By Erik Eckholm, The New York Times
Pentagon investigators have referred allegations of abuse in how the Halliburton Company was awarded a contract for work in Iraq to the Justice Department for possible criminal investigation, a Democratic senator who has been holding unofficial hearings on contract abuses in Iraq said yesterday in Washington.
The allegations mainly involve the Army's secret, noncompetitive awarding in 2003 of a multibillion dollar contract for oil field repairs in Iraq to Halliburton, a Texas-based company. The objections were raised publicly last year by Bunnatine H. Greenhouse, then the chief contracts monitor at the Army Corps of Engineers, the government agency that handled the contract and several others in Iraq.
Compiled by Aenet Rowa, Yokwe Online, August 23, 2005
On October 8 over 100 peace demonstrators met at the main gate of Vandenberg Air Force Base/ 3oth Space Wing Command in Santa Barbara county California to demand compliance with international law. As part of the Keep Space for Peace week the demonstrators joined other actions around the globe protesting the militarization of space and the deployment of Star Wars missile defense. Special guest speaker from No Nukes North Alaska, Stacey Fritz, explained how the deployment of Star Wars interceptors not only violates international treaties but is against a US law which requires that the system not be deployed until we have the consent of our allies and until it has been successfully tested. These criteria have not been met for interceptors at either Vandenberg or Fort Greely in Alaska.
This short video shows my daughter, Carly, reading her poem "A Nation Rocked to Sleep" at Casey's memorial at Arlington West, Santa Barbara, on April 03. 2005. The memorial was also for Sgt. Mike Mitchell who was killed in the same ambush Casey was killed in. His family has become close with our family.
My three children, Carly, Andy, and Janey are all featured.
It is a brilliant short piece by my good friends Peter Dudar and Sally Marr who made the movie Arlington West.
Love the proud mama,
November 19, 2005
The Green Table
Karen, Democracy Cell Project
In 1932, the ballet choreographer Kurt Jooss created a piece called “The Green Table.
By Philip Sherwell in Washington, Telegraph News
The top American commander in Iraq has been privately rebuked by the Bush administration for openly discussing plans to reduce troop levels there next year, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.
President George W Bush personally intervened last week to play down as "speculation" all talk of troop pull-outs because he fears that even discussing options for an "exit strategy" implies weakening resolve.
John Kerry on ABC says to bring the troops home!
Sussel, After Downing Street.org
Former Presidential nominee John Kerry spoke with Dianne Saywer on abc news. During this interview, he defended Congressman Murtha and defended the peace movement. He demanded that a minimum of 20, 000 to 50,000 troops be sent home immediately.
Furthermore, he held the President accountable for sending the troops to war unprotected and still not protecting the troops to this current day. Yes...he even called the President's actions, "Incompetent!"
By Eric Schmitt, The New York Times
Washington - Republicans and Democrats shouted, howled and slung insults on the House floor on Friday as a debate over whether to withdraw American troops from Iraq descended into a fury over President Bush's handling of the war and a leading Democrat's call to bring the troops home.
The battle boiled over when Representative Jean Schmidt, an Ohio Republican who is the most junior member of the House, told of a phone call she had just received from a Marine colonel back home.
"He asked me to send Congress a message: stay the course," Ms. Schmidt said. "He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, Marines never do."
By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press
The Republican-controlled House spurned calls for an immediate pullout of troops from Iraq in a vote hastily arranged by the GOP that Democrats vociferously denounced as politically motivated…
Republicans hoped to place Democrats in an unappealing position — either supporting a withdrawal that critics said would be precipitous or opposing it and angering voters who want an end to the conflict. They also hoped the vote could restore GOP momentum on an issue — the war — that has seen plummeting public support in recent weeks.
Democrats said it was a sham and quickly decided to vote against the resolution in an attempt to drain it of significance.
President refuses to support torture ban
Guest blogged by David Edwards, BradBlog.com
President Bush took a few questions while speaking today in Panama.
While campaigning in October of 2000, Bush said "We will ask not only what is legal but what is right. Not what the lawyers allow but what the public deserves." Today Bush was asked if he had upheld this promise to the American people. Instead of offering a straightforward answer, the president stonewalled with the familiar "We are cooperating with the investigation..." deflection.
Bush was also asked if the Red Cross would be allowed to inspect the "secret prisons" which have been recently reported in the Washington Post and other publications. While the president didn't answer this question directly, he took the opportunity to strongly imply that he supported torture as long as it was conducted via legal methods and loopholes. He seemed to give the impression that torture was necessary tool when used to protect the American people.
Contact: Brendan Daly or Jennifer Crider, 202-226-7616, both of the Office of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi; Web: http://democraticleader.house.gov/
WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 /U.S. Newswire/ -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi today spoke late this evening in strong opposition to a sham Republican proposal to smear Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania, who has proposed immediate redeployment of troops from Iraq. Below are Pelosi's remarks on the House floor and a video link:
"Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise as the proud representative of the city of San Francisco in the Congress of the United States. In Northern California, we treat our veterans with respect. But Mr. Murtha is not being treated as a distinguished veteran with respect here.
By Mike Hersh, Progressive Democrats of America
I’m still trying to get my mind around what happened on the House Floor today. The very short version is this: Members of Congress debated Iraq policy in the Peoples’ House for the first time since Bush took us into war. That doesn’t begin to describe the bizarre and frenzied circumstances under which this too-short and long overdue debate unfolded.
Consider the proximate cause of this impromptu debate: the poignant and courageous statements of Rep. John P. Murtha (D - 12 Pennsylvania). When Congressman Murtha spoke the same words as PDA and other anti-war leaders, the Republican spin machine kicked into overdrive. It’s rare to see such a colossal political miscalculation. The GOP attacks on Murtha quickly spun out of control, because of who he is. From his website: “U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha has dedicated his life to serving his country both in the military and in the halls of Congress. He had a long and distinguished 37-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps, retiring from the Marine Corps Reserve as a colonel in 1990….
VIDEO: Schmidt’s Shame
LINK TO ORIGINAL
Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) today on the House floor, speaking about Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), a decorated former Marine:
Yesterday I stood at Arlington National Cemetery attending the funeral of a young marine in my district. He believed in what we were doing is the right thing and had the courage to lay his life on the line to do it. A few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bubp, Ohio Representative from the 88th district in the House of Representatives. He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message, that cowards cut and run, Marines never do. Danny and the rest of America and the world want the assurance from this body – that we will see this through.
By William M. Arkin
The Washington Post
How to get out of Iraq.
Congressman John Murtha's speech on Iraq yesterday is another turning point in the Iraq debate. The President and Vice President may argue that politicians are playing politics and their feelings may be hurt that their competence and motives are called into question, but when one of the Pentagon's best friends speaks out against continuing the Iraq enterprise, the voices at the White House seem ever more puny and defensive.
So it isn't surprising that all White House spokesman Scott McClellan could say yesterday was that Murtha was "endorsing the policy positions of ... the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party."
To Force Vote Tonight on Combat Vet, House War Hawk's Gutted Resolution!
BRAD BLOG Obtains Complete Versions of Both Resolutions...
In what can only be described as a cynical and partisan last minute stunt by the Republican-controlled House of Representative, GOP leaders have announced a sudden vote this evening on the "Murtha Resolution" which had called for the immediate phasing out of troops in Iraq and a deployment of a "quick-reaction U.S. force" of Marines in the region should trouble arise.
The GOP-modified version of Murtha's resolution, which had given numerous reasons for his call for a pull-out has starkly changed both the language and meaning of the original resolution in hopes that Republicans can force Democrats onto the record voting in favor of, or against, "immediate termination" of forces in Iraq.
By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer
House Republicans, sensing an opportunity for political advantage,
maneuvered for a quick vote and swift rejection Friday of a Democratic
lawmaker's call for an immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq.
"We want to make sure that we support our troops that are fighting in Iraq
and Afghanistan," said Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. "We will not
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi had no immediate reaction to the
The GOP leadership decided to act little more than 24 hours after Rep.
Jack Murtha, a hawkish Democrat with close ties to the military, said the
VIDEO SPECIAL | Carly Sheehan: A Nation Rocked to Sleep
A film by Peter Dudar and Sally Marr
Cindy Sheehan's daughter Carly reads a poem she wrote about her family's reaction to her brother Casey's death in Iraq.
By Edward Wong
The New York Times
Baghdad - A pair of suicide bombers detonated explosive belts today inside two Shiite mosques in the northern Kurdish town of Khanaqin, collapsing the buildings, killing at least 70 people and wounding scores more. The attack came as worshipers were gathering for Friday prayers.
It was the deadliest coordinated bombing in Iraq in nearly three months, and came hours after two suicide truck bombs exploded outside a hotel in downtown Baghdad that houses many foreign journalists. The blasts, which killed at least six Iraqis and injured at least 60, completely reduced a neighboring apartment building to rubble.
By MARTIN SIEFF, UPI Senior News Analyst
WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- On Thursday, a Democratic national politician for the first time managed to do what former Vice President Al Gore, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, their running mates and more than $150 million of Democratic consulting and campaign resources signally failed to do in more than five years and two national elections: He mauled President George W. Bush.
"The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It's a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of the members of Congress," said Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania as he called for an immediate U.S. withdrawal from that country.
Filed by Jason Leopold and Larisa Alexandrovna, http://www.RAWSTORY.com
Despite news reports Thursday asserting National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley was not the source who told Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward that Valerie Plame Wilson was a CIA agent, sources with direct knowledge of the case still maintain that Hadley was the “senior administration official
By Robert Dreyfuss, TomPaine.com
Robert Dreyfuss is the author of Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam (Henry Holt/Metropolitan Books, 2005). Dreyfuss is a freelance writer based in Alexandria, Va., who specializes in politics and national security issues. He is a contributing editor at The Nation, a contributing writer at Mother Jones, a senior correspondent for The American Prospect, and a frequent contributor to Rolling Stone.He can be reached at his website: www.robertdreyfuss.com.
It is time to start waving the bloody shirt. There is no longer any doubt that the men that the United States has installed in power in Iraq are monsters. Not only that, but they are monsters armed, trained and supported by George W. Bush's administration. The very same Bush administration that defends torture of captives in the so-called War on Terrorism is using 150,000 U.S. troops to support a regime in Baghdad for which torture, assassination and other war crimes are routine.
By CONGRESSMAN CHARLES RANGEL
Contact: Emile Milne 202 225-4365
At a time when President Bush and Vice President Cheney have been attacking elected leaders who have criticized their decision to go to war in Iraq;
At a time when Members of Congress have been politically intimidated by charges that any criticism of the war was unpatriotic or harmful to our troops;
At a time when the majority of Americans are ahead of the Congress in their loss of faith in the President and his decision to go to war;
Along comes a person whose courage and leadership as relates to this war is comparable to that exhibited by Martin Luther King in the great civil rights struggles of the 1960's.
Howard Baker and his old pal Dick Cheney—their bodies worn yet ample from years of dining high on the
political hog--soaked up attention in all their faded glory at Tuesday’s groundbreaking for the Baker Center for
Public Policy. It clearly had been a while since either wielded a shovel, as they awkwardly grasped handles to
turn loose soil in a bin set up for the purpose at a University of Tennessee auditorium. Watching replays on TV
news, I was sorry Baker had sullied the day by bringing in Cheney, who predictably drew heckles, and I couldn’t
By David Sirota, Huffington Post
When I worked on the House Appropriations Committee, I worked around Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) a lot. He's a really intimidating, no-nonsense kind of guy (he was the guy that I always worried would scream at me a la Gunnery Sergeant Hartmann in Full Metal Jacket if I screwed anything up).
And when it comes to defense-related issues, there literally is no member of Congress more informed and more pro-military than Murtha. That's why his announcement yesterday demanding an immediate withdrawal from Iraq was so important: because if someone like Murtha says its time for a withdrawal, then any Democrat in America should be able to say its time for a withdrawal.
BIG DICK PILES ON
"He has the least interest in human beings of anyone I have ever met."
-- John Perry Barlow, former Cheney supporter
Mmmmm, baby blood.
Someone let Dick Cheney out of his cage last night. After Bush on Monday and Rumsfeld on Tuesday, Big Dick delivered the third and dirtiest punch in the administration's 1-2-3 'hit-back' strategy to counter mounting criticism of their war. He said the accusation that Bush deliberately misled the nation into war is "one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city." Pretty funny coming from perhaps the most dishonest and reprehensible person to ever air his vitriol in that city. Really, in a town as historically crooked as DC, that's a pretty hefty charge. READ MORE
"It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion."
-- Rep. John Murtha, yesterday
The president himself has said it's "ok to debate the conduct of the war," so let's do that. The mess they have created is so big it's almost impossible to know where to begin. Simply put, it's been an absolute disaster on all fronts. We'll let Rep. John Murtha take it from there. I encourage you to read the full text of Murtha's bombshell (or watch it at C&L), but here are some of the more salient passages: READ MORE
TODAY'S DEMOCRACY NOW!:
* Woodward Downplayed CIA Leak Case Despite Involvement *
Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward was told of Valerie Plame's identity
in June of 2003 - before Judith Miller or any other reporter. Woodward never
reported this in the pages of the Washington Post and only mentioned it to
his editors last month. We speak with Steve Clemons, editor of the popular
news blog, The Washington Note.
* A Debate: Does Wal-Mart Work or is it a High Cost for Low Price? *
Wal-Mart - the world's largest retailer - has been in the headlines recently
What began with a documentary broadcast on Italian TV asserting that U.S. troops fired white phosphorous at Iraqi troops, intensified when bloggers unearthed the smoking gun.
U.S. officials claimed that white phosphorous, considered a chemical weapon when used on troops, was only used to illuminate the battlefield and provide smoke for camouflage. This claim fell apart when bloggers dug up an article in the US Army's Field Artillery Magazine, which makes quite clear that WP was used as a weapon not just as illumination or camouflage.
Confronted with the new evidence, the U.S. changed their tune saying, "We have learned that some of the information we were provided is incorrect. White phosphorous shells, were used in Fallujah not for illumination but for screening purposes and as a potent psychological weapon.
By Dave Lindorff, http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/
Rep. John Murtha, the decorated Vietnam and Korean War Marine vet and conservative Pennsylvania Democrat who stunned Bush administration and Republican congressional warhawks and Democratic go-alongs like Sens. Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden alike with his call for an immediate U.S. pullout from Iraq, left unsaid one important word in his dramatic turnaround announcement: defeat.
But that’s the real message of his change of heart from Iraq War backer and booster to peacenik.
The war begun by President Bush with such bravado and so little braino, which was designed to convert him from a dismal president to a crisp and awe-inspiring commander-in-chief, has been lost.
By Mike Hersh, Progressive Democrats of America
Wednesday, November 15, 2005 / Washington, DC--When Rep. Maxine Waters closed the Out of Iraq Press Conference at the Longworth Office Building this morning, Progressive Democrats of America had come of age. This event was part of two days packed with activism, retrospectives, and planning, and confirmed that PDA has a new mission. Several members of the House Out of Iraq Caucus specifically charged us and other activists with leading the efforts to force a long-overdue discussion of Iraq policy in the House of Representatives.
Rep. Waters opened the press conference by offering best wishes for PDA National Advisory Board member Cindy Sheehan who was about to stand trial for civil disobedience at the federal courthouse a few blocks away. PDA Chair Mimi Kennedy, Executive Director Tim Carpenter, and Political Director Kevin Spidel dashed from a vigil with Cindy to attend the announcement this morning.
By Larry C. Johnson
John Murtha's courageous call for American troops to leave Iraq is the right policy at the right time. The Bush chickenhawks already are impugning Murtha's patriotism, but when you have a purple heart and a silver star compared to a President with a spotty attendance record with the National Guard and a Vice President with five deferments, that dog don't hunt.
The situation in Iraq is clear. The United States does not have enough troops on the ground to contain and destroy the insurgency. The Iraqi insurgency consists of at least 26 different groups and draws upon as many as 250,000 supporters. These groups represent a spectrum of beliefs ranging from secular nationalists to hard core jihadists. The only thing they agree on is that they hate the invader; which is us.