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Behind the Bushes






AMY GOODMAN, DEMOCRACY NOW - In 1970, College Republican Rove stole letterhead from the Illinois Democratic campaign of Alan Dixon, and used it to invite hundreds of people to Dixon's new headquarters opening, promising "free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing," disrupting the event.

In 1973, Rove ran for chairman of the College Republicans. He challenged the front-runner's delegates, throwing the national convention into disarray, after which both he and his opponent, Robert Edgeworth, claimed victory. The dispute was resolved when Rove was selected through the direct order of the chairman of the Republican National Committee, who at the time was none other than George H.W. Bush. . .

When Rove advised on George W. Bush's 1994 race for governor of Texas against Democratic incumbent Ann Richards, a persistent whisper campaign in conservative East Texas wrongly suggested that Richards was a lesbian. According to Texas journalist Lou Dubose: "No one ever traced the character assassination to Rove. Yet no one doubts that Rove was behind it. It's a process on which he holds a patent. . .

After John McCain thumped George W. Bush in the 2000 New Hampshire primary, with 48 percent of the vote to Bush's 30%, a massive smear campaign was launched in South Carolina, a key battleground. TV attack ads from third groups and anonymous fliers circulated, variously suggesting that McCain's experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam left him mentally scarred with an uncontrollable temper, that his wife, Cindy, abused drugs and that he had an African-American "love child." In fact, the McCains adopted their daughter Bridget from a Bangladesh orphanage run by Mother Teresa.

According to the investigation of Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, Rove played a central role in the outing of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame to columnist Robert Novak and former Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper, in retaliation for her husband Joe Wilson's accusation that the Bush administration falsely claimed that Saddam Hussein sought uranium in Niger.


WIKIPEDIA - According to a 2003 New Yorker profile, Rove, the second of five children, found out at nineteen (during his parents' divorce negotiations) that the man who raised him was not his biological father. Rove's mother would later commit suicide (in Reno, Nevada, in 1981).

In 1970, at the age of nineteen and while a protege of Donald Segretti (later convicted as a Watergate conspirator), Rove snuck into the campaign office of Illinois Democrat Alan Dixon and stole some letterhead, which he used to print fake campaign rally fliers promising "free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing," and distributed them at rock concerts and homeless shelters. Admitting to the incident much later, Rove said, "I was nineteen and I got involved in a political prank."

Rove dropped out of the University of Utah in 1971 to become the Executive Director of the College Republican National Committee and held this position until 1972 when he became their National Chairman (1973-1974). As Chairman, Rove had access to many powerful politicians and government officials of the Republican party, and formed ties with George H. W. Bush, then Chairman of the Republican National Committee (1973-1974). . .

For the next few years, Rove worked in various Republican circles and assisted George H. W. Bush's 1980 vice-presidential campaign. Rove introduced Bush to Lee Atwater. A signature tactic of Rove was to attack an opponent on the opponent's strongest issue. . . .

In 1986, just before a crucial debate in the election for governor of Texas, Karl Rove announced that his office had been bugged by the Democrats. It was later claimed that Rove had bugged his own phone to garner media coverage.

In 1992, Rove was fired from George H. W. Bush's 1992 presidential re-election campaign for allegedly leaking information to journalist Robert Novak. State campaign manager Robert Mosbacher had allotted Rove only one-quarter of the campaign's $1 million direct mail contract, after Rove had the entire contract in 1988. As Novak wrote, "Also attending the session was political consultant Karl Rove, who had been shoved aside by Mosbacher". Novak's column described the firing of Mosbacher by former Senator Phil Gramm. Novak and Rove deny that Rove was the leaker. Mosbacher maintains that "Rove is the only one with a motive to leak this. We let him go. I still believe he did it.". . .

In 1993, according to the New York Times, John Ashcroft's campaign paid Karl Rove & Co. over $300,000 to aid his (eventually successful) Senate race. . .

In 2000, it is suspected that Rove masterminded a push poll during the South Carolina primaries which asked potential voters "Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for John McCain for president if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?". Since McCain was campaigning with his adopted Banglideshi daughter, an image quickly gathered around that statement. . .

In March 2001, Rove met with executives from Intel, successfully advocating a merger between a Dutch company and an Intel company supplier. Rove owned $100,000 in Intel stock at the time. In June 2001, Rove met with two pharmaceutical industry lobbyists. At the time, Rove held almost $250,000 in drug industry stocks. On 30 June 2001, Rove divested his stocks in 23 companies, which included more than $100,000 in each Enron, Boeing, General Electric, and Pfizer. On 30 June 2001, the White House admitted that Rove was involved in administration energy policy meetings, while at the same time holding stock in energy companies including Enron.

June 23, 2005, marked another controversial statement from Rove, when he said that "Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." Conservatives, he said, "saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war.

JULIAN BORGER, GUARDIAN - Like Dick Cheney, he avoided the Vietnam draft with a college deferment, but gave up his education to work on Republican campaigns, and never got a degree. He launched his political career by wresting control of the College Republicans, a radical group in the Nixon era. It was an unpleasant business. In an interesting precursor to the Florida battle 17 years later, Rove took on his opponent, Robert Edgeworth, principally on procedural grounds - challenging the credentials of every single Edgeworth delegate to the 1973 College Republican convention and putting forward a rival delegate.

The aggressive tactics won the 22-year-old Rove a walk-on role in the Watergate saga that was consuming the nation. A report was published in the Washington Post on August 10, 1973, titled "[Republican party] Probes Official as Teacher of Tricks", gave an account, based on tape recordings, of how Rove and a colleague had been touring the country giving young Republicans political combat training, in which they recalled their feats of derring-do, such as Rove's Chicago heist at the Dixon headquarters.,13918,1165126,00.html



GLENN R. SIMPSON, WALL STREET JOURNAL - When the small company that helped make George W. Bush a multimillionaire verged on bankruptcy in 1990, newly unearthed documents show an unlikely financial archangel came to the rescue: Harvard University. It long has been known that the school's endowment arm, Harvard Management Co., was a major investor in Harken Energy Corp. But the documents reveal two heretofore little-noticed deals, both endorsed by Mr. Bush, to allow the Texas firm to stave off creditors. One, critical to the company's survival, involved a partnership used to move troubled assets and large debts off the company's balance sheet -- much like the controversial investments that Enron Corp. set up before it filed for bankruptcy-court protection. At the time, one of the Harvard endowment's most influential board members was a political supporter of then-President George H.W. Bush, the current president's father. One result of the deal: The current president avoided damaging his credibility as a businessman.

TIMOTHY J. BURGER, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS - Harken Energy Corp. set up an offshore subsidiary in the Cayman Islands tax haven while President Bush sat on Harken's board of directors in 1989, the Daily News has learned. The revelation comes as Republican lawmakers are roundly criticizing the practice of U.S. companies setting up offshore subsidiaries, usually to skirt American disclosure laws or corporate income taxes on foreign income. Even White House spokesman Ari Fleischer condemned the tactic yesterday, saying, "The President is concerned about corporations in America who take advantage, set up operations outside of America, in an effort to lower their taxes." A spokesman for Bush said the offshore company did not save any taxes because it failed to find oil or make a profit. Harken registered Harken Bahrain Oil Co. on Sept. 1, 1989, according to Cayman Islands government documents.

[Harken was far from the only one to use the Cayman Island scam. At the time, Grand Cayman had a population of 18,000, 570 commercial banks, one bank regulator and a bank secrecy law. Among the investors, according to one account, was an electronic transfer of $50 million from the Arkansas Development Financial Authority, a political piggy bank established by then governor Bill Clinton.]

ADAM ENTOUS, REUTERS - President Bush played an active role in Harken Energy Corp's business decisions and consulted with the head of the company shortly before a controversial 1989 transaction which drew scrutiny from the Securities and Exchange Commission documents show. The information raised fresh questions about the extent of Bush's role as a director at Harken more than a decade ago. Democrats have seized on the Harken transactions and Vice President Dick Cheney's tenure at Halliburton Co. to paint the Republican administration as compromised by insider deals and close business connections . . .

BETH HEALY AND MICHAEL KRANISH, BOSTON GLOBE - Even as Bush was dumping the bulk of his Harken holdings - about $848,000 in stock sold to a buyer whose name has never been disclosed - Harvard Management plowed millions more into the firm. Several former Harvard Management officials said in interviews that they wanted to pull out of the Harken deal, but they said one man in particular - Harvard Management executive and Harken director Michael Eisenson - resolutely insisted he could turn around the investment by pumping more money into it. Interviews and reviews of documents by the Globe showed that Harvard's stake in Harken-related investments was, in the end, nearly two-thirds larger than the university has ever previously acknowledged, about $50 million.

TOM FLOCCO, AMERICAN FREE PRESS - Newly uncovered evidence now reveals, via examination of the pattern of daily trades for Harken during 1990, that George W. Bush sold more than 2,000% times the average 1990 daily share volume on June 22, yet the share price never budged -- indicating that the insider stock sale was pre-arranged or pre-negotiated . . .

One of the questions to which the SEC was strangely unable to obtain an answer was who bought George W. Bush's stock at the zenith of its value immediately preceding the Gulf War. One person did look into it. According to "The Buying of the President 2000," a book by the highly respected Charles Lewis, Director of the Center for Public Integrity, Harken officials were lining up a major new financial backer: Harvard Management -- the overseer of the school's multi-billion dollar endowment. "A month after Bush came on board, Harvard management agreed to invest at least $20 million in Harken. It would come to own some ten million shares of Harken stock, making it one of the company's largest investors. The Bush name may have helped seal the deal," said Lewis.

CARL LIMBACHER, NEWSMAX- In the two weeks since President Bush's 1990 sale of Harken Energy stock became the focus of a media maelstrom, the prestige press has given the so-called scandal 50 times the coverage it gave to the Clintons' Whitewater land deal during a comparable period. In the 14 days after the New York Times broke the Whitewater story on March 8, 1992, the entire mainstream press corps gave the scandal just 14 mentions, a Lexis-Nexis search reveals . . . From June 28 to July 12, 2002, the media has devoted no fewer than 711 reports to the Bush stock sale, more than 50 times the coverage it gave Whitewater at a similar point in that story.

JOE CONASON, SALON - Lewis believes "the available evidence" shows that the mystery institutional buyer of Bush's 212,000 Harken shares in June 1990 was Harvard. The university increased its Harken holdings around that same time, according to him. And although the broker involved, Ralph Smith of Sutro & Company, has steadfastly refused to name the buyer, Lewis reports that "at the bottom of a spreadsheet Smith used to record his calls to Bush was the name of Michael Eisenson, along with the telephone number of Harvard Management." In 2000 when Lewis was working on his book, Eisenson didn't return his calls.

CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY has posted a second round of the documents obtained from the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Freedom of Information Act. Among the items:

April 20, 1990 Letter From Mikel D. Faulkner, President of Harken Energy, to the board of directors. The letter notes that new conditions on a loan Harken sought "greatly intensifies our current liquidity problem and mandates the infusion of equity into the company."

May 18, 1990 Letter From Bruce N. Huff, senior vice president of Harken Energy, to the members of the company's "special committee," which included George W. Bush. The letter notes, " . . . Waivers and extensions will allow the Company to properly report the substantial portion of its debt facilities as long-term and thereby avoid any negative repercussions that might otherwise occur if the Company remains in a state of non-compliance with regard to loan covenants."

January 9, 1991 Letter From Bruce N. Huff, senior vice president of Harken Energy, to Edmund Coulson, chief accountant of the SEC which notes, "By June, 1990, the Company was constrained by its worsening cash and credit situation."

BETH HEALY AND MICHAEL KRANISH, BOSTON GLOBE - Even as Bush was dumping the bulk of his Harken holdings - about $848,000 in stock sold to a buyer whose name has never been disclosed - Harvard Management plowed millions more into the firm. Several former Harvard Management officials said in interviews that they wanted to pull out of the Harken deal, but they said one man in particular - Harvard Management executive and Harken director Michael Eisenson - resolutely insisted he could turn around the investment by pumping more money into it. Interviews and reviews of documents by the Globe showed that Harvard's stake in Harken-related investments was, in the end, nearly two-thirds larger than the university has ever previously acknowledged, about $50 million. The Texas-based energy company was, in 1990, the seventh-largest stock holding in Harvard's portfolio, bigger even than the university's stake in Exxon Corp. In all, Harvard Management risked 1 percent of the university's endowment in the small, struggling company, a surprisingly large bet by any measure, but particularly given Harken's dismal prospects. . . The Globe review also found no evidence to support the contention by some critics of Harvard Management and some adversaries of Bush that its deep involvement in Harken was a political favor to the Bush family.

MICHAEL KRANISH AND BETH HEALY, BOSTON GLOBE - One week before George W. Bush's now-famous sale of stock in Harken Energy Corp. in 1990, Harken was warned by its lawyers that Bush and other members of the troubled oil company's board faced possible insider trading risks if they unloaded their shares. The warning from Harken's lawyers came in a legal memorandum whose existence has been little noted until now, despite the many years of scrutiny of the Bush transaction. . . The memo, a copy of which was obtained by the Globe, does not say directly whether Bush would face legal problems if he sold his stock. But it does lay out the potential for insider-trading violations by Bush and other members of the Harken board, and its existence raises questions about how thoroughly the SEC investigated Bush's unloading of $848,000 of his Harken stake to a buyer whose name has not been made public. The SEC cleared Bush after looking into whether he had insider knowledge of an upcoming quarterly loss at Harken.

MIKE ALLEN, WASHINGTON POST - An internal Securities and Exchange Commission memo from 1991 says President Bush repeatedly failed to file timely reports of his business interests and transactions before his election as Texas governor. The memo said that when Bush was a director of a Texas-based oil and gas exploration firm called Harken Energy Corp., he had filed reports up to eight months late for four stock transactions totaling $1 million . . . The memo said Bush sold 212,140 shares of Harken stock on June 22, 1990, for $848,560, before Harken's announcement on Aug. 20, 1990, that it had lost $23.2 million in the quarter ending June 30. The SEC said the announcement caused Harken's stock to drop by more than 20 percent, and called Bush's stock sale a "matter under inquiry." At the time, Bush was a member of Harken's audit committee. The stock sale was reported by Bush on March 4, 1991, about 34 weeks late, the memo said.  SEC DOCUMENTS



JAMIE WILSON, GUARDIAN - The American vice-president, Dick Cheney, provoked fresh uproar over Guantanamo Bay yesterday after he claimed that prisoners held by the U.S. there were "living in the tropics" and had been given everything they could possibly want. His comments, the latest attempt by leading Republicans to portray the prison at the U.S. base in Cuba as something of a holiday camp, came as evidence emerged that military doctors have helped interrogators by advising them how to increase stress levels and exploit the fears of the detainees.. . .

In an interview with CNN, Mr Cheney insisted: "They got a brand new facility down at Guantanamo. We spent a lot of money to build it. They're very well treated there. They're living in the tropics. They're well fed. They've got everything they could possibility want." He added: "There isn't any other nation in the world that would treat people who were determined to kill Americans the way we're treating these people."

A spokesman for Amnesty International said his comments "missed the point" completely. "It is not a matter of climate or what food prisoners get, but a question of justice," the spokesman said. 6/05


INDEPENDENT, UK - A lawyer, based in offices in a run-down part of north London, worked with three British executives from the US construction group Halliburton to pay at least $132m in "unjustified" fees to contacts in Nigeria. These payments, many of which occurred when Halliburton was being run by Dick Cheney, now the American Vice-President, helped a consortium including the US group to win a $12bn contract to build a gas terminal at Bonny Island in Nigeria.

In court documents submitted to a French corruption investigation, Halliburton has admitted it paid $132m to Jeffrey Tesler, a UK lawyer. Mr Tesler's firm, Kaye Tesler, is based on a run down high street in Tottenham, north London. Mr Tesler would not return calls but his French solicitor admits Mr Tesler received the money, which he said was for advisory and other legitimate fees.


LA TIMES - Pentagon officials have acknowledged that Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff and other Bush administration political appointees were involved in a controversial decision to pay Halliburton Inc. to plan for the postwar recovery of Iraq's oil sector, a Democratic lawmaker said yesterday. The decision, overruling the recommendations of an Army lawyer, eventually resulted in the award of a $7 billion no-bid contract to Halliburton, which Cheney ran for five years before he was nominated for vice president.

Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., who was briefed by Pentagon officials last week, issued a letter to the vice president yesterday demanding full disclosure of the top-secret process that led to awarding the contract to the Houston-based oil services company. . .

Cheney repeatedly has denied that he had any influence over the decision to award the massive contract last March. "As vice president, I have absolutely no influence of, involvement of, knowledge of in any way, shape or form of contracts let by the Corps of Engineers or anybody else in the federal government," he said on NBC's "Meet The Press" last fall. Cheney's staff stood by that statement yesterday.



HUMANE SOCIETY - Monday's hunting trip to Pennsylvania by Vice President Dick Cheney in which he reportedly shot more than 70 stocked pheasants and an unknown number of mallard ducks at an exclusive private club places a spotlight on an increasingly popular and deplorable form of hunting, in which birds are pen-reared and released to be shot in large numbers by patrons. The ethics of these hunts are called into question by rank-and-file sportsmen, who hunt animals in their native habitat and do not shoot confined or pen-raised animals that cannot escape.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported today that 500 farm-raised pheasants were released yesterday morning at the Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier Township for the benefit of Cheney's 10-person hunting party. The group killed at least 417 of the birds, illustrating the unsporting nature of canned hunts. The party also shot an unknown number of captive mallards in the afternoon.


OLIVER MORGAN, OBSERVER - Halliburton, the engineering group formerly run by US vice-president Dick Cheney, has been given $1 billion worth of reconstruction work in Iraq by the US government without having to compete for it, thanks to repeated delays in opening up a key contract to competition. The Houston-based company was controversially awarded a contract to repair Iraq's damaged oil infrastructure without competition in February. The cost-plus contract means the amount spent by the US Army Corps of Engineers, which is running the work, is open-ended, rather than being fixed at the outset, because the scope of the damage was unknown. The USACE described the contract as a 'bridge to competition', but original plans to award the work competitively in August have repeatedly slipped. So far, $1.7bn has been made available to Halliburton for the work. 12/03


NEWSMAX - The neighbors all around the vice president's residence on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington have been up in arms about underground dynamiting. Explosions have rocked the neighbors' homes, reports say. The mystery of the explosions, Vanity Fair suggests, is a nuclear proof bunker being built for the vice president and his family.

More goings on at the Cheney residence. A Washington insider close to the FBI tells Newsmax that Cheney has a fully equipped hospital emergency room in his home, just in case of a medical emergency. While Cheney has been in good health since his last heart attack, suffered just after the 2000 election, he's leaving nothing to chance. There will be no need for paramedics and screaming ambulance sirens if Cheney gets chest pains again. Instead, he can go right into the hospital room. "They can even operate there," a source claimed. The source says they had not seen the room but spoke to people who have.


PR WATCH - "In 'Meet the Press' last Sunday, Vice President Dick Cheney said, 'Since I left Halliburton to become George Bush's vice president, I've severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interests. I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven't had now, for over three years.' That is the latest White House lie,'" the Boston Globe's Derrick Jackson writes. On Tuesday, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) drew attention to Cheney's US Office of Government Ethics public financial disclosure sheets. According to the filings, Cheney received $162,392 in deferred salary in 2002 from Halliburton, the oil and military contracting company he ran before running for vice president. In 2001, Cheney received $205,298. He also is still holding 433,333 stock options. "Five years ago, America was in a tizzy over President Clinton's 'That depends on what the meaning of is, is.' That was over lying about sex. For that, Clinton was impeached. Now, we have a vice president who tells America he has severed his ties even as his umbilical cord doubles his salary. . . . Halliburton has already amassed $2 billion in no-bid, no-ceiling contracts in Iraq.

ANNE E. KORNBLUT, BOSTON GLOBE - As President Bush launched a campaign to confront the recent epidemic of accounting scandals and answered embarrassing questions about his own corporate past, another corporate veteran in his administration, Vice President Dick Cheney, remained silent. Cheney had good reason to avoid the limelight, in the opinion of several Republican officials and securities specialists. His former firm, the Halliburton Co., is the subject of an ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission probe, and it has been hit with nearly a dozen lawsuits by former shareholders for its accounting practices while Cheney was chief executive of the energy services firm. Another lawsuit filed in Dallas by a private watchdog group names Cheney as a defendant, an action that could lead to the vice president being deposed by private lawyers numerous times . . . White House officials appear far more concerned about Halliburton than Harken Energy Corp., the Texas firm whose stock Bush sold in 1990, less than two months before the company reported a large and unexpected loss . . . One administration described Halliburton as a potential time bomb. Compared with the controversies surrounding Bush, Cheney fares much worse "for being closer to the situation and for the situation being closer to us in time," said Michael L. Andresino, a securities lawyer at Posternak, Blankstein & Lund in Boston.

Cheney stats

- Cheney's 2000 income from Halliburton: $36,086,635

- Increase in government contracts while Cheney led Halliburton: 91%

- Minimum size of "accounting irregularity" that occurred while Cheney was CEO: $100,000,000

- Number of the seven official US "State Sponsors of Terror" that Halliburton contracted with: 2 out of 7

- Pages of energy plan documents Cheney refused to give congressional investigators: 13,500

- Amount energy companies gave the Bush/Cheney presidential campaign: $1,800,000


||| MARTIN A. LEE SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN November 13, 2000 - During former defense secretary Richard Cheney's five-year tenure as chief executive of Halliburton, Inc., his oil services firm raked in big bucks from dubious commercial dealings with Iraq. Cheney left Halliburton with a $34 million retirement package last July when he became the GOP's vice-presidential candidate. Of course, U.S. firms aren't generally supposed to do business with Saddam Hussein. But thanks to legal loopholes large enough to steer an oil tanker through, Halliburton profited big-time from deals with the Iraqi dictatorship. Conducted discreetly through several Halliburton subsidiaries in Europe, these greasy transactions helped Saddam Hussein retain his grip on power while lining the pockets of Cheney and company. According to the Financial Times of London, between September 1988 and last winter, Cheney, as CEO of Halliburton, oversaw $23.8 million of business contracts for the sale of oil-industry equipment and services to Iraq through two of its subsidiaries, Dresser Rand and Ingersoll-Dresser Pump, which helped rebuild Iraq's war-damaged petroleum-production infrastructure. The combined value of these contracts exceeded those of any other U.S. company doing business with Baghdad. . . With Cheney at the helm since 1995, Halliburton quickly grew into America's number-one oil-services company, the fifth-largest military contractor, and the biggest nonunion employer in the nation. Although Cheney claimed that the U.S. government "had absolutely nothing to do" with his firm's meteoric financial success, State Department documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times indicate that U.S. officials helped Halliburton secure major contracts in Asia and Africa. Halliburton now does business in 130 countries and employs more than 100,000 workers worldwide. MORE 1/02

||| ROBERT MOORE, CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY - When a generous patron of President Bush and the Republican Party sought political backing for his company's multi-billion dollar Alaskan pipeline project, he turned to Vice President Dick Cheney, head of the administration's energy policy task force, known formally as the National Energy Policy Development Group. Forrest Hoglund, Chairman and CEO of Arctic Resources Co., was one of an undisclosed number of executives from private energy companies that advised Cheney and members of his task force last year. Hoglund has also been a generous contributor to Republican causes; he has given more than $200,000 since 1997. The Bush administration has refused to disclose the names of the outside advisers to its energy policy task force. In a meeting with Cheney last year, Hoglund told the Center for Public Integrity, he asked Cheney to support Arctic Resources' Alaskan pipeline project. The task force, in its final recommendations to President Bush, did not include the specific pipeline route from Alaska that Arctic Resources sought. But it did endorse expediting the necessary permits to build a pipeline along an unspecified route from Alaska to the lower 48 states. MORE 1/02


Richard Cheney and Joe Lieberman are two of the most curious choices for vice president of recent times. While commentators have come up with a number of contorted explanations, the most obvious one is being ignored: Cheney and Lieberman's real constituency is not a collection of voters but the defense industry, which they can be expected to serve as faithfully as they have in the past. Lieberman comes from the land of the Sikorsky helicopters and told Connecticut voters as recently as last October that "In my view, one layoff is one too many because each and every worker represents the very heart and soul of our national defense."

Selecting a couple of reliable Pentagon pimps is important at this time for reasons not widely reported: there is strong bipartisan support for a planned massive increase in defense spending. The build-up would raise the size of the Pentagon budget relative to GDP by about 50%.

This is not a secret plan. For example, Defense Daily reported on August 16 that the Marine Commandant, General James Jones, was talking about going from "about 2.9 percent through a gradual ramp-up to about 4 and 4.5 percent of the US Gross Domestic Product. And the Washington Post said: "The nation's military leaders say they will loyally obey the president's marching orders until the moment he leaves office in January. But when it comes to money matters, they already are targeting the next administration."

Just in the short term, the increases sought are "equal to almost the entire budget for the Education Department." Said a civilian Pentagon official, "the service requests have been unrestrained." Writes the Post:

"'We're going for the big money,' said an officer on the staff of the Joint Chiefs, adding that his bosses are 'a little bit like kids in the candy store.'"

The military especially likes Bush but won't be disappointed with Gore who told the Veterans of Foreign Wars a few years ago:

"It is the Republican Congress themselves that would cut defense at the turn of the century to try to make their numbers fit together. Again, look beyond the rhetoric and look at the facts. Let me repeat. It is the Republican defense budget, not President Clinton's, that drops in the next century. President Clinton's budget, which is also there for your to see, does not. It increases."

* * *

PUBLIC I: Under the guidance of Richard Cheney, a get-the-government-out-of-my-face conservative, Halliburton Company over the past five years has emerged as a corporate welfare hog, benefiting from at least $3.8 billion in federal contracts and taxpayer-insured loans. One of these loans was approved in April by the US Export-Import Bank. It guaranteed $489 million in credits to a Russian oil company whose roots are imbedded in a legacy of KGB and Communist Party corruption, as well as drug trafficking and organized crime funds, according to Russian and US sources and documents. Those claims are hotly disputed by the Russian oil firm's holding company . . . If Halliburton has benefited from government generosity, it also has reciprocated with substantial political contributions, largely to Republicans. During Cheney's five years at the helm, the company has donated $1,212,000 in soft and hard money to candidates and parties, according to numbers compiled by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. In the five years prior to his arrival, the company had given $534,750.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS reports that GOP vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney failed to vote in 14 of 16 elections since moving to Texas in 1995. Cheney's Democratic rival for the vice presidency, Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, has a five-for-six rate of election participation over the same period according to the paper.

1987 was a big year in the Reagan administration. The Iran-Contra chickens were coming home to roost. The previous December, CIA director William Casey had developed a brain tumor and lost his ability to speak. In February 1987 he resigned and died soon afterwards. That same month, former National Security Director Robert McFarlane tried to commit suicide. Also in February, the Tower Commission laid the blame on White House chief of staff Donald Regan for the "chaos that descended upon the White House" in the Iran-Contra affair. The commission praised Bush for his "vigorous reaffirmation of US opposition to terrorism in all forms" Regan was forced to resign.In November a joint congressional investigation of Iran Contra issued a bland report that cleared Vice President Bush. Key to the exculpation was senior House Republican member Richard Cheney. When he became president Bush appointed Tower as Defense Secretary and fellow Tower Commission member Brent Scowcroft as national security adviser. The Senate refused to confirm Tower and Bush named the loyal Cheney in his stead.

Cheney's voting record was slightly more conservative than mine -- Newt Gingrich. In 10 years in the House, [Dick Cheney]... chocked up a conservative voting record that rivaled Senator Jesse Helms's. -- Business Week

GREG PIERCE, WASHINGTON TIMES: As secretary of defense, Richard B. Cheney entertained major Republican contributors at private meetings at the Pentagon, the Associated Press reports, citing documents gathered by congressional fund-raising investigators. Mr. Cheney was host for at least two GOP donor gatherings inside the Defense Department in 1991 and in 1992, the records show. "If he's having an open house for contributors at the Pentagon, it does bring back reminiscences of the Lincoln Bedroom," said Larry Makinson, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics . . . On Aug. 19, 1992, members of the Presidential Roundtable (minimum donation $5,000) attended a briefing with Mr. Cheney . . . A Republican National Committee brochure that touted the benefits of joining the Presidential Roundtable included a picture of Mr. Cheney briefing members at the Pentagon.

SAM SMITH, "WHOSE WAR IS IT?," TPR 1992: George Bush's behavior in [the Iraq] affair is bizarre even by presidential standards, let alone constitutional ones. He has barely consulted the joint chiefs of staff while making a commitment of American troops close to that in Vietnam. When Defense Secretary Cheney made a televised announcement that the US might be sending more troops to Saudi Arabia, Gen. Colin Powell learned of it while on his way back from the Middle East. And the president has clearly not consulted Congress. The question inevitably arises: whose war is this going to be? Sununu's? Cheney's? Millie's? Some of the speculation has bordered on the grotesque. The emir of conventional journalism, David Broder, wrote on November 18: "It is almost impossible to imagine a more serious, calm, cautious, rational and prudent set of people than those the president has assembled." The New York Times's R. W. Apple Jr., who got off to a bad start in August characterizing Bush as "tough" and "statesmanlike," had recovered enough by December to write: "Right from the start, foreign policy professionals have complained that Mr. Bush, something of a foreign policy professional himself, has drawn the circle too tight, limiting discussions of really important positions to himself, Secretary of State James A. Baker 3rd, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney and Brent Scowcroft, his national security advisor." One foreign editor on the case described the vision of the White House as being as though looking through a "rifle sight." There is no apparent consideration of long-term effects, cultural factors, the links with other regional issues or history. I suspect that for George Bush, invading Iraq would not really be a war at all, but as with Noriega, more of a personal match -- tennis by other means. An old preppie treating the whole world as his country club.

TPR, FEBRUARY 1992: Extra! reports that People magazine's Dirk Mathison made three surreptitious visits [to Bohemian Grove] last July, aided by members of the Bohemian Grove Action Network. Among the activities he witnessed was a speech by former Navy Secretary John Lehman, who said the Pentagon estimated that 200,000 Iraqis were killed in the recent war. Other policy addresses were by Richard Cheney, Joseph Califano, and Elliott Richardson. Mathesin, however, was recognized by an official of Time Warner (People's owner), who made him leave. Mathesin had plenty of material and turned in a story, but after an initially enthusiastic response, the piece was killed, just as early stories on the Grove for NPR and Time had been scotched.



CTR FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY - The Carlyle Group, a Washington, D.C.-based private equity firm that employs numerous former high-ranking government officials with ties to both political parties, was the ninth largest Pentagon contractor between 1998 and 2003. A dozen companies in which Carlyle had a controlling interest netted more than $9.3 billion in contracts.

From its founding in 1987, the Carlyle Group has pioneered investing in the defense and national security markets, and through its takeover of companies with billions of dollars in defense contracts became one of the U.S. military's top vendors, ranking among better known defense firms like Lockheed Martin, Boeing Co., Raytheon Co., Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics.

Unlike those firms, however, the Carlyle Group itself is not a manufacturer. It offers no services directly to the Pentagon, and has no defense contracts. Rather, it manages investments-some $18.4 billion from 600 individuals and entities in 55 countries, according to its Web site. The firm's business is making money for these investors, the vast majority of whose identities are not disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission or other government bodies.

Though Carlyle itself has won no contracts, the companies it has owned or controlled have done billions of dollars worth of business with the Pentagon.

Private equity firms did not have any significant presence in the defense industry until the end of the Cold War. Traditionally, the Defense Department depended on mega contractors such as Boeing Corp., Lockheed Martin and Raytheon for weapons and services. But since the 1990s, the military has increasingly outsourced to private contractors a variety of jobs and services, ranging from planning of operations to the supply of linguistic services.

"Carlyle is the biggest single success in Washington of a venture capital firm," Dr. Loren B. Thompson Jr., a national security expert at the libertarian Lexington Institute, said. In 1997, for example, the group made a 650-percent profit when it sold BDM International Inc., a McLean, Va., defense contractor. And in December 2001, Carlyle sold off the majority of its holdings in United Defense Inc. Altogether, Carlyle earned $1 billion in profit from the United Defense investment.

It was under the leadership of former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci-first as a managing director, from 1989 to 1993, and as chairman from 1993 to 2003-that Carlyle grew from a small private equity to a global investment giant, and became a major player among defense contractors. Other former government officials who have recent or current ties to the firm include former British Prime Minister John Major and former Philippines President Fidel Ramos; former Office of Management and Budget director Richard Darman; former Clinton chief of staff Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty; former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Arthur Levitt and former Federal Communications Commission chairman William E. Kennard. Former Secretary of State James Baker works for the firm, as did his former boss, President George H.W. Bush, who was an adviser for the firm's Asian investment funds until he left Carlyle in 2003.

"Carlyle would never have gotten to the level that it is at today had it not been for this premeditated commingling of business and politics," said Dan Briody, author of The Iron Triangle: Inside the Secret World of the Carlyle Group, a book that takes a critical look at the rise of the firm. One of Carlyle's most controversial hirings was of former president Bush to serve as a senior adviser for its "Asia advisory board."

"The fact that George H.W. Bush was working for them while his son was president, while his son, in fact, was dramatically increasing defense spending-that seems to me one of the most blatant conflicts of interests in history," Briody said.

By Dan Briody

ECONOMIST - On the day Osama bin Laden's men attacked America, Shafiq bin Laden, described as an estranged brother of the terrorist, was at an investment conference in Washington, DC, along with two people who are close to President George Bush: his father, the first President Bush, and James Baker, the former secretary of state who masterminded the legal campaign that secured Dubya's move to the White House. The conference was hosted by the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm that manages billions of dollars, including, at the time, some bin Laden family wealth. It also employs Messrs Bush and Baker. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, when no one was being allowed in or out of the United States, many members of the bin Laden family in America were spirited home to Saudi Arabia. The revival of defense spending that followed greatly increased the value of the Carlyle Group's investments in defense companies. . .


Suzan Mazur

[David Rubenstein, co-founder and Managing Director of The Carlyle Group, the "world's largest private equity firm," recently recounted his first meeting the current president and Bush's days on the Carlyle board in a speech to the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association. LACERA has invested $95 million in Carlyle, now the 11th largest defense contractor in America as majority shareholder in United Defense. For ethical reasons, many in the association would like to see LACERA funds pulled and invested elsewhere.

In the speech Rubenstein also touched on company ethics - under intense scrutiny since 9/11 - including widely reported stories about Carlyle operating as a shadow government. He assured investors that "making money is nice" but Carlyle is "first and foremost" concerned with ethics.]

DAVID RUBENSTEIN - We have an enormous amount of our own personal capital - about 90% of our net worth is tied up in these funds. My partners and I and all the other professionals have committed $700 million to our various funds throughout the world so we've got a lot of money committed to this and it's important to get it back. But it's more important that we not do anything that impairs the reputation of ourselves or our investors. So making money is nice but we're more worried about our reputation and concerned with ethics and that's first and foremost.

[He had this to say about George W. Bush]

Let me talk about a bad deal. At the beginning of Carlyle - early - we didn't have any funds. We didn't have any dedicated funds. And we had a deal that seemed like it would be the greatest deal since sliced bread. It was handed to us. Marriott said to us, look, we're going to sell our airline catering business [Caterair].It's number one in the world. Management team has been there for 10 years. We dominate all the markets and we're not going to do an auction. We're going to sell it to you guys 'cause some of our people [Carlyle co-founders Steve Norris and Dan D'Aniello and Bush crony Fred Malek] used to work at Marriott. You know, what could be better?

So the financing was there. And we thought, this is an easy business. So they're going to give us a company. Number one in the world. Gold plated. Got all the equipment you need. Good management team.

Well, then the Gulf War came. And all of a sudden people stopped flying. And then those who were flying realized that they weren't going to be getting the food that they thought they were going to get. . . . So no matter how good you think a company can be something can go wrong. We couldn't anticipate the Gulf War. So the airline catering business has gone this way.

I mention this because it reminds us all the time we shouldn't have hubris. You know no matter how smart we think we are or how good we are, something can go wrong. And if something seems too good in life to be true, it usually is. In this case, the only interesting thing about the deal--and we lost all our money in it. Our money and our investors' money in it. In that deal.

But when we were putting the board together, somebody [Fred Malek] came to me and said, look there is a guy who would like to be on the board. He's kind of down on his luck a bit. Needs a job. Needs a board position. Needs some board positions. Could you put him on the board? Pay him a salary and he'll be a good board member and be a loyal vote for the management and so forth.

I said well we're not usually in that business. But okay, let me meet the guy. I met the guy. I said I don't think he adds that much value. We'll put him on the board because - you know - we'll do a favor for this guy; he's done a favor for us.

We put him on the board and [he] spent three years. Came to all the meetings. Told a lot of jokes. Not that many clean ones. And after a while I kind of said to him, after about three years - you know, I'm not sure this is really for you. Maybe you should do something else. Because I don't think you're adding that much value to the board. You don't know that much about the company.

He said, well I think I'm getting out of this business anyway. And I don't really like it that much. So I'm probably going to resign from the board.

And I said, thanks - didn't think I'd ever see him again. His name is George W. Bush. He became President of the United States. So you know if you said to me, name 25 million people who would maybe be President of the United States, he wouldn't have been in that category. So you never know. Anyway, I haven't been invited to the White House for any things.

[Suzan Mazur's reports have appeared in the Financial Times, Economist, Forbes, Newsday, Philadelphia Inquirer, and on PBS, CBC and MBC. She has been a guest on McLaughlin, Charlie Rose, and Fox television shows.]

VICTOR THORN, BABEL MAGAZINE - A few weeks ago, James Baker publicly offered advice to the Bush Administration on how they should proceed with their war on Iraq. What he and every newscaster or commentator failed to mention was that Baker is now employed by the highly-influential Carlyle Group, which is the eleventh largest defense contractor in the United States. . . If you're not familiar with them, the Carlyle Group has become a powerhouse in affecting the direction in which our foreign policy takes, especially in regard to war. They accomplish this by hiring former government officials, then investing in private companies that are subject to government change (i.e. the military and telecommunications). Who, you may ask, do they employ to secure their government contracts? Well, check-out this list for starters:

- Frank Carlucci - Department of Health, Education and Welfare - 1970's Deputy Director, CIA - 1978-81 Deputy Secretary of Defense - 1981-82 National Security Director - 1987-89
- George Bush - CIA Director - 1976-77 Vice President of the United States - 1981-89 President of the United States - 1989-93
- James Baker - Chief of Staff - 1981-85 Secretary of the Treasury - 1985-89 Secretary of State - 1989-93
- Dick Darman - Former White House Budget Chief William Kennard - Former Head, FCC
- Arthur Levitt - Former Head, SEC
- John Major - Former Prime Minister, Britain
- Fidel Ramos - Former Philippine President
- Afsaneh Beschloss - Treasurer & Chief Investment Officer of the World Bank
- Anand Panyarachum - Former President, Thailand Karl
- Otto Pohl - Former President, Bundesbank Louis Vuitton - French Aerobus Company
- Park Tae Joon - Former South Korean Prime Minister
- Alwaleed Sin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud - Saudi Arabian Prince
- George Soros - New World Order/Bilderberg luminary & int'l financier
- Fred Malek - George Bush Sr's campaign manager. . .

Carlyle also employs the former chairman of BMW and Nestle, is interviewing former Clinton cabinet members (to insure that they have both sides of the aisle covered), plus once hired Colin Powell and AOL Time-Warner Chairman Steve Case to speak at a meeting at Washington D.C.'s Monarch House. . . The Washington Business Journal simply says, "The Carlyle Group seems to play be a different set of rules."

||| JASON NISSÉ, INDEPENDENT, LONDON President George W Bush's administration, already on the back foot over its connections with the collapsed energy giant Enron, faces questions over a massive defense contract which aided an investment firm with Bush family links. Last September, the Army signed a $665 million contract to develop the Crusader Advanced Field Artillery System, a $12 billion weapons programmed being built by United Defense Industries. Last week, Mr Bush signed a defense appropriation bill which included $487 million for the programmed. This has helped Carlyle Group, the well-connected Washington-based investment group, which controls UDI, to float the defense contractor on the New York stock exchange . . . Its chairman is Frank Carlucci, who was Defense Secretary in the Reagan administration and is a close friend of Donald Rumsfeld, the current Defense Secretary. The two were members of the same wrestling team at Princeton University. The chairman of Carlyle Europe is John Major, the former British Prime Minister. An adviser to Carlyle in Asia is George Bush Snr, the former president and father of the current president. And George W Bush himself was, for five years, on the board of Caterair, a business Carlyle backed. "It's the first time the President of the United States' father is on the payroll of one of the largest US defense contractors," said Charles Lewis, a director of the Center for Public Policy . . . Carlyle denies that any of its managers, directors or advisers used their influence to aid contracts for UDI. MORE

*** MARK FINEMAN, LA TIMES - Even by Washington standards, the Carlyle Group has some serious clout. President George W. Bush's father works for Carlyle; so does former Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci, whose close friend Donald H. Rumsfeld now runs the Pentagon; and so does a stellar cast of retired generals and Cabinet secretaries, including former Secretary of State James A. Baker III. And even by Wall Street standards, the Carlyle Group has some serious money: $12.5 billion in investments at last count . . . On a single day last month, Carlyle earned $237 million selling shares in United Defense Industries, the Army's fifth-largest contractor. The stock offering was well timed: Carlyle officials say they decided to take the company public only after the Sept. 11 attacks. The stock sale cashed in on increased congressional support for hefty defense spending, including one of United Defense's cornerstone weapon programs . . . By any standard, the Carlyle Group has the right address. Its suite of offices are on Pennsylvania Avenue midway between the White House and Congress - a 15-minute walk to each . . . As its reputation grew, so did the group's star-studded management roster. It added former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. John M. Shalikashvili; Arthur Levitt, the long-serving former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission; former British Prime Minister John Major; former Secretary of State Baker; and former President Bush MORE

*** DAILY TEXAN - The Carlyle Group is a global private investment firm, anchored in Washington, D.C., with heavy stakes in military contracting. What makes Carlyle significant is the powerhouse payroll of the firm which includes former U.S. president George Bush, former secretary of state and current G.W. Bush confidant James Baker, former defense secretary Frank Carlucci, and former British prime minister John Major. Those versed in process of revolving door politics will realize that the Carlyle Group is perhaps the world's pinnacle of cronyism and business opportunism . . . The Carlyle Group can profit heavily from military action in the Middle East. The Wall Street Journal recently raised issues with former president Bush's involvement in the Carlyle Group and Judicial Watch, no friend of liberals or Democrats, has called for Bush's outright resignation from a group that could profit from his son's economic and military decisions. George W.'s escalation of the war will create more and more military contracts, boosting stocks in Carlyle portfolios, profiting the elder Bush, and, eventually, George W.

*** REUTERS - Defense companies are back after a five-year absence from the market for new equity issues. And they could not have picked a better time. The war in Afghanistan and the government commitment to a long fight against terrorism at home and abroad foreshadow increases both in defense budgets and, more importantly, in the government spending in new equipment and technology, analysts said . . . Demand for United Defense shares, which are expected to sell at between $18 and $20 apiece, is strong, sources in the investing community say . . . United Defense, which produces combat vehicles, artillery and missile launchers, is well aware of the opportunity to capitalize on such momentum. ``The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 have generated strong Congressional support for increased defense spending,'' the company said in its filing with U.S. regulators. Taking advantage of the favorable climate for defense companies, the banks managing United Defense's IPO have sped up the deal . . . Initially, the company said it would raise up to $300 million. A month later, when it set the price range for its shares, its expectations had increased to $422 million . . . United Defense will sell 21.1 million shares, but the company's main stockholder, private equity firm Carlyle Group, will get more than half of the money raised.

MORE ON THE CARLYLE GROUP including a rare mention of the involvement of George Soros


[JOHN J. DIIULIO JR. AND STEPHEN GOLDSMITH, whom George Bush is placing in charge of his cash-for-Christ program, are senior fellows of the conservative Manhattan Institute and colleagues of Charles Murray, author of the notorious "Bell Curve." As we have pointed out, the problem with Bush's plan is not that religious organizations would get public funds for public services, but that Bush is crediting to these groups virtues that have far more to do with their community base than with their "faith base." By making an invidious distinction between religious and secular community groups, Bush would be in clear violation of the Constitution in a way that community-based programs coincidentally including religious groups would not be.]

* NY TIMES: For years, Mr. DiIulio, who taught at Princeton before the University of Pennsylvania, was known more for his work on criminal justice issues than on his interest in faith-based programs. He was among the voices loudly advocating increased prison construction in the early 1990's . . . Mr. Goldsmith, a former prosecutor, was a two-term mayor in Indianapolis who privatized everything from golf course construction to sewage treatment and showed an interest in revitalizing long-neglected inner-city neighborhoods . . . "There's a lot of respect for Stephen Goldsmith," said Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. "Many in the Jewish community know him and respect him, but any time you have a formal government endorsement of religion that this faith-based office conveys, that takes us down a path that too often in our history has turned out to be disastrous for religious freedom and religious tolerance."

* NORMAN SOLOMON: The Manhattan Institute was founded in 1978 by William Casey, who later became President Reagan's CIA director. Since then, the Institute's track record with authors has been notable. Funneling money from very conservative foundations, the Institute has sponsored many books by writers opposed to safety-net social programs and affirmative action. During the 1980s, the Institute's authors included George Gilder (Wealth and Poverty), Linda Chavez (Out of the Barrio) and Charles Murray (Losing Ground). Murray's Losing Ground -- a denunciation of social programs for the poor -- catapulted him to media stardom in 1984 . . . Along with ongoing subsidies from a number of large conservative foundations, the Manhattan Institute has gained funding from such corporate sources as the Chase Manhattan Bank, Citicorp, Time Warner, Procter & Gamble and State Farm Insurance, as well as the Lilly Endowment and philanthropic arms of American Express, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CIGNA and Merrill Lynch.

* MANHATTAN INSTITUTE: "Education and Welfare: Meeting the Challenge: A Message from CCI [a division of Manhattan Institute]Chairman, Mayor Stephen Goldsmith : . . . The conference brought together public officials like Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson and scholars like Dr. Charles Murray to discuss how governments and private groups have reduced dependency and increased self-sufficiency . . . Fifteen years after the Manhattan Institute published Charles Murray's landmark study of American welfare policy, "Losing Ground," the presentations showed that ideas once seen as radical now form the mainstream of the welfare debate."

* VILLAGE VOICE, Aug 8, 2000: Absent in the sticky Philadelphia heat was the drumbeat of the fire-breathing, nay-saying Christian Right. In its place, singing the praises of the Jesus-influenced candidate and following a script laid out by the Manhattan Institute . . . The social scientists from the Manhattan Institute rolled out their charts and reported that kids who go to church in poor neighborhoods do fewer drugs and thus, churches, mosques, and synagogues "should be supported as uniquely qualified agencies of social control that matter a great deal in the lives of adolescents in America's most disorganized and impoverished communities." INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC ACCURACY

* PROGRESSIVE REVIEW, August 2000: Besides helping to make "faith-based" the politicians' favorite euphemism for 'religious,' the [Manhattan Institute] has fostered the notorious Charles Murray as well as one of George Bush's favorite writers, Michael Magnet, author of the 'The Dream and the Nightmare,' the latter being all those poor folks mucking up the place. In a review in the Texas Observer, Michael King wrote:

"Poor people are poor and nasty because they choose to be so, and any attempt by the community at large to ameliorate their unhappy circumstances is by definition counterproductive. And though he tap-dances around the subject in various statistical ways, the undeserving poor (a.k.a. the underclass), whom Magnet pities and despises in almost equal measures, are most specifically the black urban poor: those foul-mouthed, crack-smoking, baby-dropping, white-folks mugging, wild-running Caliban-caricatures of the suburban imagination, who refuse to work because they have learned (apparently from reading Norman Mailer, Michael Harrington, and R.D. Laing) that they can act crazy on street corners selling dope without fear of retribution while readily pocketing twenty grand a year on welfare.

"What are the solutions to this cultural catastrophe? Do nothing - only much more nothing. Scratch these neo-cons and one inevitably turns up Charles Murray (of Losing Ground and The Bell Curve), the "brilliant" sociologist who has concluded repeatedly that all welfare programs should be abolished because they do more harm than good (especially by allowing able-bodied mothers to stay home with their kids when they should be on the job market keeping wages down). Lately Murray has taken to saying the same thing about public education, since certain children are, well, ineducable. (We all know who they are.) Magnet suspects Murray is right, although he says he wouldn't go that far - the requisite political will is unfortunately lacking, and perhaps in the short-term, "casualties would be too great." He counsels instead the usual draconian measures to force welfare mothers (only the deserving widowed or divorced, of course) into the job market, although with surprisingly liberal provisions for day care and Head Start programs." [According to the Manhattan Institute, "Referring to this book, Gov. Bush has said, other than the Bible, that it was the most important book he had read..."]

The Manhattan Institute is obsessed with such matters. Eric Alterman, in the Nation, described another of its good works: "The great book of the New Right's assault on traditional forms of knowledge was Charles Murray's anti-welfare tract Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980 (1984) The Manhattan Institute inaugurated an extraordinary campaign to sell Murray to the public. Once the book was published, [MI President William Hammett] sent 700 copies to journalists, politicians and academics and hired a PR expert to turn the unknown author into a media celebrity. He paid journalists $500 to $1,500 each to participate in a seminar on Murray and his thought. The book itself proved to be the prototype of "The Bell Curve:" Murrayite ideology mixed with pseudo-science and killer public relations . . . Welfare causes poor (read "black") people to breed like bunnies, and "we" would be doing everyone a favor if we just stopped encouraging "them." "We tried to provide more for the poor, and we created more poor instead," as Murray argued . . . A decade later, Murray would undertake an even grander mission on behalf of his sponsors. It would be to make racism scientifically respectable. Murray's research was considered so controversial that this time the Manhattan Institute refused to have anything to do with him, and he was shunted off to the American Enterprise Institute."

New York artist-activist Robert Lederman [notes that] Hitler himself, while schmoozing with the Vatican in 1933, said, "Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith . . . we need believing people." MANHATTAN INSTITUTE



SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN POWELL is exhausted, frustrated, and bitter, uncomfortable with President George W. Bush's agenda, and fatigued from his battles with the Pentagon, reports GQ magazine writer-at-large Wil S. Hylton in the June 2004 issue of GQ magazine.

Powell's chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson, on whether Powell will return for a second term: "He's tired. Mentally and physically. And if the president were to ask him to stay on -- if the president is re-elected and the president were to ask him to stay on, he might for a transitional period, but I don't think he'd want to do another four years."

Powell's mentor from the National War College, Harlan Ullman on Powell's discomfort with the Bush team: "This is, in many ways, the most ideological administration Powell's ever had to work for. Not only is it very ideological, but they have a vision. And I think Powell is inherently uncomfortable with grand visions like that ... There's an ideological core to Bush, and I think it's hard for Powell to penetrate that."

Ullman on Powell's relationship with Vice President Dick Cheney: "I can tell you firsthand that there is a tremendous barrier between Cheney and Powell, and there has been for a long time ... It's like McCain saying that his relations with the president are 'congenial,' meaning McCain doesn't tell the president to go f*ck himself every time."

Ullman on National Security Advisor's Condoleeza Rice's comments that Powell and Cheney are "on more than speaking terms," and that they're "very friendly": "Condi's a jerk."

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage on Powell's presentation pre- war presentation before the U.N.: "It's a source of great distress for the secretary." Hylton reports that Rice described Powell as enthusiastic about the presentation, spending four days and nights at CIA headquarters and scouring the evidence against Saddam Hussein for ways to punch it up. But Armitage and Wilkerson describe Powell's four-day immersion at the CIA in very different terms -- not punching up the evidence but frantically scouring it for mistakes and faulty intelligence.

"On the last day and night [at the CIA], the secretary called me, and he said, 'I need a little extra reinforcement.' So I went out there and spent Sunday and Saturday night with him. He needed someone. He was the voice throwing everything out, and he wanted another loud voice at the table." Wilkerson describes those four days at the CIA as a battle, with Powell's team scrambling in the final hours to save the general from humiliation: "I was down at the agency as his task-force leader, and we fought tooth and nail with other members of the administration to scrub it and get the crap out."

Wilkerson on the neo-cons: "I make no bones about it. I have some reservations about people who have never been in the face of battle, so to speak, who are making cavalier decisions about sending men and women out to die. A person who comes immediately to mind in that regard is Richard Perle, who, thank God, tendered his resignation and no longer will be even a semi-official person in this administration. Richard Perle's cavalier remarks about doing this or doing that with regard to military force always, always troubled me. Because it just showed me that he didn't have the appreciation, for example, that Colin Powell has for what it means ... I call them utopians ... I don't care whether utopians are Vladimir Lenin in a sealed train going to Moscow or Paul Wolfowitz. Utopians, I don't like. You're never going to bring utopia, and you're going to hurt a lot of people in the process of trying to do it."

DISINFORMATION - While Powell was deputy security adviser to Ronald Reagan's Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, he learned of the illegal deal to supply arms to Iran in return for cash and the release of American hostages in Lebanon. He told Weinberger and, though they supposedly didn't like it, they went along with the deal. In violation of Pentagon procedure, Powell secretly transferred missiles from the Army to the CIA. When questioned during the Iran-Contra hearings, Powell grudgingly gave testimony that has been described as contradictory, "limited," and "misleading." At one point in a sworn deposition he said that Weinberger did not keep a diary, but in a sworn affidavit five years later Powell said that his boss had indeed kept a diary at the time. . .

It was Powell who pushed Bush into invading Panama to capture Manuel Noriega, a move that violated international law. Indiscriminately using force in civilian areas, the effort to arrest Noriega resulted in the deaths of many civilians. The US government admits to hundreds of dead innocents, and various observers and human rights groups say the true total is in the thousands.

Powell seems to have achieved the worst of both worlds during Operation Desert Storm. He adamantly opposed US involvement in the Iraq/Kuwait shit storm, but President Bush wanted it. Kowtowing to his superiors, as always, Powell led the way in torpedoing a Soviet deal that would have avoided the war. Once the ground assault started, though, he almost immediately tried to limit the combat. . .

Despite his rather inept handling of the situation, Powell became a war hero for presiding over a lopsided slaughter--which included burying Iraqis alive and massacring them as they retreated--that left around 200,000 Iraqis dead (including tens of thousands of civilians), compared to 147 Americans killed by the enemy (with an additional 207 killed by accidents or "friendly fire"). Furthermore, Powell targeted for destruction Iraq's water systems, power supplies, civilian factories, and other non-military targets, actions which are war crimes. . .

Powell has completely turned his back on sick Gulf War vets. Whether or not Gulf War Syndrome exists isn't the question here. The fact is that tens of thousands of former and current members of the military are complaining of a similar cluster of strange symptoms, and Powell has done nothing to help them. In an interview with legendary investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, . . .

Powell was decorated for his role in planning Operation Vernon Lake in Vietnam. According to the military's own records, 104 innocent civilians were killed because of this action. . .

Declassified documents implicate Powell in the secret, probably illegal arming of Iraq in the years before the Gulf War. . .

Although he decried the sanctions against Iraq (which so far have killed 500,000 children under the age of five) in his autobiography, Powell surprisingly announced his enthusiastic support for the sanctions just as soon as Dubya tapped him for Secretary of State. . .


TRUST POWELL? - Robert Parry, Consortium News

[Back when Colin Powell was last in the news -- as a possible 1996 presidential candidate -- we proposed a few questions for him]

- Who won the Gulf War?
- If the answer is the US, then how come Saddam Hussein is still in power?
- Well then, if that's the case, when exactly did Hussein stop being the "modern-day Hitler" as we were told at the time?
- How many people did your troops kill during the Gulf war?
- Why did we have to kill that many?
- How many dead Iraqi draftees did your troops bulldoze into mass graves?
- Wasn't the immolation of retreating Iraqi soldiers along the "Highway of Death" a bit excessive?
- How many oil refineries were ignited by your own bombs?
- How much radioactive material did you leave in the Iraqi desert?
- How many civilians did our troops kill in Panama?
- How many were buried in mass graves?
- Is the sort of censorship, disinformation, and misinformation provided by the military during the Gulf war and Panamanian invasion what we could expect from a Powell presidency?
- What differences are there between American-style democracy and the civilian operations carried out by the US military in places such as Panama, Kuwait and Somalia?
- Which style of governance would your administration favor?
- Describe the nature of your professional experience with each style of governance.
- Why did you help to cover up allegations of a massacre of 400 Vietnamese at My Lai?
- While in Vietnam what steps, if any, did you take to stop war crimes such as the shooting of unarmed civilians from US helicopters?
- Why did Iran-Contra prosecutor Lawrence Walsh find your testimony in his investigation to be "at least misleading" although it "did not warrant prosecution?"
- Describe your efforts to reduce the more than $30 billion in Pentagon "problem disbursements" i.e. money that was spent but the military can't figure who spent or authorized it to be spent.
- Does the fact that about half the front-line troops in the Gulf War were from ethnic minorities reflect your concern for civil rights?
- Why do you think it is that a higher percentage of American veterans than non-veterans are unemployed, homeless or imprisoned?
- You have shown considerable interest in the Buffalo Soldiers. Discuss their role in the ethnic cleansing of native Americans by the US military.
- You urged military men to resign if they also opposed Clinton's policy on gays in the military. Name one or more other issues in which you expressed public opposition to your commander-in-chief?
- Are you at all concerned about the growing intrusion of the military into democratic American life -- including law enforcement? Discuss.
- What can you tell us that would reassure that in voting for you we would not only put a military man in office but the military as well. -- Progressive Review, November 1995


There may be isolated cases of mistreatment of civilians and POWs . . . This by no means reflects the general attitude throughout the Division . . . In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent. - Colin Powell Excerpt from 1968 memo dismissing claims that there had been a massacre of civilians at My Lai. Powell issued this memo without having done any research into the matter.


PROGRESSIVE REVIEW, March 1996: Much of the military's intrusion [into civilian affairs under Clinton] has been accomplished without public notice. For example, the Pentagon has greatly expanded JROTC programs. Last year, the American Friends Service Committee found retired military personnel teaching approximately 310,000 students, ages 14 and up, in about 2200 high schools (with another 700 on the docket). As the AFSC pointed out:

"Public schooling strives to promote respect for other cultures, critical thinking and basic academic skills in a safe environment. In contrast, JROTC introduces guns into the schools, promotes authoritarian values, uses rote learning methods, and consigns much student time to learning drill, military history and protocol, which have little relevance outside the military. It pays off, though, for the Pentagon. Although the JROTC denies it is engaged in recruiting, 45% of all cadets completing the program sign up, mostly as enlisted personnel. AFSC also found that JROTC programs are more often found in schools with a high proportion of non-white students -- now providing 54% of all cadets -- and in non-affluent schools."

And what are these cadets being taught? Says the report:

"A comparison of the JROTC curriculum and two widely used civilian high school civics and history textbooks demonstrates that the JROTC curriculum falls well below accepted pedagogical standards. Units on citizenship and history are strikingly different from standard civil texts on these subjects. For example . . . the JROTC text portrays citizenship as being primarily achieved through military service, provides only a short discussion of civil rights; and downplays the importance of civilian control of the military. . . . In comparison to the civilian history text, historical events in the JROTC curriculum are distorted . . History is described as a linear series of accomplishments by soldiers, while the progress engendered by regular citizens is marginalized. America's wars are treated as having been inevitable.
While it claims to provide leadership training with broad relevance, in fact the JROTC curriculum defines leadership as respect for constituted authority and the chain of command, rather than as critical thinking and democratic consensus-building . . . Finally, the text encourages the reader to rely uncritically on the military as a source of self-esteem and guidance."

Further, at a time that schools are trying desperately to discourage violence, the JROTC is teaching students how to kill more effectively. It is also teaching them -- in a text that addresses the "Indian menace" that "Fortunately the government policy of pushing the Indians farther West, then wiping them out, was carried out successfully. "

And just where did the idea come from for the expansion of military indoctrination in our high schools? From none other than that very media model of a major modern general -- Colin Powell.

Following the LA uprising in 1992, writes Steven Stycos in the Providence Phoenix, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff "proposed a massive expansion of the program. Powell urged the new units be targeted to inner-city youth as an alternative to drug use and gang membership." In New England the number of students involved nearly tripled.

Was Powell seeking citizen officers to balance the academy-trained military? Absolutely not. The JROTC students are grunt-fodder. Besides, while referring to ROTC as "vital to democracy," Powell closed 62 college-based ROTC units during this same period. The inevitable result was that the proportion of academy-trained officers rose and the role of the citizen-officer diminished. You may recall that Powell was the man whom the media pushed for president, depicting him as in the mold of Dwight Eisenhower. The media forgot to tell us that while Eisenhower warned of a growing military-industrial complex, Powell has been one of its biggest beneficiaries and boosters. While Eisenhower fought to restore democracy, Powell fought to preserve sheikdoms. While the Eisenhower-era military followed the wartime orders of strong civilian leaders like Churchill and Roosevelt, the Powell-era military won't even follow Bill Clinton's orders in peacetime. While Eisenhower was part of a unique military demobilization after the Second World War, Powell was among those who prevented demobilization after the Cold War. On top of which he wants kids to know that the Indians were a menace.

NEW REPUBLIC: Powell's career began as an Army Ranger during the Vietnam War. As Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations at a base in Vietnam, he was ordered to investigate claims of Army massacres at My Lai (where US forces murdered hundreds on March 16, 1968 - Powell had no involvement with that tragedy). Powell's cosmetic "investigation" of allegations by Tom Glen, who knew about the slaughter, claimed that his charges were false since Glen's superiors stated that he could not have witnessed abuses of Vietnamese. It wasn't until many months later that another soldier, Ron Ridenhour, complained to his Congressman, that serious inquiries into the My Lai massacre began within the Army, at Washington headquarters. -- The New Republic, April 17, 1995

MARK ROBINOWITZ: Just before leaving office, President Bush pardoned Casper Weinberger, preventing any prosecution for his involvement in the illegal arms for hostages deals. This act was one of the best things for Powell's future political career, since he was deeply involved in the scandal. There will never be a trial of his former boss, Defense Secretary Weinberger, where he'd have to testify. The US aided both Iran and Iraq during their 8-year long war, in which one million people died. No one knows how many thousands were killed with the 2,000+ missiles Powell helped send to Iran.

NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE: Weinberger testified before the [Senate Select] Committee [on Intelligence] that later that day he received a call from Poindexter informing him of the President's action [to send weapons to Iran]. Weinberger ... instructed military aide, Major General Colin Powell, to arrange the transfer of the weapons ... to the CIA, and that the matter was to be closely held at the direction of the President. General Powell had had previous discussions with North about the program and about Israel's problems in getting replacement TOW's [missiles]. .... According to [Assistant DOD Secretary] Armitage and a CIA official, Powell worked with Major General Vincent Russo of the Defense Logistics Agency to provide the material securely and without any loss of funds for the Army. -- The National Security Archive, "The Chronology: The Documented Day-by-Day Account of the Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Contras," Warner Books, 1987, p. 262

JANE MAYER AND DOYLE MCMANUS: Weinberger reluctantly ordered his military aide, Major General Colin L. Powell, to arrange the sale of TOW's for North's new deal." -- "Landslide: The Unmaking of the President 1984-1988," p. 197

MARK ROBINOWITZ: After Powell became Reagan's National Security Advisor, he threatened to cut off US aid to any Central American country that refused to support the US-backed Contra war against Nicaragua . . . In December 1989, while Powell was Joint Chiefs of Staff -- the top military leader for all US forces -- George Bush invaded Panama in an attack condemned by almost every other country on Earth. Portrayed as a "surgical strike" on Manuel Noriega, it did virtually nothing to stem the flow of drugs into the US. (Noriega's replacements installed by the US Southern Command were also linked to the profitable drug trade.)

CENTRAL AMERICAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION: The US Army used highly sophisticated weapons--some for the first time in combat--against unarmed civilian populations . . . The human costs of the invasion are substantially higher than the official figures . . . The actual death toll has been obscured through US military practices including: 1) Incineration of corpses prior to identification; 2) Burial of remains in common graves prior to identification; and 3) US military control of administrative offices of hospitals and morgues, permitting the removal of all registries to US military bases . . . A thorough, well-planned propaganda campaign has been implemented by US authorities to ... deny the brutality and extensive human and material costs of the invasion.

MARK ROBINOWITZ: Powell, as Joint Chiefs of Staff, presided over the bloody Persian Gulf war. John Lehman, Reagan's first Navy Secretary, reportedly confided in 1991 at a gathering at the "Bohemian Grove" (an all-male retreat for corporate and political leaders in northern California) that 200,000 people were killed in the Gulf War . . . US forces bulldozed Iraqi draftees into mass graves, bombed retreating forces on the "Highway of Death," set oil refineries on fire, dropped uranium tipped shells across the desert (over 40 tons of radioactive uranium was scattered), and threatened to use nuclear weapons before the conflict started. But, since strict Pentagon censorship prohibited virtually any photographic documentation of the slaughter, Americans who only watched TV never learned what happened in the desert . . . Powell claims that he never received an illegal order during his military career, but orders to bomb civilians in Iraq and Panama (among many other locations) certainly could be classified as war crimes, which Powell should have refused to carry out under both the Uniform Code of Military Justice (which mandates that soldiers refuse illegal orders) and the Nuremberg Principles. Instead, Powell's only documented opposition to any policy was about Clinton's efforts to end anti-gay witchhunts in the military -- Powell urged military men to resign if they also opposed Clinton's policies.


REUTERS: New Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell named Walt Disney Co. executive Marsha MacBride as the agency's new chief of staff. MacBride served as a vice president in Disney's Washington office, which was heavily involved in lobbying the FCC to place strict conditions on the America Online-Time Warner combination which was concluded earlier this month. She has served in various capacities at the FCC for roughly 10 years, including as a legal advisor to Powell on mass media and cable television issues . . . Disney urged the FCC, as well as antitrust authorities, to require AOL-Time Warner to allow consumers access to whatever content they choose regardless of the provider and not limit the interactive nature of content from rival companies. The FCC and Federal Trade Commission approved the combination with conditions, including one by the FTC that prevents the new company, now AOL Time Warner Inc., from interfering with content from rival providers.


OTTO REICH has been named to the Board of Visitors at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the School of the Americas. WHISC's charter requires a board of visitors to monitor the school, to ensure that the curriculum emphasize 'human rights, the rule of law, due process, civilian control of the military, and the role of the military in a democratic society.' Reich has a history of aiding coups and known terrorists.

Reich first gained notoriety throughout Latin America and among US human rights groups for his role as head of the Office of Public Diplomacy during the Reagan administration. This office launched an anti-Sandinista propaganda campaign, illegally designed to influence the American public to embrace the administration¹s agenda for Central America. Later, as US ambassador to Venezuela, Reich used his office to help Orlando Bosch get into the US. Bosch was convicted of firing a bazooka at a freighter in Miami, and accused of bombing a Cuban jet, killing 73 people. Despite this record the current Bush administration nominated Reich for Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. In this capacity Reich admittedly advised Pedro Carmona‹the businessman who seized the presidency‹during the failed coup in Venezuela last month. Also he met with generals who planned the coup in the months leading up to the coup (some of whom were trained at the SOA).

JASON VEST, AMERICAN PROSPECT: Part of the problem with naming [Otto] Reich to State is that while diplomacy can be, and sometimes is, conducted quietly, it is not the same as covert action, which has a tendency to either (a) be abused by those who find it more expedient, or (b) complicate policy situations through unnecessary subterfuge or the creation of unintended consequences. Lest one think that Reich has moved past this proclivity for spinning from the shadows, Reich still seems a proud propagandist at heart, particularly on an issue of great concern throughout this hemisphere: sweatshops. If you point your web browser to, you'll find the homepage of what appears to be a group devoted to championing the oppressed and exploited worker. The Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production program bills itself as an independent, non-profit effort to certify that the clothes you wear were produced under humane and legal conditions, and proudly trumpets the vita of its vice-chairman, "Ambassador Otto Reich." WRAP is, in fact, a creature of the American Apparel Manufacturers Association, and according to Terry Collingsworth, an attorney with the International Labor Rights Fund, it was "set up as an industry dominated monitoring project as a cover to avoid legitimate monitoring. It's a dodge, and is so regarded by everyone except the industry." The National Labor Committee's Charles Curnahan goes further, calling it "the worst, the lowest you can go" of industry-backed "rights" groups, but says that he wasn't surprised to find Reich near the top of WRAP's board. "Given the work he did in the Office of Public Diplomacy," he says, "this isn't too much of a stretch -- it's the same thing: propaganda and psychological warfare." . . . In the view of Larry Birns, the head of Washington's Council on Hemispheric Affairs, the combination of Reich's hard-line views, current business connections, and Iran-Contra past would make him a disastrous choice to be the United States' point person for Latin America. "It would be of interest to anticipate the violent polemical struggle between Fortune 500 U.S. multinationals, most of whom denounced Helms-Burton for interfering with trade with Cuba, and the State Department's Latin American office under an ideologically driven Reich." . . . "If confirmed, [Reich's] tenure will inevitably be littered with hemispheric vendettas, abusive run-ins with strong-willed regional leaders, and a cheerful indifference to state department rules and regulations," Birns says. "During his years in the public sector, Reich seemingly has found it against the very marrow of his personality and basic nature to be able to walk down a straight path.”


PAUL DE LA GARZA & DAVID ADAMS, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES: In a bow to conservatives, his brother and the Cuban-American community in Florida, President Bush nominated a controversial figure from the Reagan White House to a top State Department post with responsibility over Cuba policy. The selection of Otto J. Reich, a Cuba hard-liner, for assistant secretary of state for western hemispheric affairs sets the stage for an acrimonious battle during his Senate confirmation. A former ambassador to Venezuela, the Cuban-born Reich played a role in the Iran-Contra affair, the Reagan administration's most embarrassing foreign policy initiative . . . He was a key figure in prohibited, covert propaganda activities in the United States designed to discredit the Marxist government of Nicaragua. In his current role as a lobbyist, he has worked for companies that benefit from the American embargo on Cuba, which he helped tighten . . .


- Robert Reilly in 1981 to head of U.S. Information Agency: "It is time we recaptured the words 'balance' and 'objectivity' from the rhetorical excesses of the left and reestablished them to stand for the full truth about this country - the last and best hope for freedom in the world."

- 1996 National Review article: "Only the act of sodomy differentiates an active homosexual from a heterosexual . . . The homosexual rationalization is so successful that even the campaign against AIDS is part of it, with its message that 'everyone is at risk.' He now says, "I find it personally and morally repugnant to discriminate against someone because they're a homosexual. . . I would avidly enforce the anti-discrimination statutes that apply in this position."

- Wrote that the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, "has given impetus to the process of the rebarbarization of man in the 20th century."


MIKE MALES, ALTERNET: John Walters is a veteran of drug policy shambles. As the deputy director under former drug czar William Bennett, he helped craft drug war policies that have shattered millions of lives, wasted billions of dollars and exacerbated America's drug crisis. He's a hard-core ideologue who misrepresents the facts and spouts tough-on-crime rhetoric . . . ONDCP's goals, established in Bennett's 1989 National Drug Control Strategy when Walters was his deputy director, specifically targeted drug "use itself," not abuse or addiction. Policies stigmatized and punished "casual users ... because it is their kind of drug use that is most contagious." Conversely, the strategy de-emphasized treating addiction because drug addicts are "a mess" who "make the worst possible advertisement for new drug use." Bennett's strategy of neglecting drug abusers while punishing casual users worked exactly as designed. In the 1980s and early 1990s, arrests and imprisonments for drug law violations skyrocketed, self-reported drug use fell and drug abuse exploded. Federal Drug Abuse Warning Network reports showed overdoses and hospitalizations skyrocketing, especially for those drugs most targeted by the drug war. In 1980, when Reagan took office, 28,000 Americans were hospitalized for abuse of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. In 1992, when Bush left office, the number was 175,000. In 2000, the latest figures available, 250,000.


It's easy to imagine an infinite number of situations where the government might legitimately give out false information. It's an unfortunate reality that the issuance of incomplete information and even misinformation by government may sometimes be perceived as necessary to protect vital interests. - Solicitor-General Theodore Olson, speaking to the Supreme Court

Dubya as a Second Language

1. Vocabulary

Barriffs: barriers
Cuff Links: handcuffs
Grecians: Greeks
Inebriating: enthralling
Obscufate: obfuscate
Pillared: pilloried
Preservation: perseverance
Presumptive: presumptuous
Slovokian: Slovenian
Subscribe: ascribe
Subsidation: Subsidization
Tacular weapons: tactical weapons
Tenants: tenets
Terriers: tariffs
Vile: viable
Vulcanize: balkanize

2. Grammar

More and more of our imports come from overseas,

You teach a child to read and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test. - President Bush at Townsend TN Elementary School

Well, I think if you say you're going to do something and don't do it, that's trustworthiness. -- Aug. 30, 2000.

Laura and I really don't realize how bright our children is sometimes until we get an objective analysis.

I was raised in the West. The west of Texas. It's pretty close to California. In more ways than Washington, DC, is close to California

Reading is the basics for all learning

I understand small business growth. I was one.

The senator has got to understand if he's going to have - he can't have it both ways. He can't take the high horse and then claim the low road,

If you're sick and tired of the politics of cynicism and polls and principles, come and join this campaign.

How do you know if you don't measure if you have a system that simply suckles kids through.

We ought to make the pie higher.

I think we need not only to eliminate the tollbooth to the middle class, I think we should knock down the tollbooth.

The most important job is not to be governor, or first lady in my case.

Will the highways on the Internet become more few?

I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.

This is still a dangerous world. It's a world of madmen and uncertainty and potential mential losses.

Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning

There needs to be debates, like we're going through. There needs to be town-hall meetings. There needs to be travel. This is a huge country.

When I was coming up, it was a dangerous world and you knew exactly who they were. It was us versus them and it was clear who them was. Today we are not so sure who the they are, but we know they're there.

This is Preservation month. I appreciate preservation. This is what you do when you run for president. You've got to preserve." -- To several hundred children at an elementary school in Nashua that was celebrating what it called Perseverance Month (not Preservation Month).

What I'm against is quotas. I'm against hard quotas, quotas that basically delineate based upon whatever. However they delineate, quotas, I think, vulcanize society.

Tell them I have learned from mistakes I may or may not have made.

3. Style

I mean, these good folks are revolutionizing how businesses conduct their business. And like them, I am very optimistic about our position in the world and about its influence on the United States. We're concerned about the short-term economic news, but long-term, I'm optimistic. And so, I hope investors, you know -- secondly I hope investors hold investments for periods of time -- that I've always found the best investments are those that you salt away based on economics." -- Jan. 4, 2001.

I am mindful of the difference between the executive branch and the legislative branch. I assured all four of the leaders that I know the difference, and that difference is they pass the laws and I execute them." -- Dec. 18, 2000.

The Legislature's job is to write law. It's the executive branch's job to interpret law." -- Nov. 22, 2000.

Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods." -- Dec. 20, 2000.