Friday, September 26, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Iraq Prime Minister Maliki suggested troop withdrawal by end of 2010 would work for them; Bush Admin comes back asking for troop withdrawal by end of 2011 'due to political circumstances related to the U.S. domestic situation'. In other words, it is good for U.S. politically -- why? You tell me!
Monday, September 22, 2008
McCain and the POW Cover-up
The "war hero" candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam
Entire article can be read at The Nation Institute
John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn't return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents.
Thus the war hero who people would logically imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books. The sum of the secrets McCain has sought to hide is not small. There exists a telling mass of official documents, radio intercepts, witness depositions, satellite photos of rescue symbols that pilots were trained to use, electronic messages from the ground containing the individual code numbers given to airmen, a rescue mission by a special forces unit that was aborted twice by Washington—and even sworn testimony by two Defense secretaries that "men were left behind."
One of the sharpest critics of the Pentagon's performance was an insider, Air Force Lieut. Gen. Eugene Tighe, who headed the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) during the 1970s. He openly challenged the Pentagon's position that no live prisoners existed, saying that the evidence proved otherwise. McCain was a bitter opponent of Tighe, who was eventually pushed into retirement.
Throughout the Paris negotiations, the North Vietnamese tied the prisoner issue tightly to the issue of reparations. They were adamant in refusing to deal with them separately. ... Hanoi thus appears to have held back prisoners—just as it had done when the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and withdrew their forces from Vietnam. In that case, France paid ransoms for prisoners and brought them home.
But a few months later, a new measure, known as "the McCain Bill," suddenly appeared. By creating a bureaucratic maze from which only a fraction of the documents could emerge—only records that revealed no POW secrets—it turned the Truth Bill on its head. (See one example, at left, when the Pentagon cited McCain's bill in rejecting a FOIA request.) The McCain bill became law in 1991 and remains so today. So crushing to transparency are its provisions that it actually spells out for the Pentagon and other agencies several rationales, scenarios and justifications for not releasing any information at all—even about prisoners discovered alive in captivity. Later that year, the Senate Select Committee was created, where Kerry and McCain ultimately worked together to bury evidence.
McCain has insisted again and again that all the evidence—documents, witnesses, satellite photos, two Pentagon chiefs' sworn testimony, aborted rescue missions, ransom offers apparently scorned—has been woven together by unscrupulous deceivers to create an insidious and unpatriotic myth. He calls it the "bizarre rantings of the MIA hobbyists."
He has regularly vilified those who keep trying to pry out classified documents as "hoaxers," charlatans," "conspiracy theorists" and "dime-store Rambos."
Some of McCain's fellow captives at Hoa Lo prison in Hanoi didn't share his views about prisoners left behind. Before he died of leukemia in 1999, retired Col. Ted Guy, a highly admired POW and one of the most dogged resisters in the camps, wrote an angry open letter to the senator in an MIA newsletter—a response to McCain's stream of insults hurled at MIA activists. Guy wrote:
"John, does this [the insults] include Senator Bob Smith [a New Hampshire Republican and activist on POW issues] and other concerned elected officials? Does this include the families of the missing where there is overwhelming evidence that their loved ones were 'last known alive'? Does this include some of your fellow POWs?"
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Renowned Criminal Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi Joins Vermont Attorney Charlotte Dennett To Announce Intentions To Bring Legal Proceedings Against President Bush
Press conference to be held at:
Burlington City Hall. Contois Auditorium on September 18, 2008 at 10:30 a.m.
Vincent Bugliosi, the legendary criminal prosecutor and bestselling author of 'The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder', will appear in Burlington with Charlotte Dennett, a Cambridge-based attorney and Progressive Party candidate for Attorney General, on Thursday, September 17 at Burlington City Hall at 10 a.m. The two attorneys will announce their intention to commence criminal proceedings against George W. Bush in the event that Dennett succeeds in her bid to become the next Attorney General of Vermont.
As a Los Angeles District Attorney, Bugliosi successfully prosecuted 105 out of 106 felony jury trials, including 21 murder convictions without a single loss. He is best known for prosecuting Charles Manson, an experience he memorialized in his book Helter Skelter. His most recent book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, has become a sensation since its publication this summer. "I have never received such a passionate response as I have to this book," says Bugliosi. "Most Americans are deeply offended that George W. Bush has not been held accountable for his many crimes while in office, the most egregious of which is the murder of over 4,000 American soldiers and over 100,000 Iraqi civilians. My book lays out the framework of how he can be brought to justice in any state in this country; a framework which I hope will serve notice to future occupants in the White House."
Dennett has been practicing law in Vermont since 1997 and has been an investigative journalist for more than 30 years. "When I read Mr. Bugliosi’s meticulously-argued case," says Dennett, "it struck a chord with me as a Vermonter and an American citizen. Tragically, our state has the highest per capita loss of soldiers. 36 towns have voted to impeach President Bush. We Vermonters fiercely cherish our democracy and our country's Constitution. We're up for this fight."
from posts by David Swanson at Afterdowningstreet.org