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    03 December 2004


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    In typical american media fashion they drop this at the last second of friday:
    Bush's Ohio win narrower than thought

    Talk about snooping. . .

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    Try this website out:

    It will tell you what anyone has donated to the Dems or Repubs since the 70's provided they donate over $200. See what your friends, family, neighbors. . . anyone has been upto. . .

    30 November 2004

    oil and Iraq

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    Some more fallout from this administrations handleing of the war in Iraq comes from the use of money from oil (I wonder how and/or if Haliburton is involved. . .). Frank Willis, a recent American official in Iraq says "[t]here was, in my mind, pervasive leakage in [the] assets of Iraq, and to some extent, those assets were squandered" the story (from NBC) continues:
    In one photograph, Willis and colleagues showed off a $2 million payment to a security contractor.

    "It was time for payment," he remembers. "We told them to come in and bring in a bag. It reminded me of the Wild West."

    In a series of reports on U.S. management of the oil money, auditors working for the United Nation's Iraq Advisory and Monitoring Board and the Inspector General of the Coalition Provisional Authority found:

    Insufficient controls

    Missing records

    Two sets of books at Iraq's Finance Ministry, which did not match

    In one example of insufficient controls, the United States stored hundreds of millions of oil dollars in a vault in a Baghdad palace. Government auditors found that the key to the vault was kept “unsecured” — in a U.S. official’s backpack.

    Iraq’s U.S. administrator, Paul Bremer, pledged last year to hire a certified public accounting firm to ensure proper controls. But the United States gave the contract not to an accounting firm but to a tiny consulting company, Northstar — which NBC News found is headquartered at a private home near San Diego.

    "They violated the rules. They picked a contractor who didn’t meet their requirements," says Paul Light, a government contracting expert and professor at New York University.

    Northstar’s president says the Pentagon knew Northstar was not a certified public accounting firm and that four experienced employees went to Iraq and did a good job. However, one audit notes that a single Northstar employee maintained spreadsheets tracking billions of dollars.

    (. . .)

    But NBC News has learned that a draft government audit faults the United States for “inadequate stewardship” of up to $8.8 billion in oil money, handed over to Iraq’s ministries but never fully accounted for.

    to change the subject, check this out:
    'Blog' Tops U.S. Dictionary's Words of the Year

    Fallujah Report. . .

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    . . .from the military so obviously not the whole story. . .

    But remember the talk of all the foreign fighters in the area? They found two, only two!!

    I really have no point just that the facts are very often wrong and I feel that spin is the reason for this. Everyone in damage control was telling us that it was foreign fighters in Iraq causing us all the problems, but that seems to be false.

    go read more from Dr. Cole. . .

    29 November 2004

    Light Posting. . .

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    Posting will be light for a while as I make my way through exams and then the Holidays, but I will be back at it, in full-form in 2k5!!

    For now. . .

    My favorite country has a big visit coming soon and it ain't Santa. But could it be Satan in bush form? Te-He! This is a covert mission as our friendly neighbors to the North have a bit of a grudge for this administration. The caption from under the pic from this report 'bout says it all. . .

    Parliament Hill is barricaded with locked fences in preparation for the official visit by U.S. President George W. Bush on Tuesday.


    Mr. Bush comes Tuesday to a nation where many people are deeply unhappy about his policies. He can expect major protests in Ottawa and reportedly cancelled plans to address Parliament because of the likelihood of being heckled.

    BBC has more. . .

    Even cooler, but equally unimportant is the pending War Crimes announcement that will come out later this week (from this German paper)

    Please excuse sloppy translation:
    At the current Tuesday, the "center becomes for Constitutional Rights" complaint because of the Iraq war against the US Minister of Defense, the former CIA-boss and other US-management submit by the general alliance lawyer in Karlsruhe. They are accused by the human right organization of the peoples infringement.

    America the Argentina of the 21st century.
    --> Update --> There is more from Reuters. . .

    --> 2nd Update --> This is going to make for some interesting spin for the next few days:
    Red Cross Finds Detainee Abuse in Guantánamo
    The International Committee of the Red Cross has charged in confidential reports to the United States government that the American military has intentionally used psychological and sometimes physical coercion "tantamount to torture" on prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

    (. . .)

    The team of humanitarian workers, which included experienced medical personnel, also asserted that some doctors and other medical workers at Guantánamo were participating in planning for interrogations, in what the report called "a flagrant violation of medical ethics."

    Finally, after the election you would think that the act of releasing tuff or damaging news on Friday to "soften the blow" and line up the spinners for Sunday would come to an end but this report (.pdf) was slipped by Wednesday before ThxGvg break. The Christian Science Monitor has a good piece on it. In fact, this post from CSM is actually good and needs to be read (that means there is to much to post and even more links).

    Just to back it up, read this from the AP.


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