Members of the House Judiciary Committee Call for Hearings on President’s NSA Surveillance Orders

News from U.S. Representatives Zoe Lofgren and Rick Boucher
CONTACT:Kyra Jennings, 202-225-3072 (Lofgren); Amanda Potter, 202-225-3861 (Boucher)
Washington, DC – Seventeen Members of the House Judiciary Committee today called on House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner to convene hearings to investigate the President ordering the National Security Agency (NSA) to engage in espionage of persons inside the United States without obtaining court-ordered warrants. Below is the text of the letter:

Vermont [Republican] governor wants troops home

Amid serious casualties, he urges pullout plan
Boston Globe - By Scott Helman, Globe Staff

Governor James H. Douglas of Vermont, a Republican whose state has lost more soldiers per capita in Iraq and Afghanistan than any other in the United States, said last week that the Bush administration and Congress should prepare a withdrawal plan to bring troops home from Iraq.

Bush's "Need for Speed" Argument Runs Into the Truth

By David Sirota, HuffingtonPost

In his news conference today, President Bush invoked the need for speed in the War on Terror as the reason he is illegally ordering the National Security Agency to conduct domestic surveillance without search warrants. Sounds like a compelling argument, right? In the fast-moving world of information age technology, we can't really afford to make our law enforcers take the time to go get a warrant, right?

Democrats plan sharp rebuke of pre-war intelligence, Iraq war in massive new congressional report

Democrats plan sharp rebuke of pre-war intelligence, Iraq war in massive new congressional report
By Larisa Alexandrovna and John Byrne, www.RawStory.com

House Judiciary Committee Democrats, spearheaded by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), are set to release possibly the sharpest congressional critique to date surrounding Iraq, RAW STORY has learned.

The report, titled "The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution and Coverups in the Iraq War," is slotted to be made available to the public Tuesday. RAW STORY acquired a copy of the book’s cover and some additional information about the document today.

According to Democratic aides, the report will focus on alleged manipulation of pre-war intelligence by the White House, specifically covering such topics as the Downing Street Minutes as well as the White House position on the Geneva Conventions and international law as regards its policies toward prisoners of war.

No Room To Spin

By John Prados, www.TomPaine.com

John Prados is a senior fellow of the National Security Archive in Washington, DC, and author of Hoodwinked: The Documents that Reveal How Bush Sold Us a War (The New Press).

License To Spy

By Aziz Huq, www.TomPaine.com

Aziz Huq is associate counsel in the Liberty and National Security project of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. He is co-writing with Fritz Schwarz a book on the separation of powers and national security to be published by the New Press in late 2006.

Pentagon's Intelligence Authority Widens

By Walter Pincus, The Washington Post

Fact sheet details secretive agency's growth from focus on policy to counterterrorism.

The Pentagon's newest counterterrorism agency, charged with protecting military facilities and personnel wherever they are, is carrying out intelligence collection, analysis and operations within the United States and abroad, according to a Pentagon fact sheet on the Counterintelligence Field Activity, or CIFA, provided to The Washington Post.

Bush defends domestic eavesdropping, Iraq war

WASHINGTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush vowed on Monday to authorize more eavesdropping on Americans suspected of ties to terrorists and said he believed a probe was underway into who committed "the shameful act" of revealing the covert program.

The Myth of the Different War

By Larry Johnson

George W. Bush may have been a mediocre student in college, but he clearly mastered Orwell's works, especially 1984 and Animal Farm. How else to explain his reliance on repeating catch phrases that are misleading and, at times, outright false, while trying to shape and mold American public opinion to support his policies?

Imperial Bush?

By Dave Lindorff, www.thiscantbehappening.net

In an interview last week, George McGovern, former US Senator from South Dakota, outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War and 1972 Democratic candidate for President, told me that President Bush’s announced new policy of pre-emptive war--his justification for invading Iraq--puts America in the same camp as Imperial Japan in 1942.

An Impeachable Offense? Bush Admits Authorizing NSA to Eavesdrop on Americans Without Court Approval

DEMOCRACY NOW!

* An Impeachable Offense? Bush Admits Authorizing NSA to Eavesdrop on Americans Without Court Approval *

President Bush has admitted he secretly ordered the National Security Agency

Protesting at the White House

Protesters outside the White House fence last night made enough noise to disrupt the network anchors' parroting of Bush's talking points. Let's remember this and do it every time!

The "Right" to Invade

Eli Stephens Left I on the News http://lefti.blogspot.com

On Wednesday, George Bush gave a speech. The media described the speech as one in which Bush "took responsibility for the faulty intelligence.

Waiting is the Hardest Part

By Greg Rollins, CPT

As this kidnapping draws out I am reminded of the Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers song that says "the waiting is the hardest part." We fill our days with work - important work - but work that helps us avoid the waiting. If we stop and wait we grow restless, even edgy.

Behind the Steel Curtain: The Real Face of the Occupation

Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches
Monday, December 19, 2005 1:19 AM
http://dahrjamailiraq.com

By Sabah Ali

The Bush Administration uses double barrel propaganda today, with Mr. Bush using a prime time television address to say things like "My fellow citizens: Not only can we win the war in Iraq - we are winning the war in Iraq," and responding to negative news by saying "It does not mean that we are losing." Meanwhile, Mr. Cheney, while on a heavily guarded tour of the "Green Zone" and other locales in Iraq said today, "I think the vast majority of them think of us as liberators."

'The responsibility belongs to all of us to demand an end to the war

An Interview with Tony Benn, Written by Kevin Zeese
http://democracyrising.us/content/view/391/164/

Tony Benn, was born in London on April 3rd 1925, the son, grandson and father of Members of Parliament. He entered Parliament in 1950 at the age of 25 and retired from the House of Commons in May 2001. He is the longest serving Labor MP in the history of the party. He was a Cabinet minister in the Wilson and Callaghan governments from 1964 - 79 and President of the Council of European Energy ministers in 1977.

Audio of International Peace Conference

http://www.traprockpeace.org

Traprock is continuing to add to its audio coverage of virtually the entire London International Peace Conference, held on December 10th, with new audio mp3's, photo albums and video.

Agents' Visit Chills UMass Dartmouth Senior

By Aaron Nicodemus, The (New Bedford, MA) Standard-Times

New Bedford - A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents two months ago, after he requested a copy of Mao Tse-Tung's tome on Communism called "The Little Red Book."

A somber occupation

Maine's anti-war activists have come up with a plan to make our congressional delegates listen. And they're marketing it to other states
By Sara Donnelly

Last December, 13 anti-war activists gathered in Senator Susan Collins's office in Portland. They read the names of the American soldiers who had died to date in the Iraq War, as well as an equal number of Iraqi civilians who died. They occupied Collins's office for roughly four hours and, before they left, asked the senator to hold a "town meeting" to discuss the war with her constituents.

Big Brother Bush

Published on Sunday, December 18, 2005 by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The president took a step toward a police state

The Bush administration is continuing its assault on Americans' privacy and freedom in the name of the war on terrorism.

The Night Before Christmas (Remix)

In light of recent events, I thought it time to update the classic Christmas poem, "The Night Before Christmas," to more accurately reflect the zeitgeist.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/12/18/171530/69

The 'Real' McCain

The 'Real' McCain
Arianna falls out of love with John – but what did she ever see in him?
by Justin Raimondo, http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=8221

Arianna Huffington's love affair with John McCain – it's over! No, I don't mean that kind of love affair, silly. The glamorous Grecian is pouting and bitterly disappointed because suddenly the man of her dreams is showing his true colors as a two-timing, shift-shaping, canny politician – not the Great White Knight that she once imagined. A pity, that, but one can only wonder why it took Arianna so long to wake up from her self-induced hallucination. Huffington, as usual, goes on about how positively dreadful Meet the Press was last week, dah-link:

The Big Unanswered Question In Bush's Domestic Spying Scandal

By David Sirota

In the last 72 hours since the revelation that President Bush ordered illegal domestic surveillance operations, we have seen how the Republican spin machine has mastered the art of turning any and all controversies into questions of national security. You know the drill: those who are criticizing Bush's orders are billed as weak, soft on national security, or against domestic efforts to stop terrorism. Meanwhile, Bush is portrayed as the tough fighter of terrorism, willing to make the tough choices to defend America's national security. In short, his crimes are portrayed as badges of honor.

It Should Have Been Unforgettable, The Anthrax Attacks and the Costs of 9/11

"It Should Have Been Unforgettable, The Anthrax Attacks and the Costs of 9/11" http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=43459

This piece takes up perhaps the strangest disappearance of our times -- the erasure of the anthrax attacks of 2001 from public and media memory. I return to those attacks (and the anthrax killer or killers loose in "the hills of America" rather than somewhere on the Afghan border) and use them as a "control" case against which to measure the "costs" of September 11th, and the actions of the Bush administration. To give but a few examples:

News from Parliament Square, London

Dear supporters of Brian Haw and the right to protest around Parliament,

The issue of free speech continues to be in the news and events continue
to be organised to increase the momentum to get the law banning

CHRISTIAN PEACEMAKER TEAM IN IRAQ CALLS PRESIDENT BUSH TO WITHDRAW TROOPS

CHRISTIAN PEACEMAKER TEAM IN IRAQ CALLS PRESIDENT BUSH TO WITHDRAW TROOPS, END HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

White House numbers:
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461

Decorate Your Fitzmas Tree

By Micheal Stinson

I wanted a Fitzmas Tree ever since I heard the term
invented on the Web, and NOW by god I have one, and you
can too..

YOU can actually DECORATE YOUR OWN FITZMAS TREE, by

How the media "authorize" the abuse of government power

Sirotablog

The story of President Bush deliberately breaking the law to create a domestic spy operation is a lot of different things: it is a tale of power abuse, arrogance, and contempt for the law by an out-of-control president. But it is also a story of how today's major media behave with near total deference to power and its own profit motive. What we are watching, even in the seemingly small details of the coverage, is no less than the media's complicity in helping establish a quasi-legal framework for what was a clearly illegal abuse of government power. It is in the clearest sense the media being used as tools of state power in overriding the very laws that are supposed to confine state power.

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