Monday, October 31, 2005

Rumsfeld & Cheney...Ugh!

From American Progress:

ADMINISTRATION -- RUMSFELD HOLDS STAKE IN FIRM SELLING AVIAN FLU DRUG: "The prospect of a bird flu outbreak may be panicking people around the globe," Fortune magazine reports, "but it's proving to be very good news for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other politically connected investors in Gilead Sciences, the California biotech company that owns the rights to Tamiflu, the influenza remedy that's now the most-sought after drug in the world." Rumsfeld served as the chairman of Gilead Research from 1997 until he joined the Bush administration in 2001, "and he still holds a Gilead stake valued at between $5 million and $25 million." Though the Pentagon announced this weekend that Rumsfeld would recuse himself from future decisions regarding avian flu medications, in July, "the Pentagon ordered $58 million worth of the treatment for U.S. troops around the world."

ADMINISTRATION -- CHENEY'S NEW BRAIN: Vice President Dick Cheney's longtime aide David Addington is expected to take over the responsibilities of I. Lewis Libby following Libby's resignation on Friday. Addington has been the vice president's "point man" as "Cheney has tried to increase executive power with a series of bold actions -- some so audacious that even conservatives on the Supreme Court sympathetic to Cheney's view have rejected them as overreaching," according to a 10/04 Washington Post profile. "Where there has been controversy over the past four years, there has often been Addington." Addington "was a principal author of the White House memo justifying torture of terrorism suspects," a "prime advocate of arguments supporting the holding of terrorism suspects without access to courts," and led the fight to keep the White House from being forced to share documents relating to Cheney's energy task force meetings and the September 11 attacks. Moreover, Addington was involved in the CIA leak scandal. Though his specific role is still emerging, according to a new National Journal article, he "was deeply immersed in the White House damage-control campaign" that involved smearing Joseph Wilson. In fact, Libby "immediately sought out" Addington following Libby's July 8, 2003, conversation with New York Times reporter Judith Miller, during which he shared the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame.


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