Religious conservativesInstead of sending delegates from the American Medical Association and the American Public Health Association, he sends a group that includes Jeanne Head, a professional anti-abortion activist with the National Right to Life Coalition, Janice Crouse of the right-wing Concerned Women for America (a foundation created by Beverly LaHaye, wife of fundamentalist evangelist Tim LaHaye), and John Klink, a former chief negotiator for the Vatican. None of Bush's delegation are experts in any aspect of public health. Molly Ivins observes that for the Bush administration to send such an "eccentric delegation" is indicative of the "contempt" he holds for the organization. (Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose)
US militaryThis will mark the first real deployment of the highly expensive and problem-riddled "Star Wars" system. The Pentagon's former director of operational testing and evaluation, Philip Coyle, tells Congress during the same month that it will likely be closer to 2011 before any such missile system is ready for any sort of deployment. Wolfowitz's announcement appears to contradict statements made by Bush that he does not intend to field any missile defense system that isn't ready and workable. In December, Bush withdraws the US from the ABM missile treaty with Russia and other countries; in mid-2002 he announces that missile defense platforms will be deployed in Alaska and California by October 2004. At that time, the system has still failed every single real-world test put to it, and necessary components were not yet developed. David Corn asks, "Is it a lie to say you will definitely deliver what might never exist?" As of this writing (May 2005), the system has yet to pass a single test, but the 2004 military budget earmarks $9 billion for the program, with more to come. (David Corn)
Bush's foreign policiesbecause the new inspection-verification provisions, initially advocated by the US to combat germ warfare weapons, might risk exposing some American corporations' industrial secrets. London's Independent acidly observes, "For six years everybody talks of the importance of verification. And then, America discovers that its facilities, too, would have to be verified. The brazen nerve! America might be treated as though it were just another country!" (Eric Alterman and Mark Green)
Bush's foreign policiesJohn Bolton, the vituperative neocon who is the US delegate to the UN conference, cites the Second Amendment as the reason why the US cannot back the treaty; the real reason is that US arms manufacturers oppose the treaty. The US is the world's largest exporter of weapons, accounting for over $1.3 billion of the $4 billion in arms sold around the globe. The US is joined by Russia and China, and some of these countries' best arms customers, in opposing the treaty. (Mark Crispin Miller)
Bush's economic policiesBush signs a $180 billion farm subsidy bill, the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. The rationale for the bill can be found in the administration's relentless attempts to shift goverment spending from traditionally Democratic-voting areas to more Republican-voting areas. (Eric Alterman and Mark Green)
GOP campaign strategies(Bush lost women's votes by double digits to Gore in 2000), the Republican National Committee and the Bush administration mount a heavily funded, highly visible PR campaign called "Winning Women." Top White House officials like Karen Hughes, Condoleezza Rice, and Christie Todd Whitman are brought to the media for profiles. The effort is led by the RNC's new co-chair, Ann Wagner, who is invariably described as a "38-year old suburban mom," the demographic targeted by the PR campaign.
Partisan Bush appointeesDemocratic senator Edward Kennedy blocks Astrue's appointment because of Astrue's close ties to the industry that the FDA is supposed to regulate. "It would be unprecedented for the commissioner to be appointed from an industry regulated by the FDA," writes Kennedy and six fellow Democrats. However, such an appointment is not unprecedented, nor even uncommon, for the Bush adminstration. Astrue's name is eventually withdrawn. (Eric Alterman and Mark Green)
Islamist terrorismsays in an interview, "All of the answers, all of the clues allowing us to dismantle Osama Bin Laden's organization, can be found in Saudi Arabia. ...The main obstacles to investigating Islamic terrorism were US oil corporate interests and the role played by Saudi Arabia in it." (Buzzflash)
Iraq war and occupation"My unit reported for drill in July 2001 and we were suddenly and unexpectedly informed that all activities planned for the next two months would be suspended in order to prepare for a mobilization exercise to be held on Sept. 14, 2001. We worked diligently for two weekends and even came in on an unscheduled day in August to prepare for the exercise. By the end of August all we needed was a phone call, which we were to expect, and we could hop into a fully prepared convoy with our bags and equipment packed." This gives the lie to Bush's insistence that no planning was underway for an invasion of Iraq. (CommonDreams)
Global warming and the environmentand that is caused largely by emissions from "human activities" such as auto and industrial pollutants. The Bush administration, who had requested the report, misrepresented the findings as "inconclusive" about the reasons for global warming. An initiative later begun by the administration that promised to "reduce America's greenhouse-gas emissions relative to the size of our economy" was a complete ruse; at the time, the US economy was growing, so according to the proposed standard, the amount of emissions could rise as well, as long as they didn't rise more than the economy was growing. Most industrialized nations, who were signees of the Kyoto environmental accords, advocate lowering emissions to below 1990 levels. The Bush administration asks for nothing more than slower emissions based on 2000 levels. (The Nation)
"Who cares what you think?" -- George W. Bush to a citizen who tells him he's doing a poor job, July 4, 2001
Islamist terrorismOsama bin Laden stays for 10 days in a Paris hospital for treatment of a kidney condition. (From the Wilderness)
9/11 attacksCofer Black, meet with national security advisor Condoleezza Rice to warn her of what they believe is an imminent attack by al-Qaeda on US soil. The case for the warning is compiled from a mass of fragments and items that, put together, make a compelling argument for immediate preparations. Rice refuses to heed the warnings. This meeting is not made public knowledge until late September 2006, when Bob Woodward writes of it in his book State of Denial. Rice and the White House initially deny that the meeting ever took place, but after documentation proves the meeting actually happened, they begin spinning the meeting to mislead the public into believing it was far less serious than it actually was -- a spin that is hard to credit, considering Tenet is Woodward's prime source for the information.
Islamist terrorismmeeting in Genoa, Italy, discuss the Taliban, pipelines, and the handing over of Osama bin Laden. According to Pakistani representative Ambassador Naiz Naik, the U.S. delegation, led by former Clinton Ambassador to Pakistan Tom Simmons, warns of a "military option" if the Taliban did not change position. (From the Wilderness)
Bush's economic policies"The [Clinton] surplus has declined from being gigantic to merely immense." A month later, Bush will tell Americans that a return to deficit spending is "incredibly positive news" because it will restrain government spending. Within his first two years, Bush will squander every dime of the $5.6 trillion surplus he inherited, and Bush will submit budgets calling for the largest deficits in American history. Bush will lay the blame on a variety of targets, including Bill Clinton, al-Qaeda, the March 2001 economic recession, and in one memorable statement tells us "it's nobody's fault." He even blames the Iraqi war for the deficit, though deficit spending started a year before Iraq was invaded. (Washington Post/Paul Waldman)
Republican corruptionShe is found at 8:10 the next morning by Juanita and Andreas Bergmann, who claim they had an appointment that morning with Scarborough to facilitate Bergmann's application for a green card. Scarborough, however, is ostensibly still in Washington, DC, and flies in to Pensacola, less than forty miles from the office, later that day. Police immediately characterize Klausutis's death as an accident, and not a result of foul play, even before the coroner's report or the autopsy; medical examiner Michael Berkland concurs even before doing an autopsy or receiving a toxological report. Berkland and the local police refuse to search for evidence of foul play, such as skin cells, hairs, fibers, and so forth. The police and medical examiner's office will later refuse to release the autopsy report in violation of Florida's public records law, until August 6, after threats of lawsuits are made. Klausutis, who worked for Scarborough since 1999 and is married to a scientist who does classified design work for the Air Force, is apparently alone in the office when she dies.
Election fraudwho pledged to keep out of the Florida presidential election, has been found to have been far more involved than he previously admitted. Bush pledged to stay out of the campaign because his brother, George W. Bush, was the GOP candidate. However, at least 95 phone calls were placed from his private office to campaign headquarters. The governor refuses to disclose the nature of those phone calls. Further investigation shows that he visited the Bush/GOP headquarters in Tallahassee at least once, that he participated in at least one Bush campaign strategy conference call, and that six of the 95 calls were made on the day that a violent, well-coordinated mob of GOP protesters stopped the Miami-Dade recount. (Alligator, Floridagate)
Election fraudshe also erased numerous documents relating to the recount from her computer. Evidence continues to mount that Harris committed election fraud in her actions as Secretary of State. Examination of computers in Harris's office shows that she and her co-workers placed documents and files on those computers directly linked to the efforts to elect George W. Bush as President. Harris served as the co-chairman of the Florida Bush presidential campaign; as Secretary of State, she is pledged to ensure a fair and impartial election. To avoid conflicts, Harris pledged to erect a "firewall" between her work as chairman of the Bush campaign and her work as Secretary of State. The unearthing of these files proves that Harris did not maintain the integrity of the so-called "firewall," but let the two positions overlap.
Bush's foreign policiesIt is the third of a series of back-channel conferences called "brainstorming on Afghanistan." Taliban representatives sat in on previous meetings, but boycotted this one due to worsening tensions. However, the Pakistani ISI relays information from the meeting to the Taliban. At the meeting, former US State Department official Lee Coldren passes on a message from Bush officials. He later says, "I think there was some discussion of the fact that the United States was so disgusted with the Taliban that they might be considering some military action." Accounts vary, but former Pakistani Foreign Secretary Niaz Naik later says he is told by senior American officials at the meeting that military action to overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan is planned to "take place before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest." The goal is to kill or capture both bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar, topple the Taliban regime and install a transitional government of moderate Afghans in its place. Uzbekistan and Russia would also participate. Naik also says "it was doubtful that Washington would drop its plan even if bin Laden were to be surrendered immediately by the Taliban." One specific threat made at this meeting is that the Taliban can choose between "carpets of bombs" -- an invasion -- or "carpets of gold" -- the pipeline. Naik says Tom Simons made the "carpets" statement; Simons claims: "It's possible that a mischievous American participant, after several drinks, may have thought it smart to evoke gold carpets and carpet bombs. Even Americans can't resist the temptation to be mischievous." Naik and the American participants deny that the pipeline was an issue at the meeting. (Albion Monitor/AlterNet, From the Wilderness)
Iraq war and occupationShe tells CNN's Wolf Blitzer, "We are able to keep arms from him [Saddam]. His military forces have not been rebuilt." Shortly afterwards, Rice, along with the rest of the Bush administration, will abruptly change their stories with no new evidence of Iraqi weapons programs. (CNN/Buzzflash)
Bush's energy policiesand implies that US foreign investment in India will rise once India cooperates with Enron. "By any reasonable standard," she says, "the level of foreign investment here remains much lower than it could or should be.... From an American perspective, as I'm sure you've all heard before, many of India's problems in this regard can be summed up in one five-letter word: Enron." (David Corn)
9/11 attacksdue to a threat assessment, but neither the FBI nor the Justice Department identify what the threat was, when it was detected or who made it. "Ashcroft demonstrated an amazing lack of curiosity when asked if he knew anything about the threat. 'Frankly, I don't,' he told reporters." It is later reported that he stopped flying in July based on threat assessments made on May 8 and June 19. In May 2002 it is claimed the threat assessment had nothing to do with al-Qaeda, but Ashcroft walked out of his office rather than answer questions about it. (From the Wilderness)
Iraq war and occupationtells CNN interviewer Wolf Blitzer, "In terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let's remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt." (CNN/Al Franken)
Bush administration's contempt for democracy"A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it. Just so long as I'm the dictator." (Business Week/Buzzflash)
9/11 attacksciting no specific targets but saying "Terror groups are known to be planning and training for hijackings, and we ask you therefore to use caution." These alerts had expired by 9/11. Note that pilots and flight attendants later claim they were never told about warnings such as these. The airlines also disagree about the content of pre-9/11 warnings generally. For instance, American Airlines states these warnings were "extremely general in nature and did not identify a specific threat or recommend any specific security enhancements." The text of these warnings remain classified. (CCR)
9/11 attacksThe attack is imminent, and will kill thousands. He learns this from Tahir Yildash, leader of the rebel Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), which is allied with al-Qaeda at the time. Muttawakil sends an emissary to pass this information on to the US consul general. A US intelligence official also attends the meeting. The message is not taken very seriously; one source blames this on "warning fatigue" from too many warnings. Also, supposedly the emissary was from the Foreign Ministry, but didn't say the message came from Muttawakil himself. The emissary then takes the message to the Kabul offices of UNSMA, the political wing of the UN. They also fail to take the warning seriously. (CCR)
9/11 attacksArgentina or France from "a foreign intelligence source." The warning is then relayed to the Argentine security authorities. It is agreed to keep the warning secret in order to avoid panic while reinforcing security at Jewish sites in the country. Says a Jewish leader, "It was a concrete warning that an attack of major proportion would take place, and it came from a reliable intelligence source. And I understand the Americans were told about it." Argentina has a large Jewish community that has been bombed in the past, and has been an area of al-Qaeda activity. (CCR)
9/11 attacksTo make doubly sure the message gets through it is passed through an Arab intermediary to a German intelligence agent. The message states that a major attack, code named "The Big Wedding," is planned inside the US and that aircraft will be used. "When it became clear that the information was embarrassing to Bush Administration officials and congressmen who at first denied that there had been any such warnings before September 11, senior Jordanian officials backed away from their earlier confirmations." Christian Science Monitor calls the story "confidently authenticated" even though Jordan has backed away from it. (CCR)
War in AfghanistanA US contingency plan is drawn up to attack Afghanistan from the north." (CCR)