Two charged 'over Iraq memo leak'

Two charged 'over Iraq memo leak'
News.BBC.co.UK

The memo suggests Foreign Office doubts over US tactics in Iraq Two men have been charged under the Official Secrets Act following the leak of a secret government memo.

The document involved - the Foreign Office's Iraq in the Medium Term - referred to "heavy-handed" US tactics, a government source told the BBC.

Its contents were reported in the Sunday Times in May last year.

Ex-civil servant David Keogh and former MP's researcher Leo O'Connor, both from Northampton, will appear before Bow Street magistrates on 29 November.

Political researcher

Mr Keogh, 49, is a former Cabinet Office communications worker.

Mr O'Connor, 42, worked as a researcher for Tony Clarke, the former MP for Northampton South.

The pair received police bail.

Mr Keogh was charged with an offence under section three of the Official Secrets Act, Mr O'Connor under section five.
LINK TO ORIGINAL

Rumsfeld targeted by anti-war protesters

Rumsfeld targeted by anti-war protesters
Last Update: Friday, November 18, 2005. 2:08pm (AEDT
ABC News Online

A noisy protest is under way outside the Adelaide Town Hall where the US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is holding talks with Australian ministers at the AUSMIN meeting.

Chanting anti-war slogans, about 100 protesters braved the wet weather to line the security barriers outside the town hall.

But they have so far had no opportunity to get close to their target.

Mr Rumsfeld has been surrounded by a security detail, the size of which has never been seen in Adelaide.

One hooded protester was arrested after he scaled a security barrier.

South Australian Premier Mike Rann has already emerged from his 15 minute meeting with the Defence Secretary.

Mr Rumsfeld is due to address the media before flying out on Air Force Three this afternoon.

LINK TO ORIGINAL

House of Horrors...

Friday, November 18, 2005

House of Horrors...
Riverbend, Baghdad Burning

The talk of the town is the torture house they recently found in Jadriya.

The whole world heard about the one in Jadriya, recently raided by the Americans. Jadriya was once one of the best areas in Baghdad. It's an area on the river and is special in that it's greener, and cleaner, than most areas. Baghdads largest university, Baghdad University, is located in Jadriya (with a campus in another area). Jadriya had some of the best shops and restaurants- not to mention some of Baghdad's most elegant homes...… and apparently, now, a torture house.

U.S. tells Iraq it will not tolerate prisoner abuse

U.S. tells Iraq it will not tolerate prisoner abuse
By Chris Buckley (Reporting by Claudia Parsons)
The Star.com

(BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The U.S. embassy told Iraq on Thursday it would not tolerate abuse of detainees or the involvement of militias in detentions, stepping up pressure on the government following revelations of a secret prison bunker.

"We have made clear to the Iraqi government that there must not be militia or sectarian control of Iraqi security forces, facilities or ministries," senior embassy spokesman Jim Bullock told reporters in Baghdad, reading out a statement.

"We do not tolerate any abuse of detainees in Iraq. Even one case is too much anywhere ... the Iraqi government must take measures to ensure this kind of thing does not happen again."

New Disclosure Could Prolong Inquiry on Leak

New Disclosure Could Prolong Inquiry on Leak
By TODD S. PURDUM
Published: November 17, 2005

This article was reported by Todd S. Purdum, David Johnston and Douglas Jehl and written by Mr. Purdum.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 - The disclosure that a current or former Bush administration official told Bob Woodward of The Washington Post more than two years ago that the wife of a prominent administration critic worked for the C.I.A. threatened Wednesday to prolong a politically damaging leak investigation that the White House had hoped would soon be contained.

Timeline of the Leak
A trip by Joseph C. Wilson IV to Niger nearly four years ago was the beginning of a series of events now being investigated by a special prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald.

Democrats Should Admit Their Mistakes

Democrats Should Admit Their Mistakes
Edwards Leads In Saying He Was Wrong
Helen Thomas, Hearst White House columnist
November 17, 2005

John Edwards, the former Democratic nominee for vice president, has made a courageous admission: "I was wrong," he said, and made "a mistake" in voting for the war in Iraq when he was a senator from North Carolina.

Edwards wrote his mea culpa in an op-ed article for The Washington Post on Nov. 13.

Now, let's hear it from those other Democrats and, possibly, brave Republicans who are willing to admit that they, too, had been misled into war.

That may be asking too much of members of the Democratic Leadership Council, who often toss in their political lot with the Republicans. It's hard to distinguish some of them from the GOP when it comes to the Iraq war.

The Honorable John P. Murtha

The Honorable John P. Murtha
War in Iraq
(transcript)

(Washington D.C.)- The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of us. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We can not continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interest of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region.

Washington Post urged to probe Woodward's role in CIA case

Washington Post urged to probe Woodward's role in CIA case
Thu Nov 17, 2005 2:28 PM ET
By Adam Entous
Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Joseph Wilson, the husband of outed CIA operative Valerie Plame, called on Thursday for an inquiry by The Washington Post into the conduct of journalist Bob Woodward, who repeatedly criticized the leak investigation without disclosing his own involvement.

"It certainly gives the appearance of a conflict of interest. He was taking an advocacy position when he was a party to it," Wilson said.

Woodward testified under oath on Monday to special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that a senior Bush administration official casually told him in mid-June 2003 about Plame's position at the CIA.

The Man Who Sold the War

The Man Who Sold the War
Meet John Rendon, Bush's general in the propaganda war
By JAMES BAMFORD
Rolling Stones Magazine

The road to war in Iraq led through many unlikely places. One of them was a chic hotel nestled among the strip bars and brothels that cater to foreigners in the town of Pattaya, on the Gulf of Thailand.
On December 17th, 2001, in a small room within the sound of the crashing tide, a CIA officer attached metal electrodes to the ring and index fingers of a man sitting pensively in a padded chair. The officer then stretched a black rubber tube, pleated like an accordion, around the man's chest and another across his abdomen. Finally, he slipped a thick cuff over the man's brachial artery, on the inside of his upper arm.

The Shifting Sands Of The Iraq War

November 17, 2005
The Shifting Sands Of The Iraq War
Casey Morris
Democracy Cell Project

As Iraq War hawk John Murtha spoke today, calling for the immediate scheduling of redeployment of US forces from Iraq, one could sense the shift in American attitude towards the War in Iraq.

The full text of the statement by the fifteen term veteran Democratic Congressman and 38-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps:

"The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of us. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region."

Cindy Sheehan Found Guilty of Misdemeanor

Cindy Sheehan Found Guilty of Misdemeanor
38 minutes ago

Yahoo News

WASHINGTON - Iraq War protester Cindy Sheehan was found guilty Thursday of demonstrating without a permit outside the White House, a misdemeanor carrying a $50 fine.

Twenty-six other defendants also were convicted at the end of a two-day trial before U.S. Magistrate Alan Kay today.

Sheehan, who demonstrated against the war for several weeks near President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, and the others were among 300 arrested September 26 while trying to deliver petitions calling for an end to the war. Some sat on the sidewalk outside the White House fence while others chanted and sang songs. They were taken into custody after refusing police orders to disperse.

Conventional Terror...

Baghdad Burning
riverbend

... I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Conventional Terror...

It sat on my PC desktop for five days.

The first day I read about it on the internet, on some site, my heart sank. White phosphorous in Falloojeh. I knew nothing about white phosphorous, of course, and a part of me didn’t want to know the details. I tried downloading the film four times and was almost relieved when I got disconnected all four times.

E. had heard about the film too and one of his friends S. finally brought it by on CD. He and E. shut themselves up in the room with the computer to watch the brief documentary. E. came out half an hour later looking pale- his lips tightened in a straight line, which is the way he looks when he’s pensive... thinking about something he'd rather not discuss.

The Spies Who Pushed for War

The Spies Who Pushed for War
quiet.american
Democratic Underground
Thu Nov-17-05 03:25 PM

In light of Cheney emerging from his hidey-hole yesterday to
literally spew more of the same ol', same ol', I think this is worth calling attention to again today (I'd posted about it yesterday) --

it's an article about the Office of Special Plans that was published
in 2003 by the Guardian newspaper; and it:

1) slays the lie that "everyone had access to the exact same
information we did"

"They surveyed data and picked out what they liked," said Gregory Thielmann, a senior official in the state department's intelligence bureau until his retirement in September. "The whole thing was bizarre. The secretary of defence had this huge defence intelligence agency, and he went around it."

Cheney calls war critics 'opportunists'

Cheney calls war critics 'opportunists'
Vice president is latest in GOP to defend war, criticize
MSNBC News Services
Updated: 9:00 a.m. ET Nov. 17, 2005
Associated Press and Rueters contributed to this article
LINK TO ORIGINAL

(Editor's note: Cheney comes out of his bunker to continue the attack on anyone who holds this administration up to the higher standard of telling the truth. Speak truth to power in the comments section of this thread. In the meantime, the opportunists are still waiting for Halliburton to donate all their war profits to the poor in Iraq and the U.S--and that includes Dick Cheney's profits from his Halliburton shares as well.)

WASHINGTON - In the sharpest White House attack yet on critics of the Iraq war, Vice President Dick Cheney said on Wednesday that accusations the Bush administration manipulated intelligence to justify the war were a “dishonest and reprehensible

Leading House Democrat urges withdrawal from Iraq

Leading House Democrat urges withdrawal from Iraq
17 Nov 2005 15:51:02 GMT
Source: Reuters

WASHINGTON, Nov 17 (Reuters) - A leading pro-defense Democrat in the House of Representatives on Thursday urged the Bush administration to start the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

"The U.S. cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring them home," said Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, a senior Democrat on the subcommittee that oversees military spending.

Murtha's remarks followed attacks from the Bush administration on critics of its Iraq war policy and its handling of intelligence that led to the war.

Hagel Defends Criticisms of Iraq Policy

Hagel Defends Criticisms of Iraq Policy
Administration Calls Statements by Democrats Harmful to War Effort, Troops

By Glenn Kessler (Ann Scott Tyson)
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 16, 2005; A06

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) strongly criticized yesterday the White House's new line of attack against critics of its Iraq policy, saying that "the Bush administration must understand that each American has a right to question our policies in Iraq and should not be demonized for disagreeing with them."

With President Bush leading the charge, administration officials have lashed out at Democrats who have accused the administration of manipulating intelligence to justify the war in Iraq. Bush has suggested that critics are hurting the war effort, telling U.S. troops in Alaska on Monday that critics "are sending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy. And that's irresponsible."

John Kerry Fires Back to Cheney’s Latest Personal Attacks and Lies

John Kerry Fires Back to Cheney’s Latest Personal Attacks and Lies
Democratic Daily
LINK TO ORIGINAL

Dick Cheney opened his mouth and spewed forth a mess of lies and attacks tonight at the Frontiers of Freedom Institute 2005 Ronald Reagan Gala. In his speech, Cheney accused Democratic senators who allege that the Bush administration distorted intelligence to justify the war in Iraq of engaging in “one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city.

A Timetable for Mr. Bush

Editorial
A Timetable for Mr. Bush
Published: November 17, 2005
New York Times

No matter how the White House chooses to spin it, the United States Senate cast a vote of no confidence this week on the war in Iraq. And about time.

The actual content of the resolution, passed on a vote of 79 to 19, was meaningless. The Senate asked the administration to provide regular reports on progress in Iraq, and took the position that next year should be "a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty." It was a desperate - but toothless - cry of election-bound lawmakers to be let off the hook for a disastrous military quagmire.

It Depends on the Definition of Dead Civilians

Update: Government Lies About Not Targeting Civilians in Fallujah
By Dave Lindorff, http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/

Now that the Iraqi government has been forced to investigate the US military's use of phosphorus incindiary bombs in the assault on Fallujah, it is important to note how slippery the Pentagon is being about its claim not to have used this dreadful weapon against "civilians." As I wrote during the assault (see the November 13 article on the 2004 Archive page of my website) two years ago, before the assault began on this city of 300,000, the US military ringed the doomed city. Civilians were ordered to leave, but US troops turned back all men and boys of "fighting age,"--a term that was not defined, but that reportedly was set at 14!

Policymakers on torture take note -- remember Pinochet

Policymakers on torture take note -- remember Pinochet
- Philippe Sands, sfgate.com
Sunday, November 13, 2005

Before embarking on international travels, David Addington and others who are said to be closely associated with the crafting of the Bush administration's policy on the interrogation of detainees would do well to reflect on the fate of Augusto Pinochet.

The Chilean senator and former head of state was unexpectedly arrested during a visit to London on Oct. 16, 1998, at the request of a Spanish judge who sought his extradition on various charges of international criminality, including torture.

Iraq official defends 'torture' facility

Iraq official defends 'torture' facility

Thursday, November 17, 2005; Posted: 9:12 a.m. EST (14:12 GMT)
Cnn.com

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraq's interior minister has defended a government facility that was found to be holding dozens of prisoners, including some showing signs of torture, saying it held "the most criminal terrorists."

"Nobody was beheaded or killed," a defiant Bayan Jabr told a news conference Thursday, saying that only seven of 170 detainees showed marks of torture.

"Those detainees, those criminal killers inside the bunker were not Indians or Pakistanis or Iranians," he said, waving a stack of passports in the air. "Those are your Arab brothers that came here to kill your sons."

U.S. Conspiracy to Initiate the War Against Iraq

U.S. Conspiracy to Initiate the War Against Iraq
Brian Becker
deoxy.org

Even before the first day of the Persian Gulf crisis George Bush and the Pentagon wanted to wage war against Iraq.

What was the character of this war? Iraq neither attacked nor threatened the United States. We believe that this was a war to redivide and redistribute the fabulous markets and resources of the Middle East, in other words this was an imperialist war. The Bush administration, on behalf of the giant oil corporations and banks, sought to strengthen its domination of this strategic region. It did this in league with the former colonial powers of the region, namely Britain and France, and in opposition to the Iraqi people's claim on their own land and especially their natural resources.

Vietnam Archive Offers Parallel to War in Iraq

November 16, 2005
Vietnam Archive Offers Parallel to War in Iraq
By THOM SHANKER, DAVID STOUT
and JOHN FILES
WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 - White House advisers convene secret sessions on the political dangers of revelations that American troops committed atrocities in the war zone, and whether the president can delicately intervene in the investigation. In the face of an increasingly unpopular war, they wonder at the impact on support at home. The best way out of the war, they agree, is propping up a new government that can attract feuding elements across a fractured foreign land.

With an obvious resonance to current events, the National Archives and Records Administration released 50,000 pages of previously classified documents from the Nixon administration today that reveal how all that president's men wrestled with issues that eerily parallel problems facing the Bush administration.

Why Iraq Has No Army

Why Iraq Has No Army
DiAnne Grieser
Democracy Cell Project
November 17, 2005

I have in hand the new Atlantic Monthly, with a long-awaited cover article by James Fallows. It has a long subtitle: Why Iraq Has No Army - we can't leave until the Iraqis have one, the Bush administration says - and they're not even close - so now what. See also to http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5015143, as Fallows also was interviewed on "Fresh Air".

This article comes at a time when we need to know more what is going on in Iraq. It comes a time when Bush has been bolstering his case for going into Iraq and once again, questioning the patriotism of those who dissent and even implying they play into the hands of the enemy. It also comes at a time when Bush has the lowest approval rating of his presidency and a majority of Americans say that he is not honest and disapprove of his handling of foreign policy and the war on terrorism. A majority of Senators are asking this administration for quarterly reports, new evidence of torture in Iraq has emerged, and this week has seen unusually high casualties.

'Peace mom' goes back to court

WASHINGTON (AP) -- War protester Cindy Sheehan and several others return to court Thursday for the second day of trials on misdemeanor charges of demonstrating without a permit outside the White House.

The protesters, who are being tried separately in one proceeding, took turns questioning police and arguing their cases Wednesday afternoon in front of U.S. Magistrate Alan Kay.

Charges against at least nine were dismissed, leaving about 30 protesters facing possible fines but no jail time if found guilty by Kay. The maximum fine each faces is $500.

Before the trial began, Sheehan announced plans to return to Texas next week to resume her anti-war protest near President Bush's Texas ranch, despite new county ordinances banning roadside camping.

Beware Confusing Symbolism With Substance: The Senate Votes on Iraq

By John Isaacs, Council for a Livable World

There were mixed views on the Senate votes Tuesday on Iraq. Many saw the votes as a watershed in Congressional criticism of the President’s Iraq policies and a clear vote of no confidence.

Others, however, after reading the actual language, wonder what is the big deal, especially the Warner-Frist language that was adopted 79 – 19 with most Democrats and Republicans voting "aye."

The skeptics are confusing substance with symbolism.

It is true that the adopted language does not remove a single soldier from Iraq; set a timetable for withdrawal; or cut off funds. That is the reality of the substance.

The Blame Game

The Blame Game

November 17, 2005
by Michael Shannon
Democratic Underground
LINK TO ORIGINAL

The argument that the Bush administration did not polish – that's the nicest word I could think of – the intelligence concerning Iraq's capabilities in the weeks and months leading to the onset of hostilities is preposterous.

Every speck of information on the subject which has reached the light of day since then has been directly supportive of the notion that a very small group of people came to the conclusion that the removal of Saddam Hussein, and the taking control of Iraq, was not only a good idea, it was a necessary one. It also shows that they then did everything in their power to sell that idea, regardless of any and all evidence to the contrary of its merit and in doing so used every trick in the book. How anyone can deny this is beyond me.

In Lawsuit, Team Bush Swore Saddam Was Behind 9/11

In Lawsuit, Team Bush Swore Saddam Was Behind 9/11
November 17, 2005
by Evelyn Pringle
Democtatic Underground
LINK TO ORIGINAL

Much to the dismay of President Bush, Americans can remember all on their own, without any coaching from Democrats, that in the run up to war in Iraq it was top officials from the administration who were making the claim that Saddam was in cahoots with bin Laden and that he was secretly involved in 9/11.

The fact that the administration's disinformation campaign was entirely successful is evidenced by an October 2004 Harris Poll, taken three weeks before the last presidential election, which reported that 62% of all voters and 84% of those planning to vote for Bush still believed that Saddam had "strong links" to Al Qaeda, and that 41% of all voters and 52% of Bush backers believed that Saddam had "helped plan and support the hijackers" who had attacked the country on 9/11.

Open Letter to George's Mama

By Cindy Sheehan

Dear Barbara,

On April 04, 2004, your oldest child killed my oldest child, Casey Austin Sheehan.

Unlike your oldest child, my son was a marvelous person who joined the military to serve his country and to try and make the world a better place. Casey didn't want to go to Iraq, but he knew his duty. Your son went AWOL from a glamour unit. George couldn't even handle the Alabama Air National Guard. Casey joined the Army before your son became commander in chief. We all know that your son was thinking of invading Iraq as early as 1999. Casey was a dead man before George even became president and before he even joined the Army in May of 2000.

Informed Activist

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