Archive for the ‘Oversight’ Category
Posted by nytexan on August 14, 2007
t r u t h o u t | Report: By Jason Leopold
- The Republican National Committee said it will not abide by a subpoena and turn over documents to a Congressional committee investigating the firings of at least eight US attorneys last year because the RNC is waiting to see if the White House will assert executive privilege over RNC documents at the center of the controversy, according to an outside law firm retained by the RNC.
Are they freaking kidding me!!! So let me see if I understand how Executive Privilege works; you don’t have to work in the White House or even be a passed employee of the White House staff, you just have to have associations with the Bush gang. Well crap that’s have the country that now claim executive privilege.
- The White House has asserted executive privilege to block senior administration officials from testifying before Congress about their involvement in the decision to fire the federal prosecutors. Moreover, the White House has cited executive privilege in declining to turn over specific documents to Congress that may shed further light on the circumstances behind the attorney firings. The US attorneys believe they were fired for partisan political reasons. In some instances, the US attorneys said they were pressured by Republican lawmakers and RNC operatives to file criminal charges against Democrats at the center of public corruption probes prior to last year’s midterm election as well as individual cases of voter fraud, which the attorneys said was based on weak evidence, in order to cast a dark cloud over Democratic incumbents and swing election results toward Republican challengers.
- Earlier this year, internal Justice Department documents related to behind-the-scenes discussions involving the US attorney firings revealed some Bush administration officials have primarily used email accounts maintained by the RNC to conduct official White House business in what appears to be a violation of the Presidential Records Act. The RNC is believed to have thousands of pages of documents from White House officials in its possession, dating back to 2005, that could answer lingering questions about the role the administration played in the decision to fire the US attorneys.
- The latest salvo between the RNC and Congress over the documents under subpoena sets the stage for a legal showdown between the House and RNC Chairman Robert Duncan, who Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers threatened to hold in contempt if documents and internal RNC emails relating to the Congressional probe are not turned over to his committee. Neither Conyers nor a spokesman for the congressman returned calls for comment on Monday. Presumably, any further legal action would take place when Congress returns from its summer vacation next month.
- In a letter sent on Friday to Conyers, Robert Kelner, an attorney at Covington & Burling in Washington, DC, said the White House counsel’s office instructed the RNC not to “produce Category Two documents at this time.”
Posted in Bush, Congress, Conyers, Department of Justice, executive privilege, Judiciary Committee, Oversight, Politics, RNC | 3 Comments »
Posted by bosskitty on August 12, 2007
China’s US$1.3 trillion in foreign exchange reserves are the largest in the world and are believed to be comprised largely of dollar assets, potentially giving Beijing enormous sway over the dollar’s value and currency markets worldwide.
…. Chinese government economists as saying China would dump its dollar holdings in the event of a trade war with Washington added to jitters in stock markets already unnerved by volatility in U.S. share markets.
Government Debt – The Greatest Threat to National Security by Rep. Ron Paul, MD
Once again the federal government has reached its “debt ceiling,” and once again Congress is poised to authorize an increase in government borrowing. Between its ever-growing bureaucracies, expanding entitlements, and overseas military entanglements, the federal government is borrowing roughly one billion dollars every day to pay its bills.
Federal law limits the amount of debt the U.S. Treasury may carry, and the current amount – a whopping $7.4 trillion – has been reached once again by a spendthrift federal government. Total federal spending, which now exceeds $2 trillion annually, once took more than 100 years to double. Today it doubles in less than a decade, and the rate is accelerating. When President Reagan entered office in 1981 facing a federal debt of $1 trillion that had piled up over the decades, he declared that figure “incomprehensible.” At its present rate of spending, the federal government will soon amass $1 trillion of new debt in just one year.
Why am I hearing these facts from a Libertarian? Why aren’t these facts being debated by all candidates candidly? America’s decisions must pass scrutiny by China before it listens to American Taxpayers? What exactly is the American voice in this equation? It’s not rocket science to understand that your child’s allowance will suffer when you must pay the mortgage instead. China seems to hold the note on this country, that’s fine with me as long as I don’t suffer from neglect by those I elect to administer the business of America. America’s allowance is the welfare of our infrastructure. We know all about that because we destroyed Iraq’s infrastructure and must pay to rebuild it. Meantime, our bridges are falling, our roads need repair, our local services are scraping by, our water supply is getting polluted and dwindling, our sewer systems are collapsing and our kids health care is pitiful. Oh, forgot, our electrical grid is becoming unreliable. So, what does this all mean? Ever hear of “robbing Peter to pay Paul”? Well, Peter is pissed and Ron Paul knows it.
Is this why Bush has Armageddon envy? Will this cancel our debts? It surely get everyone’s mind off his criminal behavior and focus on personal survival!
Posted in appropriation, Armageddon, betrayal, Casualties, China, Collateral, Contractors, Corruption, cover up, Crooks, disinformation, Dollars, DoubleSpeak, FEMA, Homeland Security, Hypocracy, infrastructure, national security, Oil, Outsource, Oversight, Pentagon Corruption, profiteers, resonsibility, Ron Paul, state of emergency, Tax Dollars, taxpayers, The Divider, The Liar, Time Bomb, US Treasury, War Cost | 7 Comments »
Posted by bosskitty on August 8, 2007
By Spencer S. Hsu Washington Post Staff Wednesday, August 8, 2007
A decision by the Bush administration to rewrite in secret the nation’s emergency response blueprint has angered state and local emergency officials, who worry that Washington is repeating a series of mistakes that contributed to its bungled response to Hurricane Katrina nearly two years ago. State and local officials in charge of responding to disasters say that their input in shaping the National Response Plan was ignored in recent months by senior White House and Department of Homeland Security officials, despite calls by congressional investigators for a shared overhaul of disaster planning in the United States.
“In my 19 years in emergency management, I have never experienced a more polarized environment between state and federal government,” said Albert Ashwood, Oklahoma‘s emergency management chief and president of a national association of state emergency managers.
The national plan is supposed to guide how federal, state and local governments, along with private and nonprofit groups, work together during emergencies. Critics contend that a unilateral approach by Washington produced an ill-advised response plan at the end of 2004 — an unwieldy, 427-page document that emphasized stopping terrorism at the expense of safeguarding against natural disasters.
Bruce Baughman, Ashwood’s predecessor as president of the National Emergency Management Association and a 32-year veteran of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said that a draft of the revised plan released to state officials last week marks a step backward because its authors did not set requirements or consult with field operators nationwide who will use it to request federal aid, adjust state and county plans, and train workers.
The disagreement over the plan comes at a time of increasing mistrust between Washington and state homeland security officials. In recent months, they have sparred over dwindling federal grants, the adequacy of local intelligence-gathering efforts and what states regard as Washington’s reluctance to share information about potential threats.
“Coordination between state and local governments and the feds . . . seems to be getting worse rather than better,” said Timothy Manning, head of emergency management in New Mexico and a member of a DHS-appointed steering committee that initially worked on the emergency plan before being shut out of the deliberations in May.
Testifying before a House panel last week, Ashwood and colleagues openly questioned why the draft was revised behind closed doors. The final document was to be released June 1, at the start of this year’s hurricane season.
Federal officials, Ashwood said, appear to be trying to create a legalistic document to shield themselves from responsibility for future disasters and to shift blame to states. “It seems that the Katrina federal legacy is one of minimizing exposure for the next event and ensuring future focus is centered on state and local preparedness,” he said.
The blunt remarks spotlight a breakdown in joint efforts to fulfill a core recommendation by investigators who examined federal missteps after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast in August 2005.
…. a special Republican-led House panel on the Katrina disaster reported. Conflicting command roles under the plan also contributed to a bitter public feud between Chertoff and Michael D. Brown, who resigned as FEMA director in September 2005 after Chertoff relieved him of his on-site relief duties on the Gulf Coast.
“The draft National Response Plan will be presented to the president after an extensive 30-day review period by federal, state and local officials, and we look forward to receiving the draft plan after that review period,” White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said.
…. John R. Harrald, a professor at George Washington University‘s Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management, cautioned that shutting out state and local voices during the plan’s preparation would be ill-advised. He said that the administration appears “to be guided by a desire to ensure centralized control of what is an inherently decentralized process. . . . Response to catastrophic events requires collaboration and trust in a broad network of organizations.”
What is so secret about a disaster plan? Why is it so complicated to include the disaster responders in coordinated planning? Didn’t the last disaster plan fail because the first responders and federal responders had no clue what each other were doing? This is another act of ‘weenie wagging’ that this administration is guilty of. They will take every opportunity to show you theirs is bigger than yours and they will remain in control, no matter how bad things turn out. Hiding stuff is what this administration is all about. I could make some really nasty comparisons, but for your sake, I will restrain myself. I have had enough of these guys. I would vote for Larry Flint before I vote for another Republican. Why isn’t Larry running? Past indiscretions are no longer stop signs for politicians. Honesty is too rare and should be embraced where ever it comes from. Kucinich might just fill that void.
Posted in Accountability, administration, America, Armageddon, Bush, Casualties, Cheney, Chertoff, Collateral, conspiracy, Corruption, Deception, Democracy In Action, destruction, DHS, dictatorship, Dillusion, Disaster, disinformation, DoubleSpeak, economics, Excuses, Executive Branch, FEMA, Homeland Security, Hypocracy, Katrina, King George, Kucinich, Legacy, national security, neglect, Outsource, Oversight, Patriot Act, Politics, President, Promises, resonsibility, States, Tax Dollars, taxpayers, The Divider, The Liar, threat, Waste | 2 Comments »
Posted by bosskitty on August 5, 2007
Gates Says Troop Drawdown Possible
WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged Sunday that political stability in Iraq won’t likely happen before the Bush administration makes its critical September assessment on whether its war strategy is working. But Gates declined to predict that a drawdown of U.S. military forces in such a scenario would happen by year’s end.
Gates is almost good at ‘doublespeak‘. More references to Orwellian moments.
“It’s a possibility,” Gates hedged, when asked if he considered a troop drawdown this year a “strong possibility” or would bet on it.
“We’re doing contingency planning on a lot of different possibilities,” Gates said.
“Circumstances changed in a different way,” Gates said. “That’s the process we hope will evolve over time.”
Gates cannot keep his optimism afloat. Speculation about what US “drawdown” capabilities will be when Petraeus reads his script in September, is a marketing exercise. Why can’t Gates keep his story straight? Because, he has no clue what script will handed to him, he is not the only Hollywood production in the works.
US may start Iraq pull-out this year, says Gates
Gates: U.S. underestimated Iraq ‘mistrust’
Gates says Iraq politics disappointing
Gates says political stability in Iraq unlikely before September
Then, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says on Fox Noise,
Security “has improved some” because of U.S. and Iraqi cooperation, she said Sunday.
“Clearly, too, we have a lot of work to do on the political side,” she said. But, she added, “I would not underestimate the importance of the continuing work of the leaders of these very powerful parties in Iraq.” A majority vote would get the law passed “but it would not have the force of all of the groups that wanted to do this,” she said. “They don’t want a 51-49 on constitutional reform.”
Condi is expert at ‘doublespeak‘. No one can pin her down on anything.
Posted in 1984, Al Qaeda, Anti-War, Armageddon, Baghdad, Black Ops, Blackwater, Bush, Casualties, Cheney, CIA, Collateral, Contractors, Corporate corruption, cover up, Democracy In Action, disinformation, DOD, DoubleSpeak, Gates, Hypocracy, Iraq, Islamic Jihad, Joint Chiefs, Maliki, Mercenaries, Middle East, military, Moqtada al-Sadr, Occupation Army, Oil, Orwellian, Outsource, Oversight, Pentagon Corruption, Petraeus, Politics, profiteers, resonsibility, Rice, sectarian, Soldiers, The Divider, The Liar, threat, VA, veterans, War, War Contractors, War Cost | 1 Comment »
Posted by bosskitty on August 4, 2007
Lawmakers hustle to act before recess
WASHINGTON — Congress is rushing to expand the military’s authority to wiretap phone calls and e-mails on US soil. The Bush administration, warning that terrorists may soon attack again, is pressuring lawmakers to approve the legislation before they leave town this weekend for their annual August vacations.
The proposal, the details of which remain murky, had received little public discussion before this week and has not undergone the normal committee review process. It would apparently give the National Security Agency legal approval to resume one type of the warrantless wiretapping that President Bush authorized after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Doesn’t history remind us that Stalin and Hitler built excuses to spy on their own people to control anyone who opposed their political agendas. What will your congressman do? Do you have representation? Are our ‘inalienable rights’ a terrorist conspiracy? Our Founding Fathers would be in Guantanamo for fighting for ‘inalienable rights’ as Americans!
Bush, the reincarnation of Hitler, does this all because his imaginary God has spoken to him and given him the Armageddon Agenda.
Posted in Armageddon, Bush, Cheney, civil liberties, civil rights, Congress, Corruption, cover up, covert, Declaration of Independence, dictatorship, Excuses, Executive Branch, Gonzales, Homeland Security, Human Rights, Impeach, King George, Law, national intelligence, Nazi, Outsource, Oversight, President, profiteers, Prophesy, Reich, Shadow Government, The Divider, The Liar, trolls, War Crimes, War on Terror, wiretapping | 6 Comments »
Posted by bosskitty on August 4, 2007
WASHINGTON (AP) — Afghanistan will produce another record poppy harvest this year that cements its status as the world’s near-sole supplier of the heroin source, yet a furious debate over how to reverse the trend is stalling proposals to cut the crop, U.S. officials say. As President Bush prepares for weekend talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, divisions within the U.S. administration and among NATO allies have delayed release of a $475 million counternarcotics program for Afghanistan, where intelligence officials see growing links between drugs and the Taliban, the officials said.
… counterdrug proposals by some U.S. officials have met fierce resistance, including boosting the amount of forcible poppy field destruction in provinces that grow the most, officials said. The approach also would link millions of dollars in development aid to benchmarks on eradication; arrests and prosecutions of narcotraders, corrupt officials; and on alternative crop production.
“Afghanistan is providing close to 95 percent of the world’s heroin,” the State Department’s top counternarcotics official, Tom Schweich, said at a recent conference. “That makes it almost a sole-source supplier” and presents a situation “unique in world history.” (entire article)
So, here we go again. Just like Viet Nam (remember that one?) the CIA was an accomplice with the drug cartel of SE Asia. What makes this any different? We talk big, but the bottom line is, to make the local war lords happy we must allow their economy to flourish. They let us destroy a field here and there to show the media, but the big money always wins. They must also line the pockets of the Narcotics Police – it’s economics after all!
Posted in Accountability, addicts, administration, Afghanistan, betrayal, Bush Family, Casualties, CIA, collaborators, conspiracy, Contractors, Corporate corruption, cover up, crimes, criminal, DEA, Democracy In Action, disinformation, drug war, Heroin, History, Karzai, Law, Legacy, Mafia, Middle East, Narcotics, News Media, Outsource, Oversight, Pakistan, Pashtun, Politics, Poppy, profiteers, Proxy War, Republican, resonsibility, Scandal, Taliban, Tax Dollars, taxpayers, terrorists, The Liar, Time Bomb, Viet Nam, War Contractors, War Cost | 1 Comment »
Posted by bosskitty on July 27, 2007
Following are the latest figures for military deaths in Iraq and Iraqi civilians killed in attacks since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003:
U.S.-LED COALITION FORCES:
United States 3,646
Other nations 129
Military Between 4,900 and 6,375#
Civilians Between 67,945 and 74,336* This is the most disputed number!
Sunday 22 July: 59 dead
Baghdad: motorcycle bomb near Kulfaa Square; mortars, Bab al-Sharqi; roadside bomb, Amin; 21 bodies. Taji: truck bomb kills 6. Mosul: 6 men killed in separate attacks.
Iskandariya: mortars kill 2; civilian is shot dead in clashes; gunmen kill policeman; drive-by shooting kills civilian; 3 bodies. Basra: father and son shot dead; body found.
Saturday 21 July: 91 dead
Baghdad: up to 18 civilians reported killed in 3:00am US air raid in Husseiniya -7 children among them; bomb in bus kills 5, Baladiyat; mortars, Mashtal, Rashad; 5 die in random shooting by unknown gunmen; 17 bodies. Mosul: roadside bomb kills 6 policemen; gunmen shoot dead 2 men watching football match in cafe; 11 bodies. Iskandariya: 5 bodies. Hilla: 2 bodies.
Kut: gunmen kill policeman and translator working for US military.
Samarra: 2 killed by US fire, after coming under attack.
Friday 20 July: 38 dead
Baghdad: gunmen kill policeman and his wife, Dora; 16 bodies.
Muqdadiya: gunmen kill 2 women; body found. Hassawiya: attacks kill 5 residents. Ajemi: attacks kill 4. Mosul: civilian dies in US helicopter fire.
Thursday 19 July: 55 dead
Baghdad: roadside bombs, mortars kill 10; 17 bodies.
Dhuluiya: 2 killed in drive-by shooting. Jidaydat al-Shatt, Mansuriyat al-Shatt: unmen attacks kill 10 residents. Mosul: 8 bodies. Iskandariya: 8 bodies.
Wednesday 18 July: 92 dead
Baghdad: roadside bombs, Al-Qanat; mortars, Zafaraniya; roadside bomb kills 4 Electricity Ministry employees, Salihiya; Iraqi police kill 3 in Amiriya; US troops shoot dead 2 people, after coming under attack, Adhamiya; 15 bodies. Khalis: gunmen attack bus, kill 7 passengers.
Basra: university professor shot dead; body found.
Hilla: gunmen kill mother, father, son. Latifiya: 3 truck drivers killed by gunmen.
Baquba: roadside bomb kills 3; 2 bodies. Mosul: gunmen kill KDP official, guard; 6 bodies.
In outsourced U.S. wars, contractor deaths top 1,000
But, we don’t count the ORPHANS and WIDOWS do we? Heaven and Hell must be outsourcing by now, don’t you think?
This crazy, arrogant, mega-low-maniacal, morons who are trying to grab and squeeze the last drop of oil out of Iraq, are creating multi-national populations of damaged souls and broken bodies.
I see a ‘mushroom cloud’ of hate spreading across the horizon that will cover all Americans whether they agreed with the war or not. No casualty really believes the American public is innocent, because this administration hides behind “the will of the American people” to do anything it wants. The “will of the American people” no longer exists … The more Americans are hated, the more King George claims “we are making PROGRESS”!
Posted in Accountability, Afghanistan, Anti-War, Armageddon, “Corporate Corruption”, Baghdad, Bechtel, betrayal, Black Ops, Blackwater, Bush, Casualties, Cheney, Children, collaborators, Collateral, Corporate corruption, Corruption, Deception, Democracy In Action, destruction, dictatorship, economics, Evil, Excuses, Executive Branch, Executive Orders, executive privilege, Freedom Fighters, genocide, Halliburton, Hypocracy, Impeach, Iran, Iraq, Iraqi Children, KBR, King George, Lord Cheney, mental health, Mercenaries, Middle East, military, Oil, orphans, Outsource, Oversight, Pakistan, Pentagon Corruption, Politics, profiteers, Republican, resonsibility, Rumsfeld, Scandal, Shadow Government, Soldiers, Statistics, Tax Dollars, The Divider, The Liar, VA, War, War Contractors, War Cost, War on Terror, Waste, Widows | 3 Comments »
Posted by bosskitty on July 26, 2007
A government oversight agency has found that Bechtel National successfully completed less than half of the reconstruction jobs that the government hired it to perform in Iraq.
In a report released yesterday, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction analyzed 24 job orders that Bechtel contracted to perform at a total direct cost of $761.2 million. Of those, 11 were successfully completed, 10 were incomplete, canceled or transferred to someone else, and the final status of 3 could not be determined.
“This is emblematic of the problem that contractors have experienced in Iraq reconstruction,” said Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the inspector general for Iraq. He said his office has found that 40 percent of projects in Iraq were in danger of not being completed under the original contract.
When Bechtal got scared of the locations for projects it was assigned, it walked away and left the equipment behind.
Bechtel started work on a new $24.4 million water-treatment plant in Baghdad’s volatile Sadr City district but did not finish the job. The company turned the project over to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after completing 88 percent of the work.
OK, things are too dangerous, but Bechtel was given a $2 Billion contract. Did they even bid on it? Did they have NO idea they were going to a war zone where “progress” is always improving and the poor restless natives love us? Shouldn’t that money be given back? What are we paying for anyway? Funerals, lies and bogus projects seem to be the only legacy I pay for from each miserable paycheck.
Army Major Faces Bribery Charges
An Army major is facing federal charges that in 2005 he accepted millions of dollars in bribes from contractors doing business with the Pentagon in Iraq and Kuwait.
The Justice Department said yesterday that the major, John Cockerham, 41, of San Antonio, either awarded or controlled the contracts. He has been charged with bribery, money laundering and conspiracy. He and his wife, Melissa, were charged Sunday. His sister Carolyn Blake, 44, of Sunnyvale, Tex., was charged Tuesday. His wife and his sister were charged with conspiracy.
Maybe I should bid on something undoable, show up, then change my mind and walk away with millions of your dollars. After all, our great executive complained it is “hard” to make important decisions. His imaginary friends tell him he is the chosen one and that he and god are making progress in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s good enough for me. We’re already eating shit, I mean second hand groceries …
Posted in Afghanistan, Army Corp of Engineers, “Corporate Corruption”, Baghdad, Bechtel, betrayal, Bush, Contempt, contributions, Corporate corruption, Corruption, Executive Branch, Executive Orders, executive privilege, Halliburton, Hypocracy, Impeach, Iraq, KBR, Legacy, Mercenaries, Oil, Outsource, Oversight, Pentagon Corruption, Private Armies, profiteers, resonsibility, Scandal, Tax Dollars, taxpayers, War Contractors, War Cost, Waste | 5 Comments »