CIA Fires Official Not Willing to Torture:

This is a fireable offense, not lying to the American people about such things not happening...

CIA chief sacked for opposing torture
Sarah Baxter and Michael Smith, Washington
The CIA’s top counter-terrorism official was fired last week because he opposed detaining Al-Qaeda suspects in secret prisons abroad, sending them to other countries for interrogation and using forms of torture such as “water boarding”, intelligence sources have claimed.

Robert Grenier, head of the CIA counter-terrorism centre, was relieved of his post after a year in the job. One intelligence official said he was “not quite as aggressive as he might have been” in pursuing Al-Qaeda leaders and networks.

Vincent Cannistraro, a former head of counter-terrorism at the agency, said: “It is not that Grenier wasn’t aggressive enough, it is that he wasn’t ‘with the programme’. He expressed misgivings about the secret prisons in Europe and the rendition of terrorists.”

Here's a good point:

Also from Altercation:

Also, I'm going to go out on a limb here, but might not a guy who lies about nuclear weapons, terrorism, and whether or not he claimed, on videotape, that there was a Prague meeting between Mohammed Atta and Iraqi intelligence be capable of lying about how many beers he had before he started shooting people? Just asking....

Altercation Letter Writer Gets the Torture Photo Issue:

"We are going to publish only those images that give readers essential information. Many of the images are so shocking and in such bad taste, especially the extensive nudity, that they are not publishable in our newspaper or on our Web site." The PHOTOS are in bad taste?? Not the conduct itself?? How can these people fail to understand that it is the conduct that is the problem, and the photos are essential precisely because they shock the conscience -- and show the world, INCLUDING Americans, just what the Bush Administration is doing in the name of freedom and democracy. The American people not only deserve to see the photos; they NEED TO see the photos. Without raw, unedited images of the reality of American practices, the public is getting only Bush-Cheney approved spin--an Ozzie-and-Harriet view of U.S. foreign policy.

Wisconsin Republicans Don't See the Need to Vote

State GOP says Gard is party's pick
by Jeanne Anthony, WHBY

The state GOP says John Gard is the anointed Republican candidate, for northeast Wisconsin's congressional seat.

Gard's Republican primary opponent, state Rep. Terri McCormick of Appleton, said top level Republicans are trying to engineer the outcome in the Eighth Congressional District, hand-picking Assembly Speaker Gard. State Republican Party executive director, Rick Wiley, said that's true. Wiley said national Republican party officials have concluded that Gard represents their best chance to retain the seat now held by Congressman Mark Green, who's running for governor.

Vice President Dick Cheney will be in Wisconsin next month, to speak on behalf of Gard's candidacy.

I guess that partially explains the Voter ID stuff - they don't see the point of voting, even for people in their own party.


Meet the New Boss... (How can they do this in our name?)

The George W. Bush administration went well beyond refusing to negotiate with terrorists in its handling of the threat by freelance journalist Jill Carroll's abductors to kill her if all female detainees were not released from U.S.-run prisons in Iraq.

According to Iraqi officials, U.S. officials delayed the scheduled release of six female prisoners whom they knew had already been found innocent because of the kidnappers' demand for their release. Then they refused to speed up the review of the files of the five remaining female prisoners, in violation of a policy of giving priority to females in the review of detainee files for release.

On Jan. 26, five of the six women were released, along with 419 others. The sixth woman, whom the Iraqi officials had judged innocent, is still being detained without explanation.

Read the rest here for the even worse details.

Homelad Security 'Loses' Records For Katrina Response

Katrina Records Contain A Gap
Missing: Homeland Security Conference Call As Levees Failed

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Homeland Security has not been able to find any recording of a crucial conference call five hours after Hurricane Katrina made landfall - though it has transcripts of other key discussions recorded in the days before and after the storm struck.

Senate investigators want to know who conferred and what they said on a 40-minute call that began at noon Aug. 29, as levees were being breached in New
Orleans and government relief efforts were overwhelmed by the enormity of the storm.

But missing will be any detailed information about the Aug. 29 Homeland Security briefing.

"We have not found recordings of the VTCs [video teleconferences] for August 29 or September 3, 2005," Homeland Security General Counsel Philip J. Perry wrote to the committee.

Department spokesman Russ Knocke said his agency has nothing to hide, and has provided the committee with more than 300,000 pages of documents and made dozens of witnesses available. "We've been forthcoming throughout this process," Knocke said.

Video teleconferences normally are recorded and then transcripts are made. Senate and House investigators sought recordings or transcripts, and the department made available transcripts of calls from Aug. 28 through Sept. 2.

But Aug. 29 was not included. "It could have been as inadvertent as someone not pressing `record,'" Knocke explained. He could not say who was on the call.

"There is no record of it having been recorded," he said.

These jokers really are Nixon all over...

Bush Coming To WI as Well...

Bush to speak Monday at Johnson Controls

President Bush is scheduled to visit Milwaukee on Monday to give a speech at Johnson Controls, and Vice President Dick Cheney will be in the Green Bay area for a campaign appearance on March 13, party officials said Wednesday.

Details of the topic of Bush's speech have not been released, but a likely focus would be job creation, said Rick Wiley, executive director of the state Republican Party.

Wiley said he wasn't sure which Johnson Controls facility would be used for the speech.


Bush Budget Cuts Social Programs:

Here are some details:

The budget would shave $35.9 billion over five years from Medicare, the politically sensitive healthcare program for the elderly. The Medicare cuts, along with a $4.5 billion reduction in the Medicaid budget, are part of $65.2 billion in savings culled from entitlement programs

Bush also has proposed saving $14.7 billion by eliminating or significantly scaling back 141 government programs, including antidrug efforts in schools, food stamps, vocational education, and housing benefits for the elderly and the disabled.

''The president is asking our seniors, our students, and our families to clean up his fiscal mess with painful cuts in healthcare and student aid," said the Senate minority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada.

The Department of Education's spending on basic programs would fall by $2.1 billion, or 3.8 percent, and the president would save about $3.5 billion by cutting a range of programs designed to promote the arts, technology, and after-school programs. Meanwhile, federally based programs to help pay for higher education would take significant hits: The Perkins Loan program would be eliminated, and Pell grant funding for college students would drop by $4.6 billion.

The savings in Medicare and Medicaid would come primarily by requiring higher-income seniors to pay more for services, and by reducing payments to hospitals and nursing homes that are scheduled for automatic increases under current law.

Amtrak, the national rail carrier, would see its subsidy slashed to $900 million from the $1.3 billion being spent on the system this year, making it likely hundreds of jobs would be cut, too.

Why will all of these be cut?

The Department of Defense would get the biggest funding increase; Bush has asked for a record $439.3 billion budget -- 7 percent more than this year, and 48 percent above the level of spending in 2001. In addition, Bush is seeking $50 billion to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007, along with nearly $2 billion more in assistance programs for the two nations.

On taxes, the president wants Congress to make permanent a series of reductions to taxes on income, capital gains, dividends, and estates of the deceased that were passed in 2001 and 2003. Those cuts are scheduled to expire between now and 2010.

The president would also set aside $51.7 billion over five years for expanded health savings accounts, which permit taxpayers to set aside money tax-free for health care expenses.

Good old Robin Hood in reverse. This is what we are missing as we debate Cheney.

Break Out The Blaze Orange! Cheney's Coming!

Cheney plans campaign visit to Valley

Vice President Dick Cheney will visit De Pere area March 13 for a fundraiser on behalf of John Gard, who is running for the Republican nomination for the 8th District Congressional seat now held by Mark Green.

Gard’s campaign manager, Brandon Rosner, confirmed Wednesday morning that the vice president would appear. According to Wispolitics.com, Cheney will be the featured speaker at a noon luncheon at the SC Grand Ballroom, 1250 Mid-Valley Drive, with tickets selling for $250 and $500 a plate.

According to the announcement, the $250 tickets are sold out.

Gard is running against State Rep. Terry McCormick in the Sept. 12 primary election.

The Onion on Bush:

Bush Hides U.S. Report Card In Sock Drawer

CRAWFORD, TX—According to White House sources, following yet another disappointing grading period for the nation he leads, President Bush hid the national report card in his bedroom sock drawer Monday. "We, as a nation, got a D in international relations, a D in economics, and an F in military history," Bush reportedly said. "We must work hard to make sure no one finds out about this." Critics say the report-card-hiding effort is immature, and point out that the sock drawer is the first place The New York Times will look.


Something to Mull Over...

The White House, in response to questions about Cheney's shooting incident:

Facing a press corps upset that news had been withheld, press secretary Scott McClellan said, "I think you can always look back at these issues and look at how to do a better job."

Bush's State of the Union Speech:

He also slapped at those who complain he took the country to war on the erroneous grounds that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

"Hindsight alone is not wisdom," Bush said. "And second-guessing is not a strategy."

So, the White House thinks we need to learn from hunting accidents, but not from war that has wasted thousands of lives and a billions of dollars.

Just checking to make sure my priorities were straight...

Walker Plans a Killer Fund-Raiser (thanks x-off)

Walker plans killer fund-raiser
Saturday, February 18

FundraisersNoon - 2 pm: Pheasant Hunt in support of Scott Walker,candidate for governor, Wern Valley Hunt Club, S36 W29657 Wern Way, Waukesha. Hosted by Mike Maxwell and Jon Barber.

Noon: Lunch.
12:45 pm: Hunt. Cost: $500 includes 10 birds, guide dog, lunch, and campaign contribution.

P.S. -- Don't tell Dick Cheney.

x-off had it here.

Letterman on Cheney

Click here.


10 Ways Dick Cheney Can Kill You:

Here's my take on this:

The Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature wants to let 8-year old children hunt. They say that an 8-year old can make the decisions nessasary to hunt - they are developed enough.

Dick Cheney is not responsible enough to hunt. He shot a guy.

Does that mean that Dick Cheney is less responsible than an 8-year old?

Are we going to have to get Cheney a booster seat?