Thursday, November 20, 2003
Demonstrators force Powell to cancel event
The Scotsman, 20.11.2003 13:42
US Secretary of State Colin Powell was to pick up a medal honouring his achievements, but was forced to cancel at the last minute. The US Embassy in London was unable to confirm whether the decision was taken for reasons of security. Mr Powell had been expected to meet the Prince of Wales to collect the medal at Senate House in London.
full story at
Livingstone says Bush is 'greatest threat to life on planet'
By Nigel Morris, Home Affairs Correspondent
18 November 2003
Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, launched a stinging attack on President George Bush last night, denouncing him as the "greatest threat to life on this planet that we've most probably ever seen".
His provocatively timed comments, on the eve of Mr Bush's arrival in London tonight, threaten to create severe embarrassment for the Prime Minister. They also come with talks under way on whether to re-admit Mr Livingstone to the Labour Party before his five-year exile ends.
Although he made his many differences with the Government on a range of issues clear, he reserved his strongest comments for the American President in an interview with The Ecologist magazine.
The President's three-night trip, which will culminate on Friday with a visit to the Prime Minister's Sedgefield constituency, has sparked a flood of protests from those opposed to his foreign policy. But Mr Livingstone's outburst makes him one of the most high-profile and explicit of his critics.
Mr Livingstone recalled a visit at Easter to California, where he was denounced for an attack he had made on what he called "the most corrupt and racist American administration in over 80 years". He said: "Some US journalist came up to me and said: 'How can you say this about President Bush?' Well, I think what I said then was quite mild. I actually think that Bush is the greatest threat to life on this planet that we've most probably ever seen. The policies he is initiating will doom us to extinction."
Mr Livingstone, who is holding a "peace party" for anti-war groups in City Hall tomorrow, added: "I don't formally recognise George Bush because he was not officially elected. So we are organising an alternative reception for everybody who is not George Bush."
Monday, November 17, 2003
The Inhuman Stain
By Chris Floyd
Not content with capture and torture, the organs have been given presidential authority to carry out raids
and kill "suspected terrorists" (including Americans) on their own volition -- without charges, oversight or
evidence -- anywhere in the world, including on American soil. What's more, through a series of executive
orders, Bush has asserted the right to designate anyone he pleases "an enemy combatant" and have them
"rendered" into indefinite detention or simply killed at his order -- again, without charges, evidence, oversight
or appeal. The life of every American citizen -- every person on Earth -- is now at the mercy of his arbitrary whim.
The stories appear -- then they disappear. There is no reaction. No outcry in Congress or the courts -- the supposed
guardians of the people's rights -- beyond a few wan calls for more formality in the concentration camp processing
or judicial "warrants" for torture. And among the great mass of "the people" itself, there is -- nothing. Silence. Inattention.
Indifference. Acquiescence. State terrorism -- lawless seizure, filthy torture, official murder -- is simply accepted, a part
of "normal life," as in Nazi Germany or Stalin's empire, where "decent people" with "nothing to hide" approved and
applauded the work of the "organs" in "defending national security."
This is the scandal, this is the nation's festering shame. This acquiescence to state terror will breed -- and attract --
a thousand evils for every one it supposedly prevents.
Monday, November 10, 2003
Gore: Bush Has Failed to Make U.S. Safer
By JENNIFER C. KERR
WASHINGTON - Former Vice President Al Gore accused President Bush on Sunday of failing to make the country safer after the Sept. 11 attacks and using the war against terrorism as a pretext to consolidate power.
"They have taken us much farther down the road toward an intrusive, 'big brother'-style government _ toward the dangers prophesied by George Orwell in his book '1984' _ than anyone ever thought would be possible in the United States of America," Gore charged in a speech.
Gore, who lost the disputed 2000 presidential election to Bush, said terrorism-fighting tools granted after Sept. 11 amount to a partisan power grab that have led to the erosion of the civil liberties of all Americans.
He brought many the crowd of 3,000 to their feet when he called for a repeal of the Patriot Act, which expanded government's surveillance and detention power, allowing authorities to monitor books people read and conduct secret searches.
Gore chided the administration for what he said was its "implicit assumption" that Americans must give up traditional freedoms in order to be safe from terrorists.
"In my opinion, it makes no more sense to launch an assault on our civil liberties as the best way to get at terrorists than it did to launch an invasion of Iraq as the best way to get at Osama bin Laden," Gore said.
In both cases, Gore said, the administration has "recklessly put our country in grave and unnecessary danger."
He also said the administration still has "no serious strategy" for domestic security _ charging that there aren't sufficient protections in place for ports, nuclear facilities, chemical plants and other key infrastructure.
White House Puts Limits on Queries From Democrats
By Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 7, 2003; Page A29
The Bush White House, irritated by pesky questions from congressional Democrats about how the administration is using taxpayer money, has developed an efficient solution: It will not entertain any more questions from opposition lawmakers.
The decision -- one that Democrats and scholars said is highly unusual -- was announced in an e-mail sent Wednesday to the staff of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. House committee Democrats had just asked for information about how much the White House spent making and installing the "Mission Accomplished" banner for President Bush's May 1 speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln.
Rumsfeld retreats, disclaims earlier rhetoric
Rumsfeld denies he ever made several pre-war statements.
Published November 09. 2003 8:30AM
BY ERIC ROSENBERG
WASHINGTON - In the lead-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said U.S. forces would be welcomed by the Iraqi citizenry and that Saddam Hussein had large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons.
Now, after both statements have been shown to be either incorrect or vastly exaggerated, Rumsfeld - with the same trademark confidence that he exuded before the war - is denying that he ever made such assertions.
Tuesday, November 04, 2003
Seetheforest 11-4-2003 :
House Nixes Anti-Profiteering Penalties in Iraq Spending Bill:
"The final version of the $87 billion spending bill for Iraq and Afghanistan is missing provisions the Senate had passed to penalize war profiteers who defraud American taxpayers."
The Republicans rigged the "conference committee" to take out the reasonable provisions that the Senate had added to the Iraq spending bill. THIS change allows corrupt crony contracts that reward campaign contributors.
Remember that immediately after taking office Bush gave the go-ahead to corporate lawbreakers.
Bush Gave Go-Ahead to Corporate Lawbreakers
Buzzflash picked up on my previous blog piece pointing out that Bush gave corporate lawbreakers the go-ahead back in March, 2001. (Had to write to them a few times, though.) Back then Bush reversed a Clinton rule prohibiting corporate lawbreakers from getting government contracts. Now Bush gives speeches about how corporate lawbreakers need to be punished.
Bush puts lax regulators in the EPA and his crony corporations know they are free to pollute. He puts lax regulators on the FERC, and his crony corporations cause power blackouts in California so they can jack prices through the roof. He puts lax regulators on the SEC because his crony corporations have been complaining that they're getting flack for doing what Bush and Cheney did. (I think I could develop quite a long list of how many oversight boards and commissions Bush has gutted. Labor, removing the Bar Assoc. from approving judges, civil rights...)
And then he says if somehow you get convicted of CRIMES, the government is going to GIVE THEM CONTRACTS!!!
A while ago I wrote, "Republicans delegitimized government, and act surprised when corporate executives act as if government were not legitimate."