Progressive Minds

Blogging live, from somewhere in the reality-based community. Speaking truth to power. You've entered the real "no spin zone." Republicans beware!


Pentagon Dismissed Bremer's Request For More Troops

@ 11:36 PM (112 months, 26 days ago)

One day after Paul Bremer appeared on 60 Minutes, the Pentagon has admitted that it rejected Bremer's request for additional troops in Iraq.

In May 2004, Bremer (who was the most senior U.S. official on the ground in Iraq) told the Pentagon that more troops were needed to fight the 'insurgency' in Iraq.  His request was ignored.

During his Sunday appearance on 60 Minutes, Bremer said that he had followed up to confirm that Donald Rumsfeld had been in receipt of his memo requesting additional troops.  Rummy indeed received the memo; he just chose to ignore it.

Paul Bremer says his memo suggested that half a million troops were needed in Iraq, which was more than 3 times the number of troops who were there at the time Bremer wrote the memo.

Pentagon Rejected Bremer's Call for Troops


FISA Court Finally Gets Briefed on Bush Spy Program

@ 10:57 PM (112 months, 26 days ago)

The federal judges who comprise the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court finally received a briefing today on BushCo's spy program.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who serves as the presiding judge on the FISA court, had requested the briefing.  In one account provided by the Washington Post, U.S. District Judge Dee Benson of Utah, a member of the FISA Court, asked "If you’ve got us here, why didn’t you go through us? They’ve said it’s faster (to bypass FISA), but they have emergency authority under FISA, so I don’t know."

Meanwhile, 13 legal scholars wrote a letter to Congressional leaders stating that the Department of Justice's written justification for the spy program "fails to offer a plausible legal defense."  They further stated that it is "beyond dispute that, in (our) democracy, the president cannot simply violate criminal laws behind closed doors because he deems them obsolete or impracticable." 

Among those questioning the legality of the spy program was former Attorney General William S. Sessions, who served Director of the FBI under Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush.

Judges belatedly briefed on domestic spying