Banished whistle-blowers - The Bush administration is making no secret of its determination to punish whistle-blowers and other federal workers who object to the doctoring of facts that clash with policy and spin. - Damage control is a political hallmark of any administration. But the Bush team is taking it to the most destructive extreme. TVNL Comment: The US has a president who punishes people who try to protect America from criminals in government.
Justice Department Tracking Staff's Contact With Congress - Justice Department directs employees to clear any contacts with Congress with department's liaison office; Sen Charles Grassley charges attempt to muzzle whistle-blowers, which department denies; order covers calls to or from congressional staff members as well as hearings; Grassley and Sen Patrick Leahy have questioned Bush administration's use of expanded powers under Patriot Act; Grassley reports chilling effect at FBI already
Tied to the Tax Break - Cheney votes, may reap reward - ‘Vice President Dick Cheney's tie-breaking vote on the Senate's $350-billion tax cut last week could have a dramatic impact on his own tax return -- it would save him tens of thousands of dollars.’
Anything Goes - Republicans want to lay a cornerstone at ground zero during their national convention? Only Democrats, apparently, are barred from exploiting 9/11.
All in the family - It ought to be a crime, but it's not even unethical by Washington standards. - The Los Angeles Times recently reported that at least 28 members of Congress have children, spouses or other close relatives who lobby or work as consultants, mostly in Washington. Many of these relatives aren't qualified for the work they perform.
Bush Billed Agency for G.O.P. Events - The Bush administration spent hundreds of thousands of dollars from its health and welfare budget for presidential events around the nation last year, most coinciding with campaign appearances for Republican candidates.
Investigation? No, Bush should pick up the phone - Enough already. Enough excuse-making. - We know that two senior members of the Bush administration intentionally blew the cover of an undercover CIA officer whose job is combating weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation. And their motivation was pure politics.
Sen. Schumer Wants Probe on Gov't Leaks - Schumer, D-N.Y., said administration officials may have broken federal law in unmasking an operative who had been gathering information on weapons of mass destruction.
Iraq Arms Critic Reacts to Report on Wife - Joseph C. Wilson IV, a retired ambassador who was a secret envoy of the Bush administration to Africa and who publicly voiced doubts about a reported Iraqi weapons program, says he has become a target of a campaign to discourage others like him from going public.
Who exposed whistleblower's wife? - The FBI may launch an inquiry into whether the White House revealed the identity of a covert CIA official to punish her husband for blowing the whistle on President Bush for making misleading claims about the Iraqi nuclear programme, officials in Washington said yesterday.
Watchdog Reveals Effort to Gag Anti-Bush Causes - Muffling the Left - The Bush administration is actively seeking to gag or punish social service organizations that challenge the party line on such matters as health care for poor children and HIV prevention, according to a new report. Nonprofits that disagree with the president's own solutions, or go further and blame him for problems in the first place, have come to expect unpleasant consequences. Those might include audits of federal-funds spending and reviews of content, such as workshop literature.
Immunity for Iraqi Oil Dealings Raises Alarm - An executive order signed by President Bush more than two months ago is raising concerns that U.S. oil companies may have been handed blanket immunity from lawsuits and criminal prosecution in connection with the sale of Iraqi oil. - The Bush administration said Wednesday that the immunity wouldn't be nearly so broad. - But lawyers for various advocacy organizations said the two-page executive order seemed to completely shield oil companies from liability — even if it could be proved that they had committed human rights violations, bribed officials or caused great environmental damage in the course of their Iraqi-related business. - TVNL comment: This is good old George W. Bush/PNAC American ethics! It’s OK if Americans commit crimes, but if anyone else does they are evil and we are going to bomb the hell out of them!
Masters of deceit - Convicted felons responsible for thousands of deaths are calling the shots at the White House - Poindexter, North and two others were indicted on 23 counts of conspiracy to defraud the US and Poindexter was convicted on five felony counts of conspiracy, false statements, destruction and removal of records and obstruction of Congress. His conviction was reversed on the technicality that he had given immunised testimony to Congress. - Elliott Abrams later pleaded guilty to withholding information from Congress. George Bush senior pardoned him; and Bush junior appointed him director of the National Security Council's office for democracy, human rights and international operations and then to his current job as director of Middle East affairs in the White House. The wars these men promoted had left 75,000 dead in El Salvador and 30,000-40,000 dead in Nicaragua, not to mention many thousands dead in Guatemala and Honduras.
Rumsfeld confirms Iran-Contra meeting - Some administration officials and Middle East analysts believe that a Pentagon office Feith oversees, the Office of Special Plans, sought to devise its own policies and operate its own intelligence operations on Iran and Iraq.
Bush Misuses Science, Report Says - Democrats Say Data Are Distorted to Boost Conservative Policies - The Bush administration has repeatedly mischaracterized scientific facts to bolster its political agenda in areas ranging from abstinence education and condom use to missile defense, according to a detailed report - "The Administration's political interference with science has led to misleading statements by the President, inaccurate responses to Congress, altered web sites, suppressed agency reports, erroneous international communications, and the gagging of scientists," according to the report, posted yesterday at www.politicsandscience.org. "The subjects involved span a broad range, but they share a common attribute: the beneficiaries of the scientific distortions are important supporters of the President, including social conservatives and powerful industry groups." - TVNL Comment: This is called outrageous lying. Simple fact.
Voting machine controversy - The head of a company vying to sell voting machines in Ohio told Republicans in a recent fund-raising letter that he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." - The Aug. 14 letter from Walden O'Dell, chief executive of Diebold Inc. - who has become active in the re-election effort of President Bush - prompted Democrats this week to question the propriety of allowing O'Dell's company to calculate votes in the 2004 presidential election. - TVNL Comment: This is completely outrageous and it should rais alarms all over the world! There is nothing easier to do than manipulate computer data. One single bit change can reverse an entire election result and now you have the maker of the computer voting machines openly promising to help deliver an election to the Bush/PNAC administration! THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!!!
What was known about post-9/11 air - Inspector general says White House changed EPA statements about safety at Ground Zero - CHANGED PRESS RELEASES : So what happened? Tinsley’s report charges, in the crucial days after 9/11, the White House changed EPA press releases to “add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones.” Sept. 13: The EPA draft release — never released to the public — said: EPA “testing terrorized sites for environmental hazards.” The White House changed that to EPA “reassures public about environmental hazards.” Sept. 16: The EPA draft said: “Recent samples of dust ... on Water Street show higher levels of asbestos.” - The White House version: “New samples confirm ... ambient air quality meets OSHA [government] standards” ... and “is not a cause for public concern.” - And the White House left out entirely the warning “that air samples raise concerns for cleanup workers and office workers near Water St.” - TVNL Comment: The “workers” that they are speaking of are the same workers that Bush used for a photo op!
Greenpeace obtains smoking-gun memo: White House/Exxon link - Conservative front group may have thanked White House for help in suing EPA - Did conservative elements in the White House provoke an Exxon front group to sue EPA to suppress a report on climate change? That's the question that two State Attorney Generals have asked US Attorney General John Ashcroft to investigate, after Greenpeace uncovered a routine email in a Freedom of Information Act request.
Bush covers up climate research - White House officials play down its own scientists' evidence of global warming - White House officials have undermined their own government scientists' research into climate change to play down the impact of global warming - Central to the revelations of double dealing is the discovery of an email sent to Phil Cooney, chief of staff at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, by Myron Ebell, a director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). The CEI is an ultra-conservative lobby group that has received more than $1 million in donations since 1998 from the oil giant Exxon, which sells Esso petrol in Britain. - The email discusses possible tactics for playing down the report and getting rid of EPA officials, including its then head, Christine Whitman. 'It seems to me that the folks at the EPA are the obvious fall guys and we would only hope that the fall guy (or gal) should be as high up as possible,' Ebell wrote in the email. 'Perhaps tomorrow we will call for Whitman to be fired,' he added.
TWO YEARS LATER - Bush Cites 9/11 On All Manner Of Questions - In the past six weeks, Bush has cited "9/11" or Sept. 11, 2001, in arguing for his energy policy and in response to questions about campaign fundraising, tax cuts, unemployment, the deficit, airport security, Afghanistan and the length, cost and death toll of the Iraq occupation. - TVNL Comment: As we said, 9/11 was the BUSH/PNAC excuse/justification/free ticket for proceeding with their radical agenda.
An Undiplomatic Display - State Department types were taken aback last week to find that a longtime diplomatic photo exhibit along a busy corridor to the cafeteria had been taken down. The two dozen mostly grainy black and white shots were a historic progression of great diplomatic moments, sources recalled.- And what was put up in their place? What else? A George W. Bush family album montage of 21 large photos of the president as diplomat. - TVNL Comment: This is simply embarrassing!
Bush steps up fight against European safety testing - President George Bush is mounting an intensive campaign to force European countries to drop safety tests expected to save thousands of lives each year - The documents - which include diplomatic cables signed by the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell - show that the Bush administration has threatened Europe with trade sanctions if it goes ahead with the tests, which are designed to protect workers and the public from highly toxic chemicals. - The tests are designed to identify the most dangerous chemicals threatening Europeans, including cancer-causing and "gender-bender" substances, so that they can be controlled.
CIA seeks probe of White House - Agency asks Justice to investigate leak of employee’s identity - The CIA has asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations that the White House broke federal laws by revealing the identity of one of its undercover employees in retaliation against the woman’s husband, a former ambassador who publicly criticized President Bush’s since-discredited claim that Iraq had sought weapons-grade uranium from Africa, NBC News has learned.
Bush Administration Is Focus of Inquiry - CIA Agent's Identity Was Leaked to Media - Yesterday, a senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife. Wilson had just revealed that the CIA had sent him to Niger last year to look into the uranium claim and that he had found no evidence to back up the charge. Wilson's account touched off a political fracas over Bush's use of intelligence as he made the case for attacking Iraq. - "Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge," the senior official said of the alleged leak. - Sources familiar with the conversations said the leakers were seeking to undercut Wilson's credibility.
The Truth is Puttin’ on its Shoes: An Inquiry Into the "Innocent" Mr. Rove - Rove’s temper has always been his weak spot. He cannot seem to control his anger. When Ambassador Joseph Wilson wrote in the New York Times that there was no truth to the allegations that Iraq had tried to purchase yellowcake uranium from Niger, Rove is said to have gone "ballistic." No one who has known Rove for any period of time doubts that Rove was the one who orchestrated the leak, which "outed" Ambassador Wilson’s wife as a CIA agent. Rove has always made sure that his enemies knew he will strike back, and swing with deadly power.
IN THE SHADOWS - Terence Smith gets two expert views on what journalists' obligations are to both their sources and the public. - LARRY JOHNSON: Let's be very clear about what happened. This is not an alleged abuse. This is a confirmed abuse. I worked with this woman. She started training with me. She has been undercover for three decades, she is not as Bob Novak suggested a CIA analyst. But given that, I was a CIA analyst for four years. I was undercover. I could not divulge to my family outside of my wife that I worked for the Central Intelligence Agency until I left the agency on September 30, 1989. At that point I could admit it.
'Slime and Defend' - By PAUL KRUGMAN - An outraged President Bush immediately demanded the names of those responsible for exposing Ms. Plame. He repeated his father's statement that "those who betray the trust by exposing the names of our sources" are "the most insidious of traitors." There are limits to politics, Mr. Bush declared; Mr. Wilson's decision to go public about his mission had embarrassed him, but that was no excuse for actions that were both felonious and unpatriotic. - Everything in the previous paragraph is, of course, false. It's what should have happened, but didn't. Mr. Bush took no action after the Novak column. Before we get bogged down in the details which is what the administration hopes will happen — let's be clear: we already know what the president knew, and when he knew it. Mr. Bush knew, 11 weeks ago, that some of his senior aides had done something utterly inexcusable. But as long as the media were willing to let the story lie — which, with a few honorable exceptions, like David Corn at The Nation and Knut Royce and Timothy Phelps at Newsday, they were he didn't think this outrage required any action.
Congressman John Conyers Writes a Letter to Karl Rove Asking Him to Resign - Representative John Conyers, Jr., the Ranking Member, on the House Judiciary Committee sent the following letter to Senior White House Advisor, Karl Rove, asking for his resignation: - I write to ask you to resign from the White House staff. Recent press reports have indicated that, while you may or may not have been the source of the Robert Novak column which revealed the status and name of a covert operative, the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson, you were involved in a subsequent effort to push this classified information to other reporters and give it even wider currency. This itself may be a federal crime, but regardless of that fact, your actions are morally indefensible.
CIA source 'may not be found' - President George Bush has said he does not know whether federal investigators will ever find who leaked the identity of a CIA agent. - TVNL Comment: Bush can charge that Iraq will be defeated, the Taliban will be defeated, Saddam will be captured or killed, Osama will be captured or killed, but he claims that he doubts that a rat in his own pack can be found!
Special prosecutor needed for CIA leak - The first President Bush, himself a former CIA director, understandably described the people who reveal such secrets as "the most insidious of traitors." - The investigation into such a serious offense must be done thoroughly, professionally, and above all, credibly. Because of the extraordinary conflicts of interest in this case, even the Justice Department's talented career prosecutors cannot fulfill the latter requirement so long as they answer directly to a White House appointee. Ashcroft is President Bush's friend and political ally. He is Karl Rove's former client and works hand in hand with White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales.
Probe Focuses on Month Before Leak to Reporters - FBI Agents Tracing Linkage of Envoy to CIA Operative - One reason investigators are looking back is that even before Novak's column appeared, government officials had been trying for more than a month to convince journalists that Wilson's mission was not as important as it was being portrayed. Wilson concluded during the 2002 mission that there was no solid evidence for the administration's assertion that Iraq was trying to acquire uranium in Niger to develop nuclear weapons, and he angered the White House when he became an outspoken critic of the war.
Exposed: The Wilson Affair - Detailed Timeline
13 of 16 Bush Cabinet Members Have Ties to 'Class Action' Targeted Companies - A new report, "Class Action Cabinet," released today by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) shows that 13 of 16 Bush Cabinet members have been employed by, served on the board of, or have significant financial interest in corporations that have been targeted by consumer class-action lawsuits. - Condoleeza Rice and Andrew Card, top advisors to President Bush, though not part of the Cabinet, were also found to have ties to companies targeted by class action lawsuits as was President Bush himself.
Naming of agent 'was aimed at discrediting CIA' - The Bush administration's exposure of a clandestine Central Intelligence Agency operative was part of a campaign aimed at discrediting US intelligence agencies for not supporting White House claims that Saddam Hussein was reconstituting Iraq's nuclear weapons programme, former agency officials said yesterday.
The BushCo-de of Ethics - Honesty, integrity, and morality were the first three casualties of this terminally corrupt Administration’s war on all domestic and international progress.
Mine Safety Official Critical of Policies Faces Firing - The Bush administration has notified a mine safety official who has sharply criticized federal mining policies that it intends to fire him, according to documents and the official's lawyers. - The official, Jack Spadaro, the superintendent of the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beckley, W.Va., has been an outspoken critic of a federal investigation into a huge spill of coal sludge in eastern Kentucky three years ago. - Mr. Spadaro accused political appointees in the Mine Safety and Health Administration of cutting the investigation short, playing down the coal company's culpability and not holding federal regulators accountable for weak oversight. - Mr. Spadaro has also raised questions about no-bid contracts that he contends were awarded to friends and former business associates of David D. Lauriski, the assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health, and other senior mine safety officials.
Documents: Neil Bush has Contract With Chinese - President's brother has agreed to strategize with chip manufacturing firm at the same time the Bush administration is trying to help U.S. firms compete more effectively - "There's certainly the appearance of influence being sought," said Charles W. McMillion, a Washington business consultant who advised a congressional commission on U.S.-China policy. "If nothing else, it doesn't look good."
'Evidence' for Link Is Administration Ploy - But the leak and publication of the Feith memo, which selectively presented a few dozen raw intelligence items plucked from more than a decade of debriefings by national and foreign intelligence agencies, not only shows a certain desperation on the part of the administration to shore up support for the occupation, but it also fits squarely into the cynical pattern of abusing Americans' trust we have seen since 9/11. That, you will remember, was when the administration made the calculated political decision to exploit American anger and grief as the launching pad for an unrelated and extremely reckless foreign policy hatched up in a pair of right-wing think tanks.
Bush Baghdad trip distracts media from black sheep brother - But the sight of the President serving Thanksgiving turkey to the troops has also served to overshadow - at least for the moment - a catalogue of potential political embarrassments created by his younger brother. Neil Bush caused trouble for their father, President Bush the first, more than a decade ago because of his role in the collapse of a savings and loan company that ended up costing American taxpayers $1.3bn (£750m). Now he is in trouble again, largely as a result of the startling revelations from a highly acrimonious divorce. - Potentially more damaging revelations - certainly for the Oval Office - concern business rather than pleasure, and the strong impression that Neil might have taken brazen advantage of his membership of America's most powerful political family to make a killing on business deals.
Big money subverts democracy, Timken tells $2,000 donors - Hosting a $2,000-per-person event Monday featuring Vice President Dick Cheney, Timken told an audience of Cleveland's wealthiest business and civic leaders that such money was intended to "subvert democracy" and was an "attempt to buy democracy."
Pentagon and Bogus News: All Is Denied - Early last year Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld disbanded the Pentagon's Office of Strategic Influence after it became known that the office was considering plans to provide false news items to unwitting foreign journalists to influence policymakers and public sentiment abroad.
Ever heard of Neil Bush? - Ever heard of Neil Bush? No? Well, that's not surprising. Know anything about the 1988 Silverado Savings and Loan failure in Colorado that cost taxpayers at least $1.3 billion? Never heard of it? Maybe you are too young to remember, or as a fan of the Bush family, you would rather forget. - Neil Bush is the almost invisible younger son of George and Barbara Bush. He's the black sheep of the family, the one who missed being indicted for his role in Silverado by the length of his father's presidential coat tails.
Businessmen use Bush link to win deals - Two businessmen instrumental in setting up New Bridge Strategies, a well-connected Washington firm designed to help clients win contracts in Iraq, have previously used an association with the younger brother of President George W. Bush to seek business in the Middle East, an FT investigation has found. - On several occasions, the two have attempted to exploit their association with the president's brother to help win business and investors.
Chinese mega-bucks for Bush brothers - Many observers were surprised last week when George W. Bush came down in favor of the People's Republic of China, against a democratic referendum in Taiwan. His weighing in on behalf of mainland China becomes more questionable at a time when well-connected Chinese companies are funneling large sums of money to Bush's brothers.
The Hypocrisy of Bush Investigations - It amazes me the difference in how the administration requests investigations and tries to file criminal charges to anyone that is not agreeing with their views, but how much they drag their feet to the investigations that are important to the American people, like the 9/11 case or the CIA's agent name leak
'Cold warrior' at heart of Cuba crackdown - U.S. policy toward Cuba is dominated by one man, a scandal-plagued Cold War relic who has no business being President Bush's chief adviser on Latin America. - Otto Reich. - When Bush named him assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, the choice was so unpopular Bush did it while the Senate was in recess, an acknowledgment that Reich's appointment would not be confirmed. - He first gained national attention in 1983 working at the State Department, reporting directly to Oliver North. Reich was in charge of the propaganda effort aimed at winning support for Reagan's policies supporting the Contras in Nicaragua. His office was shut down after the U.S. Comptroller General concluded it had "engaged in prohibited, covert propaganda activities," using tax dollars for illegal public relations and lobbying. - TVNL Comment: Here is another fine example of how the media protects Bush. The one thing that Bush has going for him is that the public trusts him yet he has loaded the administration with Iran Contra felons like John Poindexter and questionable characters like Reich. Ask anyone who supports Bush if they know this and they will say no. Then think about why they don’t know it. The answer...bias journalists.
Bush administration ordered Medicare plan cost estimates withheld - The government's top expert on Medicare costs was warned that he would be fired if he told key lawmakers about a series of Bush administration cost estimates that could have torpedoed congressional passage of the White House-backed Medicare prescription-drug plan.
All in the (Profiteering) First Family - Close relatives of President George W. Bush continue to benefit financially from the Iraq invasion, as revealed by sources including regulatory filings.
'One veteran's outrage: Bush and Negroponte' - Of all the people that Bush could have "nominated" to become the ambassador to Iraq, John Negroponte has got to be the worst pick imaginable. John Negroponte is just one more example of the criminals that King George has brought back into positions of authority within the body governance to serve his cabal.
Science Group Says U.S. Budget Plan Would Harm Research - The nation's largest general science group said Thursday that the Bush administration's proposed budget for the next five years could cut research financing at 21 of the 24 federal agencies that engage in it. - Among fields that would most likely be hurt, the organization said, are physics, medicine, oceanography, astronomy, geology, chemistry, psychology, biology, climatology, anthropology, ecology, mathematics, archaeology, meteorology, sociology and energy research. - TVNL Comment: When will this nation wake up and realize that the Bush/PNAC administration is killing us. They are literally endangering our lives with their policies. This is surreal!
The Reich Stuff - Veteran of the Iran/Contra scandal, apologist for terrorists, Cuba basher, bullying Latin America envoy for President Bush, and lobbyist for the alcohol, tobacco and armaments industries – Otto Juan Reich has done it all, both inside and outside of government. This week, Reich announced that next month he will be leaving his post as the White House special envoy to the Americas and joining Team Bush’s reelection campaign. While it’s too soon to know how Karl Rove and company will use him, keep your eye on Florida where Reich has longtime connections to the right-wing Cuban exile community.
Bush Flunks as a Christian - When the Bible teaches you that "In so far as it depends on you, live in peace with everyone" (Romans 12:18) then a Christian who really believes that scripture would call GeeDubya on every action that led to the Iraqi war and subsequent messes every since he flew onto that aircraft carrier a year ago and declared "Mission Accomplished"
White House Is Trumpeting Programs It Tried to Cut - But in a twist this election season, many administration officials are taking credit for spreading largess through programs that President Bush tried to eliminate or to cut sharply. - For example, Justice Department officials recently announced that they were awarding $47 million to scores of local law enforcement agencies for the hiring of police officers. Mr. Bush had just proposed cutting the budget for the program, known as Community Oriented Policing Services, by 87 percent, to $97 million next year, from $756 million. - The administration has been particularly energetic in publicizing health programs, even ones that had been scheduled for cuts or elimination. - TVNL Comment: The TV news media will never point this out, especially FOX News. FOX will promote this propaganda with verve.
How India funds Bush's campaign - Bush's campaign funds while, until recently, there was a band of more than 100 dedicated call-center executives who were handling Bush's fundraising and vote-seeking campaign for the Republican Party from the outsourcing hubs of Noida and Gurgaon, which adjoin the national capital Delhi.
The Social Security Trust Fund is Empty, Economist Says in New Book - Every penny of the $1.5 trillion generated by the 1983 Social Security tax increase is gone, says Winter Haven-based economist Dr. Allen W. Smith, who says the crime amounts to "the greatest fraud ever perpetuated on the American people." - "It's unconscionable to use payroll tax receipts from working-class - Americans to fund income tax cuts for the richest Americans," Smith says.