Saturday, February 17, 2007

PBS Frontline's 'News War' exposes Bush’s media manipulation

In a great new 4-part series titled News War, PBS Frontline examines the battle between the White House & the national media and how they both fight to set the national agenda. In the first part that aired on Tuesday, Lowell Bergman investigates the Plame affair and breaks down how the Bush administration manipulated the media, which, in turn, manipulated and exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. Clip below...

The entire 'News War - Part 1' can be streamed here

Sign the petition for Congress to guarantee permanent funding for PBS and NPR!

Via Crooks & Liars

At least $10 billlion wasted due to private war companies

"About $10 billion has been squandered by the U.S. government on Iraq reconstruction aid because of contractor overcharges and unsupported expenses, and federal investigators warned Thursday that significantly more taxpayer money is at risk."

Federal Investigators, "Urged the Pentagon to reconsider its growing reliance on outside contractors in wars and reconstruction efforts. Layers of subcontractors, poor documentation and lack of strong contract management are rampant and promote waste even after the GAO first warned of problems 15 years ago."

See more about War Profiteering

Of the $10 billion in overpriced contracts or undocumented costs, more than $2.7 billion were charged by Halliburton Co., the oil-field services company once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney.

Noting that auditors still have $300 billion of Iraq spending to review, Waxman said the total amount of waste, fraud and abuse "could be astronomical." Read [AP]

IOM Report: 1 million Iraqis may flee in 2007

Due to the non-stop USA violence-fest and insecurity in Iraq, as many as 1 million Iraqis could flee their homes this year alone.

"The numbers of people that are being displaced are increasing every day," said Jemini Pandaya, spokeswoman for the International Organization for Migration. "The security situation is not improving. It's not changing." Read [Yahoo News]

UNICEF study: Britain, U.S. Worst Places for Children (Seriously.)

A Unicef study found there was no consistent relationship between a country's wealth, as measured in gross domestic product per capita, and a child's quality of life. The Czech Republic, for example, achieved a higher ranking than economically wealthier France, which was mired in the bottom third along with Britain and the United States.

Children's happiness was rated highest in northern Europe, with the Netherlands (with weed being legal? Wow!), Sweden and Denmark leading the list (hey and all those just mentioned have minimal to no involvement in war). Canada received a 12th overall ranking in the study...

U.S. House tells Bush 'No More Troops'

From Yahoo News: "The Democratic-controlled House issued a symbolic rejection of President Bush's decision to deploy more troops to Iraq on Friday, opening an epic confrontation between Congress and commander in chief over an unpopular war that has taken the lives of more than 3,100 U.S. troops."

The vote on the nonbinding measure was 246-182, and within minutes, Democrats said their next move would be to challenge Bush's request for $93 billion in new funds for the Pentagon.

Apparently, "Bush made no comment on the developments in the House, and his spokesman said the president was too busy to watch the proceedings on television."

BUT, the the Pentagon added another 1,000 troops to the surge, despite House disapproval.