Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Pressured by Black Box Voting and other voting rights activists, California will hack test the Diebold Election System's optical scanning machines in 17 of its counties. By the way, Diebold pulled out of North Carolina when a judge there refused to grant the company an exemption from prosecution.

If Diebold did indeed deliver the election to Bush, and it appears that it has, perhaps the Bush loving company should foot the bill for Iraq and all of the other financial messes created, by Bush, whether by commission or omission. Don't forget that Diebold is based in McKinney Texas. Texas: home of Bush, home of DeLay….. Need I say more? LS


Sitting by a hotel pool last spring in Florida, Finnish computer expert Harri Hursti wrote his own program onto a memory card so it could alter poll results on a Diebold machine in Leon County and flash a screen message — "Are we having fun yet?" — that shocked the local elections supervisor.


(I doubt it. LS)



Sent from Ken today on the North Carolina issue with Diebold.

North Carolina has a new law coming into effect this week that says they must have a copy of the source code of the programs in the electronic voting machines used in the state. All companies but one are complying without a squawk. The one, Diebold - the company that has so ably enabled the GOP to steal our democracy - asked for an exemption. They don't want to show their code. Well, gee. They also don't want to provide a list of all the engineers who wrote the code.

They're using excuses like "Well, our program runs on Windows, and we can't supply the source code for Windows nor a list of all the engineers who worked on it."  They have asked to be exempt from future prosecutions. 

A Judge in NC has told them to go sit on a tack. They're so freaked about having to show their code and their list of coders that they have withdrawn from North Carolina. One of 50 major markets. 49 left to go. -K

N.C. Judge Declines Protection for Diebold
AP Online, Monday, November 28, 2005 at 20:50


By GARY D. ROBERTSON Associated Press Writer
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- One of the nation's leading suppliers of electronic voting machines may decide against selling new equipment in North Carolina after a judge declined Monday to protect it from criminal prosecution should it fail to disclose software code as required by state law.

Diebold Inc., which makes automated teller machines and security and voting equipment, is worried it could be charged with a felony if officials determine the company failed to make all of its code _ some of which is owned by third-party software firms, including Microsoft Corp. _ available for examination by election officials in case of a voting mishap.

The requirement is part of the minimum voting equipment standards approved by state lawmakers earlier this year following the loss of more than 4,400 electronic ballots in Carteret County during the November 2004 election. The lost votes threw at least one close statewide race into uncertainty for more than two months.

About 20 North Carolina counties already use Diebold voting machines, and the State Board of Elections plans to announce Thursday the suppliers that meet the new standards. Local elections boards will be allowed to purchase voting machines from the approved vendors.

"We will obviously have no alternative but withdraw from the process," said Doug Hanna, a Raleigh-based lawyer representing North Canton, Ohio-based Diebold.

David Bear, a Diebold spokesman, said the company was reviewing several options after Monday's ruling. "We're going to do what is necessary to provide what is best for our existing clients" in North Carolina, he said.

The dispute centers on the state's requirement that suppliers place in escrow "all software that is relevant to functionality, setup, configuration, and operation of the voting system," as well as a list of programmers responsible for creating the software.

That's not possible for Diebold's machines, which use Microsoft Windows, Hanna said. The company does not have the right to provide Microsoft's code, he said, adding it would be impossible to provide the names of every programmer who worked on Windows.

The State Board of Elections has told potential suppliers to provide code for all available software and explain why some is unavailable. That's not enough of an assurance for Diebold, which remains concerned about breaking a law that's punishable by a low-grade felony and a civil penalty of up to $100,000 per violation.

"You cannot have a statute that imposes a criminal violation ... without being clear about what conduct will submit you to a criminal violation," Hanna said.

But because no one has yet to accuse Diebold of breaking the law, Wake County Superior Court Judge Narley Cashwell declined to issue an injunction that would have protected the company from prosecution. Cashwell also declined to offer an interpretation of the law that would have allayed Diebold's concerns.

"We need to comply with the literal language and the statute," Cashwell said. "I don't think we have an issue here yet."

Diebold machines were blamed for voting disruptions in a California primary election last year. California has refused to certify some machines because of their malfunction rate. California officials have agreed to let a computer expert attempt to hack into Diebold machines to examine how secure they are.

Diebold shares fell 71 cents, or 1.8 percent, to close at $38.93 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


It was nice to enjoy a Thanksgiving break without having to worry that I was "missing something" worthwhile in the news department since the newspapers and news networks had previously abandoned their professions as journalists and news reporters and became instead all too willing cheerleaders for the Bush Administration. I did not feel the urge to dig deeply into alternative online sources to learn what is really happening in the world of Bush hurt and mayhem. At last, some of the mainstream media is now clearly aware of whom and what the Bush Administration is - corrupted crooks and liars extraordinaire - and it is being relentless in its coverage.

Moving on to the news tonight that may not have been covered by the MSM, here is a piece from Raw on Plame Gate. Rove is not off the hook, fortunately, as he should not be. Au contraire, Rove might actually be invited to plea a deal with Mr. Fitzgerald or face criminal charges. Burn baby burn. LS




Wilkerson blamed Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and like-minded aides. He said Cheney must have sincerely believed that Iraq could be a spawning ground for new terror assaults, because "otherwise I have to declare him a moron, an idiot or a nefarious bastard." (How about all of the above? LS)



Of course it's all about the politics with the Bush inner circle. Politics over policy. Politics over integrity. Politics over our national security. Politics over truth. Politics over our financial security and well-being. Politics over relationships with allies and the globe. Politics and money. Politics and greed. Politics and corruption. What a despicable and sorry lot. Too bad they are so freaking dangerous. LS


It was obvious in 2002, and it is crystal clear now, that the Bush team - led by their political director, Karl Rove - carefully scheduled the war so that the timetable would work with the schedule of the next two election cycles.

The vote in Congress to give the president war authority had to occur before the mid-term elections in November 2002 in order to put the Democrats in disarray and to get all the Democratic senators who were planning to run for president in 2004 on the record. That part worked beautifully. Sen. John Kerry, the eventual Democratic nominee, never fully recovered from the GOP ads in which he stated conflicting views on the war.


For me, this is a tough article to read. I greatly admired and respected Bob Woodward in the 1970's when he took on the crazed Nixon Administration. It took a lot of courage, stamina, commitment and professionalism. It is a tragic shame that Bob Woodward has become so self-absorbed and seemingly willing to serve as an apologist for the Bush Administration, which, ironically, is more crazed and dangerous than Nixon's. LS


By Frank Rich of the NYT

Mr. Rich has been one of my favorite journalists for a long time. He was one of the first to question the Bush Administration's policies when most of his colleagues were, if not openly praising Bush, were reluctant to probe deeply or question any thing that could be perceived as critical of the Bush. Mr. Rich wrote his pieces from the Arts section of the NYT until he was finally moved to the Op-ed section. This is a wonderful piece. No one says it better. LS


Monday, November 21, 2005


Just when you think you've seen and heard it all from the sleazy, low-life and criminal faction of the GOP, another shocking revelation will appear that will suck most, if not all, of the air out of your lungs. This time we learn that the GOP goons hired a firm that specializes in "perception management" or the manipulation of information. Sound familiar? The piece divulges a number of highly disturbing issues: how the Bush Administration hired a PR firm to couch and sell a war to the American people, while employing propaganda in a Hollywood type fashion; how the firm manipulates the press (e.g. Judith Miller types) to pitch their propaganda and third, how the Bush Administration outsources duties normally performed by the CIA to PR firms. The end result is the PR firms are not accountable to Congress as the CIA is. This is what the Bush people do. To fully appreciate the long and complex article you might want to click on the Rolling Stone link, go to the print version and read it carefully. It is yet another brilliant find sent by Ken. LS

First a four paragraph introduction from Think Progress, and then the Rolling Stone story that reveals how Hussein was packaged as the world's greatest villain. Amazing stuff. -K

Today’s Rolling Stone reveals that the administration’s use of al-Haideri’s lies to justify the Iraq war were “the product of a clandestine operation…that had been set up and funded by the CIA and the Pentagon for the express purpose of selling a war.”

At the center of this operation was John Rendon and The Rendon Group, “a controversial, secretive firm that has been criticized as ineffective and too expensive,” paid more than $56 million by the government since the 9/11 attacks. (Taxpayers are paying Rendon himself $311.26/hour.)

The Rendon Group personally set up the Iraqi National Congress and helped install Ahmad Chalabi as leader, whose main goal — “pressure the United States to attack Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein” — Rendon helped facilitate. Pentagon documents show that Rendon has the highest level of government clearance (above Top Secret), which helped it with its INC work — “a worldwide media blitz designed to turn Hussein…into the greatest threat to world peace.”

While the White House continues to insist it did not manipulate intelligence before the Iraq war, it sure seems that it hired John Rendon and his group to do just that.


The Man Who Sold the War
Meet John Rendon, Bush's general in the propaganda war
Rolling Stone

The road to war in Iraq led through many unlikely places. One of them was a chic hotel nestled among the strip bars and brothels that cater to foreigners in the town of Pattaya, on the Gulf of Thailand.
On December 17th, 2001, in a small room within the sound of the crashing tide, a CIA officer attached metal electrodes to the ring and index fingers of a man sitting pensively in a padded chair. The officer then stretched a black rubber tube, pleated like an accordion, around the man's chest and another across his abdomen. Finally, he slipped a thick cuff over the man's brachial artery, on the inside of his upper arm.

Strapped to the polygraph machine was Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri, a forty-three-year-old Iraqi who had fled his homeland in Kurdistan and was now determined to bring down Saddam Hussein. For hours, as thin mechanical styluses traced black lines on rolling graph paper, al-Haideri laid out an explosive tale. Answering yes and no to a series of questions, he insisted repeatedly that he was a civil engineer who had helped Saddam's men to secretly bury tons of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. The illegal arms, according to al-Haideri, were buried in subterranean wells, hidden in private villas, even stashed beneath the Saddam Hussein Hospital, the largest medical facility in Baghdad.

It was damning stuff -- just the kind of evidence the Bush administration was looking for. If the charges were true, they would offer the White House a compelling reason to invade Iraq and depose Saddam. That's why the Pentagon had flown a CIA polygraph expert to Pattaya: to question al-Haideri and confirm, once and for all, that Saddam was secretly stockpiling weapons of mass destruction.

There was only one problem: It was all a lie. After a review of the sharp peaks and deep valleys on the polygraph chart, the intelligence officer concluded that al-Haideri had made up the entire story, apparently in the hopes of securing a visa.

The fabrication might have ended there, the tale of another political refugee trying to scheme his way to a better life. But just because the story wasn't true didn't mean it couldn't be put to good use. Al-Haideri, in fact, was the product of a clandestine operation -- part espionage, part PR campaign -- that had been set up and funded by the CIA and the Pentagon for the express purpose of selling the world a war. And the man who had long been in charge of the marketing was a secretive and mysterious creature of the Washington establishment named John Rendon.

Rendon is a man who fills a need that few people even know exists. Two months before al-Haideri took the lie-detector test, the Pentagon had secretly awarded him a $16 million contract to target Iraq and other adversaries with propaganda. One of the most powerful people in Washington, Rendon is a leader in the strategic field known as "perception management," manipulating information -- and, by extension, the news media -- to achieve the desired result. His firm, the Rendon Group, has made millions off government contracts since 1991, when it was hired by the CIA to help "create the conditions for the removal of Hussein from power." Working under this extraordinary transfer of secret authority, Rendon assembled a group of anti-Saddam militants, personally gave them their name -- the Iraqi National Congress -- and served as their media guru and "senior adviser" as they set out to engineer an uprising against Saddam. It was as if President John F. Kennedy had outsourced the Bay of Pigs operation to the advertising and public-relations firm of J. Walter Thompson.

"They're very closemouthed about what they do," says Kevin McCauley, an editor of the industry trade publication O'Dwyer's PR Daily. "It's all cloak-and-dagger stuff."

Although Rendon denies any direct involvement with al-Haideri, the defector was the latest salvo in a secret media war set in motion by Rendon. In an operation directed by Ahmad Chalabi -- the man Rendon helped install as leader of the INC -- the defector had been brought to Thailand, where he huddled in a hotel room for days with the group's spokesman, Zaab Sethna. The INC routinely coached defectors on their stories, prepping them for polygraph exams, and Sethna was certainly up to the task -- he got his training in the art of propaganda on the payroll of the Rendon Group. According to Francis Brooke, the INC's man in Washington and himself a former Rendon employee, the goal of the al-Haideri operation was simple: pressure the United States to attack Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein.

As the CIA official flew back to Washington with failed lie-detector charts in his briefcase, Chalabi and Sethna didn't hesitate. They picked up the phone, called two journalists who had a long history of helping the INC promote its cause and offered them an exclusive on Saddam's terrifying cache of WMDs.

For the worldwide broadcast rights, Sethna contacted Paul Moran, an Australian freelancer who frequently worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corp. "I think I've got something that you would be interested in," he told Moran, who was living in Bahrain. Sethna knew he could count on the trim, thirty-eight-year-old journalist: A former INC employee in the Middle East, Moran had also been on Rendon's payroll for years in "information operations," working with Sethna at the company's London office on Catherine Place, near Buckingham Palace.

"We were trying to help the Kurds and the Iraqis opposed to Saddam set up a television station," Sethna recalled in a rare interview broadcast on Australian television. "The Rendon Group came to us and said, 'We have a contract to kind of do anti-Saddam propaganda on behalf of the Iraqi opposition.' What we didn't know -- what the Rendon Group didn't tell us -- was in fact it was the CIA that had hired them to do this work."

The INC's choice for the worldwide print exclusive was equally easy: Chalabi contacted Judith Miller of The New York Times. Miller, who was close to I. Lewis Libby and other neoconservatives in the Bush administration, had been a trusted outlet for the INC's anti-Saddam propaganda for years. Not long after the CIA polygraph expert slipped the straps and electrodes off al-Haideri and declared him a liar, Miller flew to Bangkok to interview him under the watchful supervision of his INC handlers. Miller later made perfunctory calls to the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency, but despite her vaunted intelligence sources, she claimed not to know about the results of al-Haideri's lie-detector test. Instead, she reported that unnamed "government experts" called his information "reliable and significant" -- thus adding a veneer of truth to the lies.

Her front-page story, which hit the stands on December 20th, 2001, was exactly the kind of exposure Rendon had been hired to provide. AN IRAQI DEFECTOR TELLS OF WORK ON AT LEAST 20 HIDDEN WEAPONS SITES, declared the headline. "An Iraqi defector who described himself as a civil engineer," Miller wrote, "said he personally worked on renovations of secret facilities for biological, chemical and nuclear weapons in underground wells, private villas and under the Saddam Hussein Hospital in Baghdad as recently as a year ago." If verified, she noted, "his allegations would provide ammunition to officials within the Bush administration who have been arguing that Mr. Hussein should be driven from power partly because of his unwillingness to stop making weapons of mass destruction, despite his pledges to do so."

For months, hawks inside and outside the administration had been pressing for a pre-emptive attack on Iraq. Now, thanks to Miller's story, they could point to "proof" of Saddam's "nuclear threat." The story, reinforced by Moran's on-camera interview with al-Haideri on the giant Australian Broadcasting Corp., was soon being trumpeted by the White House and repeated by newspapers and television networks around the world. It was the first in a long line of hyped and fraudulent stories that would eventually propel the U.S. into a war with Iraq -- the first war based almost entirely on a covert propaganda campaign targeting the media.

By law, the Bush administration is expressly prohibited from disseminating government propaganda at home. But in an age of global communications, there is nothing to stop it from planting a phony pro-war story overseas -- knowing with certainty that it will reach American citizens almost instantly. A recent congressional report suggests that the Pentagon may be relying on "covert psychological operations affecting audiences within friendly nations." In a "secret amendment" to Pentagon policy, the report warns, "psyops funds might be used to publish stories favorable to American policies, or hire outside contractors without obvious ties to the Pentagon to organize rallies in support of administration policies." The report also concludes that military planners are shifting away from the Cold War view that power comes from superior weapons systems. Instead, the Pentagon now believes that "combat power can be enhanced by communications networks and technologies that control access to, and directly manipulate, information. As a result, information itself is now both a tool and a target of warfare."

It is a belief John Rendon encapsulated in a speech to cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1996. "I am not a national-security strategist or a military tactician," he declared. "I am a politician, a person who uses communication to meet public-policy or corporate-policy objectives. In fact, I am an information warrior and a perception manager." To explain his philosophy, Rendon paraphrased a journalist he knew from his days as a staffer on the presidential campaigns of George McGovern and Jimmy Carter: "This is probably best described in the words of Hunter S. Thompson, when he wrote, 'When things turn weird, the weird turn pro.'"

John Walter Rendon Jr. rises at 3 a.m. each morning after six hours of sleep, turns on his Apple computer and begins ingesting information -- overnight news reports, e-mail messages, foreign and domestic newspapers, and an assortment of government documents, many of them available only to those with the highest security clearance. According to Pentagon documents obtained by Rolling Stone, the Rendon Group is authorized "to research and analyze information classified up to Top Secret/SCI/SI/TK/G/HCS" -- an extraordinarily high level of clearance granted to only a handful of defense contractors. "SCI" stands for Sensitive Compartmented Information, data classified higher than Top Secret. "SI" is Special Intelligence, very secret communications intercepted by the National Security Agency. "TK" refers to Talent/Keyhole, code names for imagery from reconnaissance aircraft and spy satellites. "G" stands for Gamma (communications intercepts from extremely sensitive sources) and "HCS" means Humint Control System (information from a very sensitive human source). Taken together, the acronyms indicate that Rendon enjoys access to the most secret information from all three forms of intelligence collection: eavesdropping, imaging satellites and human spies.

Rendon lives in a multimillion-dollar home in Washington's exclusive Kalorama neighborhood. A few doors down from Rendon is the home of former Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara; just around the corner lives current Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. At fifty-six, Rendon wears owlish glasses and combs his thick mane of silver-gray hair to the side, Kennedy-style. He heads to work each morning clad in a custom-made shirt with his monogram on the right cuff and a sharply tailored blue blazer that hangs loose around his bulky frame. By the time he pulls up to the Rendon Group's headquarters near Dupont Circle, he has already racked up a handsome fee for the morning's work: According to federal records, Rendon charges the CIA and the Pentagon $311.26 an hour for his services.

Rendon is one of the most influential of the private contractors in Washington who are increasingly taking over jobs long reserved for highly trained CIA employees. In recent years, spies-for-hire have begun to replace regional desk officers, who control clandestine operations around the world; watch officers at the agency's twenty-four-hour crisis center; analysts, who sift through reams of intelligence data; and even counterintelligence officers in the field, who oversee meetings between agents and their recruited spies. According to one senior administration official involved in intelligence-budget decisions, half of the CIA's work is now performed by private contractors -- people completely unaccountable to Congress. Another senior budget official acknowledges privately that lawmakers have no idea how many rent-a-spies the CIA currently employs -- or how much unchecked power they enjoy.

Unlike many newcomers to the field, however, Rendon is a battle-tested veteran who has been secretly involved in nearly every American shooting conflict in the past two decades. In the first interview he has granted in decades, Rendon offered a peek through the keyhole of this seldom-seen world of corporate spooks -- a rarefied but growing profession. Over a dinner of lamb chops and a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape at a private Washington club, Rendon was guarded about the details of his clandestine work -- but he boasted openly of the sweep and importance of his firm's efforts as a for-profit spy. "We've worked in ninety-one countries," he said. "Going all the way back to Panama, we've been involved in every war, with the exception of Somalia."

It is an unusual career twist for someone who entered politics as an opponent of the Vietnam War. The son of a stockbroker, Rendon grew up in New Jersey and stumped for McGovern before graduating from Northeastern University. "I was the youngest state coordinator," he recalls. "I had Maine. They told me that I understood politics -- which was a stretch, being so young." Rendon, who went on to serve as executive director of the Democratic National Committee, quickly mastered the combination of political skulduggery and media manipulation that would become his hallmark. In 1980, as the manager of Jimmy Carter's troops at the national convention in New York, he was sitting alone in the bleachers at Madison Square Garden when a reporter for ABC News approached him. "They actually did a little piece about the man behind the curtain," Rendon says. "A Wizard of Oz thing." It was a role he would end up playing for the rest of his life.

After Carter lost the election and the hard-right Reagan revolutionaries came to power in 1981, Rendon went into business with his younger brother Rick. "Everybody started consulting," he recalls. "We started consulting." They helped elect John Kerry to the Senate in 1984 and worked for the AFL-CIO to mobilize the union vote for Walter Mondale's presidential campaign. Among the items Rendon produced was a training manual for union organizers to operate as political activists on behalf of Mondale. To keep the operation quiet, Rendon stamped CONFIDENTIAL on the cover of each of the blue plastic notebooks. It was a penchant for secrecy that would soon pervade all of his consulting deals.

To a large degree, the Rendon Group is a family affair. Rendon's wife, Sandra Libby, handles the books as chief financial officer and "senior communications strategist." Rendon's brother Rick serves as senior partner and runs the company's Boston office, producing public-service announcements for the Whale Conservation Institute and coordinating Empower Peace, a campaign that brings young people in the Middle East in contact with American kids through video-conferencing technology. But the bulk of the company's business is decidedly less liberal and peace oriented. Rendon's first experience in the intelligence world, in fact, came courtesy of the Republicans. "Panama," he says, "brought us into the national-security environment."

In 1989, shortly after his election, President George H.W. Bush signed a highly secret "finding" authorizing the CIA to funnel $10 million to opposition forces in Panama to overthrow Gen. Manuel Noriega. Reluctant to involve agency personnel directly, the CIA turned to the Rendon Group. Rendon's job was to work behind the scenes, using a variety of campaign and psychological techniques to put the CIA's choice, Guillermo Endara, into the presidential palace. Cash from the agency, laundered through various bank accounts and front organizations, would end up in Endara's hands, who would then pay Rendon.

A heavyset, fifty-three-year-old corporate attorney with little political experience, Endara was running against Noriega's handpicked choice, Carlos Duque. With Rendon's help, Endara beat Duque decisively at the polls -- but Noriega simply named himself "Maximum Leader" and declared the election null and void. The Bush administration then decided to remove Noriega by force -- and Rendon's job shifted from generating local support for a national election to building international support for regime change. Within days he had found the ultimate propaganda tool.

At the end of a rally in support of Endara, a band of Noriega's Dignity Battalion -- nicknamed "Dig Bats" and called "Doberman thugs" by Bush -- attacked the crowd with wooden planks, metal pipes and guns. Gang members grabbed the bodyguard of Guillermo Ford, one of Endara's vice-presidential candidates, pushed him against a car, shoved a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. With cameras snapping, the Dig Bats turned on Ford, batting his head with a spike-tipped metal rod and pounding him with heavy clubs, turning his white guayabera bright red with blood -- his own, and that of his dead bodyguard.

Within hours, Rendon made sure the photos reached every newsroom in the world. The next week an image of the violence made the cover of Time magazine with the caption POLITICS PANAMA STYLE: NORIEGA BLUDGEONS HIS OPPOSITION, AND THE U.S. TURNS UP THE HEAT. To further boost international support for Endara, Rendon escorted Ford on a tour of Europe to meet British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the Italian prime minister and even the pope. In December 1989, when Bush decided to invade Panama, Rendon and several of his employees were on one of the first military jets headed to Panama City.

"I arrived fifteen minutes before it started," Rendon recalls. "My first impression is having the pilot in the plane turn around and say, 'Excuse me, sir, but if you look off to the left you'll see the attack aircraft circling before they land.' Then I remember this major saying, 'Excuse me, sir, but do you know what the air-defense capability of Panama is at the moment?' I leaned into the cockpit and said, 'Look, major, I hope by now that's no longer an issue.'"

Moments later, Rendon's plane landed at Howard Air Force Base in Panama. "I needed to get to Fort Clayton, which was where the president was," he says. "I was choppered over -- and we took some rounds on the way." There, on a U.S. military base surrounded by 24,000 U.S. troops, heavy tanks and Combat Talon AC-130 gunships, Rendon's client, Endara, was at last sworn in as president of Panama.

Rendon's involvement in the campaign to oust Saddam Hussein began seven months later, in July 1990. Rendon had taken time out for a vacation -- a long train ride across Scotland -- when he received an urgent call. "Soldiers are massing at the border outside of Kuwait," he was told. At the airport, he watched the beginning of the Iraqi invasion on television. Winging toward Washington in the first-class cabin of a Pan Am 747, Rendon spent the entire flight scratching an outline of his ideas in longhand on a yellow legal pad.

"I wrote a memo about what the Kuwaitis were going to face, and I based it on our experience in Panama and the experience of the Free French operation in World War II," Rendon says. "This was something that they needed to see and hear, and that was my whole intent. Go over, tell the Kuwaitis, 'Here's what you've got -- here's some observations, here's some recommendations, live long and prosper.'"

Back in Washington, Rendon immediately called Hamilton Jordan, the former chief of staff to President Carter and an old friend from his Democratic Party days. "He put me in touch with the Saudis, the Saudis put me in touch with the Kuwaitis and then I went over and had a meeting with the Kuwaitis," Rendon recalls. "And by the time I landed back in the United States, I got a phone call saying, 'Can you come back? We want you to do what's in the memo.'"

What the Kuwaitis wanted was help in selling a war of liberation to the American government -- and the American public. Rendon proposed a massive "perception management" campaign designed to convince the world of the need to join forces to rescue Kuwait. Working through an organization called Citizens for a Free Kuwait, the Kuwaiti government in exile agreed to pay Rendon $100,000 a month for his assistance.

To coordinate the operation, Rendon opened an office in London. Once the Gulf War began, he remained extremely busy trying to prevent the American press from reporting on the dark side of the Kuwaiti government, an autocratic oil-tocracy ruled by a family of wealthy sheiks. When newspapers began reporting that many Kuwaitis were actually living it up in nightclubs in Cairo as Americans were dying in the Kuwaiti sand, the Rendon Group quickly counterattacked. Almost instantly, a wave of articles began appearing telling the story of grateful Kuwaitis mailing 20,000 personally signed valentines to American troops on the front lines, all arranged by Rendon.

Rendon also set up an elaborate television and radio network, and developed programming that was beamed into Kuwait from Taif, Saudi Arabia. "It was important that the Kuwaitis in occupied Kuwait understood that the rest of the world was doing something," he says. Each night, Rendon's troops in London produced a script and sent it via microwave to Taif, ensuring that the "news" beamed into Kuwait reflected a sufficiently pro-American line.

When it comes to staging a war, few things are left to chance. After Iraq withdrew from Kuwait, it was Rendon's responsibility to make the victory march look like the flag-waving liberation of France after World War II. "Did you ever stop to wonder," he later remarked, "how the people of Kuwait City, after being held hostage for seven long and painful months, were able to get hand-held American -- and, for that matter, the flags of other coalition countries?" After a pause, he added, "Well, you now know the answer. That was one of my jobs then."

Although his work is highly secret, Rendon insists he deals only in "timely, truthful and accurate information." His job, he says, is to counter false perceptions that the news media perpetuate because they consider it "more important to be first than to be right." In modern warfare, he believes, the outcome depends largely on the public's perception of the war -- whether it is winnable, whether it is worth the cost. "We are being haunted and stalked by the difference between perception and reality," he says. "Because the lines are divergent, this difference between perception and reality is one of the greatest strategic communications challenges of war."

By the time the Gulf War came to a close in 1991, the Rendon Group was firmly established as Washington's leading salesman for regime change. But Rendon's new assignment went beyond simply manipulating the media. After the war ended, the Top Secret order signed by President Bush to oust Hussein included a rare "lethal finding" -- meaning deadly action could be taken if necessary. Under contract to the CIA, Rendon was charged with helping to create a dissident force with the avowed purpose of violently overthrowing the entire Iraqi government. It is an undertaking that Rendon still considers too classified to discuss. "That's where we're wandering into places I'm not going to talk about," he says. "If you take an oath, it should mean something."

Thomas Twetten, the CIA's former deputy of operations, credits Rendon with virtually creating the INC. "The INC was clueless," he once observed. "They needed a lot of help and didn't know where to start. That is why Rendon was brought in." Acting as the group's senior adviser and aided by truckloads of CIA dollars, Rendon pulled together a wide spectrum of Iraqi dissidents and sponsored a conference in Vienna to organize them into an umbrella organization, which he dubbed the Iraqi National Congress. Then, as in Panama, his assignment was to help oust a brutal dictator and replace him with someone chosen by the CIA. "The reason they got the contract was because of what they had done in Panama -- so they were known," recalls Whitley Bruner, former chief of the CIA's station in Baghdad. This time the target was Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the agency's successor of choice was Ahmad Chalabi, a crafty, avuncular Iraqi exile beloved by Washington's neoconservatives.

Chalabi was a curious choice to lead a rebellion. In 1992, he was convicted in Jordan of making false statements and embezzling $230 million from his own bank, for which he was sentenced in absentia to twenty-two years of hard labor. But the only credential that mattered was his politics. "From day one," Rendon says, "Chalabi was very clear that his biggest interest was to rid Iraq of Saddam." Bruner, who dealt with Chalabi and Rendon in London in 1991, puts it even more bluntly. "Chalabi's primary focus," he said later, "was to drag us into a war."

The key element of Rendon's INC operation was a worldwide media blitz designed to turn Hussein, a once dangerous but now contained regional leader, into the greatest threat to world peace. Each month, $326,000 was passed from the CIA to the Rendon Group and the INC via various front organizations. Rendon profited handsomely, receiving a "management fee" of ten percent above what it spent on the project. According to some reports, the company made nearly $100 million on the contract during the five years following the Gulf War.

Rendon made considerable headway with the INC, but following the group's failed coup attempt against Saddam in 1996, the CIA lost confidence in Chalabi and cut off his monthly paycheck. But Chalabi and Rendon simply switched sides, moving over to the Pentagon, and the money continued to flow. "The Rendon Group is not in great odor in Langley these days," notes Bruner. "Their contracts are much more with the Defense Department."

Rendon's influence rose considerably in Washington after the terrorist attacks of September 11th. In a single stroke, Osama bin Laden altered the world's perception of reality -- and in an age of nonstop information, whoever controls perception wins. What Bush needed to fight the War on Terror was a skilled information warrior -- and Rendon was widely acknowledged as the best. "The events of 11 September 2001 changed everything, not least of which was the administration's outlook concerning strategic influence," notes one Army report. "Faced with direct evidence that many people around the world actively hated the United States, Bush began taking action to more effectively explain U.S. policy overseas. Initially the White House and DoD turned to the Rendon Group."

Three weeks after the September 11th attacks, according to documents obtained from defense sources, the Pentagon awarded a large contract to the Rendon Group. Around the same time, Pentagon officials also set up a highly secret organization called the Office of Strategic Influence. Part of the OSI's mission was to conduct covert disinformation and deception operations -- planting false news items in the media and hiding their origins. "It's sometimes valuable from a military standpoint to be able to engage in deception with respect to future anticipated plans," Vice President Dick Cheney said in explaining the operation. Even the military's top brass found the clandestine unit unnerving. "When I get their briefings, it's scary," a senior official said at the time.

In February 2002, The New York Times reported that the Pentagon had hired Rendon "to help the new office," a charge Rendon denies. "We had nothing to do with that," he says. "We were not in their reporting chain. We were reporting directly to the J-3" -- the head of operations at the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Following the leak, Rumsfeld was forced to shut down the organization. But much of the office's operations were apparently shifted to another unit, deeper in the Pentagon's bureaucracy, called the Information Operations Task Force, and Rendon was closely connected to this group. "Greg Newbold was the J-3 at the time, and we reported to him through the IOTF," Rendon says.

According to the Pentagon documents, the Rendon Group played a major role in the IOTF. The company was charged with creating an "Information War Room" to monitor worldwide news reports at lightning speed and respond almost instantly with counterpropaganda. A key weapon, according to the documents, was Rendon's "proprietary state-of-the-art news-wire collection system called 'Livewire,' which takes real-time news-wire reports, as they are filed, before they are on the Internet, before CNN can read them on the air and twenty-four hours before they appear in the morning newspapers, and sorts them by keyword. The system provides the most current real-time access to news and information available to private or public organizations."

The top target that the pentagon assigned to Rendon was the Al-Jazeera television network. The contract called for the Rendon Group to undertake a massive "media mapping" campaign against the news organization, which the Pentagon considered "critical to U.S. objectives in the War on Terrorism." According to the contract, Rendon would provide a "detailed content analysis of the station's daily broadcast . . . [and] identify the biases of specific journalists and potentially obtain an understanding of their allegiances, including the possibility of specific relationships and sponsorships."

The secret targeting of foreign journalists may have had a sinister purpose. Among the missions proposed for the Pentagon's Office of Strategic Influence was one to "coerce" foreign journalists and plant false information overseas. Secret briefing papers also said the office should find ways to "punish" those who convey the "wrong message." One senior officer told CNN that the plan would "formalize government deception, dishonesty and misinformation."

According to the Pentagon documents, Rendon would use his media analysis to conduct a worldwide propaganda campaign, deploying teams of information warriors to allied nations to assist them "in developing and delivering specific messages to the local population, combatants, front-line states, the media and the international community." Among the places Rendon's info-war teams would be sent were Jakarta, Indonesia; Islamabad, Pakistan; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Cairo; Ankara, Turkey; and Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The teams would produce and script television news segments "built around themes and story lines supportive of U.S. policy objectives."

Rendon was also charged with engaging in "military deception" online -- an activity once assigned to the OSI. The company was contracted to monitor Internet chat rooms in both English and Arabic -- and "participate in these chat rooms when/if tasked." Rendon would also create a Web site "with regular news summaries and feature articles. Targeted at the global public, in English and at least four (4) additional languages, this activity also will include an extensive e-mail push operation." These techniques are commonly used to plant a variety of propaganda, including false information.

Still another newly formed propaganda operation in which Rendon played a major part was the Office of Global Communications, which operated out of the White House and was charged with spreading the administration's message on the War in Iraq. Every morning at 9:30, Rendon took part in the White House OGC conference call, where officials would discuss the theme of the day and who would deliver it. The office also worked closely with the White House Iraq Group, whose high-level members, including recently indicted Cheney chief of staff Lewis Libby, were responsible for selling the war to the American public.

Never before in history had such an extensive secret network been established to shape the entire world's perception of a war. "It was not just bad intelligence -- it was an orchestrated effort," says Sam Gardner, a retired Air Force colonel who has taught strategy and military operations at the National War College. "It began before the war, was a major effort during the war and continues as post-conflict distortions."

In the first weeks following the September 11th attacks, Rendon operated at a frantic pitch. "In the early stages it was fielding every ground ball that was coming, because nobody was sure if we were ever going to be attacked again," he says. "It was 'What do you know about this, what do you know about that, what else can you get, can you talk to somebody over here?' We functioned twenty-four hours a day. We maintained situational awareness, in military terms, on all things related to terrorism. We were doing 195 newspapers and 43 countries in fourteen or fifteen languages. If you do this correctly, I can tell you what's on the evening news tonight in a country before it happens. I can give you, as a policymaker, a six-hour break on how you can affect what's going to be on the news. They'll take that in a heartbeat."

The Bush administration took everything Rendon had to offer. Between 2000 and 2004, Pentagon documents show, the Rendon Group received at least thirty-five contracts with the Defense Department, worth a total of $50 million to $100 million.

The mourners genuflected, made the sign of the cross and took their seats along the hard, shiny pews of Our Lady of Victories Catholic Church. It was April 2nd, 2003 -- the start of fall in the small Australian town of Glenelg, an aging beach resort of white Victorian homes and soft, blond sand on Holdback Bay. Rendon had flown halfway around the world to join nearly 600 friends and family who were gathered to say farewell to a local son and amateur football champ, Paul Moran. Three days into the invasion of Iraq, the freelance journalist and Rendon employee had become the first member of the media to be killed in the war -- a war he had covertly helped to start.

Moran had lived a double life, filing reports for the Australian Broadcasting Corp. and other news organizations, while at other times operating as a clandestine agent for Rendon, enjoying what his family calls his "James Bond lifestyle." Moran had trained Iraqi opposition forces in photographic espionage, showing them how to covertly document Iraqi military activities, and had produced pro-war announcements for the Pentagon. "He worked for the Rendon Group in London," says his mother, Kathleen. "They just send people all over the world -- where there are wars."

Moran was covering the Iraq invasion for ABC, filming at a Kurdish-controlled checkpoint in the city of Sulaymaniyah, when a car driven by a suicide bomber blew up next to him. "I saw the car in a kind of slow-motion disintegrate," recalls Eric Campbell, a correspondent who was filming with Moran. "A soldier handed me a passport, which was charred. That's when I knew Paul was dead."

As the Mass ended and Moran's Australian-flag-draped coffin passed by the mourners, Rendon lifted his right arm and saluted. He refused to discuss Moran's role in the company, saying only that "Paul worked for us on a number of projects." But on the long flight back to Washington, across more than a dozen time zones, Rendon outlined his feelings in an e-mail: "The day did begin with dark and ominous clouds much befitting the emotions we all felt -- sadness and anger at the senseless violence that claimed our comrade Paul Moran ten short days ago and many decades of emotion ago."

The Rendon Group also organized a memorial service in London, where Moran first went to work for the company in 1990. Held at Home House, a private club in Portman Square where Moran often stayed while visiting the city, the event was set among photographs of Moran in various locations around the Middle East. Zaab Sethna, who organized the al-Haideri media exclusive in Thailand for Moran and Judith Miller, gave a touching tribute to his former colleague. "I think that on both a personal and professional level Paul was deeply admired and loved by the people at the Rendon Group," Sethna later said.

Although Moran was gone, the falsified story about weapons of mass destruction that he and Sethna had broadcast around the world lived on. Seven months earlier, as President Bush was about to argue his case for war before the U.N., the White House had given prominent billing to al-Haideri's fabricated charges. In a report ironically titled "Iraq: Denial and Deception," the administration referred to al-Haideri by name and detailed his allegations -- even though the CIA had already determined them to be lies. The report was placed on the White House Web site on September 12th, 2002, and remains there today. One version of the report even credits Miller's article for the information.

Miller also continued to promote al-Haideri's tale of Saddam's villainy. In January 2003, more than a year after her first article appeared, Miller again reported that Pentagon "intelligence officials" were telling her that "some of the most valuable information has come from Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri." His interviews with the Defense Intelligence Agency, Miller added, "ultimately resulted in dozens of highly credible reports on Iraqi weapons-related activity and purchases, officials said."

Finally, in early 2004, more than two years after he made the dramatic allegations to Miller and Moran about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, al-Haideri was taken back to Iraq by the CIA's Iraq Survey Group. On a wide-ranging trip through Baghdad and other key locations, al-Haideri was given the opportunity to point out exactly where Saddam's stockpiles were hidden, confirming the charges that had helped to start a war.

In the end, he could not identify a single site where illegal weapons were buried.

As the war in Iraq has spiraled out of control, the Bush administration's covert propaganda campaign has intensified. According to a secret Pentagon report personally approved by Rumsfeld in October 2003 and obtained by Rolling Stone, the Strategic Command is authorized to engage in "military deception" -- defined as "presenting false information, images or statements." The seventy-four-page document, titled "Information Operations Roadmap," also calls for psychological operations to be launched over radio, television, cell phones and "emerging technologies" such as the Internet. In addition to being classified secret, the road map is also stamped noforn, meaning it cannot be shared even with our allies.

As the acknowledged general of such propaganda warfare, Rendon insists that the work he does is for the good of all Americans. "For us, it's a question of patriotism," he says. "It's not a question of politics, and that's an important distinction. I feel very strongly about that personally. If brave men and women are going to be put in harm's way, they deserve support." But in Iraq, American troops and Iraqi civilians were put in harm's way, in large part, by the false information spread by Rendon and the men he trained in information warfare. And given the rapid growth of what is known as the "security-intelligence complex" in Washington, covert perception managers are likely to play an increasingly influential role in the wars of the future.

Indeed, Rendon is already thinking ahead. Last year, he attended a conference on information operations in London, where he offered an assessment on the Pentagon's efforts to manipulate the media. According to those present, Rendon applauded the practice of embedding journalists with American forces. "He said the embedded idea was great," says an Air Force colonel who attended the talk. "It worked as they had found in the test. It was the war version of reality television, and for the most part they did not lose control of the story." But Rendon also cautioned that individual news organizations were often able to "take control of the story," shaping the news before the Pentagon asserted its spin on the day's events.

"We lost control of the context," Rendon warned. "That has to be fixed for the next war."

James Bamford is the best-selling author of "A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies" (2004) and "Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency" (2001). This is his first article for Rolling Stone.


Ken sent me this amazing piece today. The article contains quotes from various members of the GOP, including W., criticizing Clinton on the war in Kosovo. After watching and listening to the GOP’s vitriolic and self-righteous grand standing against the Democrats in Congress last night, on the war in Iraq, let the GOP hypocrites choke on their words. I find it interesting that CNN, or maybe it was MSNBC, (I was multi-tasking at the time), featured a program on the state of Kosovo today, 10 years after the war. The Clinton Administration very successfully achieved a political instead of a military solution to the problem. The goons in the Bush wing of the GOP are incapable of any kind of political compromise or diplomacy. In their world, it’s their way or the highway. Morons. LS

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is." -Governor George W. Bush (R-TX) on President Clinton's war in Kosovo.

Yes, friends, now that the GOP is once again resorting to questioning the patriotism of anyone who questions the war, so it's time to remind you just what the sleazy, slimy, opportunistic creeps who run the White House and Congress shouted in public to undermine Clinton's war in Kosovo.

Recall, as you read this that 1) We won the war in Kosovo, 2) Quickly and 3) No Americans were killed. Zip. Nada. -K

GOP attacks on U.S. military actions during Clinton Presidency (Updated)
by GlennGreenwald
Daily Kos
Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:56:45 AM PDT

In light of the increasingly reprehensible assaults by the GOP on the patriotism of anyone who questions the Administration's war effort in Iraq, it is worth remembering what the Republicans were doing and saying when the U.S. military was deployed during the Clinton Presidency.

An examination of what the GOP said and did throughout the 1990s with regard to President Clinton's military actions conclusively reveals this fact: throughout the Clinton Presidency, the GOP not only vocally opposed our country's military actions, but continuously questioned Clinton's motives and impugned his integrity with regard to why the troops were being deployed and with regard to the national security value of those deployments. Put another way, these GOP uber-patriots, again and again, engaged in precisely the behavior during the Clinton Presidency which they are now trying to claim -- when engaged in by Democrats against the Iraq War -- is dangerous, immoral and unpatriotic.

Listening to the Republicans and their pundit-defenders now, one would think that the GOP always steadfastly supports U.S. military action, always refrains from questioning the integrity or motives of the Commander-in-Chief with regard to deployment of troops, and always favors a strong military response to bad regimes and bad actors around the world. But with regard to virtually every military action ordered by President Clinton - including the numerous times that he put troops "in harms' way" - the GOP was there to oppose these efforts, to call into question the purpose and value of these deployments, and to make all sorts of scurrilous accusations against the President with regard to his motives for making the military decisions he made.

These same Republicans even went so far as to overtly accuse Clinton of "wagging the dog" by ordering a bombing campaign against Saddam Hussein, and separately against Osama bin Laden, without any real military purpose and solely in order to distract attention away from his domestic scandals. Plainly, Republicans tried to impede Clinton's military actions against both Saddam and bin Laden by opposing Clinton's use of the military and attacking his motives and integrity in ordering these actions.

Isn't it about time that these GOP officials and pundits -- who now so shamelessly wield the toxic patriotism weapon against anyone who has come to oppose the Iraq war -- be confronted with their behavior through the decade of the 1990s? 

Also forced to confront and explain away these obstructionist attacks on the Commander-in-Chief and his integrity throughout the military actions of 1990s should be some of the most stridently pro-war, pro-Bush voices in the blogosphere, who have taken recently to expressly proclaiming that anyone who attacks the motives and integrity of Bush with respect to the Iraq war is "unpatriotic."

Every time they appear on television or are interviewed and they impugn the patriotism of anyone who questions the Administration's conduct of this war, the following quotes -- reflecting GOP opposition to and attacks on every one of America's military actions during Clinton's Presidency -- should be shown to them and they should be forced to confront and explain them.

A stroll down memory lane:

Rep. Dick Armey, GOP Majority Leader

"The suspicion some people have about the president's motives in this attack [on Iraq] is itself a powerful argument for impeachment," Armey said in a statement. "After months of lies, the president has given millions of people around the world reason to doubt that he has sent Americans into battle for the right reasons."

Rep. Gerald Solomon (R - NY)

"It is obvious that they're (the Clinton White House) doing everything they can to postpone the vote on this impeachment in order to try to get whatever kind of leverage they can, and the American people ought to be as outraged as I am about it," Solomon said in an interview with CNN. Asked if he was accusing Clinton of playing with American lives for political expediency, Solomon said, "Whether he knows it or not, that's exactly what he's doing."

Sen. Dan Coats (R - IN)

Coats, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement, "While there is clearly much more we need to learn about this attack [on Osama bin Laden] and why it was ordered today, given the president's personal difficulties this week, it is legitimate to question the timing of this action."

Sen. Larry Craig, U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee

The foregoing review of the Clinton Administration's prevarications on Kosovo would not be complete without a brief look at one other possible factor in the deepening morass. Consider the following fictional situation: A president embroiled in a sex scandal that threatens to bring down his administration. He sees the only way out in distracting the nation and the world with a foreign military adventure. So, he orders his spin-doctors and media wizards to get to work. They survey the options, push a few buttons, and decide upon a suitable locale: Albania.

The foregoing, the premise of the recent film Wag the Dog, might once have seemed farfetched. Yet it can hardly escape comment that on the very day, August 17, that President Bill Clinton is scheduled to testify before a federal grand jury to explain his possibly criminal behavior, Commander-in-Chief Bill Clinton has ordered U.S. Marines and air crews to commence several days of ground and air exercises in, yes, Albania as a warning of possible NATO intervention in next-door Kosovo. . . .

Not too many years ago, it would not have entered the mind of even the worst of cynics to speculate whether any American president, whatever his political difficulties, would even consider sending U.S. military personnel into harm's way to serve his own, personal needs. But in an era when pundits openly weigh the question of whether President Clinton will (or should) tell the truth under oath not because he has a simple obligation to do so but because of the possible impact on his political "viability" -- is it self-evident that military decisions are not affected by similar considerations? Under the circumstances, it is fair to ask to what extent the Clinton Administration has forfeited the benefit of the doubt as to the motives behind its actions.

GOP Activist Paul Weyrich

Paul Weyrich, a leading conservative activist, said Clinton's decision to bomb on the eve of the impeachment vote "is more of an impeachable offense than anything he is being charged with in Congress."

Wall St. Journal Editorial Board

"It is dangerous for an American president to launch a military strike, however justified, at a time when many will conclude he acted only out of narrow self-interest to forestall or postpone his own impeachment"

Sen. Trent Lott, GOP Majority Leader

"I cannot support this military action in the Persian Gulf at this time," Lott said in a statement. "Both the timing and the policy are subject to question."

Rep. Gerald Solomon (R-NY)

"Never underestimate a desperate president," said a furious House Rules Committee Chairman Gerald B.H. Solomon (R-N.Y.). "What option is left for getting impeachment off the front page and maybe even postponed? And how else to explain the sudden appearance of a backbone that has been invisible up to now?"

Rep. Tillie Folwer (R-Fla)

"It [the bombing of Iraq] is certainly rather suspicious timing," said Rep. Tillie Fowler (R-Florida). "I think the president is shameless in what he would do to stay in office."

Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum

First, it [intervention in Kosovo] is a "wag the dog" public relations ploy to involve us in a war in order to divert attention from his personal scandals (only a few of which were addressed in the Senate trial). He is again following the scenario of the "life is truer than fiction" movie Wag the Dog. The very day after his acquittal, Clinton moved quickly to "move on" from the subject of impeachment by announcing threats to bomb and to send U.S. ground troops into the civil war in Kosovo between Serbian authorities and ethnic Albanians fighting for independence. He scheduled Americans to be part of a NATO force under non-American command.

Jim Hoagland, Washington Post

"President Clinton has indelibly associated a justified military response ... with his own wrongdoing. ... Clinton has now injected the impeachment process against him into foreign policy, and vice versa"

Byron York, National Review

Instead of striking a strong blow against terrorism, the action [launching cruise missles at bin Laden] set off a howling debate about Clinton's motives. The president ordered the action three days after appearing before the grand jury investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair, and Clinton's critics accused him of using military action to change the subject from the sex-and-perjury scandal -- the so-called "wag the dog" strategy.

Wall St. Journal editorial

"Perceptions that the American president is less interested in the global consequences than in taking any action that will enable him to hold onto power [are] a further demonstration that he has dangerously compromised himself in conducting the nation's affairs, and should be impeached"


Are all of those GOP political leaders and media pundits "unpatriotic" - or "cowards" - for questioning the veracity of Clinton's grounds for these military decisions and for questioning his motives in choosing them? Or was it OK to do that then but it's just not OK any longer?


UPDATE: John Campanelli in Comments has posted a list from Crooks and Liars of many other statements from GOP officials and pundits attacking U.S. military actions during the Clinton Presidency. It is unfathomable that they are permitted to get away with yelling "unpatriotic" and "coward" at war critics now in light of their never-ending assault on Clinton as Commander-in-Chief. Here is a sample of those self-proclaimed patriots attacking and attempting to undermine Clinton's military deployments:

"President Clinton is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."
-Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)

"No goal, no objective, not until we have those things and a compelling case is made, then I say, back out of it, because innocent people are going to die for nothing. That's why I'm against it."
-Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/5/99

"American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy."
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"You think Vietnam was bad? Vietnam is nothing next to Kosovo."
-Tony Snow, Fox News 3/24/99

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"
-Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

"Bombing a sovereign nation for ill-defined reasons with vague objectives undermines the American stature in the world. The international respect and trust for America has diminished every time we casually let the bombs fly."
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

Here's what Republicans said about Clinton and Kosovo
Why did they second-guess our commitment to freedom from genocide and demand that we cut and run?

"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy."
-Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of presidential candidate George W. Bush

Why did they demoralize our brave men and women in uniform?
"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning...I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area."

-Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

"Well, I just think it's a bad idea. What's going to happen is they're going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years"

-Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

"I'm on the Senate Intelligence Committee, so you can trust me and believe me when I say we're running out of cruise missles. I can't tell you exactly how many we have left, for security reasons, but we're almost out of cruise missles."
-Senator Inhofe (R-OK )

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarifiedrules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our overextended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)
"I don't know that Milosevic will ever raise a white flag"
-Senator Don Nickles (R-OK)
"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"
-Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

Why didn't they support our president in a time of war?

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
-Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)

"This is President Clinton's war, and when he falls flat on his face, that's his problem."
-Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)
"The two powers that have ICBMs that can reach the United States are Russia and China. Here we go in. We're taking on not just Milosevic. We can't just say, 'that little guy, we can whip him.' We have these two other powers that have missiles that can reach us, and we have zero defense thanks to this president."

-Senator James Inhofe (R-OK)

"You can support the troops but not the president"
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"My job as majority leader is be supportive of our troops, try to have input as decisions are made and to look at those decisions after they're made ... not to march in lock step with everything the president decides to do."
-Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

For us to call this a victory and to commend the President of the United States as the Commander in Chief showing great leadership in Operation Allied Force is a farce"
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

Why did they blame America first?

"Once the bombing commenced, I think then Milosevic unleashed his forces, and then that's when the slaughtering and the massive ethnic cleansing really started"
-Senator Don Nickles (R-OK)
Clinton's bombing campaign has caused all of these problems to explode"
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"America has no vital interest in whose flag flies over Kosovo's capital, and no right to attack and kill Serb soldiers fighting on their own soil to preserve the territorial integrity of their own country"
-Pat Buchanan (R)

"These international war criminals were led by Gen. Wesley Clark ..who clicked his shiny heels for the commander-in-grief, Bill Clinton."
-Michael Savage

"This has been an unmitigated disaster ... Ask the Chinese embassy. Ask all the people in Belgrade that we've killed. Ask the refugees that we've killed. Ask the people in nursing homes. Ask the people in hospitals."

-Representative Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

"It is a remarkable spectacle to see the Clinton Administration and NATO taking over from the Soviet Union the role of sponsoring "wars of national liberation."
-Representative Helen Chenoweth (R-ID)

"America has no vital interest in whose flag flies over Kosovo's capital, and no right to attack and kill Serb soldiers fighting on their own soil to preserve the territorial integrity of their own country"
-Pat Buchanan (R )

"By the order to launch air strikes against Serbia, NATO and President Clinton have entered uncharted territory in mankind's history. Not even Hitler's grab of the Sudetenland in the 1930s, which eventually led to WW II, ranks as a comparable travesty. For, there are no American interests whatsoever that the NATO bombing will either help, or protect; only needless risks to which it exposes the American soldiers and assets, not to mention the victims on the ground in Serbia."
-Bob Djurdjevic, founder of Truth in Media

Sunday, November 20, 2005


I don't know if any of you saw the debate in Congress on Friday night on CSPAN in which the despicable Jean Schmidt from Ohio viciously and personally attacked Murtha, implying that he was a coward. (Er - I wonder if Ms. Schmidt ever served in the armed forces? I don't think so. ) Jean Schmidt is pure GOP low-life and a disgraceful embarrasment to the Congress of the United States of America. What a tragedy that the female clone of Hitler lost the election to a noble man as Paul Hackett. Good luck southern Ohio. Look at the sorry rubber stamping bottom feeder you sent to Congress. Are you proud?

Below is a site in which you can send a message of support to Congressman Murtha. It is important that he knows his efforts are appreciated by most of us as he endures and fights off the GOP attack dogs. LS


I want to tell you about John Murtha. He's a Democratic Congressman from Pennsylvania. Heís also a combat veteran and retired Marine Corps colonel.

Murtha spent 37 years in Marine Corps, earned the Bronze Star, two purple hearts, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal. And for the last thirty years heís been one of the most respected voices in Congress on military issues -- universally respected by Democrats, Republicans and military brass alike.

Until now.

Republicans have disgraced themselves by viciously attacking John Murtha with such disrespect that not only veterans, but every decent American should be angry.

What did Murtha, a decorated veteran, do to draw fire from a White House led by a president and vice president who evaded service in Vietnam? He questioned their management of the war in Iraq. Here's part of what he had to say:

"The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of us. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region. ...

"For two and a half years, I have been concerned about the U.S. policy and the plan in Iraq. I have addressed my concerns with the Administration and the Pentagon and have spoken out in public about my concerns. The main reason for going to war has been discredited. ..

"I have been visiting our wounded troops at Bethesda and Walter Reed hospitals almost every week since the beginning of the War. And what demoralizes them is going to war with not enough troops and equipment to make the transition to peace; the devastation caused by IEDs; being deployed to Iraq when their homes have been ravaged by hurricanes; being on their second or third deployment and leaving their families behind without a network of support.

Shameless Republicans immediately went on the attack. Dick Cheney, who has said that he had "other priorities" and collected 5 deferments while people like Murtha served in Vietnam, called Murthaís comments "irresponsible" and regretted that "the president and I cannot prevent certain politicians from losing their memory, or their backbone." The White House spokesman, who has also never worn the uniform, pronounced himself "baffled" that Murtha wanted to "surrender to the terrorists". A Republican Congressman said Murtha and others "basically are giving aid and comfort to the enemy".

Shame on them. Every one of us -- right now -- needs to let Jack Murtha know that we respect his service, respect his leadership, and respect his right to speak the truth. This man has spent his life serving us. The very least each one of us can do is let him know that no matter what dishonorable smear campaign Republicans wage we will be there with him.

Send Congressman Murtha a note telling him that you will not be silent while he is attacked:

Friday, November 18, 2005


I do not subscribe to or read Sojourners myself, but a very good friend and kindred progressive soul sent this piece to me today.

Quote from Mr. Wallis, founder of Sojourners: "It is a moral disgrace to take food from the mouths of hungry children to increase the luxuries of those feasting at a table overflowing with plenty." My sentiments exactly. LS

Note to readers: Early this morning, the House of Representatives narrowly passed a budget proposal (217-215) that, if enacted, would make severe cuts to our nation's most vital anti-poverty programs like food stamps, Medicaid, and child care. The margin was small because of your prayers, phone calls, e-mails, and letters to the editor. Thank you. In the coming weeks, the budget will face a House-Senate negotiation, followed by separate votes in each chamber. We will continue to raise our voices to demand justice for the poorest among us.

Jim Wallis says "Woe to you legislators of infamous laws....."
in response to the narrow passage of the House Budget Reconciliation Bill.

Washington, D.C. ------(Friday, November 18, 2005) Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners and Convener of Call to Renewal, made the following statement today on the narrow passage of the House Budget Reconciliation Bill.


The prophet Isaiah said: "Woe to you legislators of infamous laws ... who refuse justice to the unfortunate, who cheat the poor among my people of their rights, who make widows their prey and rob the orphan." Today, I repeat those words. When our legislators put ideology over principle, it is time to sound the trumpets of justice and tell the truth.

It is a moral disgrace to take food from the mouths of hungry children to increase the luxuries of those feasting at a table overflowing with plenty. This is not what America is about, not what the season of Thanksgiving is about, not what loving our neighbor is about, and not what family values are about. There is no moral path our legislators can take to defend a reckless, mean-spirited budget reconciliation bill that diminishes our compassion, as Jesus said, "for the least of these." It is morally unconscionable to hide behind arguments for fiscal responsibility and government efficiency. It is dishonest to stake proud claims to deficit reduction when tax cuts for the wealthy that increase the deficit are the next order of business. It is one more example of an absence of morality in our current political leadership.

Budgets are moral documents that reflect what we care about. Budget and tax bills that increase the deficit put our children's futures in jeopardy - and they hurt the vulnerable right now. The choice to cut supports that help people make it day to day in order to pay for tax cuts for those with plenty goes against everything our religious and moral principles teach us. It says that leaders don't care about people in need. It is a blatant reversal of biblical values - and symbolizes the death of compassionate conservatism.

The faith community is outraged and is drawing a line in the sand against immoral national priorities. It is time to draw that line more forcefully and more visibly.

I applaud those House members who have stood up for better budget priorities and fought hard all year to keep issues of basic fairness at the forefront of this debate. And I thank those on both sides of the aisle who stood up and did the right thing in voting against this bill, despite pressure from the House leadership. These strong voices provide some hope for getting beyond an ideology that disregards the role of government for the common good.




Found on Buzz My goodness, Mr. Fitzgerald may as well sell his home in Chicago. It looks like he'll be in Washington for years to come given the amount of crooks the Bush Administration is cranking out. LS

Fitzgerald sees new grand jury proceedings By Adam Entous
2 hours, 7 minutes ago


Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said in court filings that the ongoing CIA leak investigation will involve proceedings before a new grand jury, a possible sign he could seek new charges in the case.

In filings obtained by Reuters on Friday, Fitzgerald said "the investigation is continuing" and that "the investigation will involve proceedings before a different grand jury than the grand jury which returned the indictment" against Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

Fitzgerald did not elaborate in the document. For two years he has been investigating the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity. The grand jury that indicted Libby expired after the charges were filed late last month.

President George W. Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, was not indicted along with Libby. But lawyers involved in the case said Rove remained under investigation and may still be charged.

Earlier this week Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward disclosed that he testified under oath to Fitzgerald that a senior Bush administration official had casually told him in mid-June 2003 about CIA operative Valerie Plame's position at the agency.

Fitzgerald's comments about bringing proceedings before a different grand jury were contained in court filings in which he backed off seeking a blanket order to keep all documents in the CIA leak case secret.

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Thursday, November 17, 2005


We are now in the midst of a news feast after five years of a famine. I actually heard a talking head on MSNBC this morning refer to certain journalists as "stenographers" for the White House. They are finally getting it!

On to the lying Bush Administration: This awesome resource was sent by Ken today. Thank you my friend, as always, for keeping us informed! LS

This is just plain fabulous. A few days ago I sent out Rep. Waxman's PDF listing 237 specific misleading statements made by Bush Administration officials about the threat posed by Iraq. This resource is now available as an online database at the address below.

I know some of the people on this list actually endure outraged emails from wingnut friends and relatives. With this resource you can refute whatever talking point they're repeating as fast as you receive it.

The information is presented very, very clearly. See the screenshot below.

Definitely visit this site, it's really cool. From the description:

Iraq on the Record is searchable by the the five Administration officials most responsible for providing public information and shaping public opinion on Iraq:

President George W. Bush
Vice President Dick Cheney
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell
Then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice

It is also searchable by issue area:
Iraq's Nuclear Capabilities
Chemical and Biological Weapons
Iraq and Al-Qaeda
Iraq as an Urgent Threat

It is also searchable by keyword, such as "mushroom cloud", "uranium", or "bin Laden."


Wednesday, November 16, 2005


It is well about time someone in the GOP is outraged at Bush. Found on Raw LS

GOP senator hits Bush for attacking war critics; Hints Congress endorsing another Vietnam by staying silent
11/15/2005 @ 6:17 pm
Filed by RAW STORY

CLICK HERE FOR STORY OR READ BELOW (You will have to click on the link if you wish to read Senator Hagel's full speech.)

Republican Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), a Vietnam veteran and critic of Bush policy on Iraq, excoriated the Administration Tuesday in a speech to Council on Foreign Relations Tuesday, RAW STORY has learned.

Hagel blasted the Administration for going after Iraq war critics and turning the war into a political cause.

"The Iraq war should not be debated in the United States on a partisan political platform," the Nebraska senator remarked. "This debases our country, trivializes the seriousness of war and cheapens the service and sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. War is not a Republican or Democrat issue. The casualties of war are from both parties. The Bush Administration must understand that each American has a right to question our policies in Iraq and should not be demonized for disagreeing with them. Suggesting that to challenge or criticize policy is undermining and hurting our troops is not democracy nor what this country has stood for, for over 200 years. The Democrats have an obligation to challenge in a serious and responsible manner, offering solutions and alternatives to the Administration’s policies."

He also suggested the members of Congress who failed to question the war could be responsible for another Vietnam.

"Vietnam was a national tragedy partly because Members of Congress failed their country, remained silent and lacked the courage to challenge the Administrations in power until it was too late," he added. "Some of us who went through that nightmare have an obligation to the 58,000 Americans who died in Vietnam to not let that happen again. To question your government is not unpatriotic – to not question your government is unpatriotic. America owes its men and women in uniform a policy worthy of their sacrifices."

Hagel emphasized the role of international cooperation.

"The international community must now recognize the changed circumstances of a constitutionally-based Iraqi government and join Iraq’s neighbors by investing in Iraq’s future success," he said.

"The role for international institutions will grow in importance as Iraq becomes more self-assured and able to govern. The World Bank, the United Nations and NATO all need to be more actively engaged in Iraq. The Oil-for-Food debacle is a stain on the UN’s reputation in Iraq. But that is not the UN’s role in Iraq today. The United Nations can help provide Iraq both a broader political umbrella, and greater support and expertise to help build and coordinate government institutions, programs and structures. Last weekend’s visit by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to Iraq – his first visit since the war – should help lead to this expanded role for the UN."

His full speech is available here.


This newly revealed crook is the former chief of PBS, Tomlinson. It seems that people who are tied to Bush and Cheney, whether it is on a political, professional or social level share a unique common trait- they are mostly corrupt. This group should get the hell out of our government and get shipped straight to jail, with no pardons possible, thank you very much. LS


The report said he violated federal law by being heavily involved in getting more than $4 million for a program featuring the conservative editorial writers of the Wall Street Journal. It said he imposed a "political test" to recruit a new president. And it said his decision to hire Republican consultants to defeat legislation violated contracting rules.

The investigators found evidence that "political tests" were a major criteria used by Mr. Tomlinson in recruiting the corporation's new president, Patricia Harrison, a former co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee and former senior State Department official.

According to the report, she was given the job after being promoted for it by an unidentified official at the White House. Investigators found e-mail messages between Mr. Tomlinson and the White House that, while "cryptic" in nature, "gives the appearance that the former chairman was strongly motivated by political considerations in filling the president/C.E.O. position." The corporation's presidency, its senior staff job, has historically been reserved for a nonpartisan expert in public broadcasting.

November 15, 2005
Report Says Ex-Chief of Public TV Violated Federal Law
NY Times


WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 - Investigators at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting concluded today that its former chairman repeatedly broke federal law and its own regulations in a campaign to combat what he saw as liberal bias.

A scathing report by the corporation's inspector general described a dysfunctional organization that violated the Public Broadcasting Act, which created the corporation and was written to insulate programming decisions from politics.

The corporation received $400 million this year from Congress to finance an array of programs on public television and radio, although its future financing has come under heavy criticism, particularly from conservative lawmakers. Its board is selected by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

The corporation's former chairman, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, who was ousted from the board two weeks ago when it was presented in a closed session with the details of the report, has said he sought to enforce a provision of the Public Broadcasting Act meant to ensure objectivity and balance in programming.

But the report said that in the process, Mr. Tomlinson repeatedly crossed statutory boundaries that set up the corporation as a "heat shield" to protect public radio and television from political interference.

The report said he violated federal law by being heavily involved in getting more than $4 million for a program featuring the conservative editorial writers of the Wall Street Journal. It said he imposed a "political test" to recruit a new president. And it said his decision to hire Republican consultants to defeat legislation violated contracting rules.

Mr. Tomlinson, in a statement distributed with the report, rejected its conclusions. He said that any suggestion that he violated his duties or the law "is malicious and irresponsible" and that the inspector general had opted "for politics over good judgment."

"Unfortunately, the Inspector General's preconceived and unjustified findings will only help to maintain the status quo and other reformers will be discouraged from seeking change," said Mr. Tomlinson, who has repeatedly defended his decisions as part of an effort to restore balance to programming. "Regrettably, as a result, balance and objectivity will not come soon to elements of public broadcasting."

While some of the details under investigation were disclosed in a news article last May, the inspector general's report is the first official conclusion that Mr. Tomlinson violated both the law and the corporation's own rules. The report is also the first detailed and official inside look at the dynamics of the corporation as some of its career staff have struggled with conservative Republicans appointees seeking to change its direction.

The author of the report, Kenneth A. Konz, was hired by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the 1990's to be its inspector general after retiring from the federal government, where he had served as a deputy inspector general at the Environmental Protection Agency.

No sanctions or further action against Mr. Tomlinson will follow from the report's findings, Mr. Konz said. But some broadcasting officials fear it may be used to attack the corporation's budget, which is already in jeopardy as lawmakers look for money to help pay for rebuilding the Gulf Coast and starting an avian flu inoculation program.

The report said that Mr. Tomlinson violated federal law by promoting "The Journal Editorial Report" and said he had "admonished C.P.B. senior executive staff not to interfere with his deal to bring a balancing program" to public broadcasting. The board is prohibited from getting involved in programming decisions, but the investigators found that Mr. Tomlinson had pushed hard for the program, even as some staff officials at the corporation raised concerns over its cost.

An e-mail from around the same time shows that he threatened to withhold some money to public broadcasting "in a New York minute" if public broadcasting did not balance its lineup.

The investigators found evidence that "political tests" were a major criteria used by Mr. Tomlinson in recruiting the corporation's new president, Patricia Harrison, a former co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee and former senior State Department official.

According to the report, she was given the job after being promoted for it by an unidentified official at the White House. Investigators found e-mail messages between Mr. Tomlinson and the White House that, while "cryptic" in nature, "gives the appearance that the former chairman was strongly motivated by political considerations in filling the president/C.E.O. position." The corporation's presidency, its senior staff job, has historically been reserved for a nonpartisan expert in public broadcasting.

The report said Mr. Tomlinson defended his decision to hire a candidate with strong political ties because of the need to build relationships with Congress for future funding requests.

Ms. Harrison disputed suggestions that she was motivated by politics.

"Only actions will dispel critics who believe I have a political agenda, which I do not have," Ms. Harrison said in an interview today. "I want to define my tenure in as open a way as I can." She said that excellence, creativity and quality are as important in programming as objectivity and balance.

The report said politics might have been involved in other personnel decisions. In one case, a candidate to become the senior vice president for corporate and public affairs was asked by a board member about her political contributions in the last election. Another official was given a particular job title at the corporation at the request of the White House, the report said

The report said Mr. Tomlinson's decision to hire two Republican consultants to help the corporation in its lobbying efforts against public broadcasting legislation last year was "not handled in accordance with C.P.B.'s contracting procedures." The inspector general criticized another contract with a researcher to monitor the "Now" program, when its host was Bill Moyers, because it was signed by Mr. Tomlinson without informing the board and without board authorization.

The report said that a White House official, Mary C. Andrews, worked on a plan by the corporation to create a new office of ombudsmen to promote balance in programming. Ms. Andrews had been hired by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting at the time but was still on the White House payroll.

It said her efforts "appeared to be advisory in nature and she did not provide the ombudsmen with guidelines on how to operate or interfere with their functioning."

But it also found that the decision to sign contracts with two ombudsmen "does not appear to comply with established C.P.B. procurement processes."

Following a board meeting this morning at which the corporation adopted a series of resolutions to impose tighter financial controls, Mr. Tomlinson's successor as chairman, Cheryl Halpern, met with senior lawmakers in hopes of blunting any political fallout.

But the report poses its own problems for Ms. Halpern, a Republican fund-raiser, and the rest of the board, which for many months supported Mr. Tomlinson's broader efforts at objectivity.

"Our review found an organizational environment that allowed the former chairman and other C.P.B. executives to operate without appropriate checks and balances," the report said. It ascribed the problems, in part to the "culture of C.P.B."

Ms. Halpern headed the board's audit committee under Mr. Tomlinson, and she raised concerns among executives at National Public Radio for criticizing its coverage of the Middle East. She was also Mr. Tomlinson's choice to succeed her, in part, he has said, because of her continued commitment to end any programming bias.

The report questioned a severance package for the corporation's former president, Kathleen A. Cox, who was forced to resign abruptly last April after a series of disagreements with Mr. Tomlinson. According to the report, the package was more than three times her annual compensation, and Mr. Tomlinson structured its payouts over a period of years so that the lump sum would not be disclosed on publicly available tax records.

In a statement attached to the report, Ms. Cox named other board members aside from Mr. Tomlinson who she said were involved in some of the decisions criticized by the inspector general. Ms. Cox said she was forced to resign after Mr. Tomlinson told her that she was "not political enough" for the job

The report came in response to requests by two senior Democratic lawmakers, Representative David R. Obey of Wisconsin and John Dingell of Michigan. Their request followed an article in The New York Times last May that described the contract to monitor the "Now" Show, the plan to hire Ms. Harrison, the role played by Mr. Tomlinson in promoting "The Journal Editorial Report," and Ms. Andrews role in the creation of the office of ombudsman.

Mr. Tomlinson remains the head of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which supervises all American government-broadcasting programs overseas. The inspector general of the State Department is examining accusations there of misuse of federal money and the use of phantom or unqualified employees by Mr. Tomlinson.

In a recent letter, Senator Chris Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, asked President Bush to consider ordering Mr. Tomlinson to step down from the board of governors until that investigation was completed.