The Committee to Reform Democracy in California
Home The Website    Corruption Updates    The Database    The Archives    Link Clusters    Why    How to Help     Contact
Fight Corporate Media Liars


Posted: January 18-19, 2008, Draft edition

Previous Page: Page 149         All Archives               Next page: Page 151

Contact Us:

1) The Articles linked below were Abstracted from the sources cited. After the abstract there's analysis and commentary, links to related articles, and a link to the database with suggested search terms.

Despite dropping violence, Gates calls for extended U.S. presence in Iraq
By Nancy A. Youssef | McClatchy Newspapers


WASHINGTON — Against the backdrop of the improved security situation in Iraq, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced Thursday a shift in U.S. strategy that will require an extended U.S. presence in Iraq, although with fewer troops.

"We'll have some people here, if the government of Iraq wants it, for some period of time. That could be five to 10 years. But it will not be at the levels we're at now. I don't believe that that will be necessary," said Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the No. 2 commander in Iraq, during a teleconference from Baghdad.

He said the support could include U.S. air power for five to 10 years, close air support for ground operations, helicopters and "an appropriate number of ground forces that go along with that." Odierno gave no figure for the ground forces, saying "that will be dictated by the situation on the ground."

Gates told reporters that the U.S. mission ultimately will be a "strategic overwatch" in which U.S. forces won't be engaged on a daily basis and Iraqis will take the lead. Under that strategy, Gates said, American forces "are providing support, we are going after al Qaida, we are helping them ...protect their borders, and we are doing training and equipping missions." Gates said the transition already has begun.

He couldn't say how long the U.S. military would remain in Iraq or whether the troop strength would fall below 100,000 by the end of President Bush's term, as Gates has previously proposed.

Odierno said Thursday that the U.S. will continue to pay roughly 175,000 "concerned local citizens" to patrol their neighborhoods $375 a month until at least the end of the year. And he said Iraqi forces likely can't control all of Iraq's 18 provinces until the end of the 2008 at the earliest.

Top of Page

What's Really Going on Here??

continued deception by administration and congress on troop levels, war goals

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January 30, 2008
The first problem with gates' announcement is that the troop levels in iraq were never accounted for accurately. As the level of troops fluctuated between 130,000 and 150,000, the military and political leadership never counted the mercenaries, nor the vast army of private contractors who do the work traditionally done by army personnel. At seven or eight times the cost of having the army do their own job.

I put our actual level of "troops" in iraq at over 280,000, if you count every private worker there as necessary to maintain our forces. The ratio of support personnel necessary to field ground forces is high. That's why there were over 500,000 thousand troops in vietnam.

Second, the announcement of perpetual troops in iraq is no surprise, but it didn't happen like they thought it would. The hair-brained scheme was simple: crush saddam, impose dictator, i mean democracy, and withdraw into massive bases capable of projecting american power across the region.

Everything went wrong after the crush saddam part of the plan. Nobody but chalabi and alawi were stupid enough to try for the dictator job, and they had no support other than wealth, their own desire, and american power. Chalibi apparently has been courting the iranians for support as well.

The current lull in the fighting is due to our military turning al anbar over to the bathists. I mean the ex-bathists. Sadr wisely declared a truce when the escalation rolled into Baghdad. Both sides were ready for a break after expending so much energy ethnically cleansing their neighborhoods.

Iraq has split into three simmering parts. The west and south are controlled by the Shiites, and are natural allies of Iran. The north is kurdish, and they are hated by turkey, iraq, iran, and the rest of the post colonial nation-states who divided their lands among themselves.

This means that our permanent presence and our permanent bases can no longer be envisioned as fortresses of american power, able to cow iran and impose our will across the region. Our permanent forces in iraq will have their hands full imposing america's will on baghdad, let alone tehran, as originally envisioned. Iran's power and influence have risen far more than can be offset by military force.

The source of this failure cannot be blamed on osama or "the terrorists." It cannot be eliminated with illegal searches, kidnapping, or secret prisons, let alone with torture under any name. This problem cannot be killed by our military, nor lied out of existence by our press. The source of this failed war is our failed democracy.

Of all the basic elements of our country's general welfare that our corrupted government has abused, abusing the power of making war is the nastiest. The forces of wealth have stolen our elections, our money and our rights. As bad as that is, these are all domestic crimes, committed among ourselves. These wars signal that we have crossed the rubicon, claiming unlimited arbitrary authority within this country and around the world. We have gone way over the line.

That these wars were not defensive compliments the brutality, if not the raw power, influence and wealth, of our corporate elites. Unfortunately for us, heir weapons are the blood and treasury of our country.

The political, economic and media elites who lied these wars down our throats are still marching in lockstep, trying to maintain the discredited illusion that we are projecting power in the middle east for "democracy." It would be hard to build one there, when our democracy here has failed. We have been, and are in the middle east to maintain control of the world oil market.

There's a way out. The only way to stop american domestic politics, military power, and global prestige from being used to advance the power and wealth of our corporate elite is stop them from bribing our political candidates and officeholders. Once we own the politicians, it will be a hell of a lot harder for them to drain our schools, bleed us for medicine, kill our environment, and fritter away the wealth and beauty of this country as a sacrifice to their greed.

When we make the local voter the source of 70% of every candidate and officeholder's bribes, the local voter will regain control of their representatives, and we will once again have established the basic elements of our democratic republic. The other 30% is reserved for special interest, political party, and other sources of outside money. The candidate can decide which outside sources to accept, but the total of outside money cannot exceed 30% of the total contributions from local voters.

After taking our democracy back, we can then turn towards releasing the press from its corporate captivity. Hell, if we make it that far, we might even have a shot at forcing the government to protect private freedom while regulating public affairs, instead of the reverse.

Imagine that.

Top of Page

Also See

NPR; deal allows us troops in iraq for decades, 1-24-08

US troops to be in Iraq forever, McClatchy Newspapers, 1-17-08

Minister Sees Need for U.S. Help in Iraq Until 2018, nyt, January 15, 2008

quakers: why are we building permanent bases in iraq, 12-05-07

global security: iraq facilities, no date

Democrats Say Leaving Iraq May Take Years, nyt, 8-12-07

US had No Post-War Plan for Iraq, BBC, Oct 27, 2007

two huge intelligence go up in iraq, debka, 6-25-03


nyt reveals, finally, that there are over 310,000 troops and support in iraq:

Use of Iraq Contractors Costs Billions, Report Says, nyt, 8-11-08

other related reports

Corruption Updates 33, 3rd article on the page, "Sen. Warner Gets Cold Feet Over War"

Corruption Updates 43, 6th article on the page, "Bush impeachment on the table, Hagel says: Hegel accuses Bush of Everything but High Crimes and Treason

Pelosi: Impeachment 'off the table, Oct 23, 2006, RAW story

Pelosi: Pelosi Kills Impeachment Resolution, Nov 6, 2007, AP

Corruption Updates 45, 1st article on the page, "McCaffrey Paints Gloomy Picture of Iraq"

Corruption Updates 56, 5th article on the page, "Batiste: Army Career Behind Him, General Speaks Out on Iraq"

Corruption Updates 58, 6th article on the page, War-torn Iraq 'facing collapse

Corruption Updates 79, 1st article on the page, "Iraq Ranks No. 2 of Failed States"

Corruption Updates 86, 2nd article on the page, Lugar shakes Capitol, calls Bush Iraq strategy a failure

Failed war, failed state, failed empire, essay, August 3, 2007

The Generals View

iraq war abstracts

Search the Corruption Database under

iraq war

Speak your Mind. Send your Comments about the Topic Above for Posting!

Submit Comments Here

Please limit comments to 400 words, unless you write really well! Remember to include the Corruption Updates page number, and the article number on the page. Example: (82_1.)


All Archives

Top of Page

2) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Bush administration defends oil leases in polar bear habitat
Erika Bolstad | McClatchy Newspapers

last updated: January 17, 2008 07:06:08 PM

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration is weeks away from a decision that most likely will designate polar bears as a threatened species, but it said Thursday that it won't budge on issuing new oil and gas leases in their shrinking Alaskan habitat.

A House of Representatives committee on global warming called on the Interior Department to hold off auctioning oil and gas leases in northwest Alaska's Chuckchi Sea until the department decides whether to list polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service postponed the decision last week for at least another 30 days, and a ruling isn't expected before the Feb. 6 oil and gas lease sale by the Minerals Management Service. The agency estimates that the Chuckchi Sea holds 15 billion barrels of oil and as much as 76 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

"Every time there is a choice between extinction and extraction in this administration, extraction wins," said the committee's chairman, Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass. "This must not be the case for the polar bear."

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey have said that restricting oil and gas development or the subsistence hunting of polar bears wouldn't be enough to prevent population declines. The directors of both Fish and Wildlife and Minerals Management reiterated that finding on Thursday. All three agencies are within the Interior Department.

A U.S. Geological Survey study issued this summer found that in the next 50 years, shrinking sea ice will leave only a small population of polar bears in the islands of the Canadian Arctic. Two-thirds of the world's polar bears, including those along the coasts of Alaska and Russia, are projected to disappear. One-fifth of the estimated 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears in the world live on the coast of Alaska's Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

If polar bears are listed as threatened, it will be the first time that a species is placed on the endangered list because of the threat of global warming to its habitat.

Such a groundbreaking decision has taken longer than officials thought it would, Hall said.

Top of Page

What's Really Going on Here??

Big Oil owns our politicians

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January 18, 2008
Two significant facts, and an irony, are exposed by our merciless pursuit of energy.

The first fact is that politics are dominated by wealth and power, rather than the local voter. The voter was to be the restraint on wealth and power. That restraint has failed, and wealth and power are having their way with our country.

Big Oil is among the most wealthy and powerful of the interests that dominate politics, politicians and policy. Their influence has compromised the competence and honesty of every level of our government, has manipulated our economy, and has used our foreign policy as an instrument of crime.

The second fact is that our relentless growth has removed virtually every restraint on energy exploration and extraction. The basic assumption of both parties' politicians is that our rapidly expanding population as, well as our increasing individual consumption, must be fed by any means necessary.

The irony is that the global warming that is killing the polar bears will be accelerated by burning of oil extracted from their territory. The extraction of the oil will put yet another stress on an already stressed population.

The solution to global warming and the massive extinction that we are triggering cannot be grown out of. The solution requires we move the basis of our economy from quanitive to qualitative growth.

We can grow no longer. The expansion of our consumption is driving a fatal contraction of life around the world. We don't seem to understand that the bounty of our environment was dependent on a vast, living system that collects and converts energy into yet more life.

We have committed the only objective evil: we have diminished the web of life on this planet. This is going to come back and kick us in the ass. Hard.

The sooner we figure this out, the better off our kids and grand kids are going to be. The remaining polar bears are probably fucked no matter which course we take.

Top of Page

Also See:

usgs press release on polar bear research, usgs, 9-7-07

Corruption Updates 1, 11th article on page, "BIG OIL OWNS OUR POLITICIANS"

Corruption Updates 12, 1st article on page, “Political Corruption Infiltrates Interior Department



Report Says Interior Official Overrode Work of Scientists, nyt, 3-29-07

Ex-Auditor Says He Was Told to Be Lax on Oil Fees, NYT March 29, 2007

Interior's oil lease program head quits: Oil Industry Tool Burton "Quits" after Stealing a Billion for Big Oil, AP, 5-8-07

big oil


Search the Corruption Database under


Submit Comments Here

Please limit comments to 400 words, unless you write really well! Remember to include the Corruption Updates page number, and the article number on the page. Example: (82_1.)


All Archives

Top of Page

3) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Federal Judge Criticizes C.I.A. Handling of Interrogation Tapes

nyt, January 18, 2008

A federal judge in New York said Thursday that he was “disappointed” in how investigators from the Central Intelligence Agency had handled videotapes documenting the harsh interrogation of detainees from Al Qaeda, adding that he was considering questioning agency officials who had watched the tapes about why they had made no record of them in their files.

The judge, Alvin K. Hellerstein of Federal District Court in Manhattan, said from the bench that he was astonished that the C.I.A. investigators had not kept records about the tapes, which were destroyed in 2005, even though they were an important part of an internal C.I.A. review of interrogation methods.

“I’m asked to believe that actual motion pictures, videotapes, of the relationship between interrogators and prisoners were of so little value” that no record of them was kept in C.I.A. investigative files, Judge Hellerstein said.

“I just can’t accept it,” he said. “If it came up in an ordinary case, it would not be credible.”

The tapes are now the subject of Congressional hearings and form the basis of a separate criminal investigation seeking to determine whether agency officials broke the law by destroying them or by concealing their existence. They showed agency operatives using harsh interrogations methods on two Qaeda detainees, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

The hearing in New York stemmed from another matter concerning the tapes. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a freedom of information request, asking the C.I.A. to produce information about the tapes and various other documents related to interrogation methods.

Judge Hellerstein said he was inclined to deny an A.C.L.U. request to hold the C.I.A. in contempt of court for not producing information about the tapes. But he said he was considering ways, including subpoenas, to determine why the C.I.A. had not given the documents to the A.C.L.U.

The main issue at the hearing was the C.I.A.’s contention that the tapes were immune to a freedom of information request because they were in the agency’s secret and sprawling operational files. Under federal law, documents in operational files are not subject to freedom of information requests, but documents in investigative files are.

Lawyers for the A.C.L.U. argued that even though the tapes were not physically in investigative files kept by the C.I.A.’s Office of the Inspector General, officials from that office watched the tapes at a clandestine location overseas, in 2003, as part of the internal review of interrogation methods. Judge Hellerstein said the mere fact that the tapes had been watched as part of the internal review meant that they were part of an investigation and, thus, subject to a freedom of information request.

Top of Page

What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January, 2008

Top of Page

Also See:

Mukasey on torture

mukasey rules torture legal, reuters, 1-30-08

Mukasey before the Senate: cannot call waterboarding torture, LAT, 10-31-07

Dems Confirm Mukasey, wp, 11-9-07

The Dems really confirmed the unitary president, torture, and and all of Bush's illegal spying crimes when they confirmed Mukasey

The Torture Tapes

CIA Destroys evidence of Torture, Guardian 12-7-07

Mukasey asserts Federal Courts have no Jurisdiction over torture evidence, AP, 12-18-07

AG Mukasey Defies Congress, warns Courts lat, 12-14-07


Mukasey's rulings predictable before confirmation, committee, 8-28-07



Search the Corruption Database under




Submit Comments Here

Please limit comments to 400 words, unless you write really well! Remember to include the Corruption Updates page number, and the article number on the page. Example: (82_1.)


All Archives

Top of Page

January 19, 2008

4) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Russian Defence Chief flags pre-emptive strike

RussiaToday, January 19, 2008

Pre-emptive nuclear strikes may be used to defend Russia, according to the country’s Chief of Armed Forces General Staff, Yury Baluevsky. He says no attack is planned but a nuclear strategy to ensure national security is needed.

His comments come as tensions remain high between Russia and the U.S. over American plans for a missile defence shield in Europe.

Russia is re-thinking its national security policy and is ready to go nuclear if necessary.

General Yury Baluevsky says there is no intention of attacking another country, but believes regional conflicts and international terrorism pose a great threat.

He says to protect Russia’s interests, military force can and must be used when all else fails.

General Yury Baluevsky

“We have no plans to attack anyone. But we consider it necessary for all our partners in the world community to clearly understand that to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia and its allies, military force will be used - pre-emptively, and including the use of nuclear weapons,” Baluevsky said.

Disagreements continue between NATO and Russia over the organisation’s expansion into former Soviet republics and strained relations with the U.S. over the proposed shield.

As a response, last month Russia imposed a moratorium on a key arms reduction pact -  the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty.

"Apparently pre-emptive means when we know for sure and without any doubt that a strike at our country is being prepared - in this case we don't have another choice but to stop the aggression targeted at our country," Andrey Demurenko, a military expert says.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Kislyak said U.S. military policies may put into question stability and predictability in the global strategic balance.

He said Russia doesn't view as serious the U.S. reasons for deploying elements of its anti-missile shield in Europe.

According to Kislyak, that and the U.S. refusal to ratify the Treaty on Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms leaves the door open for America to develop its nuclear arsenal.

Top of Page

What's Really Going on Here??


Originally written on March 5, 2007

With our victory in the Cold War came an arrogance that has undermined our “victory.” Rather than be cool, we have moved political, military and economic assets right up to Russia's borders. Remember our response when Russia moved missiles to Cuba?

These unwise moves were practical if antagonizing Russian interests was not a concern, combined with our expectation Russia was to remain in a permanently weakened state. This was a stupid assumption. The rebuilding of Russia has taken on a character of hostility to America in response to our aggressions.

Russia has been moving to counter, if not eliminate, our intrusions into the Ukraine, Georgia, the “stans,” and Belarus.

Russia has determined our militarism requires they rebuild their military forces, and counter our aggressive actions. Russia has interpreted our actions as an invitation to join an arms race. A race for global political influence is sure to follow.

Rebuilding their military forces, and developing a new strategic plan, signals that Russia has sufficiently consolidated its internal affairs to respond vigorously to our aggressions. Russia has consolidated sufficient internal stability to take advantage of the chaos we have plunged the world, and especially Arabic Islam, into.

This is our fault. Our middle eastern foreign policy is based on supporting Arabic dictators hated by their own people. Rather than seeing the writing on the wall, and moving to encourage these regimes to reflect the will of their people, we went in the opposite direction.

Hosni of Egypt is an excellent example. Egypt is where Bush should have started his “spread of democracy across the middle east.” Instead, we are encouraging Hosni to move from an unofficial to a formal police state.

When the Egyptian people overthrow their western supported dictator, Hosni, they will be labeled enemies of “freedom,” and we do our best to kidnap, torture, imprison and kill them. If they live quietly under our dictators, they are friends of “freedom,”

These hypocritical contradictions have created a huge maneuvering area for Russian and Chinese foreign policy, as well as offering a big, fat, juicy American enemy to draw the various Arabic independence groups together.

Putting our military in the middle east has been poison to our dictators. Bush's invasion has reduced the weight of our influence to the size of our guns and wallets. We better not run out of bucks and bullets, or we are in real trouble. We have nothing else to rely on in the Middle East.

All Russia needs to do is offer honest support to the Arabs and Persians who seek freedom from our dictators. If Russia befriends those countries who want to control their own affairs, we are in big trouble.

Arabic lands under Arab control is unacceptable to us. Our position will create increasing political and military chaos until the Arabs actually seize control of their governments, and force their colonial ruling elites to flee back to their source of power, the United States. Once here, they can join the refugees from the toppled dictatorships of Somoza, Batista, the Shah, Chiang Kai Schreck, to name just a few.

Soon, American Globalism will fall before a new, multi-lateral, shared balance of world power. Democracy will be victorious, not America. The right of locals to select their own governments will be established, and it will mark the end of American Globalism.

This will signal the end of our control of the world's oil markets, and those that gain control will hate us. Soon, we will live in a world where Russia, China, and India find it advantageous to block our military, political and economic adventures. Soon, the world will stop funding our gluttony, and demand we pay them back.


From the john birch society, 10-18-07;

 In August, (2007) Middle East expert Barnett Rubin claimed that Vice President Dick Cheney asked various neoconservative organs to call for the United States to attack Iran. Compliance quickly came from the American Enterprise Institute, Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard, and others. Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton promptly told Britain’s Conservative Party leaders that the United States should deliver a preemptive strike against Iran and remove Ahmadinejad. Neocon stalwart Norman Podhoretz seconded the idea, even suggesting the use of our nuclear weapons to get the job done. Podhoretz is a senior adviser to Republican Party candidate Rudy Giuliani and is likely the stimulus for the former mayor of New York City calling for such an attack. Top GOP candidates McCain and Romney agree that using the nuclear option against Iran should be considered.

London’s Sunday Times for September 2 reported that the Pentagon has "drawn up plans for massive air strikes against 1,200 targets in Iran." The object is to completely destroy any military capability in the country. But Iran hasn’t threatened the United States.

Mr. Bush claims to have agreement regarding his threats against Iran from Russian president Vladimir Putin. But Putin is on record stating that there’s no evidence that Iran is building a nuclear weapons capability. And Iran’s leaders claim that they are interested only in generating electricity with nuclear power.

Last month, recently retired General John Abizaid, the former top U.S. military official in the Middle East, urged a completely different policy. He said that "there are ways to live with a nuclear Iran." President Bush and his closest advisers obviously disagree. But they are willing to live with a nuclear Pakistan, widely believed to be the nation harboring Osama bin Laden and the top leaders of al-Qaeda. Their willingness to start another war with an Islamic dominated nation, even while bogged down in both Iraq and Afghanistan, is extremely frightening.

One consequence of fours years of war against Iraq has been a sharp increase in Islamic extremism. The same result has occurred because of the United States’ continued action in Afghanistan. Imagine what a preemptive strike against Iran will produce.

note: for those of you who are unfamiliar with the ultraconservative, radically right wing birch society, see this wikipedia listing.

Top of Page

Also See:

global threats

n. korea threatens first strike, guardian, 2-6-03

Israel threatens Iran with sneak attack, ap, 9-29-04

US planning for first strike, and tactical use of nukes, global research, 2-22-06

Is Israel Planning a Nuclear Strike on Iran? der spiegel, 1-8-07

Even the John Birch Society is freaked, jbs news feed, 10-18-07


russia evolves new global stance

Russia prepares to revise military doctrine in response to USA's missile defense plans, Corruption Updates 36, 1st article

Who's to Blame for Russia? Corruption Updates 39, 8th article

Russian Minister Says No ‘Rogue State’ Missile Threat to Europe, Corruption Updates 49, 4th article

Russia, Putin: US imperialists start new round of arms race, Corruption Updates 64, 8th article

Putin increases missile defence rhetoric: Bush Gives Russia every Reason to ReArm Corruption Updates 102, 3rd article

At Asian Security Meeting, Russian and Iranian Criticize the U.S., NYT, August 17, 2007

Stark Differences on Arms Threaten U.S.-Russia Talks: Bush, Fool of the Ages, Continues to Abuse Treaties, the Rule of Law, and Russia, NYT, October 10, 2007

PUTIN in IRAN: Putin Warns Against Attacks on Iran, Associated Press, October 16, 2007

Putin wants US date to quit Iraq, BBC NEWS, 18 October 2007

Iran-Russia Strategic talks, Iran Times, Dec 3, 2007

Russia begins arms treaty freeze, BBC, 12-12-07

more russian links

Search the Corruption Database under


Submit Comments Here

Please limit comments to 400 words, unless you write really well! Remember to include the Corruption Updates page number, and the article number on the page. Example: (82_1.)


All Archives

Top of Page

5) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Not Just A Last Resort?
A Global Strike Plan, With a Nuclear Option

By William Arkin
Sunday, May 15, 2005; B01

Early last summer, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld approved a top secret "Interim Global Strike Alert Order" directing the military to assume and maintain readiness to attack hostile countries that are developing weapons of mass destruction, specifically Iran and North Korea.

Two months later, Lt. Gen. Bruce Carlson, commander of the 8th Air Force, told a reporter that his fleet of B-2 and B-52 bombers had changed its way of operating so that it could be ready to carry out such missions. "We're now at the point where we are essentially on alert," Carlson said in an interview with the Shreveport (La.) Times. "We have the capacity to plan and execute global strikes." Carlson said his forces were the U.S. Strategic Command's "focal point for global strike" and could execute an attack "in half a day or less."

In the secret world of military planning, global strike has become the term of art to describe a specific preemptive attack. When military officials refer to global strike, they stress its conventional elements. Surprisingly, however, global strike also includes a nuclear option, which runs counter to traditional U.S. notions about the defensive role of nuclear weapons.

The official U.S. position on the use of nuclear weapons has not changed. Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has taken steps to de-emphasize the importance of its nuclear arsenal.

But a confluence of events, beginning with the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and the president's forthright commitment to the idea of preemptive action to prevent future attacks, has set in motion a process that has led to a fundamental change in how the U.S. military might respond to certain possible threats.

President Bush spelled out the definition of "full-spectrum" global strike in a January 2003 classified directive, describing it as "a capability to deliver rapid, extended range, precision kinetic (nuclear and conventional) and non-kinetic (elements of space and information operations) effects in support of theater and national objectives."

This blurring of the nuclear/conventional line, wittingly or unwittingly, could heighten the risk that the nuclear option will be used. Exhibit A may be the Stratcom contingency plan for dealing with "imminent" threats from countries such as North Korea or Iran, formally known as CONPLAN 8022-02.

CONPLAN 8022 is different from other war plans in that it posits a small-scale operation and no "boots on the ground." The typical war plan encompasses an amalgam of forces -- air, ground, sea -- and takes into account the logistics and political dimensions needed to sustain those forces in protracted operations. All these elements generally require significant lead time to be effective. (Existing Pentagon war plans, developed for specific regions or "theaters," are essentially defensive responses to invasions or attacks. The global strike plan is offensive, triggered by the perception of an imminent threat and carried out by presidential order.)

CONPLAN 8022 anticipates two different scenarios. The first is a response to a specific and imminent nuclear threat, say in North Korea. A quick-reaction, highly choreographed strike would combine pinpoint bombing with electronic warfare and cyberattacks to disable a North Korean response, with commandos operating deep in enemy territory, perhaps even to take possession of the nuclear device.

The second scenario involves a more generic attack on an adversary's WMD infrastructure. Assume, for argument's sake, that Iran announces it is mounting a crash program to build a nuclear weapon. A multidimensional bombing (kinetic) and cyberwarfare (non-kinetic) attack might seek to destroy Iran's program, and special forces would be deployed to disable or isolate underground facilities.

By employing all of the tricks in the U.S. arsenal to immobilize an enemy country -- turning off the electricity, jamming and spoofing radars and communications, penetrating computer networks and garbling electronic commands -- global strike magnifies the impact of bombing by eliminating the need to physically destroy targets that have been disabled by other means.

The inclusion, therefore, of a nuclear weapons option in CONPLAN 8022 -- a specially configured earth-penetrating bomb to destroy deeply buried facilities, if any exist -- is particularly disconcerting. The global strike plan holds the nuclear option in reserve if intelligence suggests an "imminent" launch of an enemy nuclear strike on the United States or if there is a need to destroy hard-to-reach targets.

It is difficult to imagine a U.S. president ordering a nuclear attack on Iran or North Korea under any circumstance. Yet as global strike contingency planning has moved forward, so has the nuclear option.

In May 2002, Rumsfeld issued an updated Defense Planning Guidance that directed the military to develop an ability to undertake "unwarned strikes . . . [to] swiftly defeat from a position of forward deterrence." The post-9/11 National Security Strategy, published in September 2002, codified preemption, stating that the United States must be prepared to stop rogue states and their terrorist clients before they are able to threaten or use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and our allies."

"We cannot let our enemies strike first," President Bush declared in the National Security Strategy d

CONPLAN 8022-02 was completed in November 2003, putting in place for the first time a preemptive and offensive strike capability against Iran and North Korea. In January 2004, Ellis certified Stratcom's readiness for global strike to the defense secretary and the president.

At Ellis's retirement ceremony in July, Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told an Omaha audience that "the president charged you to 'be ready to strike at any moment's notice in any dark corner of the world' [and] that's exactly what you've done."

Top of Page

Go to Links and Analysis (the previous article, above)


All Archives

Top of Page

6) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Schwarzenegger Budget Cuts Schools, Frees Inmates

(CBS 5 / AP / BCN) Jan 11, 2008

SACRAMENTO (CBS 5 / AP / BCN) ― Facing a ballooning deficit and a shaky economy, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday proposed an enormous pullback in state spending that will affect nearly all areas of government service -- including cutting nearly 10 percent of the funding for public education and granting early release to 22,000 prison inmates.

Schwarzenegger announced the cuts as he seeks to close a $14.5 billion revenue shortfall over the next 18 months and, for the first time, declared a state fiscal emergency that will force lawmakers to begin immediate work on the budget mess.

Schwarzenegger's $141 billion budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year proposes cutting 10 percent from every state agency, even as California struggles to provide for millions of new residents, fix failing schools and address myriad problems in its overcrowded prisons.

The across-the-board spending cut is the kind of draconian tactic his Republican Party colleagues have long sought to realign state spending and revenue.

But it touched off a firestorm of criticism among the state's ruling Democratic majority in the Legislature and promised to put his pledge to move California beyond partisan politics to the ultimate test.

If ultimately passed, Schwarzenegger's budget would cut hundreds of dollars in classroom spending for every California student. It also would close 48 state parks - nine of them in the Bay Area - and eliminate dental coverage and other benefits for millions who rely on the state for health care and welfare.

The governor painted his spending plan as tough love and the only option left for the state after a housing market meltdown and years of deficit spending by California lawmakers. It was a pattern he helped perpetuate by borrowing to cover past deficits and increasing spending for popular programs on the eve of his 2006 re-election bid.

Schwarzenegger simultaneously declared a fiscal emergency Thursday, a move designed to force lawmakers to vote on many of his proposed cuts within 45 days instead of waiting until the new budget year begins July 1. Lawmakers will be prohibited from voting on other bills if they don't take action on the deficit.

California faces a $3.3 billion deficit for the current fiscal year, and the governor's finance office projects an $11.2 billion shortfall next year. The combined gap is $14.5 billion over the next 18 months.

The governor asked the Legislature to cut $400 million from schools immediately and take away $4.4 billion beginning in July. That would require lawmakers to suspend provisions of Proposition 98, the voter-approved initiative that guarantees a minimum funding level for schools and is coveted by the state's powerful teachers union.

Schwarzenegger also asked for the early release of more than 22,000 state prison inmates over the next two years. Inmates with less than 20 months remaining on their sentences would be released if they are determined to be "low risk."

Only prisoners serving sentences on nonviolent, non-sex offender crimes would be eligible.

He also proposed eliminating active supervision of 18,522 parolees and making it far more difficult to return lawbreakers to prison.

In all, the cuts and weakened parole policy were expected to reduce California's prison population by 35,000 over the next two years.

Republicans also take issue with a firefighting surcharge on homeowners' property insurance. Some say it's a veiled attempt to increase taxes. Such fees can be passed with a simple majority vote of the Democrat-controlled Legislature, while tax increases require a two-thirds majority and Republican support.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary James Tilton said the cuts would mean the department would be forced to eliminate 6,000 positions. He estimated about 2,000 prison guards would have to be laid off.

Statewide, the 10 percent cuts could translate into hundreds, if not thousands, of additional layoffs.

The list of proposed cuts also includes 48 state parks, nearly one in five, visited by about 6.5 million residents annually.

Schwarzenegger also resubmitted a proposal the Legislature rejected last year to cut benefits for the children of welfare recipients if their parents fail to get jobs. State subsidies for the elderly, blind and disabled also would be frozen through the end of the decade, while Medi-Cal would be cut by $1 billion.

A large part of the savings would come from eliminating dental coverage for 3 million adults.

In essence, the governor's budget proposes many of the deep cuts economists have long said would be necessary to bring the state's revenue and expenditures in line if the Republican governor would not raise taxes, which he has pledged not to do.

The majority of the estimated $14.5 billion deficit would be closed by an across-the-board cut of 10 percent to almost all state agencies and programs. The move saves almost $10 billion.

The governor also proposes borrowing an additional $3.3 billion under bonds voters approved for deficit-relief in 2004. That would extend the state's repayment of the bonds, which were designed to cover the budget shortfall resulting from the dot-com bust well into the next decade.

California is further in debt thanks to bonds the governor has championed, voters have cut off the option of borrowing to balance the budget, and Schwarzenegger has promised not to raise taxes.

His new budget also calls on the Legislature to ask voters to approve another $38 billion in bonds in November. The money would be for school construction, water projects, high-speed rail and new courts. The state would not face payments on that debt until after 2010.

Top of Page

6b) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Schwarzenegger proposes to borrow his way to balanced budget

Matthew Yi, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

(01-15) 04:00 PST Sacramento -- Despite deep cuts in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal to bridge the state's $14.5 billion deficit, nearly half of his budget-balancing plan involves borrowing money, deferring debt payments and counting future tax revenue, according to a report released Monday by the nonpartisan legislative analyst's office.

The governor is proposing to issue $3.3 billion in bonds, delay a scheduled early payment on debt worth $1.5 billion and shift $2 billion of tax revenue that would otherwise be counted in the 2009-10 fiscal year to the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1, the report says.

Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill questioned the shifting of revenues from one fiscal year to another.

"In our initial review, we have not yet been able to determine whether this proposal is a reasonable change in accounting practices or merely a convenient way to generate a one-time revenue bump," she wrote in her 23-page report released Monday.

But some economists on Monday called it an accounting gimmick that wouldn't help solve the state's fiscal mess.

"This shows that even with the magnitude of the cuts that the governor has proposed, you can't solve the deficit with just the spending side of the budget," said Jean Ross, executive director of the California Budget Project.

Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks, said that such accounting methods plus additional borrowing would only exacerbate the problems plaguing the state budget.

"It sets in motion events that will require even more painful cuts later precisely because of borrowing and accounting gimmicks," he said. "The first law of holes is very important. If you're in one, stop digging. That means stop borrowing, stop Enron-accounting ... and start dealing honestly with the budget."

Fitch Ratings, a credit rating firm in New York, on Monday changed California from "stable outlook" to "rating watch negative," which is a warning to banks and investors that the state has identifiable risks that could potentially lead to lowering the state's current credit rating of "A+."

Most Republican lawmakers favor budget cuts over tax increases. And the governor's proposed spending plan has plenty of cuts across the board, including those that would result in closing 43 state parks, releasing tens of thousands of prisoners and taking billions of dollars from public schools.

Top of Page

Also See:

Gov budget loses billion in matching fed funds, bee, 1-15-08

Schwarzenegger Budget Cuts everything, cbs, ap, bcn, 1-11-08

Summary; Deterioration of the 2007–08 Budget, Elizabeth Hill, Legislative Analyst, Nov 14, 2007

California: from bad to worse: 14 bil shortfall, bee, 12-12-07

Arnie declares Fiscal Emergency, ap, 12-14-07

Legislators respond by punishing themselves with heavy raises, bee, 12-3-07

Must See!

The Arnie Link List

The California Page has a chronology of this budget crisis


Budget links


Search the Corruption Database under




Submit Comments Here

Please limit comments to 400 words, unless you write really well! Remember to include the Corruption Updates page number, and the article number on the page. Example: (82_1.)

Previous page: Page 149                 Next page: Page 151

Contact Us:


All Archives

Top of Page

Today's Headlines

1] US troops to be in Iraq forever

2] Interior department manipulation puts big oil before polar bears

3] Judge questions torture tape destruction

4] Russia lays claim to bush's policy of pre-emptive nuclear strikes

Danger: Even the john birch society is freaked out by the bush push for war with iran

5] First-strike nuclear capability in place and ready for use against iran

6] Gov Arnie's budget cuts everything

6b] Arnie tries debt, econ tricks, smoke and mirrors, to lessen deficit


Bleak Conditions persist in California Prisons