United States News Digest
Foolish Democrats Pass 'Cheney/Netanyahu Bill' vs. Iran
May 24 (EIRNS)On May 23, the House Financial Services Committee passedin almost record timeThe Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2007. According to a press release from the office of the committee chairman, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the legislation will:
"Require the U.S. government to publish a list every six months of those companies that have an investment of more than $20 million in Iran's energy sector. This comprehensive list will provide investors with the knowledge to make informed investment decisions as well as a powerful disincentive for foreign companies to engage with Iran.
"Authorize state and local governments to divest the assets of their pension funds and other funds under their control from any company on the list.
"Provide a safe harbor to fund managers, managers of mutual funds and corporate pension funds who divest from companies on this list from actions by shareholders.
"Establishes a Sense of the Congress that urges the Thrift Savings Plan to offer a terror-free investment option for government workers."
The LaRouche Political Action Committee (LPAC) has exposed this bill as the spawn of Dick Cheney and Israeli fascist Benjamin Netanyahu. (See Southwest Asia digest)
Bipartisan Senators Push Iraq Study Group Recommendations
May 24 (EIRNS)Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) announced from the Senate floor today that they plan to introduce an Iraq Study Group Recommendations Act of 2007 in June. The act calls on the Bush Administration to implement the Iraq Study Group's recommendations. The four co-sponsors of the bill are Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Bob Bennett (R-Utah), Robert Casey (D-Pa.), and Judd Gregg (R-N.H.).
Cheney Space-War Policy Assailed at House Hearing
WASHINGTON, May 24 (EIRNS)The Bush-Cheney Administration's "unilateral and aggressive" National Space Policy was roundly attacked in a hearing held, on May 23, by the National Security Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. This was the first such hearing since the policy doctrine was released quietly in October 2006.
Subcommittee chairman John Tierney (D-Mass.) noted in his opening statement, that although over the years the United States has taken international leadership in promoting cooperation among nations for the peaceful use of space, the 2006 National Space Policy "treats space as one more battlefield" in which the U.S. will oppose any new legal regimes or restrictions which limit U.S. access or use of space for any purpose, including military.
Maj. Gen. John Armor, the Director of the DOD's National Security Space Office, reiterated the administration's policy of potentially taking preemptive military action against adversaries, declaring that the U.S. "will take actions necessary to preserve its rights, capabilities, and freedom of action in space, including denying, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to U.S. interests." This is remarkably similar to the rejected 1991-92 Defense Policy Guidance drawn up by Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, et al., which said that the United States could take preemptive action against any nation or group of nations which threatened U.S. global hegemony.
Witness Nails White House, DOJ in U.S. Attorney Firings
WASHINGTON, May 23 (LPAC)Monica Goodling, the former White House liaison for the Department of Justice, testified today that the White House had signed off on the firings of U.S. Attorneys, and that both the Deputy Attorney General and the Attorney General himself had given false testimony to Congress.
And Goodling, a 33-year old member of the right-wing Federalist Society, testified that "I know I crossed the line" in using political criteria in the hiring of DOJ civil service personnel, while hastening to add that she had not "intentionally" violated the law. Before acknowledging this, Goodling had admitted that she had attempted to block the hiring of one prosecutor because his resume indicated he was a liberal Democrat.
At the outset of her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, given under a grant of immunity, Goodling unloaded on former Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, who had blamed her for withholding information from him, which, he claimed, led him to give misleading testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. "That allegation is false," she testified. "I did not withhold information from the Deputy."
She went on to say that McNulty's Senate testimony "was incomplete or inaccurate in a number of respects," and that "he was not fully candid about his knowledge of White House involvement" in the firing of the Federal prosecutors, and she then identified three additional areas in which McNulty's testimony had also been false.
Goodling further testified that McNulty didn't fully reveal what he knew about the role of the White House in the firings, because "he was aware that the [Justice] Department had worked for at least several months with the White House, and that many offices in the White House had signed off" on the firings, and beyond this, that people in the White House were "participating and making phone calls and different sort of things."
Senators Demand Gonzales Hand Over Wiretap Documents
May 22 (EIRNS)"The stonewalling by you and the administration must end," Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was told today by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the senior Republican on the committee, as they demanded that Gonzales finally turn over the documents concerning the administration's warrantless wiretapping program.
In a letter to the Attorney General, Leahy and Specter wrote: "This Committee has made no fewer than eight formal requests over the past 18 monthsto the White House, the Attorney General, or other Department of Justice officialsseeking documents and information related to this surveillance program.... You have rebuffed all requests for documents and your answers to our questions have been wholly inadequate and, at times, misleading."
"Your consistent stonewalling and misdirection have prevented this Committee from carrying out its constitutional oversight and legislative duties for far too long," the Senators stated, in setting a deadline of June 5 for Gonzales to provide them with documents concerning President Bush's authorization and re-authorization of the domestic surveillance program, including analysis and legal opinions. And, providing for the possibility that the surveillance program that former Deputy Attorney General James Comey was discussing in the previous week's testimony was something different, and broader, than the program that the Administration has so far acknowledged, Leahy and Specter asked for those documents as well.
Waxman Calls Hadley To Testify on Niger Yellowcake
May 22 (EIRNS)The office of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, on May 21 released a copy of Waxman's May 11 letter to National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, calling on him to appear before the committee for a deposition on May 18.
The letter says, "The deposition is part of the Committee's investigation into why President Bush and other senior Administration officials cited forged evidence in building a case for war against Iraq. The deposition will examine whether White House officials overstated Iraq's efforts to obtain uranium from Africa and its nuclear threat."
On May 14, Waxman announced along with that former CIA Director George Tenet will appear, along with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, at a hearing June 19, to discuss the same matter of forged evidencei.e., the claim that Iraq attempted to buy African uraniumthat Hadley is being called to testify about. UPI reported on May 15 that Waxman wants to "be able to ask Tenet himself whether they had a conversation about the claim, which was sourced by the president to 'British intelligence.'"