Bush Adminstration

The Tillman Story

Here is a man who I say deserves a true Profile in Courage Award.

Bill Maher interviews Richard Tillman, brother of Pat Tillman, on the recent Real Time.

Any person, dealing with grief over their sibling’s death, that manages to stand up for what their lost loved one truly believed in light of a media circus, is A-OK in my book.

This is speaking “Truth to Power” in its finest sense. Anyone willing to call out these opportunistic politicians who showed up at this brother’s funeral, and co-opt what he (Pat Tillman) believe against their own self-interest…

I agree with Bill Maher. I’d be happy to share a beer with Richard Tillman any day of the week…

People v. BushCharlotte Dennett, author of The People V. Bush: One Lawyer’s Campaign to Bring the President to Justice and the National Grassroots Movement She Encounters Along the Way, writes in Huffington Post of at least one dictator that is going to jail. Guess who she wants to be next…

The growing accountability movement got a major shot in the arm recently when it learned that on April 19, an Argentinian judge sentenced the last of Argentina’s dictators, Reynaldo Bignone, age 83, to 25 years in prison. Bignone’s crime: kidnapping and torturing 56 victims in a concentration camp during the reign of terror known as the “dirty war” that gripped Argentina from 1976-1983. This is huge, surpassing the arrest of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in his hospital bed back in 1998. (Pinochet died before justice could be done). The conviction of a former head of state for crimes he committed while in office sends a powerful message to all those suspected war criminals still on the loose, including some of the top leaders of the Bush administration.

Some people ask, “Why do conspiracy theories get such traction in people’s minds?”

Perhaps because the arguments against them are not entirely dissuasive, but I have to say, if nothing else, it’s largely because of stories like this one, that actually lend credence to people’s suspicions by providing them with objective proof of the government’s attempt to obfuscate and withhold vital information.

Whether it is done in order to prevent embarrassment, or to protect themselves from prosecution, the fact remains, Bush officials in Washington were more concerned with covering their own butts, than publicly revealing an inconvenient truth. Even if it meant that national security might be improved and a similar event avoided.

As of today, it has been revealed via a FOIA request made by the ACLU, that Attorney General John Ashcroft, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and CIA Director George Tenet sent a letter dated January 16, 2004 to the members of the 9/11 Commission that there was an investigatory line it was “not allowed to cross.”


The line was in questioning the terrorist suspects that the Bush Administration was busy torturing, in violation of both U.S. and international law. In other words, the Commission was not allowed to question the accused.

Hardly a high point for American jurisprudence.

MARK BENJAMIN writes on Salon: Self-proclaimed waterboarding fan Dick Cheney called it a no-brainer in a 2006 radio interview: Terror suspects should get a “a dunk in the water.” But recently released…

Apropos of nothing, here’s a photo from New York Social Diary of young Dick Cheney taking a bumper car for a spin in 1976. Perhaps an omen of what was to come…

Justin Elliott writes on TPM Muckraker:
Laurie Mylroie

When the Pentagon’s internal think tank decided in 2004 it needed a better understanding of Al Qaeda, it turned to an unlikely source: the terrorism analyst Laurie Mylroie, who was known as the chief purveyor of the discredited idea that Saddam Hussein was behind Sept. 11 and many other attacks carried out by Al Qaeda.

Mylroie was paid roughly $75,000 to produce a 300-page study, “The History of Al Qaida,” for the Defense Department think tank, known as the Office of Net Assessment, a DOD spokesman tells us. The study, which is dated September 2005, was posted on an intelligence blog last month.

It documents the development of Al Qaeda and spends many pages dancing around the theory that has defined Mylroie’s career — that key Qaeda leaders acted at the behest of the Iraqi regime. She also argues that group-think among U.S. analysts has obscured the true nature of the terrorist group.

Those who know Mylroie’s work are shocked that the Pentagon would hire her.

Think Progress reports:

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civil award, and is given to individuals who have contributed to: 1) the security or national interests of the United States, 2) world peace, or 3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

In his new book, Speechless: Tales of a White House Survivor, former Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer reveals how politicized the revered Presidential Medal of Freedom became during the Bush administration.

Latimer writes that administration officials objected to giving author J.K. Rowling the Presidential Medal of Freedom because her writing “encouraged witchcraft” (p. 201):

This was the same sort of narrow thinking that led people in the White House to actually object to giving the author J.K. Rowling a presidential medal because the Harry Potter books encouraged withcraft.