Blog

May 23, 2004

Under Oath

Seattle Times: Presented last fall with a detailed catalog of abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, the U.S. military responded Dec. 24 with a confidential letter to a Red Cross official asserting that many Iraqi prisoners were not entitled to the full protections of the Geneva Conventions.  The letter, drafted by military lawyers and signed by Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, emphasized the “military necessity” of isolating some inmates for interrogation because of their “significant intelligence value” and said prisoners held …

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May 23, 2004

Incompetent II

Kevin Drum links to Kautilyan speculating on the source of the forged uranium documents, asking whether Iran might have had something to do with it.  As it happens, I was writing this post on the same question, and will add a couple things.  We were both caused to wonder by this in Knight Ridder (5/22/04): The Defense Intelligence Agency has concluded that a U.S.-funded arm of Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress has been used for years by Iranian intelligence …

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May 22, 2004

Matsui / Pelosi Not Letting Bush Off Hook

This morning’s Sacramento Bee has a great story about Rep. Matsui (our chair) and Democratic Leader Pelosi turning up the heat on Bush’s lack of war planning and preparation. Relevant snippets: “Democrats hurled sharp barbs at the White House, with Rep. Robert Matsui of Sacramento, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, declaring that President Bush is “either clueless or incompetent” when it comes to the war.” [snip]  “It’s a healthy debate,” said Frank Rusciano, a political scientist at …

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May 21, 2004

Incompetent

“I believe we are absolutely on the brink of failure.  We are looking into the abyss.” —General Joseph Hoar, a former commander in chief of U.S. Central Command; testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, May 20, 2004  “I’m surprised that he is surprised because there was a lot of us who were telling [Rumsfeld] that it was going to be thus… Anyone could know the problems they were going to see.  How could they not?...I think that some …

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May 21, 2004

Matsui Has Pelosi’s Back

SFGate.com: Matsui echoed Pelosi’s critique of Bush, calling developments in Iraq a sign of the president’s “either being clueless, or being incompetent.’‘ As for the charge that such criticisms are inappropriate during a time of war, Matsui said: “Frankly, that’s McCarthyism.’‘

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May 21, 2004

Why Contractors?

Financial Times asks the experts: Several high-ranking military legal officers believe the Pentagon used private contractors to interrogate prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan in a deliberate attempt to obscure aggressive practices from congressional or military oversight, according to a civilian lawyer who has spoken with them.  The civilian lawyer said that the military lawyers, part of the Judge Advocate General corps, complained to him about the use of private contractors during meetings last year, before the scandal over abuses …

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May 21, 2004

Go Vote!

Go Vote to support Pelosi.  Now.  Quick.

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May 21, 2004

What a Difference a Chamber Makes

CQ Today gets a hold of the new GOP talking points.  I am posting them in their entirety in the extended entry for those interested, but the Senate and the House published different sets, and it’s worth seeing the difference on one matter in particular: Senate: “The actions of the soldiers in the photographs depicting detainee abuse are totally unacceptable and violate the law. They betrayed their comrades, who serve honorably every day, and they have damaged the cause …

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May 21, 2004

The Goth Problem!

The Kansas City Star reports on Rep. Graves’ (R-MO6) crowning acheivement: Almost half of a $273,000 grant awarded in 2002 to fight the Goth culture in Blue Springs has been returned because of a lack of interest - and the absence of a real problem.  Blue Springs received the grant two years ago from the Youth Outreach Unit, money the city and U.S. Rep. Sam Graves trumpeted proudly as a way to fight a perceived Goth problem.  But $132,000 …

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May 21, 2004

Cross Post: Seth of College Dems

Seth Tanner of Smart Ass gave us permission to cross post his thoughts on Diane Farrell and South Dakota, amongst other things.  Enjoy. This previous weekend, I went home to Connecticut from DC in order to go on a Costco run and gather stuff for my move into a new dorm. My little bro, Scott, asked me to come with him to an organizational meeting for interns on the Dianne Farrell for Congress campaign in Connecticut.  Scott and I …

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May 21, 2004

Prisoner Accounts

Washington Post: Previously secret sworn statements by detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq describe in raw detail abuse that goes well beyond what has been made public, adding allegations of prisoners being ridden like animals, sexually fondled by female soldiers and forced to retrieve their food from toilets. [...]  The statements provide the most detailed picture yet of what took place on the cellblock. Some of the detainees described being abused as punishment or discipline after they …

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May 20, 2004

Medicare Propaganda Update

We mentioned earlier that the GAO had declared the administration’s fake news clips on the Medicare bill to be illegal “covert propaganda,” and we promised to get back when Democratic responses came in.  This is what we’ve got so far: U.S. Senate and House Democrats on Thursday introduced legislation to require the Bush administration to repay the estimated $43,000 cost of “video news releases” that the General Accounting Office says violated a federal law against the use of government …

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May 20, 2004

Speaker Pelosi

Atrios noted some other scathing remarks earlier.  This just out from the AP after this morning’s press conference: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi lashed out at President Bush on Thursday, saying his Iraq policies show incompetence and the only conclusion to draw is that “the emperor has no clothes.”  “I believe that the president’s leadership and the actions taken in Iraq demonstrate an incompetence in terms of knowledge, judgment and experience,” the California Democrat told reporters at a Capitol …

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May 20, 2004

Chalabi and Rumsfeld

Rumsfeld is now saying that it is not his place to comment on Chalabi, and that it was Congress who funded the INC, so why is everybody asking him?  I’ll tell you why. (All emphasis will be mine.) On March 17, 2004 the Telegraph published an article based on an interview with David Kay (confirmed by Reuters), which summarized his answers thusly: More damaging was the dependence on defectors. Different agencies all but competed with each over their intelligence …

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May 20, 2004

The Rift Grows

The battle for the soul of the GOP appears to be in full swing: A two-month-old House-Senate standoff over the 2005 budget burst into public acrimony yesterday, when the GOP House speaker questioned Sen. John McCain’s credentials as a Republican and suggested that the decorated Vietnam War veteran did not understand the meaning of sacrifice. [...]  House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (Ill.) lectured McCain (Ariz.)—an outspoken opponent of Bush’s tax cuts—over war sacrifices, drawing a blistering retort from McCain, …

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