Here is a stark consequence of the human costs of the Iraq war. It was reported Thursday that because so many Fort Lewis soliders are being killed in Iraq, the Washington State army base says it will no longer hold individual memorial services. Starting today, Fort Lewis will hold one memorial a month for all dead soldiers. In May, the bloodiest month of the occupation in 2007, 19 Fort Lewis soldiers were killed --more than at any time during this war, About 10,000 of the bases troops are now in Iraq--the most since the 2003 invasion.With this order, the base commanders appear to be signaling that they foresee bloodier, deadlier times ahead--as the "surge" takes more lives. And though they may wish to diminish the pain and grief of a hard hit community, collective memorials will also shield people from the reality of the death and destruction wrought by this war and occupation. It is also a policy that reminds of other attempts to suppress the reality of this war. This Administration, for example, has gone out of its way to prohibit evidence of dead soldiers returning home--by prohibiting photographs of coffins as they arrived back in the US. The President and Vice-President have carefully avoided attending any of the more than 3000 funerals which are the tragic fabric of this war. It is worth remembering that it was the grief and pain at the scores of funerals they attended that moved Republican Walter Jones of North Carolina and Democrat John Murtha of Pennsylvania to oppose this war. Every day we delay leaving Iraq costs only more American and Iraqi lives.
Remember the courts?
The Bush Administration is trying to slip another extremist judicial appointment through a distracted Congress with the nomination of Leslie H. Southwick, a former Mississippi Court of Appeals judge, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, a New Orleans-based court that hears cases from Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.
Southwick offers a truly lamentable record of rulings on civil and equal rights and a history that staunchly favors special interests over individual rights and liberties. As an exhaustive report by the Alliance for Justice shows, Southwick has gone out of his way to express troubling views on workers' rights, has joined strikingly homophobic decisions and has voted consistently against consumers and workers in divided torts and employment cases.
In 1995 he joined a decision, over a strong dissent, upholding a ruling taking away an eight-year-old girl from her mother and awarding full custody to the father, largely because the woman was living in a "lesbian home." Southwick went even further a few years later and joined a gratuitously anti-gay opinion underscoring Mississippi's right, under "the principles of Federalism," to treat gay men and lesbians like second-class citizens. In another case, again over strong dissents, Southwick joined an opinion upholding the reinstatement without any disciplinary action of a white state employee who had been fired for calling a co-worker a "good ole nigger."
And this is just what we know! As AFJ founder Nan Aron noted, "Perhaps as disturbing as what we do know about Judge Southwick is what we don't know. Thousands of pages of unpublished opinions he joined have not yet been made available to the public. The burden is on Judge Southwick to demonstrate his qualifications for a lifetime appointment. It is a burden he has failed to meet."
That's why there's been mounting opposition by both state and national civil rights groups over Judge Southwick's record. The Congressional Black Caucus, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, People for the American Way, Human Rights Campaign, National Employment Lawyers Association, National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce, Mississippi NAACP and the Magnolia Bar are all calling for his defeat.
Check out the AFJ's report for more background on Southwick's sordid resume. Then, if you're sufficiently appalled, join the opposition by clicking here to implore your reps to vote against this nominee. This is a fight that can be won.
Here is the latest from the front page of the Scooter Libby Legal Defense Trust, the group that has been shaking down Republican donors for the money needed to maintain the convicted felon's silence until an appropriate moment arrives for him to be pardoned by President Bush:
"Former Senator Fred Thompson, a member of the Advisory Committee for the Libby Legal Defense Trust has graciously offered to host another fund raiser for the Libby Legal Defense Trust. We will be providing additional details in the coming days."
Thompson's schedule is getting busier and busier these days, as the man who reversed Ronald Reagan's career trajectory by going from the Senate into acting prepared to bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
But, hopefully, Thompson will find time to further identify himself with Libby, who the TV attorney identifies as "a man with nothing to hide."
The Thompson-Libby relationship, particularly Thompson's recent statements regarding it, tells Americans everything they need to know about the man who seeks to replace George W. Bush in the Oval Office.
Thompson is either a longtime acquaintance of Libby or someone who rushed to the side of Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff when he determined that an injustice was being done.
According to a February 23 report by Associated Press, "Trust spokeswoman Barbara Comstock says Thompson knew Libby from serving on the Senate Intelligence Committee and dealing with top White House staff."
According to Thompson, in a speech delivered May 12 to the Council for National Policy, "I didn't know Scooter Libby, but I did know something about this intersection of law, politics, special counsels and intelligence. And it was obvious to me that what was happening was not right. So I called him to see what I could do to help, and along the way we became friends. You know the rest of the story: a D.C. jury convicted him."
Whatever the facts of their relationship, however, there is no debating Thompson's loyalty to Libby. He is the leading proponent of a presidential pardon for the convicted felon. And he regularly uses his prominence as a TV lawyer to accuse the man who brought Libby to justice, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, of "perverting the rule of law."
In the faux-conservative circles that define the modern Republican Party, Thompson is more closely associated with the defense of the disgraced White House aide than with any particular stand on the issues facing the nation. That's one of the reasons why so many of the true believers in the Bush presidency are so very enthusiastic about Thompson's now likely candidacy to replace Bush
Since Libby was convicted in March on four counts of obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements about how he learned the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame -- the wife of former Ambassador Joe Wilson, who was targeted for attack by Cheney's office after he exposed the administration's manipulation of intelligence when it was lobbying for war with Iraq -- Thompson has maintained that special counsel Fitzgerald, the federal judges associated with the case and the federal grand jury that decided it were all part of "the Beltway machinery" that railroaded an innocent man because "he worked for Dick Cheney."
"The Justice Department, bowing to political and media pressure, appointed a Special Counsel to investigate the leak and promised that the Justice Department would exercise no supervision over him whatsoever -- a status even the Attorney General does not have," Thompson explained in his May 12 speech. "The only problem with this little scenario was that there was no violation of the law, by anyone, and everybody -- the CIA, the Justice Department and the Special Counsel knew it. Ms. Plame was not a 'covered person' under the statute and it was obvious from the outset."
Thompson was, of course, speaking as an experienced player in courtroom dramas on ABC.
Here is what an actual prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, said in the 18-page Libby sentencing memorandum released two weeks after Thompson asserted that "everybody knew" Plame-Wilson was "not a covered person" under the rules that protect covert agents: "[It] was clear from very early in the investigation that Ms. Wilson qualified under the relevant statute (Title 50, United States Code, Section 421) as a covert agent."
Fitzgerald also detailed how Libby had blown Plame-Wilson's cover in conversations with reporters and White House aides, and explained that, "Mr. Libby kept the Vice President apprised of his shifting accounts of how he claimed to have learned about Ms. Wilson's CIA employment."
To all of this, Thompson says, "In no other prosecutor's office in the country would a case like this one have been brought."
Fitzgerald says: "To accept the argument that Mr. Libby's prosecution is the inappropriate product of an investigation that should have been closed at an early stage, one must accept the proposition that the investigation should have been closed after at least three high-ranking government officials were identified as having disclosed to reporters classified information about covert agent Valerie Wilson, where the account of one of them was directly contradicted by other witnesses, where there was reason to believe that some of the relevant activity may have been coordinated, and where there was an indication from Mr. Libby himself that his disclosures to the press may have been personally sanctioned by the Vice President. To state this claim is to refute it. Peremptorily closing this investigation in the face of the information available at its early stages would have been a dereliction of duty, and would have afforded Mr. Libby and others preferential treatment not accorded to ordinary persons implicated in criminal investigations."
This is, frankly, a better debate than any that will broadcast during the course of the presidential race.
Thompson, a career politician who plays a prosecutor on TV, says that it is wrong to prosecute someone who knowingly used a position in the White House to punish critics of the Bush administration and then lied about his abuses of authority and the public trust.
Fitzgerald, a career prosecutor who tends to avoid the cameras, disagrees.
Thompson is preparing to seek the presidency as the standard bearer of the wing of the Republican Party that turns a blind eye to official misconduct.
Fitzgerald is preparing to return to his work as one of the nation's most trusted enforcers of the rule of law.
Here is a real contest for Americans to decide. They can choose between two tickets: Thompson/Libby versus Fitzgerald/Rule of Law.
John Nichols' new book is THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT: The Founders' Cure forRoyalism. Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson hails it as a "nervy, acerbic, passionately argued history-cum-polemic [that] combines a rich examination of the parliamentary roots and past use ofthe 'heroic medicine' that is impeachment with a call for Democraticleaders to 'reclaim and reuse the most vital tool handed to us by thefounders for the defense of our most basic liberties.'"
For eighteen years Fred Thompson was a lobbyist in Washington, a part of his biography his jump-start presidential campaign is not likely to highlight.
So despite Thompson's "folksy" appeal, perhaps it's not surprising that his campaign team is a who's who of Washington insiders and corporate execs. Until recently his campaign manager-to-be, Tom Collamore, was a top tobacco industry exec at Altria (formerly Philip Morris). His division, according to the Center for Media and Democracy, has "been responsible for implementing countermeasures to combat public health efforts to control tobacco...and PM programs to enact tort reform, head off increased cigarette taxes and thwart legislated smoking restrictions."
Another rumored top Thompson staffer is Tim Griffin, the RNC operative who Karl Rove recently installed as US Attorney for Eastern Arkansas as part of Attorneygate.
His spokesman is Mark Corallo, the former press flack for Karl Rove during the Scooter Libby trial.
The man who organized a Thompson conference call this week, Ken Rietz, is a top exec at the PR firm Burson-Marsteller (which is ironically run by Hillary Clinton's chief strategist, Mark Penn). Rietz, as Rick Perlstein notes, once spied on Ed Muskie's presidential campaign on behalf of Richard Nixon in 1972 as part of "Operation Sedan Chair."
And though it's unrelated to his corporate past and present, it's worth mentioning (since we're talking about the GOP primary) that Thompson's second wife and key political counselor, Jeri, is 25 years his junior and younger than the kids from his first marriage.
Last week, John Edwards visited the Council on Foreign Relations--the citadel of the foreign policy establishment--to deliver a speech laying out his national security policy. There wasn't anything remarkable about the speech, "A Strong Military for a New Century." What was remarkable, however, was Edwards' answer to a question posed by Cora Weiss --President of the Hague Appeal for Peace and long-time human rights, anti-nuclear and peace activist (and Nation reader).
In the subsequent (on the record) Q&A session, Edwards joined those who have called for the elimination of nuclear weapons. In doing so, he signed on to views expressed in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on January 4, signed by Henry Kissinger, George Schultz, William Perry and Sam Nunn, whch called for a world free of nuclear weapons. (Their newfound wisdom came nearly a decade after The Nation published Jonathan Schell's The Gift of Time--a special issue calling for nuclear abolition.)
Here's the Q&A:
Cora Weiss: -- in keeping with your expression used today that there should be no excuse to abandon international law, and in keeping with the international court's unanimous opinion that all countries should eliminate their nuclear weapons, and in keeping with Mr. Kissinger, Sam Nunn and Schultz' op-ed in The Wall Street Journal calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons, when you are president, what will you do about nuclear weapons given that Mr. Bush has just announced the complex 2030 plan to redesign and develop a new generation of nuclear weapons?
John Edwards: Well, let me say first, I think I would want to associate myself with the concepts that are conveyed by Kissinger, Sam Nunn and others in the op-ed piece. I thought it was very thoughtful. And I think essentially what they said if I remember -- I don't remember the precise language -- was that we should aspire to a nuclear-free world. I agree with that. Now, there are a lot of steps that have to go between here and there. Some of them are pretty obvious, which is America should not be building new nuclear weapons. And then I think America should be doing things like leading an international effort to close the holes in the NPT. There are clearly serious flaws in the NPT. And I think America, leading an international effort to reduce the supplies nuclear sense in the world -- all aimed at the general goal that's described in that piece that you just spoke about.
Now that Edwards has broken the resounding silence (among the leading Presidential candidates) on the nuclear threat which engulfs us all, and spoken openly of his support for a nuclear-free world, isn't it time to challenge the other candidates to answer the same question?
For those candidates (and citizens) seeking an up-to-the-minute analysis and a cogent blueprint for how to rid our planet of weapons of mass destruction, get a copy of the just-released book --Nuclear Disorder or Cooperative Security?: US Weapons of Terror, The Global Proliferation Crisis, and Paths to Peace. (The authors are experts in law and policy relating to nuclear weapons, and bring a fresh, critical, perspective, informed by many years of experience.)
The Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy presents the book on May 31st at a conference in Washington DC. To order a copy, click here.
Two years ago, on May 30, 2005, Vice President Dick Cheney said of the violence in Iraq: "I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."
The comment came in response to a question from CNN's Larry King.
That's the line everyone remembers from the interview.
What people don't remember is Cheney's response to King's inquiry about when US troops would come home from Iraq.
KING: You expect it in your administration?
CHENEY: I do.
Note that Cheney did not correct the reference to "your administration." As he has ever since selecting himself for a place on George W. Bush's ticket in 2000, Cheney was more than willing to assume the mantle of power.
Unfortunately, it does not wear well on the man whose record for getting wrong actually surpasses that of his supposed boss.
There is no question that Cheney, who honed his skills as a military strategist by collecting a remarkable five draft deferments during the Vietnam War, was wrong about the insurgency entering its last throes.
And if we are to believe President Bush, who says the occupation will continue through the end of his second term, Cheney was also wrong when he said that the troops would exit in his administration.
Cheney can afford to be wrong. It costs him nothing. Congress is not about to hold the Vice President, or anyone else in the administration, to account for misstating, misreading and miscalculating everything about the Iraq imbroglio. Indeed, Congress is actually giving the administration more money than it requested to maintain the occupation.
As has been the case throughout his career, Cheney's errors only cost others. Since the vice president said the insurgency was in its last throes, tens of thousands of additional Iraqis have died. Major nation's have excited Bush's so-called "coalition of the willing." And the number of American deaths in the quagmire of Bush and Cheney's creation has more than doubled.
When Cheney talked with Larry King, fewer than 1,700 American soldiers had died in Iraq. Now, the figure stands at 3,468 -- pending the latest round of Department of Defense confirmations.
The Vice President fancies himself something of a amateur historian. Perhaps, then, he will be intrigued by some of the historic mileposts that have been passed since he spoke two years ago. Since Cheney was telling Americans that the war had taken a turn for the better and that the troops would return on his watch, total American losses in Iraq have surpassed the US death tolls in the Spanish-American War (2,446) and the War of 1812 (2,260). And they are fast approaching the death total for the Revolutionary War (4,435).
So it goes with Dick Cheney. No apologies. No accountability. Just a whole lot of wrong. And a whole lot of funerals.
John Nichols' biography of the vice president, The Rise and Rise of Richard B. Cheney: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Most Powerful Vice President in American History (The New Press) is available nationwide at independent bookstores and at www.amazon.com. Publisher's Weekly describes the book as "a Fahrenheit 9/11 for Cheney" and Esquire magazine says it "reveals the inner Cheney."
Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign would like voters to forget that she supported the war in Iraq. "Senator Clinton believes things are not going well [In Iraq], wants to begin phased withdrawal, wants to end the war," her spokesman Howard Wolfson told MSNBC on Friday.
It wasn't always that way. A new book by two New York Times investigative reporters, excerpted in the NYT Magazine this coming Sunday, painstakingly details that not only did Hillary support the war, but did so in a way that echoed many of the Bush Administration's most dubious talking points and undercut antiwar opponents.
"On the sensitive issue of collaboration between Al Qaeda and Iraq, Senator Clinton found herself adopting the same argument that was being aggressively pushed by the administration," reporters Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta write. "The Democratic senator who came closest to echoing Clinton's remarks about Hussein's supposed assistance to Al Qaeda was Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut." In fact, on this point the reporters document that Clinton was to the right of Lieberman when she argued that Saddam gave "aid, comfort and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members."
For the better part of three years, Clinton stuck to her support for the war. As public opinion began to change, so did her position, albeit slowly. "I don't support a fixed date for getting out, and I don't support an open-ended commitment," she said in the summer of '06, trying to have it both ways. Yet after she was booed at the Campaign for America's Future, as Arianna Huffington notes, Hillary surprisingly signed on as a cosponsor of legislation to begin redeploying troops from Iraq.
Yet she resisted setting a timetable for withdrawal or using the Congressional power of the purse to bring the war to a close. "I face the base all the time," she told fellow Senators in '06. "I think we need wiggle room."
But once she entered the Democratic primary for president she shifted further left, supporting legislation to force an end to combat operations by March 2008 and voting against last week's funding bill for the war. She did both reluctantly, reflecting the cautious, calibrated style that has become her trademark. Indeed, two days before last week's Iraq vote she told reporters tersely, "When I have something to say, I'll say it."
Those words, like her tenure in the Senate, don't exactly illustrate a profile in political courage.
Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring and a seminal figure for the modern environmental movement, would have turned one hundred this past Sunday. "Carson's book altered the nature of environmentalism," is how the Washington Post described her legacy. "Previously, it had been mainly about preserving and appreciating parks and other beautiful places. But Carson's message was that all of nature should be protected, for its own sake and because people eventually would suffer if it was degraded."
"What she said was, the Earth itself needs an advocate," said Patricia M. DeMarco, Executive Director of the Rachel Carson Homestead Association.
But when Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland – where Carson was a longtime resident – tried to honor her with a Senate resolution it was blocked by Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. "Rachel Carson has been an inspiration to a generation of environmentalists, scientists and biologists who made a difference and changed the irresponsible use of pesticides," Cardin said. "Honoring her 100th birthday should not be controversial. I wanted to share that with our country."
Indeed, Elizabeth Kolbert describes the magnitude of Carson's impact in The New Yorker, "As much as any book can, ‘Silent Spring' changed the world by describing it. An immediate best-seller, the book launched the modern environmental movement, which, in turn, led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the passage of the Clean Air, the Clean Water, and the Endangered Species Acts, and the banning of a long list of pesticides, including dieldrin."
But in a released statement Coburn insisted, "[Silent Spring] was the catalyst in the deadly worldwide stigmatization against insecticides, especially DDT" which is used to fight malaria. Spokesman John Hart claims that the treatment of malaria was hindered by Carson's work: "…millions of people in the developing world died because the environmental movement, inspired by Rachel Carson, created a climate of fear and hysteria about DDT."
But those who have studied Carson's work know that it is Coburn who is reacting with unfounded hysteria. In a 1964 tribute/obituary in The New Yorker, E.B. White wrote that Carson "was not a fanatic or a cultist. She was not against chemicals per se. She was against the indiscriminate use of strong, enduring poisons capable of subtle, long-term damage to plants, animals, and man...."
Linda Lear, a professor at George Washington University and a biographer of Carson, said Carson never called for a complete ban on DDT. "Carson was never against the use of DDT," Lear said. "She was against the misuse of DDT."
And Neal Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of the Audubon Naturalist Society in Maryland where Carson was a longtime board member, concurs with Lear. "Carson was not opposed to pesticide use – she was opposed to pesticide abuse," Fitzpatrick says. "And Coburn obviously never read Silent Spring. It's filled with examples of broad spraying of chemical poisons and the destructive impact on natural resources. Carson's focus on the wonder of nature is a value not shared by Coburn."
In these times, when the Bush administration muzzles scientists and caters its policies to the desires of corporate lobbyists, Rachel Carson's commitment to truth-telling and hard work in order to care for our planet needs to be fully appreciated – and revisited.
As part of its much belated inquiry into the prewar intelligence, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a 229-page report on Friday on the intelligence produced by US intelligence agencies on what could be expected to occur in Iraq following a US invasion. No surprise: the intelligence community foresaw the likelihood of chaos and trouble inside and outside Iraq.
As the committee's report notes, before the war the top intelligence analysts of the United States government concluded that creating a stable democratic government in Iraq would be a difficult and "turbulent" challenge, that sectarian conflict could erupt in a post-invasion Iraq, that al Qaeda would view a US invasion of Iraq as an opportunity to increase and enhance its terrorist attacks, that a heightened terrorist threat would exist for several years, that the US occupation of Iraq would probably cause a rise of Islamic fundamentalism and a boost in funding for terrorist groups, and that Iran's role in the region would enlarge.
That is, prior to the war, the experts predicted the tough times to come. In the book I co-wrote with Michael Isikoff Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, we reported that the intelligence community and the Pentagon had produced several estimates in early 2003 that warned about what could happen following a U.S. invasion. In his memoirs, former CIA director George Tenet quoted from some of these intelligence assessments. And the Senate Intelligence Committee report reprints two such studies. The intelligence establishment blew the WMD call--partly because it failed to accept its own skeptical intelligence evaluations--but it was largely correct about what would transpire after the United States entered Iraq.
But the Senate Intelligence Committee--now chaired by Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller--blinked.
That assessment comes from one of the committee's own members: Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat. In comments attached to the report, she justifiably gripes that the report ignores a critical matter--what the Bush administration did (or did not do) with all this strong intelligence. She writes:
I believe that the report could have, and should have, been much stronger and more direct on the quality and use of prewar intelligence.
In particular, the report should have included a conclusion that the quality of prewar assessments was generally high and that many of the predictions made by the Intelligence Community (IC) about postwar Iraq proved to be correct. There should also have been a conclusion that although policymakers had access to these assessments...they failed to take steps to prevent or lessen postwar challenges.
Feinstein is essentially charging that Rockefeller wimped out. He let the Bush White House off the hook. As Feinstein writes,
A more troubling aspect of prewar assessments on postwar Iraq was the extent to which they were ignored by policymakers....In the rare occasion that Administration officials addressed the postwar environment, their statements tended to ignore or directly contradict the IC's views.
Moreover, major policy decisions, including the number of troops needed after the initial combat phase and the extent of de-Baathification in the government and security forces, flatly ignored the assessments and recommendations of intelligence officials. Similarly, intelligence recommendations to actively engage Iraq's neighbors, especially Iran, in the postwar period were dismissed.
There is a bottom-line here: Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and other top administration officials shirked their duties by not planning for the troubles predicted by the intelligence community. Moreover, they misled the public, by presenting images of a post-invasion Iraq not supported by the assessments produced by the government's analysts. Feinstein notes:
The Committee has seen no evidence that government officials and decisionmakers appropriately considered and prepared for the difficulties in the postwar environment that were predicted by the Intelligence Community. The failure to act on this intelligence is a key contributing factor to the current situation in Iraq.
The Senate intelligence committee dropped the ball on the most important point: how Bush and his colleagues paid little heed to reality (or predictions of a reality to come) when they took the nation to war. It's good to know that the intelligence community--which screwed up the WMD question--did get something right. (The CIA also was correct when it produced reports saying there was no evidence of an operational link between Iraq and al Qaeda--a conclusion mocked by neocons in the Bush administration.) Yet the more significant issue is how Bush and his aides handled the decision to go to war. As the report shows--without stating so--the president and his team disregarded the experts and, thus, steered the country into one helluva ditch in Iraq.
The Senate intelligence committee has yet to finish its so-called "Phase II" report on the administration's use (or abuse) of the prewar intelligence on Iraq and weapons of mass destruction. That inquiry has been the subject of contention between Republicans and Democrats on the committee for the past three years. (The Democrats even shut down the Senate for a few hours to protest the Republicans' reluctance to wrap up that investigation.) But if the latest committee report is any indication, Bush critics, even fellow Democrats of Jay Rockefeller, may end up disappointed when the long-awaited Phase II report finally emerges.
JUST OUT IN PAPERBACK: HUBRIS: THE INSIDE STORY OF SPIN, SCANDAL, AND THE SELLING OF THE IRAQ WAR by Michael Isikoff and David Corn. The paperback edition of this New York Times bestseller contains a new afterword on George W. Bush's so-called surge in Iraq and the Scooter Libby trial. The Washington Post said of Hubris: "Indispensable....This [book] pulls together with unusually shocking clarity the multiple failures of process and statecraft." The New York Times called it, "The most comprehensive account of the White House's political machinations...fascinating reading." Tom Brokaw praised it as "a bold and provocative book." Hendrik Hertzberg, senior editor of The New Yorker notes, "The selling of Bush's Iraq debacle is one of the most important--and appalling--stories of the last half-century, and Michael Isikoff and David Corn have reported the hell out of it." For highlights from Hubris, click here.
The right-wing government of Colombia, which stands accused of collaborating with militias that kill union workers, is feting Bill Clinton at a "Colombia is Passion" awards ceremony in New York City next month.
They're shelling out $40,000 a month to the Glover Park Group, a PR and lobbying firm packed with Clintonites, to push for a US-Colombia free trade agreement that has been widely criticized by Democratic members of Congress. And President Alvaro Uribe has also brought on board the PR firm Burson-Marsteller, run by Hillary's chief strategist, Mark Penn, to "educate members of the US Congress" about the trade deal and the annual $5 billion in anti-drug aid bestowed on the Colombian government by the US under Clinton's Plan Colombia, according to Justice Department filings obtained by the AP (and wisely first flagged by David Sirota.)
I guess that's what one calls synergy. And for those that read my recent article Hillary Inc. it shouldn't be the least bit surprising.