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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    of power to the interim Iraqi government Both reports found that the authority wasted millions of dollars at a Hilton resort hotel in Kuwait because it didn t have written guidelines for who could stay there and lost track of how many employees it had It also didn t track reconstruction projects funded by international donors to ensure they didn t duplicate what the United States was doing The reports also said that the authority was seriously understaffed for the gargantuan task of rebuilding Iraq The GAO report suggested the agency needed three times more employees than it had The authority report put its number of employees at 1 196 when it was authorized to have 2 117 But the inspector general said the coalition s records were so disorganized that it couldn t verify its actual number of employees GAO Comptroller General David Walker blamed insurgent attacks for many of the problems The unstable security environment has served to slow down our rebuilding and reconstruction efforts and it s going to be of critical importance to provide more stable security Walker said in a telephone interview Tuesday The GAO report is the first government assessment of conditions in Iraq at the end of the U S occupation outlining what it called key challenges that will affect the political transition in 10 specific areas The report said the GAO gave a draft of the report to several government agencies but that only the Coalition Provisional Authority offered a major comment The authority said the report was not sufficiently critical of the judicial reconstruction effort Peter Singer a national security scholar at the centrist Brookings Institution said one of the biggest problems is that despite the availability of reconstruction funds not much has been spent The GAO report shows that very little of the promised international funds most of which are in loans has been spent and that some of it can t be tracked The Coalition Provisional Authority s inspector general found the same thing Steven Susens a spokesman for the Program Management Office which oversees contractors rebuilding Iraq conceded that many areas of Iraq have fewer hours of electricity than they did before the war But he said the report based on data now more than a month old understates current electrical production and that some areas may have seen a reduced availability of electricity because antiquated distribution systems had been taken out of service so they could be rebuilt It s a slow pace but it s certainly growing Susens said Danielle Pletka vice president of foreign and defense policy studies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute said other issues are more important than the provision of electricity Fair Use Notice This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental political economic democratic domestic and international issues etc We believe this constitutes a fair

    Original URL path: http://www.topplebush.com/article135_recpres.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    committed against detainees protected by international humanitarian law constitute a grave breach under the Geneva Conventions and therefore of international humanitarian law and is prohibited at any time irrespective of the status of the person detained the report says The above described acts might be designated as war crimes by a competent tribunal The report also denounced acts of depravity by Iraqi insurgents and terrorists including the videotaped decapitation of American Nicholas Berg last month Acting Commissioner Bertrand Ramcharan of Guyana who has been in the position since Sergio Vieira de Mello of Brazil was killed in a terrorist attack in Baghdad last summer said the report was based on interviews and other information from governments news media and human rights sources In Washington State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said the criticisms are certainly a matter of concern and that the U S government sought more details about some of the allegations in order to investigate them He said he thought a war crimes charge was unlikely to arise because the United States was already taking action on its own and would prosecute those responsible for abuses against Iraqi prisoners I think the Uniform Code of Military Justice is competent to act on the abuses that occurred he said Seven U S soldiers face military charges and the Defense Department said it is investigating more than 40 cases of possible misconduct against civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan The UN report said the detention process lacked transparency and accountability and so the world had little information about the imprisoned Iraqis The report also found that coalition troops interrogated children humiliated Muslim women and jailed men without explanation It also cited cases in which coalition forces allegedly threw Korans on the ground or tore them apart The report said the first allegations of prisoner abuse were raised by human rights groups such as Amnesty International in July 2003 It said Vieira de Mello also raised concerns in a July 15 meeting with coalition officials The report includes events from as recently as this week Ramcharan ordered the broad investigation in April saying he was concerned because the United Nations has not monitored Iraq since the U S led invasion in March 2003 The 53 nation commission scrutinized Iraq for years but stopped after Hussein was ousted last year Contact MATTHEW SCHOFIELD at mschofield krwashington com Free Press news services contributed to this report Fair Use Notice This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental political economic democratic domestic and international issues etc We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law In accordance with Title 17 U S C Section 107 the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information

    Original URL path: http://www.topplebush.com/article136_recpres.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    expert on defense budgeting This is a problem that is affecting soldiers every day as well as the military s ability to conduct combat operations The Pentagon lost 1 2 billion worth of the war material it shipped to Iraq according to a July 8 report by the GAO formerly called the General Accounting Office Among other recent issues the GAO turned up Unpaid soldiers Pay for National Guard soldiers deployed to fight in Iraq was so mismanaged that many soldiers and their families went unpaid Bad sales A Pentagon agency mistakenly sold GAO agents equipment that could be used for making biological weapons More bad sales Another Pentagon agency mistakenly sold chemical warfare suits on the Internet for 3 each while a separate office was struggling to fill shortages with new suits it bought for 200 each Insurance glitches Military hospitals have failed to collect tens of millions of dollars from insurance companies on behalf of their patients Poor records Because of inaccurate records ship repairs ordered by the Navy couldn t be completed because it lacked the parts Accounting errors and omissions are so common that the Pentagon has had to hire outsiders to fix them at a cost of 34 million in 2002 the most recent figure available The Pentagon s budget mess U S officials acknowledge stems in part from the hundreds of competing agencies services and bureaucratic fiefdoms So far the Pentagon has discovered that it is operating with more than 4 000 separate accounting systems Many are incompatible meaning some purchase orders cannot be tracked As a result none of the military services can pass an independent financial audit David Walker comptroller general of the United States told Congress earlier this year The Pentagon s accounting systems are fundamentally flawed the GAO said The agency said a key problem is a lack of sustained leadership Top officials change every three or four years Another problem is cultural resistance to change inside defense bureaucracies the GAO said Thus Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld s 200 million 3 year reform initiative has had no significant impact it found Weaknesses are being addressed Linda Springer of the White House budget office said during a July 8 congressional hearing Progress is being made but it is important to recognize that long standing issues are not easily remediated Lawrence Lanzillotta undersecretary of defense for management reform told the committee that we are making progress but that it will take years to fix the problems The outflow of unaccounted cash is not a trickle of coins it s a deluge of dollars said Sen Peter Fitzgerald R Ill This money should be equipping our troops in the war on terror or securing our homeland from attacks instead of disappearing into the abyss of government balance statements Congress is just finishing work on next year s budget for the Pentagon But nothing in the legislation appropriating 418 billion for the 2005 fiscal year which begins Oct 1 demands more strict accounting or

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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    as to what actions were allowed and what were forbidden The report said an expanded list of more coercive techniques that Rumsfeld allowed for Guantanamo migrated to Afghanistan and Iraq where they were neither limited nor safeguarded The Schlesinger panel named by Rumsfeld in May to look into the abuse and how effectively the Pentagon addressed it also includes former Defense Secretary Harold Brown former Florida Republican Rep Tillie Fowler and retired Air Force Gen Charles Horner who led the allied air campaign in the 1991 Gulf War Echoing an earlier investigation headed by Army Maj Gen Antonio Taguba the Schlesinger panel said the weak and ineffectual leadership of Army Brig Gen Janis Karpinski commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade at Abu Ghraib allowed the abuses at Abu Ghraib In a statement released by the Pentagon Rumsfeld said the panel provided important information and recommendations that will be of assistance in our ongoing efforts to improve detention operations In addition a separate Army investigation headed by Maj Gen George Fay faulted Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez at the time the top U S commander in Iraq for leadership failures for not addressing troubles at Abu Ghraib a senior Army official said The Schlesinger panel too faulted Sanchez The Fay report to be released on Wednesday found Sanchez and his staff were preoccupied with combating an escalating insurgency and did not focus on the festering problems at Abu Ghraib the Army official said The report also found that Army military intelligence soldiers kept a number of prisoners dubbed ghost detainees off the books and hidden from the International Committee of the Red Cross the official added It also found a small number of military police used dogs to menace teen age Abu Ghraib detainees Seven Army reservists from the 372nd Military Police Company already have been charged with abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib The Fay report implicates about two dozen more low ranking soldiers medics and civilian contractors in the Abu Ghraib abuse and about half of them will be recommended for criminal proceedings the Army official said These are illegal unauthorized mischievous sadistic activities happening outside the purview of interrogations the Army official said But the Fay report maintains that the abuse was perpetrated by a few soldiers but went unchecked as a result of military leadership deficiencies the Army official said White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters in Crawford Texas Remember we said early on that it s important that those who were responsible for the appalling acts at Abu Ghraib are held accountable And it s also important to take a broad look and make sure that there are no systemic problems In Mannheim Germany a U S military judge ruled that Rumsfeld could not be forced to testify in the court martial of a sergeant charged in the abuse Fair Use Notice This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner We are making such material

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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    water is getting dirtier and the Bush administration is leading one of the most fundamental attacks on a law that has arguably done more to protect the environment and public health than any other environmental law Schwartz told BushGreenwatch On January 15 2003 the Bush administration published guidelines in the Federal Register directing field staff at the Environmental Protection Agency EPA and U S Army Corps of Engineers to stop issuing protections for millions of acres of wetlands streams and other waters unless they first obtained permission from national headquarters in Washington D C The directive further stated that no permission was required to ignore Clean Water Act protections for these waters and that no records would be kept of decisions not to invoke the Clean Water Act The directive severely narrowed the types of waterways considered protected under the Clean Water Act to those that were navigable year round by commercial vessels a major departure from every previous administration s policies since 1972 2 At the same time the administration announced it would take steps to codify these guidelines through federal rulemaking procedures It later backed off the rulemaking process in response to a massive public outcry But the guidelines were left in place and have had the same impact Schwartz said In response 219 members of the U S House of Representatives and 33 senators have signed on to letters to President Bush asking him to rescind the policy directive and restore protections to American waters A bill has also been introduced in both the House and Senate that would make clear that all waters of the U S should fall under the protections of the Clean Water Act 3 The Bush administration s policy is based on the fantasy that if you let polluters dump sewage oil and other toxic waste into small wetlands and streams it won t ultimately wind up in our lakes rivers and coastal waters said Daniel Rosenberg an NRDC senior attorney in the group s August 12 press release SOURCES 1 Reckless Abandon How the Bush Administration is Exposing America s Waters to Harm CWN Aug 12 2004 2 Federal Register Jan 15 2003 EarthJustice NRDC NWF Sierra Club press release Aug 12 2004 3 Clean Water Authority Restoration Act HR 962 and S 473 Fair Use Notice This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental political economic democratic domestic and international issues etc We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law In accordance with Title 17 U S C Section 107 the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes For more information go to http www law cornell edu uscode 17 107

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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    document was first reported by The New York Times on its Web site Wednesday night It is the first formal assessment of Iraq since the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on the threat posed by fallen Iraqi President Saddam Hussein A scathing review of that estimate released this summer by the Senate Intelligence Committee found widespread intelligence failures that led to faulty assumptions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction Disclosure of the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq came the same day that Senate Republicans and Democrats denounced the Bush administration s slow progress in rebuilding Iraq saying the risks of failure are great if it doesn t act with greater urgency It s beyond pitiful it s beyond embarrassing it s now in the zone of dangerous said Sen Chuck Hagel news bio voting record R Neb referring to figures showing only about 6 percent of the reconstruction money approved by Congress last year has been spent Senate Foreign Relations Committee members vented their frustrations at a hearing during which State Department officials explained the administration s request to divert 3 46 billion in reconstruction funds to security and economic development The money was part of the 18 4 billion approved by Congress last year mostly for public works projects The request comes as heavy fighting continues between U S led forces and Iraqi insurgents endangering prospects for elections scheduled for January We know that the provision of adequate security up front is requisite to rapid progress on all other fronts Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ron Schlicher said White House spokesman Scott McClellan said circumstances in Iraq have changed since last year It s important that you have some flexibility Hagel Committee Chairman Richard Lugar R Ind and other committee members have long argued even before the war that administration plans for rebuilding Iraq were inadequate and based on overly optimistic assumptions that Americans would be greeted as liberators But the criticism from the panel s top Republicans had an extra sting coming less than seven weeks before the U S presidential election in which Bush s handling of the war is a top issue Our committee heard blindly optimistic people from the administration prior to the war and people outside the administration what I call the dancing in the street crowd that we just simply will be greeted with open arms Lugar said The nonsense of all of that is apparent The lack of planning is apparent He said the need to shift the reconstruction funds was clear in July but the administration was slow to make the request State Department officials stressed areas of progress in Iraq since the United States turned over political control of Iraq to an interim government on June 28 They cited advances in generating electricity producing oil and creating jobs Associated Press Writer Ken Guggenheim contributed to this report Fair Use Notice This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright

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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    programs to make them By Thursday as Duelfer s upcoming report was broadly outlined to reporters in Washington the focus had switched again to Iraqi intent before the invasion to what were described as hopes among Iraqi leaders during the Saddam regime of someday reviving Iraqi weapons making Duelfer s Iraq Survey Group some 1 200 military and intelligence specialists and support staff had focused much of its effort on Iraq s dual use chemical and biological industries factories and laboratories whose equipment and products might be converted quickly to making weapons In March in an interim report to U S senators Duelfer gave an example An agricultural center south of Baghdad that was researching bacteria potentially useful in developing anthrax weapons But he offered no evidence of plans to use the material for anything but its standard commercial purpose as a pesticide As for chemical weapons every industrial nation rich or developing has plants producing chlorine phenol and other compounds with myriad commercial uses that also could help make sulfur mustard sarin or other poison gases An international watchdog agency the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons counts 4 000 5 000 such dual use plants in scores of countries Again no evidence has emerged that the Iraqis planned to make weapons in theirs Even if they did it would not have been easy Since 2002 official U S statements have consistently obscured the fact that the Iraqis would have remained under close on scene monitoring for years to come if Blix s U N inspection regime had not been short circuited by the American invasion Once U N inspectors certified that Baghdad s weapons work had ceased U N economic sanctions against Iraq would have been lifted But then the Security Council would have imposed an open ended verification regime whose free ranging inspectors would have kept watch on Iraq s military industrial complex aided by air and water sampling technology satellite and aerial surveillance and monitoring of imports But war did intervene and now it is Duelfer s work that looks open ended The U S group s final report originally had been expected last March On Thursday reporters were told that even this new 1 500 word document may not be final and there is no guarantee it will be released in much detail before the Nov 2 presidential election In 700 inspections across Iraq beginning in November 2002 Blix s U N experts also had turned up nothing He hoped their work might stave off a costly war In the end in official American eyes it counted for little There was a very consistent creation of a virtual reality he now says of the U S attitude And eventually it collided with our old fashioned ordinary reality EDITOR S NOTE Charles J Hanley has covered the hunt for weapons and the Iraq crisis since 2002 Fair Use Notice This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by

    Original URL path: http://www.topplebush.com/article141_recpres.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    steps have been reversed under the Bush Administration which has expanded the capacity of the government to classify documents and to operate in secret The Classification and Declassification of Records The classification and declassification of national security information is largely governed by executive order President Bush has used this authority to Reverse the presumption against classification allowing classification even in cases of significant doubt Expand authority to classify information for longer periods of time Delay the automatic declassification of records Expand the authority of the executive branch to reclassify information that has been declassified and Increase the number of federal agencies that can classify information to include the Secretary of Health and Human Services the Secretary of Agriculture and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Statistics on classification and declassification of records under the Bush Administration demonstrate the impact of these new policies Original decisions to classify information those in which an authorized classifier first determines that disclosure could harm national security have soared during the Bush Administration In fiscal years 2001 to 2003 the average number of original decisions to classify information increased 50 over the average for the previous five fiscal years Derivative classification decisions which involve classifying documents that incorporate restate or paraphrase information that has previously been classified have increased even more dramatically Between FY 1996 and FY 2000 the number of derivative classifications averaged 9 96 million per year Between FY 2001 and FY 2003 the average increased to 19 37 million per year a 95 increase In the last year alone the total number of classification decisions increased 25 Sensitive Security Information The Bush Administration has sought and obtained a significant expansion of authority to make designations of Sensitive Security Information SSI a category of sensitive but unclassified information originally established to protect the security of civil aviation Under legislation signed by President Bush the Department of Homeland Security now has authority to apply this designation to information related to any type of transportation The Patriot Act The passage of the Patriot Act after the September 11 2001 attacks gave the Bush Administration new authority to conduct government investigations in secret One provision of the Act expanded the authority of the Justice Department to conduct secret electronic wiretaps Another provision authorized the Justice Department to obtain secret orders requiring the production of books records papers documents and other items and it prohibited the recipient of these orders such as a telephone company or library from disclosing their existence And a third provision expanded the use of sneak and peak search warrants which allow the Justice Department to search homes and other premises secretly without giving notice to the occupants Secret Detentions Trials and Deportations In addition to expanding secrecy in government by executive order and statute the Bush Administration has used novel legal interpretations to expand its authority to detain try and deport individuals in secret The Administration asserted the authority to Hold persons designated as enemy combatants in secret without a hearing

    Original URL path: http://www.topplebush.com/article142_recpres.shtml (2016-02-13)
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