Friday, May 30, 2003

At Death’s Door
American Woman Travels Door to Door to Count Iraqi Casualties

By David Wright

Marla Ruzicka, from the San Francisco Bay Area, has been in post-war Baghdad, doing a headcount of the Iraqi injured and the dead. (ABCNEWS.COM)

B A G H D A D, Iraq, May 28— The Pentagon keeps a precise count of U.S. casualties in the war in Iraq. But the question of how many Iraqis lost their lives remains as mysterious as the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein or the location of all those weapons of mass destruction.

Marla Ruzicka, 26, from the San Francisco Bay Area, has been in Baghdad since the day Saddam's statue fell in the city center. She has been doing a headcount of the Iraqi injured and the dead. She's found more than she expected.

She has formed her own nonprofit organization, called the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict, or CIVIC. She has organized 150 surveyors to fan out across Iraq. So far, they say they have documented 620 civilian deaths in Baghdad, 256 in Najaf, 425 in Karbala and as many as 1,100 in Nasiriyah. It is only a preliminary count.

"Somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000 people died in this conflict," Ruzicka said.


Guess we showed them huh.


Wolfowitz Comments Revive Doubts Over Iraq's Mass Destruction Weapons
By Robert H. Reid Associated Press Writer
Published: May 30, 2003

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - European critics of the Iraq war expressed shock Friday at published remarks by a senior U.S. official downplaying Iraq's weapons of mass destruction as the reason for the conflict. In an interview in the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair magazine, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz cited "bureaucratic reasons" for focusing on Saddam Hussein's alleged arsenal and said a "huge" reason for the war was to enable Washington to withdraw its troops from Saudi Arabia.

"For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on," Wolfowitz was quoted as saying.

He said one reason for going to war against Iraq that was "almost unnoticed but huge" was the need to maintain American forces in Saudi Arabia as long as Saddam was in power.

Those troops were sent to Saudi Arabia to protect the desert kingdom against Saddam, but their presence in the country which houses Islam's holiest sites enraged Islamic fundamentalists, including Osama bin Laden.


They don't even care. They could care less that they lied.


Pentagon Aims Guns at Lynch Reports
Los Angeles Times
Robert Scheer

May 29, 2003

It is one thing when the talk-show bullies who shamelessly smeared the last president, even as he attacked the training camps of Al Qaeda, now term it anti-American or even treasonous to dare criticize the Bush administration. When our Pentagon, however — a $400-billion- a-year juggernaut — savages individual journalists for questioning its version of events, it is worth noting.

Especially if you're that journalist.

Last week, this column reported the findings of a British Broadcasting Corp. special report that accused the U.S. military and media of inaccurately and manipulatively hyping the story of U.S. Pvt. Jessica Lynch and her rescue from an Iraq hospital. The column was also informed by similar and independently reported articles and statements in the Toronto Star, the Washington Post and other reputable publications.

Expected — and received — was a hysterical belch of outrage from the right-wing media, led by Rupert Murdoch's Fox empire, which has already committed a huge book advance to the telling of this mythic tale. A fiery and disingenuous response from the Pentagon, however, was quite a bit more sobering.

Calling the column a "tirade," Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke wrote in a letter to The Times that "Scheer's claims are outrageous, patently false and unsupported by the facts."


I had the most wonderful breakfast today!

I could not bring myself to read the article in today's LA Times while I ate my breakfast at the athletic club I am a member of here in Marina Del Rey California. Breakfast is such a simple yet wonderful and highly anticipated pleasure for me since none of the oft consuming daily stress has had time to set in.

I had already read so many other stories that chronicled the disgraceful lies and blatant media manipulations around this story so I was disinclined to even glance the article. I knew where Sheer would be on the facts.

Across from me sat a typical throng of condo dwellers. The club is part of a towering condo complex, and the café is a favorite with the residents. All of them pre-geriatric but full of life. Living well in California will do that to you.

One sat and read news tidbits to the rest while many sat in seeming rapture. Being old will do that to you I suppose.

Then the host started to read the Robert Sheer piece and the entire room became fixated. The predictable “no kidding, are you serious, is that what it says” remarks came forth. Those remarks gave way to silence, then many heads bowed while twisting side to side as if almost in torment.

They’d been had, and now they knew it.

What a wonderful breakfast indeed.


Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Provisional Government
The disturbing extension of U.S. rule in Iraq.
By Christopher Hitchens - Wednesday, May 28, 2003, at 10:40 AM PT

In the months preceding the intervention in Iraq, there were almost as many arguments within the "regime-change" constituency as there were between it and the "peace" camp. On both sides, indeed, some internal disagreements were subordinated to the main quarrel. The most enduring suspicion, among the Arab and Kurdish supporters of an attacking policy, was that elements within the American government would seek to keep them from harvesting an "Iraq for the Iraqis" victory. Hence the long tussle between Ahmad Chalabi and the CIA, and hence also the enduring memory among Kurds of the times when they had been used and dumped in the past. It doesn't take much to bring these old suspicions back to life and the appointment of Paul Bremer, latterly of the grand old firm of Kissinger Associates, to a proconsulship could almost have been designed to revive them.

To some extent, every faction in this debate has been looking down the barrel of a rifle that might backfire. If no weapons of mass destruction are ever unearthed, for example, that still doesn't mean that Iraq even attempted to comply with the terms of U.N. Resolution 1441 and it still makes nonsense of those who prophesied an apocalyptic outcome to any invasion. (This self-canceling propaganda has occurred before: Those who argued that the "real" reason for the removal of the Taliban was the building of a Unocal pipeline have yet to present any hard empirical evidence of such a sinister pipeline being laid, or even planned. Meanwhile, previous opponents of a U.S.-led presence in Afghanistan send me gloating e-mails every day, showing that the state of affairs in that country is far from ideal and that Washington's interest in it is lapsing. Unless this means that they prefer Afghanistan the way it was, as some of them doubtless do, I hope they realize that they seem to be arguing for more and better intervention there, not for less.)

Seems to me Hitch was a bit smarmy and condecending toward those of us who forsaw this exact scenario being the likely outcome before the damned invasion. Of course now he can find a way to say it's no big deal and things will work out.


Democrats Too Craven to Fight Back

Los Angeles TImes 5/28/2003
By Arianna Huffington,
Arianna Huffington writes a syndicated column. E-mail:

They are paralyzed by the fear of doing or saying something that could be turned against them in GOP attack ads.

"I a little bit disagree with Chairman Roberts on that."

That was Jay Rockefeller, the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, kinda, sorta, uh, not really taking exception to committee Chairman Pat Roberts' assertion that we've turned the corner when it comes to keeping the peace in postwar Iraq. But it could just as easily serve as the motto for the whole Democratic Party: "Vote for us — we kinda, sorta disagree."

Party leaders are so timid, spineless and lacking in confidence that to call them jellyfish would be an insult to invertebrates.

These dithering poltroons are so paralyzed by the fear of doing or saying something that could be turned against them in GOP attack ads that they've castrated themselves when it comes to presenting any kind of challenge to President Bush on the two most important issues of the day: tax cuts and Iraq.

Exhibit A comes from Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, who, when asked on "Meet the Press" why the Democrats didn't offer a bold, full-throated alternative to the Bush tax cut plan, including the repeal of the 2001 cuts and a guaranteed balanced budget, timorously explained: "Well, we — you got to take it one step at a time."

Why? Bush doesn't. He's comfortable with leaps and bounds. And he's taking us with him. Do the Democrats think this is an AA meeting? We're facing $1 trillion of new debt, incurred by a president with the worst economic record since Herbert Hoover and the best the leader of the opposition can muster is a meaningless cliché?

Daschle issued an equally uncertain call when it came to the war on Iraq. First, he helped draft the Senate's resolution on the use of force. Then, after sticking his finger in the political wind and catching a zephyr of antiwar sentiment, he blasted the president for failing "so miserably at diplomacy that we're now forced to war."

I subscribe to Arianna's newsletter so I read the article in my inbox. However I saw it posted on SmirkingChimp and was taken by a post there:

"On C-Span last week, Bill Clinton made the observation that Democrats habitually don't seem to know how to play "power" politics. They tend to operate from evidence and argument (at least the effective ones do; the jellyfish operate on cowering), while the Republicans operate from ideology, a cultural/moral/political sense of entitlement, and resentment.

He made the clear distinction, as well, between the trashing he took as president, so harsh that it not only disrespected the office but disrespected his humanity, and the blind worship and idolatry offered to Chimp, an equally dangerous extreme. But the worship goes with their sense of entitlement. And so does their pure aggression and in-built resentments. They are "by any means neccessary". Democrats have more of this little nagging thing called conscience, we mostly don't and wouldn't operate that way. It may be our downfall, and we have to be fair but damned strong, and soon, because the Hard Right is fanatical."

This person (using some of their own and Bill Clinton's words) so nails it in my opinion.


Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Classified: Censoring the Report About 9-11?

Bush officials are refusing to permit the release of matters already in the public domain - including the existence of intelligence documents referred to on the CIA Web site.

By Michael Isikoff

June 2 issue - Why is the Bush administration blocking the release of an 800-page congressional report about 9-11? The bipartisan report deals with law-enforcement and intelligence failures that preceded the attacks. For months, congressional leaders and administration officials have battled over declassifying the document, preventing a public release once slated for this week. NEWSWEEK has learned new details about the dispute.

AMONG THE PORTIONS of the report the administration refuses to declassify, sources say, are chapters dealing with two politically and diplomatically sensitive issues: the details of daily intelligence briefings given to Bush in the summer of 2001 and evidence pointing to Saudi government ties to Al Qaeda. Bush officials have taken such a hard line, sources say, that they're refusing to permit the release of matters already in the public domain - including the existence of intelligence documents referred to on the CIA Web site.

One document is called the PDB, the President's Daily Brief. The congressional report contains details of PDBs provided to Bush (and top national- security aides) prior to 9-11. The PDBs included warnings about possible attacks by Al Qaeda. (One PDB was given at the presidential ranch in Crawford, Texas, on Aug. 6, and dealt with the possibility that Al Qaeda might hijack airplanes.) But an administration review committee overseen by CIA Director George Tenet has refused to declassify anything that even refers to the existence of PDBs - though they are described on the CIA's own Web site ( A U.S. intelligence official said the review committee must consult with the White House before releasing anything. But the official denied charges by Florida Sen. Bob Graham, a Democratic presidential candidate, that Tenet's review committee was covering up White House embarrassments. "We're not playing politics," the official says. "Our concern is national security."

Well this is interesting. Where will it lead? I so distrust the mainstream news that I am half betting this is a drip drip release effort. Culminating in a "See we told you there was nothing there" response from the Bush mouth pieces.


NASA Deal Closes the Door on Columbia Inquiry

"Civilian members of the expert group investigating the Columbia space shuttle disaster have been put on the NASA payroll to ensure much of the inquiry will be carried out in secret. The highly controversial move - which has prompted angry accusations that the inquiry can no longer be considered impartial - will see the five civilian representatives on the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) each receive executive-level salaries of up to $134,000 a year. If the civilians - who were supposedly recruited to ensure the investigation was independent from NASA - had not been hired by the agency, the board would have had to meet publicly, justify any closed-door sessions and keep transcripts and minutes that would ultimately become public records. However, the CAIB has exploited a legal loophole which allows boards composed entirely of federal employees to conduct their business in private."


more unfurling and more stench...

This sucks hard. More Bu$h Junta Secrecy paid for with our tax dollars.


Shuttle Rescue Might Have Been Possible

at May 24, 8:49 AM ET

By MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA (news - web sites) could have launched another shuttle to rescue the Columbia astronauts if it had realized the severity of the wing damage early on and decided it was worth the extreme risk to the second ship and crew, the chief accident investigator said.

Retired Navy Adm. Harold Gehman Jr., chairman of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, said Friday that the question was put to NASA earlier this month and that the space agency's preliminary findings indicate that such a rescue would have been technically feasible.

But he added: "I've got no idea if it would have been successful or not."

Gehman stressed that a rushed rescue mission by shuttle Atlantis and four of NASA's best and most seasoned astronauts would have been "very, very risky — but not impossible."

He said astronauts would have been "standing out in the hallways to volunteer."


Is this where they start eating thier own?

This thing just smells more and more as it unfurls like a rotten artichoke.



Thursday, May 22, 2003

Official Would've OKd Shuttle Rescue

May 22, 2003
Los Angeles Times, The Nation

Official Would've OKd Shuttle Rescue

- NASA's human spaceflight chief says he would have backed the mission if the extent of Columbia's damage had been known.

By Ralph Vartabedian, Times Staff Writer

The chief for human spaceflight at NASA said Wednesday he would have approved the launch of another space shuttle to rescue the crew of Columbia if he had known the extent of its damage and that the crew was doomed.

A high-stakes effort to rescue the seven astronauts would have involved risks never encountered in the 40-year history of human spaceflight, according to astronauts, space engineers and an internal study that NASA is conducting.

Although the issue may seem academic, it is central to NASA's future because such a rescue mission is likely to be a key safety option once shuttle flights resume. William F. Readdy, NASA associate administrator for spaceflight, said the agency believes these rescue missions are possible. Readdy's statement also is a powerful acknowledgment that the agency had erred in thinking that nothing could have or should have been done to save Columbia, even if the agency knew the orbiter had catastrophic damage.

NASA was already preparing another space shuttle, Atlantis, at Kennedy Space Center and could have rushed it to the launchpad if the agency was willing to discard the usual procedures and regulations, according to a senior engineer at the launch site.

The Atlantis orbiter was mated to its external tank and solid rocket boosters by late January, a process that could have been accelerated if NASA officials had recognized the gravity of Columbia's problems in the days after the Jan. 16 launch, said the engineer, who asked not to be identified by name. Indeed, by Jan. 18, NASA had convened a team to assess whether Columbia's left wing had been damaged by foam debris, and a quick decision could have allowed for a launch of Atlantis by the second week of February, he said

Most curious...I will come back later and dive into this.


Lawmakers Urge 9/11 Panel to Speak Out

By LAURENCE ARNOLD, Associated Press Writer
Yahoo, Politics - U. S. Congress

WASHINGTON - Two lawmakers who fought to create the independent commission on the Sept. 11 attacks urged the panel Thursday to blow the whistle on bureaucratic barriers and government failures that left the nation vulnerable to terrorism.

"The American people deserve to know the full and objective truth, the best it can be determined. Today we have not yet received that, unfortunately," Sen. Joe Lieberman (news - web sites), D-Conn., told the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

Lieberman, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, accused the Bush administration of "stepping delicately around the bureaucratic failures that have long plagued our domestic defenses at the federal level." He said government officials and employees should be held personally accountable for such failures.

Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., said the panel should look more broadly at U.S. policies and practices through the past four presidential administrations, especially responses to terror attacks against U.S. interests.


This is a welcome sign.


Wednesday, May 21, 2003

George W. Bush's Resume

By: Kelley Kramer - 04/25/03

I recently had an email exchange with a right-winger from my local newspaper, and of course the war with Iraq came up pretty quick. But he said something in defense of George Bush that really surprised me. In defense of the attack on Iraq he said 'between Hussein and Bush, Hussein is the bad guy'.

My first response was ... So your guy is better than a third world dictator, Wow! what an accomplishment! Does he put that on his resume?

And with that in mind, I started wondering ... what would a George W. Bush resume look like exactly? Listed below is what I came up with.

George W. Bush Resume

Past work experience:

* Ran for congress and lost.
* Produced a Hollywood slasher B movie.
* Bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas, company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock.
* Bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using tax-payer money. Biggest move: Traded Sammy Sosa to the Chicago White Sox.
* With fathers help (and his name) was elected Governor of Texas.
Accomplishments as Texas Governor:
* Changed pollution laws for power and oil companies and made Texas the most polluted state in the Union.
* Replaced Los Angeles with Houston as the most smog ridden city in America.
* Cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas government to the tune of billions in borrowed money. Set record for most executions by any Governor in American history.

* Became president after losing the popular vote by over 500,000 votes, with the help of my fathers appointments to the Supreme Court.

Accomplishments as president:
* Attacked and took over two countries.
* Spent the surplus and bankrupted the treasury.
* Shattered record for biggest annual deficit in history.
* Set economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12 month period.
* Set all-time record for biggest drop in the history of the stock market.
* First president in decades to execute a federal prisoner.
* First president in US history to enter office with a criminal record.
* First year in office set the all-time record for most days on vacation by any president in US history.
* After taking the entire month of August off for vacation, presided over the worst security failure in US history.
* Set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips than any other president in US history.
* In first two years in office over 2 million Americans lost their job.
* Cut unemployment benefits for more out of work Americans than any president in US history.
* Set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12 month period.
* Appointed more convicted criminals to administration positions than any president in US history.
* Set the record for the least amount of press conferences than any president since the advent of television.
* Signed more laws and executive orders amending the Constitution than any president in US history.
* Presided over the biggest energy crises in US history and refused to intervene when corruption was revealed.
* Presided over the highest gasoline prices in US history and refused to use the national reserves as past presidents have.
* Cut healthcare benefits for war veterans.
* Set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously take to the streets to protest me (15 million people), shattering the record for protest against any person in the history of mankind. (
* Dissolved more international treaties than any president in US history.
* residency is the most secretive and un-accountable of any in US history.
* Members of cabinet are the richest of any administration in US history. (the 'poorest' multi-millionaire, Condoleeza Rice has an Chevron oil tanker named after her).
* First president in US history to have all 50 states of the Union simultaneously go bankrupt.
* Presided over the biggest corporate stock market fraud of any market in any country in the history of the world.
* First president in US history to order a US attack and military occupation of a sovereign nation.
* Created the largest government department bureaucracy in the history of the United States.
* Set the all-time record for biggest annual budget spending increases, more than any president in US history.
* First president in US history to have the United Nations remove the US from the human rights commission.
* First president in US history to have the United Nations remove the US from the elections monitoring board.
* Removed more checks and balances, and have the least amount of congressional oversight than any presidential administration in US history.
* Rendered the entire United Nations irrelevant.
* Withdrew from the World Court of Law.
* Refused to allow inspectors access to US prisoners of war and by default no longer abide by the Geneva Conventions.
* First president in US history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 US elections).
* All-time US (and world) record holder for most corporate campaign donations.
* Biggest life-time campaign contributor presided over one of the largest corporate bankruptcy frauds in world history (Kenneth Lay, former CEO of Enron Corporation).
* Spent more money on polls and focus groups than any president in US history.
* First president in US history to unilaterally attack a sovereign nation against the will of the United Nations and the world community.
* First president to run and hide when the US came under attack (and then lied saying the enemy had the code to Air Force 1)
* First US president to establish a secret shadow government.
* Took the biggest world sympathy for the US after 911, and in less than a year made the US the most resented country in the world (possibly the biggest diplomatic failure in US and world history).
* With a policy of 'dis-engagement' created the most hostile Israeli-Palestine relations in at least 30 years.
* First US president in history to have a majority of the people of Europe (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and stability.
* First US president in history to have the people of South Korea more threatened by the US than their immediate neighbor, North Korea.
* Changed US policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.
* Set all-time record for number of administration appointees who violated US law by not selling huge investments in corporations bidding for government contracts.
* Failed to fulfill my pledge to get Osama Bin Laden 'dead or alive'.
* Failed to capture the anthrax killer who tried to murder the leaders of our country at the United States Capitol building. After 18 months I have no leads and zero suspects.
* In the 18 months following the 911 attacks I have successfully prevented any public investigation into the biggest security failure in the history of the United States.
* Removed more freedoms and civil liberties for Americans than any other president in US history.
* In a little over two years created the most divided country in decades, possibly the most divided the US has ever been since the civil war.
* Entered office with the strongest economy in US history and in less than two years turned every single economic category heading straight down.

Records and References:

* At least one conviction for drunk driving in Maine (Texas driving record has been erased and is not available).
* AWOL from National Guard and Deserted the military during a time of war.
* Refused to take drug test or even answer any questions about drug use.
* All records of tenure as governor of Texas have been spirited away to fathers library, sealed in secrecy and un-available for public view.
* All records of any SEC investigations into my insider trading or bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and un-available for public view.
* All minutes of meetings for any public corporation I served on the board are sealed in secrecy and un-available for public view.
* Any records or minutes from meetings I (or my VP) attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and un-available for public review.
* For personal references please speak to my daddy or uncle James Baker (They can be reached at their offices of the Carlyle Group for war-profiteering.)

Los Angeles Times Editorial 5/21/2003

Declassify the 9/11 Report

The appearance of a government cover-up concerning what happened Sept. 11, 2001, would not increase public confidence in officials' ability to fix what went wrong. Even so, the Bush administration continues to block the release of last year's House-Senate 9/11 panel report. It raises the question: What's to hide?

When the report was completed in December, the investigators voted to quickly release as much material as possible. An intelligence review committee, led by the CIA, was supposed to speedily vet the material to make sure no national security secrets were disclosed or valuable sources compromised. The review committee came back with an extensive set of redactions in February, according to people who saw the report and described it as "gutted."



No matter how hard I try, I can't even conjure up a scenario under which the GOP Wurlitzer would ever have allowed the Clinton administration to get away with this. It's disgraceful and smacks of a cover-up.


Saturday, May 17, 2003

Whatever Happened to Bin Laden? While US Storms Baghdad, Saudi Ties to Al Qaeda Are Unprobed
The Progressive Populist
Saturday, March 8, 2003

Greg Palast

On my BBC television show, Newsnight, an American journalist confessed that, since the 9/11 attacks, US reporters are simply too afraid to ask the uncomfortable questions that could kill careers: "It's an obscene comparison, but there was a time in South Africa when people would put flaming tires around people's necks if they dissented. In some ways, the fear is that you will be necklaced here, you will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck," Dan Rather said. Without his makeup, Rather looked drawn, old and defeated in confessing that he too had given in. "It's that fear that keeps journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions and to continue to bore in on the tough questions so often."

Investigators were ordered to "back off" from any inquiries into Saudi Arabian financing of terror networks.

FBI Document 199I

What we did discover was serious enough. To begin with, from less-than-happy FBI agents we obtained an interesting document, some 30 pages long, marked "SECRET." I've reproduced a couple of pages in The Best Democracy Money Can Buy [recently reissued in a paperback US edition by Plume]. Note the designation "199I" -- that's FBI-speak for "national security matter." According to insiders, FBI agents had wanted to check into two members of the bin Laden family, Abdullah and Omar, but were told to stay away by superiors -- until September 13, 2001. By then, Abdullah and Omar were long gone from the United States.

Why no investigation of the brothers bin Laden? The Bush administration's line is the Binladdins (a more common spelling of the Arabic name) are good folk. Osama's the Black Sheep, supposedly cut off from his Saudi kin. But the official line notwithstanding, some FBI agents believed the family had some gray sheep worth questioning -- especially these two working with the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), which the file labels "a suspected terrorist organization." ....


I can't wait for Michael Moore's upcomming movie on this subject.


I think we Americans need to learn why NASA is keeping the Shuttle disaster investigation secret.

I saw this story today.

"Nelson wants full disclosure of shuttle probe"
U.S Sen. Bill Nelson (D - FL). said he will seek full disclosure of information gathered in the Columbia space shuttle investigation, even if Congress has to use its subpoena power to get it.

The Columbia Accident Investigation Board has offered confidentiality to the more than 200 witnesses interviewed so far as part of its military-style investigation into what caused the shuttle to break up over Texas on Feb. 1.

But Nelson and other senators are pushing for access to all critical information from the investigation.

"I come from an experience of open government in Florida, and the thinking there is, `The more that's in the sunshine, the more the truth is going to be there,'" Nelson, D-Fla, said Friday...

MY TAKE ON THIS: Rove/Cheney/ Bush will fight this...because:

NASA no doubt told the administration of the potential of a shuttle break up upon reentry, days before the fatal event.. They were obligated to so by long standing Government and Congressional legislation. Many other Government and Military agencies are on a list of agencies or individuals who must also be notified and kept in the loop.

I believe:
The administration decided to prevent the information from becoming public. The decision was made to keep it secret in part, so as to avoid the spectacle of the whole world watching the Shuttle re-enter the atmosphere and burn up on live world wide TV. This spectacle had it occurred, would have taken place at the peak of the pre Iraq war push by the administration.

Additionally the administration made certain that NASA did not take any steps to prevent the disaster. Doing so would have revealed the possibility of a problem to the media and hence the public. This is critically important. If evidence surfaces that decisions were made not to attempt a rescue, then the entire scandal will blow open.

This is a huge problem for the administration because one of the ways the American people will, view this revelation, is to blame Bush for not attempting any kind of rescue. For Bush to know about the potential for disaster, and take not action, is unconscionable in the eyes of most Americans. Keeping it secret is perhaps not a crime but a serious breach of trust. Far worse than Clinton’s finger waving sex denial press conference.

Once it sinks into the heads of the media stupefied American sheeple, that Rove/Bush did this to make sure nothing distracted us from their War agenda, the entire thing will turn on the administration and take the form of a fire breathing dragon. Scorching everyone involved and creating a firestorm likely to consume the administration’s reelection chances.

All it will take to blow the lid off this scandal is for the right people to begin asking the right questions.

- When was the White House notified of the video that showed the foam hitting the wing?

- Did the Astronauts notify NASA during or after take off that they felt the impact or hear something.

- When did the Astronauts start communicating with NASA about concerns that the Shuttle might have sustained some damage?

- When was the white house notified of a potential problem with the shuttle?

- What information was relayed?

- What was the White House's response?

- What steps did the White House take?

- Why did the White House not notify the American People? (silver bullet imho)