By Agence France-Presse
The British government appeared to be uncertain about the number of US "rendition" flights through British airspace, according to a leaked document.
A Foreign Office memo to Downing Street - obtained by the New Statesman magazine - suggests the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) may have operated more flights than the two already confirmed by London.
Italy will withdraw 1,000 of its 2,600 troops in Iraq by June and aims to finish its mission there by the end of this year.
Defense Minister Antonio Martino has told a parliamentary committee Italy will "gradually end" its military presence and phase into a new type of presence he said would be "substantially civilian in nature".
By Lisa Sorg, San Antonio Current
See, it’s not so hard to say
While we’re observing milestones — this year marks the Current’s 20th anniversary — let’s remember this week in 1998 when the Express-News called for President Bill Clinton’s resignation over the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal. It seems quaint, the country getting all lathered up over fibbing about fellatio, in light of President Bush’s extensive rap sheet, which includes expanding his presidential powers to near fascist proportions.
By Eric Alterman, Huffington Post
I’m getting more than a little tired of writing this, as I’m sure you are of reading it. But I persist, boring even myself, because I feel strongly that deliberately misleading a democratic nation into war is not just wrong, but a crime—an act of evil that taints everyone whom it touches.
If the Democrats Really Want to Stop Bush, They Need New Leadership
By SAM HUSSEINI, www.counterpunch.org
On Monday Al Gore gave a speech on the NSA spying and other issues filled with accurate accusations about the Bush administration. On Tuesday, this was defused by the White House pointing to the "hypocrisy" of someone from the Clinton-Gore administration, which had a very poor record on civil liberties, being a spokesperson on the issue. There was actually some substance to the charge, though the Bush administration hardly has standing on the issue.
WHAT? The Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party and US Tour of Duty will present a panel of distinguished speakers from the fields of politics, foreign policy, journalism, and defense, as well as citizen activists, to discuss the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. The Progressive Caucus hopes to fuel a dialogue within the Democratic Party regarding an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq. The audience participation format of the event is designed to equip attendees with information and action plans that will allow average citizens to facilitate an immediate end to the Iraq conflict.
In front of the Supreme Court
East of the Capitol on 1st St. NE, Washington DC
Friday, January 20th, 10 A.M.
You don’t have to be resigned to what seems like Alito’s inevitable confirmation. Whether you have lobbied your hearts out, written anguished letters, or silently fumed at the newspapers and television reports, now is the time to take to the streets. We have all had enough of watching as the confirmation of Samuel Alito go unchallenged in the Senate. Samuel Alito is a man who never met a wire tap he didn’t love. This is a man who has been working to get rid of a woman’s reproductive choice for twenty years. This is a man who believes the president’s word is law which includes torture, endless war, and spying on innocent people. A confirmation like this is not an isolated incident. Many are waiting for the pendulum to swing back to the left. However, think about what it means when high ranking Democrat, Al Gore, says in a speech on Monday, "If the pattern of practice begun by this administration is not challenged, it may well become a permanent part of the American system." Many groups and individuals are calling for impeachment, but the confirmation of Samuel Alito will slam shut the impeachment door permanently.
The AFL-CIO's convention finally voted last summer to oppose the war. But the AFL has done almost nothing more than acknowledge that the vote occured. In fact - scratch that - they never even announced that.
TODAY'S DEMOCRACY NOW!
* EXCLUSIVE: Ex-British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray on Why He
Defied UK Foreign Office by Posting Classified Memos Blasting U.S., British
Support of Torture by Uzbek Regime *
By Patrick Doherty, www.tompaine.com
The first time I met Richard Clarke, I was role-playing the president of the United States during a weekend war game hosted by the Security Studies Program at the Fletcher School. That game, held annually and dubbed "SIMULEX," is staffed by members of the nation's military graduate schools, such as the National War College and the Arm War College. This particular year, 1997, Clarke was observing the progress of the game, as he had a special interest in the scenario.
On Wednesday, January 18 th, Cindy Sheehan was hosted by the Rome Province in their Sala della Pace. Sheehan is on tour in Italy with her organization, Gold Star Families for Peace, calling for the removal of troops from Iraq. At the same time, she is sharing her personal story about the loss of her son Casey in the war and her subsequent efforts to speak with President George W. Bush at his ranch in Crawford, Texas in August 2005. READ MORE
By Dan Eggen, The Washington Post
The Bush administration appears to have violated the National Security Act by limiting its briefings about a warrantless domestic eavesdropping program to congressional leaders, according to a memo from Congress's research arm released yesterday.
Larry Wilkerson Attacked the Iraq War. In the Process, He Lost the Friendship of Colin Powell.
By Richard Leiby, Washington Post
In an overheated old schoolroom in Washington, Larry Wilkerson, a retired Army colonel, is doing his best to impose military discipline on 25 pupils as they prepare to attack a mountain of pizza, cupcakes and cookies. It is the year-end party for Macfarland Middle School's Colin L. Powell Leadership Club, a tutoring and mentoring program that Wilkerson oversees as a volunteer. Striding before his charges in smart burgundy suspenders, the colonel -- everybody here calls him the colonel -- makes a point about duty:
Tony Blair is facing calls to make a full statement on how much he knew about the US using UK airports to transport terror suspects.
Downing Street says all such cases have now been made public after a leaked memo said "there could be more".
ANTIWAR ACTIVISTS ARRESTED AT THE WHITE HOUSE WILL CONTINUE THEIR TRIAL ON THURSDAY IN FEDERAL COURT IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
By Max Obuszewski
Some twenty antiwar activists held a demonstration on a rainy Wednesday morning outside U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia at 3rd & Constitution Ave. The demonstration preceded the third trial resulting from more than 370 arrests at the White House on September 26, 2005, when activists gathered to seek a meeting to discuss an end to the war in Iraq.
January 19 - 21, 2006
REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE in Washington, DC: The RNC will hold its
annual winter meeting. [ABCNews.com, 1/18/06]
Thursday, January 19, 2006
NEW* BUSH in Sterling, VA: President Bush will give a speech on the
Leaked memo reveals strategy to deny knowledge of detention centres
By Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian (UK)
The government is secretly trying to stifle attempts by MPs to find out what it knows about CIA "torture flights" and privately admits that people captured by British forces could have been sent illegally to interrogation centres, the Guardian can reveal. A hidden strategy aimed at suppressing a debate about rendition - the US practice of transporting detainees to secret centres where they are at risk of being tortured - is revealed in a briefing paper sent by the Foreign Office to No 10.
This coming weekend in New York at the Bush Crimes Commission, www.bushcommission.org , the annual Sam Adams Associates for Integrity In Intelligence Award will be presented to Craig Murray, the former United Kingdom's Ambassador to Uzbekistan who publicly criticised the human rights situation there, and privately criticised the UK government for committing torture by proxy and "selling our souls for dross". Last year's recipient was Katharine Gun.
Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Michigan, 14th District, Ranking Member, U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Dean, Congressional Black Caucus
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressmen John Conyers, Jr., Bobby Scott and Chris Van Hollen and other Members to hold a Democratic Hearing to consider the legal ramifications of President Bush's warrantless surveillance.
Congressional Progressive Caucus
“62 Strong and Growing
By Ron Kovic, www.Truthdig.com
Thirty-eight years ago, on Jan. 20, 1968, I was shot and paralyzed from my mid-chest down during my second tour of duty in Vietnam. It is a date that I can never forget, a day that was to change my life forever. Each year as the anniversary of my wounding in the war approached I would become extremely restless, experiencing terrible bouts of insomnia, depression, anxiety attacks and horrifying nightmares. I dreaded that day and what it represented, always fearing that the terrible trauma of my wounding might repeat itself all over again. It was a difficult day for me for decades and it remained that way until the anxieties and nightmares finally began to subside.
By Brad Blog
Last November, The Daily Mirror published details of a "top secret" U.K. memo revealing that President Bush wanted to bomb headquarters for the al-Jazeera news... READ MORE
By Ted Rall
In the dark, pre-dawn hours of Friday, the thirteenth of January, near the Afghan-Pakistani border, the buzz of an unmanned robot plane broke the silence. Half a world and 12 and a half time zones away, someone on the sixth floor of CIA headquarters keyed a command into a computer. The digitized message, relayed through the building's circuitry and transmitted skyward, bounced along an array of aircraft and satellites before arriving at the RQ-1 Predator drone plane hovering above the Bajaur region of Pakistan's Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA). Four AGM-114N Hellfire II missiles, each purchased by American taxpayers from Lockheed Martin at a cost of $45,000, streaked off toward the hamlet of Damadola, five miles into Pakistan.
By the Vermont Guardian
WASHINGTON, D.C. — By a margin of 52 to 43 percent, citizens want Congress to impeach President Bush if he wiretapped American citizens without a judge's approval, according to a new poll commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of Pres. Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003.
By Robert C. Koehler, Tribune Media Services
The media buzz about impeachment may be at 1 percent of the level it was during Monicagate, but guess what? The imperial presidency has less public support right now than the promiscuous presidency did at its lowest point - and as this administration's outrages pile up, George Bush seems to be losing his mandate simply to finish his term.
On Wednesday, February 15th, please join
MEDEA BENJAMIN AND DAVID SWANSON
at 7:30PM, at the Veterans Hall in Santa Cruz
Making Change/Creating Peace!
What Each of Us Can Do Today, Tomorrow, the Next Day, the Day After
· Analysis issued by USAid in reconstruction effort
· Account belies picture painted by White House
Julian Borger in Washington, The Guardian (UK)
An official assessment drawn up by the US foreign aid agency depicts the security situation in Iraq as dire, amounting to a "social breakdown" in which criminals have "almost free rein".