BBC, September 18, 2001:
A former Pakistani diplomat has told the BBC that the US was planning military action against Osama Bin Laden and the Taleban even before [the 9/11] attacks.
Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October.
The wider objective, according to Mr Naik, would be to topple the Taleban regime and install a transitional government of moderate Afghans in its place.
MSNBC, May 16, 2002:
President Bush was expected to sign detailed plans for a worldwide war against al-Qaida two days before Sept. 11 but did not have the chance before the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, U.S. and foreign sources told NBC News.
The couching of the plans as a formal security directive is significant…because it indicates that the United States intended a full-scale assault on al-Qaida even if the Sept. 11 attacks had not occurred.
A recently released report by the US Inspector General concludes that Haliburton did in fact deliver unclean water to US troops stationed in Iraq. According to the report, dozens of soldiers fell sick, suffering ‘skin abscesses, cellulitis, skin infections, diarrhea and other illnesses after using the ‘discolored, smelly water for personal hygiene and laundry.’
When asked about the report during a press briefing on Monday, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell dismissed the company’s negligence.
McCain denounces nation-building and explains why US troops should be immediately withdrawn from Somalia:
Two days ago I wrote about how Alberto Gonzales appeared to have lied to Ted Kennedy about whether or not Karl Rove and company gave partisan political briefings to Justice Department officials.
In the same post, I quoted a Washington Post article which mentioned that the US Office of Special Counsel had previously conducted its own investigation and found that a briefing given by Karl Rove’s deputy Scott Jennings at the General Services Administration in late January had violated the Hatch Act due to its partisan political nature.
Below is a video of a hearing from that investigation. Being questioned is Lurita Doan, the General Services Administration Chief.
Why is this relevant?
While the location and the people watching the briefings may differ, in both cases the briefings were created and presented by Karl Rove or his staff and presented to government officials on government property.
If presenting these partisan briefings to members of a governmental organization in charge of supplies has been found to violate the Hatch Act, I can’t see why it would be any different when the briefings are being given to members of the Department of Justice.
MarketWatch, August 3rd:
The House Foreign Affairs Committee staff “will investigate whether officials from the Internet company Yahoo! misrepresented the company’s role in a human rights case in China that sent a journalist to jail for a decade,”…referring to Chinese journalist Shi Tao.
Shi was jailed after he posted an account of a government crackdown on democracy activists online, and Yahoo provided Chinese authorities with information about his email account, the statement said.
“It is bad enough that a wealthy American company would willingly supply Chinese police the means to hunt a man down for shedding light on repression,” Committee Chairman Tom Lantos said in the statement, adding that, “Covering up such a despicable practice when Congress seeks an explanation is a serious offense.”
Yahoo general counsel Michael Callahan told a House subcommittee in 2006 that when the company divulged identifying material about Shi, it “had no information about the nature of the investigation.”
But Lantos references documents posted by the San Francisco-based Dui Hua Foundation in late July. Those documents purport to show a request by Chinese police for information about Shi from Yahoo, specifically regarding an investigation into the “illegal provision of state secrets.” See the documents posted online.
Filed under Business, china, congress, corporations, journalism, news, shi tao, tom lantos, tyranny, US Politics, Yahoo
The Raw Story, August 1st:
White House senior adviser Karl Rove has rebuked a Senate Judiciary Committee subpoena and will not appear Thursday to testify about his role in the firing of nine US Attorneys, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said late Wednesday.
“It is a shame that this White House continues to act as if it is above the law. That is wrong,” Leahy said. “The subpoenas authorized by this Committee in connection with its investigation into the mass firings of U.S. Attorneys and the corrosion of federal law enforcement by White House political influence deserve respect and compliance.”
At this point the democrats might not even bother bringing contempt of congress charges against Rove since according to this Boston Globe article, the Justice Department has said it won’t prosecute the charges brought against the last two Bush aides who ignored the subpoenas.
Two weeks ago during Alberto Gonzales’s testimony in front of the senate judiciary committee, Senator Ted Kennedy asked him a question:
The senator was likely particularly upset with what he read in the newspaper that morning since the peace corps was originally started by his brother, President John F. Kennedy. But the relevant point was that Kennedy asked Gonzales if Karl Rove and company had been giving partisan political briefings to Justice Department officials as they had been doing so to diplomats in many other areas of government. Gonzales said he didn’t believe so.
Washington Post, August 4th:
Justice officials attended 12 political briefings at the White House, and another held at the Department of Agriculture, from 2001 to 2006…At least five were led by Rove or included presentations by him. One March 2001 meeting included a “political update” from Rove and a discussion on “how we can work together to advance the President’s agenda.”
The White House has denied that the briefings were improper, saying they were merely informational meetings for political appointees.
[House oversight committee Chairman Henry] Waxman is investigating whether the meetings violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity on federal government property.
The Office of Special Counsel, conducting its own investigation, has ruled that a briefing at the General Services Administration in late January violated the Hatch Act.
Filed under Attorney Firings, congress, doj, gonzales, Hatch Act, Henry Waxman, Karl Rove, news, Peace Corps, Republican Party, senate, Ted Kennedy, US Politics