - a process known as "extraordinary rendition".

Some have provided detailed accounts of alleged torture carried out in secret prisons outside EU or US jurisdiction.
The European report is "...full of frustration at American [torture] policy" and even more frustration with the idea that by flying detainees to friendly countries, the U.S. is skirting Geneva prohibitions on torture. The practice is a transaparent dodge that fools no one but tends to reinforce a growing perception abroad that the United States —under Bush —has become a rogue nation.
"In countries that pride themselves on being long-standing democracies that protect human rights, the revelation of these allegations should have sparked off reactions and categorical condemnations several months ago, but this was not the case..."

—Swiss MP Dick Marty

The report supports allegations that the U.S. program of "rendition" is part of a pattern of US policy intended to bypass the Geneva Conventions. Marty told a news conference that people have been kidnapped by the CIA, transferred to torture prison, and denied their rights under the Geneva Convention. Camps outside any legal system include well-known camps in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. Other kidnap victims have been taken to camps primarily eastern Europe. Their treatment —outside the law —has been called "unacceptable", and, according to Marty, it is a case of the United States "outsourcing" in order to skirt international law —even those to which the U.S. is bound by treaty.

Pressure has grown since the Washington Post reported last year that the the CIA had orchestrated a rendition program that consisted of "...hiding and interrogating [what the CIA claims are] some of its most important al-Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe". The catch 22 is simply this: as long as the CIA is allowed to conduct such a program unsupervised and outside the law, there is no way of knowing if any of those tortured are or have ever been members of Al Qaeda.

Additional resources:

Bush, Torture, War Crimes
'Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A Grassroots "Velvet Revolution" Underway in America

An insurrection against the Bush regime is underway right now in America. It may turn out to be nothing less than a "velvet revolution" that brings down Bush's lawless regime. The best part is that it's entirely non-violent and legal; there is absolutely nothing George W. Bush can do about it —except throw one of his well-known temper tantrums. It's an impeachment juggernaut that will peak as Bush's support continues to wither away.

In the latest developments, the Illinois General Assembly seems certain to join a rising chorus in other state assemblies —Vermont and California —seeking the impeachment of George W. Bush. Meanwhile, Democratic state committees in New Mexico, Wisconsin, Nevada and North Carolina are sure to support articles of impeachment sponsored by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich. Here's the good news: the impeachment movement is no longer quixotic. It has growing grassroots traction. The GOP had best pay attention. This impeachment movement is positioned to advance on Washington where it will dictate the national agenda.

Impeaching Bush State by State

The legal basis for these unprecedented state-level actions was discovered when, according to Steven Leser, Illinois Rep. Karen A. Yarbrough "stumbled on a little known and never utilized rule of the U.S. House of Representatives." The rule was written in a book formerly known as Jefferson's Manual, which, according to C-SPAN, "is a book of rules of procedure and parliamentary philosophy … written by Thomas Jefferson in 1801 … [used by the House] as a supplement to its standing rules." Section LIII, sec. 603 states, "There are various methods of setting an impeachment in motion … [one of them is] by charges transmitted from the legislature of a State …"

Each of the three resolutions mentions Iraq lies, torture and illegal spying, with slight variations in tone and specifics. Assemblyman Paul Koretz's California resolution (which includes Dick Cheney) and the Illinois resolution both include the leak of Valerie Plame's identity, while Vermont's focuses almost exclusively on Bush's most salient transgression, his illegal spying on Americans. The spying charge leads the other two resolutions' list of charges as well. ...

Here's why this grassroots movement has legs. Bush's approval rating is down to 32 percent. If the elections were held today, the "decider" would get only 17 electoral votes from 3 states that voted heavily for Bush in the last election: Alabama, Utah, and Wyoming. [See: SurveyUSA]

As I previously pointed out: Bush is chalking up net negatives in what had been "red" states: -12% in South Carolina, -17% in Indiana, -18% in Virginia, and -19% in Tennessee. The really bad news for Bush is that he is losing his base support in Texas where he now has a net negative 14 percentage points. Bush has no legs, no broad base support from which to counter what is beginning to look like an impeachment juggernaut.

Here's an update on another development:

Council demands Bush impeachment

BERKELEY: City joins Santa Cruz, Arcata, San Francisco in move


Berkeley has joined three other California cities in calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

In a resolution that will be sent to U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., the Berkeley City Council accuses the president and vice president of, among other things: defrauding the country and Congress regarding the Iraq war; authorizing torture in violation of the Geneva Conventions; ordering secret surveillance of U.S. citizens; and failing to respond quickly to the Gulf Coast hurricane.

The council unanimously approved the resolution Tuesday and also took a step toward giving residents a voice. The Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission will recommend whether the city should ask voters for their opinion in an advisory ballot measure. ...
Additional resources:

'Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

"Don't it make your red states turn blue? "

Bushies must be singin' the blues. Throw in a bit about "prison", "rain", a "train" and "momma" and the latest polling news might become the perfect country and western song. I hear that whistle 'a blowin'.

A phone poll by Opinion Research Corporation for CNN is bad news for Bush's failing "presidency". Only 32 percent of about 1,000 Americans polled said they approve of Bush's performance. It gets worse for Bush: that big chunk of red states in mid-America —forget about it! It no longer exists. Let's put the latest poll numbers in perspective with confirming data from even earlier studies: if the elections were held today, the "decider" would get only 17 electoral votes from only 3 states that voted went heavily for Bush in the last election: Alabama, Utah, and Wyoming. [See: SurveyUSA]

Now if that were not dramatic enough, consider that Bush is chalking up net negatives in staunchly Republican states: -12% in South Carolina, -17% in Indiana, -18% in Virginia, and -19% in Tennessee. Here's the capper. In Texas —where bad air, bullsh*t, and Bush are notable exports —George W. Gets a net negative 14 percentage points. Put another way: 55% in Texas disapprove of the job Bush is doing.

Bush's fall from grace in so-called "swing" states is tautological at this point but it may turn out to be apocalyptic for the GOP. Take the cases of Florida and Ohio, battlegrounds where Bush carved out or stole his controversial victories in the years 2000 and 2004. Now Bush gets a net negative in Ohio and a net negative 22 in Florida. One wonders: can DieBold steal enough votes without fritzin' out the computer?

The deluded decider!

Asked whether "honest and trustworthy" describes the president, 40 percent said yes, down from 56 percent a year ago.

Bush's image continues to fall apart as reality sets in. A year ago, some 62 percent thought Bush "... strong and decisive". Less than half think so now. What a difference quagmire, Katrina, and talk of a "unitary executive" can do. Dare we declare that America is now de-hypnotized?

GOP rats are jumping ship, warning Bush that keeping Rumsfeld could wind up costing the GOP the House and the Senate. Those warnings are borne out by the numbers cited above. In short: Bush may have dealt his party a near fatal blow. Inasmuch as the GOP has become the very picture of corruption, evil, prejudice and sheer pig-headedness, it may turn out to be the only good thing to come out of this debacle.
'Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission


Monday, April 24, 2006

"Free My Country, My Ass!!"; U.S taking sides in Iraq Civil War?

Sunni Arabs have accused the Shiite majority and U.S. forces of operating and supporting death squads throughout Iraq as charges surface that U.S. torture of Iraqis continues with apparent impunity. The latest charges by Sunni arabs now take on an ominous political complexion: the U.S. has taken the Shiite side in an Iraq civil war.

The charges in themselves expose the no-win situation that Bush has gotten the U.S. into in Iraq; they expose the fraudulent nature of the war. But an Iraqi civil war is not the worst of the nightmare scenarios; an incompetent Bush administration siding with one faction over another most certainly is.

Inspectors Find More Torture at Iraqi Jails

Top General's Pledge To Protect Prisoners 'Not Being Followed'

Ellen Knickmeyer, Washington Post Foreign Service

BAGHDAD -- Last Nov. 13, U.S. soldiers found 173 incarcerated men, some of them emaciated and showing signs of torture, in a secret bunker in an Interior Ministry compound in central Baghdad. The soldiers immediately transferred the men to a separate detention facility to protect them from further abuse, the U.S. military reported.

Since then, there have been at least six joint U.S.-Iraqi inspections of detention centers, most of them run by Iraq's Shiite Muslim-dominated Interior Ministry. Two sources involved with the inspections, one Iraqi official and one U.S. official, said abuse of prisoners was found at all the sites visited through February. U.S. military authorities confirmed that signs of severe abuse were observed at two of the detention centers.

But U.S. troops have not responded by removing all the detainees, as they did in November. Instead, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials, only a handful of the most severely abused detainees at a single site were removed for medical treatment. Prisoners at two other sites were removed to alleviate overcrowding. U.S. and Iraqi authorities left the rest where they were. ...

If Bush has allied de facto with the Shiite majority, America will have given up its last tenuous claim to being an honest broker. Most certainly Bush cannot square his empty "freedom" rhetoric with his support of a Shiite theocracy —especially one of his making.

If the Civil War lacks some of the outward signs of such a conflict, it's only because the Shiite leadership is content to let Americans and Brits run interference for them. Shiite leaders are not stupid. They understand that Bush is damned politically if he stays —but a full-fledged civil war will break out when U.S. troops are not around to take up the slack. It's hard to imagine how Bush —and his NeoCon propagandists —will be able to declare a victory and just leave. In the meantime, both sides have adopted Bush's simplistic lexicon; i.e. a "terrorist" is whomever either side disagrees with.

The facts on the ground, however, do not lend themselves easily to spin. Is there a chance that when the Americans are gone, everyone will make nice nice and share power? Only in your Bush inspired delusions! When the Americans no longer buffer the conflict, one side or the other, i.e., either Sunni or Shiite, will win. But only at the end of a bloody civil war. I see "theocracy" —not light —at the end of the tunnel.

But how do Iraqis themselves feel about that? 27-year-old Zeyad, a Baghdad dentist, surfs the net and blogs, He has been quoted in numerous reports recently reacting to an incipient theocracy in his country: "I wanted to kill someone after reading all that. Free my country, my ass! Do I have to immigrate and leave my country ... [to be free]?"

If Bush is allowed to get away with trashing the U.S. Constitution, replacing it with an insane and bogus "unitary executive" nonsense, Americans will be asking the same thing of their homeland: Will I have to leave my country to be free?

Some essential resources:
On a peripherally related topic, I am proud to allifiate with Progressive Blogosphere. You will find their headlines synidcated on this blog. Check out the nav bar. I am making this shameless plug as the topic of blogs has come up a number of times in the comments section here. There seems to be consensus that the blogosphere has become in a very short time an absolutely essential counter to the corporate mainstream media. The words "mainstream" and "corporate" are one and the same; it's a recipe for the same tired old paradigm, a guarantee that we stay in the the mess we're in.

Progressive Blogosphere has reached an incredible audience in a very short time and I am convinced that that will help many another blogger like myself. The name of the game is nothing less than making truth and informed opinion heard above the right wing noise and corporate propaganda machine.

'Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission