Saturday, August 11, 2007

Battle for Democrats' Spine and Soul

By Brent Budowsky
August 11, 2007

Howard Dean in the 2004 campaign; Al Gore as the effective leader of the Loyal Opposition; and now Barack Obama challenging the tired and decadent national security establishment — these are the first true voices of 21st century politics.

If you believe supporting the Iraq war for five years was right; that America is safer under George Bush; and that special-interest lobbyists are the heart of America who do not buy laws with money, Hillary Clinton, the leader of the old establishment, is your girl (as she said).

Read on.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Spinning the Iraq War Death Toll

By Robert Parry
August 10. 2007

Mindful of the political fallout from a rising American death toll in Iraq, the U.S. military has pulled back from widespread use of aggressive tactics on the ground this summer, helping to explain a modest reduction in the number of soldiers killed in July, according to intelligence and military sources.

The number of U.S. military fatalities declined to 80 in July after three months of a death toll in the triple digits (104 in April, 126 in May, and 101 in June). The lower death toll has been cited by some U.S. commanders in Iraq and Bush administration supporters in Washington as a sign that President George W. Bush’s “surge” of U.S. troops is working.

Read on.'s Home Stretch

By Robert Parry
August 9, 2007

We’re trying to wrap up our mid-year fundraiser, but we’re still about $10,000 short of our goal. So here are some reasons why it’s important to help us:

Perhaps the biggest threat to the American Republic has come from the disinformation, propaganda and false historical narratives that are fed to the American people through the national media.

This “perception management” – as the neocons like to call it – has tricked many Americans into supporting misguided policies and left many others paralyzed by confusion.

Read on.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

'Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death'

By Brent Budowsky
August 8, 2007

Patrick Henry’s words ring hollow after Congress passed, and the president signed, a law of enormous constitutional and security importance in an atmosphere of fear, without any semblance of serious debate. Again.

While many members of the House and Senate and leading legal scholars did not fully understand this as the roll was called, this law expands the reach of surveillance of American citizens, on American soil, communicating with those “reasonably” targeted while abroad, without protections that have long existed.

Read on.

Bush, Colombia & Narco-Politics

By Andres Cala
August 8, 2007

George W. Bush’s strategy of countering Venezuela’s leftist president Hugo Chávez by strengthening ties to Colombia’s rightist government has been undercut by fresh evidence of high-level drug corruption and human rights violations implicating President Alvaro Uribe’s inner circle.

These new allegations about Colombia’s narco-politics have tarnished Uribe’s reputation just as Bush has been showcasing the Harvard- and Oxford-educated politician as a paragon of democratic values and an alternative to the firebrand Chávez, who has used Venezuela’s oil wealth to finance social programs for the poor across the region.

Read on.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Bush Gets Spying Blank Check

By Robert Parry
August 5, 2007

Eager to leave for its August recess, Congress handed George W. Bush another blank check on executive power, letting him order up spying directives against a vast number of people, including Americans, if they are physically outside the United States.

The “Protect America Act of 2007” sets the standard for a surveillance order – which can last for up to one year – as simply that it be “directed at a person reasonably believed to be located outside the United States.”

The bill’s advocates claim it is intended to intercept communications when at least one party is linked to a terrorist group or a terrorist affiliate and is outside the United States. But the bill’s language doesn’t limit the surveillance to “terrorists” or “enemy combatants” – indeed those words are not mentioned in the legislation.

Read on.