Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Know Bush Fact #17

Based on the belief that the truth shall set you free:

Despite Bush’s pushing for invasion of Iraq specifically because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was actively developing a nuclear weapons program, Bush and the Pentagon failed to make a serious, high-priority attempt to locate and secure the WMDS or the catalogued nuclear research sites.

Two days after U.S. forces gained control of Iraq on April 9, a good three weeks after invading, Rumsfield said, "When there happens to be a weapon of mass destruction suspect site in an area that we occupy and if people have time, they’ll look at it."

One of the greatest dangers was that the nuclear materials known to exist could get in the hands of terrorists.

In mid April, the International Atomic Energy Agency found the U.S. forces had done nothing to secure Iraq’s major nuclear sites, and requested they move quickly to do so, specifically emphasizing concern for the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research facility.

By April 25, The Washington Post reported that Defense officials couldn’t say if the vast nuclear repository’s deadly contents had been stolen, because they hadn’t dispatched investigators to the site yet. The Pentagon and U.S. Central Command was aware at that time that Tuwaitha, only 11 miles from Baghdad, lay unguarded for days and that looters had been inside.

Five other nuclear facilities were looted as well. Files and containers were missing, barrels containing radioactive material were dumped and for three weeks locals drank and bathed in water containing radioactive material.

Finally, in June, the U.S. and IAEA secured Tuwaitha. While much of the missing material was eventually found and purchased back, there is no way of knowing in whose hands the remaining radioactive materials landed.

High-ranking U.S. officials had to acknowledge that the war that was supposed to make us safer, may prove to have aggravated the proliferation threat Bush said he fought to forestall.

To verify/research, Google: IAEA +Tuwaitha.

- March 30, 2004

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Know Bush Fact #16

Based on the belief that the truth shall set you free:

On the eve of the March 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration issued the following directive through the Pentagon:

"There will be no arrival ceremonies for, or media coverage of, deceased military personnel returning to or departing from Ramstein (Germany) air base or Dover base."

The Dover Air Base is the location of the largest Defense Department mortuary for the remains of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines.

Defense Department spokeswoman Lt. Col. Cynthia Colin stated that the ban on media coverage stemmed from a respect for the families, "to protect their wishes and privacy during the time of greatest loss and grief." Though the "Dover policy" has existed since its creation by George H. W. Bush during the first Gulf War, it went unheeded by the Clinton administration.

"This year," Lt. Col. Colin said in late 2003, "we've really tried to enforce it."

To further sanitize the repercussions of the war, today's military doesn't even use the words "body bags" - a familiar term from the Vietnam War. During Bush's father's 1991 Gulf War, the Pentagon began calling them "human remains pouches."

Now, under Bush, the term for the returning dead is "transfer tubes."

To verify/research, Google: "Bush +Dover +directive."

- March 20, 2004

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Know Bush Fact #15

Based on the belief that the truth shall set you free:

Forty-eight hours before ordering U.S. troops into Iraq a year ago, Bush told the American people, "There’s no certainty in war but the certainty of sacrifice."
For some.

In the spring of 1997, while serving as Mobilization Plans Officer for the Texas National Guard at the state headquarters in Austin, Texas, Ret. Lt. Col. Bill Burkett came to the office of Adjutant General Daniel James to ask a question.

The door was open about 8 inches and Burkett could hear the voice of Joe M. Allbaugh, then-Governor Bush’s chief of staff, on the speakerphone. The General and Allbaugh were discussing sanitizing Bush’s records in preparation for Karen Hughes' official biography in preparation for Bush's re-election campaign. Burkett heard Allbaugh tell General James, "We certainly don’t want anything that is embarrassing in there."

Ten days later, Chief Warrant Officer George Conn, in whom he'd confided, walked Burkett over to a remote room in the museum on base where the head of the museum, General John Scribner, was sitting at a folding table with a 15-gallon trashcan next to him, going through papers. Looking down, Burkett saw 20-40 pages of performance documents in the can. At the top of the pages he could see was the "Bush, George W., 1LT."

Joe M. Allbaugh was appointed by Bush to be the Director of FEMA where he stayed until March 2003, when the war began. He is now Chairman and Director of New Bridge Strategies, LLC, a company created to assist businesses in getting the lucrative contracts in "rebuilding" Iraq.

Adjutant General Daniel James was nominated by Bush on September 20, 2001 to be Director of the Air National Guard, where he has been serving since June 2002.

To research/verify, Google "Bush +Guard +Trash."

- March 17, 2004

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Know Bush Fact #14

Based on the belief that the truth shall set you free:

One of every four Americans lives within 3 miles of a toxic waste site. Bush included in his 2004 budget a plan to generate money for the depleting EPA Superfund trust.

By 2002, the $3.3 billion that was left in 1995 was down to $100 million, because the tax collected for the Superfund clean ups from the chemical industry was stopped in 1995 as part of Newt Gingrich’s "Contract on America."

So that year, Bush’s appointee, Christine Whitman, de-funded 89 Superfund cites in 13 states, including a New Jersey site where a residential neighborhood had developed around a deserted plant where the herbicide Agent Orange was mixed and disposed, where the green-yellow watered drainage ditches empty into a brook that flows past a McDonalds hamburger bun bakery.

But now, Bush is willing to do something about it. He’s included it in his budget. The money will come from "general revenues" - that means the taxpayers. Not the polluters. Nor those who have benefitted by far the most from the tax cuts. Meanwhile, the chemical corporations have saved over $9 billion since 1995, or roughly $4 million per day.

In 1994, Monsanto, Dow, and Union Carbide wrote the checks that put Bush in the Texas Governor’s Mansion.

To verify/research, Google "Superfund +Bush".

Monday, March 08, 2004

Know Bush Fact #13

Based on the belief that the truth shall set you free:

In 1995, a Pakistani terrorist linked to bin Laden was arrested in the Phillipines and admitted plans to fly a plane into a U.S. federal building.

In 1998, terrorism analysts briefed the Federal Aviation Administration on the possibility of terrorists crashing planes into such targets as the World Trade Tower, the Pentagon, the Capitol, and other targets.

In January 2001, prior to leaving the White House, President Clinton and his security team warned Bush and his team that Al Queda and its sleeper cells in the U.S. were the major security threat facing the U.S.

On April 18, the Federal Aviation Administration issued an advisory warning for U.S. carriers to "demonstrate a high degree of alertness."

On June 26, the State Department issued a worldwide caution to Americans traveling or living abroad. The National Security Agency's ECHELON electronic spy network gave warning that Mideast terrorists were planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons to attack important symbols of American culture.

On July 5, NSA Counter-Terrorism Chief Richard Clarke reported to the White House, "Something really spectacular is going to happen here, and it's going to happen soon." Bush was warned that bin Laden was about to mount a major attack.

Bush went on vacation in Crawford, Texas for the entire month of August.

Bush's Cabinet-rank advisors didn't hold their first meeting on terrorism until September 4, 2001.

Because Bush failed to increase the Air Defense readiness levels, when the 2nd plane hit the World Trade Center on September 11, the nearest approaching fighter jet was still seventy miles away.
To verify/research, Google: "September 11 +Bush +warn +planes"

- March 8, 2004

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Know Bush Fact #12

Based on the belief that the truth shall set you free:

On Friday, March 3, officially beginning his election campaign, Bush addressed "The White House Conference on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives" where he proudly reported a 41% increase in Health & Human Services grants (from $477 million to $568 million) in 2003.

Expanding faith-based initiatives has always been (or at least since his conversion) a major focus for Bush. As the Governor of Texas, he personally pushed through the Legislature the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, requiring the state government to demonstrate a "compelling interest" before interfering with any religious group or practice, and use a "least restrictive means" test when enforcing regulations. This allowed the Texas Association for Christian Child Care Agencies to "license" faith-based social services which were not held to professional training standards, criminal background checks, or other regulatory conditions.

With this in place, Roloff's Homes returned to Texas in 1999. This organization was created by Lester Roloff, a powerful radio evangelist out of Corpus Christi, Texas, who barnstormed around Texas in his single-engine Cessna, preaching and stumping for Karl Rove's gubernatorial candidate, "Brother Bill" Clements. A few years later, Roloff, a reckless flier who believed "the touch of an unseen hand" would bring him back safely to earth, no matter the weather, flew into the hereafter, taking 4 young singers from his choir with him.

His replacement at his Roloff's Homes for wayward boys, girls, and women (what - no men?) was the Reverend Wiley Cameron. Under Cameron, Roloff's Homes were under investigation by State Attorney General John Hill. Apparently, the Biblical model of discipline ("Withhold not correction from this child, for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die") was going too far. By the mid-80s, Cameron packed up and left for friendlier grounds in Missouri, where John Ashcroft was Attorney General and later Governor.

Bush's Religious Freedom Restoration Act made it safe to return. But old habits of righteousness are dangerous, and while Bush was campaigning for President, Cameron was convicted after a young girl was bound with duct tape, kicked in the ribs, and locked in solitary for 32 hours of taped Roloff's sermons and two boys were abused to the point of "torture".

The other huge benefactor of the new Texas law was Teen Challenge, a Bible-based drug program, run by Henry Lozano. By the time Mr. Lozano was an invited guest visibly sitting right behind Laura Bush at the 2003 State of the Union address, there was a 49-page report in the office of the Texas Freedom Network, an advocacy group monitoring extremist evangelicals, on the almost complete lack of compliance with basic safety requirements, such as first aid & CPR training, faulty electrical outlets, gas lines, and smoke alarms.

To veryify/research, Google "Roloff +Bush +Religious Freedom".

- March 4, 2004