Friday, January 26, 2007

Emboldening The Enemy?

Gates: Iraq resolution 'emboldens' enemy - 26 Jan 2007 at 2:46pm - WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates says a congressional resolution declaring that President Bush's troop buildup in Iraq is against the national interest "emboldens the enemy."

"I think it's hard to measure that with any precision, but it seems pretty straightforward that any indication of flagging will in the United States gives encouragement to those folks," Gates said, referring to the anti-government forces in Baghdad. He added that he was certain this was not the intent of those who support the congressional resolution.

"But that's the effect," he said.
Does Gates' preoccupation with what might "embolden the enemy" place too much importance on what "the enemy" thinks, and not enough importance on the national security interests of the U.S.?

Report: US Can Kill Iran's Agents In Iraq - 26 Jan 2007 at 8:46am - The U.S. military has the White House's approval to kill or capture Iranian agents in Iraq, according to a newspaper report. The effort hopes to reduce Tehran's power within Iraq. Also, another report says Iran will launch a missile into space soon.

Harper apologizes, offers $12.5M to Maher Arar - 26 Jan 2007 at 12:40pm - Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered a formal apology Friday to Maher Arar and his family for their suffering after Arar was detained in the U.S. and deported to Syria, where he was jailed and tortured.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007


Iraqi occupation was idiotic but Baghdad must be secured: vice-president - 25 Jan 2007 at 1:20pm - DAVOS, Switzerland (AFP) - The US-led occupation of Iraq after Saddam Hussein's ouster was an "idiot" decision, Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdel Mahdi said during the World Economic Forum. But he warned that winning the "war" in Baghdad, where US troop levels have recently been reinforced, would be crucial to ending the spiral of violence in the country.

Declassification unnerved White House aide - 25 Jan 2007 at 3:10pm - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush's 2003 decision to declassify an intelligence report to rebut an Iraq war critic stirred unease even in the White House, an administration official said on Thursday in the perjury trial of a vice presidential aide.

Senior State Department official resigns - 25 Jan 2007 at 2:55pm - WASHINGTON -- Robert Joseph, the State Department's senior arms control and security official, has submitted his resignation to President Bush.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

He Is the Hogwash Expert, But...

Cheney: Situation in Iraq not hopeless - 24 Jan 2007 at 3:08pm - WASHINGTON -- Vice President Dick Cheney said Wednesday it was "hogwash" to suggest that President Bush's credibility was on the line because of mistakes made in Iraq.
His credibility isn't on the line because of mistakes made in Iraq; it's in the gutter because of his administration's nonstop spin regarding the necessity for war, the probable consequences of overthrowing Saddam, and the chances of a favourable outcome in Iraq.

Senate panel rejects Iraq strategy - 24 Jan 2007 at 1:51pm - The Democratic-controlled Senate Foreign Relations Committee dismissed President Bush's plans to increase troops strength in Iraq on Wednesday as "not in the national interest," an unusual wartime repudiation of the commander-in-chief.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Kindly Do As We Say

U.S. diplomat tells Iran to back off - 23 Jan 2007 at 9:51am - A second U.S. aircraft carrier strike group now steaming toward the Middle East is Washington?s way of warning Iran to back down in its attempts to dominate the region, a top U.S. diplomat said here Tuesday.
Is it just me, or is it possibly just a little nervy of the United States to request that other countries stop trying to exert influence in Iraq?

Guerrilla Tactics Drive Iraqi Insurgency - 23 Jan 2007 at 8:11am - Will President Bush's decision to send more troops into Iraq trigger a cat-and-mouse game with insurgents? There's ample evidence of a guerrilla war that would tend to counteract the impact of more force.

Man kicked off flight for anti-Bush T-shirt - 22 Jan 2007 at 10:35am - An airline passenger barred from a flight for wearing a T-shirt labeling President Bush a terrorist has threatened legal action against Australia's flag carrier Qantas.

Rockefeller: Iraq drains security funds - 23 Jan 2007 at 8:49am - WASHINGTON -- The new chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said he fears the government will not have enough money for homeland security and other domestic priorities because of President Bush's "Iraq adventure."

Petraeus sees tough time for troop surge - 23 Jan 2007 at 10:21am - WASHINGTON -- The Army general who would carry out President Bush's troop buildup in Iraq urged patience Tuesday and predicted "tough days" ahead.

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Friday, January 19, 2007

In the News - Jan-19

Pentagon changes war funding - 19 Jan 2007 at 8:04am - WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration will abandon the practice of financing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through emergency spending requests that have relatively little supporting detail, Pentagon officials said Thursday.

Key aide to Shiite cleric arrested - 19 Jan 2007 at 6:42am - U.S. and Iraqi forces arrested one of Muqtada al-Sadr?s top aides Friday in Baghdad, his office said, as pressure increases on the radical Shiite cleric?s militia ahead of a planned security sweep aimed at stemming the sectarian violence ransacking the capital.

Top General Eyes Late-Summer Troop Cuts - 19 Jan 2007 at 3:00pm - Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, says it won't be clear whether President Bush's plan to send 21,500 extra troops into the war is a success until this summer, and they won't likely come home until late this summer.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Here's Your Nightstick; So Long and Good Luck

Car bombs rock Iraq, killing at least 19 - 18 Jan 2007 at 8:34am - BAGHDAD (AFP) - Car bombs have rocked Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul, killing at least 19 people, as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki pressed Washington to better equip his army so that foreign troops can withdraw from Iraq.
If American troops are well-trained, and cannot provide security for Iraq without the support of tanks, gunships, bombers, etc., how are Iraqi troops expected ever to "stand up" without access to equivalent equipment?

Panel grills Gonzales over spy program - 18 Jan 2007 at 12:54pm - WASHINGTON -- Senators demanded details Thursday from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales about new orders putting the government's domestic spying program under court review - and questioned why it took so long to do so.

Iraq tells Iran, US to take their fight elsewhere - 18 Jan 2007 at 1:09pm - BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraq told the United States and Iran to settle their scores elsewhere, while the US military confirmed it had searched Sudan's embassy in Baghdad as part of an anti-insurgent operation.

Methodists: No Bush library at SMU - 18 Jan 2007 at 1:08pm - DALLAS -- A group of Methodist ministers from across the nation launched an online petition drive Thursday urging Southern Methodist University to stop trying to land George W. Bush's presidential library.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

They Just Figured Out It's Illegal?

Secret court to govern wiretapping plan - 17 Jan 2007 at 2:00pm - WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department, easing a Bush administration policy, said Wednesday it has decided to give an independent body authority to monitor the government's controversial domestic spying program. In a letter to the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said this authority has been given to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and that it already has approved one request for monitoring the communications of a person believed to be linked to al-Qaida or an associated terror group.
The authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to approve or deny requests to monitor domestic communications is derived from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; the Justice Department can neither give that authority nor take it away.

Senators agree on Iraq war resolution - 17 Jan 2007 at 3:29pm - WASHINGTON -- A group of senators including a Republican war critic announced agreement Wednesday on a resolution opposing President Bush's 21,500 troop build up in Iraq, setting their marker for a major clash between the White House and Congress over the unpopular war.

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Comings, Goings, Copycat Hangings

Miers resigns as White House counsel - 4 Jan 2007 at 12:19pm - WASHINGTON -- Harriet Miers, President Bush's failed Supreme Court nominee, has submitted her resignation as White House counsel, the White House announced Thursday.

Intelligence Chief Expected to Move to State Dept. - 4 Jan 2007 at 9:13am - John Negroponte is expected to leave his post as the director of national intelligence to become deputy secretary of state. The unexplained move appears to be a demotion, with Negroponte moving from a Cabinet-level job to a position one-rung lower on the federal ladder.

Bush to name retired admiral to top intel post - 4 Jan 2007 at 3:15pm - Retired Vice Adm. Mike McConnell, a veteran of more than 25 years in the intelligence field, will be named by President Bush to succeed John Negroponte as national intelligence director, a senior administration official said Thursday.
The article says that Defense Secretary Robert Gates approves of McConnell's nomination. Did Gates push Negroponte out?

Bush: Government Can Open Your Mail - 4 Jan 2007 at 12:10pm - White House Says It Has Always Had Such Power, to Be Used in 'Extraordinary Circumstances'
It all depends on what the definition of "extraordinary" is?

No date for hanging Saddam aides - 4 Jan 2007 at 10:14am - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq has not set an execution date for two of Saddam Hussein's aides, an official said on Thursday, as the government faced anger from Sunnis over Saddam's unruly hanging.
And, in other fallout from Saddam's execution...

Texas Boy Dies Mimicking Saddam's Hanging - 4 Jan 2007 at 10:00am - Police and relatives said a 10-year-old Texas boy who died by hanging himself from a bunk bed was apparently mimicking the execution of Saddam Hussein. A 9-year-old in Pakistan is also believed to have died in a similar attempt.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Can I Get a Little Support Here?

Bush seeks cooperation from new Congress - 3 Jan 2007 at 8:17am - WASHINGTON -- President Bush pushed his signature agenda in a newspaper opinion piece Wednesday while asking Democrats, in charge of the House and Senate for the first time in his presidency, to work with him on legislation over the next two years.
I'm sure the new Congress would likewise welcome Bush's support.

FBI Documented Possible Gitmo Mistreatment - 3 Jan 2007 at 8:30am - Newly released FBI documents offered new details about interrogation practices. Agents documented more than two dozen incidents of possible mistreatment, including one detainee whose head was allegedly wrapped in duct tape for chanting the Quran.

Iraqi PM wants out of job early: report - 3 Jan 2007 at 10:01am - Iraq's prime minister has told a U.S. newspaper he will not seek a second term and wishes he could leave the job early.

U.S. Distances Itself From Saddam Hanging - 3 Jan 2007 at 8:16am - An American military commander says the U.S. "had absolutely no direct involvement" with Saddam Hussein's execution, as international outrage builds surrounding an unofficial mobile phone video showing the former Iraqi leader's death.

US sends mixed messages on Saddam's hanging - Irish Examiner - 3 Jan 2007 at 1:48pm - The Bush administration today sent conflicting signals about the taunting and baiting that accompanied Saddam Hussein’s execution as the White House did not join criticism of the former Iraqi president’s hanging and the state department and US military raised questions about it.

Iraq to hang two Saddam aides Thursday - 3 Jan 2007 at 7:47am - BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraq will execute two former henchmen of Saddam Hussein on Thursday, five days after the former dictator was himself hanged in Baghdad, an official at the Iraqi prime minister's office has said.