Janet's Conner

This Blog tell the Truth and will never not tell the Truth. Impeach Bush

Friday, May 26, 2006

COUPLE CHARGED IN MILITARY RAFFLE SCAM

As the Memorial Day weekend approaches, a Villa Park, Illinois couple is accused of scamming unsuspecting shoppers who opened their pocketbooks for a bogus relief fund to benefit military families.

Authorities arrested Donald L. McCarver and his fiancee, Anne M. Pellegrini, both 41, during a 6 a.m. Thursday search of their apartment at 324 N. Ardmore Aveunue.

Acting on a tip that the two were running a scam, sheriff's detectives recently approached them outside a Glen Ellyn store at Roosevelt Road and Route 53.

Pellegrini wore a Navy dress uniform. McCarver was seated at a camouflage cloth-covered table while selling raffle tickets and handing out ribbons. The shoppers were told the raffle ends over Memorial Day weekend.

Authorities said the couple insisted when talking with detectives that they were military personnel and that the charity was legitimate. Detectives checked out their story, though. Police said neither was active in the service and that the charity, Navy/Marines Family Relief Fundraiser, did not exist.

DuPage State's Attorney Joseph Birkett and Sheriff John Zaruba announced the criminal charges Thursday, calling the couple's actions a "disgrace" and "deplorable."

McCarver and Pellegrini are accused of setting up a table outside grocery and discount shopping stores in the Glen Ellyn and Wheaton areas and selling the raffle tickets at $5 a piece of five for $20.

Investigators still are adding up the raffle tickets to figure out how much money was collected, but the criminal charges allege up to $10,000 was stolen. Authorities said it'll likely about half as much when all is tallied.

McCarver and Pellegrini are charged with felony theft by deception and false implementations of a charity organization. McCarver also faces obstructing justice allegations after being accused of giving investigators a false name and birth date.

They face up to five years in prison but also are eligible for probation. Both remained in the DuPage County jail late Thursday. Pellegrini must post $10,000 cash for her release.

McCarver, though, is being held on three cases, including charges related to the scam. The other cases involve aggrevated home repair fraud and comtempt of court allegations. He must post $33,694 to be released.

Authorities are asking anyone who believes he or she may have made a donation to this fund to call the sheriff's office at (630) 407-2400. It was DuPage County Crime Stoppers that provided the initial tip that led to the arrests.


Source of Information: Daily Herald (Illinois)
Legal Affairs Writer
May 26, 2006

IRAQ---FATAL IRAQ RAID PROBE UNDER WAY




WASHINGTON---The powerful head of the House Armed Services Committee said on Friday that no matter what a probe of alleged war crimes by U.S. soldiers in western Iraq shows, he doesn't want to see all U.S. troops "tarred" by the possible actions of one unit.

***Maybe the Republican administration and their Republican puppets up on Capitol Hill should have thought about this when they made the decision not to charge anyone except U.S. soldiers with any kinds of war crimes ever since the Abu Ghraib incident. These U.S. soldiers are "only doing what they were told to do." So, don't come out now, acting all worried about our troops. They are the reason that are troops are being attacked every day.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CALIF), said he believed there was more to last fall's bloody firefight in the Iraqi town of Haditha than the military had first reported.

***Could it be that hire-ups ordered it? Or better yet, maybe it's the effects of PTSD, after being continually rotated back to Iraq 2-3 times! Maybe it's all the medication that our troops are on to, so-called "help them out with fatique and anxiety while they are going through this PTSD episode!"

A criminal investigation of the violence, which left at least 15 Iraqi civilians dead, is being conducted by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Hunter siaid he wanted to put the incident "in contect" and didn't want to see all troops "tarred by what happened by one squad, at one place, on one morning."

***Don't worry Rep. Hunter, as an observer of the court of public opinion, we know that whenever a Republican comes out claiming to "all of a sudden" care about what happens to our troops, or they come out to "make something perfectly clear," it's usually because you are trying to hide something. And blaming our troops for something that that someone else did, has become a pattern with this administration and its congressional leaders, or should I say puppets. Nobody blames the troops for what they are ordered to do, but we do blame the ones that did the ordering!

Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), earlier this week said Marines killed innocent women and children "in cold blood" during the attacks last November.

Murtha said that troops overreacted and that nearly twice as many people were killed than first reported.

***Murtha just reported "the facts." I didn't hear him say "why" it was done! The probe will lead to that--but I also would like to know WHY IT WAS REPORTED WRONG IN THE FIRST PLACE! It's too late to get the truth now, well at least until this administration is gone or impeached!

Hunter, like Murtha is considered a staunch supporter of the military, said he believes that the number of people killed in the Haditha incident will be shown to number "20 or so," and that "initial reports that come up through the chain of command did not tell the story."

***If Hunter was such a stauch supporter of the military, then why did he vote "YES" to take away money from our troops to give it to the rich? By his own admission, whether he knows it or not, he's saying that the number of people killed went down as it came up through the chain of command. He's telling us that Rumsfeld and his puppets are nothing but a bunch of liars!


Probe defended

Hunter disputed reports that investigations of the incident had been held back for political reasons. He said military commanders had told him that two probes will be completed by early June, the first as early as next week.

***Yeah, it was held for political reasons. Just like all of the information about the intelligence of the war in Iraq was held from the people. That info was found in 2003 and verified by early 2004. It didn't come out until late 2004. By then, Bush was able to claim that it was a stunt by the Democrats. And, unfortunately, it worked. And now look at us. So, yes Rep. Hunter, it was held onto for political reasons. Your re-eection is coming up. Why are you out here defendng something that there isn't any findings on yet, anyway? Are you trying to "season" the people for the blow it might cause to you and yours?

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, in an interview Thursday with Bill O'Reilly of Fox News Channel, said, "Needless to say, we have to take seriously allegations of that type. And they're under investigation, and they will then be handled in the normal order of things.

***There has been nothing that this administration and their Republican cronies have handled in the "normal" order of things! It's either their way or no way at all. This is the most "untraditional" administration in the history of the United States of America! That's why they'll go down as laughing-stocks!

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said he would not comment on the veracity of Murtha's remarks, but said individuals will be held accountable if it is determined they did something wrong. He added that U.S. troops "are facing a host of enemies in a tough and challenging environment every day."

'No firefight'

About a dozen Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, are being investigated for war crimes in connection with the firefight to determine if they violated the rules of military engagement.

During a Wednesday press conference on Capitol Hill, Murtha said the investigation will show that "in fact there was no firefight, there was no explosion that killed the civilians in a bus. There was no bus. There was no shrapnel, there was only bullet holes inside the house where the Marines had gone in."

Murtha, a former Marine and veterans of combat in Vietnam, has been a consistent ally of the armed forces as a member of Congress. He has called in recent months for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

A videotape taken by an Iraqi shows the aftermath of the alleged Haditha attack; a blood-smeared bedroom floor and bits of what appear to be human flesh and bullet holes on the walls.

The video, obtained by Time magazine, was broadcast a day after the Haditha residents told The Associated Press that American troops entered homes and shot dead 15 members of two families, including a 3-year old girl, after a roadside bomb killed a Marine.

Defense officials announced last month that three Marines from the 3rd Batallion were relieved of their combat duries in connection with problems during their deployment to Iraq. Gibson said it would be inappropriate to link their resignations to the Haditha incident.

The three were assigned to new duties within the division because of a lack of confidence in their leadership abilities, officials said at the time.


Source:MSNBC
Staff and News Service reports
May 19, 2006

IRAQ: ''VICTORY?'' FORGET IT

Bush is trying to keep Americans from abandoning his disastrous war by claiming victory is at hand. But even his own generals know that's a lie.


When new Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Kamel al-Maliki unveiled his government last week, five months after his country's elections, and was unable to appoint ministers of defense and interior, President Bush hailed it as "turning point." And that was just one month after Maliki's mentor, former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jafaari, to whom he had been a loyal deputy, installed in the position through the support of radical Shiite cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, was forced to relinquish his office through U.S. pressure.

Bush has been proclaiming Iraq at a turning point for years. "Turning point" is a frequent and recurring talking point, often taken up by the full chorus of the president ("We've reached another great turning point," Nov. 6, 2003; "A turning point will come in less than two weeks," June 18, 2004), vice president ("I think about when we look back and get some historical perspective on this period, I'll believe that the period we were in through 2005, was, in fact, a turning point," Feb. 7, 2006), secretary of state and secretary of defense, and ringing down the echo chamber.

This latest "turning point" reveals an Iraqi state *without a social contract, *a government without a center, *a prime minister without power and an *American president without a strategy. *Each sectarian group maintains its own militia. *Each leader's influence rests on these armed bands, seperate armies and tens of thousands of men. *The militias have infiltrated and taken over key units of the Iraqi army and local police, using them as death squads, protection rackets and deterrent forces aginst enemies. *Reliable statistics are impossible, but knowledgable reporters estimate that there are about 40 assassinations a day in Iraq. *Ethnic cleansing is sweeping the country. *From Kirkuk in the north to Baghdad in the middle to Basra in the south, Kurds are driving out Turkmen and Arabs, *Shiites are killing Sunnis, and *the insurgency enjoys near unanimous support among Sunnis. Contrary to Bush's blanket rhetoric about "terrorists" and constant references to the insurgency as "the enemy," foreign fighters are a small component of the insurgency," according to Anthony H. Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Patrick Cockburn, one of the most accurate and intrepid journalists in Iraq, wrote last week in the Independent of London that "the overall security situation in Iraq is far worse than it was a year ago. Baghdad and central Iraq, where Shia, Sunni and Kurd are mixed, is in the grip of a civil war fought by assassins and death squads. As in Bosnia in 1992, each community is pulling back into enclaves where it is the overwhelming majority and able to defend itself."

While Prime Minister Maliki has declared his intention to enforce an unused militia-demobilization decree proclaimed by the now disbanded Coalition Provisional Authority in 2004, he has made no gesture beyond his statement, and no Iraqi leader has volunteered to be the first test case of demobilization. The New York Times Wednesday cited an American official on the absence of action on this front: "They need to begin by setting examples, an American official in Baghdad said of the Iraqi government. It is just very noticeable to me that they are not making any examples. None, the official said. Zero."

Maliki's inability to fill the posts of minister of defense and minister of the interior reflects the control of the means of violence by factions and sects unwilling to cede it to a central command. Inside the new government, ministries are being operated as sectarian fiefdoms. The vacuum at the Defense and Interior ministries represents a state of civil war in which no one can be vested with power above all.

In his speech on Monday referring to another "turning point," President Bush twice spoke of "victory." "Victory" is the constant theme he has adopted since last summer, when he hired public opinion specialist Peter Feaver for the National Security Council. Feaver's research claims that the public will sustain military casualties as long as it is persuaded that they will lead to "victory." Bush clings to this P.R. formula to explain, at least to himself, the decline of his political fortunes. "Because we're at war, and the war unsettles people," he said in an interview with NBC News last week. To make sense of the disconcerting war, he imposes his familiar framework of us vs. them, "the enemy" who gets "on your TV screen by killing innocent people" against himself.

In his Monday speech, Bush reverted yet again to citing Sept. 11, 2001, as the ultimate justification for the war in Iraq. Defiant in the face of terrorists, he repeated whole paragraphs from his 2004 campaign stump speech. "That's just the lessons of September 11th that I refuse to forget," he said. Stung by the dissent of the former commanders of the U.S. Army in Iraq who have demanded the firing of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Bush assured the sudience that he listens to generals. "I make my mind up based not upon politics or political opinion polls, but based upon the commanders on the ground tell me is going on," he said.

Yet currently serving U.S. military commanders have been explicitly telling him for more than two years, and making public their view, that there is no purely military solution in Iraq. For example, Gen. John Abizaid, the U.S. commander, said on April 12, 2004: "There is not a purely U.S. military solution to any of the particular problems that we're facing here in Iraq today."

Newsweek reported this week that the U.S. military, in fact, is no longer pursuing a strategy for "victory." It is consolidating to several 'superbases' in hopes that its continued presence will prevent Iraq from succumbing to full-blown civil war and turning into a failed state. Pentagon strategists admit they have not figured out how to move to superbases, as a way of reducing the pressure---and casualties---inflicted on the U.S. Army, while at the same time remaining embedded with Iraqi police and military units. It is a circle no one has squared. But consolidation plans are moving ahead as a default position, and U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has talked frankly about containing the spillover from Iraq's chasos in the region."

Yet Bush continues to declare as his goal (with encouragement from his polling expert on the NSC) the victory that the U.S. military has given up on. And he continues to wave the banner of a military solution against "the enemy," although this "enemy" consists of a Sunni insurgency whose leadership must eventually be conciliated and brought into a federal Iraqi government and of which the criminal Abu Musab al-Zarqawi faction and foreign fighters are a small part.

Bush's belief in a military solution, moreover, renders moot progress on a political solution, which is the only potentially practical approach. His war on the Sunnis simply agitates the process of civil war. The entire burden of progress falls on the U.S. ambassador, whose inherent situation as representative of the occupying power inside the country limits his ability to engage in the international diplomacy that might make his efforts to bring factions together. Khalilzad's tentative outreach to Iran, in any case, was shut down by Washington. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, for her part, finds herself in Bulgaria, instead of conducting shuttle diplomacy in Amman, Jordan; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Ankara, Turkey; and Tehran. The diplomatic vacuum intensifies the power vacuum in Iraq, exciting Bush's flight of magical thinking about victory: I speak, therefore it is.

Bush doesn't know that we can't achieve victory. He doesn't know that seeking victory worsens his prospects. He doesn't know that the U.S. military has abandoned victory in the field, though it has been reporting that to him for years. But the president has no rhetoric beyond "victory."

Bush's chance for a quick victory in Iraq evaporated when the neoconservative fantasy collapsed almost imediately after the invasion. But the "make-believe" of "liberation" that failed to provide basic security set in motion "fratricidal violence," as Nir Rosen wrote in his book, "In the Belly of the Green Bird: The Triumph of the Martyrs in Iraq," based on firsthand observation of the developing insurgency in the vacuum created by U.S. policy.

Indeed, Bush's nominee for director of the CIA, Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency, in his confirmation hearings, acknowledged the neoconservative manipulation of intelligence to make the case for the Iraq war and disdained it. Asked by Sen. Carl Levin (D-MICH), about the administration's efforts to tie Saddam Hussein to al-Qaida, Hayden replied: "Sir, I---as director of NSA, we did have a series of inquiries about this potential connection between al Qaeda and the Iraqi government. Yes, sir."

The exchange continued:

Levin: Now, prior to the war, the undersecretary of defense for policy, Mr. [Douglas] Feith, established an intelligence analysis cell within his policy office at the Defense Department. While the intelligence community was consistently dubious about links between Iraq and al Qaeda, Mr. Feith produced an alternative analysis, asserting that there was a strong connection. Were you comfortable with Mr. Feith's office's appraoch to intelligence analysis?

Hayden: No, sir, I wasn't. I wasn't aware of a lot of the activity going on, you know, when it was contemporaneous with running up to the war. No sir, I wasn't comfortable.

Hayden then explained at length the difference between working from the facts and trying to cherry-pick data to support a hypothesis. He made clear that the administration had engaged in the latter. Levin asked: "Now, I belive that you actually placed a disclaimer on NSA reporting relative to any links between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. And it was apparently following the repeated inquiries from the Feith office. Would you just tell us what the disclaimer was?" Hayden answered: "Yes, sir. SIGINT neither confirms nor denies---and let me stop at that point in the sentence so we can stay safely on the side of unclassified. SIGINT neither confirms or denies, and then we finished the sentence based upon the question that was asked. And then we provided the data, sir." In the language of the agency, in other words, Hayden would not lend support to the Bush administrations' twisting of intelligence.

On May 15, Karl Rove, Bush's chief political adviser, gave a speech revealing one of his ideas about politics. "I think," he said, "there's also a great utility in looking at game changers. What are the things that will allow us to fundamentally change people's behavior in a different way? Since Sept. 11, Rove has made plain that terrorism and war are the great game changers for Bush.

But while war may be the game changer for Bush's desire to put in place a one-party state, forge a permanent Republican majority, redefine the Constitution and the relationships of the branches of the federal government, and concentrate power in the executive, Bush has only the rhetoric of "victory." He has not stated what would happen the day after "victory." Although a victory parade would be his political nightmare, now the absence of victory is his nightmare. With every proclaimed "turning point," "victory" becomes ever more evanescent. He has no policy for victory and no policies beyond victory.


Source of InformationInformation Clearing House
Story By: Sidney Blumenthal
May 25, 2006