“Many members said the bill’s defeat, by 224 to 209 votes, was the first rejection of an appropriation measure they could recall since Republicans assumed House control in 1995. The loss left the leadership uncertain whether to bring up another budget measure, which calls for $50 billion in cuts over five years.”
From “Saddam Hussein’s Development of Weapons of Mass Destruction” [White House website]:
In 2001, an Iraqi defector, Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri, said he had visited twenty secret facilities for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. … Mr. Saeed said Iraq used companies to purchase equipment with the blessing of the United Nations – and then secretly used the equipment for their weapons programs.
None of al-Haideri’s claims were true. Today’s Rolling Stone reveals that the administration’s use of al-Haideri’s lies to justify the Iraq war were “the product of a clandestine operation…that had been set up and funded by the CIA and the Pentagon for the express purpose of selling a war.”
At the center of this operation was John Rendon and The Rendon Group, “a controversial, secretive firm that has been criticized as ineffective and too expensive,” paid more than $56 million by the government since the 9/11 attacks. (Taxpayers are paying Rendon himself $311.26/hour.)
The Rendon Group personally set up the Iraqi National Congress and helped install Ahmad Chalabi as leader, whose main goal — “pressure the United States to attack Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein” — Rendon helped facilitate. Pentagon documents show that Rendon has the highest level of government clearance (above Top Secret), which helped it with its INC work — “a worldwide media blitz designed to turn Hussein…into the greatest threat to world peace.”
While the White House continues to insist it did not manipulate intelligence before the Iraq war, it sure seems that it hired John Rendon and his group to do just that.
Where President Bush leads…
Bush Defends CIA’s Clandestine Prisons; ‘We Do Not Torture,’ President Says
President Bush, defending a clandestine U.S. prison system abroad for terrorism suspects, said Monday that his administration would continue to aggressively battle terrorism in sometimes unconventional but always lawful ways. [Washington Post, 11/8/05]
Iraq defends secret prison, denies torture
Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr said Thursday a secret prison near Baghdad was used only for the worst criminals, and claims of torture are exaggerated. [UPI, 11/17/05]
It is good to be back on Think Progress with you. This morning’s Washington Post reported that political appointees overruled career civil rights professionals on whether DOJ should pre-approve Georgia’s law requiring a photo ID to vote. The decision to overrule the career experts at DOJ also overturned what had been the standard practice in that Department since the Voting Rights Act was first passed 40 years ago.
Having read that troubling story I could not help but revisit the discussion on election reform we had about a month ago.
I was particularly unimpressed by one line of argument uncovered in the Post article. An Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice argued that the number of potential voters without a photo ID was “extremely small.” He went on to argue that those without such ID were more likely to be white than black.
My question is this: why would the Department of Justice of the United States of America want to make it harder for any voter, regardless of his or her race, to exercise the most basic right guaranteed people of this great country?
Thankfully, two courts – with judges appointed by Republicans and Democrats alike – have now seen through the proposed Georgia law on requiring photo IDs to vote. Those courts have rightly stayed implementation of that unfortunate law – notwithstanding the political posturing of political appointees in Justice. That gives me great hope that the law will never be implemented – and other states will refuse to follow Georgia’s lead on passing what amounts to a modern day poll tax.
In a dramatic rebuke of conservative leadership, the House has defeated the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education spending bill for Fiscal Year 2006. This year’s bill, which contains one-third of all domestic spending, calls for deep cuts in critical government programs.
The vote was scheduled for 15 minutes but lasted more than a half hour. This time, the conservative leaders couldn’t twist enough arms.
UPDATE: This bill seemed to be OK with the right-wing until Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) cut out all the pork.
UPDATE II: More on the loss for conservative leadership from a Hill staffer, via The Plank:
The defeat was embarassing in more than one respect. First, they lost. Second, they looked hapless while losing. Rather than stopping the bleeding, they held the vote open for a long time, but had a twenty vote deficit. Very few of those votes were budging. To make the effort to hold the vote open and then to lose looks exceptionally weak.
“A bipartisan group of senators told congressional leaders Thursday they will try to block reauthorization of the Patriot Act to protest the elimination Senate-mandated protections against ‘unnecessary and intrusive government surveillance’ in a House-Senate compromise.”
Yesterday on Fox’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) responded to Bill O’Reilly’s remarks approving of a terrorist attack on her home district, San Francisco:
This is “” this is no joke. This is deadly serious. … Our city is a very patriotic city. In Northern California, we have more veterans per capita than any place in the country. So any inference to be drawn from his remarks that this is a place that is not patriotic and not worthy of being considered something to be defended or protected in our country is really — I cannot even understand why somebody like you and others in your business are not disassociating yourself from this.
Full transcript below: Read more
“If tough, non-effete guys like Murtha are willing to go this far, and can make the case in ways that Red America can relate to… then the president is in big trouble. I’m sure there’s going to be an anti-Murtha pile-on in the conservative blogosphere, but from where I sit, conservatives would be fools not to take this man seriously.” (Via Hotline On Call)