(The last week or so has exposed even more the callousness and crookedness of the Bush Administration. From some of my posts over at Bring It On!…)

No ‘Plan B’ For Iraq If Surge Fails

In what has become typical Team Bush fashion, it turns out that there is no Plan B for Iraq if the president’s troop surge fails to deliver the results he seems to think they will. No matter that most of the rest of the world doesn’t think the surge has a snowballs chance in hell of changing conditions in Iraq, Bush and his jolly band of chickenhawks are so confident in Plan A (the Surge) that when asked by a group of governors last week during a meeting at the White House what the back-up plan was they were told by Marine General Peter Pace, “I’m a Marine and Marines don’t talk about failure. They talk about victory. Plan B is to make Plan A work.”

Plan B is to make Plan A work? Well, that’s sure comforting isn’t it? Does this mean that if the first surge of 21,000 combat troops doesn’t quell the violence that we’ll just send in another 21,000 ad infinitum until either all the Iraqi’s are dead or the US Treasury is bankrupted?

Not only did this administration never have a plan for Iraq in the first place, they still can’t seem to move their vision beyond Send in More Troops, despite the fact that sending in more troops hasn’t exactly turned hearts and minds towards American imposed democracy.

Mr. Bush- Plan A should have been to end the American presence in what is now an Iraqi Civil War. Plan B should be to help Iraq reconstruct once they have quelled their own violent tendencies and established a workable solution to what is now their own sectarian problem.
But it’s clear that the president has no desire to end the war in Iraq. While he’s busy recategorizing who belongs to his Axis of Evil club he has to keep up his ‘tough guy’ appearances somewhere.

As bad as the recent revelations are regarding what the Bush government means when it talks about supporting the troops, with Plan B for Iraq amounting to more of Plan A (i.e. keep on surging on), we can only expect things to worsen both for our troops abroad and for wounded vets who return home.

And sadly, the new Democratically controlled Congress is pussy-footing around the whole issue when they could take real steps to bring the troops home, restructure the real war against terrorism, and bring an end to the worst administration America has ever had to deal with.

Bush “Justice” Purge- Replace Crookbusters With Crooks

The ‘internets’ are all abuzz over the revelations coming out of the Congressional probe of the Bush DOJ firings of several US Attorneys. It seems that congresspersons, journalists, and citizens alike are shocked-just shocked, I tell you– to learn that the firings may indeed have been politically motivated to expel from the ranks of the DOJ those attorneys who actually decided that prosecuting corrupt public officials was a pretty good thing to do, even if those politicians were Republicans.

Excuse me for a minute while I roll my eyes. The shock of the revelations should be no such thing. This is how Team Bush runs ‘Merika, you know? In fact, when I first touched on this issue back in January, I said (about the firing of US Attorney Carol Lam of San Diego), “Perhaps the real reason Lam has been swept aside has more to do with the very public Cunningham prosecution that began to shine a light on who the Republican Party really is.” So the facts coming out that seem to support a political purge are no shock to me.

But this particular bit of news was, even though it probably shouldn’t have been either, knowing too well how Team Bush operates.

Apparently tossing crookbusters out of the DOJ ranks just isn’t pushing the purge far enough for the president. Now it seems that the old method of stocking federal agencies and departments with cronies has been elevated to a new level. In short, replace the crookbusters with crooks. That way, there is less chance that your own Justice Department will turn on one of your own. And with that handy little insertion into the Patriot Act that allows the AG to appoint “permanent-interim” attorneys without the need for congressional approval, putting crooked cronies into positions of power just got a whole lot easier.

Enter Timothy Griffen, top pick for the newly vacated US Attorney position for Eastern Arkansas. Griffen, an assistant to Karl Rove, was the major player in a scheme to defraud up to 70,000 voters of their voting rights during the 2004 election.

From the article:

Griffin, according to BBC Television, was the hidden hand behind a scheme to wipe out the voting rights of 70,000 citizens prior to the 2004 election.
Key voters on Griffin’s hit list: Black soldiers and homeless men and women. Nice guy, eh? Naughty or nice, however, is not the issue. Targeting voters where race is a factor is a felony crime under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.


In his article, Palast goes on to explain:

The Griffin scheme was sickly brilliant. We learned that the RNC sent first-class letters to new voters in minority precincts marked, “Do not forward.” Several sheets contained nothing but soldiers, other sheets, homeless shelters. Targets included the Jacksonville Naval Air Station in Florida and that city’s State Street Rescue Mission. Another target, Edward Waters College, a school for African-Americans.
If these voters were not currently at their home voting address, they were tagged as “suspect” and their registration wiped out or their ballot challenged and not counted. Of course, these ‘cages’ captured thousands of students, the homeless and those in the military though they are legitimate voters.We telephoned those on the hit list, including one Randall Prausa. His wife admitted he wasn’t living at his voting address: Randall was a soldier shipped overseas.
Randall and other soldiers like him who sent in absentee ballots, when challenged, would lose their vote. And they wouldn’t even know it.

And by the way, it’s not illegal for soldiers to vote from overseas — even if they’re Black.
But it is illegal to challenge voters en masse where race is an element in the targeting.


Department of Justice? I don’t think so.

I seem to remember from my history classes that there were other governments who engaged in political purges….we have a name for those kinds of governments don’t we?

As Troops Languish At Walter Reed, Bush Decides To Send USS Comfort On PR Mission

It turns out that President Bush really does approve of free health care, so long as you live in Central or South America and are not a wounded US combat veteran. Prefacing his upcoming visit to Latin America (where he plans on winning all the hearts and minds away from his third highest ranking arch-nemesis Hugo Chavez) with a speech on Monday, the Decider-in-Chief promised to send the USS Comfort down the coast this summer to deliver treatment to 85,000 people in 12 countries.
With wounded soldiers living in mold infested barracks and enduring 7AM inspections, all while trying to put together the pieces of their shattered bodies and minds and navigate the obstructionist bureaucracy that has become the military medical system, you’d think that maybe, just maybe, there might be another good use for a US Military hospital ship. Something a little better than heading south for a PR mission perhaps?

The USS Comfort has as it’s primary mission “to provide a mobile, flexible, and rapidly responsive afloat medical capability for acute medical and surgical care in support of amphibious task forces, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force elements, forward deployed Navy elements of the fleet and fleet activities located in areas where hostilities may be imminent.” Seems like Bush’s little escapade in Iraq fits into that criteria pretty well. And since we know the president isn’t planning any troop pull-out by June, perhaps we should send the ship there (or keep it there, whatever the case may be.)

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for humanitarian missions. But folks…there’s a time and a place for everything. And when your stateside military hospitals are a shambles, understaffed, and expecting a continued flow of wounded patients, it makes sense to keep your resources at home. Not only that, we have a solemn duty to our fallen men and women to care for them to our best ability. It is only too clear that this administration has failed badly thus far. So why is the president making a bad problem worse by diverting more medical resources away from our troops? Is this what “support the troops” really means?

And don’t even get me started on the ‘free health care’ about face the president is pulling here. Why is it that free health care to foreign nations is a great idea for a PR junket but a lousy idea to even discuss here in America? If this isn’t a case of total cognitive dissonance then I don’t know what is.

Bush seems to be getting out of town at a good time- for him at least. With scandals breaking all around him, with the thin veneer of ‘compassionate conservatism’ wearing away to expose the rotten ideology for what it is, and with an American public (and even some –gasp-elected officials) increasingly calling for his impeachment, the president needs to get out of the harsh light of reality for a little while. That, and maybe he needs to clear some brush at Rancho Nuevo Bush in Paraguay.

The shame, it seems, never ends.

(articles originally posted at Bring It On!)