Posted tagged ‘George Bush’

Last World War I Veteran Dies at 110

February 28, 2011

Frank W. Buckles, the last known U.S. veteran of World War I, died yesterday at the age of 110.

From the New York Times:

He was only a corporal and he never got closer than 30 or so miles from the Western Front trenches, but Mr. Buckles became something of a national treasure as the last living link to the two million men who served in the American Expeditionary Forces in France in “the war to end all wars.”

Frail, stooped and hard of hearing, but sharp of mind, Mr. Buckles was named grand marshal of the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington in 2007. He was a guest at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day 2007 for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. He was honored by Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the Pentagon and met with President George W. Bush at the White House in March 2008.

United States Senators played host to him at the Capitol in June 2008 for the impending 90th anniversary of the World War I armistice. And he appeared before a Senate subcommittee in December 2009 to support legislation named in his honor to bestow federal status on a World War I memorial on the National Mall built in the 1930s.

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Giants Spoil Cowboys’ Home Opener

September 21, 2009

The New York Giants beat the Dallas Cowboys last night in front of a record crowd of 105, 121 fans which broke the NFL’s previous record of just over 103, 000.

Everyone was in attendance from George Bush, John Madden and LeBron James to former Cowboy legends Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin.

From USA Today:

Lawrence Tines made it seem like the crowd could’ve been 10,000 when he punched through a 37-yard field with no time left to silence the stadium and leave Jerry Jones’ head shaking.

“Everybody makes a big deal because we spoiled their little party,” Giants’ defensive end Justin Tuck said on Yahoo! Sports. “Every other game we play in the NFC East will be just as big.”

This wasn’t the biggest game of the year, though that’s probably the way the Cowboys wanted it to appear. Far from it. Despite an electric atmosphere, worshipping Cowboys owner Jones for his Texas-sized credit card, all the dust eventually settled and what was left was just another divisional game that both teams needed to have. Probably more-so for the Cowboys in their first game inside the $1.15 billion stadium.

Curt Schilling…Senator?

September 3, 2009

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling indicated on his blog yesterday that he was considering running for the Senate seat from Massachusetts formerly held by the late Edward Kennedy.

From the New York Times:

Mr. Schilling, an at-times outspoken conservative who campaigned for both George W. Bush and Senator John McCain in recent presidential elections, wrote on his blog that “I do have some interest in the possibility,” while also saying that his family and his video game company, 38 Studios, were priorities.

“To get to there from where I am today, many many things would have to align themselves for that to truly happen,” added Mr. Schilling, who won his first World Series with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001. “I am not going to comment further on the matter since at this point it would be speculation on top of speculation.”

Earlier in the day, New England Cable News had asked Mr. Schilling, 42, if he would consider running. “As of today, probably not,” he replied, adding that making a Senate bid was “a pretty big deal from a commitment standpoint” and that he would have to make a decision soon.

CIA Hired Blackwater To Go After Al Qaeda Leaders

August 21, 2009

The CIA apparently hired Blackwater back  in 2004 to work on a covert program aimed at targeting and potentially killing top al Qaeda leaders.

From CNN:

The existence of the program, which began in 2001, came to light earlier this year when CIA Director Leon Panetta canceled the effort, but it is only now that Blackwater’s involvement has become known.

That development was first reported Thursday in The New York Times.

The program was part of a broader effort inside the CIA to develop the capacity to conduct training, surveillance and possible covert operations overseas, according to the source. The program was outsourced to contractors to “put some distance” between the effort and the U.S. government.

By mid-2006, Blackwater’s involvement in the program had ended, according to a U.S. official. Other contractors were brought in for other parts of the program, another source said.

The total program cost “millions,” a U.S. official said. It is not known how much Blackwater was paid. The company — now known as Xe — did not return CNN’s calls seeking comment.

Dick Cheney Linked to Concealment of Terror Program

July 11, 2009

According to reports today, the CIA withheld information about a secret counter terrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney.

From the New York Times:

The report that Mr. Cheney was behind the decision to conceal the still-unidentified program from Congress deepened the mystery surrounding it, suggesting that the Bush administration had put a high priority on the program and its secrecy.

Mr. Panetta, who ended the program when he first learned of its existence from subordinates on June 23, briefed the two intelligence committees about it in separate closed sessions the next day.

Efforts to reach Mr. Cheney through relatives and associates were unsuccessful.

The question of how completely the C.I.A. informed Congress about sensitive programs has been hotly disputed by Democrats and Republicans since May, when Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the agency of failing to reveal in 2002 that it was waterboarding a terrorism suspect, a claim Mr. Panetta rejected.

The law requires the president to make sure the intelligence committees “are kept fully and currently informed of the intelligence activities of the United States, including any significant anticipated intelligence activity.” But the language of the statute, the amended National Security Act of 1947, leaves some leeway for judgment, saying such briefings should be done “to the extent consistent with due regard for the protection from unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to sensitive intelligence sources and methods or other exceptionally sensitive matters.”

“Flawed” Wiretaps Began Immediately Following 9/11

July 10, 2009

According to a report compiled by the inspectors general of the nation’s top intelligence agencies, the highly controversial no-warrant surveillance program initiated immediately after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States relied on a “factually flawed” legal analysis.

From CNN:

The report, mandated by Congress, provides fresh context to information previously leaked in press accounts and buttressed by both congressional testimony and books written by former officials involved in the surveillance effort.

The 38-page unclassified version of the document reaches a cautious conclusion, stating that any use of the information collected under the surveillance program “should be carefully monitored.”

The program, launched by President Bush in the weeks after the September 11 attacks, allowed for — without court approval — the interception of communications into and out of the United States if there was a “reasonable basis” that one of the parties was a terrorist.

The report, though not critical of the program’s objectives, sharply criticizes the legal advice provided to the White House by the Justice Department.

Barack Obama Selects Sonia Sotomayor as Supreme Court Choice

May 26, 2009

President Barack Obama has nominated federal judge Sonia Sotomayor of New York for the Supreme Court, making the longtime federal jurist the first Latino member of the nation’s highest court.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Sotomayor, first appointed to the federal district court for the Southern District of New York by Republican President George H.W. Bush in 1991, sits on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. She was elevated to the circuit court, one of the nation’s most prestigious, by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1998.

Obama, who has said that he wants a new justice with “a common touch” and a measure of “empathy,” also is offering a measure of ethnic diversity to a court dominated by white men in his replacement of the retiring Justice David Souter. The nine-member court includes just one female justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and one black justice, Clarence Thomas.

“I have decided to nominate an inspiring woman, who I believe will make a great justice,” said Obama, standing with Sotomayor by his side in the East Room of the White House.