LA Times Dumps Liberal Columnist

Scheer out as Bush attacks Iraq War critics
By FAIR
http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2722

Action Alert

Los Angeles Times columnist Robert Scheer was fired on November 11 after nearly 30 years at the paper, the last 13 as one of its most progressive political columnists.

In a published statement announcing op-ed page changes (11/10/05), the Times insisted that it is dedicated to "provid[ing] readers with a wide range of voices and perspectives," but in dumping Scheer, the paper has gotten rid of one of the few prominent progressive columnists in the country.

Scheer's forceful and independent commentary has often placed him in the middle of national debates. He has been one of the strongest critics of the White House over the Iraq War. For instance, in a pre-war column (8/6/02) that undercuts the current notion that everyone got the WMD story wrong, Scheer wrote that “a consensus of experts

Scott Ridder Had it Right

By Kent Bye, Director, The Echo Chamber Project
http://www.echochamberproject.com

This is the audio from a 30-minute speech by Scott Ritter that I heard
on August 22, 2002 in Baltimore that is undeniable evidence that not
everyone believed that Iraq absolutely had Weapons of Mass Destruction.

URL: http://www.echochamberproject.com/scottritter

Money Quote from Ritter at the 7:03 mark:

But the problem is, this war hinges on Iraq's possession or efforts
to reacquire weapons of mass destruction. If you listen to the rhetoric
that comes out of Washington DC -- from members of the Bush

The Big Lie Technique

By Robert Scheer, The Nation

At a time when approximately 57 percent of Americans polled believe that President Bush deceived them on the reasons for the war in Iraq, it does seem a bit redundant to deconstruct the President's recent speeches on that subject. Yet, to fail to do so would be to passively accept the Big Lie technique-which is how we as a nation got into this horrible mess in the first place.

The basic claim of the President's desperate and strident attack on the war's critics this past week is that he was acting as a consensus President when intelligence information left him no choice but to invade Iraq as a preventive action to deter a terrorist attack on America. This is flatly wrong.

Incendiary Weapons: The Big White Lie

By Andrew Buncombe, Kim Sengupta and Colin Brown
The Independent UK

US finally admits using white phosphorus in Fallujah - and beyond. Iraqis investigate if civilians were targeted with deadly chemical.
The Iraqi government is to investigate the United States military's use of white phosphorus shells during the battle of Fallujah - an inquiry that could reveal whether American forces breached a fundamental international weapons treaty.

Iraq's acting Human Rights minister, Narmin Othman, said last night that a team would be dispatched to Fallujah to try to ascertain conclusively whether civilians had been killed or injured by the incendiary weapon. The use of white phosphorus (WP) and other incendiary weapons such as napalm against civilians is prohibited.

Reject Torture

(Editor's note: Sent to my mailbox...)

Dear Sussel,

»Click here to take action to reject torture, no exceptions.

»Click here to tell 10 friends.

President Bush says, "We don't torture," but his actions speak otherwise. He has threatened to veto bills that contain amendments sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would definitively ban torture by U.S. forces [1]. His vice president, Dick Cheney, has repeatedly pushed to exempt the CIA from McCain's bill. Cheney's tune hasn't changed in the four years since he said, "A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly, without any discussion, using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies...so it's going to be vital for us to use any means at our disposal, basically, to achieve our objective" (emphasis added) [2].

Moore's response to McClellan

Moore's response to McClellan
November 17th, 2005 10:47 pm
Statement by Michael Moore on the Bush Administration's Statement

STATEMENT BY MICHAEL MOORE

Unfortunately, the President doesn't understand that it is mainstream middle America who has turned against him and his immoral war and that it is I and the Democrats who represent the mainstream. It is Mr. Bush who is the extremist.
LINK TO ORIGINAL

The Presidential Spokesidiot

The Presidential Spokesidiot
Casey Morris, Democracy Cell Project

After Jack Murtha took his brave stand yesterday calling for the immediate redeployment of US troops from Iraq, I expected to hear some stupidity among the various responses. I didn't expect that Scott McClellan would take the prize with this nugget of idiocy:

Congressman Murtha is a respected veteran and politician who has a record of supporting a strong America. So it is baffling that he is endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party.
Somebody needs to explain to Scott McClellan that this is precisely the point. It is no longer the extreme liberals who are calling for the redeployment of American troops from Iraq. It's the majority of the American public.

Bush turns to political base as war support wanes

Bush turns to political base as war support wanes
18 Nov 2005 21:06:43 GMT

Source: Reuters

By Alan Elsner

WASHINGTON, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Fighting a decline in public support for the Iraq war and his own leadership, U.S. President George W. Bush and Republican allies have chosen to court his political base with a campaign-style offensive against Democrats.

The Republican National Committee on Friday unveiled a new television advertisement accusing Senate Democrats of dishonesty for turning against a war they originally supported, although polls show the broad U.S. public following a similar track from support to disillusionment.

Cong. Murtha on Cheney

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Cong. Murtha on Cheney
by John in DC - 11/17/2005 09:54:00 PM
Americablog

From AP today
Vice President Dick Cheney jumped into the fray Wednesday by assailing Democrats who contend the Bush administration manipulated intelligence on Iraq, calling their criticism "one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city."

Murtha, a Marine intelligence officer in Vietnam, angrily shot back at Cheney: "I like guys who've never been there that criticize us who've been there. I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done."
LINK TO ORIGINAL

House GOP Seeks Quick Vote on Iraq Pullout

House GOP Seeks Quick Vote on Iraq Pullout
By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer
SF Gate.com
Friday, November 18, 2005
(11-18) 12:37 PST WASHINGTON, (AP) --

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 retreat."

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi had no immediate reaction to the planned vote.

Vital Military Jobs Go Unfilled, Study Says

Vital Military Jobs Go Unfilled, Study Says
By Damien Cave
The New York Times

Friday 18 November 2005

The military is falling far behind in its effort to recruit and re-enlist soldiers for some of the most vital combat positions in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a new government report.

The report, completed by the Government Accountability Office, shows that the Army, National Guard and Marines signed up as few as a third of the Special Forces soldiers, intelligence specialists and translators that they had aimed for over the last year.

Both the Army and the Marines, for instance, fell short of their goals for hiring roadside bomb defusers by about 20 percent in each of the last two years. The Army Reserve, meanwhile, failed to fill about a third of its more than 1,500 intelligence analysts jobs. And in the National Guard, there have been consistent shortages filling positions involving tanks, field artillery and intelligence.

Great news for chickenhawks

Great news for chickenhawks
by kos, Daily Kos
Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 01:02:02 PM PDT
Memo to the 101st Fighting Keyboardists, the war preachers, the war politicians, and the war pundits -- now there's something tangible you can do to REALLY show your support for the war:

The military is falling far behind in its effort to recruit and re-enlist soldiers for some of the most vital combat positions in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a new government report.

The report, completed by the Government Accountability Office, shows that the Army, National Guard and Marines signed up as few as a third of the Special Forces soldiers, intelligence specialists and translators that they had aimed for over the last year.

Cheney 'Vice President for Torture'

Cheney 'Vice President for Torture'
The Press Association

Friday 18 November 2005

A former director of America's intelligence agency has branded the country's deputy leader a "vice president for torture".

Admiral Stansfield Turner, who was in charge of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during the 1970s, said Dick Cheney was overseeing torture policies of possible terrorist suspects and was damaging America's reputation by doing so.

President George Bush and other leading members of the his administration have consistently denied that detainees suspected of belonging to al Qaida were tortured for information.

It's sinking! Chief Rat on the SS WHIG strapping on his life vest

It's sinking! Chief Rat on the SS WHIG strapping on his life vest
by Magorn [Subscribe], Daily Kos

Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 11:15:59 AM PDT

Don Rumsfeld has been called many things: Clueless Detached, Arrogant, Evil, Incompetent, a Power Mad Warmonger, even a Kung-fu Master of 1,000 syles But the most consistently applied adjective of all is Survivor.

Whatever his moral flaws as a human being, or indeed a chordate life form, it must be said that he is a bureaucrat par excellence. . Dandy Don always keeps his sails trimmed close to the wind and his ass firmly covered in memoranda and directives, all of which clearly show that no matter how much it seemed like he was in charge, whatever went wrong cleary isn't HIS fault

CNN Daily News Clips :Murtha Wants Troops Pulled From Iraq

CNN Daily News Clips :Murtha Wants Troops Pulled From Iraq

CLICK HERE

or Click here

Top 10 reasons why Woodward is the best thing that could have happened

Top 10 reasons why Woodward is the best thing that could have happened
Thu Nov-17-05 05:31 PM
Czolgosz, Democratic Underground

Top 10 reasons why Woodward is the best thing that could have happened

As we all know by now, Scooter Fibby was charged with perjury (2 counts), lying to the FBI (2 counts), and obstruction of justice. Fibby was NOT charged with violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act or the Espionage Act. Patrick Fitzgerald continues to investigate these matters.

On October 28, Fitzgerald noted that “Mr. Libby was the first government official known to have told a reporter

Fitzgerald To Present Evidence to a New Grand Jury

Fitzgerald To Present Evidence to a New Grand Jury UPDATED
by mitch2k2 [Subscribe], Daily Kos
Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 10:38:16 AM PDT

Looked around and didn't see this info in the recent diaries, but according today's edition of the Note:

Bloomberg's Keil and Jensen write that Woodward's disclosure adds an unexpected new element to the Libby indictment "without greatly altering the substance of the case." LINK

While the Woodward disclosure may muddy the Libby prosecution, the Wall Street Journal's Squeo and McKinnon report that the White House must now "brace itself" for the possibility that Fitzgerald's probe, "far from winding down, may have just gotten a second wind."

An Open Letter To Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald

An Open Letter To Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald From Former White House Counsel John W. Dean
By JOHN W. DEAN
----
Friday, Nov. 18, 2005

November 18, 2005
The Honorable Patrick J. Fitzgerald
Special Counsel
Bond Federal Building
1400 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530

Dear Special Counsel Fitzgerald:

Excuse my being so presumptuous as to send you this open letter, but the latest revelation of the testimony, before the grand jury, by Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward has raised some fundamental questions for me.

In your post as Special Counsel, you now have nothing less than authority of the Attorney General of the United States, for purposes of the investigation and prosecution of "the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee's identity." (The employee, of course, is Valerie Plame Wilson, a CIA employee with classified status, and the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.) On December 30, 2003, you received a letter from the Deputy Attorney General regarding your powers. On February 6, 2004 you received a letter of further clarification, stating without reservation, that in this matter your powers are "plenary." In effect, then, you act with the power of the Attorney General of the United States.

Kerry Demands End To "swift boating" of Jack Murtha

Kerry Demands End To "swift boating" of Jack Murtha
18 November 2005
Sandy, Light Up the Darkness
LINK TO ORIGINAL

Despite the overwhelmingly bipartisan “no confidence

Democrats Have Proof Pre-War Intel Was Manipulated

By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Investigative Report

Senate Democrats have dug up additional explosive evidence over the past week that they say will help prove the Bush administration deliberately manipulated pre-war Iraq intelligence that was used to convince Congress and the public to support a pre-emptive strike against the Middle East country in March of 2003.

Specifically, Carl Levin, the senior Democrat who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, is interested in permanently debunking the administration's assertion that it "mistakenly" included the 16-word reference in President Bush's January 2003 State of the Union address claiming that Iraq tried to purchase yellowcake uranium - the key component to building an atomic bomb - from Niger. Levin's aides said the administration knew months before that the veracity of the allegations was dubious because it was based on forged documents.

Dirty Libby

By Richard Bradley, TomPaine.com

Richard Bradley is the former executive editor of George magazine. He is author of American Son: A Portrait of John F. Kennedy, Jr., and Harvard Rules: The Struggle for the Soul of the World's Most Powerful University.

I don’t normally associate bestiality with Republicans, but in Scooter Libby’s case, one has to make an exception. Consider this excerpt from Libby’s 1996 novel, The Apprentice, which chronicles the depraved training of a Japanese prostitute:

The young samurai’s mother had the child sold to a brothel, where she swept the floors and oiled the men and watched the secret ways. At age ten the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest. Groups of men paid to watch. Like other girls who have been trained this way, she learned to handle many men in a single night and her skin turned a milky-white.

What We Know Now

By Paul Waldman, TomPaine.com

Paul Waldman is a senior fellow at Media Matters for America . His next book, Being Right is Not Enough: What Progressives Can Learn From Conservative Success, will be released in the spring by John Wiley & Sons.

John Kerry’s 2004 campaign had lots of low moments, but one of the lowest came when a reporter asked the Democratic nominee whether, knowing everything we know now, he would still have voted to give President Bush the authority to use force in Iraq. Much to the chagrin of many of his supporters, and the delight of the Bush campaign, he said he would.

Pentagon agrees to probe Feith's role in Iraq intel

From a Reuters news story:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon's inspector general has agreed to review the prewar intelligence activities of former U.S. defense undersecretary Douglas Feith, a main architect of the Iraq war, congressional officials said on Thursday.

News of the Defense Department probe comes at a time of bitter political debate over whether President George W. Bush misled the American people with prewar intelligence. The increasingly bitter dispute has pitted the president and his top advisers against lawmakers including some from Bush's own Republican Party.

Kerry on The Situation Room: I’d have us in a ‘different place’

Kerry on The Situation Room: I’d have us in a ‘different place’
Pamela Leavey, Democratic Daily
November 17, 2005

John Kerry made the rounds tonight (and last night) on both Hardball and CNN’s The Situation Room. He’s standing up and speaking his mind — and we’re liking it…

The transcript to from The Situation Room is below… video later…

Senator speaks on prewar intelligence, timetables, election plans

A top House Democrat called for a swift U.S. withdrawal from Iraq on Thursday amid a White House counter offensive against allegations that the Bush administration misled the country over prewar intelligence. CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer spoke with Sen. John Kerry — the Massachusetts Democrat who lost to President Bush in last year’s election — beginning by asking about the president recently quoting Kerry’s prewar comments on Saddam Hussein.

Kerry On Hardball: Bush ‘misled America’

Kerry On Hardball: Bush ‘misled America’
John Kerry was on Hardball tonight: Senator plays Hardball on intelligence leading up to Iraq war.
Pamela Leavey, Democratic Daily

Here’s the transcript from tonight’s Hardball… (emphasis and links - mine)… Video later.

Vice President Dick Cheney has attacked Democratic senators who voted for the war and are now opposed to it. One of those senators is John Kerry. MSNBC-TV’s Chris Matthews spoke with Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) about those comments and the run-up to the war in Iraq. Kerry said, “there were a whole series of occasions where [the administration] took evidence, took the best light of the evidence only, kept the worst or alternatives from Congress and fed the American people with the imperative for war.

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."

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