Liberalscum Buster

October 21, 2007

WAR PROFITEERING HAPPENS EVEN IN “GOOD WARS”

Filed under: Bush, life, medicine, mideast, news, war — gasdocpol @ 2:21 pm

HOW MUCH WORSE WOULD IT BE WHEN THOSE WHO WOULD PROFIT FROM A WAR WOULD BE THE VERY PEOPLE WHO WERE INSTRUMENTAL IN PUTTING THE PRESIDENT OF THE USA IN PLACE.

And the motives for the war are at the very least debateable.

To make matters worse, the results of that war has been to the detriment of the USA.

Many people have gone to prison for life and have been executed for far less offense against society and individals.

WHY WOULD GW BUSH, AN UNINFORMED, INEXPERIENCED, FAILED BUSINESSMAN BE SUPPORTED BY SUCH BIG BUCKS IN A PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN ??

Filed under: Bush, life, mideast, news, politics, war — gasdocpol @ 2:07 pm

BY ENRON, BLACKWATER USA, HUNT OIL, HALLIBURTON……

Kenny Boy Lay allowed GW Bush the use of the ENRON jet to campaign against Gore in 2000. REWARD: Lay got to sit down in secret with Dick Cheney to hand-pick energy regulators before the California energy debacle.

Blackwater USA got a multibillion dollar no-bid contract in Iraq.

Hunt Oil got inside information and the opportunity to sign a Kurdish oil deal .

Halliburton , Cheney’s old company has done very well indeed with its no-bid contracts.

As the French would say “Voila l’expliquation!”

FRANK RICH “SUICIDE IS NOT PAINLESS” IN THE SUNDAY NY TIMES

Filed under: Bush, life, mideast, news, politics, war — gasdocpol @ 1:50 pm

WAR PROFITEERING IS YET ANOTHER EVIL ASPECT OF THE IRAQ FIASCO.

By FRANK RICH
Published: October 21, 2007
IT was one of those stories lost in the newspaper’s inside pages. Last week a man you’ve never heard of — Charles D. Riechers, 47, the second-highest-ranking procurement officer in the United States Air Force — killed himself by running his car’s engine in his suburban Virginia garage.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
Frank Rich

Mr. Riechers’s suicide occurred just two weeks after his appearance in a front-page exposé in The Washington Post. The Post reported that the Air Force had asked a defense contractor, Commonwealth Research Institute, to give him a job with no known duties while he waited for official clearance for his new Pentagon assignment. Mr. Riechers, a decorated Air Force officer earlier in his career, told The Post: “I really didn’t do anything for C.R.I. I got a paycheck from them.” The question, of course, was whether the contractor might expect favors in return once he arrived at the Pentagon last January.

Set against the epic corruption that has defined the war in Iraq, Mr. Riechers’s tragic tale is but a passing anecdote, his infraction at most a misdemeanor. The $26,788 he received for two months in a non-job doesn’t rise even to a rounding error in the Iraq-Afghanistan money pit. So far some $6 billion worth of contracts are being investigated for waste and fraud, however slowly, by the Pentagon and the Justice Department. That doesn’t include the unaccounted-for piles of cash, some $9 billion in Iraqi funds, that vanished during L. Paul Bremer’s short but disastrous reign in the Green Zone. Yet Mr. Riechers, not the first suicide connected to the war’s corruption scandals, is a window into the culture of the whole debacle.

Through his story you can see how America has routinely betrayed the very values of democratic governance that it hoped to export to Iraq. Look deeper and you can see how the wholesale corruption of government contracting sabotaged the crucial mission that might have enabled us to secure the country: the rebuilding of the Iraqi infrastructure, from electricity to hospitals. You can also see just why the heretofore press-shy Erik Prince, the owner of Blackwater USA, staged a rapid-fire media blitz a week ago, sitting down with Charlie Rose, Lara Logan, Lisa Myers and Wolf Blitzer.

Mr. Prince wasn’t trying to save his employees from legal culpability in the deaths of 17 innocent Iraqis mowed down on Sept. 16 in Baghdad. He knows that the legal loopholes granted contractors by Mr. Bremer back in 2004 amount to a get-out-of-jail-free card. He knows that Americans will forget about another 17 Iraqi casualties as soon as Blackwater gets some wrist-slapping punishment.

Instead, Mr. Prince is moving on, salivating over the next payday. As he told The Wall Street Journal last week, Blackwater no longer cares much about its security business; it is expanding into a “full spectrum” defense contractor offering a “one-stop shop” for everything from remotely piloted blimps to armored trucks. The point of his P.R. offensive was to smooth his quest for more billions of Pentagon loot.

Which brings us back to Mr. Riechers. As it happens, he was only about three degrees of separation from Blackwater. His Pentagon job, managing a $30 billion Air Force procurement budget, had been previously held by an officer named Darleen Druyun, who in 2004 was sentenced to nine months in prison for securing jobs for herself, her daughter and her son-in-law at Boeing while favoring the company with billions of dollars of contracts. Ms. Druyun’s Pentagon post remained vacant until Mr. Riechers was appointed. He was brought in to clean up the corruption.

Yet the full story of the corruption during Ms. Druyun’s tenure is even now still unknown. The Bush-appointed Pentagon inspector general delivered a report to Congress full of holes in 2005. Specifically, black holes: dozens of the report’s passages were redacted, as were the names of many White House officials in the report’s e-mail evidence on the Boeing machinations.

The inspector general also assured Congress that neither Donald Rumsfeld nor Paul Wolfowitz knew anything about the crimes. Senators on the Armed Services Committee were incredulous. John Warner, the Virginia Republican, could not believe that the Pentagon’s top two officials had no information about “the most significant defense procurement mismanagement in contemporary history.”

But the inspector general who vouched for their ignorance, Joseph Schmitz, was already heading for the exit when he delivered his redacted report. His new job would be as the chief operating officer of the Prince Group, Blackwater’s parent company.

Much has been made of Erik Prince and his family’s six-digit contributions to Republican candidates and lifelong connections to religious-right power brokers like James Dobson and Gary Bauer. Mr. Prince maintains that these contacts had nothing to do with Blackwater’s growth from tiny start-up to billion-dollar federal contractor in the Bush years. But far more revealing, though far less noticed, is the pedigree of the Washington players on his payroll.

Blackwater’s lobbyist and sometime spokesman, for instance, is Paul Behrends, who first represented the company as a partner in the now-defunct Alexander Strategy Group. That firm, founded by a former Tom DeLay chief of staff, proved ground zero in the Jack Abramoff scandals. Alexander may be no more, but since then, in addition to Blackwater, Mr. Behrends’s clients have includeda company called the First Kuwaiti General Trading and Contracting Company, the builder of the new American embassy in Iraq.

That Vatican-sized complex is the largest American embassy in the world. Now running some $144 million over its $592 million budget and months behind schedule, the project is notorious for its deficient, unsafe construction, some of which has come under criminal investigation. First Kuwaiti has also been accused of engaging in human trafficking to supply the labor force. But the current Bush-appointed State Department inspector general — guess what — has found no evidence of any wrongdoing.

Both that inspector general, Howard Krongard, and First Kuwaiti are now in the cross hairs of Henry Waxman’s House oversight committee. Some of Mr. Krongard’s deputies have accused him of repeatedly halting or impeding investigations in a variety of fraud cases.

Representative Waxman is also trying to overcome State Department stonewalling to investigate corruption in the Iraqi government. In perverse mimicry of his American patrons, Nuri al-Maliki’s office has repeatedly tried to limit the scope of inquiries conducted by Iraq’s own Commission on Public Integrity. The judge in charge of that commission, Radhi Hamza al-Radhi, has now sought asylum in America. Thirty-one of his staff members and a dozen of their relatives have been assassinated, sometimes after being tortured.

The Waxman investigations notwithstanding, the culture of corruption, Iraq war division, remains firmly entrenched. Though some American bribe-takers have been caught — including Gloria Davis, an Army major who committed suicide in Kuwait after admitting her crimes last year — we are asked to believe they are isolated incidents. The higher reaches of the chain of command have been spared, much as they were at Abu Ghraib.

Even a turnover in administrations doesn’t guarantee reform. J. Cofer Black, the longtime C.I.A. hand who is now Blackwater’s vice chairman, has signed on as a Mitt Romney adviser. Hillary Clinton’s Karl Rove, Mark Penn, doubles as the chief executive of Burson-Marsteller, the P.R. giant whose subsidiary helped prepare Mr. Prince for his Congressional testimony. Mr. Penn said the Blackwater association was “temporary.”

War profiteering happens even in “good” wars. Arthur Miller made his name in 1947 with “All My Sons,” which ends with the suicide of a corrupt World War II contractor whose defective airplane parts cost 21 pilots their lives. But in the case of Iraq, this corruption has been at the center of the entire mission, from war-waging to nation-building. As the investigative reporters Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele observed in the October Vanity Fair, America has to date “spent twice as much in inflation-adjusted dollars to rebuild Iraq as it did to rebuild Japan — an industrialized country three times Iraq’s size, two of whose cities had been incinerated by atomic bombs.” (And still Iraq lacks reliable electric power.)

The cost cannot be measured only in lost opportunities, lives and money. There will be a long hangover of shame. Its essence was summed up by Col. Ted Westhusing, an Army scholar of military ethics who was an innocent witness to corruption, not a participant, when he died at age 44 of a gunshot wound to the head while working for Gen. David Petraeus training Iraqi security forces in Baghdad in 2005. He was at the time the highest-ranking officer to die in Iraq.

Colonel Westhusing’s death was ruled a suicide, though some believe he was murdered by contractors fearing a whistle-blower, according to T. Christian Miller, the Los Angeles Times reporter who documents the case in his book “Blood Money.” Either way, the angry four-page letter the officer left behind for General Petraeus and his other commander, Gen. Joseph Fil, is as much an epitaph for America’s engagement in Iraq as a suicide note.

“I cannot support a msn that leads to corruption, human rights abuse and liars,” Colonel Westhusing wrote, abbreviating the word mission. “I am sullied.”

October 20, 2007

“9/11 CHANGED EVERYTHING”

Filed under: Bush, life, mideast, news, politics, war — gasdocpol @ 1:03 pm

THE NEOCONSERVATIVES WERE ABLE TO INVADE AN OIL RICH ARAB COUNTRY FOR THE PURPOSE OF RESHAPING WORLD POLITICS AS PER THE AGENDA OF THE PROJECT FOR THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY (PNAC).

There were Neocons in the Clinton Administration like Madeliene Allbright and James Woolsey (CIA Director) but Bill Clinton who knew what he was doing and, while listening to them did not secomb to the idiocy of invading Iraq.

The were capable people in the first GW Bush White House like Colin Powell and Richard A. Clark to whom GW Bush did not have the good judgement to listen. , since he was dominated by the Neoconservatives.

AFTER THE GW BUSH IRAQ FIASCO , THE USA NEEDS TO IMPICITLY MAKE NICE-NICE WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD.

Filed under: Bush, life, mideast, news, politics, war — gasdocpol @ 12:36 pm

WE NEED DIPLOMACY, NOT ARROGANCE. Barack Obama wants to talk to other countries without preconditions. Hillary wants to continue the arrogance of GW Bush by setting preconditions to any talks.

Diplomacy can bring out the best in people. Arrongance can bring out the worst.

OBABA IS RIGHT ABOUT NOT SETTING UP PRECONDITIONS TO TALKING TO SYRIA AND IRAN.

Filed under: Bush, life, mideast, news, politics, war — gasdocpol @ 12:01 pm

Setting up preconditions to talking with others is arrogantly adding insult to injury. The USA is not so all-powerful or above reproach that it can afford such an attitude.

I am not saying that we should say “Mea culpa, will you ever forgive us?” but arrogance will not cut it.

In response to 9/11 GW Bush :

1. Went through the motions of hunting down the ringleaders.

2. Made no effort to examine the root causes of terrorism

3. Unilaterally attacked and occupied an unrelated oil rich Arab country as part of a grand strategy to reshape global politics.

Arrogance is the opposite of diplomacy. Even when you are totally right, arrogance can get you in trouble. Arrogance can bring out the worst in people. Diplomacy can bring out the best in people.

Hillary would be arrogant in wanting set up preconditions to talks with Iran and Syria.

Obama would be diplomatic

Q. WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST RESPONSE TO A TERRORIST ATTACK ?

Filed under: Bush, life, mideast, news, politics, war — gasdocpol @ 11:25 am

1. Hunt down the ringleaders ?

2. Examine terrorism’s root causes ?

3. Unilaterally attack and occupy an unrelated country as part of a grand strategy to reshape global politics.

GUESS WHICH ANSWER GW BUSH CHOSE ?

October 18, 2007

ALFRED E. NEWMAN IS NOW SABRE RATTLING

Filed under: Bush, life, mideast, news, politics, war — gasdocpol @ 11:01 am

GEORGE W. BUSH IS GOING TO TELL PUTIN ,THE EX-HEAD OF THE KGB AT THING OR TWO. DOES THAT SCARE ANYONE BESIDES ME?

Bush: Iran nukes could spell war
By USA Today and Los Angeles Times

NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

President Bush speaks with reporters Wednesday at the White House, where he focused mostly on foreign affairs.

Related

Bush confers medal on Dalai Lama
WASHINGTON — President Bush planned to talk to reporters Wednesday about domestic issues. Instead, he spent the news conference mostly on foreign affairs, including his blunt assessment that a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to “World War III.”

“I’ve told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing” the Iranians from gaining the means to make nuclear weapons, he said.

Bush, who delivered a sanguine assessment of Russian President Vladimir Putin shortly after taking office, presented a different view of his Kremlin counterpart Wednesday.

“He was wily. He wouldn’t tip his hand,” Bush said of his most recent encounter with Putin.

The president was referring to Putin’s refusal during their meeting in September in Australia to reveal the contenders to succeed Putin. The Russian president’s second term ends next spring.

Bush’s comments reflected the cooling that has marked U.S.-Russian relations.

The two countries have diverged over U.S. concerns about the Kremlin’s commitment to democracy and over foreign-policy differences, notably toward Iran.

Suggesting he was not optimistic about Russia’s political course, Bush said: “In terms of whether or not it’s possible to reprogram the kind of basic Russian DNA, which is a centralized authority, that’s hard to do.”

But he said he and Putin, who visited Tehran, Iran’s capital, this week, continue to agree that “it’s not in the world’s interest for Iran to have the capacity to make a nuclear weapon.”

“We got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel,” Bush said of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In Tehran on Tuesday, Putin defended Iran’s right to develop a civilian nuclear-power program, a statement that contrasted with the Bush administration’s expectation that he would take a harder line toward Ahmadinejad’s uranium-enrichment ambitions.

For the second consecutive news conference, Bush was adamant in his refusal to discuss what has been reported as an Israeli air attack on a site in Syria in early September.

The president appeared in the White House briefing room a day before a House vote to override his veto of a children’s health-insurance bill. He again defended his veto of a bill to expand spending on the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, by $35 billion over five years, calling it too big a step toward government-run health care.

He said he has appointed Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt, budget director Jim Nussle and economics policy adviser Al Hubbard to negotiate a compromise with the Democratic-led Congress. The president is willing to go above his initial offer of a $5 billion increase.

He also criticized Congress because it has yet to pass bills that would fund the government next year. He demanded that lawmakers get moving on legislation dealing with education, intelligence gathering, trade, housing assistance and veterans’ health care.

His reprimand of Congress drew a scathing response from Democrats. “I appreciate that the man who has managed Iraq so well is going to give us a lecture about management,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill. “The man who gave us Katrina is going to tell us how to manage?”

On other topics:

• Bush downplayed recent comments by retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, former coalition commander in Iraq, who blamed “incompetent” leadership for problems in Iraq. Bush said, “The situation on the ground has changed quite dramatically since he left Iraq.”

• He declined to define torture, saying “that’s defined in U.S. law, and we don’t torture.”

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

October 16, 2007

ALFRED E. NEWMAN UP AGAINST THE FORMER HEAD OF THE KGB

Filed under: Bush, life, mideast, news, politics, war — gasdocpol @ 9:36 am

GEORGE W. BUSH LOOKED INTO THE EYES OF PUTIN AND SAW HIS SOUL ? (I KEEP HOPING THAT THE 2000 ELECTION IS JUST A BAD DREAM)

——————————————————————————–

Putin, in Iran, warns on pipeline By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, Associated Press Writer
15 minutes ago

TEHRAN, Iran – Leaders of Russia and Iran spoke out strongly Tuesday against outside interference into Caspian Sea affairs during a summit that focused on ways to divide the region’s substantial energy resources.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose trip to Tehran is the first by a Kremlin leader since World War II, warned that energy pipeline projects crossing the Caspian could only be implemented if all five nations that border the inland sea support them.

Putin did not name any specific country, but his statement underlined Moscow’s strong opposition to U.S.-backed efforts to build pipelines to deliver hydrocarbons to the West bypassing Russia.

“Projects that may inflict serious environmental damage to the region cannot be implemented without prior discussion by all five Caspian nations,” he said.

Other nations bordering the Caspian Sea and in attendance at the summit are: Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.

Putin also emphasized the need for all Caspian nations to prohibit the use of their territory by any outside countries for use of military force against any nation in the region — a clear reference to long-standing rumors that the U.S. was planning to use Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic, as a staging ground for any possible military action against Iran.

“We are saying that no Caspian nation should offer its territory to third powers for use of force or military aggression against any Caspian state,” Putin said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also underlined the need to keep outsiders away from the Caspian.

“All Caspian nations agree on the main issue — that all aspects related to this sea must be settled exclusively by littoral nations,” he said. “The Caspian Sea is an inland sea and it only belongs to the Caspian states, therefore only they are entitled to have their ships and military forces here.”

The legal status of the Caspian — believed to contain the world’s third-largest energy reserves — has been in limbo since the 1991 Soviet collapse, leading to tension and conflicting claims to seabed oil deposits.

Iran, which shared the Caspian’s resources equally with the Soviet Union, insists that each coastal nation receive an equal portion of the seabed. Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan want the division based on the length of each nation’s shoreline, which would give Iran a smaller share.

Putin’s visit took place despite warnings of a possible assassination plot and amid hopes that a round of personal diplomacy could help offer a solution to an international standoff on Iran’s nuclear program.

Putin’s trip was thrown into doubt when the Kremlin said Sunday that he had been informed by Russian intelligence services that suicide attackers might try to kill him in Tehran, but he shrugged off the warning.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini dismissed reports about the purported assassination plot as disinformation spread by adversaries hoping to spoil good relations between Russia and Iran.

Putin has warned the U.S. and other nations against trying to coerce Iran into reining in its nuclear program and insists peaceful dialogue is the only way to deal with Tehran’s defiance of a U.N. Security Council demand that it suspend uranium enrichment.

“Threatening someone, in this case the Iranian leadership and Iranian people, will lead nowhere,” Putin said Monday during his trip to Germany. “They are not afraid, believe me.”

Iran’s rejection of the council’s demand and its previous clandestine atomic work has fed suspicions in the U.S. and other countries that Tehran is working to enrich uranium to a purity usable in nuclear weapons. Iran insists it is only wants lesser-enriched uranium to fuel nuclear reactors that would generate electricity.

Putin’s visit to Tehran is being closely watched for any possible shifts in Russia’s carefully hedged stance in the nuclear standoff.

The Russian president underlined his disagreements with Washington last week, saying he saw no “objective data” to prove Western claims that Iran is trying to construct nuclear weapons.

Putin emphasized Monday that he would negotiate in Tehran on behalf of the five permanent U.N. Security Council members — United States, Russia, China, Britain and France — and Germany, a group that has led efforts to resolve the stalemate with Tehran.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Tom Casey said the U.S. government expected Putin to “convey the concerns shared by all of us about the failure of Iran to comply with the international community’s requirements concerning its nuclear program.”

Putin’s schedule also called for meetings with Ahmadinejad and the Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

While the Kremlin has shielded Tehran from a U.S. push for a third round of U.N. sanctions, Iran has voiced annoyance about Moscow’s foot-dragging in building a nuclear power plant in the southern port of Bushehr under a $1 billion contract.

Russia warned early this year that the plant would not be launched this fall as planned because Iran was slow in making payments. Iranian officials have angrily denied any payment arrears and accused the Kremlin of caving in to Western pressure.

Moscow also has ignored Iranian demands to ship fuel for the plant, saying it would be delivered only six months before the Bushehr plant goes on line. The launch date has been delayed indefinitely amid the payment dispute.

Any sign by Putin that Russia could quickly complete the power plant would embolden Iran and further cloud Russia’s relations with the West. But analysts said Putin’s trip would be important for Iran even if it yielded no agreements.

___

October 14, 2007

IRAQ = THE ULTIMATE “LAND DEAL GONE WRONG”

Filed under: Bush, life, mideast, news, politics, war — gasdocpol @ 1:08 pm

INFINITELY WORSE THAN WHITEWATER. WHICH THE GOP GOT US TO SPEND 70 MILLION TO INVESTIGATE, while sabbotaging the Clinton administration.

The GOP spent the Clinton years sabbotaging our government and then replaced Clinton with Alfred E. Newman with results that should not come as a surprise to anyone.

WE NEED AN HONEST GOP TO KEEP THE DEMOCRATS HONEST.

I WAS HOPING THAT SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R-NE) WOULD BE ONE OF THE REPUBLICANS WHO COULD RESTORE THE INTEGRITY OF THE GOP. IT IS TRAGIC THAT THIS TRULY CONSERVATIVE STATESMAN HAS DECIDED TO SEEK RE-ELECTION.

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