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Archive for June, 2007

From Leahy himself :

“Over the past 18 months, this Committee has made no fewer than nine formal requests to the Department of Justice and to the White House, seeking information and documents about the authorization of and legal justification for this program,” Chairman Leahy wrote in letters accompanying the subpoenas to Bush Administration officials. “All requests have been rebuffed. Our attempts to obtain information through testimony of Administration witnesses have been met with a consistent pattern of evasion and misdirection.”

“There is no legitimate argument for withholding the requested materials from this Committee,” Leahy wrote. “The Administration cannot thwart the Congress’s conduct of its constitutional duties with sweeping assertions of secrecy and privilege. The Committee seeks no intimate operational facts and we are willing to accommodate legitimate redactions of the documents we seek to eliminate reference to these details.”

The vote went down 13-3 so there is republican support on this issue. The White House has until July 18 to comply. We presume given past track record, and the fact that the executive branch may or may not exist anymore this is likely to be rebuffed as well. Give ’em hell Senators, if not for yourselves, for the Constitution.

Further:
Bush faces eavesdropping subpoena
Senate Committee Issues Subpoenas to White House

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Waxman just keeps rolling out reports on the corruption in the Cheneyland junta. Todays installment : More Dollars, Less Sense  illustrates the full extent of war profiteering going on in Iraq and elsewhere. To wit:

This new report finds that the worrisome trends identified last year have worsened significantly. For the first time, (1) annual federal procurement spending crossed the $400 billion threshold, (2) more than half of this spending — over $200 billion in new contracts — was awarded without full and open competition, and (3) the total value of wasteful federal contracts now exceeds $1 trillion.

Last year’s report identified 118 contracts valued at $745.5 billion that had been found by government auditors to involve significant waste, fraud, abuse, or mismanagement. This year’s report identifies 189 contracts valued at $1.1 trillion that have been plagued by waste, fraud, abuse, or mismanagement. In the case of each of these 189 contracts, reports from the Government Accountability Office, the Defense Contract Audit Agency, agency inspectors general, or other independent federal oversight officials have documented significant overcharges, wasteful spending, or mismanagement over the last six years.

(Emphasis Added)

The oversight page will give you the full report, this year and last so you can oggle the heist on the Treasury yourselves. For the nerd in you, there is even a searchable database, think of it as a Facebook for thieves.

Just a reminder- there’s a four parter at the Washington Post entitled The Angler, outlining all of the dastardly deeds of the Cheneyland Junta. Watch as the Constitution dies a death of a thousand cuts.

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AKI and Reuters are both reporting that the Turkish Military has repeated its affirmation that operations into Northern Iraq are necessary to maintain security against Kurdish Rebels.

The AP is also reporting that the Turkish Military, has asked the Turkish government to create a set of political guidelines for incursions into Northern Iraq. As we have noted in previous posts on this issue (see all under Turkey in Tag Cloud) during the initial over the border operations the Turkish government was out of session and therefore had not met on the issue. Meetings on this issue of all sorts, are on going now and are being widely debated in Turkey and internationally.

Turkey has also apparently rented an unmanned drone from Israel for actions dealing with the PKK in Iraq and otherwise. Interesting since they were recently asked by Hamas to mediate with Fatah.

Via Trend News Agency the prime minister of the Kurdish administration in Iraq, Nachirvan Barzani has repeated his claims that there is no correlation between the administration of Iraqi Kurdistan and the PKK. He went on to say that the Iraqi Kurdish administration has no interest in the internal affairs of Turkey, citing the PKK as one such issue and hopes for a peaceful resolution to these issues. As we also reported earlier Turkey has launched investigations into the personal assets of the Iraqi Kurdish administration which likely prompted this note in the article:

Barzani demanded that Turkey showed any proofs of cooperation between the PKK and Kurdish government and stressed that they did not and would not provide any help for PKK.

Coverage continuing on this issue, same Bat time, same Bat channel.

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The New York Sun is reporting Rummy is shopping an If I Did It style memoir in defense of his New Model Army, Iraq, torture, etc. Allegedly the publishing world is abuzz, where’s Judith Reagan when you need her?

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Henry Waxman has written a letter to Fred Fielding, executive branch counselor, on the aggregious and continuous breaches of security in the White House. Breaches which are consistently going uninvestigated. (more…)

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Morris D. Davis a colonel in the Air Force writes in todays New York Times op-ed section about the Guantanamo he knows. Which is more like a Holiday Inn and less like torture camp. Sure, and Poland and Romania are just vacation spots for the jet setters of the rendition set.

Further:
Abu Ghraib Tactics Were First Used at Guantanamo
Life in a Guantanamo cell
Inside Camp X-Ray
Gitmo Hearings Long Outed as Farce

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Our continuing coverage by region. Just following all the players on the board…

Previous installment here
(more…)

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