Archive for the ‘George W. Bush’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 28, 2005

Category: George W. Bush

Associated Press – Friday 08 October 2004: The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights voted Friday to wait until after next month’s election to discuss a report critical of the Bush administration’s civil rights record. Republican members had objected to the report’s timing. The report remains posted on the commission’s Web site, however, despite objections from GOP commissioners who sought to get it removed.

Guardian – Thursday October 21, 2004: Passing almost without notice earlier this month, the public release of The Civil Rights Record of the George W Bush Administration – the official staff report prepared by the US Civil Rights Commission – whose submission is required by federal law, was blocked by the Republican commissioners. None the less, it was posted on the commission’s website: “This report finds that President Bush has neither exhibited leadership on pressing civil rights issues, nor taken actions that matched his words.”

Take a second look at that damning phrase from the Executive Summary of this report, entitled; Redefining Rights in America, The Civil Rights Record of the George W. Bush Administration, 2001-2004

“This report finds that President Bush has neither exhibited leadership on pressing civil rights issues, nor taken actions that matched his words.”

Now enter it into Google. What do you see?

Blog, newspaper, blog, blog, blog, blog, blog, blog, blog, newspaper, blog, blog, blog, blog, newspaper, blog, blog, blog, blog. So much for empowerment.

Somewhere amongst all of that you would probably expect to see the promised discussion, but I’ll be damned if I can find it. And on January 7 2005, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights removed this draft report from their website, along with a whole bunch of others. You can see those reports here.








Posted by Tim Ireland at May 11, 2005

Category: George W. Bush, It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!

Take a look at the two-panel bulletproof screen Bush relied on in Georgia and compare it to the 32-panel wall of bulletproof glass at his 2005 inauguration. Have a think about that.

A ‘possible’ grenade gets All Teh Press, while an actual bombshell goes ignored. Have a think about that.

And, while we’re dwelling on the past present:

Scotsman – Iraq Suicide Attacks Leave at Least 57 Dead

Something else that’s not being reported all that much (or is talked around with great tact): the car bomb that found its way into the market square did so because it was ‘successfully repelled’ from the police station.

See also: Reg Keys – Sedgefield speech transcript and video








Posted by Tim Ireland at April 12, 2005

Category: George W. Bush

Reuters – Rumsfeld Visits Baghdad, Warns Against Corruption: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, on a surprise visit, warned Iraq’s new leaders on Tuesday against political purges and cronyism that could spark “lack of confidence or corruption in government.”

Do tell…

Boston Globe – Bolton denies effort to punish dissenting analysts: John Bolton, who is hailed by conservatives as a no-nonsense advocate for US policy and criticized by liberals as a caustic unilateralist, also faced questioning during a tense first day of his confirmation hearings about past statements disparaging the United Nations, international law, and nation-building. But questions about Bolton’s views were overshadowed by allegations that Bolton, in his current post as undersecretary of state, sought the removal of two analysts who did not support his claim that Cuba was developing biological weapons.








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 30, 2005

Category: George W. Bush

New York Times – Panel’s Report Assails C.I.A. for Failure on Iraq Weapons: The final report of a presidential commission studying American intelligence failures regarding illicit weapons includes a searing critique of how the C.I.A. and other agencies never properly assessed Saddam Hussein’s political maneuverings or the possibility that he no longer had weapon stockpiles, according to officials who have seen the report’s executive summary… After Iraq’s defeat in the Persian Gulf war in 1991, international inspectors dismantled an active nuclear program – which had not produced a weapon – along with biological agents and chemical weapons. Much of the flawed intelligence was based on a series of assumptions that Mr. Hussein reconstituted those programs after inspectors left the country under duress in 1998. But in retrospect, those assumptions by American and other intelligence analysts turned out to be deeply flawed, even though some of Mr. Hussein’s own commanders said after they were captured in 2003 that they also believed the government held some unconventional weapons. It was a myth Mr. Hussein apparently fostered to retain an air of power.

Meanwhile, the cover-up continues. (You may note that today’s headline are all about Oil for Food… curse the liberal media!)

ACLU – Army’s Own Documents Acknowledge Evidence That Soldiers Used Torture: The American Civil Liberties Union today charged that the government is attempting to bury the torture scandal involving the U.S. military by failing to comply with a court order requiring release of documents to the ACLU. The documents the government does release are being issued in advance to the media in ways calculated to minimize coverage and public access, the ACLU said. The reason for the delay in delivering the more than 1,200 pages of documents was evident, the ACLU said, in the contents, which include reports of brutal beatings, “exercise until exhaustion” and sworn statements that soldiers were told to “beat the fuck out of” detainees. One file cites evidence that Military Intelligence personnel in Iraq “tortured” detainees held in their custody. “These documents provide further evidence that the torture of detainees was much more widespread than the government has acknowledged,” said ACLU attorney Jameel Jaffer. “At a minimum, the documents indicate a colossal failure of leadership.”

But you can’t fool all of the people all of the time…

USA Today – Bush approval slips to 45%, lowest of his presidency








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 15, 2005

Category: George W. Bush

New York Times – Under Bush, a New Age of Prepackaged Television News: Under the Bush administration, the federal government has aggressively used a well-established tool of public relations: the prepackaged, ready-to-serve news report that major corporations have long distributed to TV stations to pitch everything from headache remedies to auto insurance. In all, at least 20 federal agencies, including the Defense Department and the Census Bureau, have made and distributed hundreds of television news segments in the past four years, records and interviews show. Many were subsequently broadcast on local stations across the country without any acknowledgement of the government’s role in their production.

And all the while we keep hearing about the liberal bias of the media. Well…

Editor and Publisher – Study Finds No Media Bias on War, Hits Fox News As Most One-Sided: (The Project for Excellence in Journalism) examined more than 2,000 stories on the war in Iraq and found that 25% of the stories were negative and 20% were positive. “The majority of stories were just news,” said the project’s director, Tom Rosenstiel. Fox News Channel was twice as likely to be positive than negative, while CNN and MSNBC were evenhanded.

Washington Post – On Fox News, No Shortage of Opinion, Study Finds: In covering the Iraq war last year, 73 percent of the stories on Fox News included the opinions of the anchors and journalists reporting them, a new study says. By contrast, 29 percent of the war reports on MSNBC and 2 percent of those on CNN included the journalists’ own views.

Have you got that? The sector of the media that the Bushies claim is rotten with liberal bias isn’t biased at all. The only bias comes from the right. Along with some outright propaganda.

(Cheers to Chris for the heads-up.)








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 9, 2005

Category: George W. Bush

Washington Post – Critic of U.N. Named Envoy: President Bush named Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton yesterday as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, a surprise choice that would send an outspoken critic of the world body’s effectiveness to its inner councils.

Kut Nimmo – War is Peace – John Bolton to the UN: In Bushzarro world, where up is down and logic is irrational, Bush nominates a man as ambassador to the United Nations who believes there is no United Nations. “There’s no such thing as the United Nations,” John Bolton declared in 1994. “If the U.N. secretary building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.” Like the character Bizarro created by Otto Binder, Bolton Bizarro has a brain apparently functioning at a level of a kid – or more accurately, Bolton Bizzaro operates on the level of a playground bully minus Ritalin.

He’s a smart man, that Mr Bush… oh, yes he is:

Peter Gasston – Right as in right-wing?








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 15, 2005

Category: George W. Bush

I’ve been so busy with BB that haven’t really been keeping up with the whole Jeff Gannon thing, but how can I not take an interest when things are getting this interesting?

(Some links in the latter report NSFW.)








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 9, 2005

Category: George W. Bush

Washington Post – Rove Is Promoted To Deputy Staff Chief: During President Bush’s first term, outsiders often suspected that Karl Rove was really behind virtually everything. Now it’s official. Rove, the political mastermind behind two presidential elections, yesterday was named White House deputy chief of staff in charge of coordinating domestic policy, economic policy, national security and homeland security.








Seymour Hersh – “We’ve Been Taken Over by a Cult”: …the amazing thing is we are been taken over basically by a cult, eight or nine neo-conservatives have somehow grabbed the government. Just how and why and how they did it so efficiently, will have to wait for much later historians and better documentation than we have now, but they managed to overcome the bureaucracy and the Congress, and the press, with the greatest of ease. It does say something about how fragile our Democracy is. You do have to wonder what a Democracy is when it comes down to a few men in the Pentagon and a few men in the White House having their way… there’s been a tremendous sea change in the government. A concentration of power…. We’re nowhere. The press is nowhere. The congress is nowhere. The military is nowhere. Every four-star General I know is saying, “Who is going to tell them we have no clothes?” Nobody is going to do it. Everybody is afraid to tell Rumsfeld anything. That’s just the way it is. It’s a system built on fear. It’s not lack of integrity, it’s more profound than that. Because there is individual integrity. It’s a system that’s completely been taken over – by cultists.

How can they get away with such a thing you ask?

In a word; television.

How Democracy Was Subverted in Peru: What they found was a stunningly bold and effective effort to circumvent three institutions key to maintaining democracy in Peru: the judiciary, the legislature, and the media. “Montesinos and Fujimori maintained the facade of democracy – the citizens voted, judges decided, the media reported – but they drained its substance,” McMillan and Zoido wrote. What’s more, by analyzing the size of the bribes, they demonstrate that the media, or more specifically, television, has become the most forceful of the checks and balances that underpin constitutional government.

But this is also enabled by an echo chamber in the press and on Teh Interwebs. And money. Lots and lots of dirty money.

McPaper – Report: PR spending doubled under Bush: The Bush administration has more than doubled its spending on outside contracts with public relations firms during the past four years, according to an analysis of federal procurement data by congressional Democrats.

Now, let’s turn our heads toward home…

Europhobia: As Clarke also told Channel Four News presenter Jon Snow, it is the media’s job to help the government spread “the truth” about the terrorists lurking around every corner, in the wardrobe, under the bed and behind the curtains (gotta love the Murdoch press). If the media carries on questioning the government, people might start to think that our wondrous leadership is doing things wrong. We can’t have that now, can we?

It almost sounds as if we’re going to end up with a system where people are detained without trial.. unless it’s a trial-by-media. Hang on a mo; retract “It almost sounds like…”

The Sun – I stayed at terror camp with Osama: One of the four Camp Delta prisoners now walking Britain’s streets came face to face with Osama Bin Laden in a terror camp, court documents reveal.

Court documents? Why, that almost suggests that this man had a trial. If so, then that’s news to me. Anyway, he’s been convicted by Murdoch, and that’s what counts…

The Sun – Truly terrifying: From his own mouth, Briton Richard Belmar admits that he was trained as a Muslim terrorist. He confirms he came face to face with al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan. He reveals he was a disciple of Abu Qatada – Bin Laden’s so-called “Ambassador in Europe”. These admissions were not made under fear of torture but in a military tribunal with lawyers present. And yet Belmar is a free man. Despite warnings from the Pentagon that America considers Belmar a threat to security, Britain has taken him from the safety of Camp X-Ray in Cuba and set him loose in London. The transcript of Belmar’s legal hearing casts grave doubts on the wisdom of that action.

Ah, I see. When they say ‘court’, they mean a US military tribunal… one that has no bearing on this man’s legal status in this country. But trial-by-media operates a little differently, as you may well expect.

Oh, and I just love that – because he wasn’t actually strapped into a chair and being beaten at the time – The Scum presents Belmar’s statements to this tribunal as being untainted by 2+ years of incarcaration without hope of release, solitary confinement and torture.

Anyway, getting back to the burning beans, that nice Mr Murdoch is taking the assurances of the Bush administration and feeding them to the British public as ‘proof’. And – as Charles Clarke seems to think – it is their duty to do so.

You may want to revisit a few public reactions to the release of these men and see how many arguments in favour of their continued detention rely on total belief in their guilt. This belief is based largely on what they are fed by butt-munching neo-con media barons like Murdoch, who take ‘evidence’ that’s deemed inadmissible in this country, bypass all of that ‘due process’ nonsense and go straight to the lynching.

You may also want to get in touch with Mr Clarke today and have a few words. You can do so via his homepage (which helpfully advises us that Mr Clarke is still Secretary of State for Education and Skills, and therefore is well-placed to teach those pesky terrorists a lesson or two).

UPDATE (Feb 1) – Washington Post – Judge Rules Detainee Tribunals Illegal: A federal judge ruled yesterday that the Bush administration must allow prisoners at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to contest their detention in U.S. courts, concluding that special military reviews established by the Pentagon as an alternative are illegal. U.S. District Judge Joyce Hens Green said that the approximately 550 men held as “enemy combatants” are entitled to the advice of lawyers and to confront the evidence against them in those proceedings. But, she found, the Defense Department has largely denied them these “most basic fundamental rights” during the reviews conducted at Guantanamo Bay, in the name of protecting the United States from terrorism.








Posted by Tim Ireland at January 27, 2005

Category: George W. Bush

Down the crapper!New York Times – Senate Panel Approves Gonzales on a Party-Line Vote: The Senate Judiciary Committee, divided along party lines over questions of torture and accountability, voted 10 to 8 on Wednesday in favor of Alberto R. Gonzales’s nomination as the nation’s 80th attorney general.

27 January 2005; mark it in your diaries. It’s the day the western world officially turned to shit.

UPDATE:

ACLU – Government Documents on Torture: More than 600 documents the government did not want the general public to read – including an FBI memo stating that Defense Department interrogators impersonated FBI agents and used “torture techniques” against a detainee at Guantanamo.

DailyKos – Gonzales Requested Torture Memo








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