Saturday, November 04, 2006


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The Washington Post

Attorney General Proves Steadfast in the Art of Evasion

Friday, November 3, 2006; A19

Open-government advocates are howling this week over a newly releasedtranscript of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales's testimony before theHouse Judiciary Committee in April on topics including domestic wiretappingand surveillance, treatment of potential terrorists, and the president'spower to declassify information.

During the session, Gonzales evaded most of the four dozen questions askedby Republican and Democratic members by claiming ignorance, or telling thecommittee -- which oversees the Justice Department -- that the answers weretoo secret to share. So frustrating was Gonzales's stonewalling that inclosing the hearing, committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.)lectured the attorney general:

"I'm afraid that you have caused more questions to be put out for debatewithin the Congress and in the American public as a result of your answers.


Forwarded from Susan Fishkorn
Tri-County -

Friday, November 03, 2006
Army Times: "Time for Rumsfeld to go"
An editorial scheduled to appear on Monday in Army Times, Air Force Times,Navy Times and Marine Corps Times, calls for the resignation of Secretary ofDefense Donald Rumsfeld.

The papers are sold to American servicemen and women. They are published bythe Military Times Media Group, which is a subsidiary of Gannett Co., Inc.

Here is the text of the editorial, an advance copy of which we received thisafternoon.


Time for Rumsfeld to go

"So long as our government requires the backing of an aroused and informedpublic opinion ... it is necessary to tell the hard bruising truth."

That statement was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondentMarguerite Higgins more than a half-century ago during the Korean War.

But until recently, the "hard bruising" truth about the Iraq war has beendifficult to come by from leaders in Washington. One rosy reassurance afteranother has been handed down by President Bush, Vice President Cheney andDefense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: "mission accomplished," the insurgency is"in its last throes," and "back off," we know what we're doing, are a fewchoice examples.


Thursday, Nov. 02, 2006

An Abu Ghraib Offender's Return to Iraq Is Stopped

After TIME reports that a military dog handler, convicted for his role inthe prisoner abuse scandal, has been ordered to return to Iraq, the Pentagondecides to bring him back to the U.S.


As if the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal weren't bad enough for America'simage in the Middle East, now it may appear to much of the world that one ofthe men implicated in the scandal is returning to the scene of the crime.

The U.S. military tells TIME that one of the soldiers convicted for his rolein Abu Ghraib, having served his sentence, has just been sent back to servein Iraq.


The New York Times

November 4, 2006
Op-Ed Contributor
In the Voting Booth, Bias Starts at the Top
Stanford, Calif.

PEOPLE who are first in line at a movie know they have the best chance ofgetting the seats they want. When students answer multiple-choice questionsincorrectly, they usually choose one of the first options offered. Whenpeople taste-test four brands of beer, they tend to prefer the one they tryfirst.

And so it is with voting. Candidates listed first on the ballot get abouttwo percentage points more votes on average than they would have if they hadbeen listed later (flipping a 49 to 51 defeat into a 51 to 49 victory). Infact, in about half the races I have studied, the advantage of first placeis even bigger - certainly big enough to win some elections these days.


The Boston Globe

On Kerry, Bush gets assist from Democrats
By Joan Vennochi | November 4, 2006

GEORGE W. BUSH still has the power to make Democrats quake.

The president earns dismal marks for job performance, according to recentpolls. His unpopular Iraq war policy stands to turn voters againstRepublican candidates across the country.

Yet even with the presidential juice at low octane, some Democrats swiftlyechoed the White House talking points after John Kerry bungled a bad joke.Kerry, a decorated combat veteran, insulted the US military, they insisted;he must apologize.

All it took to bring them to their knees was the usual: a blast of hot airfrom the White House, fanned by Matt Drudge, Rush Limbaugh, and cable TV,and then giftwrapped by the mainstream media.


The New York Times

November 4, 2006

Blinding the Taxpayers on Iraq

Talk about arbitrary deadlines. Iraq is still an open-ended tragedy, andthere is mounting evidence that without vigilant, independent monitoring,reconstruction contracts will waste American tax dollars without deliveringthe results that Iraqis have been promised. Still, the Republican-controlledCongress has voted to close down, as of next Oct. 1, the one effectiveoversight agency that has shown it could produce results.

The deadline for ending the work of the Special Inspector General for IraqReconstruction was included in the conference report on a huge militaryauthorization bill - inserted at the last minute in the back room by thestaff of Duncan Hunter, the Republican chairman of the House Armed ServicesCommittee. It should be promptly lifted by the new Congress to be electednext week.


The New York Times

U.S. Seeks Silence on CIA Prisons
Court Is Asked to Bar Detainees From Talking About Interrogations

By Carol D. Leonnig and Eric Rich
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, November 4, 2006; A01

The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspectsheld in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the"alternative interrogation methods" that their captors used to get them totalk.

The government says in new court filings that those interrogation methodsare now among the nation's most sensitive national security secrets and thattheir release -- even to the detainees' own attorneys -- "could reasonablybe expected to cause extremely grave damage." Terrorists could use theinformation to train in counter-interrogation techniques and foil governmentefforts to elicit information about their methods and plots, according togovernment documents submitted to U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton onOct. 26.


The Miami Herald
November 3, 2006

Blaming the bottle dodges responsibility


Maybe we ought to give Prohibition another try.

Granted the attempt to outlaw drinking wasn't exactly a success back in the1920s, but maybe it's time to have another go at it. Don't we owe that muchto the public figures who have become the unwitting victims of fool juice inrecent months?

First, there was Mel Gibson, actor, minding his own business, toolinghappily down Pacific Coast Highway, until alcohol jumped inside him and madehim say terrible things about Jews.


The Washington Post

Haggard Case Fuels Debate Over Hypocrisy

The Associated Press
Friday, November 3, 2006; 8:48 PM

-- With the Mark Foley scandal still troubling Republicans, one of thenation's top evangelical leaders is now accused of paying for gay sex.Heading into Tuesday's election, when voters in eight states will decide ongay marriage bans, liberals and some conservatives are saying the party thatprides itself on family values has a hypocrisy problem.

Ted Haggard, a staunch foe of gay marriage and occasional participant inWhite House conference calls, resigned as president of the NationalAssociation of Evangelicals and head of his Colorado church followingallegations he met monthly with a gay prostitute for three years. Haggarddenies having sex with the man, but admits receiving a massage and buyingmethamphetamine.


The Washington Post

Rep. Ney of Ohio Resigns From Congress

The Associated Press
Friday, November 3, 2006; 10:42 PM

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio, who pleaded guilty last month in theJack Abramoff influence-peddling investigation, resigned from Congress onFriday.

The Ohio Republican, who had been pressed to quit by fellow lawmakers, senta letter of resignation to House Speaker Dennis Hastert, according to Ney'schief of staff, David Popp.

"I can confirm the letter has been delivered to the speaker," Popp said inan electronic mail message to The Associated Press. The speaker's officewould not confirm whether it had received the letter.


The New York Times

November 3, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist
Insulting Our Troops, and Our Intelligence
George Bush, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld think you're stupid. Yes, they do.

They think they can take a mangled quip about President Bush and Iraq byJohn Kerry - a man who is not even running for office but who, unlike Mr.Bush and Mr. Cheney, never ran away from combat service - and get you tovote against all Democrats in this election.

Every time you hear Mr. Bush or Mr. Cheney lash out against Mr. Kerry, Ihope you will say to yourself, "They must think I'm stupid." Because theysurely do.


November 4, 2006
Hussein Sentence May Come on Sunday

BAGHDAD, Nov. 3 - Nearly three years after being captured by Americantroops, Saddam Hussein faces the possibility of a death sentence on Sundayfrom the Iraqi court that has been trying him and seven others for thebrutal repression of a Shiite town north of Baghdad in the 1980s.

Iraq's Defense Ministry, bracing for possible violence, announced Fridaythat it has canceled all military leave and placed the country's forces onheightened alert ahead of the verdicts on Mr. Hussein and the otherdefendants. "We are on alert for any possible emergency," said Maj. Gen.Ibrahim Shaker, the ministry's spokesman.


The New York Times
November 3, 2006

Avoiding Calamity on the Cheap

A much-anticipated study on climate change ordered up by Prime Minister TonyBlair of Britain has attempted to calculate the economic costs of globalwarming. Though necessarily conjectural, the study warns that if we continueon our current course, atmospheric temperatures could rise four degrees orso in this century, producing a hugely disruptive mix of rising sea levelsand withering droughts.

This in turn would drain the world economy of trillions of dollars, withsocial and economic costs on a scale "similar to those associated with thegreat wars and the economic depression of the first half of the 20thcentury."


The New York Times

November 3, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist

As Bechtel Goes

Bechtel, the giant engineering company, is leaving Iraq. Its mission - torebuild power, water and sewage plants - wasn't accomplished: Baghdadreceived less than six hours a day of electricity last month, and much ofIraq's population lives with untreated sewage and without clean water. ButBechtel, having received $2.3 billion of taxpayers' money and having lostthe lives of 52 employees, has come to the end of its last governmentcontract.

As Bechtel goes, so goes the whole reconstruction effort. Whatever ourleaders may say about their determination to stay the course complete themission, when it comes to rebuilding Iraq they've already cut and run. The$21 billion allocated for reconstruction over the last three years has beenspent, much of it on security rather than its intended purpose, and there'sno more money in the pipeline.


The Washington Post

U.S. Plans to Screen All Who Enter, Leave Country
Personal Data Will Be Cross-Checked With Terrorism Watch Lists; RiskProfiles to Be Stored for Years

By Ellen Nakashima and Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, November 3, 2006; A18

The federal government disclosed details yesterday of a border-securityprogram to screen all people who enter and leave the United States, create aterrorism risk profile of each individual and retain that information for upto 40 years.

The details, released in a notice published yesterday in the FederalRegister, open a new window on the government's broad and oftencontroversial data-collection effort directed at American and foreigntravelers, which was implemented after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.


The Bush Administration Is Weak on Terror

By Stephen Van Evera, AlterNet

Posted on November 3, 2006, Printed on November 3, 2006

[Editor's Note: This essay is part of a series of Audits of the ConventionalWisdom, a project of the Center for International Studies at MIT.]

The U.S. public widely credits President Bush with toughness on terror. AnAugust 2006 poll found 55 percent of Americans approving his handling of thecampaign on terror and only 38 percent disapproving. Republican candidatesare running successfully on the terror issue in this fall's electioncampaign. In fact, the Bush administration is weak on terror.

The administration wages a one-front war against al-Qaeda, the main terrorthreat, when effort on every relevant front is needed. Specifically, it hasfocused on an offensive military and intelligence campaign abroad whileneglecting five other critical fronts: bolstering homeland security,securing weapons and materials of mass destruction from possible theft orpurchase by terrorists, winning the war of ideas across the world, endingconflicts that fuel support for al-Qaeda, and saving the failed states whereal-Qaeda and like groups can find haven.


Bill Berkowitz
November 3, 2006

George W. Bush's link to Evangelical Right caught in November SurpriseAfter admitting "some guilt" in accusations of purchasing gay sex and usingamphetamines, Ted Haggard, megachurch pastor, president of the NationalAssociation of Evangelicals, and adviser to George W. Bush, resignsPastor Ted Haggard got a November Surprise: Only a few days before Coloradovoters were to head to the polls to vote on two ballot initiatives involvinggay marriage, Mike Jones, a former gay escort claimed that he had athree-year sexual relationship with Haggard, the founder and senior leaderof the 14,000 member Colorado Springs, Colorado-based New Life Church, thestate's largest megachurch. Haggard also served as president of the NationalAssociation of Evangelicals (NAE - website) whose 30-million members comefrom more than 45,000 churches across America. Over the past few years,Haggard has been a regular advisor to the Bush administration.

Within 48 hours of Jones' revelations and despite receiving a vote ofconfidence from Dr. James C. Dobson, Haggard resigned his post at the NAE,and "voluntarily" took an administrative leave of absence from his church.


British Believe Bush Is More Dangerous Than Kim Jong-il
By Julian Glover
The Guardian UK

Friday 03 November 2006

US allies think Washington threat to world peace. Only bin Laden fearedmore in United Kingdom.

America is now seen as a threat to world peace by its closest neighboursand allies, according to an international survey of public opinion publishedtoday that reveals just how far the country's reputation has fallen amongformer supporters since the invasion of Iraq.

Carried out as US voters prepare to go to the polls next week in anelection dominated by the war, the research also shows that British voterssee George Bush as a greater danger to world peace than either the NorthKorean leader, Kim Jong-il, or the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.Both countries were once cited by the US president as part of an "axis ofevil", but it is Mr Bush who now alarms voters in countries withtraditionally strong links to the US.


Evangelical pastor confesses to 'some' accusations
President of the National Association of Evangelicals, Ted Haggard, accused of participating in a three-year homosexual affair and drug use

Friday, November 03, 2006
Spero News

Rev. Ted Haggard, Evangelical Senior Pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, has confessed to some of the accusations against him according to Rev. Ross Parsley, who is serving as Acting Senior Pastor of the 14,000-member Protestant church.

Rev. Ted Haggard, a key Evangelical in the religious right and president of the National Association of Evangelicals, said in a statement that he placed himself on administrative leave "pending investigation, spiritual counsel, and a decision by the church's board of overseers" after he was accused of using drugs and participating in a three-year homosexual relationship.

After he resigned, the board of overseers met with Haggard. "It is important for you to know that he confessed to the overseers that some of the accusations against him are true," said Parsley in an e-mail to the congregation.

Ted Haggard is married and has five children and has vociferously opposed gay marriage.

Time Magazine included Pastor Haggard in their list of the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America. The Wall Street Journal noted his advisory role with the Bush White House, calling him one "of the nation's most politically influential" clergy, and Harper's Magazine wrote, "No pastor in America holds more sway over the political direction of evangelicalism than does Pastor Ted."

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