Tuesday, July 29, 2008


U.S. Says Contractor Made Little Progress on Iraq Projects

By Dana Hedgpeth and Amit R. PaleyWashington Post Staff Writers
Monday, July 28, 2008; A02

The U.S. government paid a California contractor $142 million to build prisons, fire stations and police facilities in Iraq that it never built or finished, according to audits by a watchdog office.

The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) said Parsons of Pasadena, Calif., received the money, part of a total of $333 million but only completed about one-third of the projects, which also included courthouses and border control stations. The inspector general's office is expected to release two detailed audits today, evaluating Parsons's work on the contract, which is worth up to $900 million.

"Far less was accomplished under this contract than originally planned," the inspector general wrote. "Millions of dollars in waste are likely associated with incomplete, terminated and abandoned projects under this contract." Auditors did not give a dollar figure of how much had potentially been wasted, but they said Parsons got about 10 percent -- or $11.3 million -- of the $108 million of award fees it could have received.

Parsons said in a written statement yesterday that it had "some serious reservations about the conclusions" in the audits, saying the company was hindered by the violent and unstable security situation in Iraq. One of Parsons's subcontractors was shot and killed at close range while in his office, the company said.

Continue reading Washington Post story here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/27/AR2008072701768.html


The travesty of the Bush Administration has now extended to the Veterans Administration where the VA no longer will help wounded veterans obtain absentee ballots so they can vote.

Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans United for Truth are both spearheading drives to try to get members of Congress to pass legislation making it a law that the VA must assist wounded veterans in voting.

This story is just another example of how the mainstream media continues to prop up the Bush Administration and now John McCain and stick it to the wounded veterans because you will never read one sentence or hear one word mentioned about how wounded veterans are kept from getting voting information by the Veterans Administration.

Studies show that veterans are more likely to vote than non-veterans. However, what about our deployed servicemembers overseas and our veterans in nursing homes and hospitals?

Earlier this year, VA issued a ban on voter registration and voting assistance at VA hospitals and nursing homes and among homeless veterans.

Veterans for Common SenseHome .

First, an update about our lawsuit and, second, VCS is fighting to restore veteran voting rights.

Veterans for Common Sense, in conjunction with Veterans United for Truth, appealed our lawsuit because we believe the courts do have jurisdiction and can force change. We have requested an expedited hearing, citing new statistics that show a veterans’ suicide hotline receives 250 calls a day from people in distress.

The November 4 Presidential Election has captured the nation's attention. Veterans issues are now part of the national debate. Our first reminder is for you to register and vote. The late President John F. Kennedy, a World War II veteran, said, "the margin is narrow, but the responsibility is clear."

As the debate heats up and Americans are urged to choose sides in this election, many are asked to give a financial contribution to their candidate of choice. VCS is fighting to ensure that our wounded and homeless veterans will be able to excercise their right to vote. We are working to keep veteran issues in the national spotlight.

Click here to read an article comparing Senator Obama and Senator McCain's positions on veterans and the Iraq War.

Only 58% of the US adult population registers and votes. Of those registered to vote, nearly 90% voted in the last presidential election. Each day, ask somebody new if they are registered to vote. Include a message in your outgoing e-mail saying: "Remember to register to vote today. Then please be sure to vote on November 4, 2008. This is one way to honor our fellow Americans who stood between an enemy bullet and our beloved Constitution." Many states have registration deadlines well before election day. Click here for state-by-state information on voter registration.

The Senate introduced S. 3308, the Veteran Voting Support Act. VCS has endorsed this bill and we ask you to call Senators and Representatives so this bill passes in time to help our veterans register for the November election.

In a related development, a bill was introduced Friday to allow VA to provide voter registration and voting assistance. "Reps. Bob Brady, D-Pa., who chairs the Committee on House Administration, and Bob Filner, D-Calif., who chairs the House Veterans Affairs Committee, said in a letter to Peake that voter registration drives are one of the most effective tools in promoting veterans’ right to vote."


This new video from THE REAL NEWS NETWORK explains in detail how many feel Iraq is ready to explode. It is a chilling report.

http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=1976 OR CLICK ON THIS LINK: http://therealnews.com/permalinkedvideorss/videolatestrealnews.php AND THEN CLICK ON FIRST LISTING: "IS IRAQ READY TO EXPLODE"



Citing "brutal crimes," President Bush on Monday authorized the execution of an Army private convicted of a spree of rapes and murders in North Carolina in the 1980s.

By: Mike Allen July 28, 2008 09:09 PM EST

It was the first time a commander in chief has affirmed a military death sentence since 1957, half a century ago.

The solider, Ronald A. Gray, committed the crimes in the Fayetteville area while stationed at Fort Bragg. Gray has been on the military's death row at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., for 20 years.

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said in a statement on Monday evening: "President Bush this morning accepted the recommendation of the Secretary of the Army to approve a sentence of death for Army Private Ronald A. Gray, affirming the sentence that resulted from a general court martial for multiple charges of murder and rape committed while serving as a member of the Armed Services.

While approving a sentence of death for a member of our Armed Services is a serious and difficult decision for a Commander-in-Chief, the President believes the facts of this case leave no doubt that the sentence is just and warranted. Private Gray was convicted of committing brutal crimes, including two murders, an attempted murder, and three rapes.

The victims included a civilian and two members of the Army. Because additional legal challenges are expected in this case, we will decline to comment further. The President’s thoughts and prayers are with the victims of these heinous crimes and their families and all others affected."

Continue reading here: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0708/12129.html