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Showing posts from October 11, 2008

BBC NEWS | Americas | Palin abused power, probe finds

BBC NEWS | Americas | Palin abused power, probe finds: "Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is guilty of abuse of power, according to a probe by the state legislature.

The Republican vice-presidential candidate was accused of sacking a senior state official, Walter Monegan, in connection with a family feud.

But the McCain-Palin campaign team said that the report showed Mrs Palin acted within 'proper and lawful authority'.

The report could have a significant effect on Republican hopes of winning next month's US presidential election.

Mrs Palin has always denied any wrongdoing, and her supporters say the charges are motivated by her political opponents."

Afghanistan: The Surge That Failed - by Anand Gopal and Tom Engelhardt

Afghanistan: The Surge That Failed - by Anand Gopal and Tom Engelhardt: "In a 1998 interview with Le Nouvel Observateur, Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, spoke proudly of how, in July 1979, he had 'signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul' and so helped draw a Russian interventionary force into Afghanistan. 'On the day that the Soviets officially crossed the border,' Brzezinski added, 'I wrote to President Carter, saying, in essence: 'We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War.'' And so they did – with the help of the CIA, Saudi money, the Pakistani intelligence services, and an influx of Arab jihadis, including Osama bin Laden. In fact, their Afghan War would prove far more disastrous for the Soviet Union than defeat in Vietnam had been for the United States. By the time the Soviets withdrew their last troops in February 1989,…

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 10/09/2008 | Financial crisis could put crimp in defense spending plans

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 10/09/2008 | Financial crisis could put crimp in defense spending plans: "WASHINGTON — With the U.S. economy in crisis and military spending at its highest level since World War II, military officials and experts are worrying that America may have to start reining in defense spending.

In the fiscal year that just ended, the U.S. spent $694.2 billion on defense, up 52 percent from the 2000 defense budget in constant dollars. (That year, the department spent $292 billion.) The fiscal 2008 total includes $514.2 billion in the defense budget and another $180 billion to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have been financed through so-called 'supplemental' budgets.

Eight years of borrowing to pay for the Iraq and Afghan wars, coupled with an aging baby boomer population, growing health care costs and a push to enlarge the Army, could force legislators to make tough decisions about which needs should take priority, and the next president …