Archive for the ‘david swanson’ Category


Putting War Waste on the Chopping Bloc

February 5, 2009

By David Swanson header

In the ordinary course of things in Washington, D.C., and on television, there are two separate conversations. In one conversation, everything that the government spends money on (schools, transportation, police, etc.) must be trimmed back to save money. In the other conversation, the expenses of wars and the military must be unquestioned. After what he said this week on ABC, it will be interesting to see whether Congressman Barney Frank is permitted on television anymore. He combined the two conversations. 

After a right-winger proposed more tax cuts to “stimulate” the economy and denounced any spending programs as not being “stimulus,” Frank pointed out that the largest spending program we’ve seen is the war on Iraq. Host George Stephanopoulos clearly felt the force of some galactic wind about to suck him into a different dimension in which the two conversations are permitted to overlap. He jumped in and said “That is a whole ‘nother show.” But Frank faced the taboo head-on, saying: 

“No it isn’t. That’s the problem. The problem is that we look at spending and say oh don’t spend on highways, don’t spend on healthcare, but let’s build cold war weapons to defeat the Soviet Union when we don’t need them, let’s have hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars going to the military without a check. Unless everything is on the table then you’re going to have a disproportionate hit in some places.”

Late last year, Frank proposed cutting the military by 25 percent. When I spoke with his chief of staff, he told me that he thought 10 percent could come from ending the occupation of Iraq. So, Frank is apparently thinking of the military and war budgets as a whole and proposing to cut a quarter, with 15 percent coming out of the standard military budget. “If we are going to get the deficit under control without slashing every domestic program, this is a necessity,” Frank said. Now, I’ll be the first to point out that 25 percent is grotesquely insufficient, and that there is a perverse sort of unstated public apology here, in that Frank led the charge to throw $700 billion at Wall Street tycoons and has sat by as trillions more has flown out that golden door without any pretense of oversight. But when someone in power gets something right, our focus should be on moving it forward, not analyzing the purity of heart of a politician. 

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Let Judgment Be Bush’s History

January 16, 2009

By David Swanson • AfterDowningStreet    header
see more in NEWS & ANALYSIS

History cannot be the judge of Bush and Cheney. The corporate news really is the first draft of history, and there will be no magical leap from its dishonesty to an honest account. Most in the Washington establishment want to protect Bush and Cheney and gang, although the New York Times has now printed one column admitting the obvious point that if the outgoing criminals are not punished, their heirs will repeat their crimes. 

What is Bush’s legacy? Wars, ruined economy, destroyed relations, increased terrorism, global warming? Yes, but for the most part Bush’s legacy will be determined by what happens after he’s gone. If all power remains in the White House and Congress devolves into a royal court, that will be Bush’s legacy, and the historians who are permitted to publish their thoughts will glorify, not judge, it. If, instead, we choose to enforce the laws of the land, then judgment will be Bush’s history. In fact, the books judging the need for judgment have already been written. 

For many months, citizens have been funding an effort to send copies of Vincent Bugliosi’s “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder” to state attorneys general and district prosecutors. That should continue, and we should get organizedabout electing prosecutors to office who commit to enforcing our laws. 
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Bush Special Prosecutor Is Top Question for Obama

January 5, 2009


From David Swanson header

After five days of citizen voting at President-elect Obama’s website, the top-ranked question seeks a non-partisan Special Prosecutor to investigate the crimes of the Bush Administration:

“Will you appoint a Special Prosecutor – ideally Patrick Fitzgerald – to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush Administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping?” -Bob Fertik, New York City

The second round of questions began on December 30. As of January 4, nearly 4 million votes had been cast for over 63,000 questions. The first round of questions ended on December 15 with nearly 1 million votes cast for over 10,000 questions.

In the second round, citizen-submitted questions were separated by category: Economy, National Security, Foreign Policy, Education, Health Care, Energy & Environment, Science & Technology, and Additional Issues. The Special Prosecutor question appears in “Additional Issues” and had 19,624 votes as of noon on Sunday. The second-ranked question about accountability for bank bailouts (under Economy) had 17,033 votes.
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