November 26, 2003

While Waiting For Curt's Decision. Only days after Max Cleland denounced the Bush Administration of having "deliberately compromised" the 9/11 Commission, George W. Bush appointed Cleland to serve on the board of the Import-Export Bank. Because he accepted the position, Cleland must now resign from the Commission. This is incredibly disturbing. Why would Cleland forfeit his place in an investigation whose integrity he has fought hard to protect? Did he want to get out because he believed the Commission had become a farce? It's impossible to say, but his previous comments sounded like someone who was, while understandably frustrated, willing to stay and fight. Frankly, everyone on the Commission should know that they are involved in a sham and a whitewash. At this point, it's simply a matter of whether that fact bothers them. ... And following up on the "agreement" that only two members of the Commission will actually see redacted copies of the President's Daily Briefings, one of those members will be Dr. Phillip Zelikow, the Commission's Executive Director, who has a huge conflict of interest, having recently served as a member of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and co-authored a book last year with National Security Advisor Condaleeza Rice.

"Before the press was herded into the giant hangar in advance of George W. Bush's pep rally/photo op with the Fort Carson troops, we were given the rules. No talking to the troops before the rally. No talking to the troops during the rally. No talking to the troops after the rally." ... "Ground Rule 9 for the media covering President Bush's presidential visit Monday sounded more like an edict from Beijing or a banana republic. "Write positive stories about Ft. Carson and the U.S. Army," [it] commanded."

The Guardian reports that more than 10,000 Iraq families have filed wrongful death suits against US soldiers who "shot dead or seriously wounded unarmed Iraqi civilians with no apparent cause." The military has paid out $1.5 million in claims so far, but "no American soldier has been prosecuted for illegally killing an Iraqi civilian and commanders refuse even to count the number of civilians killed or injured by their soldiers."

Bait & Switch. Arnold in August: "Now, does this mean we're going to make cuts? Yes. Does this mean education is on the table? No." Arnold on November 24: "The governor's cuts to the higher education system total $159 million." ... On October 3, 2003, George W. Bush said: "Free countries don't develop weapons of mass destruction". On November 24, 2003, he signed a $401,000,000,000 defense bill "that includes millions of dollars for a small nuclear bomb designed to destroy deep, hardened underground bunkers [and] repeals a decade-old ban on research into low-yield nuclear weapons."

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