Friday, January 16, 2009

On January 20, The Impeachment/Prosecution Case (Bush/Cheney v. USA) Does Not Become A Cold Or Closed Case.

On January 20, The Impeachment/Prosecution Case (Bush/Cheney v. USA) 

Does Not Become A Cold Or Closed Case.


"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!"

- Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) –


The Note: Obama Pressed to Investigate Bush Era
Blago impeached for pay2play Why hasn't Bill richardson been inpeached also. Posted by: who says what | Jan 16, 2009 10:47:53 AM. Don: "Does our Constitution not concern any of you at all? Bush and Cheney swore an oath and they ...
The Note -


The Free Speech Zone:: ImpeachmentWatch Day 221-224 (2009-01-16 ...
ADS - The calls for a reckoning for the criminals of the Bush/Cheney administration are growing by the day, as the final few days of the Bush presidency tick down, and as new evidence of their crimes keep pouring out of the deflating ...
The Free Speech Zone - Front Page -


Obama and Congress Must Act to Restore the Constitution ...
executive” power as commander in chief—was impeachment, but with Bush and Cheney about to leave office, that is probably a lost cause. (Certainly the two men could still be impeached, as impeachment itself ... - The Aggressive... -


Earl Ofari Hutchinson: Holder Can't Prosecute Bush Abuses Too Many ...
When word leaked out about the scope and complexity of the warrantless wiretap program before the 2006 midterm elections Congressional Democrats not only did nothing about it, they aided and abetted the Bush administration in the ...
The Huffington Post Full Blog Feed -


Krugman: Without Bush Era Investigations, Political Heirs Will ...
Impeachment should have been done to keep future presidents from having the power that Bush andCheney took. Since it wasn't done, it is Obama's moral responsibility to prosecute. As someone with a law degree, Obama should understand ...
Politics on -


Nørse Berserker: Prosecuting Bush and Cheney
By JD 
... and his overall assertion of “unitary executive” power as commander in chief—was impeachment, but with Bush and Cheney about to leave office, that is probably a lost cause. (Certainly the two men could still be impeached, ...
Nørse Berserker -


Absolutely Pathetic AP Headline: 'Bush address includes laundry ...
As with most people who think President Bush broke the law and should have been impeached or as you say put into chains. Please list his crimes. Not even the extreme left in the House and Senate have isted them. So please enlighten us. ... - Exposing Liberal... -


Conyers: Bush's dark side
Arizona Republic - Phoenix,AZ,USA
16, 2009 10:40 AM This week, I released "Reining in the Imperial Presidency," a 486-page report detailing the abuses and excesses of the Bush administration ...
See all stories on this topic


Alan Dershowitz: Another Good Reason for Not Prosecuting the "Bushies"
There is no statute of limitations on impeachment. It can be done after Bush and Cheney leave office, and should be done in order to keep future presidents from having the imperial powers that Bush took....
The Blog -


Bush terrifies Americans in last speech
The major (and possibly only) threat to America is Bush, Cheney, their neocon whacko buddies and our out-of-control government. If Obama does not place these criminals under arrest and prosecute them for crimes and warcrimes, ...
Alex Jones' Prison -


Bush's State of Denial Address | Capitol Hill Blue
Bush and Cheney ignored intelligence that did not support their assumptions about weapons of mass destruction, invented a false tie between Iraq and al Qaeda and broke a long-standing American rule that this nation did not invade other ...
Capitol Hill Blue - Because nobody's... -


The Rag Blog: Federal Judge : Search E-Mails of Bush Apointees
By The Rag 
The dispute was provoked by the disclosure three years ago that the White House, in switching to a new internal e-mail system shortly after Bush's election, abandoned an automatic archiving system meant to preserve all messages ...
The Rag Blog -


Political Waves » The definition of insanity
The election of George W. Bush finally gave them the ability to combine the power of the presidency with their control of Congress to make their program the law of the land. Ironically, their very success may assure that George W. Bush ...
Political Waves -


Yahoo! 360° - RonMamita's Room: plz post comment; ENJOY! - Bush is ...
Instead of placing blame for Israel's war on and siege of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on the victims, Members of Congress should join with Rep. Dennis Kucinich in demanding from the Secretary of State an investigation into ...
RonMamita's Room: plz post comment;... -



Open Left:: Tom Udall, Mark Udall, Jeff Merkley - and What the ...
we're not supposed to just trust to the benevolence of the president to do the right thing. That's why we have a Congress. Otherwise, we might as well dispense with elections altogether and just crown a king. ...
Open Left - Quick Hits's RSS Feed -


What Bush Left Out of His Flat Farewell  |  David Corn

Posted January 15, 2009 | 11:32 PM (EST)


George W. Bush gave his final speech to the nation on Thursday night. I skipped it to see my daughter, who has known no other president, perform with her school chorus. But when I later sat before my television to see how the speech was being punditized on the cable news shows, I was surprised. The water-landing of a US Airways flight in New York City dominated the coverage. There was little chatter--almost nothing--about Bush's farewell.


After watching the speech on the White House website, I understood why. It was flat and short. Bush said little of interest. He dwelled mostly on 9/11 and the so-called war on terror, once again (and for the last official time) characterizing the invasion of Iraq as part of his effort to take "the fight to the terrorists." He suggested that although the Iraq war was the subject of "legitimate debate," there "can be little debate about the results. America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil."


Was the nation's safety ensured because Bush invaded Iraq and did not finish the fight in Afghanistan? No doubt, he and his ever-dwindling band of defenders will continue to insist that it is so--just as a rooster might insist there is a connection between his crowing and the rising of the sun. And Bush defended himself for having been "willing to make the tough decisions"--as if making hard choices is the same as making wise ones.


For most of the 13 minutes he spoke, Bush offered surface-level observations. He provided one quote, noting that President Thomas Jefferson once remarked, "I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past." It's no wonder Bush fancies this line. Given that he is passing to Barack Obama a country burdened with two unresolved wars and an economy in severe decline, Bush certainly would rather look forward (and hope his now unpopular presidency comes to be seen in better terms down the road) than face the present-day consequences of his actions and inaction.


Ernest Hemingway, I believe, once observed that what one doesn't put on the page is as important as what one does. And what Bush did not discuss in his farewell address also defines his presidency. Here is a partial list:


* Climate change
* China
* Russia
* North Korea
* Iran
* Pakistan
* Osama bin Laden
* Nuclear weapons
* Poverty
* Health insurance
* Foreclosures
* Housing
* Guantanamo
* National debt
* Budget deficit
* Trade deficit
* Wall Street
* Financial regulation
* Dow Jones
* Retirement security
* Social Security
* Medicaid
* Energy
* Immigration
* Automobile industry
* Housing
* Subprime credit
* Wages
* Jobs

What else is there to say? In the end, after eight long and traumatic years, Bush did not have much to tell us. Who wouldn't rather watch a miracle airplane landing than a failure saying goodbye?

This was first posted at You can follow my postings and appearances via Twitter by clicking here.

Bush's Farewell Address: Still Delusional After All These Years

It's easy to feel a pang of pity for a guy heading out the door. But the more sympathy he evokes, the more susceptible we are to the lies he is telling.


You're No Harry Truman

In his speech to the nation Thursday evening, President George Bush defiantly asserted his list of accomplishments during his eight years in office. But there...


Camus Cafe Political Coffee House: If Bush And Cheney Leave Office ...
By Ed. Dickau
House Judiciary Committee Decides It's Time To Investigate Bush ... American Chronicle - Beverly Hills,CA,USA The report addresses Bush administration policies that include interrogation ... Impeachment resolutions were introduced by ...
Camus Cafe Political Coffee House -


Obama’s Cheney Dilemma |

Cheney pushed for expanded presidential powers. Now that he's leaving, what will come of his efforts? The new president won't have to wait long to tip his hand.

Send Your Opinion Of This Article To Newsweek here!


Cease Fire Now! End the Siege!


Call Congress | Don't stop at the phone: Email them too! | Tell Obama:

Almost three weeks into "Operation Cast Lead," we call once more on Jews and others to speak out for a cease fire and against the siege of Gaza.


At Jewish Voice for Peace, we echo the report issued on January 14 by 9 Israeli human rights organizations: Israel's military operations in Gaza pose a "clear and present danger to the lives and well-being of tens of thousands of civilians." In Gaza, "the level of harm to the civilian population is unprecedented" while "military forces are making wanton use of lethal force." 


We condemn Israel's assault on Gaza. As of today , more than 1,000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli assault, including at least 335 children and many more civilians. Nearly 5,000 have been wounded, many paralyzed for life. Tens of thousands have fled their homes - but Gaza is entirely sealed off, so there is nowhere to hide, no safe haven for civilians, no escape corridor for civilians to flee the air, sea and land attacks. Electricity and running water are scarce, the health system has collapsed and sewage is running through the streets in some areas. Inside of Israel, rockets continue to rain down, hitting population centers like Beer Sheba and Ashkelon and causing widespread fear.


We condemn these ongoing rocket attacks, which indiscriminately target civilians. 13 Israelis have been killed, 3 of them civilians, with over 82 civilians injured.


Jewish Voice for Peace:

* Calls on all Americans to support Rep. Dennis Kucinich's resolution calling for an "immediate and unconditional ceasefire" and "unrestricted humanitarian access" to Gaza. Call your congressperson or write them today.


* Joins the call from Human Rights Watch (and others) for Israel to stop using white phosphorous, an incendiary tool permissable in the laws of war as an "obscurant" - but when used in densely populated Gaza, causes widespread, horrific burning of the skin.


* Demands an end to the vicious siege on Gaza, which brought the population to the brink of humanitarian disaster with extreme shortages of food, water, fuel and medical supplies.


* Calls for an end to the 41 years of occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, including an immediate end to the ongoing expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Only when Palestinians and Israelis are both equally free to decide their own sovereignty will there be peace. 


One bright spot in the midst of this terrible darkness is the explosion of dissent in all corners of the globe. We are especially moved by the Israelis who refuse to fall in line with the drumbeat of war: those like Nomika Zion in southern Gaza who, despite living terrified under rocket fire, stand up to say "Not in my name...The bloodbath in Gaza is not in my name nor for my security." or the group "Other Voice", made up of Israelis living under the threat of qassams, who call for Israel to end the attack and strike a truce with Hamas.


We are inspired by those Israeli soldiers who refuse to fight this civilian population, some of whom are already in jail for their refusal; those Israelis who gather every week to demand their country halt its assault and end the siege, or protest everyday at countless intersections throughout the country; and especially those Israelis who stand outside Sde Dov airforce base in Tel Aviv every morning to remind the pilots that every day they drop their bombs, they drop them on civilians


In North America, we are inspired by the thousands of people who have gone into the streets for protests, in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and elsewhere, and especially the Jewish women who held a sit-in the Israeli consulate in Toronto, telling the Israeli authorities that "we'll end our occupation when you end yours."


And we are motivated by the tens of thousands who have signed petitions and sent letters calling for Congress to work for an immediate ceasefire and end the siege, and by the tens of thousands who have signed up on JVP's email list and sent thank-you letters to Jon Stewart ( We are hopeful that more journalists and op-ed page editors will tell the truth about Gaza and Israel (here are examples from the Washington Postand the Wall Street Journal.)


And we are grateful to our friends at Jewish Peace News for bringing us insightful analysis and timely reports on dissent against the war.


Does Obama See the U.S. as Long-Term Guarantor of Iraqi Stability? If So, For How Long -- And Why?
By Robert Dreyfuss, The Nation
When it comes to Iraq, Obama is in full control. But drawing down combat forces is only half the story. Read more »


Obama, Like Bush, Ignores Iraqi Will at His Own Peril
By Eric Stoner, Foreign Policy in Focus
In discussing his plans for the Iraq War, one group that Obama seldom, if ever, mentioned was the Iraqi people. Read more »


Without a Change of Course, Afghanistan Will Become the U.S.' Next Great Disaster in 2009
By Bill Scheurer, AlterNet
What if we took a radically different approach to war and peace? Read more »

Kerry Fears Afghanistan War Turning into Another Vietnam
By DJK, Brave New Films
Voicing concern during Hillary Clinton's Secretary of State confirmation hearing. Read more »


What a Cheesy 1980s Teen-Flick Can Teach Us About the Bush Doctrine
By Brad Reed, AlterNet
From rejecting diplomacy to abusing prisoners to disdaining Europe, "Red Dawn" offers a blueprint for the Bush years. Read more »


Afghanistan II: the Sequel We (and the Afghans) Don't Need
By DJK, Brave New Films
Haven't we seen this movie before? Read more »


Haven't we seen this movie before?



The 43 Who Helped Make Bush The Worst Ever


Thanks to the folks who write The Progress Report for compiling this list of GwB's Worst Cronies before he exits the White House. Is there any doubt he must be Impeached? It's not too late for the US House to file charges, naming all who can cover for him, including these 43, so that he cannot legally pardon them according to Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution, compounding his ongoing list of horrors. 


Next week, "change is coming to America," as President George W. Bush wraps up his tenure as one of the worst American presidents ever. He wasn't able to accomplish such an ignominious feat all by himself, however; he had a great deal of help along the way. The Progress Report heralds the conclusion of the Bush 43 presidency by bringing you our list of the top 43 worst Bush appointees. Did we miss anyone? Who should have been ranked higher? Let us know what you think.

1. Dick Cheney -- The worst Dick since Nixon. The man who shot his friend while in office. The "most powerful and controversial vice president." Until he got the job, people used to actually think it was a bad thing that the vice presidency has historically been a do-nothing position. Asked by PBS's Jim Lehrer about why people hate him, Cheney rejected the premise, saying, "I don't buy that." His top placement in our survey says otherwise. 

2. Karl Rove -- There wasn't a scandal in the Bush administration that Rove didn't have his fingerprints all over -- see PlameIraq war deceptionGov. Don Siegelman,U.S. Attorney firingsmissing e-mails, and more. As senior political adviser and later as deputy chief of staff, "The Architect" was responsible for politicizing nearly every agency of the federal government.

3. Alberto Gonzales
 -- Fundamentally dishonest and woefully incompetent, Gonzales was involved in a series of scandals, first as White House counsel and then as Attorney General. Some of the most notable: pressuring a "feeble" and "barely articulate" Attorney General Ashcroft at his hospital bedside to sign off on Bush's illegal wiretapping program; approving waterboarding and other torture techniques to be used against detainees; and leading the firing of U.S. Attorneys deemed not sufficiently loyal to Bush. 

4. Donald Rumsfeld -- After winning praise for leading the U.S. effort in ousting the Taliban from Afghanistan in 2001, the former Defense Secretary strongly advocated for the invasion of Iraq and then grossly misjudged and mishandled its aftermath. Rumsfeld is also responsible for authorizing the use of torture against terror detainees in U.S. custody; according to a bipartisan Senate report, Rumsfeld "conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment for detainees." 

5. Michael Brown -- This former commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association was appointed by Bush to head FEMA in 2003. After Katrina made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, Brownie promptly did a "heck of a jobbungling the government's relief efforts, and was sent back to Washington a few days later. He was forced to resign shortly thereafter.

6. Paul Wolfowitz -- As Deputy Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2005, Wolfowitz was one of the primary architects of the Iraq war, arguing for the invasion as early as Sept. 15, 2001. Testifying before Congress in February 2003, Wolfowitz said that it was "hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself." Wolfowitz eventually admitted that "for bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction," as a justification for war, "because it was the one reason everyone [in the administration] could agree on."

7. David Addington -- "Cheney's Cheney" was the "most powerful man you've never heard of." As the leader of Bush's legal team and Cheney's chief of staff, Addington was the biggest proponent of some of Bush's most notorious legal abuses, such astorture and warrantless surveillance, and is a loyal follower of the so-called unitary executive theory.

8. Stephen Johnson
 -- The "Alberto Gonzales of the environment," EPA Administrator Johnson subverted the agency's mission at the behest of the White House andcorporate interestssuppressing staff recommendations on pesticides, mercurylead paintsmog, and global warming

9. Douglas Feith -- Undersecretary of Defense for Policy from 2001-2005, Feith headed up the notorious Office of Special Plans, an in-house Pentagon intelligence shop devised by Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz to produce intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq. A subsequent investigation by the Pentagon's Inspector General found the OSP's work produced "conclusions that were not fully supported by the available intelligence."

10. John Bolton -- As Undersecretary of State, Bolton offered a strong voice in favor of invading Iraq and pushed for the U.S. to disengage from the International Criminal Court and key international arms control agreements. A recess appointment landed Bolton the job of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, despite his stringentanimosity toward the world body. Today, he spends his time calling for war with Iran

11. John Yoo -- As a lawyer for the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, Yoo authored a series of legal memos giving military interrogators authority to use torture and coercive techniques when interviewing terrorist suspects. Yoo said that only those techniques that inflict pain equivalent to "death, organ failure or permanent damage resulting in a loss of significant body functions" constitute torture. Last year, he refused to answer whether or not the president could order a detainee to be buried alive.

12. Ari Fleischer -- Bush's first press secretary helped redefine the role as that of liar-in-chief rather than informer of the public, earning a reputation as "the world's most dishonest flack." Whereas his successors sometimes looked uncomfortable lying, Fleischer was having fun, spinning a cowed and gullible press corps through two massive tax cuts and the initiation of a war undertaken on false pretenses.

13. John Ashcroft -- In 2003, as Bush's first Attorney General, Ashcroft approved waterboarding and other torture techniques on detainees. Ashcroft's nomination was controversial, as he had a history of opposing school desegregation. The chiefarchitect of the invasive Patriot Act, Ashcroft maintains to this day that Bush is "among the most respectful of all leaders ever" of civil liberties.

14. Henry Paulson -- Even as the financial system was crashing down around him, Treasury Secretary Paulson insisted for months that the banking system was "safe and sound." Once he decided that the economy needed saving, Paulson requested nearlyunfettered authority to send billions of taxpayer dollars to banks with no oversight.

15. L. Paul Bremer -- This Presidential Medal of Freedom winner took over the Coalition Provisional Authority in May 2003. Under his mismanagement, the insurgency exploded in Iraq. Bremer claimed he had all the troops he needed to secure the country, overestimated the strength of the new U.S.-trained Iraqi army,disbanded the Iraqi army leaving thousands of Iraqi soldiers with no income and no occupation, and enacted a de-Baathification law that barred many experienced Iraqis from government positions.

16. Bradley Schlozman -- As a recent DOJ Inspector General reportdemonstrates, Schlozman was a central figure in Bush's politicization of the Justice Department. Violating civil service laws, Schlozman used political and ideological considerations to ensure that only "right-thinking Americans" received jobs. He eventually lied to Congress about his efforts.

17. J. Steven Griles -- A former energy lobbyist and no. 2 official in the Interior Department, Griles went to jail for lying to Congress about illegal favors he did for corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Griles also abused his position "to unlock nearly every legal barrier to exploitation" of our nation's oil and mineral reserves. Before his conviction, Griles left the White House to become a lobbyist for ConocoPhillips.

18. Condoleezza Rice -- As Bush's national security adviser, Rice was another strong advocate for invading Iraq, once famously warning that the U.S. should attack Iraq and not wait for solid proof of its WMD because "we don't want the smoking gun to be amushroom cloud."  Rice also ignored an urgent warning from the CIA before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that a strike inside the U.S. was imminent. 

19. Scooter Libby -- Cheney's former chief of staff was a key player in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame as part of the Bush administration's quest to punish Plame's husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, for publishing an op-ed debunking one of the White House's main justifications for invading Iraq. Libby was ultimately convicted of perjury and obstructing justice in a federal investigation into Plame's outing but later had his 30-month prison sentence commuted by Bush

20. Monica Goodling
 -- Goodling was the most notorious graduate of Pat Robertson's Regent University during her tenure in the Justice Department. As the White House liaison at the DOJ, she based the department's hiring of candidates on their sexual preference, GOP loyalty, and adherence to conservative ideology.

21. Alphonso Jackson
 -- As Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Jackson let the U.S. housing market crumble while he was busy giving lucrative contracts to his golfing buddies, retaliating against Bush critics, and erecting giant photo homages to himself.

22. Michael Hayden -- As director of the National Security Agency, Hayden ran Bush'swarrantless wiretapping program and misled Congress about the program's legality. After moving to the CIA, he dismissed the destruction of evidence implicating the CIA in torture as "in line with the law."

23. Lurita Doan --  The former head of the General Services Administration (GSA)who doled out a no-bid contract to a friend, Doan famously hosted a meeting of White House political operatives where she asked how GSA employees could "help 'our candidates' in the next election." After the Office of Special Counsel called for her firing, she was forced to resign at the request of the White House.

24. Gale Norton -- A former industry lobbyist and Bush's first Secretary of the Interior, Norton pushed a radical ideological agenda "through regulatory rollbacks, suppression of science, preferential treatment, and collusion with industry" -- includingdoctoring scientific findings on the impacts of oil drilling on caribou. After resigning under the cloud of ties to Jack Abramoff, she joined  Shell Oil.

25. Lester Crawford -- After promising to act on the morning-after contraceptive pill during his confirmation hearings, the former FDA Commissioner "indefinitely postponed nonprescription sales of emergency contraception over the objections of staff scientists who had declared the pill safe." Crawford resigned after just two months on the job and later pleaded guilty "to charges that he hid his ownership of stock in food and drug companies that his agency regulated." 

26. Harriet Miers -- Well-known for being Bush's failed Supreme Court nominee, Miers also thought it was "important" to her as White House Counsel that Rove protege Tim Griffin was installed as a U.S. Attorney, making her a central figure in the U.S. Attorney scandal. She is said to have called Bush "the most brilliant man she had ever met." 

27. Hans Von Spakovsky -- Originally a political appointee in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, Spakovsky "injected partisan political factors into decision-making" and used every opportunity "to make it difficult for voters -- poor, minority and Democratic -- to go to the polls." In 2008, Spakovsky withdrew his name from consideration for the FEC, following months of opposition from lawmakers and civil rights groups.

28. Tommy Franks -- As head of U.S. Central Command from 2000 to 2003, Franks oversaw Osama bin Laden's great escape from Afghanistan, gave orders for the stabilization of Iraq via PowerPoint, assumed that the U.S. would draw down to 25,000 troops by the end of 2004, and had American soldiers stand idly by as chaos and lawlessness took hold after the invasion.

29. Thomas Scully -- As chief administrator for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Scully was the White House's head negotiator on the Medicare prescription drug bill. Scully threatened to fire chief actuary Richard Foster if he revealed that Bush's Medicare Part D legislation "would cost 25% to 50% more than the Bush administration's public estimates." 

30. Julie MacDonald -- A top Interior Department appointee, MacDonald "interjected herself personally and profoundly" and "tainted nearly every decision made on the protection of endangered species" over a five-year period, intimidating the staff with "abrupt and abrasive, if not abusive" tactics. MacDonald also leaked government documents to a young acquaintance whom she met while playing "internet role-playing games."

31. William Haynes -- As the former general counsel at the Defense Department, he was part of a five-person team of high-level administration lawyers, dubbed the "War Council," that tossed the Geneva Conventions aside and hatched out the legal framework for torture in secret meetings.

32. David Safavian -- Safavian was (twice) tried and convicted for his role in the jack Abramoff scandal. Safavian was found guilty of "lying and obstructing justice" in an attempt to cover-up "his many efforts to assist Abramoff in acquiring two properties controlled by the GSA." 

33. James Connaughton -- As chairman of the White House Council of Environmental Quality, Connaughton wrote EPA press releases downplaying the danger of the air quality in lower Manhattan following 9/11. "A former lobbyist for utilities, mining, chemical, and other industrial polluters," Connaughton insisted "there's a lot of disagreement" about humans' impact on global warming, and he touted a bogus studypurporting to show that the 20th century was not unusually warm.

34. William Luti
 -- A former Navy officer and Cheney aide, Luti was dispatched to the Pentagon in 2001 to work underneath Feith to find "evidence" to support his boss's belief in conspiracy theories linking Saddam to al Qaeda. Luti was an integral component of Cheney's campaign to pressure intelligence professionals to conform their judgments to administration policy rather than reality.

35. Susan Orr -- As Assistant Deputy Secretary for Population Affairs, this former Family Research Council official oversaw funding for the only federal program that provided contraceptive services to low-income Americans. Orr cheered Bush's anti-contraception record, saying, "Fertility is not a disease. It's not a medical necessity that you have [contraception]." 

36. Christopher Cox -- Under Chairman Cox, the Securities and Exchange Commission censored internal reports showing that it ignored critical signs pointing to Wall Street's meltdown. Cox's SEC also failed to detect Bernie Madoff's $50 billion Ponzi scheme, despite a decade of warnings.

37. Elliott Abrams -- An Iran-Contra convict pardoned by Bush 41, Abrams was named by Bush 43 as the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Democracy, Human Rights, and International Operations. As a founding Project for a New American Century signatory and a staunchly pro-Israel neoconservative, Abrams supported expanding Israel's 2006 bombing of Lebanon into Syria and advocated a Fatah coup after Hamas won the February 2006 Palestinian elections.

38. Philip Cooney -- A former oil lobbyist who served as chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Cooney doctored climate reports to "soften" words and phrases linking greenhouse gas emissions to global warming. After his political interference was revealed, Cooney left the White House to become a lobbyist for Exxon.

39. Colin Powell -- Though Bush called him "an American hero" when he appointed him to be the first African-American Secretary of State, Powell placed an ugly "blot" on his record when he pushed the Bush administration's faulty case for the Iraq war in aspeech to the U.N. on Feb.5, 2003, using inaccurate information. Liberal hawks and the media rallied around Powell's false case, calling it the "winning hand" for war.

40. Elaine Chao -- The Labor Secretary made it through all eight years of the Bush administration, driving morale at the Labor Department so low that staffers threw a "good-riddance party" to cheer her departure. She leaves behind a "deeply troubled department" that "spent eight years attacking workers' rights, strong workplace health and safety rules, and unions while they carried the water for Big Business." 

41. Julie Myers -- After being hired as head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement based on little more than her personal connections, Myers made herself famous by awarding "Most Original Costume" to an employee who dressed up in blackface and a prison costume for Halloween. She was also heavily criticized for conductingpolitically-motivated immigration raids.

42. Wade Horn -- As Assistant Secretary for Community Initiatives at the Department of Health and Human Services, Horn funneled millions of tax-payer dollars into right-wing abstinence-only programs. Shortly before he resigned, it was revealed that he had given nearly $1 million "to the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), where he was thepresident for at least three years until joining the Bush administration in 2001." 

43. George Deutsch -- As a young, inexperienced press officer for NASA, Deutsch "told public affairs workers to limit reporters' access to a top climate scientist and told a Web designer to add the word 'theory' at every mention of the Big Bang." He resigned in 2006 after it was discovered he had lied on his resume, falsely claiming that he had a journalism degree from Texas A&M. 

Dishonorable Mentions: Bush appointees who didn't quite make the list included achild pornography aficionado, a patron of hookers, a shoplifter, a mail fraudster, an operator of an illegal horse gambling ring, and a CIA official who took bribes in the form of prostitutes.


The Moral Dead Zone


“Mr. Ban said too many people had died and there had been too much civilian suffering.”


That almost bears repeating, but I won’t because I don’t believe it. Too many? In the moral dead zone of the human heart, perennially justified as “war” (evoking honor, triumph, glory), there’s no such thing as too much suffering. There’s no bleeding child or shattered family or contaminated water supply that can’t be overlooked in the name of some great goal or strategic advantage, or converted to fodder for the next round of hatred, revenge and arms purchase.


Ban Ki-Moon, the U.N. secretary general, about to embark on a peace and diplomacy tour of the Middle East, was speaking, of course, about the hellish conditions in the Gaza Strip, pummeled by Israel with modern weaponry and Old Testament fury for the last three weeks. Vengeance is mine, sayeth the coalition government. Close to a thousand have died. Many more thousands have been injured or displaced. Too many?


No. Not even close. If too many had died — if hell had reached its capacity, or some other limit had at last been achieved — something would change. The collective enterprise of human violence would convulse and start malfunctioning. Fear, perhaps, would mutate into courage, anger into forgiveness, hatred into love. Or at least we would start looking at what we’re doing . . . how do I say this? With evolved compassion? With an understanding, with a determination to survive, we now disdain and mock?


Israel’s invasion of Gaza is the world’s spotlight war right now, reaping headlines, global censure, a special endorsement from the U.S. Congress and, apparently, an audiotape hiss from Osama bin Laden, possibly from beyond the grave.


What all of these reactions do, it seems to me, is confer an unwarranted special status on the war, as though it were isolated, without a context any deeper than its accompanying propaganda. This forces us to try to understand the war strictly on its own terms — who started it? who’s the bad guy? who’s innocent? — rather than as an occurrence within a larger, dysfunctional system as deep as human history and as wide as planetary politics.



No comments:

Post a Comment

Fair Use Notice: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.