In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Senate report blames Rumsfeld for bin Laden escape

Osama bin Laden was “within the grasp” of US forces in late 2001 but escaped because then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld rejected calls for reinforcements, a US Senate report says.

Dated for release Monday, the hard-hitting study comes as President Barack Obama prepares to announce a major escalation of the Afghan conflict, now in its ninth year, with the expected deployment of some 34,000 more US troops.

It points the finger directly at Rumsfeld for turning down requests for reinforcements as Bin Laden was trapped in December 2001 in caves and tunnels in a mountainous area of eastern Afghanistan known as Tora Bora.

“The vast array of American military power, from sniper teams to the most mobile divisions of the marine corps and the army, was kept on the sidelines,” the report says.

“Instead, the US command chose to rely on airstrikes and untrained Afghan militias to attack Bin Laden and on Pakistan’s loosely organized Frontier Corps to seal his escape routes.”

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Sanders opposes Bernanke renomination

Sen. Bernie SandersSenator Bernie Sanders said on Sunday he will not vote to reconfirm Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve, in a preview of the rough treatment Bernanke may get this week on Capitol Hill.

The central bank chief will testify on Thursday before the Senate Banking Committee at a hearing on his nomination to a second four-year term. The session could be difficult, with the Fed under fire from across the political spectrum.

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Democrats: Health care reform will pass, but…

Leading Democrats on Sunday said they expect Congress to pass a major healthcare reform backed by President Barack Obama, but supporters may have to accept legislation that falls short on some issues.

The U.S. Senate on Monday is set to begin debate on the sweeping overhaul of the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system amid growing concerns about the cost of the legislation that aims to provide medical coverage for millions of the uninsured.

“We want to cover the uninsured, yes, but we don’t want to do it in a way that’s going to drive up the costs for folks who currently have it,” said Senator Evan Bayh, one of a number of centrist Democrats whose support will be crucial to pass the overhaul in the face of solid Republican opposition.

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Democratic health care coalition falling apart

The 60 votes aren’t there any more.

With the Senate set to begin debate Monday on health care overhaul, the all-hands-on-deck Democratic coalition that allowed the bill to advance is fracturing.

Some Democratic senators say they’ll jump ship without tighter restrictions on abortion coverage. Others say they’ll go unless a government plan to compete with private insurance companies gets tossed. Such concessions would enrage liberals, the heart and soul of the party.

There’s no clear course for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to steer legislation through Congress to President Barack Obama. You can’t make history unless you reach 60 votes, and don’t count on Republicans helping him.

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American troops had bin Laden ‘within our grasp’

Osama bin Laden was unquestionably within reach of U.S. troops in the mountains of Tora Bora when American military leaders made the crucial and costly decision not to pursue the terrorist leader with massive force, a Senate report says.

The report asserts that the failure to kill or capture bin Laden at his most vulnerable in December 2001 has had lasting consequences beyond the fate of one man. Bin Laden’s escape laid the foundation for today’s reinvigorated Afghan insurgency and inflamed the internal strife now endangering Pakistan, it says.

Staff members for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Democratic majority prepared the report at the request of the chairman, Sen. John Kerry, as President Barack Obama prepares to boost U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

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Obama’s Afghan plan: Send the Marines

The US military will deploy up to 9,000 Marines to Afghanistan’s Helmand province — doubling US presence there — in the days after President Barack Obama’s war strategy announcement this week, the Washington Post said Saturday.

Citing senior US officials, the daily said the extra Marines won’t move to the restive southern province until after Obama’s address to the nation Tuesday from the prestigious West Point military academy in New York state.

The aim is to regain a footing in the region that has been a base for a fierce Taliban insurgency in recent months.

Some 1,000 army trainers will follow the Marine’s deployment, perhaps by February next year, the Post said.

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Obama plans new effort on foreclosures

The Obama administration, battling a foreclosure crisis that shows no signs of relenting, will step up pressure on mortgage companies to do more to help people remain in their homes, officials said Saturday.

The administration will announce its expanded program on Monday, Treasury spokeswoman Meg Reilly said.

“We are taking additional steps to enhance servicer transparency and accountability,” Reilly said. She said the goal was to increase the rate that troubled home loans were converted into new loans with lower monthly payments.

Industry officials said the new effort would include increased pressure on mortgage companies to accelerate loan modifications by highlighting firms that are lagging in that area.

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For once, at least, Saddam told the truth

Saddam Hussein was telling the truth, this time. The United States just didn’t believe him.

So it took the most powerful military in the world 18 years to find the remains of the only U.S. Navy pilot shot down in an aerial battle in the 1991 Gulf War.

Michael “Scott” Speicher’s bones lay 18 inches deep in Iraqi sand, more or less right where a group of Iraqis had led an American search team in 1995.

The search for Speicher was frustrated by two wars, mysteriously switched remains, Iraqi duplicity and a final tip from a young nomad in Anbar province.

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