By Kevin Zeese, www.democracyrising.org
While Cindy Sheehan has deservedly gotten a lot of attention for reawakening the anti-war movement with her allies from veteran and military family organizations, the especially interesting thing about the opposition to the Iraq War is that it includes former military leaders, former national security and intelligence officials as well as foreign service officers. The Iraq War that is opposed by those who generally support U.S. foreign and military affairs.
In fact, in March 2003, shortly before the war began hundreds of retired military officers wrote President Bush requesting a meeting before a final decision was made to invade. They expressed grave concerns about a war with Iraq. Their letter foretold the future, saying:
By Peter Popham, The Independent (UK)
Powerful new evidence emerged yesterday that the United States dropped massive quantities of white phosphorus on the Iraqi city of Fallujah during the attack on the city in November 2004, killing insurgents and civilians with the appalling burns that are the signature of this weapon.
Ever since the assault, which went unreported by any Western journalists, rumours have swirled that the Americans used chemical weapons on the city.
On 10 November last year, the Islam Online website wrote: "US troops are reportedly using chemical weapons and poisonous gas in its large-scale offensive on the Iraqi resistance bastion of Fallujah, a grim reminder of Saddam Hussein's alleged gassing of the Kurds in 1988."
Five US soldiers in Iraq have been charged with abusing detainees, the US military has said.
The soldiers are accused of punching and kicking detainees who were awaiting transfer to prison on 7 September, the military said in a statement.
The names and ranks of the five soldiers have not been made public.
It comes on the same day US President George W Bush defended his government's treatment of detainees, and insisted: "We do not torture".
He was responding to allegations in the Washington Post that the CIA ran secret jails in eastern Europe to hold high-profile terror suspects following the 11 September attacks.
By Linwood Barclay, www.opednews.com
Here's an idea, and I can't believe I'm the first to come up with this modest proposal, but why doesn't the U.S. government just go ahead and torture Lewis "Scooter" Libby? And not just for that ridiculous name.
Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has laid five charges against Libby related to the investigation into how an undercover CIA operative's identity was leaked to the press. One can only imagine how long it's going to take for Fitzgerald to lay out the evidence, to put witnesses on the stand, to build a case against Libby, and find out whether he lied to cover up for his actions or those of others at the White House.
By Dan Froomkin, WashingtonPost.com
Back in June, Zogby asked Americans if they agreed or disagreed with the following question:
"If President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment."
An astonishing 42 percent of Americans agreed. (I wrote about that in my July 6 column .)
Since then, no news organizations has expressed any curiosity, and no polling company has decided to ask the question on its own.
But afterdowningstreet.org , a group urging Congress to launch a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war, keeps asking.
The dispossession of the Diego Garcia islanders to create a US base is an indictment of Britain
Today, a British-engineered occupation enters its fifth decade. There will be no commemoration, despite the human toll and murkiness surrounding what is going on there.
Yet an entire population, exiled from their homeland and betrayed by the British government, are stepping up their campaign to return home. The coming weeks may decide their fate.
Forty years ago this week, while African and Asian countries were throwing off British rule, Whitehall officials were busy establishing a new colony. The British Indian Ocean Territory (Biot) was created by detaching the Chagos island group from Mauritius and other small islands from the Seychelles, then both British colonies. Mauritius was given £3m in compensation; the following year, Britain signed a military agreement with the US leasing it the largest island, Diego Garcia, for 50 years.
Congressman Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts) has introduced legislation to stop funding the deployment of U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq: H.R. 4232, the "End the War in Iraq Act of 2005."
The bill would allow Defense Department funds to be used only to provide for: the safe and orderly withdrawal of all troops; consultations with other governments, NATO, and the UN regarding international forces; and financial assistance and equipment to either Iraqi security forces and/or international forces.
From Tomdispatch tonight, Nick Turse, "Get a Clue, Who had the Real Intel on the War" http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=34064
In the second of two Tomdispatch pieces on shame and honor in the Bush era, Nick Turse takes us into the streets -- and to the most recent anitwar demonstrations. There, he reminds us that, without the latest twisted intel from generals or politicians or spymasters with top-secret access to reports from the intelligence community, millions of protestors in the United States and around the world knew in early 2003 that the coming war in Iraq would be illegitimate, deadly, and destructive. They sensed that invading Iraq would, in the long run, be no cake-walk. They already understood that what the Bush administration so clearly planned to do was based on lies. And they knew it was all wrong -- not from the start or months or years later -- but before it ever began.
By Jason Leopold
Monday 07 November 2005
Did Vice President Dick Cheney help cover-up the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson in the months after conservative columnist Robert Novak first disclosed her identity?
That's one of the questions Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is likely trying to figure out. It's unclear what Cheney said to investigators back in 2004 when he was questioned - not under oath - about the leak, particularly what he knew and when he knew it.
The five-count criminal indictment handed up by a grand jury last month against Cheney's former Chief of Staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, sheds new light on a pattern of strategic deception by the Vice President and the White House to defuse an inquiry into who leaked the name of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson to the press. Months after Plame's identity was disclosed by conservative columnist Robert Novak, Cheney continued to hide the fact that he and his aides were intimately involved in disseminating classified information about her to journalists.
Between the Sheets - November 7th, 2005
By the Institute for International Mediation and Conflict Resolution
Washington D.C.—Ahmed Chalabi, deputy prime minister of Iraq and once a U.S. favorite to replace Saddam Hussein, has not lost his luster with Vice-President Dick Cheney. Mr. Chalabi will hold a private meeting with Vice-President Cheney during his visit to Washington D.C. this week, the first such trip in more than two years.
Though not on his official schedule, Mr. Chalabi is counting on meeting his biggest backer in the Bush administration, Vice-President Dick Cheney. Among other heavy hitters, Mr. Chalabi is also scheduled to meet with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Posted on Monday, November 7, 2005. All text is verbatim from senior Bush Administration officials and advisers. In places, tenses have been changed for clarity.
Originally from Harper's Magazine, October 2003. By Sam Smith.
SourcesOnce again, we were defending both ourselves and the safety and survival of civilization itself. September 11 signaled the arrival of an entirely different era. We faced perils we had never thought about, perils we had never seen before. For decades, terrorists had waged war against this country. Now, under the leadership of President Bush, America would wage war against them. It was a struggle between good and it was a struggle between evil.
House International Relations Committee To Vote Wednesday On Resolution To Demand Documents Related To White House Iraq Group
By Congressman Dennis Kucinich
For Immediate Release: Monday, November 07, 2005
Contact: Doug Gordon (202) 225-5871
House International Relations Committee To Vote Wednesday On Resolution To Demand Documents Related To White House Iraq Group
House International Relations Committee To Vote Wednesday at 10:30am On Kucinich Resolution Of Inquiry Demanding Documents From White House Iraq Group (WHIG)
The House International Relations Committee will vote on Wednesday on a Resolution of Inquiry, offered by Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), demanding all documents produced by the White House Iraq Group (WHIG).
Vice President Dick Cheney must explain what he knew about the activities of his top aide, who was indicted in the CIA leak case, former Sen. Bob Graham said.
BY FRANK DAVIES, Miami Herald, email@example.com
WASHINGTON - Former Sen. Bob Graham of Florida said Friday that he thinks Vice President Dick Cheney was a ''conspirator'' in a Bush administration campaign to discredit former ambassador Joe Wilson and expose Wilson's wife, CIA operative Valerie Plame.
''This was one of the most reprehensible and damaging breaches of American security in modern times,'' said Graham, who was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in the fall of 2002, when the administration made its case for war against Iraq.
Veteran admits: Bodies melted away before us.
The Americans are responsible for a massacre using unconventional weapons, the
identical charge for which Saddam Hussein stands accused. An investigation by
RAI News 24, the all-news Italian satellite television channel, has pulled the
veil from one of the most carefully concealed mysteries from the front in the
entire US military campaign in Iraq.
U.S. Used Chemical Weapons In Iraq
Veteran admits: Bodies melted away before us.
By Larry C. Johnson
I think Dick Cheney has been watching too many Hollywood flicks that glorify torture. He needs, instead, to get on the ground and talk to the folks he is ostensibly trying to empower to torture. Unlike Dick I have spoken with three CIA operations officers in the last three months--all who have worked on terrorism at the highest levels--and not one endorses torture or believes it will help us. In fact, they believe it will hurt us on many levels.
Two of my friends served in Afghanistan in the immediate aftermath of 9-11. If the suicide bombing of the World Trade Centers was not enough justification for hooking Haji up to battery cables, I don't know what is. My friends recognized correctly that their mission was to gather intelligence not create new enemies. If you inflict enough pain on someone they will give you information, but, unless you kill them, they will hold a grudge. As far as the information goes there is no guarantee it will be correct. What real CIA field officers know from their work with actual sources is that whatever short term benefit can be derived from torture will be offset by the new enemy you have created. It is better to build a relationship of trust, no matter how painstaking, rather than gain a short term benefit that puts you on par with a Nazi concentration camp guard.
PM Monday, November 7, 2005
President Bush was asked today: "Mr. President, there has been a bit of an international outcry over reports of secret U.S. prisons in Europe for terrorism suspects. Will you let the Red Cross have access to them? And do you agree with Vice President Cheney that the CIA should be exempt from legislation to ban torture?"
Bush replied: "...We are gathering information about where the terrorists may be hiding. We are trying to disrupt their plots and plans. Anything we do to that effort, to that end, in this effort, any activity we conduct, is within the law. We do not torture...."
Tony Blair's full throated support of the US led to the PM failing to exert any leverage on the White House - UK support was simply taken for granted
Sir Christopher Meyer
Monday November 7, 2005
Hindsight usually follows failure. As I write, things looked bad in Iraq. At regular intervals over the last two years I have asked the same question of former colleagues in the British and American governments: in Iraq, is the glass half-empty or is it half-full? With one exception the answer has been "half-full". The exception was a trusted American friend and government official, who, after paying a recent visit to Iraq, returned to tell the White House: "We're fucked."
Audio of an interview with After Downing Street Co-Founder David Swanson:
The show is also on Talk Radio Today at: "Latest show"
From AmericanProgressAction.org (11/7/05):
Going beyond the argument that Iraq possessed weapons of mass
destruction, the Bush administration made a unique case on two specific
fronts to justify the war: the supposed connections to al Qaeda and the
Iraqi nuclear threat. The administration argued that the evidence in
these two areas amounted to a "grave and gathering threat"
in a "post-September 11th world."
On the eve of the Iraq war, Bush
said, "The danger is clear: Using chemical, biological or, one day, nuclear weapons obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions
and kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our
country, or any other." The imagery was clear: terrorists, such as
those that attacked on 9/11, could do far greater damage with nuclear
weapons, and the Iraqi regime was helping to make that scenario a
reality. In fact, the evidence behind the supposed Iraq/al Qaeda
connection and the evidence on the nuclear threat have turned out to be
the weakest links in the case for war.
Video Special | Bianca Jagger Speaks to t r u t h o u t
Human rights activist Bianca Jagger lays out the case against George Bush, and calls on the people to demand his resignation.
JAMES MUSUMECI, Concord - Letter
Congratulations to the Senate Democrats for opening up an investigation into the manipulative lead-up to the Iraq war. The claims of WMD and ties to al-Qaida were disproved before we went to war, and now public opinion widely understands this truth.
Even if we were concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, there were far greater humanitarian crises at the time of war than those in Iraq. So even the excuse of a humanitarian crisis is not credible.
After the release of the Downing Street memo and knowledge that the CIA leak case reached deep within the White House, it is time for a thorough investigation. Only by getting to the bottom of why intelligence was so badly used will we be able to restore our national pride and dignity at home and the trust and respect of the international community.
Thom Hartmann's "Independent Thinker" Book of the Month Review
"They Thought They Were Free" is an intensely personal book for me. Although I was born after Hitler was five years dead, the horrible dance between fascism and democracy has fascinated me since childhood. And, through a series of odd coincidences, my adult life has been heavily intertwined with those of both Nazis and the victims of Hitler's Nazis.
Throughout my life, I've had several close friends who lost family members in the Holocaust. I've spent a lot of time in Israel, sobbed at Yad Vashem, and my wife Louise and I played a role in two of our closest friends, Hal and Shelley Cohen, starting Orr Shalom, which is now one of the largest Jewish programs for abused children in Israel. Before I learned English as a baby I was speaking Yiddish, learned from our Holocaust-survivor neighbors in Detroit who cared for me when my parents worked, and so can today recite both Hebrew prayers and speak German with accents and inflections more characteristic of a first than a second language.
All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena risks losing its tax-exempt status because of a former rector's remarks in 2004.
By Patricia Ward Biederman and Jason Felch, Los Angeles Times
The Internal Revenue Service has warned one of Southern California's largest and most liberal churches that it is at risk of losing its tax-exempt status because of an antiwar sermon two days before the 2004 presidential election.
Rector J. Edwin Bacon of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena told many congregants during morning services Sunday that a guest sermon by the church's former rector, the Rev. George F. Regas, on Oct. 31, 2004, had prompted a letter from the IRS.
Revolution #022, November 13, 2005, posted at revcom.us
Under siege in the form of a scandal that has so far led to the indictment of Vice President Cheney's right-hand man, and facing fire from both the public and ruling class critics over the war in Iraq, Bush set out to rally support for the "war on terror" in October. In similar speeches given to the National Endowment on Democracy and to military spouses, Bush demanded a retooled "war on terror" with no boundaries, no deadlines, and no limit to the sacrifices people will be called on to make.
Mass-murdering ex-bomber pilot Senator John McCain, who has complained that Bush isn't selling the "war on terror" properly, applauded this speech for telling people that the forces the U.S. is fighting in Iraq "are the same guys who would be in New York if we don't win in Iraq."
By: Feinstein Office
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV), vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.), a fellow member on the Committee, today to urge that the panel complete its long delayed investigation into the possible misuse of intelligence to boost the case for war in Iraq.
The three Democrats also sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) documenting the lack of progress in the investigation and urging that the Committee "keep its pledge to the Senate and the American people and answer the difficult yet necessary questions about the production and use of our pre-war intelligence."
No Evidence of Pressure on Iraq Data, Senator Says
By ERIC LICHTBLAU, New York Times
WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 - With Democrats stepping up their attacks over prewar intelligence on Iraq, the Republican leader of the Senate Intelligence Committee said on Sunday that the panel's initial work had found no evidence of "political manipulation or pressure" in the use of such intelligence.
This week the committee expects to begin circulating among its members draft reports on the question of whether the administration manipulated or distorted intelligence on Iraq in making its case for war, said the chairman, Pat Roberts of Kansas.