Give Me Back My Name! — and My Country!
A Partial Chronology of the Bush Administration’s
Savaging of America (with Thematic Color-Coding)
Read it and Weep, Gang
January 22, 2000
On his first day in office, the anniversary of Roe v Wade, Bush reinstates the Global Gag Rule, prohibiting funding of any international entity that performs abortions or advises women about them.
January 29, 2000
Bush establishes by executive order the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, which channels federal funding to religious organizations for the work of social improvement.
Bush sends a $1.6 trillion, 10-year tax cut sent to Congress.
Bush declares the Kyoto treaty on climate change “dead on arrival.”
In his first budget, Bush strips contraception coverage from federal workers.
A U.S. ‘Missile Defense Shield’ is proposed by Bush in a speech at the National Defense University in D.C. He doesn’t explicitly withdraw from the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty with Russia, but says there is a need to move beyond the “adversarial legacy of the Cold War” and “replace this treaty with a new framework.”
Congress approves a $1.35 trillion ‘tax relief’ program — despite a Democratic majority in the Senate, thanks to Senator Jeffords’ abandonment of the Republican Party to become an Independent.
Bush limits stem-cell research funding to established lines of cells.
The Senate votes 98-0, the House 420-1, to authorize Bush to use “all necessary and appropriate force” to retaliate against the 9-11 terrorists.
War against the Taliban in Afghanistan is launched.
U.S. PATRIOT ACT is enacted, expanding the FBI’s ability to obtain records through secret court orders and giving government investigators greater authority to track e-mail and telephone communications, among many other expanded powers.
As Kabul falls to the Northern Alliance, Bush issues a military order establishing military tribunals for ‘enemy combatants.’
Bush withdraws from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
January 8, 2002
Bush signs “No Child Left Behind” (aka “No Teacher Left Standing”) into law.
Bush signs a $372 billion military budget.
Bush declares this “Sanctity of Life Day,” on behalf of a society that will “embrace its essential moral duties, including . . . caring for children born and unborn.”
Bush delivers his “Axis of Evil” State of the Union address
Bush outlines Operation TIPS (Terrorism Information Prevention System), which will enable “millions of American transportation workers, postal workers, and public utility employees to identify and report suspicious activities linked to terrorism and crime.” Meanwhile, some 10,000 non-citizens have, by this point, been arrested and detained in FBI sweeps.
Colin Powell testifes before Congress about plans for regime change in Iraq.
Donald Rumsfeld responds to public outcry by announcing that the Office of Strategic Influence will not lie to the public or plant disinformation in foreign or U.S media. Six days later, the office is closed.
Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen, is arrested for plotting to build a dirty bomb. One month later, he is transferred to military custody as an “enemy combatant.” He will not be tried for years.
Bush calls preemptive military strikes a “new doctrine.”
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales issues his memo justifying torture of ‘enemy combatants.’
The Washington Post reports that the FBI has questioned nearly all 37 members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees in its probe of leaks of classified information related to the September 11 attacks. Most of the lawmakers have refused to take a lie-detector test.
Congress approves the use of U.S. military force in Iraq.
Bush refuses to participate in the Earth Summit (UN World Summit on Sustainable Development), attended by 100 heads of state.
A federal appeals court declares secret deportation hearings unconstitutional in ACLU lawsuit.
Congress passes Joint Resolution authorizing force against Iraq.
Bush eases clean air rules for utilities and other industry.
WTO talks break down after Bush Administration refuses to support an agreement that would have expanded the range of low-cost generic drugs countries could import besides drugs for HIV/AIDS and 15 “tropical diseases.”
January 28, 2003
In his State of the Union address, Bush lies that “Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”
February 7, 2003
The General Accounting Office abandons its legal quest to force Dick Cheney to publicly disclose information about industry involvement in the Bush Administration’s secretive energy task force.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that of 62 terrorism indictments by the New Jersey U.S. Attorney, 60 are against “Middle Eastern students charged with paying others to take their English proficiency tests.”
A contract for Iraqi post-war construction is secretly awarded to Halliburton the company formerly headed by Dick Cheney. Requests for no-bid and limited-bid contracts were sent by the Pentagon as early as November, 2002.
The Department of Justice issues a memo to Pentagon justifying torture methods.
The war in Iraq is launched.
Bush raises SUV fuel standards just 1.5 miles per gallon — by 2007.
“Mission Accomplished” on U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln.
Amnesty International condemns the administration for subjecting Iraqi prisoners to “cruel, inhumane or degrading conditions” at Abu Ghraib prison.
Valerie Plame “outed” as CIA agent by Robert Novak.
The Washington Post reports that during his first two and a half years in office, Bush has catapulted the nation from a $127 billion surplus to a projected deficit of $1.9 trillion by 2008. Joshua Bolton, White House Budget director, attributes 23% of the deficit to Bush’s tax cuts.
Bush accuses Syria and Iran of harboring terrorists.
At a press conference, Bush says he is exploring legal steps to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Partial Birth Abortion Act is signed.
The Washington Post reports that a Canadian citizen, Maher Arar, was detained and sent to Syria by U.S. officials, where he was tortured for 10 months before being released. The public thus learns about CIA “rendition.” Arar is never charged with any crime by any government.
Bush attorneys argue that Bush has the authority to detain anyone, including American citizens, on the basis of an unreviewable finding that the person is an enemy combatant.
Medicare drug benefits added, with a ban on the federal government doing any cost-saving bargaining with drug companies.
U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco rules that Guantanamo Bay detainees have a right of access to American courts. U.S. Court of Appeals in New York determines that Jose Padilla cannot be held indefinitely as an enemy combatant.
January 22 2004
Alaska’s North Slope, adjacent to the National Artic Wildlife Refuge, is opened to oil drilling by Gale Norton, EPA director.
Bush calls for constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
Court-appointed investigator Alan L. Balaran resigns from his job of examining the federal government’s management of sums owed to Native Americans, accusing the Interior Department from blocking his work on behalf of energy companies that were underpaying land-use royalties to the tribes.
Sixty Minutes airs expose of Abu Ghraib abuses.
A Pentagon audit finds that Halliburton failed to account for more than $1.8 billion of $4.2 billion received to provide logistical support to troops in Iraq. The audit is not made public, but is leaked to the New York Times.
The International Red Cross reports evidence that the U.S. is holding suspected terrorists in secret detention centers around the globe. The government refuses to provide a list of terrorism detainees.
An EPA engineer, Weston Wilson, applies for federal whistleblower status after decrying EPA’s study of the effects of hydraulic fracturing, a methane and natural gas drilling technique, on water quality. Halliburton invented the technique, which earns the company 20% of its energy-related revenue.
Alternet reports that the Bush administration has raised or established new fees on immigrants in 40 instances, so that the tax on becoming a citizen rose 55%.
Dr. James Hansen, director of NASA Goddard Center, charges the Bush government with suppressing evidence of global warming. “In my more than three decades in government, I have never seen anything approaching the degree to which information flow from scientists to the public has been screened and controlled as it is now This, I believe, is a recipe for environmental disaster.”
January 10, 2005
Bush touts the “environmental benefits” of nuclear power.
“Some people in America . . . think that the federal government all these years has been collecting your payroll taxes and we’re holding it for you. And then when you get ready to retire, we give it back to you. That’s not the way it works.”
August 29, 2005
Hurricane Katrina makes landfall three days after Gov. Bianco declares state of emergency. Within five hours, FEM director Michael Brown requests 1,000 additional rescue workers from the Department of Homeland Security “within 48 hours,” and 2,000 more within seven day to deal with this “near catastrophic event.” The workers should be trained first in Georgia or Florida, Brown says, then sent to the disaster effort when “conditions are safe.”
Bush: “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.”
“Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job.” Brownie is removed from the job one week later.
John Roberts nominated as head justice of the Supreme Court.
Samuel Alito is nominated as a Supreme Court justice.
March 1, 2006
Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez sends a confidential message, not published in the Federal Register, giving authority to senior Department of Justice staff Monica Goodling and Kyle Sampson to hire and dismiss polical appointees and some civil service positions.
Bush uses his veto power for the first time to veto the Stem Cell Reseach Enhancement Act.
Seven U.S. attorneys are fired by the Dept. of Justice for political reasons.
January 10, 2007
Bush announces the surge, adding 20,000 U.S. troops to the force in Iraq.
Bush vetoes a bill that links war funding to a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.
Bush warns that U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would recapitulate the U.S withdrawal from Vietnam, the price of which “was paid by millions of innocent citizens.”
Bush vetoes SCHIP expansion of health insurance for kids. He vetoes a modified version of the bill on January 23, 2008.
Bush tells reporters that “Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon,” following release of a declassified National Intelligence Estimate stating that Iran had stopped working toward a nuclear weapon in 2003 andwass unlikely to be able to produce enough enriched uranium for a bomb until at least 2010.
March 8, 2008
Bush vetoes HR 2082, a bill that would have expanded Congressional oversight over the intelligence community and banned waterboarding and other torture techniques.
Overthrowing Saddam Hussein was “the right decision,” Bush says in a speech to mark the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.
Bush calls on Congress to end a 27-year ban on drilling for oil in U.S. coastal waters.
Bush commutes Scooter Libby's jail sentence in the Valerie Plame affair.
A U.S. district court judge rules that administration advisors are not immune to Congressional subpoenas.
Bush hails the U.S. economic rescue plan as “unprecedented action” to meet “unprecedented challenges.”