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Documenting Lies At the Top

 
 
blatham
 
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 07:28 am
This morning, two stories were noted in the press which both demonstrated folks in positions of power telling lies. I thought it might be an idea to document such stories as they appear. Of course, this presents the possibility that this thread will become the longest in a2k history.

Let's keep it contemporary (yes, Bill Clinton did lie). And let's try to be fair as to probabilities and prudent as to information sources.

Oil Execs Lie
Quote:
Document raises questions about oil chiefs' denials
By Dana Milbank and Justin Blum, Washington Post | November 16, 2005

WASHINGTON -- A White House document shows that executives from big oil companies met with Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force in 2001 -- something long suspected by environmentalists but denied as recently as last week by industry officials testifying before Congress.

The document, obtained this week by The Washington Post, shows that officials from Exxon Mobil Corp., Conoco (before its merger with Phillips), Shell Oil Co., and BP America Inc. met in the White House complex with the Cheney aides who were developing a national energy policy, parts of which became law and parts of which are still being debated.

In a joint hearing last week of the Senate Energy and Commerce committees, the chief executives of Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., and ConocoPhillips said their firms did not participate in the 2001 task force. The president of Shell Oil said his company did not participate ''to my knowledge," and the chief of BP America Inc. said he did not know.

Chevron was not named in the White House document, but the Government Accountability Office has found that Chevron was one of several companies that ''gave detailed energy policy recommendations" to the task force. In addition, Cheney had a separate meeting with John Browne, BP's chief executive, according to a person familiar with the task force's work; that meeting is not noted in the document.
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 07:29 am
Quote:
The Pentagon has admitted US forces used white phosphorus as "an incendiary weapon" during the assault last year on Fallujah.

A Pentagon spokesman's comments last night appeared to contradict the US ambassador to London who said that American forces did not use white phosphorus as a weapon.
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article327379.ece
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 07:30 am
Link for oil exec story... http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2005/11/16/record_oil_leaders_energy_panel_met/
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 08:18 am
Quote:
A Detour in The Corridor Of Power
Indictment Snaps Rapid Rise of Republican Star

By Thomas B. Edsall
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 16, 2005; Page A17

Before he was indicted on five felony counts of lying to investigators, David H. Safavian was positioned to break out of the pack of Republican operatives working in Washington.

Just 38, he was administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy at the president's Office of Management and Budget, with the authority to make the rules governing $300 billion in annual expenditures, including those in response to Hurricane Katrina.

But that was before federal agents appeared at his home on Sept. 19 and arrested Safavian in connection with the investigation of Jack Abramoff, charging that Safavian lied about his dealings with the onetime powerhouse lobbyist and misled investigators from the General Services Administration and the Senate.

Knowing the indictment was imminent, Safavian had resigned his post three days earlier, derailing a government career he had carefully planned and skillfully executed.
link
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 08:19 am
Don't forget the whopper about how the US military didn't use Napalm.

They just used something better.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 08:29 am
The compassion, the integrity and deeply held christian beliefs of Tom DeLays ex press secretary Michael Scanlon revealed in email...
Quote:
Consider one memo highlighted in a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday that Scanlon, a former aide to Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, sent the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana to describe his strategy for protecting the tribe's gambling business. In plain terms, Scanlon confessed the source code of recent Republican electoral victories: target religious conservatives, distract everyone else, and then railroad through complex initiatives.

"The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees," Scanlon wrote in the memo, which was read into the public record at a hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. "Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them." The brilliance of this strategy was twofold: Not only would most voters not know about an initiative to protect Coushatta gambling revenues, but religious "wackos" could be tricked into supporting gambling at the Coushatta casino even as they thought they were opposing it.
link
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2005 08:10 pm
Quote:
Head of GOP Group Denies Trading Access

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: November 17, 2005
Filed at 4:36 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The head of an environmental group that Interior Secretary Gale Norton helped found denied on Thursday trading access to the Bush administration for contributions from lobbyist Jack Abramoff's tribal clients.

Senators investigating the donations said they did not believe Italia Federici, president of the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy.

Federici defended the nearly $500,000 in contributions that her group received from Indian tribes, saying the council did ''substantive and important'' work for them.

But the leaders of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee said e-mails between Federici and Abramoff show that she was helping him by using her access to Steven Griles, the Interior Department's former deputy secretary, in exchange for contributions.
more
0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2005 09:39 pm
You have too much on. Too many topics or personalities involved.

"How intricate a web we weave
When we first learn to deceive."

comes to mind.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2005 09:50 pm
Re: Documenting Lies At the Top
blatham wrote:
This morning, two stories were noted in the press which both demonstrated folks in positions of power telling lies. I thought it might be an idea to document such stories as they appear. Of course, this presents the possibility that this thread will become the longest in a2k history.

Let's keep it contemporary (yes, Bill Clinton did lie). And let's try to be fair as to probabilities and prudent as to information sources.

Oil Execs Lie
Quote:
Document raises questions about oil chiefs' denials
By Dana Milbank and Justin Blum, Washington Post | November 16, 2005

WASHINGTON -- A White House document shows that executives from big oil companies met with Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force in 2001 -- something long suspected by environmentalists but denied as recently as last week by industry officials testifying before Congress.

The document, obtained this week by The Washington Post, shows that officials from Exxon Mobil Corp., Conoco (before its merger with Phillips), Shell Oil Co., and BP America Inc. met in the White House complex with the Cheney aides who were developing a national energy policy, parts of which became law and parts of which are still being debated.

In a joint hearing last week of the Senate Energy and Commerce committees, the chief executives of Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., and ConocoPhillips said their firms did not participate in the 2001 task force. The president of Shell Oil said his company did not participate ''to my knowledge," and the chief of BP America Inc. said he did not know.

Chevron was not named in the White House document, but the Government Accountability Office has found that Chevron was one of several companies that ''gave detailed energy policy recommendations" to the task force. In addition, Cheney had a separate meeting with John Browne, BP's chief executive, according to a person familiar with the task force's work; that meeting is not noted in the document.

Which person told which lie in which words? This is a bit vague.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2005 09:53 pm
That's vague?! Um...no, it isn't really. Them there executives mentioned.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2005 11:20 pm
blatham wrote:
That's vague?! Um...no, it isn't really. Them there executives mentioned.

Okay, so, since you're "documenting lies," which person told which lie in which words? Rather not say?
0 Replies
 
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2005 11:38 pm
Re: Documenting Lies At the Top
Quote:
A White House document shows that executives from big oil companies met with Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force in 2001


Quote:
In a joint hearing last week of the Senate Energy and Commerce committees, the chief executives of Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., and ConocoPhillips said their firms did not participate in the 2001 task force.


There Brandon. Do you see it now?

By the way, I also saw a clip today on the Daily Show of the question being raised whether they should swear the CEO's in, TWICE, and a senator basically shouting the question down with a resounding "NO." Scumbags.

Okay, now I've added my two cents. Carry on.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2005 02:26 am
Re: Documenting Lies At the Top
kickycan wrote:
Quote:
A White House document shows that executives from big oil companies met with Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force in 2001


Quote:
In a joint hearing last week of the Senate Energy and Commerce committees, the chief executives of Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., and ConocoPhillips said their firms did not participate in the 2001 task force.


There Brandon. Do you see it now?

By the way, I also saw a clip today on the Daily Show of the question being raised whether they should swear the CEO's in, TWICE, and a senator basically shouting the question down with a resounding "NO." Scumbags.

Okay, now I've added my two cents. Carry on.

I see it, but it doesn't answer my question. What persons, told what lies, in what words? Why is this so hard to answer? What did Cheney say specifically? I want the quote, since we're "documenting lies at the top."
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2005 07:21 am
brandon

There is no claim there (nor suggested by me) that Cheney lied on this matter at this time. It's the oil execs who lied to Congress last week, rather clearly.

Now, whether Congress brings them back and has them testify under oath, or whether some legal action is taken for their false statements, will tell a tale as regards how powerful they are and their influence on both Congress and the Justice Department. Do you not think?
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2005 07:26 am
More on the Abramoff/Federici matter. Note the propaganda link between this crowd of scuzzbags and Fox...

Quote:
The greening of Italia Federici
To buy influence at the White House, GOP operative Jack Abramoff gave $500,000 in tribal loot to a Gale Norton pal who heads an "environmental" nonprofit.
By Michael Scherer

Nov. 18, 2005 | Italia Federici is a minor Republican player in Washington, the sort of dime-a-dozen functionary who can build a career trading favors in backrooms and producing political campaigns for moneyed interests. Her specialty is the environment. She leads a conservative front group called the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, or CREA, a tiny outfit, originally founded by Interior Secretary Gale Norton, that argues it is healthy for forests to clear-cut trees, good for the air to weaken air-quality controls, and "environmentally responsible" to drill for oil in the Alaskan wilderness.

For the past five years, Federici has limited her public activities to supporting President Bush's environmental plans. She claims that traditional environmentalists, groups like the Sierra Club and Democrats like Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., are dishonest and deceptive. But that is just the public face of Federici. In private, she has played a very different role in Washington, one that has now put her in the middle of one of the largest political ethics scandals in a decade.

On Thursday, she appeared before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee to explain under oath her relationship with Jack Abramoff, the disgraced Republican lobbyist whose exploits have already led to a handful of criminal indictments. For critics of Republican politics, the Abramoff investigations are a gift that keeps on giving. They reveal a world of ethical violations, illegal money transfers, perjury and graft that flowed between some of the biggest names in Republican politics. Already, Abramoff has been charged with fraud; a top White House official, David Safavian, has been charged with perjury; and another former White House official, Timothy Flanigan, has withdrawn from a Senate confirmation process.

Abramoff's dealings have thrown ethical clouds over a number of Republican heavyweights, including Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas., evangelical activist Ralph Reed, and anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist. And the investigation is far from over.

Under the direction of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the committee has uncovered evidence that suggests Federici entered into an unspoken deal with Abramoff, who is accused of stealing millions of dollars from his Native American clients. He funneled nearly $500,000 in donations from these clients to her environmental organization. In exchange, Federici became his advocate in the inner sanctum of the Bush administration, offering him access to at least two of her close friends, Norton and Deputy Secretary J. Steven Griles. "Ms. Federici would help get inside information about and possibly influence tribal issues within the Interior," explained Sen. McCain, at the start of the hearing.

For her part, Federici flatly denied all allegations that she had done anything untoward. "We provided excellent environmental advocacy consistent with our mission," she said of her work with CREA, which is registered as a nonprofit. "I get a lot of unsolicited e-mail, and I am helpful to all of my friends."

Sitting before the Senate panel, Federici had the bearing of a quiet, sympathetic elementary school teacher. She wore her blond hair loose over her shoulders, and spoke in soft tones. At one point she portrayed herself as an honest subordinate who had found herself working with unethical friends. "Jack was close to 50, a man and a high-dollar donor," she said of his blunt e-mails to her. "I did not feel comfortable correcting his vernacular." But she gave no ground to her inquisitors. She said, instead, that she believed the committee's staff had engaged in a smear campaign against her. She called McCain's investigation a "witch hunt," adding that she believed the senator might hold a grudge because she had opposed a bipartisan bill on air quality that McCain had sponsored.

McCain seemed to take pleasure in the suggestion that he was the one bending ethical rules. He focused instead on the evidence he had compiled. He described multiple e-mails in which Federici responded to Abramoff's requests for help lobbying Interior officials. In April of 2003, for example, Abramoff asked her to find out about a procedural change proposed by the department that had upset his clients. "Hi Jack: I will definitely see what I can find out," she wrote back, before immediately changing the topic. "I hate to bug you, but is there any news about a possible contribution...?"

"Any objective observer would see that there is a connection between contributions to your organization and the work that you would be doing on behalf of Mr. Abramoff," McCain said.

"I attached a second unrelated thought about an environmental project," Federici protested.

"Since your answers are so bizarre, I won't continue," said McCain a few minutes later. "I will let others make the judgment."

The e-mails released by the committee on Thursday certainly presented a damning case. At minimum, it appears Abramoff believed he was buying access to the Interior Department through Federici. He claimed to colleagues that Federici had "juice" at the agency. He claimed that CREA functioned as "Norton's main group outside the department." He offered Federici skybox seats at Redskins games and paid the bill for her meals and cocktail parties at his downtown restaurant, Signatures.

At the same time, Federici appeared to be catering to Abramoff's every wish. She arranged meetings, requested photo opportunities, delivered memos and newspaper articles to Interior officials. She even organized Georgetown dinner parties, under the cover of CREA, so Abramoff's clients could meet with Norton and Griles. "Thanks for all you do for my clients, the cause and me personally," Abramoff wrote her in a 2002 e-mail.

"When my friends reach out to me and ask me to help them with things, I never turn around and say why don't you just do it yourself," Federici said, adding that she paid for her own cellphone to facilitate this process. "I believed at the time that the reason Jack was giving us money is because he was a very generous Republican contributor," she said at another point in the hearing.

"That is unbelievable," said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who is co-chairman of the committee.

There was far less disagreement about what Federici had done with the tribal money she collected from Abramoff's clients. CREA spent it on initiatives that had nothing to do with the Native American tribes, but much to do with furthering President Bush's agenda. In April 2002, for example, CREA ran a $40,000 full-page ad in the Washington Post praising the environmental merits of the president's plan to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

"We are also going to do something mean to Senator John Kerry," Federici wrote Abramoff, a few days before the ad ran. She then described a video CREA had packaged that showed Sen. Kerry leaving an Earth Day celebration and stepping into a gas-guzzling sports utility vehicle. She sent the video to at least two television programs on the Fox News Network, "The O'Reilly Factor" and "Hannity and Colmes." "I am letting EVERYONE know that you are the only reason we have the funding to do this," she gushed to Abramoff in the same e-mail.

At the same time, e-mails show that Abramoff and Federici plotted to use environmental causes to help Abramoff's gambling clients. In December 2002, Abramoff proposed to Federici that she encourage the Interior Department to "say that they are not satisfied with the Environmental Impact Report" of a proposed casino in Michigan that would compete with one of Abramoff's clients. "This is a direct assault on our guys," Abramoff wrote to Federici. Eight minutes later, she wrote back to say she would contact Griles. "I will call him asap," she said. The casino was eventually approved, after a protracted delay.

Sen. Dorgan compared Federici's story to a fairy tale. "You know what bothers me?" Dorgan asked at the end of the hearing. "It's pretty clear that this is one of the most disgusting tales of greed and avarice, and perhaps fraud and stealing. It's unbelievable what we have uncovered here. It's almost sickening to see what we have uncovered. And you come to our table and say, 'Oh, gosh, this is just about friendships.'

"Somehow none of this adds up," he continued. "This committee, in my judgment, has had people testify, and, in my judgment, some of the testimony was fraudulent. We need to find out who, because there are consequences to that."

Dorgan may well have his way. The Senate Finance Committee is beginning its own investigation into the use of nonprofits like CREA by lobbyists like Abramoff. The Justice Department is in the midst of a wide-ranging investigation of Abramoff's lobbying operation. Sen. McCain has suggested the Internal Revenue Service should mount its own investigation. And Dorgan said he will ask for another hearing of the Indian Affairs Committee.

No date has yet been set. But it is clear that Federici, a backroom player in big-money politics, will not have the last word.
link
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2005 08:13 am
blatham wrote:
brandon

There is no claim there (nor suggested by me) that Cheney lied on this matter at this time. It's the oil execs who lied to Congress last week, rather clearly.

Now, whether Congress brings them back and has them testify under oath, or whether some legal action is taken for their false statements, will tell a tale as regards how powerful they are and their influence on both Congress and the Justice Department. Do you not think?

I might think any number of things, but it isn't documenting.
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2005 08:15 am
Or is it?
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2005 08:19 am
Quote:
I might think any number of things, but it isn't documenting.


There's a sentence that sort of sneaks up on you and then sneaks away without presenting itself.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2005 09:34 am
Quote:
Justice Plays Down Memo Critical of Ga. Voter ID Plan

By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 18, 2005; Page A03

The Justice Department yesterday played down the importance of a memorandum that concluded that a Georgia voter identification program would hurt black voters, saying the document was a draft that contained old data and faulty analysis.

The memo's conclusions were overruled by senior Justice officials, who announced Aug. 26 that the controversial voter plan could proceed because it was not retrogressive, or harmful to black voters, under the Voting Rights Act. The plan has since been blocked by the federal courts on constitutional grounds.


A team of Justice Department lawyers and analysts who reviewed a Georgia voter-identification law recommended rejecting it because it was likely to discriminate against black voters, but they were overruled the next day by higher-ranking officials at Justice, according to department documents.

The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, which has enforced the nation's anti-discrimination laws for nearly half a century, is in the midst of an upheaval that has driven away dozens of veteran lawyers and has damaged morale for many of those who remain, according to former and current...


Justice spokesman Eric Holland said in a statement that the 51-page memo "was an early draft that did not include data and analysis from other voting section career attorneys who recognized the absence of a retrogressive effect." He said the document contained "analytical flaws" and "factual errors."


The 51-page Justice memo was obtained by The Washington Post and posted on its Web site yesterday. The document was dated Aug. 25 and endorsed by four of five members of a legal review team from the department's voting rights section. It concluded that the Georgia voting plan should be blocked because there was significant evidence that it would hurt black voters. It also said the state had not shown the plan would not be retrogressive.

The Justice Department has declined to release documents related to the decision, saying they are internal work product.
more
0 Replies
 
blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2005 09:37 am
Pentagon agrees to probe Feith's role in Iraq intel
Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:42 PM ET

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon's inspector general has agreed to review the prewar intelligence activities of former U.S. defense undersecretary Douglas Feith, a main architect of the Iraq war, congressional officials said on Thursday.

News of the Defense Department probe comes at a time of bitter political debate over whether President George W. Bush misled the American people with prewar intelligence. The increasingly biter dispute has pitted the president and his top advisers against lawmakers including some from Bush's own Republican Party.

Democrats have accused Feith of manipulating information from sources including discredited Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi to suggest links between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, which masterminded the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Bush and other top administration officials cited alleged ties between Iraq and al Qaeda as a justification for military action. But the September 11 commission later reported that no collaborative relationship existed between the two.

The inspector general's office informed the Senate on October 19 that it would undertake a review after receiving separate requests from the Republican chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Armed Services, officials said.

Congressional officials expect the review to look at whether Feith and his staff bypassed the CIA by giving the White House uncorroborated intelligence that sought to make a case for war in the months leading up to the 2003 Iraq invasion.

Feith, who was the Pentagon's policy chief until he left the Defense Department for the private sector earlier this year, was not immediately available for comment.

Officials said the Pentagon's inspector general told the Senate its review would begin sometime in November. One official estimated the probe could take at least six months.

"We're going to try to expedite it as much as possible," said Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, the Senate intelligence panel chairman who asked the inspector general on September 9 for a review of Feith's Office of Special Plans.

"The IG knows we are very eager to get this done but he wants to get it done right," he told Reuters.

Roberts said his request had been incorporated with a later one from Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, who asked acting Defense Department Inspector General Tom Gimble in a September 22 letter for a broad probe encompassing all elements of Feith's Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman said in an e-mail on Thursday that the inspector general's office was still discussing the requests with committee staff.

Defense officials have defended Feith, saying no credible evidence of wrongdoing by him or his staff has ever been discovered. They also say Democratic lawmakers never responded to a Pentagon challenge to produce incriminating evidence.

A copy of Levin's letter to Gimble, which was obtained by Reuters, asks the inspector general to consider 10 questions including whether Feith's office undercut the intelligence community by providing the White House with its own analysis that went beyond the scope of the underlying intelligence.

Levin also wants the inspector general to look into whether Feith misled Congress in January 2004 by providing oversight committees with reports dealing with the credibility of prewar intelligence on Iraq.

Roberts' office declined to provide a copy of his written request to the inspector general.

A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll this week said 63 percent of Americans oppose Bush's handling of the Iraq war, and 52 percent say troops should be pulled out now or within 12 months.
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