Progressive Democrats of America working with Afterdowningstreet.org and allied organizations are calling upon you to hold Bush and Cheney accountable. We need you to call your member of Congress and ask him or her to cosponsor Congressman Conyers' bills. Join us on the National PDA Call-In Day, January 9th, 2006. Let's kick off the New Year with a bang.
I recently received this letter from an Iraqi friend who lives in Baghdad. It is written as an open letter to Mr. Bush. -DJ
While there is deep concern about the possibility of civil war, the common talk between all groups now in Iraq is the poor infrastructure, poor electricity, deficiency of fuels, bad drinking water, poor health services, poor education and extensive unemployment.
By Larry C. Johnson
"Definition: A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue."
Caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar, President Bush is working feverishly to divert attention from the fact that he has subverted the FISA law by claiming that the revelation in the New York Times of the NSA spying program has jeopardized national security and given the terrorists a hand. Sorry Mr. President that dog don't hunt.
By M. Junaid Alam, WireTap
The Iraq war currently enjoys all the popularity of the voracious eagle in March of the Penguins. Just as the predator in that film picked on our unsuspecting, plodding friends, the war in Iraq has swallowed up tens of thousands of innocent lives, and spitted out many more with crippling injuries. The daily grind of casualties, combined with the war's seemingly aimless, winless, and boundless nature, have all produced a profound turn-around in America's political climate, giving rise to a new majority of Americans who have come to oppose the war, an emboldened media ready to call its progress into question, and a number of high-profile politicians willing to criticize the war and call for a scale back or redeployment.
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[Note to readers: Tomdispatch returns in the New Year full of hope and with as complete an account as possible of the Political Folly Awards of 2005, sponsored, of course, by the full Tomdispatch team. It was a resplendent event -- you had to be there to fully appreciate it (and to catch the parties afterwards) -- a genuine who isn't who of the political, media, and comedy worlds. So here's my award-by-award account, the very best I could scribble down, of the festivities that caught the spirit of our now dearly departed last year in the shade. Tom]
By Buzz Davis, Stoughton, WI
Below is a copy of the email invitation we are using to round up folks for our Saturday town meeting in Madison, WI. Ed Garvey is a member of Vets for Peace and he will speak along with others. Ed was the 1998 Democratic candidate for governor in WI. Tommy Thompson won as your know. Ed would be a great governor.
By Robert Parry, www.consortiumnews.com
George W. Bush’s dysfunctional relationship with the truth seems to be shaped by two complementary factors – a personal compulsion to say whatever makes him look good at that moment and a permissive environment that rarely holds him accountable for his lies.
Out of Iraq Events Planned Nationwide on January 7th
National Call-In Day on Accountability Planned for January 9th
International Commission Taking "Indictments" to White House January 9th
Out of Iraq Events Planned in Over 70 Cities
Local organizations have planned over 70 Out of Iraq events around the country on or about January 7th. (See list at bottom.) Most of the events are town hall forums, and several will feature members of Congress, including Bobby Scott, Diane Watson, Jim McDermott, Adam Smith, Bob Filner, Martin Sabo, Jim Moran, Marty Meehan, and John Murtha. Several other events will feature congressional staff, congressional and senatorial candidates, local elected officials, and leaders of the peace movement, including Gold Star Families for Peace founder Cindy Sheehan, and After Downing Street Co-Founder John Bonifaz.
By Cindy Sheehan
"You're like an ambassador for peace," a Spanish journalist told me as we finished one of the dozens of interviews I gave in Europe. I did this interview right before I went to meet with the Spanish Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs.
By Sarah Baxter, Ali Rifat, and Peter Almond, The Sunday Times UK
American forces are dramatically stepping up air attacks on insurgents in Iraq as they prepare to start the withdrawal of ground troops in the spring.
By David S. Cloud and Jeff Gerth, The New York Times
Washington - A Pentagon contractor that paid Iraqi newspapers to print positive articles written by American soldiers has also been compensating Sunni religious scholars in Iraq in return for assistance with its propaganda work, according to current and former employees.
ImpeachPAC today announced the formation of a Citizens Impeachment Commission to make 2006 the "Year of Impeachment."
"We are honored by the broad support for impeachment from this distinguished group of true American patriots," said Bob Fertik, President of ImpeachPAC. "Impeachment is not a 'fringe' position, as the Bush Administration would like Americans to believe. With a recent Zogby poll showing Americans support impeachment hearings by a solid majority of 53%-42%, there is far more support for impeachment than there is for the War in Iraq," Fertik said.
Only justice, not bombs, can make our dangerous world a safer place
By Robert Fisk, the Independent, UK
This was the year the "war on terror" - an obnoxious expression which we all parroted after 11 September 2001 - appeared to be almost as endless as George Bush once claimed it would be. And unsuccessful. For, after all the bombing of Afghanistan, the overthrow of the Taliban, the invasion of Iraq and its appallingly tragic aftermath, can anyone claim today that they feel safer than they did a year ago?
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Investigative Report
This past spring, an explosive nugget of information slipped out during the confirmation hearings of John Bolton - nominated by President Bush to be the United States Ambassador to the United Nations - that in hindsight should have blown the lid off Bush's four-year-old clandestine spy program involving the National Security Agency.
The International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration has announced January 20-22 for its final session of hearings. Verdicts are expected around the time of the Bush’s State of the Union address and nationwide demonstrations occurring then. The work of the Commission is historic, with the potential to profoundly affect the gathering storm around the Bush administration.
The International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration of the United States
The International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration of the United States, www.bushcommission.org
When the possibility of far-reaching war crimes and crimes against humanity exists, people of conscience have a solemn responsibility to inquire into the nature and scope of these acts and to determine if they do in fact rise to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity. That is the mission of the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity. The final session will be held January 20-22 in New York City. This tribunal will, with care and rigor, present evidence and assess whether George W. Bush and his administration have committed crimes against humanity. Well-established international law will be referenced where applicable, but the tribunal will not be limited by the scope of existing international law.
U.S. Has End in Sight on Iraq Rebuilding
Documents Show Much of the Funding Diverted to Security, Justice System and Hussein Inquiry
By Ellen Knickmeyer, Washington Post
BAGHDAD -- The Bush administration does not intend to seek any new funds for Iraq reconstruction in the budget request going before Congress in February, officials say. The decision signals the winding down of an $18.4 billion U.S. rebuilding effort in which roughly half of the money was eaten away by the insurgency, a buildup of Iraq's criminal justice system and the investigation and trial of Saddam Hussein.
By David Swanson
Can there be any doubt that if the White House finds out who leaked the story of its illegal spying, fierce retribution will follow?
Another way of asking that question is: Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
By Matthew Cardinale, Atlanta Progressive News
A total of eight US House members have co-sponsored Resolution 635 to create a select committee to investigate the grounds for impeaching President Bush, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.
Fruit of Eavesdropping Was Processed and Cross-Checked With Databases
By Walter Pincus, Washington Post
Information captured by the National Security Agency's secret eavesdropping on communications between the United States and overseas has been passed on to other government agencies, which cross-check the information with tips and information collected in other databases, current and former administration officials said.
By ERIC LICHTBLAU and JAMES RISEN, New York Times
WASHINGTON, Dec. 31 - A top Justice Department official objected in 2004 to aspects of the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program and refused to sign on to its continued use amid concerns about its legality and oversight, according to officials with knowledge of the tense internal debate. The concerns appear to have played a part in the temporary suspension of the secret program.
By David Swanson
This is a new one: a column arguing that we should not impeach Bush because he's so dangerous, his crimes so serious, and the lies he's told so widespread. With friends like these...
Published on The Progressive, http://progressive.org
After the War
By Howard Zinn
The war against Iraq, the assault on its people, the occupation of its cities, will come to an end, sooner or later. The process has already begun. The first signs of mutiny are appearing in Congress. The first editorials calling for withdrawal from Iraq are beginning to appear in the press. The anti-war movement has been growing, slowly but persistently, all over the country.
By MARTIN WALKER, UPI Editor
WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- The Bush administration is preparing its NATO allies for a possible military strike against suspected nuclear sites in Iran in the New Year, according to German media reports, reinforcing similar earlier suggestions in the Turkish media.
By Larry C. Johnson
The Bush Administration's new offensive against leakers just reminds us that when the President's political standing is at stake all is fair if the purpose is to protect the Pres...., er I mean the nation. Too bad George Bush did not express the same outrage when Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, and others in his employ, told eager journalists that Joe Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA operative. I guess divulging secrets is okay if the White House needs to discredit Joe Wilson and his claim (subsequently proved true) that the President had misled the nation during his January 2004 State of the Union address. Plus if offers the added benefit of warning the rest of the intelligence community--shut up or else. You can't have whistle blowers coming out that would tarnish the President's image as a tough guy waging war on the terrorists.
By Patrick Cockburn, The Independent UK
View From Baghdad: Bush and Blair plot their exit strategy as a nation falls apart at the seams.
This was the year in which the US admitted it was not going to defeat the insurgency. It was the ebb tide of American and British power in Iraq. By the end of the year both countries were urgently looking to withdraw their troops in circumstances not too humiliating to themselves and without precipitating the complete collapse of the Iraqi state.
By Anne Penketh, The Independent
Britain's former ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, has defied the Foreign Office by publishing on the internet documents providing evidence that the British Government knowingly received information extracted by torture in the "war on terror".
By HAZEL TRICE EDNEY, The Wilmington Journal
WASHINGTON (NNPA) – President Bush’s authorization of a secret domestic spying program – and his fierce defense of his action – is leading to talk of possible impeachment.