Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Betrayal, Part One

Former White House press secretary, and long time member of the Bush Family inner circle, spills his guts.

The Politico and Washington Post have excerpts from Scott McClellan's scathing book on the Bush Administration.

From The Washington Post:

Bush is depicted as an out-of-touch leader, operating in a political bubble, who has stubbornly refused to admit mistakes. McClellan defends the president's intellect -- "Bush is plenty smart enough to be president," he writes -- but casts him as unwilling or unable to be reflective about his job.

"A more self-confident executive would be willing to acknowledge failure, to trust people's ability to forgive those who seek redemption for mistakes and show a readiness to change," he writes.

In another section, McClellan describes Bush as able to convince himself of his own spin and relates a phone call he overheard Bush having during the 2000 campaign, in which he said he could not remember whether he had used cocaine. "I remember thinking to myself, 'How can that be?' " he writes.

The former aide describes Bush as a willing participant in treating his presidency as a permanent political campaign, run in large part by his top political adviser, Rove.

"The president had promised himself that he would accomplish what his father had failed to do by winning a second term in office," he writes. "And that meant operating continually in campaign mode: never explaining, never apologizing, never retreating. Unfortunately, that strategy also had less justifiable repercussions: never reflecting, never reconsidering, never compromising. Especially not where Iraq was concerned."

From The Politico:

• McClellan charges that Bush relied on "propaganda" to sell the war.

• He says the White House press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to the war.

• He admits that some of his own assertions from the briefing room podium turned out to be "badly misguided."

• The longtime Bush loyalist also suggests that two top aides held a secret West Wing meeting to get their story straight about the CIA leak case at a time when federal prosecutors were after them -- and McClellan was continuing to defend them despite mounting evidence they had not given him all the facts.

The Wall Street Journal also has a series of excerpts:

As press secretary, I spent countless hours defending the administration from the podium in the White House briefing room. Although the things I said then were sincere, I have since come to realize that some of them were badly misguided. In these pages, I've tried to come to grips with some of the truths that life inside the White House bubble obscured.

My friends and former colleagues who lived and worked or are still working inside that bubble may not be happy with the perspective I present here. Many of them, I'm sure, remain convinced that the Bush administration has been fundamentally correct in its most controversial policy judgments, and that the dis-esteem in which most Americans currently hold it is undeserved.

Only time will tell. But I've become genuinely convinced otherwise.

The book has already hit number 1 on Amazon.

From the Huffington Post :

In a shocking turnabout, the press secretary most known for defending President Bush on Iraq, Katrina and a host of other controversial issues produced a memoir damning of his old boss on nearly every level _ from too much secrecy to a less-than-honest selling of the war to a lack of personal candor and an unwillingness to admit mistakes.

In the first major insider account of the Bush White House, one-time spokesman Scott McClellan calls the operation "insular, secretive and combative" and says it veered irretrievably off course as a result.

The White House responded angrily Wednesday to McClellan's confessional memoir, calling it self-serving sour grapes.

"Scott, we now know, is disgruntled about his experience at the White House," said current White House press secretary Dana Perino, a former deputy to McClellan. "We are puzzled. It is sad. This is not the Scott we knew."

McClellan was the White House press secretary from May 2003 to April 2006, the second of four so far in Bush's presidency.

He reveals that he was pushed to leave earlier than he had planned, and he displays some bitterness about that as well as about being sometimes kept out of the loop on key decision-making sessions.

He excludes himself from major involvement in some of what he calls the administration's biggest blunders, for instance the decision to go to war and the initial campaign to sell that decision to the American people. But he doesn't spare himself entirely, saying, "I fell far short of living up to the kind of public servant I wanted to be.

He includes criticism for the reporters whose questions he fielded. The news media, he says, were "complicit enablers" for focusing more on "covering the march to war instead of the necessity of war."

And McClellan issues this disclaimer about Bush: "I do not believe he or his White House deliberately or consciously sought to deceive the American people."

But most everything else he writes comes awfully close to making just this assertion, all the more stunning coming from someone who had been one of the longest-serving of the band of loyalists to come to Washington with Bush from Texas.

The heart of the book concerns Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq, a determination McClellan says the president had made by early 2002 _ at least a full year before the invasion _ if not even earlier.

"He signed off on a strategy for selling the war that was less than candid and honest," McClellan writes in "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception."

The book, which had been scheduled for release on Monday, was being sold by bookstores on Wednesday after the publisher moved up its release amid intense media coverage of its contents.

McClellan says Bush's main reason for war always was "an ambitious and idealistic post-9/11 vision of transforming the Middle East through the spread of freedom." But Bush and his advisers made "a marketing choice" to downplay this rationale in favor of one focused on increasingly trumped-up portrayals of the threat posed by the weapons of mass destruction.

During the "political propaganda campaign to sell the war to the American people," Bush and his team tried to make the "WMD threat and the Iraqi connection to terrorism appear just a little more certain, a little less questionable than they were." Something else was downplayed as well, McClellan says: any discussion of "the possible unpleasant consequences of war _ casualties, economic effects, geopolitical risks, diplomatic repercussions."

In Bush's second term, as news from Iraq grew worse, McClellan says the president was "insulated from the reality of events on the ground and consequently began falling into the trap of believing his own spin."

All of this was a "serious strategic blunder" that sent Bush's presidency "terribly off course."

"The Iraq war was not necessary," McClellan concludes.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton referred to the book and its author while campaigning Wednesday in Rapid City, S.D., saying, "In this book this young man essentially apologizes for having been part of misleading America for three years."

Reporters in Los Angeles with John McCain, the Republicans' candidate for president, asked if he believed that Bush used propaganda or deception regarding the war in Iraq. "I have no information on that fact. I am glad for one that Saddam Husein is no longer there," McCain said. He declined to comment on other assertions in the book, saying he had not read it.

McClellan draws a portrait of Bush as possessing "personal charm, wit and enormous political skill." He says Bush's administration early on possessed "seeds of greatness."

But McClellan ticks off a long list of Bush's weaknesses: someone with a penchant for self-deception if it "suits his needs at the moment," "an instinctive leader more than an intellectual leader" who has a lack of interest in delving deeply into policy options, a man with a lack of self-confidence that makes him unable to acknowledge when he's been wrong.

McClellan also writes extensively about what he says is the Bush White House's excessive focus on "the permanent campaign."

"The Bush team imitated some of the worst qualities of the Clinton White House and even took them to new depths," he writes.

McClellan is most scathing on the topic of the administration's embrace of secrecy.

"The Bush administration lacked real accountability in large part because Bush himself did not embrace openness or government in the sunshine," he writes.

Three top Bush advisers come in for particularly harsh criticism.

McClellan calls Vice President Dick Cheney "the magic man" who "always seemed to get his way" and sometimes "simply could not contain his deep-seated certitude, even arrogance, to the detriment of the president."

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was national security adviser earlier in Bush's presidency, "was more interested in figuring out where the president stood and just carrying out his wishes while expending only cursory effort on helping him understand all the considerations and potential consequences" of war. Rice "was somehow able to keep her hands clean, even when the problems related to matters under her direct purview," McClellan says, but he predicts that "history will likely judge her harshly."

And former Bush political guru Karl Rove "always struck me as the kind of person who would be willing, in the heat of battle, to push the envelope to the limit of what is permissible ethically or legally."

The White House was severely damaged by blunders beyond the war, McClellan says.

When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005, for instance, the administration went on autopilot "rather than seizing the initiative and getting in front of what was happening on the ground."

And Bush's drive to remake the Social Security program after his 2004 re-election failed in large part because the White House focused almost exclusively on "selling our sketchily designed plan" instead of doing behind-the-scenes work with lawmakers.

McClellan explains his dramatic shift from defender to critic as a difficult act of personal contrition, a way, to learn from his mistakes, be true to his Christian faith and become a better person. He says he started the book to explain his role in the CIA leak case, in which some of his own words turned out to be what he called "badly misguided," though sincere at the time.

McClellan says Bush loyalists will no doubt continue to think the administration's decisions have been correct and its unpopularity undeserved. "I've become genuinely convinced otherwise," he says.

Indeed, former Bush aides joined current White House aides in expressing disbelief and disappointment at McClellan's account.

"Not once did Scott approach me _ privately or publicly _ to discuss any misgivings he had about the war in Iraq or the manner in which the White House made the case for war," McClellan's predecessor as press secretary, Ari Fleischer, said.

Said Fran Townsend, former head of the White House-based counterterrorism office and now a CNN commentator: "This now strikes me as self-serving, disingenuous and unprofessional."

Perino described Bush as "surprised" by the book but said the president wouldn't have anything to say about it. "He has more pressing matters than to spend time commenting on books by former staffers," she said.

Headlines from the Drudge Report :

White House reacts negatively to ex-aide's book...

Obama: McClellan 'confirmed what a lot of us have thought for some time'...


**VIDEO** Rove: McClellan Sounds Like Left Wing Blogger...

Ex-Colleagues Ask, 'What Happened?'

Congressman: McClellan Must Testify Under Oath...

Bashed Tell All Memoirs, Before He Wrote His Own...

Headlines from the Huffington Post :
McClellan: Bush Relied On "Propaganda" To Sell The War...Engaged In Self Deception, Believed His Own Spin...
White House: "Sad... Not The Scott We Knew... He's Disgruntled"
Karl Rove: McClellan "Sounds Like A Left-Wing Blogger"
Dan Bartlett: McClellan's Allegations "Total Crap"
Ari Fleischer: I'm "Heartbroken"
Nancy Pelosi: Maybe The Lies Became "Too Heavy For Him To Carry"...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bush Says Obama Is Will Appease 'Terrorists'

If the Bush administration really stuck to its guns on not negotiating with 'terrorists', there would be no back room negotiations with Syria and Iran, but of course, such talks have been going on for years. Now Israel is negotiating Syria, Iran, Hamas and Hizbullah, but Bush says nothing.

From Justin Raimando, :
The unseemly spectacle of an American chief executive denouncing a Democratic presidential candidate in a foreign venue, in front of the parliament of a nation whose interests are inextricably intertwined with the issue at hand, has no precedent in our history. It's as if, say, Lyndon Baines Johnson had journeyed to South Vietnam and attacked the antiwar movement as "appeasers" before an audience of that country's rulers. In our Bizarro World universe, however, where all moral and political values have been stood on their heads, this is what passes for "patriotic" and "pro-American" activism on the part of our chief executive – upholding the interests of a foreign nation over and above your own.

After hailing the history of the fight for Israeli sovereignty minus any mention of the Nakba, and without so much as obliquely referring to the ongoing occupation of Palestinian territories, the president hit at his political enemies back home:

"Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

The White House is now saying these comments were directed at Jimmy Carter, but it seems clear that Barack Obama was who the speechwriters had in mind – after all, Carter is about as politically relevant as, say, George W. Bush will be in January. Obama's answer at the YouTube Democratic debate that, yes, he would meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmahdinejad, among other world leaders considered unfriendly to the U.S., makes him the obvious target of Bush's remarks.

What's interesting, however, is that the senator Bush referred to was a Republican, William E. Borah of Idaho, whose opposition to U.S. intervention in what was then often referred to as "the European war" (i.e., Word War II) was indicative of mainstream GOP opinion circa 1939. One of the great sorrows of Borah's political career was that he had voted for U.S. entry into the first World War, and he resolved never to make such a grievous error again. Borah fought against the very injustices that led directly to the reanimation of that global conflict, which we call World War II, such as the Treaty of Versailles and the imposition of draconian war debts on a prostrate Germany. Perhaps this explains his intractability. I will leave it to historians to defend Sen. Borah at greater length, but suffice to say here that "the Lion of Idaho" deserves better than this.

Aside from the historical sleight-of-hand, Bush's blast at Obama over this particular issue from this particular podium is a display of such supreme arrogance – and political calculation – that it takes one's breath away. The U.S. has every interest in negotiating with the Iranians, if only to ensure the physical safety of our troops in Iraq, not to mention all the other outstanding issues [.pdf] between the two nations that have festered, unattended, for so long. When we destroyed Iraq's Ba'athist regime, we handed regional hegemony to Iran on a silver platter, tilting the balance of power in a direction that now cannot be reversed – except by negotiation.

Yet negotiation, in Bush's parlance, is "appeasement." Of course, we have talked to the Iranians, in a series of highly publicized meetings (and probably some not so publicized) over events in Iraq. Was that appeasement? No doubt the Israel lobby considered it so. But are those the interests our president is representing?

This nonsense about "negotiating with terrorists" when it comes to Hamas ought to evoke in my readers a sense of déjà vu. After all, isn't that the same line they trotted out when it came to the Palestine Liberation Organization and its leader, the late Yasser Arafat? Yet didn't two American presidents bring Arafat to the negotiating table? And aren't we now supporting President Abbas, Arafat's heir and successor?

One has to wonder why an American president would take to the hustings in a foreign land and champion that nation's interests over and above our own. What treason is this?

Well, it isn't exactly treason. It's loyalty to party, as opposed to the nation – a Republican Party that has been whittled down to its hard core of Christian fundamentalists whose first loyalty is not to their own country, but to their peculiar theology, which just happens to be based on a fierce allegiance to the government of Israel. For these are no ordinary Christian fundamentalists, say, of the snake-handling type: these are dispensationalists who believe that after the elect are Raptured up into the heavens, the church on earth (the "new dispensation") will consist of the children of Israel, whose in-gathering will have foretold Christ's second coming. In the dispensationalist theology – really, a future history of the world – the final battle, Armageddon, will take place between the Israelis and the Forces of Evil. They firmly believe that God and all His angels will stand should-to-shoulder with the IDF.

This is where Bush's political calculation comes into the picture. For the dispensationalists, there is no issue in the foreign policy realm more important than unconditional support for the state of Israel. They are more fanatically pro-Israel than the Lobby itself, more Likudnik than the Likudniks. Their importance in the rapidly shrinking GOP electoral coalition was made manifest by John McCain's active pursuit of the Rev. John Hagee, a principal exponent of the "born again" Israel-first line and founder of Christians United for Israel. This is a pastor who drapes an Israeli flag on the altar as he preaches in his 5,000-seat Cornerstone Church.

These are the foot-soldiers of the neocons, the flying monkeys who do the Lobby's dirty work – an army of religious fanatics whose idiosyncratic theological delusions are a major driving force behind American foreign policy in the Middle East. They are not, however, the only such force. Aside from the organizational muscle of the Lobby itself, mostly confined to such groups as AIPAC and the neoconservative network, there is a Democratic Party component that finds the prospect of dealing with Hamas, Iran, and Hezbollah utterly horrifying. Many of these people are big contributors to the party, as Wesley Clark pointed out, and one risks a lot by crossing them. By lashing out at Obama in the way he did, Bush seeks to not only unite and energize his Republican base, but to also disrupt and split the Democrats as they struggle with a very difficult primary process.

What is striking about all this is that it gives us a very troubling perspective on how American foreign policy is made – much like sausage, in that you don't really want to know. In response to the endless problems and subtleties that our Middle East dealings confront us with, our president gives us a textbook example of political pandering couched in the crudest sort of rhetoric.

We are living in dangerous times. We have a president who formulates policy prescriptions in terms meant to please a cult of religiously motivated ideologues and foreign lobbyists, both of whom are working in tandem to undermine American interests in the Middle East. Ever since Sept. 11, 2001, we have faced an implacable enemy more than ready to take advantage of our one-sided policies when it comes to that region of the world. Yet we continue on the same course – on what is essentially a suicide mission – solely because of domestic political considerations and without regard for our actual interests.

For years, I've been saying and writing that, when it comes to the Middle East, Washington's policies are ridiculously skewed in Israel's favor, much to our own detriment. What's more, it appears that our policy-making apparatus has been hijacked by agents of a foreign power, who are determined to pursue their alien agenda no matter what the consequences for the U.S. Nothing could have underscored this point more emphatically than George W. Bush's Knesset speech – a peroration that surely indicates Bush missed his true calling and somehow wound up as the president of the wrong country
Bush Tells Arab World To Get Free

From AP :
President Bush lectured the Arab world Sunday about everything from political repression to the denial of women's rights but ran into Palestinian complaints he is favoring Israel in stalled Mideast peace talks. "Freedom and peace are within your grasp," Bush said despite scant signs of progress.

Winding up a five-day trip to the region, Bush took a strikingly tougher tone with Arab nations than he did with Israel in a speech Thursday to the Knesset. Israel received effusive praise from the president while Arab nations heard a litany of U.S. criticisms mixed with some compliments.

"Too often in the Middle East, politics has consisted of one leader in power and the opposition in jail," Bush said in a speech to 1,500 global policymakers and business leaders at this Red Sea beach resort. That was a clear reference to host Egypt, where main secular opposition figure Ayman Nour has been jailed and President Hosni Mubarak has led an authoritarian government since 1981.

"America is deeply concerned about the plight of political prisoners in this region, as well as democratic activists who are intimidated or repressed, newspapers and civil society organizations that are shut down and dissidents whose voices are stifled," Bush said.

"I call on all nations in this region to release their prisoners of conscience, open up their political debate and trust their people to chart their future," Bush said.

Scattered applause followed, with barely a ripple of reaction later to his declaration than Iran must not be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon.

Bush headed back to Washington with little to show for the trip. Saudi Arabia rebuffed his plea for help with soaring oil prices, Egypt's leader questioned his seriousness about peacemaking and there was not enough progress in the peace talks to warrant a three-way meeting of Bush with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, did not conceal his disappointment over Bush's remarks to the Israeli parliament. The speech barely mentioned Palestinian hopes.

"We do not want the Americans to negotiate on our behalf," Abbas said Sunday after talks with Mubarak. "All that we want from them is to stand by (our) legitimacy and have a minimum of neutrality." Abbas had dinner Saturday with Bush.

"In principle, the Bush speech at the Knesset angered us, and we were not happy with it," Abbas said Sunday. "This is our position and we have a lot of remarks (about the speech) and I frankly, clearly and transparently asked him that the American position should be balanced."

Abbas told Israeli parliament member Yossi Beilin on Sunday he would resign if there was no substantial progress in peace talks over the next six months, according to the lawmaker's office.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on Air Force One with Bush returning to Washington, said there were serious peace negotiations going on in private and that she expected them to intensify in the months ahead. She said Bush inserted the wording in the speech that "I believe" the Palestinians will build a democracy, as a sign of his confidence that will happen.

As for Arab criticism Bush leans too far in supporting Israel, Rice said, "The president isn't pro this or pro that. The president is pro-democracy and pro-peace."

The trip was Bush's second to the Mideast this year. His national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, said Bush might return again before his term ends in January if "there is work for him to advance the peace process."

The White House made clear that Bush's goal for a peace accord before his leaves office does not mean it will be put into place by then or produce an immediate Palestinian state. "That would be a process that would take years," Hadley said.

Bush ended his visit with an address to the World Economic Forum on the Middle East, an offshoot of the annual gathering of political and business leaders in Davos, Switzerland.

After talking privately with key leaders, the president in public touched only broadly on Mideast peacemaking. He did not suggest concrete steps to resolve the generations-old differences standing in the way of an agreement.

"Palestinians must fight terror and continue to build the institutions of a free and peaceful society," Bush said. "Israel must make tough sacrifices for peace, ease the restrictions on Palestinians. Arab states, especially oil-rich nations, must seize this opportunity to invest aggressively in the Palestinian people and to move past their old resentments against Israel."

"And all nations in the region must stand together in confronting Hamas, which is attempting to undermine efforts at peace with acts of terror and violence" from the Gaza Strip, Bush said. Hamas, which the U.S. considers a terrorist group, controls that territory; the U.S.-backed Abbas is in charge of the West Bank.

The heart of Bush's speech was a warning that Mideast nations lag behind the developing world and cannot count on their oil wealth forever.

Bush urged countries to make their economies more diverse, open to free trade, with lower taxes and protection for intellectual property rights.

He called for political changes that bring competitive, legitimate elections where leaders are held to account and appealed to nations to push back against the negative influence of "spoilers" such as Iran and Syria.

He urged an expansion of women's rights as "a matter of morality and of basic math. No nation that cuts off half its population from opportunities will be as productive or prosperous as it could be. Women are a formidable force, as I have seen in my own family and my own administration."

At the same time, Bush hailed democratic advances in countries such as Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq, Morocco and Jordan and said, "The light of liberty is beginning to shine."

Bush's speech recalled his promise in his second inaugural address to work in every nation for "ending tyranny in our world." One of the obvious targets of his message was Egypt, the country hosting the conference.

Egypt has often been publicly singled out by his administration, especially in its early years, as a country that needs to do more in terms of political liberalization and democracy. Egypt did hold its first presidential elections in 2005 but pulled back following strong gains by the Muslim Brotherhood in later parliamentary elections.

In addition to Nour's jailing, independent newspaper editors were sentenced to prison for criticizing the president and his government, and hundreds of members of the Muslim Brotherhood were put behind bars. Public criticism of Mubarak's government by the Bush administration, however, has been increasingly muted in recent years as the situation in Iraq worsened and worries grew over Iran, and as the U.S. sought Egypt's help on a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal.

Bush said political changes must accompany economic ones in Egypt.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bush The Prophet

President Bush visited Israel to pledge eternal American friendship, funding and military support, and, being in holy lands, started getting all prophetic :

"So as we mark 60 years from Israel's founding, let us try to envision the region 60 years from now...

"Israel will be celebrating its 120th anniversary as one of the world's greatest democracies... the Palestinian people will have a homeland, a democratic state that is governed by law, respects human rights and rejects terror".

...from Cairo to Riyadh to Baghdad and Beirut, people will live in free and independent societies". Iran and Syria "will be peaceful nations, where today's oppression is a distant memory".

Al Qaeda, Lebanon's Hezbollah movement and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas "will be defeated, as Muslims across the region recognize the emptiness of the terrorists' vision", Bush predicted.

Hopeful, but almost childishly simplistic.

Bush will leave the White House with no two state deal in place between the Israelis and Palestinians, after seven years of attempts at solidifying a lasting peace.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bush's Personal Sacrifice

Psychotic Bush haters will scream that President Bush has sealed himself off from the realities of the wars he has launched and that he makes no great sacrifices or endures the kind of suffering that millions of Americans with loved ones in the war zones have to live with everyday.

Well, they couldn't be more wrong.

President Bush explains just what he has sacrificed during this time of war :
"I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf," he said. "I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal."
Bush shows solidarity with the mothers and fathers of the dead and wounded up golf.

Bush said he made that decision after the August 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, which killed Sergio Vieira de Mello, the top U.N. official in Iraq and the organization's high commissioner for human rights.

"I remember when de Mello, who was at the U.N., got killed in Baghdad as a result of these murderers taking this good man's life," he said. "I was playing golf -- I think I was in central Texas -- and they pulled me off the golf course and I said, 'It's just not worth it anymore to do.'"

Such selfless sacrifice has won me over. This great president has suffered, too.

You would be foolish to deny it.

UPDATE : Turns out Bush lied about when he quit playing golf. He wanted to show solidarity with military families by giving up golf, but it took a couple of more months and a few more yuks with friends on the greens before he did so.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Cheney Thinks Bush Will Be Remembered As Hope Maker

From Raw Story :

"When the history is written, it will be said this is a safer country and more hopeful world because George Bush was president," Cheney said...

He means when his NeoCon pals, and enthusiastic revisionists, try to reframe the Bush White House legacy in a decade or two, and play down the chaos their war plan unleashed in Iraq. And perhaps Iran as well.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Paraguay May Be No Safe Haven For Bush takes a look at what a change in government in Paraguay means for President Bush's alleged plan to beat international war crimes charges after he leaves the White House by retreating to a 100,000 acre in the Latin America haven :
The country, ruled for six decades by the dictatorial and fascist Colorado Party of Gen. Alfredo Stroesser, an almost cartoon charicature of a Latin American dictator, has no extradition treaty with any nation.

That's why it has long harbored aging Nazis, bank robbers, and a string of ousted or retired Latin American dictators and their assistants over the years.

...trouble is, Paraguay may not be such a safe haven for long.

Last month, a former Roman Catholic Bishop with leftist, populist tendencies, Fernando Lugo, surprised almost everyone in Paraguay, and no doubt President Bush, by winning the national presidential election, ousting the Colorado Party for the first time in 61 years. There is talk that among other things, Lugo is thinking of returning Paraguay to the community of nations, by signing some of those extradition agreements.

Go Here For The Full Story