Robert O’Harrow Jr., WaPo: June 14, 2004; Page A04
As the government prepared for war in Iraq in the fall of 2002, a senior political appointee in the Defense Department chose oil services giant Halliburton Co. to secretly plan how to repair Iraqi oil fields, and then briefed Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff and other White House officials about the sole-source contract before it was granted.
Please pick Edwards
Beneath Gephardt radar, House Dems seek to sway Kerry
By Hans Nichols
A cabal of House Democrats is quietly lobbying Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to select Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) as his vice-presidential running mate.
The group is trying to fly beneath the radar of their former minority leader, Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.), and is making the case that Edwards would help down-ballot lawmakers in tight races and deliver the White House for Democrats.
700 TO 1
700 Iraqi Civilians Killed by Americans in Fallujah Were Never Seen on U.S. TV, But We’ve Seen A Lot of the Kidnapped Mr. Johnson
06/21/04 “ICH” — First, let me condemn the kidnapping of Mr. Johnson, the American hostage of the Al-Qaeda group in Saudi Arabia; it is against Islamic law to kidnap civilians or to hold them as hostages. Those who do such acts are outside of Islam, and we do not recognize them as Muslims. I condemn this as an American and as the former Director of The Islamic Center in Washington, DC.
Prime Minister of Terror: Who is Allawi?
By Ghali Hassan
06/21/04: “ICH” — On 30 June 2004, Mr. Iyad Allawi will switch his position from the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) to be come the Iraq’s new Prime Minister in the new named Iraqi Interim Government (IIG), another creature of the U.S. Nothing will change for the Iraqi People. The Iraqi people are very sceptical and despised those expatriates the U.S. piggybacked to Baghdad. For Mr. Allawi and his clique, they will be richer and brutal. Mr. Allawi will appear on American TV screens as often as possible, simply to legitimise the occupation of Iraq.
Mr. Allawi is a secular of prominent Moslem merchant family. He was a former member of the Baath Party underground movement, and was in Saddam’s regime unti1 1979. His wealthy family was close to the royal family that ruled before Saddam Hussein took power. After falling out of favour with Saddam, Allawi sought exile in London, where he developed a relationship with Britain’s MI-6 intelligence service during the 1980s, and eventually he also formed a relationship with the CIA. Allawi and Chalabi are related by marriage, have been alternately rivals and allies. Chalabi had a bitter break-up with the CIA in the 1990s but became close with the Pentagon. Meanwhile, Allawi and his Iraqi National Accord (INA) organization have solid relationships with the CIA and State Department.
Cheney needs to step aside for good of Bush, party
By James P. Gannon
An open letter to Vice President Cheney
Dear Mr. Vice President:
I am writing to you as a long-time admirer. Ever since you rose to prominence 30 years ago — when you became chief of staff to President Gerald Ford and I was a Wall Street Journal reporter covering economic policy in the Ford administration — you seemed to embody the qualities needed at the right hand of the president. Your competence, calmness amid crisis and absolute devotion to duty were obvious then, as now.
‘Mandela helped me survive Monicagate, Arafat could not make the leap to peace – and for days John Major wouldn’t take my calls’
On the eve of the publication of his eagerly anticipated $10m autobiography, Bill Clinton speaks exclusively to Alan Rusbridger and Jonathan Freedland in New York
Monday June 21, 2004
The stars have come out, just as they always did. There’s Uma Thurman, hair beacon-blonde. Glenn Close gives a little wave, taking up her place just a few seats away. Spike Lee is here somewhere. Officially, they’ve all come to the Skirball Center in New York’s SoHo district for a movie premiere. But the truth is that tonight is only peripherally about a film. The performance this starry, liberal crowd really want to see is by the man who became the most divisive figure in American life since Richard Nixon, the man who was hailed, even by his enemies, as the most gifted politician of the post-war era. They’re here to witness the rebirth of Bill Clinton.
‘Sex Priest’ stuns Argentina with love memoirs
Uki Goni in Buenos Aires
Sunday June 20, 2004
They used to call him the ‘Click Priest’, because he was best known for signing off the programming on an Argentine TV station each night. But Fr José Mariani has now become Argentina’s ‘Sex Priest’, following his publication of a book of racy memoirs that is on track to become a global publishing phenomenon.
In Unrestrained, the Life of a Priest, 77-year-old Mariani tells of his sexual exploits, with both women and men, sometimes in lurid detail: ‘She put her arms around my neck and asked: “Do you like the drink?” Then she leaned over me and sucked on my lips, asking: “And don’t you like this even more?”‘
The Failed Seduction of John McCain – How Democrats Are Their Own Worst Enemy
by Ted Rall
Now we know what John Kerry has been up to this spring. Other politicians, having wrapped up their party’s nomination early in March, might have devoted those extra months to honing their stump speech, shaking down contributors and strategizing for the long slog to November.
Not Kerry. Kerry, it seems, spent the last three months begging Republican John McCain to run as his vice president. He didn’t ask officially (whatever that means) but he asked seven times. “I don’t want to formally ask because I don’t want to be formally rejected, but having said that, would you do it?” an aide who ran messages between the two senators quoted Kerry’s approach to The New York Times. Each time, each of seven times, McCain’s answer was the same: an unequivocal no.
The inner W.
Three new psychological portraits of George W. Bush paint him as a control freak driven by rage, fear and an almost murderous Oedipal competition with his father. And that’s before we get to Mom.
– – – – – – – – – – – –
By Laura Miller
June 16, 2004 | Through a glass, darkly. That’s how most Americans see the character and personality of George W. Bush. The only difference is the tint: Bush’s supporters look at him through a rosy filter that makes him look like a man of moral fiber and resolve, unpretentious and commonsensical. His detractors see everything he does with a sallow brown tinge, tainted by greed, dishonesty, bellicosity, self-righteousness and ignorance. But even the most alarmist descriptions of him clash: The Bush-bashers’ Bush is either a scheming, shameless champion of the rich and powerful or their empty-headed puppet, a soulless tool of corporate power or a religious fanatic convinced he’s preparing the nation for the Second Coming. None of these versions jibes very well with the accounts of people who actually know him, and so — once you step outside the cartoon universe of pure polemics — Bush himself has never quite come into focus.
Kerry Gets Early Newspaper Endorsement
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 2:00 p.m. ET
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Daily News on Wednesday backed Democrat John Kerry for president, saying it was endorsing a candidate early because Pennsylvania is a swing state and residents who didn’t vote in 2000 must be pressed to action to defeat President Bush.
“For Kerry supporters to prevail they must do more than just vote, they must bring a ringer into this contest: the more than a million people in the region who did not vote in the last presidential election,” the newspaper said in an 1,800-word editorial in Wednesday editions.
“We believe these nonvoters — who will have to be mobilized over the next few months — are the key to victory.”
The endorsement comes six weeks before the Democrats gather in Boston to choose Kerry as their presidential nominee.
The paper said that the Bush administration, though deserving of praise for its leadership immediately after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, has made poor economic decisions since then, been divisive, ideologically driven and has led the nation into a “senseless war” in Iraq.
The newspaper said Kerry, “who fought in the swamps of Vietnam, can lead us out of the quagmire of the Bush administration” and urged readers to register to vote and get others to do the same.
un. 13, 2004. 01:00 AM
Fahrenheit 9/11 turns up the heat
“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer
Now that George W. Bush is disappointed to learn that the rah-rah Ronald Reagan funeral coverage won’t be extended until the November election — or the capture of Osama bin Laden, whichever comes first — it is time to look back at his least Reaganesque moment.
It happened at 9:05 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, when White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, the man who would, a year later, talk of “marketing” the Iraq war, informed Bush that “a second plane has hit the World Trade Center.”
Bush just sat there, blinking, listening to second graders stumble through a story about pet goats. As he would later tell London’s Daily Telegraph: “I’m trying to absorb that knowledge … I’m sitting in the midst of a classroom with little kids, listening to a children’s story and I realize I’m the Commander in Chief and the country has just come under attack.”
Source of greatness
Source of greatness
Posted on Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Some years back, a friend attended a Willie Nelson concert to hear the
opening act. A big fan of the venerable hippie bluegrass group, the
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, my friend arrived early to find himself sitting
near the stage among a bunch of drunks emitting Rebel yells and
hollering for “Whisky River.” Polite efforts to quiet them proved
fruitless. The show was ruined. About three songs into Willie,s set, my
friend took his revenge. He stood during a quiet ballad, announced
loudly that he was “all Willied out” and made a big show of walking out.
Many Americans found themselves “all Ronnied out” long before the TV
networks tired of eulogizing former President Ronald Reagan. Yet amid
the blather, there were undeniably moving moments. Everybody wants to be
loved as Nancy Reagan loved her man. For me, the sight of a much older
Mikhail Gorbachev touching Reagan,s coffin, having traveled halfway
around the world to memorialize his fellow Cold Warrior, had a grandeur
all its own. They made history together.
State Department awaits criticism on Bush policy
Former officials set to express concerns U.S. ‘on wrong track’
Tuesday, June 15, 2004 Posted: 11:31 AM EDT (1531 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) — The State Department said it will be receptive to a critical statement from a group of former high-level diplomatic and military officials who are expected to condemn the Bush administration’s foreign policy and to assert that it has harmed national security.
Calling themselves Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change, the signers include former senior military commanders and 20 former U.S. ambassadors, many of whom were appointed or served in Republican administrations.
The statement, to be released Wednesday, was prompted by concerns “we are on the wrong track, and we need a fundamental change,” according to one of the signers, Phyllis Oakley, a deputy State Department spokeswoman during President Reagan’s second term and an assistant secretary of state under President Clinton.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Monday that he had not seen the document yet and couldn’t comment on its contents.
“We’ll look at it when it comes out and see if there are any ideas we want to deal with at that point,” Boucher said.
DeLay to Be Subject of Ethics Complaint
Democrat’s Wide-Ranging Charges Break Unwritten Truce Between Parties
Charles Babington | June 15 | A05
A Democratic congressman plans to file a wide-ranging ethics complaint today against House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), shattering the remnants of a seven-year-old, unwritten ethics truce between the two parties and possibly nudging the House back toward a brand of political warfare that helped topple two speakers.
Nick: More here.
By David Ignatius
Tuesday, June 15, 2004; Page A23
“The instructions went out to our people to adhere to law. That ought to comfort you,” President Bush said brusquely when questioned last week about a Justice Department legal opinion authorizing harsh interrogation techniques.
We can now see the August 2002 legal opinion for ourselves, thanks to The Post, which posted the complete text on its Web site Monday. Reading the memo’s legalistic explanation of why “the mere inflicting of pain or suffering on another” is not torture, you begin to understand why Attorney General John Ashcroft refused last week to release the opinion himself — and why Bush’s description of it was so misleading. The document, in its dry, lawyerly way, is as shocking as the Abu Ghraib photographs.
Contrary to Bush’s account, the Justice Department memo wasn’t an affirmation of laws that ban torture. Instead, it was a legal interpretation explaining how CIA interrogators could avoid liability under those laws, even if they used methods that might commonly be regarded as tortur