Army Buried Study Faulting Iraq Planning

Charles Dharapak/Associated Press

An assessment of the planning for Iraq’s rebuilding was submitted in 2005 as criticism of the war was growing. President Bush countered such criticism that November with a speech on strategy.

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By MICHAEL R. GORDON
Published: February 11, 2008
WASHINGTON — The Army is accustomed to protecting classified information. But when it comes to the planning for the Iraq war, even an unclassified assessment can acquire the status of a state secret.

That is what happened to a detailed study of the planning for postwar Iraq prepared for the Army by the RAND Corporation, a federally financed center that conducts research for the military.

After 18 months of research, RAND submitted a report in the summer of 2005 called “Rebuilding Iraq.” RAND researchers provided an unclassified version of the report along with a secret one, hoping that its publication would contribute to the public debate on how to prepare for future conflicts.

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Bush Goes After FOIA

Remember that time the Office of Drug Control Policy told a student that it would take 200 years to file his FOIA request?

“Please note that the General Counsel is predisposed,” the letter read. “Consequently, we must enlarge to June 22, 2207 the time provided for his final determination.” (Or as Wonkette put it: “ODCP Promises to Get Back to You in the Far Future, If Man is Still Alive.”)

Okay, chances are it was a typo, but that doesn’t mean the U.S. government is not notoriously slow in responding to Freedom of Information Act requests. A recent overview of overdue FOIA requests by the National Security Archive found “at least four cases where the delay was for more than 15 years,” according to the Washington Post.

So, it was a good thing when legislation passed late last year titled the Open Government Act of 2007, which decreed that government agencies that receive FOIA requests must provide requested information in 20 days or less, or else pay a fine. Right? And it was a good thing to create an ombudsman position to monitor things and ensure that the law is followed. Right?

Not if you’re President Bush.

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9/11 inquiry head ‘tried to shield George Bush’

The head of the commission that investigated the Sept 11 terrorist attacks had closer ties to the White House than he admitted and tried to limit the Bush administration’s responsibility for the incident, a book claims.

  Philip Zelikow
Philip Zelikow was a friend of Condoleezza Rice

Philip Zelikow, the 9/11 Commission’s executive director, allegedly attempted to intimidate staff to avoid findings that would be damaging to President George W Bush, who was running for re-election, and Condoleezza Rice, his then National Security Adviser.

The claims are made by Philip Shenon in The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, published today.

Although it was known that Mr Zelikow was a friend of Miss Rice and that they had written a book together in 1995, Mr Zelikow had pledged not to talk to senior White House figures during the investigation.

However, Mr Zelikow told Shenon, a New York Times reporter, that he spoke to Miss Rice several times during the 20-month inquiry and also exchanged frequent calls with the White House, including four to Karl Rove, Mr Bush’s then chief political adviser.

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George W. Bush’s Resumé: This individual seeks an executive position. He will be available in January 2009…

RESUME

GEORGE W. BUSH
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,
Washington , DC 20520

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:

Law Enforcement:

· I was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol. I pleaded guilty, paid a fine, and had my driver’s license suspended for 30 days. My Texas driving record has been ‘lost’ and is not available.

Military:

· I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL. I refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug use. By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty in Vietnam .

College:

· I graduated from Yale University with a low C average. I was a cheerleader.

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Bush’s $3 trillion budget is US first

In the nation’s first-ever $3 trillion budget, President Bush seeks to seal his legacy of promoting a strong defense to fight terrorism and tax cuts to spur the economy. Democrats, who control Congress, are pledging fierce opposition to Bush’s final spending plan – perhaps even until the next president takes office.The 2009 spending plan sent to Congress on Monday will project huge budget deficits, around $400 billion for this year and next and more than double the 2007 deficit of $163 billion. But even those estimates could prove too low given the rapidly weakening economy and the total costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which Bush does not include in his request for the budget year beginning Oct. 1.

Last year, when Democrats were newly in the majority, there were drawn-out veto struggles. This year’s fights could be worse because it is an election year.

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Stagflation is Here

by Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay 

War—after all, what is it that the people get? Why—widows, taxes, wooden legs and debt.

Samuel B. Pettengill

James Madison, 4th U.S. President (April 20, 1795)

“Let me issue and control a nation’s currency and I care not who makes its laws”.

Nathan Rothschild, 1791

Last summer, I observed that there was a “solvency crisis” underneath the ongoing subprime mortgage liquidity squeeze. Central banks can alleviate a “liquidity crisis”, but they cannot solve a solvency crisis.

Last year also, before the events, I warned that the U.S. was heading toward stagflation.

This was due to three fundamental factors.

First, the structural fiscal imbalances of the federal budget in a period of prosperity, as a result of the Bush-Cheney administration’s continuous deficit spending linked to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and to its large tax cuts;

Second, the over-indebtedness of the overall U.S. economy coupled with an overall saving rate close to zero (in 1981, it was 12 percent), and, as a consequence, the rapidly increasing foreign debt of the U.S.; and,

Third, the required decline in the U.S. dollar to reverse and correct the deteriorating American balance of payments. The second factor was a harbinger of less consumer spending in the coming months while the third factor would stoke the fire of overall inflation. And with already high budget deficits, there would be less leeway for an aggressive fiscal policy to sustain economic activity. The table was thus set for a bout of stagflation, i.e. slow growth and rising inflation.

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Bush: US will ‘confront’ Iran if necessary

In his last State of the Union address, American president warns Tehran that US will ‘confront those who threaten our troops’ and defend its allies in the Gulf. Adds: We are standing against forces of extremism in Holy Land

News agencies

Published:  01.29.08, 08:04 / Israel News

 

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In his last State of the Union before a hostile, Democratic-led Congress eager for the end of his term next January, Bush also urged Tehran to suspend its uranium enrichment program, embrace political reforms, and “cease your support for terror abroad.”

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