In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Fraud probe launched on Iraq deals

A team of specially trained investigators will hunker down in an Army office north of Detroit on Monday to begin poring over hundreds of Iraq war contracts in search for rigged awards.

This team of 10 auditors, criminal investigators and acquisition experts are starting with a sampling of the roughly 6,000 contracts worth $2.8 billion issued by an Army office in Kuwait that service officials have identified as a hub of corruption.

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Edwards tries to kill news story

A University of North Carolina professor said Friday that John Edwards’ campaign demanded that he pull a student reporter’s television story that focused on the upscale location of the campaign’s headquarters.

C.A. “Charlie” Tuggle, an associate professor at the school, said the Edwards campaign contacted the reporter, second-year master’s degree student Carla Babb, asking for a video of her report to be removed from the Internet. When that failed, the campaign demanded in three calls to Tuggle that the TV story be killed, he said.

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‘Bring us the head of Condi Rice’

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice fought off an inquisition by lawmakers Thursday over claims that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was shielding top ministers from corruption probes.

Democratic lawmaker Henry Waxman, who has demanded answers from Rice on various aspects of the US operation in Iraq for months, got his chance at a hearing of a key House of Representatives committee.

He raised claims that Maliki had issued a decree requiring his approval before any minister or official in the presidential office was brought before a court on corruption charges.

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Mainstreamers turn to political blogs

It had to happen. Blogs have become so much a part of the information mainstream that mainstream news providers had to get into the act.

Just about every newspaper, from the smallest weeklies to the mighty New York Times, has jumped into the blogging game and, as with the non-mainstream “blogosphere,” politics dominates the topics.

Which means political campaigns will be using newspaper and magazine bloggers to serve their interests.

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More of the same

In a major address at the State Department, President Bush announced that U.S. policy toward Cuba will remain the same, only more so. Thus another opportunity for fresh thinking by the 10th American president to deal with Fidel Castro slides by.

The United States has had sanctions and an embargo on Cuba in place since 1961. Occasionally those restrictions are tweaked. But despite their proven ineffectiveness, they remain in place, more out of political inertia than any hope they might actually work.

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Do you feel a draft?

Here are a few facts that Americans should consider when contemplating the situation in Iraq and whether they support sustaining this invasion and occupation for the length of time the Bush administration has said it may take to put things on a sound, peaceful footing, if that is ever even possible.

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What, exactly, is torture?

On one extreme of the debate over interrogating terrorists are the Jack Bauers, those who — like the lead character in Fox’s hit series “24”– think you do whatever it takes to get the information you need from someone plotting mass murder. At the other extreme is the anti-war left: It wouldn’t harm a hair on 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s head to save Disneyland at Christmas.

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Another nail in the GOP coffin

The second shoe fell last week when the Christian-conservative “Values Voters” met in Washington. Out of 5,775 opinion votes cast, national front-runner Rudolph Giuliani finished next to last, with only 2 percent, in a field of six contenders.

The Christian right is far from reaching consensus. Meanwhile, Latino evangelicals, a crucial swing bloc, have quietly left Republican hopefuls to fend for themselves.

The first shoe to drop came the day before, when Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida announced he was resigning as general chairman of the Republican National Committee.

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Rudy takes aim at the media

There was a big, imaginary bull’s-eye covering the media section at former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s town-hall meeting in Davenport, Iowa.

For once, his attacks on Democrats were relatively mild compared with the incessant derision he aimed at a monster called “the liberal media.”

During the gathering Wednesday night at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, Giuliani cited an alleged media bias at least nine times, blaming it for everything from the struggles in the Iraq war to higher taxes.

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Congressional Hispanics favor Clinton

With the 2008 presidential election still more than a year away, 15 out of 22 Democratic Latino members in the House have picked their candidates. Of the two Democratic senators, only Robert Menendez of New Jersey has stated his selection, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

Clinton has also garnered support of seven Hispanic House members, four of them women. Three of the latter are from California and one from New York.

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