Mark Foley, a Florida Republican stalwart sent lurid emails to underage pages. House Speaker Dennis Hastert apparently ignored warnings given to him in 2003 by Kirk Fordham, a senior aide. Fordham said he alerted Hastert’s office about “worrisome conduct by Rep. Mark Foley toward teenage pages … long before officials have acknowledged becoming aware of the issue.” (AP Oct 4) Subsequently, Hastert got other warnings from House Republicans. This information conflicts with the Speaker’s “shocked” response when ABC first published evidence of Foley’s “classical” form of older man-young boy relationship.
The Enquirer will feature salacious headline. Millions of supermarket customers will read them while waiting to have their groceries checked. Add to pedophilia on the internet, the less sexy bribery convictions of Republican Congressmen Randy “Duke” Cunningham (of California) and Robert Ney (of Ohio). Spice the mix with Jack Abramoff’s offering dirty money to buy from Republicans sleazy favors for sleazy clients (ranging from gamblers to sweat shop owners). Hey, the Democrats have a good chance to win back the House!
Posada, who also conspired to bomb Cuban tourists sites in the 1990s, one of which resulted in the killing of an Italian tourist, remains in a U.S. jail for “illegal entry” – not terrorism. The Justice Department has thus far not filed serous charges against him and has refused Venezuela’s extradition request.
Will congressional candidates also highlight Bush-Cheney lies and distortions about reasons for going to war and “staying the course?” Bob Woodward’s new book State of Denial presents a portrait of the White House top staff in a state of doubt and despair while the President paints himself publicly as steadfast and certain.
As the daily carnage in Iraq escalates – between October 1-4, 22 U.S. soldiers died and dozens more were wounded – Bush behaves as if he had a coherent victory strategy. Insurgent attacks have grown to some 800 a week, according to Woodward, but the increasingly huffy Bush, who ran away from even National Guard service, had the chutzpah to accuse his rivals of “cutting and running” instead of staying his disastrous course. (September 30 radio address)
“I did not cut and run,” she replied to Bush. “Like so many others, I proudly fought and sacrificed.” Duckworth criticized Republicans in Congress for failing to hold the Bush administration accountable for his Iraq policy. “We need a Congress that will ask the tough questions, and work together for solutions, rather than attacking the patriotism of those who disagree,” she added.
The Democrats have yet to rub Bush’s and Cheney’s faces in the panoply of public evidence of their deception; nor have they forced Republican candidates to confront the Party’s role in Jack Abramoff’s bribery schemes. Indeed, the President has set his theme — his reputed strength versus Democratic weakness — for the November congressional elections. Despite his low poll numbers, Bush confidently states that he and his Party stand for toughness against terrorism while his opponents are possibly traitors. He even had the cheek to try to sell the public on the idea that his critics are “buying into enemy propaganda.”
Bush, whose then National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice had ample warning about the 9/11 attack and did nothing to avert it, picked a military audience to deliver his severe warning. Don’t believe the critics, Bush demanded. He didn’t quite know how to explain a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) from his own Administration that concluded that fighting the war in Iraq has made America less safe. Someone leaked the NIE to the New York Times. Following that, Bush declassified portions of the report.
“Their war against us,” Bush averred, “is because they hate the very thing that America stands for,” he said. “And we stand for freedom.” He repeats the word, but each “fighting terrorism” act strips away traditional freedoms. Bush can now order the indefinite detention of any U.S. citizen, resident alien or foreign national in a military prison either in the U.S. soil or abroad. Arrested persons have no recourse to the courts or lawyers. Torturers can descend on them as well, just because Bush or his underlings decided to arrest him. On this issue, the Democrats did not stand tall and filibuster in the Senate or demand extensive hearings. This is the real test of what Bush called the “ideological struggle of the 21st century.”
Five years after the October 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban or rowdy war lords have recaptured much of the country. Newsweek labeled “Jihadistan,” the sanctuary that has emerged across thousands of miles of Afghan-Pakistan border land. This “autonomous quasi state of religious radicals, mostly belongs to Pashtun tribes who don’t recognize the Afghan-Pakistan frontier. [They] openly recruit young men to fight in Afghanistan, and they hold Islamic kangaroo courts that sometimes stage public executions.” (Newsweek, October 2, 2006)
Bush has given U.S. government wealth in the form of tax cuts to the already super wealthy. He refers to a nation sacrificing for war, while those who benefited from the war support his fiscal largesse. They make no sacrifices.
In this “Whom do you believe” November congressional election campaign, the public must decide between the man God told to invade Iraq and the lying documents produced by his intelligence experts.