Bush Gives Recess Appointment to New Mining Official
President Bush has named the mining executive Richard Stickler the new head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration. The president gave him a recess appointment after the Senate twice refused to confirm him.
Brother of Pat Tillman Slams Iraq War and Bush Administration
The brother of Pat Tillman has spoken out about his brother’s death in Afghanistan and has condemned the Bush administration’s war on terror. Pat Tillman was the star football player who gave up his playing career to fight in Afghanistan. He was killed in a friendly fire incident, but for years the Pentagon lied about the circumstances. His brother Kevin fought with Pat in Afghanistan. In his article posted on the website Truthdig, Tillman wrote "Somehow, the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country. Somehow, this is tolerated. Somehow, nobody is accountable for this." Tillman goes on to write "Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.”
Israel Admits It Fired Phosphorus Shells in Lebanon
The Israeli military has admitted for the first time that it fired phosphorus shells at Hezbollah targets during its month-long attack on Lebanon. The phosphorous shells were used despite widespread calls by human rights groups for a worldwide ban on the munitions because they cause undue suffering through severe burns. During the war there were reports that Lebanese victims had suffered serious burns from phosphorous. One doctor reported seeing three corpses entirely shriveled with black and green skin -- a phenomenon characteristic of phosphorus injuries.
Cluster Bomb Kills 12-Year-Old Boy In Lebanon
In other news from Lebanon, a twelve-year-old boy died Sunday in the southern village of Halta after a cluster bomb exploded. The boy died while picking olives with his brother. At least 21 people have died in southern Lebanon from cluster bombs since the Israeli war ended in August.
U.S. Diplomat: U.S. Displays Arrogance & Stupidity in Iraq
Meanwhile a senior U.S. diplomat publicly accused the United States of displaying arrogance and stupidity in Iraq. The State Department official Alberto Fernandez made the comment during an interview conducted in Arabic on Al Jazeera.
- Alberto Fernandez: "We tried to do our best (in Iraq) but I think there is much room for criticism because, undoubtedly, there was arrogance and there was stupidity from the United States in Iraq."
The State Department initially claimed Fernandez’s comments were mistranslated. Later Fernandez issued a written apology through the State Department press office. He wrote “I seriously misspoke by using the phrase 'there has been arrogance and stupidity' by the U.S. in Iraq. This represents neither my views nor those of the State Department. I apologize."
U.S. Moves Closer to Building New Stockpile of Nuclear Weapons
The Washington Post is reporting the United States has moved a step closer toward building a new stockpile of nuclear weapons that would last well into the 21st century. Late last week, Bush administration officials announced the start of a multiyear process to repair and replace eight facilities where the nuclear weapons would be developed and assembled. The Bush administration is planning to replace its aging stockpile of warheads with two thousand two hundred new nuclear weapons that would last for decades. The nation's two nuclear weapons laboratories, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore, are competing to design a new nuclear warhead.