FUBAR

Haven’t we heard this one before?

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown flew into Iraq and essentially told the British troops there, “Mission accomplished. Major combat operations are over.”

The strain of war

When a Navy admiral took over as the nation’s top uniformed leader this fall, he homed in on the military establishment’s fears for the future of the Army by touring several forts in the heartland and

Blackwater lies cost official his job

The State Department Inspector General who lied about his brother’s involvement with mercenary firm Blackwater Worldwide has resigned.

Howard Krongard first claimed his brother had nothing do with Blackwater, then admitted his brother had “attended a meeting” of the firm’s advisory board.

Further investigation, however, reveals Krongard’s brother was a highly-paid contractor with Blackwater, creating a clear conflict of interest for the man charged with overseeing the State Department’s contracts with the mercenary firm.

Krongard tried to stay on the job by recusing himself but sources say he is now under investigation by the Justice Department for violation of federal conflict of interest laws and other possible crimes.

CIA destroyed evidence of torture

First rule of a criminal conspiracy and coverup: Destroy the evidence.

Which is exactly what the Central Intelligence Agency did with videotapes showing torture of suspects. CIA Director Michael Hayden admitted Thursday the tapes were destroyed.

As evidence continues to mount that the Bush Administration not only sanctioned, but encouraged, torture of terrorism suspects in direct violation of the Geneva Convention accords, revelations that evidence of such torture were willfully destroyed will turn the issue into an election-season hot potato.

Yes, we’re still the land of opportunity

Oh dear, oh dear, pity poor Americans, because, you see, the system is rigged against the vast majority who were not born filthy rich. No less an authority than presidential candidate John Edwards says so, and he says so firmly.

Others chime in, telling us that the poor just keep getting poorer and that most of us are frozen in place in ever-worsening circumstances. Upward mobility is done for, they say. The middle class is disappearing. You don’t believe it? Have you listened to Lou Dobbs on TV lately?

Sure seemed like a good idea at the time

I was going to write a column this week about how several people whose opinion I respect have told me recently that my columns have been getting increasingly shrill and vitriolic.

Deja Vu all over again

Although the Bush White House tried to put the best face on it, there’s no getting around the fact that a national intelligence finding that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program four years ago and that it remains mothballed is a black eye for administration credibility and a blow to its hard line policy toward Iran.

A fitting monument to Martin Luther King

In November, Gilbert Young visited Barre, Vermont, the “Granite Center of the World,” on behalf of an organization called King is Ours.

His mission was to direct attention to a decision by the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, which has awarded the commission for the production of the centerpiece of a planned memorial to Dr. King to a communist Chinese sculptor named Lei Yixin.

Another mess in the nation’s capital

Just in case you are returning from a long Thanksgiving vacation on Mars, let me catch you up on what may be one of the worst municipal corruption scandals in American history, at least in the sheer audacity, duration, and amount of money stolen.

Iran ended nuke program years ago

Iran halted its secret effort to develop a nuclear weapon four years ago and doesn’t appear to have restarted the project, a comprehensive new U.S. intelligence report said Monday.

Iran’s decision to stop the program in mid-2003 indicates that it’s “less determined” to acquire nuclear weapons and “more vulnerable” to international pressure than U.S. intelligence agencies had previously believed, the U.S. intelligence community said.