“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison,” – Nelson Mandela, proof that the final form of love is forgiveness.
It is rare that one soul can impact all of ours – and make us more patient, more powerful and more human. Mandela was such a soul. And he will never leave us.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Scott McClellan, who was Bush's press secretary from 2003-2006, delivers a scathing critique of the administration in a 341-page book titled "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception."
He describes Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as deft at deflecting blame and calls Vice President Dick Cheney "the magic man" who steered policy behind the scenes while leaving no fingerprints, The Washington Post reported.
McClellan, 40, who defended White House policy from his podium during press briefings, also writes that the Iraq war "was not necessary" and "was a serious strategic blunder," according to Politico.com.
"I still like and admire President Bush," McClellan writes in the book to be published next week.
"But he and his advisers confused the propaganda campaign with the high level of candor and honesty so fundamentally needed to build and then sustain public support during a time of war...
"In this regard, he was terribly ill-served by his top advisers, especially those involved directly in national security."
The former aide also blasts the White House staff over the disastrous handling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, saying they "spent most of the first week in a state of denial."
"One of the worst disasters in our nation's history became one of the biggest disasters in Bush's presidency," he writes.
"The perception of this catastrophe was made worse by previous decisions President Bush had made, including, first and foremost, the failure to be open and forthright on Iraq and rushing to war with inadequate planning and preparation for its aftermath."
McClellan's book is critical of Rice, who was Bush's national security adviser between 2001 and 2005 before becoming the chief US diplomat.
"No matter what went wrong, she was somehow able to keep her hands clean," he writes, according to the New York Times. "She knew how to adapt to potential trouble, dismiss brooding problems, and come out looking like a star.
He also accuses former senior Bush advisor Karl Rove and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Cheney's chief of staff, of deceiving him on their role in an explosive CIA leak scandal.
"Rove, Libby, and possibly Vice President Cheney allowed me, even encouraged me, to repeat a lie" that Rove and Libby were not involved in the leak of the name of former CIA operative Valerie Plame, McClellan writes.
Libby was convicted of obstruction of justice in 2007 and sentenced to two and a half years in prison, but Bush commuted his sentence.
McClellan's book has raised eyebrows among Washington's pundits for its candor and critical tone.
Rove, now a commentator on Fox News, hit back at McClellan as a "little irresponsible" and "out of the loop" for suggesting that he was involved in the CIA leak affair.
Rove said that McClellan "should have spoken up" earlier if he had had moral qualms about actions or policies of the White House.
The former spokesman points to his own shortcomings in his book, writing: "I fell far short of living up to the kind of public servant I wanted to be."
"As press secretary, I spent countless hours defending the administration from the podium in the White House briefing room. Although the things I said then were sincere, I have since come to realize that some of them were badly misguided."
Monday, May 26, 2008
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares2 we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest3 began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes10 and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Bush's Arizona fundraising effort for McCain is being moved to private residences in the Phoenix area. A White House official said the event was being moved because the McCain campaign prefers private fundraisers and it is Bush administration policy to have events in public venues open to the media. The White House official said to reconcile that the Tuesday event will be held at a private venue and not the Convention Center.
Tickets to the event were to range from $1,000 to $25,000 for VIP treatment. Money was to go toward McCain's presidential bid and a number of Republican Party organs.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Here's what McCain DOESN'T KNOW about Iran. And people think he has experience? Oy!
Joe Klein exposes McCain's ignorance on Iran
John McCain's clearly planning to run his general election campaign on a theme of foreign policy experience. That will, of course, include an aggressive posture toward those countries perceived as enemies of the U.S. But as Time's Joe Klein showed at a press conference on Tuesday, when it comes to Iran, one of the countries McCain has been most aggressive in speaking about, his knowledge base is limited.
McCain has been hitting Barack Obama hard recently over Obama's expressed willingness to meet with leaders of certain countries, including Iran. McCain has been trying especially to link Obama's posture to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a controversial figure for his extreme views on subjects like Israel and the Holocaust. But as Klein has pointed out before, a meeting with Iran's leaders wouldn't necessarily mean a meeting with Ahmadinejad, as he doesn't hold the real power when it comes to Iran's military, its nuclear research or its foreign policy.
At the press conference, Klein asked McCain about this. Here's the ensuing exchange.
Klein: [I've] checked with the Obama campaign and he never, he's never said -- mentioned Ahmadinejad directly by name. He did say he would negotiate with the leaders, but as you know -- Ayatollah …
McCain: (Laughing) Ahmadinejad is, was the leader.
Klein: But if --
McCain: Maybe I'm mistaken.
Klien: Maybe you are, because --
McCain: Maybe. I don't think so though.
Klein: The Supreme, you know, according to most diplomatic experts, the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is the guy who's in charge of Iranian foreign policy and also in charge of the nuclear program, but you never mention him. Do you, you know, um, why do you always keep talking about Ahmadinejad, since he doesn't have power in that, in that realm?
McCain: Oh I think -- Again, I respectfully disagree. When he's the person that comes to the United Nations and declares his country's policy is the extermination of the state of Israel, quote, in his words, wipe them off of the map, then I know that he is speaking for the Iranian government and articulating their policy and he was elected and is running for reelection as the leader of that country ... I mean, the fact is he's the acknowledged leader of that country and you may disagree, but that's, uh, that's your right to do so. But I think if you asked any average American who the leader of Iran is, I think they'd know. Or anyone who's well-versed in the issue.
Klein's point isn't really an original one. In his stellar debunking of much of the rhetoric coming from Iran hawks, Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria -- no raving lefty -- wrote, "When the relatively moderate Mohammed Khatami was elected president in Iran, American conservatives pointed out that he was just a figurehead. Real power, they said (correctly), especially control of the military and police, was wielded by the unelected 'Supreme Leader,' Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Now that Ahmadinejad is president, they claim his finger is on the button." And you can find similar information in a brief summary of Iran's foreign policy structure produced by the Council on Foreign Relations, which notes:
Ahmadinejad has some influence over foreign policy -- he appoints the cabinet and the head of the SNSC -- but power remains mostly in the hands of the SNSC and the Supreme Leader. "[Ahmadinejad] is a small piece of the puzzle and can be influential on the fringes, but certainly not [by] steering Iranian foreign or nuclear policy," [Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran analyst with the International Crisis Group] says.
Still, these inconvenient facts -- and the public exposure of McCain's ignorance on the subject -- are unlikely to change the minds of those taking a hard-line stance toward Iran. After all, one of the right's favorite experts on Islam, Bernard Lewis, wrote an Op-Ed for the Wall Street Journal in 2006 warning that Ahmadinejad might have some sort of "cataclysmic" event planned for Aug. 22 of that year. Lewis' warning rested on the assumption that Ahmadinejad had the power to order such a thing. Obviously, nothing of the sort occurred.
― Alex Koppelman, Salon
Monday, May 19, 2008
Bush & RNC To Bail Out McCain, While Obama Speaks to 75,000
"As if the Republican prospects for the fall elections were not bad enough, it now seems the Republican Party has been asked to bail out John McCain's deficient fund raising. And what's more insulting, McCain and the Republicans intend to rely on George Bush, the most unpopular President since Richard Nixon, to put the squeeze on lobbyists to replenish their coffers."
h/t Scarecrow at FDL
Sunday, May 18, 2008
What kind of a president would HE make? I don't want to even imagine the chaos and confusion he would bring to his administration.
John McCain doesn't know the meaning of STRAIGHT TALK.
Again, in a word: EMBARRASSING.
My friends, this guy makes John Kerry look like a rank amateur. John McCain is an AWESOME flip-flopper.
He doesn't know what he believes in. Or maybe he believes whatever polls well at the time he says it.
Where are the media on this outrageous example of Crooked Talk.
Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi set out to describe the nature of George Bush’s America in the post-9/11 era and ended up vomiting demons in an evangelical church in Texas, riding the streets of Baghdad in an American convoy to nowhere, searching for phantom fighter jets in Congress, and falling into the rabbit hole of the 9/11 Truth Movement.Matt discovered in his travels across the country that the resilient blue state/red state narrative of American politics had become irrelevant.
A large and growing chunk of the American population was so turned off—or radicalized—by electoral chicanery, a spineless news media, and the increasingly blatant lies from our leaders (“they hate us for our freedom”) that they abandoned the political mainstream altogether. They joined what he calls The Great Derangement.Taibbi tells the story of this new American madness by inserting himself into four defining American subcultures: The Military, where he finds himself mired in the grotesque black comedy of the American occupation of Iraq; The System, where he follows the money-slicked path of legislation in Congress; The Resistance, where he doubles as chief public antagonist and undercover member of the passionately bonkers 9/11 Truth Movement; and The Church, where he infiltrates a politically influential apocalyptic mega-ministry in Texas and enters the lives of its desperate congregants. Together these four interwoven adventures paint a portrait of a nation dangerously out of touch with reality and desperately searching for answers in all the wrong places.Funny, smart, and a little bit heartbreaking, The Great Derangement is an audaciously reported, sobering, and illuminating portrait of America at the end of the Bush era.
About the Author
MATT TAIBBI is a roving national reporter for Rolling Stone and a columnist for rollingstone.com. He's the author of Spanking the Donkey, a collection of his writings about the 2004 election. He lives in New York City.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
UPDATE: Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia, who is retiring, confessed that if his party "were dog food, they'd take us off the shelf and put us in a landfill."
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
That makes three very significant elections where Democrats have won in districts that went heavily in favor of Bush in 2004.
Democrat Wins House Seat in Mississippi
By ADAM NOSSITER
Published: May 14, 2008
COFFEEVILLE, Miss. — Democrats scored a remarkable upset victory on Tuesday in a special Congressional election in this conservative Southern district, sending a clear signal of national problems ahead for Republicans in the fall.
The Democrat, Travis Childers, a local courthouse official, pulled together a coalition of blacks, who turned out heavily, and old-line “yellow dog” Democrats, to beat his Republican opponent, Greg Davis, the mayor of Southaven, a Memphis suburb. With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, the vote was 54 percent for Mr. Childers to 46 percent for Mr. Davis.
The seat had been in Republican hands since 1995, and the district, largely rural and stretching across the northern top of Mississippi, had been considered one of the safest in the country for President Bush’s party, as he won here with 62 percent of the vote in 2004.
A fairly remarkable statement from the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Rep. Tom Cole, about tonight's special election in Mississippi. He's warning his incumbents and challengers: change or die.
“We are disappointed in tonight’s election results. Though the NRCC, RNC
and Mississippi Republicans made a major effort to retain this seat, we came up
“Tonight’s election highlights two significant challenges Republicans must
overcome this November. First, Republicans must be prepared to campaign against
Democrat challengers who are running as conservatives, even as they try to join
a liberal Democrat majority. Though the Democrats’ task will be more difficult
in a November election, the fact is they have pulled off two special election
victories with this strategy, and it should be a concern to all
“Second, the political environment is such that voters remain
pessimistic about the direction of the country and the Republican Party in
general. Therefore, Republicans must undertake bold efforts to define a forward
looking agenda that offers the kind of positive change voters are looking for.
This is something we can do in cooperation with our Presidential nominee, but
time is short.
“I encourage all Republican candidates, whether incumbents or challengers,
to take stock of their campaigns and position themselves for challenging
campaigns this fall by building the financial resources and grassroots networks
that offer them the opportunity and ability to communicate, energize and turn
out voters this election.”
Monday, May 12, 2008
This is interesting (From Talking Points Memo):
Gallup: Bush More Damaging To McCain Than Wright Is To Obama
By Greg Sargent - May 12, 2008, 10:32AM
New Gallup numbers shed some light on the question of whether Wright is really going to turn out to be a major liability for Obama in the general election.
Amusingly, the poll finds that McCain's association with George W. Bush is more damaging than Obama's association with Wright.
Number of likely voters who say Bush makes them less likely to vote for McCain: Thirty-eight percent.
Number of likely voters who say Wright makes them less likely to vote for Obama: Thirty-three percent.
In other good news for Obama, the poll finds that a very large majority -- 64% -- say it won't impact their vote.
There is one caveat, however: Nearly one-fifth of Dems -- 19% --say Wright makes them less likely to vote for Obama, meaning that Wright could create a bit more of a problem with a small segment of his base than Bush will among McCain's base.
Overall, however, the poll suggests that Wright might not shape up as the general election problem some have predicted he will be.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
By DAVID JOHNSTON
Published: May 10, 2008
WASHINGTON — Secret Service supervisors shared crude sexual jokes and engaged in racially derogatory banter about blacks, and passed around an anecdote about a possible assassination of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, according to internal e-mail disclosed in a federal court filing on Friday by lawyers for black Secret Service agents.
The filing includes 10 e-mail messages that were among documents the agency recently turned over to lawyers for the black agents as part of an increasingly bitter discrimination lawsuit. The messages were written mainly from 2003 through 2005, and were sent to and from e-mail accounts of at least 20 Secret Service supervisors.
The messages offer a glimpse into the darker recesses of an agency
known for protecting presidents and other dignitaries but whose culture is regarded as one of the most insular in federal law enforcement.
The disclosure of the messages follows an incident last month in which a noose was found in a room used by a black instructor at a Secret Service training facility in Beltsville, Md. Agency officials said that episode was under internal investigation.Eric Zahren, a spokesman for the Secret Service, said he would not comment directly on the e-mail but said the agency deplored racially insensitive jokes.
“We are deeply disappointed by any communication or action on the part of our employees that exhibits racial or other insensitivity,” Mr. Zahren said. Mr. Zahren said the messages were the result of a search of 20 million electronic documents over 16 years. He said that an internal inquiry had been opened and that the inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Secret Service, had been alerted.
In some of the court documents, the senders of the e-mail messages are identified only by the jobs they currently occupy and the rank they held when the messages were sent. For example, an Oct. 9, 2003, message referring to a “Harlem Spelling Bee,” ridiculing black slang, was sent by Thomas Grupski, then assistant director for protective operations, who, according to the filing, now heads the Office of Government Liaison and Public Affairs.
A March 3, 2003, message describing Mr. Jackson as the “Righteous
Reverend” was passed among several Secret Service supervisors. The message, about a missile striking an airplane in which Mr. Jackson and his wife were traveling, concludes, it “certainly wouldn’t be a great loss and it probably wouldn’t be an accident either.”
Another message contains what one Secret Service official said was a joke referring to interracial sex. The joke circulated in February and March 2003. It was sent, according to the lawsuit, by Donald White, who heads the Presidential Protective Detail, to Kurt Douglass, an agent in charge of the Secret Service office in Cincinnati.
The legal skirmishing in the discrimination suit has heated up in
recent months, with Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson rebuking the Secret Service for failing to produce documents and for destroying relevant records and e-mail.
Judge Robinson had ordered the agency to turn over the documents by late March, but the e-mail disclosed in the court filing on Friday was not turned over to lawyers for the agents until late April.
E. Desmond Hogan, a lawyer for the black agents, said the agents were “shocked but not surprised by the late production of significant evidence of racism at high levels in the Secret Service.”
“The government’s delay,” Mr. Hogan said, “follows a pattern of the
Secret Service stonewalling plaintiffs and ignoring court orders, depriving African-American agents of the fundamental evidence of race discrimination that is key to their claims.”
The lawsuit, which has dragged on through years of litigation, was filed in 2000 by 10 black agents who charged that they were unfairly denied promotions. The agency employs about 3,200 agents, about 10 percent of whom are
Friday, May 9, 2008
When I heard about Limbaugh's Operation Chaos, I was p.o.'d because of the rank cynicism of the idea--disrupt the democratic process and create havoc. In other words, encourage your followers to be dishonest.
Talk about zombies. Limbaugh says do something, and his dittoheads do it!
I've been told that the Democrats have done the same. However, I don't know of any Liberal talk show host who has a daily show reaching millions of voters and whose listeners are so like lemmings that they follow what he says the way the proverbial little furry animals follow their leader over a cliff. It is a silly argument, and juvenile, as well. "He did it too" is an excuse children have used forever.
I came across this interesting piece at Democratic Underground about Operation Chaos, and it got me to think that perhaps we owe the chief Dittohead a big thank you for giving the Republican Party its brand name, the party of "Operation Chaos."
I'm not p.o.'d anymore. I'm actually ROTFLMAO!
"This 'Operation Chaos' scheme by Rush Limbaugh is pure genius, a guaranteed winner. It fits perfectly into the media's campaign narrative. Meanwhile both sets of candidate supporters are propping up Lardbutt's plot: Clinton supporters want people to believe that they're stronger than Obama against these kind of right-wing attacks, and Obama supporters want people to believe that the dittohead army are the only ones voting for Clinton. Who wins?
That's right: Captain Ass-Boil.So stop worrying about Rush Limbaugh, and ask yourself this question: Is this the best they've got? "Operation Chaos"? 81% of Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction, Bush has the highest disapproval rating of any president since records began, Iraq is going nowhere, and the economy is going down the drain. And the considered, adult, conservative approach to this sorry situation is... 'Operation Chaos.' Yeehaw! Funny thing though...'Operation Chaos' seems to have been the Republican approach to getting George W. Bush elected in 2000. 'Operation Chaos' seems to have been the Republican approach to counter-terrorism before Sept. 11th, and the way they've run the Department of Homeland Security since.
'Operation Chaos' seems to have been the Republican approach to dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. 'Operation Chaos' seems to have been the Republican approach to the occupation of Iraq. And 'Operation Chaos' seems to have been the Republican approach to the economy.In fact, 'Operation Chaos' seems to have been the Republican approach to governing in general. So by all means, Rush, please keep on branding away..."
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Sources:1. “The Complicated History of John McCain and MLK Day,” ABC News, April 3, 2008http://webmail.east.cox.net/do/redirect?url=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.moveon.org%252Fr%253Fr%253D3543%2526id%253D12407-5844990-cc49wL%2526t%253D233
“McCain Facts,” ColorOfChange.org, April 4, 2008http://colorofchange.org/mccain_facts/
“Buchanan: John McCain ‘Will Make Cheney Look Like Gandhi,’” ThinkProgress, February 6, 2008http://thinkprogress.org/2008/02/06/buchanan-gandhi-mccain/
4. “McCain says Roe v. Wade should be overturned,” MSNBC, February 18, 2007http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17222147/
“McCain: Bush right to veto kids health insurance expansion,” CNN, October 3, 2007http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/mccain.interview/
“McCain Says Bank Bailout Should End `Systemic Risk,’” Bloomberg News, March 25, 2008http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aHMiDVYaXZFM&refer=home
“Famed McCain temper is tamed,” Boston Globe, January 27, 2008http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/01/27/famed_mccain_temper_is_tamed/
“McCain’s Lobbyist Friends Rally ‘Round Their Man,” ABC News, January 29, 2008http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4210251
“Will McCain Specifically ‘Repudiate’ Hagee’s Anti-Gay Comments?,” ThinkProgress, March 12, 2008http://webmail.east.cox.net/do/redirect?url=http%253A%252F%252Fthinkprogress.org%252F2008%252F03%252F12%252Fmccain-hagee-anti-gay%252F
“McCain ‘Very Honored’ By Support Of Pastor Preaching ‘End-Time Confrontation With Iran,’” ThinkProgress, February 28, 2008http://thinkprogress.org/2008/02/28/hagee-mccain-endorsement/
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
We don't know how much of the vote for Clinton in Indiana was due to Comedian Rush Limbaugh's puerile "Operation Chaos"--an attempt to interfere with the democratic process and skew the votes in Clinton's favor. It didn't work anyway, so his Stalinist attempts to hurt Obama are irrelevant.
Senator Obama did what he had to do, even when a lot of people were sure he couldn't. Even after a bruising month of negative coverage over the Wright issue. Bravo!
But here's the really strange part of the Indiana and North Carolina primaries:
"In Indiana, McCain earned the backing of 78 percent of Republican primary voters, with exited candidates Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney gaining 10 percent and five percent respectively. Congressman Ron Paul, who is still in the race, has received seven percent of the vote.
The numbers were even worse in North Carolina, where McCain won 74 percent of the vote, with Huckabee earning 12 percent, Paul earning seven percent, and four percent of Republican primary goers simply voting 'no preference.'"
And there wasn't any Liberal radio talk host hyena urging people to vote against him!
What's up with that?
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Sunday, May 4, 2008
"BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) 5/4/08 — Democrat Don Cazayoux has won a special congressional election, bolstering his party's majority status on Capitol Hill and taking a seat held by Republicans since 1974.
Democrat Bill Foster won 53 percent of the vote compared to 47 percent for Republican Jim Oberweis. With all 568 precincts reporting, Foster had 52,010 votes to Oberweis' 46,988.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
I remember watching that performance and being embarrassed for my country.
What sort of president, I thought, would so shamelessly promote himself in this crass "Top Gun" type of self-aggrandizement in a time of war? Could anyone imagine a real military hero like, say, President Eisenhower, cheapening his office and himself in such a manner?
War is deadly serious. People die. Lives are ruined forever. Instead of a sober, measured talk with the American people about the status of the Iraq War at that time, we were subjected to base egoism by a man who never faced combat or the dangers of war himself.
Well, we all know how that worked out.
Over the years, we have tragically learned that the Bush Administration is quite competent at staged empty gestures and the promotion of failed programs and grossly incompetent in running a government in a time of war and natural disasters.
It says a lot about Bush's character that he didn't have a sense of the dignity of the office of the president of the United States to tell Karl Rove to stuff it when he came up with this harebrained piece of political theater, that he didn't have the sense to understand that war-time presidents are supposed to be serious minded leaders, not play-actors who prance around flight decks, showing off for future political ads and pandering to an easily exploitable electorate.
I didn't think Bush could sink any lower in that act of vulgar manipulation. But that was in May 2003. I have since, sadly, learned otherwise.
Friday, May 2, 2008
I must have missed the endless playing of the tape that shows the filth and substandard housing the insufficient medical care our men and women come home to. Oh yeah. I missed that tape because the conservative media want to make sure you associate Barack Obama with a crazy black pastor.
Gates acknowledges mistakes in treatment of troops
Thu May 1, 2008 7:20pm EDT
Gates acknowledges mistakes in treatment of troops
By David Morgan
FORT BLISS, Texas (Reuters) -
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday said the military had made mistakes in treating returning combat troops including in their physical and mental health care..."
By David Morgan
FORT BLISS, Texas (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on
Thursday said the military had made mistakes in treating returning combat troops including in their physical and mental health care and by providing some sub-standard housing.
In a visit to Fort Bliss, Texas, Gates announced a change in government procedures to encourage troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to seek treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) without fear of losing their security clearances and harming their careers.
The announcement came just a day after closing arguments in a San Francisco federal court case in which veterans allege the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is unable to deal with the growing number of PTSD cases emerging from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Gates acknowledged not all of the more than 1.5 million military service members who have been deployed overseas have received needed medical treatment and accommodations.
"I know that the department is not perfect and mistakes have been, and will be made. Things happen too slowly," Gates said in a speech to a group of junior officers.
"I share your frustration," he added.
Things happen too slowly? Is that an excuse for the "Greatest Country in the World" for not treating its returning military with the greatest care?
No. There is no excuse for this.
BUT LOOK! OVER THERE! OBAMA'S PASTOR SAID "GODDAMN AMERICA!"
Thursday, May 1, 2008
By FRANK BRUNI WITH MARC LACEY
Published: February 4, 2000
Gov. George W. Bush struck an unusually combative posture toward Senator John McCain today, accusing him of running a misleading television commercial and insinuating that he had not lived up to his own call for integrity in government.
The Texas governor also took aim at the appeal of Mr. McCain's stature as a military hero. At a rally here that featured prominent veterans who were supporting him, Mr. Bush said a distinguished military career did not necessarily make someone the best candidate for president.