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» Monday, February 27, 2006

Action Alerts Round-Up

Do More Than Just Vote! Due to the number of petitions and letters, I am breaking habit of giving each one it's own post.   All of these deserve your attention.   At a time when the MSM can only focus on one scandal at a time, we in the reality based community need to multi-task and maintain a wide focus.   Many things slip beneath the radar and with a corrupt and inept administration like Bush/Cheney, they use it to their maximum advantage.   Take Action.   Do it now...!!!   Do it often...!!!
Should the United Arab Emirates Operate U.S. Ports? - by

Conyers Censure Bill - Congressman John Conyers has introduced three new pieces of legislation aimed at censuring President Bush and Vice President Cheney, and at creating a fact-finding committee that could be a first step toward impeachment.   H.Res.635 - H.Res.636 - H.Res.637   Sponsored by Progressive Democrats of America

Resolution 350 - S.R. 350 - NSA Wiretapping ... the Authorization for Use of Military Force does not authorize warrantless domestic surveillance of United States citizens. - Whereas the United States Supreme Court has consistently held for nearly 40 years that the monitoring and recording of private conversations constitutes a `search and seizure' within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment; - by Ted Kennedy

India Nuke Deal - HConRes318 ... this deal would send a strong message to the rest of the world that the U.S. no longer plays by the rules established by the international community in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). - ... cosponsor HConRes318, legislation opposing the proposed civilian nuclear cooperation deal with India - by Peace Action

H.Con.Res.318 :: Summary

India Nuke Deal - HConRes318 he (Bush) will be offering to provide India nuclear technology which he is criticizing Iran for possessing. At the top of his agenda will be negotiating an agreement to provide nuclear technology to India even though the leaders of that South Asian nation refuse to endorse the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) - by Friends Committee on National Legislation

Who Are We as a Nation? The Federal Budget Debate Will Tell (2/16) - President Bush and Congress are on a roll to slash spending for vital domestic human needs programs, while giving even bigger tax cuts to the relatively few who have profited the most in recent years.) - by Friends Committee on National Legislation

Tell Your Senator to Support S. 2259 - Congressional Ethics Enforcement Commission Act of 2006 - Senator Barack Obama has introduced legislation to ensure that Congressional ethics rules are enforced. Currently, the congressional ethics committees are ineffectual. An independent commission with oversight of ethics rules is a critical step for Congress to take in response to the Abramoff scandal. - by Common Cause

Think the Internet Will Always be Open? - You think the Internet will always be the great freewheeling information superhighway you've grown to love? Well, think again. Media giants want to privatize our Internet. (See the quotes | Get more info) - I support network neutrality, and I am dismayed by comments made by your executives recently indicating they want to see dramatic changes to the way the Internet operates. - by Common Cause


» Saturday, February 25, 2006

21 Ports + Coast Guard Plan

National Security! 'The little cowboy who cried Wolf' plays the race card.   He looses the lead over the Democrats concerning National Security.   The boys who masterminded the permanent Republican Majority can't govern, just win elections.   Secrecy is only a valid concept if it is kept in a black box...   FUD (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt) has a way of biting you on the a$$ when the sheople wake up...   A con man has lost the game when he can no longer convince his marks that he is telling them the gospel truth.
UAE terminal takeover extends to 21 ports
By Pamela Hess

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- A United Arab Emirates government-owned company is poised to take over port terminal operations in 21 American ports, far more than the six widely reported.

Port facility operators have a major security responsibility, and one that could be exploited by terrorists if they infiltrate the company, said Joe Muldoon III. Muldoon is an attorney representing Eller & Co., a port facility operator in Florida partnered with M&O in Miami. Eller opposes the Dubai takeover for security reasons.

The Marine Transportation Security Act of 2002 requires vessels and port facilities to conduct vulnerability assessments and develop security plans including passenger, vehicle and baggage screening procedures; security patrols; establishing restricted areas; personnel identification procedures; access control measures; and/or installation of surveillance equipment.

Under the same law, port facility operators may have access to Coast Guard security incident response plans -- that is, they would know how the Coast Guard plans to counter and respond to terrorist attacks.

Continue Reading...
Seems like Fearless Leader is not quite telling the truth (gasp) about this deal not involving National Security.   Of course if Congress does not take him to account for this, they will be not only not be doing their job but are likely to face a hard time explaining it to Ma and Pa America during this election year.   The Republican reaction so far seems to point in the direction of them actually standing up to Bushji.   Not going to hold my breath but it would be a breath of fresh air pumped into the lungs of the Reality starved American Consciousness.   - fc


» Thursday, February 23, 2006

Tell Bush NO

Port Deal Must Go! I have found this port deal to be absolutely unbelievable.   Not because they are muslim but because of the 9-11 terrorist aspect.   Bush was seen as imcompetent over the handling of Katrina and now stands to loose credibility over the security of this nation.   Everything is trumped by the almighty dollar.   If a corporation wants it done, it must be rubber-stamped by Bush.   It truely boggles the mind.   "We The People" is slowly being replaced with "We The Corporations"...   - fc
President Bush, Stop the Dubai Ports World Deal

Dubai Ports World is fully owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates -- a country whose capital city USA Today recently called a "logistical hub" for terrorism. (In fact, more than half the Sept. 11th hijackers flew directly from Dubai to the United States.) It's also a nation whose royal family met with Osama Bin Laden in 1999, preventing a U.S. airstrike on Bin Laden; the UAE is also known for its refusal to recognize Israel and its anti-Semitic rhetoric.
I'm writing to express to you my deep opposition to the recently-approved deal to turn over operations of six of our major American seaports to Dubai Ports World, and ask that you approve legislation to block this sale.

As the USA Today has pointed out, Dubai is still a logistical hub for terrorism. The United Arab Emirates has a disturbing record of anti-semitism and involvement with the Bin Laden family.

You're asserting the right to tap our phone lines and curtail our civil liberties as a part of the "war on terror," yet you're pushing to approve this deal without even the comprehensive 45-day review provided for under law? I find that position deeply hypocritical.

Again, I ask that you approve legislation to stop the sale of operations at our ports to Dubai Ports World. I look forward to your response on this issue.



» Wednesday, February 22, 2006

No To Bush

Just Say... NO...!
Have you noticed the lineup that is falling into place who are questioning Fearless Leader...?   From Mayors to Governors to CongressCritters of both parties are hard and heavy on Bushji for the handling of PortGate.   It tickles me in just the right places.   lol...   I may use this post to document some of the newly dissenting voices since I already have Bush's Scandals 2000 - 2004 posted referencing The Scandal Sheet by Peter Dizikes at   - fc


» Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Reclassified Secrecy

Bush's Retro Secrecy! It's kinda strange that this comes up on the radar right after the gaff with the VP over his ultra secret mode of operations and his disdain for being forthright with the American People.   A rumor circulated on the internets had it that George W. Bush's first official act as President was to close files from his father's administration.   I don't know if this is true or not but it would not be surprising from what we know five years after that date.   - fc
NY TimesU.S. Reclassifies Many Documents in Secret Review

By Scott Shane
Sun Feb 21, 2006

The restoration of classified status to more than 55,000 previously declassified pages began in 1999, when the Central Intelligence Agency and five other agencies objected to what they saw as a hasty release of sensitive information after a 1995 declassification order signed by President Bill Clinton. It accelerated after the Bush administration took office and especially after the 2001 terrorist attacks, according to archives records.

... an intelligence historian, Matthew M. Aid, noticed that dozens of documents he had copied years ago had been withdrawn from the archives' open shelves.

After Mr. Aid and other historians complained, the archives' Information Security Oversight Office, which oversees government classification, began an audit of the reclassification program, said J. William Leonard, director of the office.

Mr. Leonard said he ordered the audit after reviewing 16 withdrawn documents and concluding that none should be secret.

"It doesn't make sense to create a category of documents that are classified but that everyone already has," said Meredith Fuchs, general counsel of the National Security Archive, a research group at George Washington University. "These documents were on open shelves for years."

National Archives officials said the program had revoked access to 9,500 documents, more than 8,000 of them since President Bush took office.

Anna K. Nelson, a foreign policy historian at American University, said she and other researchers had been puzzled in recent years by the number of documents pulled from the archives with little explanation.

"I think this is a travesty," said Dr. Nelson, who said she believed that some reclassified material was in her files. "I think the public is being deprived of what history is really about: facts."

Mr. Leonard said he believed that while that logic might seem strained, the agencies were technically correct. But he said the complaints about the secret program, which prompted his decision to conduct an audit, showed that the government's system for deciding what should be secret is deeply flawed.

Continue Reading...

» Monday, February 20, 2006

After Neoconservatism

The NeoCon Legacy! I have commented several times on the legacy that the NeoCons are creating.   This, as pointed out before, is symbolized in my blog description.   The article below encompasses a lot of what I have been thinking, while looking at the true Neoconservative Movement and not just the hijacked insanity that is the Bush Administration .   It is a fairly long essay but it is worth the read, as you can see from the selective quotes I have listed below (out of context).   - fc
NY TimesAfter Neoconservatism

By Francis Fukuyama
Sun Feb 19, 2006

As we approach the third anniversary of the onset of the Iraq war, it seems very unlikely that history will judge either the intervention itself or the ideas animating it kindly. By invading Iraq, the Bush administration created a self-fulfilling prophecy: Iraq has now replaced Afghanistan as a magnet, a training ground and an operational base for jihadist terrorists, with plenty of American targets to shoot at. The United States still has a chance of creating a Shiite-dominated democratic Iraq, but the new government will be very weak for years to come; the resulting power vacuum will invite outside influence from all of Iraq's neighbors, including Iran. There are clear benefits to the Iraqi people from the removal of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, and perhaps some positive spillover effects in Lebanon and Syria. But it is very hard to see how these developments in themselves justify the blood and treasure that the United States has spent on the project to this point.

The administration's second-term efforts to push for greater Middle Eastern democracy, introduced with the soaring rhetoric of Bush's second Inaugural Address, have borne very problematic fruits.

--- red-state Americans whose sons and daughters are fighting and dying in the Middle East - supported the Iraq war because they believed that their children were fighting to defend the United States against nuclear terrorism, not to promote democracy.

A recent Pew poll indicates a swing in public opinion toward isolationism; the percentage of Americans saying that the United States "should mind its own business" has never been higher since the end of the Vietnam War.

How did the neoconservatives end up overreaching to such an extent that they risk undermining their own goals?
Francis Fukuyama teaches at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. This essay is adapted from his book "America at the Crossroads," which will be published this month by Yale University Press.
Continue Reading...

Update (6.20.2006 10:00 pm) :: Mahablog has a very good round of comments about this essay and it's author in Patriotism v. Francis Fukuyama.   If you are interested in the 'big picture' aspect as Maha puts it, then her post is a must read.

» Friday, February 17, 2006

Sale of US Ports

Clinton and Menendez! I really can't see why they are handing Hillary this much political capital, as they call it.   Has anyone of the Bush/Cheney 'Yes' men actually put this concept down in writing and then followed thru with the spoken word.   It sounds so stupid, it makes me wonder about the wonder boys that have ensured a perpetual republican majority.   Hello...     - fc

Update (2.19.2006 - 4:00 pm) ::   From SusantG at DaliyKOS comes a few quotes from 'Meet The Press' about the Ports issue...   It is to be noted that Lindsey Graham is far from a left wing liberal...   Not a good sign for Fearless Leader...
Barbara Boxer The kindest thing said about Chertoff's approval of outsourcing our port security was that it was "unbelievably tone deaf" - and this from Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. Democrats Barbara Boxer, Evan Bayh and Robert Menendez were not quite so kind, with Boxer calling for legislation to limit the nation's infrastructure protection to American companies, Bayh calling for an in-depth look at the company and Menendez proclaiming this administration "just does not get it."
Menendez, Clinton to Introduce Bill to Block Foreign Governments from Controlling U.S. Ports
Clinton.Senate.govHillary Clinton
Thur Feb 17, 2006

Legislation Would Block Sale of U.S. Port Operations to UAE-Controlled Company

Washington, DC - United States Senators Robert Menendez and Hillary Clinton announced today that they are introducing legislation to prohibit companies owned or controlled by foreign governments from purchasing port operations in the United States. The legislation would block such transactions as the proposed sale of operations at six major U.S. ports to Dubai Ports World, a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates.

"Our ports are the front lines of the war on terrorism. They are both vulnerable targets for attack and venues for smuggling and human trafficking," Menendez said. "We wouldn’t turn the border patrol or the customs service over to a foreign government, and we can’t afford to turn our ports over to one either."

"Our port security is too important to place in the hands of foreign governments," Clinton said. "I will be working with Senator Menendez to introduce legislation that will prohibit the sale of ports to foreign governments."

Dubai Ports World has announced plans to buy P&O Ports, the company that runs commercial operation at ports in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia, as well as other U.S. cities. The transaction was reviewed and approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a committee made up of representatives of different government departments and agencies, and seems headed for completion unless blocked by Congress.

"The Bush administration has neglected port security for years, and now they’re ready to turn port operations over to the control of a foreign government that is a known transit point for smuggled nuclear technology," Menendez said. "Congress must act to protect our security."

Only 5% of containers that enter the United States through ports are actually inspected, despite repeated warnings by security experts that ports are a prime target for terrorist attacks.

EPIC Wins FOIA Lawsuit

foia for documents...! I think the most important aspect of this event is summed up in this statement from the 'Background" section below ::
"Once the DOJ completes its processing of the material, any decision to withhold the requested documents will be subject to judicial review"
This has got to be a step in the right direction because the nitwits in Congress sure don't know how to deal with it...   - fc
Court Orders Justice Department to Release NSA Surveillance Documents in EPIC Lawsuit
Electronic Privacy Information Center
Thur Feb 16, 2006

In response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit (pdf) filed by EPIC, a federal judge has ordered (pdf) the Department of Justice to process and release documents related to the Bush Administration's warrantless surveillance program by March 8. It is the first court opinion addressing the controversial domestic spying operation. "President Bush has invited meaningful debate about the warrantless surveillance program," U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy wrote. "That can only occur if DOJ processes [EPIC's] FOIA requests in a timely fashion and releases the information sought." For more information, see ::
EPIC's Domestic Surveillance FOIA


In December 2005, the New York Times reported that President Bush secretly issued an executive order in 2002 authorizing the National Security Agency to conduct warrantless surveillance of international telephone and Internet communications on American soil. President Bush acknowledged the existence of the NSA surveillance program and vowed that its activities would continue.

EPIC submitted FOIA requests to the NSA and four Department of Justice components just hours after the existence of the warrantless surveillance program was first reported. Noting the extraordinary public interest in the program — and its potential illegality — EPIC asked the agencies to expedite the processing of the requests.

The DOJ agreed that the requests warranted priority treatment, but has now failed to comply with the FOIA's usual time limit of twenty working days. In January 2006, EPIC filed a lawsuit (pdf) against the DOJ to compel the immediate disclosure of information concerning the NSA surveillance program, which will facilitate the current and ongoing public debate on the propriety of warrantless surveillance. EPIC has asked (pdf) the federal district court in Washington to issue a preliminary injunction requiring the release of relevant documents within 20 days. EPIC's case has been consolidated with a lawsuit (pdf) filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and National Security Archive concerning the same documents.

On February 16, 2006, U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy ordered (pdf) the DOJ to process and release documents concerning the NSA program within 20 days. Once the DOJ completes its processing of the material, any decision to withhold the requested documents will be subject to judicial review, and Judge Kennedy will have the ability to order "in camera" production of the material and make an independent determination concerning public disclosure.

The NSA has released two internal messages (pdf) in response to EPIC's request, but is withholding all other responsive material. EPIC filed suit (pdf) against the NSA in February 2006, asking a federal court to compel the release of the withheld documents.

» Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Scandals Overview

Time After Time...! These scandals are just about getting laughable.   I found this quote below to be very telling about the Republicans as to their attitude and their standard operating procedure.   Even tho this comes at the end of a piece about the latest Katrina findings, DarkSyde's playbook framework fits just about all their scandals.

I had changed the description of my blog quite a while before Katrina (somewhere post Chiavo - PlameGate).   After Katrina I was forced to add Incompetence to it for it to really be accurate.
Torture, Treason, Corruption, Lies and Incompetence...
Known by their works...   The Republicans 2000 - 2008

    - fc
Republicans Blister White House
By DarkSyde
Wed Feb 15, 2006

Feel safer yet? There are so many instances of what can only be interpreted as paranoid behavior, incompetence, misinformation, scandals in various states of legal and journalistic illumination, or blatant lying, now plaguing this White House, that just trying to keep up with them all is bewildering. But from Loose-lips Libby to Heckuva-job Brownie to Dead-eye Dick, perhaps a useful unifying framework to keep it all sorted out is the apparent Bush and Company gub'mint playbook:
•   Step 1: Screw-up
•   Step 2: Evade, spin, and Cover-up
•   Step 3: When it's too late Show-up
•   Step 4: Quietly Lawyer-up

•   Step 5: Finally, promise to cooperate and then Clam-up
Maybe the powers that be lost the next page out of the playbook, or they would know Step 5 is traditionally followed by Step 6 in which voters demonstrate at the polls that they're fed-up. Or Step 6a; after which the guilty and the complicit are locked-up.

» Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Bush Scandals

2000 - 2004! These scandals are just the beginning of the legacy of the Cheney Administration.   There are newer ones like the domestic spying and others that will have to be documented, but this is a must for the historical record.   I have reprinted the version from and as the original author indicates, it is ok for anyone to use this information.   - fc
The Scandal Sheet
By Peter Dizikes

Tuesday 18 January 2005

Print it out, send it to Harry Reid, or just read it and weep. Here are 34 scandals from the first four years of George W. Bush's presidency - every one of them worse than Whitewater.

[ snip...]

This list is also limited to events of the past four years, or those coming to light in that time. It covers both the executive branch and the Congress, since the latter, especially the Senate, is increasingly a mere adjunct to the White House. However, the items are not arranged in terms of moral or historical gravity. Abu Ghraib might create years of anti-American hatred abroad, but it and some other headline-generating events appear near the end of the list, to help familiarize readers first with lesser-known or now-overlooked scandals. Recall how John Ashcroft broke the law? Know why Dick Cheney wants to keep those energy task force documents secret? Read on. You too, Harry Reid.
  1. Memogate: The Senate Computer Theft

    The scandal: From 2001 to 2003, Republican staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee illicitly accessed nearly 5,000 computer files containing confidential Democratic strategy memos about President Bush's judicial nominees. The GOP used the memos to shape their own plans and leaked some to the media.

    The problem: The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act states it is illegal to obtain confidential information from a government computer.

    The outcome: Unresolved. The Justice Department has assigned a prosecutor to the case. The staff member at the heart of the matter, Manuel Miranda, has attempted to brazen it out, filing suit in September 2004 against the DOJ to end the investigation. "A grand jury will indict a ham sandwich," Miranda complained. Some jokes just write themselves.

  2. Doctor Detroit: The DOJ's Bungled Terrorism Case

    The scandal: The Department of Justice completely botched the nation's first post-9/11 terrorism trial, as seen when the convictions of three Detroit men allegedly linked to al-Qaida were overturned in September 2004. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft had claimed their June 2003 sentencing sent "a clear message" that the government would "detect, disrupt and dismantle the activities of terrorist cells."

    The problem: The DOJ's lead prosecutor in the case, Richard Convertino, withheld key information from the defense and distorted supposed pieces of evidence - like a Las Vegas vacation video purported to be a surveillance tape. But that's not the half of it. Convertino says he was unfairly scapegoated because he testified before the Senate, against DOJ wishes, about terrorist financing. Justice's reconsideration of the case began soon thereafter. Convertino has since sued the DOJ, which has also placed him under investigation.

    The outcome: Let's see: Overturned convictions, lawsuits and feuding about a Kafkaesque case. Nobody looks good here.

  3. Dark Matter: The Energy Task Force

    The scandal: A lawsuit has claimed it is illegal for Dick Cheney to keep the composition of his 2001 energy-policy task force secret. What's the big deal? The New Yorker's Jane Mayer has suggested an explosive aspect of the story, citing a National Security Council memo from February 2001, which "directed the N.S.C. staff to cooperate fully with the Energy Task Force as it considered the 'melding' of ... 'operational policies towards rogue states,' such as Iraq, and 'actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields.'" In short, the task force's activities could shed light on the administration's pre-9/11 Iraq aims.

    The problem: The Federal Advisory Committee Act says the government must disclose the work of groups that include non-federal employees; the suit claims energy industry executives were effectively task force members. Oh, and the Bush administration has portrayed the Iraq war as a response to 9/11, not something it was already considering.

    The outcome: Unresolved. In June 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court sent the case back to an appellate court.

  4. The Indian Gaming Scandal

    The scandal: Potential influence peddling to the tune of $82 million, for starters. Jack Abramoff, a GOP lobbyist and major Bush fundraiser, and Michael Scanlon, a former aide to Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), received that amount from several Indian tribes, while offering access to lawmakers. For instance, Texas' Tigua tribe, which wanted its closed El Paso casino reopened, gave millions to the pair and $33,000 to Rep. Robert Ney (R-Ohio) in hopes of favorable legislation (Ney came up empty). And get this: The Tiguas were unaware that Abramoff, Scanlon and conservative activist Ralph Reed had earned millions lobbying to have the same casino shut in 2002.

    The problem: Federal officials want to know if Abramoff and Scanlon provided real services for the $82 million, and if they broke laws while backing candidates in numerous Indian tribe elections.

    The outcome: Everybody into the cesspool! The Senate Indian Affairs Committee and five federal agencies, including the FBI, IRS, and Justice Department, are investigating.

  5. Halliburton's No-Bid Bonanza

    The scandal: In February 2003, Halliburton received a five-year, $7 billion no-bid contract for services in Iraq.

    The problem: The Army Corps of Engineers' top contracting officer, Bunnatine Greenhouse, objected to the deal, saying the contract should be the standard one-year length, and that a Halliburton official should not have been present during the discussions.

    The outcome: The FBI is investigating. The $7 billion contract was halved and Halliburton won one of the parts in a public bid. For her troubles, Greenhouse has been forced into whistle-blower protection.

  6. Halliburton: Pumping Up Prices

    The scandal: In 2003, Halliburton overcharged the army for fuel in Iraq. Specifically, Halliburton's subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root hired a Kuwaiti company, Altanmia, to supply fuel at about twice the going rate, then added a markup, for an overcharge of at least $61 million, according to a December 2003 Pentagon audit.

    The problem: That's not the government's $61 million, it's our $61 million.

    The outcome: The FBI is investigating.

  7. Halliburton's Vanishing Iraq Money

    The scandal: In mid-2004, Pentagon auditors determined that $1.8 billion of Halliburton's charges to the government, about 40 percent of the total, had not been adequately documented.

    The problem: That's not the government's $1.8 billion, it's our $1.8 billion.

    The outcome: The Defense Contract Audit Agency has "strongly" asked the Army to withhold about $60 million a month from its Halliburton payments until the documentation is provided.

  8. The Halliburton Bribe-Apalooza

    The scandal: This may not surprise you, but an international consortium of companies, including Halliburton, is alleged to have paid more than $100 million in bribes to Nigerian officials, from 1995 to 2002, to facilitate a natural-gas-plant deal. (Cheney was Halliburton's CEO from 1995 to 2000.)

    The problem: The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prohibits U.S. companies from bribing foreign officials.

    The outcome: A veritable coalition of the willing is investigating the deal, including the Justice Department, the SEC, the Nigerian government and a French magistrate. In June, Halliburton fired two implicated executives.

  9. Halliburton: One Fine Company

    The scandal: In 1998 and 1999, Halliburton counted money recovered from project overruns as revenue, before settling the charges with clients.

    The problem: Doing so made the company's income appear larger, but Halliburton did not explain this to investors. The SEC ruled this accounting practice was "materially misleading."

    The outcome: In August 2004, Halliburton agreed to pay a $7.5 million fine to settle SEC charges. One Halliburton executive has paid a fine and another is settling civil charges. Now imagine the right-wing rhetoric if, say, Al Gore had once headed a firm fined for fudging income statements.

  10. Halliburton's Iran End Run

    The scandal: Halliburton may have been doing business with Iran while Cheney was CEO.

    The problem: Federal sanctions have banned U.S. companies from dealing directly with Iran. To operate in Iran legally, U.S. companies have been required to set up independent subsidiaries registered abroad. Halliburton thus set up a new entity, Halliburton Products and Services Ltd., to do business in Iran, but while the subsidiary was registered in the Cayman Islands, it may not have had operations totally independent of the parent company.

    The outcome: Unresolved. The Treasury Department has referred the case to the U.S. attorney in Houston, who convened a grand jury in July 2004.

  11. Money Order: Afghanistan's Missing $700 Million Turns Up in Iraq

    The scandal: According to Bob Woodward's "Plan of Attack," the Bush administration diverted $700 million in funds from the war in Afghanistan, among other places, to prepare for the Iraq invasion.

    The problem: Article I, Section 8, Clause 12 of the U.S. Constitution specifically gives Congress the power "to raise and support armies." And the emergency spending bill passed after Sept. 11, 2001, requires the administration to notify Congress before changing war spending plans. That did not happen.

    The outcome: Congress declined to investigate. The administration's main justification for its decision has been to claim the funds were still used for, one might say, Middle East anti-tyrant-related program activities.

  12. Iraq: More Loose Change

    The scandal: The inspector general of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq released a series of reports in July 2004 finding that a significant portion of CPA assets had gone missing - 34 percent of the materiel controlled by Kellogg, Brown & Root - and that the CPA's method of disbursing $600 million in Iraq reconstruction funds "did not establish effective controls and left accountability open to fraud, waste and abuse."

    The problem: As much as $50 million of that money was disbursed without proper receipts.

    The outcome: The CPA has disbanded, but individual government investigations into the handling of Iraq's reconstruction continue.

  13. The Pentagon-Israel Spy Case

    The scandal: A Pentagon official, Larry Franklin, may have passed classified United States documents about Iran to Israel, possibly via the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a Washington lobbying group.

    The problem: To do so could be espionage or could constitute the mishandling of classified documents.

    The outcome: A grand jury is investigating. In December 2004, the FBI searched AIPAC's offices. A Senate committee has also been investigating the apparently unauthorized activities of the Near East and South Asia Affairs group in the Pentagon, where Franklin works.

  14. Gone to Taiwan

    The scandal: Missed this one? A high-ranking State Department official, Donald Keyser, was arrested and charged in September with making a secret trip to Taiwan and was observed by the FBI passing documents to Taiwanese intelligence agents in Washington-area meetings.

    The problem: Such unauthorized trips are illegal. And we don't have diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

    The outcome: The case is in the courts.

  15. Wiretapping the United Nations

    The scandal: Before the United Nations' vote on the Iraq war, the United States and Great Britain developed an eavesdropping operation targeting diplomats from several countries.

    The problem: U.N. officials say the practice is illegal and undermines honest diplomacy, although some observers claim it is business as usual on East 42nd Street.

    The outcome: Little fuss here, but a major British scandal erupted after U.K. intelligence translator Katherine Gun leaked a U.S. National Security Agency memo requesting British help in the spying scheme, in early 2003. Initially charged under Britain's Official Secrets Act for leaking classified information, Gun was cleared in 2004 - seemingly to avoid hearings questioning the legality of Britain's war participation.

  16. The Boeing Boondoggle

    The scandal: In 2003, the Air Force contracted with Boeing to lease a fleet of refueling tanker planes at an inflated price: $23 billion.

    The problem: The deal was put together by a government procurement official, Darleen Druyun, who promptly joined Boeing. Beats using a headhunter.

    The outcome: In November 2003, Boeing fired both Druyun and CFO Michael Sears. In April 2004, Druyun pled guilty to a conspiracy charge in the case. In November 2004, Sears copped to a conflict-of-interest charge, and company CEO Phil Condit resigned. The government is reviewing its need for the tankers.

  17. The Medicare Bribe Scandal

    The scandal: According to former Rep. Nick Smith (R-Mich.), on Nov. 21, 2003, with the vote on the administration's Medicare bill hanging in the balance, someone offered to contribute $100,000 to his son's forthcoming congressional campaign, if Smith would support the bill.

    The problem: Federal law prohibits the bribery of elected officials.

    The outcome: In September 2004, the House Ethics Committee concluded an inquiry by fingering House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), saying he deserved "public admonishment" for offering to endorse Smith's son in return for Smith's vote. DeLay has claimed Smith initiated talks about a quid pro quo. The matter of the $100,000 is unresolved; soon after his original allegations, Smith suddenly claimed he had not been offered any money. Smith's son Brad lost his GOP primary in August 2004.

  18. Tom DeLay's PAC Problems

    The scandal: One of DeLay's political action committees, Texans for a Republican Majority, apparently reaped illegal corporate contributions for the campaigns of Republicans running for the Texas Legislature in 2002. Given a Republican majority, the Legislature then re-drew Texas' U.S. congressional districts to help the GOP.

    The problem: Texas law bans the use of corporate money for political purposes.

    The outcome: Unresolved. Three DeLay aides and associates - Jim Ellis, John Colyandro and Warren RoBold - were charged in September 2004 with crimes including money laundering and unlawful acceptance of corporate contributions.

  19. Tom DeLay's FAA: Following Americans Anywhere

    The scandal: In May 2003, DeLay's office persuaded the Federal Aviation Administration to find the plane carrying a Texas Democratic legislator, who was leaving the state in an attempt to thwart the GOP's nearly unprecedented congressional redistricting plan.

    The problem: According to the House Ethics Committee, the "invocation of federal executive branch resources in a partisan dispute before a state legislative body" is wrong.

    The outcome: In October 2004, the committee rebuked DeLay for his actions.

  20. In the Rough: Tom DeLay's Golf Fundraiser

    The scandal: DeLay appeared at a golf fundraiser that Westar Energy held for one of his political action committees, Americans for a Republican Majority, while energy legislation was pending in the House.

    The problem: It's one of these "appearance of impropriety" situations.

    The outcome: The House Ethics Committee tossed the matter into its Oct. 6 rebuke. "Take a lap, Tom."

  21. Busy, Busy, Busy in New Hampshire

    The scandal: In 2002, with a tight Senate race in New Hampshire, Republican Party officials paid a Virginia-based firm, GOP Marketplace, to enact an Election Day scheme meant to depress Democratic turnout by "jamming" the Democratic Party phone bank with continuous calls for 90 minutes.

    The problem: Federal law prohibits the use of telephones to "annoy or harass" anyone.

    The outcome: Chuck McGee, the former executive director of the New Hampshire GOP, pleaded guilty in July 2004 to a felony charge, while Allen Raymond, former head of GOP Marketplace, pleaded guilty to a similar charge in June. In December, James Tobin, former New England campaign chairman of Bush-Cheney '04, was indicted for conspiracy in the case.

  22. The Medicare Money Scandal

    The scandal: Thomas Scully, Medicare's former administrator, supposedly threatened to fire chief Medicare actuary Richard Foster to prevent him from disclosing the true cost of the 2003 Medicare bill.

    The problem: Congress voted on the bill believing it would cost $400 billion over 10 years. The program is more likely to cost $550 billion.

    The outcome: Scully denies threatening to fire Foster, as Foster has charged, but admits telling Foster to withhold the higher estimate from Congress. In September 2004, the Government Accountability Office recommended Scully return half his salary from 2003. Inevitably, Scully is now a lobbyist for drug companies helped by the bill.

  23. The Bogus Medicare "Video News Release"

    The scandal: To promote its Medicare bill, the Bush administration produced imitation news-report videos touting the legislation. About 40 television stations aired the videos. More recently, similar videos promoting the administration's education policy have come to light.

    The problem: The administration broke two laws: One forbidding the use of federal money for propaganda, and another forbidding the unauthorized use of federal funds.

    The outcome: In May 2004, the GAO concluded the administration acted illegally, but the agency lacks enforcement power.

  24. Pundits on the Payroll: The Armstrong Williams Case

    The scandal: The Department of Education paid conservative commentator Armstrong Williams $240,000 to promote its educational law, No Child Left Behind.

    The problem: Williams did not disclose that his support was government funded until the deal was exposed in January 2005.

    The outcome: The House and FCC are considering inquiries, while Williams' syndicated newspaper column has been terminated.

  25. Ground Zero's Unsafe Air

    The scandal: Government officials publicly minimized the health risks stemming from the World Trade Center attack. In September 2001, for example, Environmental Protection Agency head Christine Todd Whitman said New York's "air is safe to breathe and [the] water is safe to drink."

    The problem: Research showed serious dangers or was incomplete. The EPA used outdated techniques that failed to detect tiny asbestos particles. EPA data also showed high levels of lead and benzene, which causes cancer. A Sierra Club report claims the government ignored alarming data. A GAO report says no adequate study of 9/11's health effects has been organized.

    The outcome: The long-term health effects of the disaster will likely not be apparent for years or decades and may never be definitively known. Already, hundreds of 9/11 rescue workers have quit their jobs because of acute illnesses.

  26. John Ashcroft's Illegal Campaign Contributions

    The scandal: Ashcroft's exploratory committee for his short-lived 2000 presidential bid transferred $110,000 to his unsuccessful 2000 reelection campaign for the Senate.

    The problem: The maximum for such a transfer is $10,000.

    The outcome: The Federal Election Commission fined Ashcroft's campaign treasurer, Garrett Lott, $37,000 for the transgression.

  27. Intel Inside ... The White House

    The scandal: In early 2001, chief White House political strategist Karl Rove held meetings with numerous companies while maintaining six-figure holdings of their stock - including Intel, whose executives were seeking government approval of a merger. "Washington hadn't seen a clearer example of a conflict of interest in years," wrote Paul Glastris in the Washington Monthly.

    The problem: The Code of Federal Regulations says government employees should not participate in matters in which they have a personal financial interest.

    The outcome: Then White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, spurning precedent, did not refer the case to the Justice Department.

  28. Duck! Antonin Scalia's Legal Conflicts

    The scandal: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia refused to recuse himself from the Cheney energy task force case, despite taking a duck-hunting trip with the vice president after the court agreed to weigh the matter.

    The problem: Federal law requires a justice to "disqualify himself from any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned."

    The outcome: Scalia stayed on, arguing no conflict existed because Cheney was party to the case in a professional, not personal, capacity. Nothing new for Scalia, who in 2002 was part of a Mississippi redistricting ruling favorable to GOP Rep. Chip Pickering - son of Judge Charles Pickering, a Scalia turkey-hunting pal. In 2001, Scalia went pheasant hunting with Kansas Gov. Bill Graves when that state had cases pending before the Supreme Court.

  29. AWOL

    The scandal: George W. Bush, self-described "war president," did not fulfill his National Guard duty, and Bush and his aides have made misleading statements about it. Salon's Eric Boehlert wrote the best recent summary of the issue.

    The problem: Military absenteeism is a punishable offense, although Bush received an honorable discharge.

    The outcome: No longer a campaign issue. But what was Bush doing in 1972?

  30. Iraq: The Case for War

    The scandal: Bush and many officials in his administration made false statements about Iraq's military capabilities, in the months before the United States' March 2003 invasion of the country.

    The problem: For one thing, it is a crime to lie to Congress, although Bush backers claim the president did not knowingly make false assertions.

    The outcome: A war spun out of control with unknowable long-term consequences. The Iraq Survey Group has stopped looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

  31. Niger Forgeries: Whodunit?

    The scandal: In his January 2003 State of the Union address, Bush said, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

    The problem: The statement was untrue. By March 2003, the International Atomic Energy Agency showed the claim, that Iraq sought materials from Niger, was based on easily discernible forgeries.

    The outcome: The identity of the forger(s) remains under wraps. Journalist Josh Marshall has implied the FBI is oddly uninterested in interviewing Rocco Martino, the former Italian intelligence agent who apparently first shopped the documents in intelligence and journalistic circles and would presumably be able to shed light on their origin.

  32. In Plame Sight

    The scandal: In July 2003, administration officials disclosed the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA operative working on counterterrorism efforts, to multiple journalists, and columnist Robert Novak made Plame's identity public. Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had just written a New York Times opinion piece stating he had investigated the Niger uranium-production allegations, at the CIA's behest, and reported them to be untrue, before Bush's 2003 State of the Union address.

    The problem: Under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act it is illegal to disclose, knowingly, the name of an undercover agent.

    The outcome: Unresolved. The Justice Department appointed special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to the case in December 2003. While this might seem a simple matter, Fitzgerald could be unable to prove the leakers knew Plame was a covert agent.

  33. Abu Ghraib

    The scandal: American soldiers physically tortured prisoners in Iraq and kept undocumented "ghost detainees" in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

    The problem: The United States is party to the Geneva Conventions, which state that "No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever."

    The outcome: Unresolved. A Pentagon internal inquiry found a lack of oversight at Abu Ghraib, while independent inquiries have linked the events to the administration's desire to use aggressive interrogation methods globally. Notoriously, Gonzales has advocated an approach which "renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions." More recently, Gonzales issued qualified support for the Geneva Conventions in January 2005 Senate testimony after being nominated for attorney general. Army reservist Charles Graner was convicted in January 2005 for abusing prisoners, while a few other soldiers await trial.

  34. Guantánamo Bay Torture?

    The scandal: The U.S. military is also alleged to have abused prisoners at the U.S. Navy's base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. FBI agents witnessing interrogations there have reported use of growling dogs to frighten prisoners and the chaining of prisoners in the fetal position while depriving them of food or water for extended periods.

    The problem: More potential violations of the Geneva Conventions.

    The outcome: An internal military investigation was launched in January 2005.

» Tuesday, February 07, 2006

NSA Hearings

Current Issues :: Review! Since I have been feeling so bad, I thought I would just post a review of important current issues....   - fc
Ex-President Carter: Eavesdropping Illegal

"It was difficult for them personally with the civil liberties of both husband and wife violated, and they became the targets of secret government wiretapping and other surveillance," he said at the Memorial to Coretta Scott King.   Bush was sitting right behind him with one of those little shit eating grins on his face.
Restore Rule of Law :: Petition

We demand a thorough and independent investigation of the Bush administration's allegedly illegal wiretapping activities, including: (1) appointment of an independent counsel to respond to any criminal activity that may have taken place, (2) a thorough, meaningful and open Congressional investigation, (3) protection for all whistleblowers who come forward with evidence of wrongdoing in this program.
Special Counsel For Domestic Spying :: Petition

As your constituent, I urge you request that the Department of Justice appoint a special counsel to investigate any and all criminal acts committed by any member of the Executive Branch who may have been involved in the authorization of warrentless electronic surveillance of people within the United States, including U.S. citizens, by the National Security Agency (NSA).
Support Murtha's H.J. Res 73

As a member of Peace Action, I urge you to support Congressman John Murtha's legislation, H.J. Res 73, calling for a gradual withdrawal of troops from Iraq. With nearly 2,200 American soldiers dead and, in Bush's own words, 30-35,000 Iraqi's dead, it's apparent that our occupation is nothing but the fuel for the insurgency. Peace cannot be achieved until our troops come home.

» Sunday, February 05, 2006

Superbowl 40

Take a Day Off Superbowl 40Superbowl XL Winners
Sunday February 05, 2006
Pittsburgh Steelers
21 - 10   over the
Seatle Seahawks

» Thursday, February 02, 2006

Murtha's Letter To The President

Full Text of Letter Huffington Post posted this and I thought it worthy to document... Many of his ideas were put forth by my friend Rayf at Political well before Murtha came to notoriety.   I imagine we all know intelligent people that can see what needs to be done.   What is perplexing is that there are so few in Washington D.C.   - fc

Wednesday February 1, 2006
The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

This March will mark the beginning of the 4th year of the war in Iraq. In contrast, U.S. involvement in WWI came to an end after 19 months. Victory in Europe was declared in WWII after 3 years 5 months. In the Korean War, a cease-fire was signed after 3 years and 1 month. But after more than three and a half years into the war in Iraq, your administration finally produced what is called a "Plan for Victory" in Iraq.

Iraq is not the center for the global war on terrorism. I believe Iraq has diverted our attention away from the fight against global terrorism and has depleted the required resources needed to wage an effective war. It is estimated that there are only about 750 to 1,000 al-Qaeda in Iraq. I believe the Iraqis will force them out or kill them after U.S. troops are gone. In fact, there is now evidence that Iraqi insurgent groups are increasingly turning against al-Qaeda and other foreign terrorists.

Our country needs a vigorous and comprehensive strategy for victory against global terrorism. The architect of 9/11 is still out there but now has an international microphone. We must get back to the real issue at hand - we have to root out and destroy al-Qaeda's worldwide network.

There are 4 key elements that I recommend to reinvigorate our global anti-terrorism effort: Redeploy, Replace, Reallocate, and Reconstitute.


The war in Iraq is fueling terrorism, not eliminating it. Our continued military presence feeds the strong anti-foreigner fervor that has existed in this part of the world for centuries. A vast majority of the Iraqi people now view American troops as occupiers, not liberators. Over 80% of Iraqis want U.S. forces to leave Iraq and 47% think it is justified to attack Americans. 70% of Iraqis favor a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. forces, with half favoring a withdrawal in the next six months. In fact, 67% of Iraqis expect day-to-day security for Iraqi citizens will improve if U.S. forces withdraw in six months and over 60% believe violent attacks, including those that are ethnically motivated, will decrease. Our military presence is the single most important reason why the Iraqis have tolerated the foreign terrorists, who account for less than 7 percent of the insurgency. 93% of the insurgency is made up of Iraqis. Once our troops are re-deployed, the Iraqis will reject the terrorists and deny them a safe haven in Iraq. The Iraqis are against a foreign presence in Iraq of any kind.

The steadfast and valiant efforts of the United States military and coalition partners have provided the Iraqi people with the framework needed to self govern. The Iraqis held elections that have been touted as highly successful, based primarily on the accounts of Iraqis who went to the polls. But our continued military presence in Iraq, regardless of the motives behind it, is seen by Iraqis as interfering in Iraq's democratic process and undercuts the chances for the newly elected government to be successful. Recently, Iraq's National Security Adviser accused U.S. negotiators of going behind the back of the Iraqi government on talks with insurgents, saying the process could encourage more violence. He said, "Americans are making a huge and fatal mistake in their policy for appeasement and they should not do this. They should leave the Iraqi government to deal with it... The United States should allow the new Iraqi government to decide on how to quell the insurgency."

In December 2005, an ABC News poll in Iraq produced some noteworthy results. 57% of Iraqis identified national security as the country's top priority. When asked to rate the confidence in public institutions, they gave Iraqi police a 68% confidence level, the Iraqi army 67%, religious leaders 67%. But the U.S./U.K. forces scored the lowest, a mere 18%.

The longer our military stays in Iraq, the more unwelcome we will be. We will be increasingly entangled in an open-ended nation building mission, one that our military can not accomplish amidst a civil war. Our troops will continue to be the targets of Iraqis who see them as interfering occupiers.

Redeploying our forces from Iraq and stationing a mobile force outside of the country removes a major antagonizing factor. I believe we will see a swift demise of foreign terrorist groups in Iraq if we redeploy outside of the country. Further, our troops will no longer be the targets of bloody attacks.


The ever-changing justifications of the war in Iraq, combined with tragic missteps, have resulted in a worldwide collapse of support for U.S. policies in Iraq.

The credibility of the United States of America will not be restored if we continue down the path of saying one thing and doing another. We must not lower our standards and tactics to those of the terrorists. In order to keep our homeland secure, we must hold true to the values that molded our American democracy, even in the face of adversity. Former Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, said it best during a speech in March 2004 to the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies: "America knows we cannot seek a double standard. And, America knows we get what we give. And so we must and will always be careful to respect people's privacy, civil liberties and reputations. To suggest that there is a tradeoff between security and individual freedoms -- that we must discard one protection for the other -- is a false choice. You do not defend liberty to forsake it."

Restoring the world's confidence in America as a competent and morally superior world leader is essential to winning the war on global terrorism.

A recent pubic opinion poll, conducted jointly with Zogby International and taken in Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, found that 81% said the war in Iraq had brought less peace to the Middle East. A majority of the respondents said they view the United States as the biggest threat to their nations.

Mr. President, I believe in order to restore our credibility, you must hold accountable those responsible for so many missteps and install a fresh team that demonstrates true diplomatic skill, knowledge of cultural differences and a willingness to earnestly engage other leaders in a respectful and constructive way. This would do much to reinvigorate international participation in a truly effective war on global terrorism.


The Department of Defense has been allocated $238 billion for the war in Iraq, with average monthly costs growing significantly since the beginning of the war. In 2003 the average monthly war cost was $4.4 billion; by 2005 the average monthly cost had reached $6.1 billion.

Despite the urgent homeland security needs of our country, the bipartisan 9/11 Commission issued a dismal report card on the efforts to improve our counter-terrorist defenses. Even the most basic of recommendations, such as the coordination of fire and police communication lines, still have not been accomplished.

In the face of threats from international terrorists, we need to reallocate funds from the war in Iraq to protecting the United States against attack. A safe and swift redeployment from Iraq will allow us to do just that.


The U.S. army is the smallest it's been since 1941. It is highly capable. But this drawn out conflict has put tremendous stress on our military, particularly on our Army and Marine Corps, whose operations tempo has increased substantially since 9/11.

The Government Accountability Office issued a report in November 2005 addressing the challenges of military personnel recruitment and retention and noted that the Department of Defense had been unable to fill over 112,000 positions in critical occupational specialties. This shortfall includes intelligence analysts, special forces, interpreters, and demolition experts-- those on whom we rely so heavily in today's asymmetric battlefield.

Some of our troops have been deployed four times over the last three years. Enlistment for the regular forces as well as the guard and reserves are well below recruitment goals. In 2005, the Army missed its recruitment goal for the first time since 1999, even after offering enlistment bonuses and incentives, lowering its monthly goals, and lowering its recruitment standards. As Retired Army officer Andrew Krepinevich recently warned in a report to the Pentagon, the Army is "in a race against time" to adjust to the demands of war "or risk 'breaking' the force in the form of a catastrophic decline" in recruitment and re-enlistment.

The harsh environment in which we are operating our equipment in Iraq, combined with the equipment usage rate (ten times greater than peacetime levels) is taking a heavy toll on our ground equipment. It is currently estimated that $50 billion will be required to refurbish this equipment.

Further, in its response to Hurricane Katrina, the National Guard realized that it had over $1.3 billion in equipment shortfalls. This has created a tremendous burden on non-deployed guard units, on whom this country depends so heavily to respond to domestic disasters and possible terrorist attacks. Without relief, Army Guard units will face growing equipment shortages and challenges in regaining operational readiness for future missions at home and overseas.

Since 9/11, Congress has appropriated about $334 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, while the insurgents have spent hundreds of thousands. We have seen reports estimating that the total cost of the wars may reach as high as $1 trillion. These estimates are said to include such costs as providing long-term disability benefits and care for injured service members. It is estimated today that over 16,000 U.S. troops have been wounded in Iraq, 10,481 of whom have been wounded by "weaponry explosive devices."

But while war costs continue to climb, cuts are being made to the defense budget. As soon as the war is over there will be pressure to cut even more. This year, even while we are at war, 8 billion dollars was cut from the base defense spending bill. You ordered another $32 billion in cuts to the defense budget over the next five years, with $11.6 billion coming from the Army. The Pentagon told Congress only last year that it needed 77 combat brigades to fulfill its missions, but now insists it only needs 70. In fact, 6 of the 7 combat brigades will be cut from the National Guard, reducing its combat units from 34 to 28. Even though all of the National Guard combat brigades have been deployed overseas since 9/11, your Administration has determined that, because of funding shortfalls, our combat ground forces can be reduced. Not only will these cuts diminish our combat power, but our ability to respond to natural disasters and terrorist threats to our homeland will be adversely affected. It is obvious that the cost of the war, in conjunction with the Army's inability to meet recruitment goals, has impacted this estimate. My concern is that instead of our force structure being based on the future threat, it is now being based on the number of troops and level of funding available.

I am concerned that costly program cuts will lead to costly mistakes and we will be unable to sustain another deployment even if there is a real threat. The future of our military and the future of our country could very well be at stake. The high dollar forecasts of our future military weapons systems and military health care add pressure to cut costs on the backs of these programs. As our weapons systems age, the concern becomes even greater.

During a time of war, we are cutting our combat force, we have not mobilized industry, and have never fully mobilized our military. On our current path, I believe that we are not only in danger of breaking our military, but that we are increasing the chances of a major miscalculation by our future enemies, who may perceive us as vulnerable.


Member of Congress

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