"Cruel, inhuman, and degrading"

Eli Stephens
Left I on the News
http://lefti.blogspot.com

So Bush is going to sign a bill prohibiting "cruel, inhuman, and degrading" treatment. I'll still wait to see the actual wording. For example, just what is a "prisoner"? Does it have to be someone who is officially "arrested" or "captured"? That would rule out all sorts of people who are simply kidnapped off the streets and spirited off to secret prisons. Do they have to have made it into "the system" to count? That would rule out people like Nazem Baji, executed by U.S. forces in the field while handcuffed. Or the prisoner who was executed in the mosque because a soldier claimed he was "f**king faking he's dead."

It's Your Life: An Open Letter to Young (and Less Young) Americans

Published on Wednesday, December 14, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
By David Michael Green

The Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky once said, “While you may not be interested in war, war is interested in you

George Bush Comes Clean; What the President Really Could Have Said at Annapolis

By David Michael Green
http://www.opednews.com

Text of President Bush’s speech at the U.S. Naval Academy, Wednesday, Nov. 30, as transcribed by CQ Transcriptions:

Thank you. Thank you. Please be seated. Thanks for the warm welcome.

VIDEO SPECIAL | Dahr Jamail: Reporting on Iraq

A Film By Sari Gelzer
http://www.truthout.org/multimedia.htm

Dahr Jamail shares the stories of Iraqi civilians he interviewed while spending 8 months in occupied-Iraq as an independent journalist.

Iraqi Vote Draws Big Turnout of Sunnis

By Ellen Knickmeyer and Jonathan Finer
The Washington Post

Anti-US sentiment is motivator for many.

Baghdad - More than two years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Sunni Arabs belatedly joined in force to build a new Iraq, walking to polls by the hundreds of thousands Thursday for national elections that drew a robust turnout from across the country's sectarian and ethnic divides.

Spying on Americans and John Bolton

Posted on TPM Cafe
By Larry Johnson

The revelation that the National Security Agency was allowed to conduct non-FISA intercepts of American citizens should bring last summer's hearing on John Bolton's nomination to the United Nations back into focus. As Legal times noted in September of this year, "During the confirmation hearings of John Bolton as the U.S. representative to the United Nations, it came to light that the NSA had freely revealed intercepted conversations of U.S. citizens to Bolton while he served at the State Department. . . . More generally, Newsweek reports that from January 2004 to May 2005, the NSA supplied intercepts and names of 10,000 U.S. citizens to policy-makers at many departments, other U.S. intelligence services, and law enforcement agencies."

Counting Iraqi Casualties: Why didn't the press ask?

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2778

Throughout the Iraq War, the mainstream media have shown little interest in documenting or quantifying the suffering of Iraqis. But a recent comment by George W. Bush provoked an unexpected round of discussion of the topic.

WOOLSEY SUPPORTS IRAQI VOTERS, NOT REPUBLICAN POLITICAL GAMES

By Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey

"Americans and Iraqis continue to die while House Republicans play political games," said Rep. Woolsey.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma) led 17 Members of Congress in protesting today's Republican measure, H.Res.612, because it calls for a continued, open-ended presence of American troops in Iraq. "I congratulate the Iraqis for their successful election, but we must have an open debate on Iraq on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, said Woolsey. "Americans and Iraqis continue to die while House Republicans play political games."

DC Dems Failure on Iraq

By David Sirota

Yesterday, I wrote a long piece about how there is not one shred of actual hard data to sustain the assumption being peddled in Washington that pro-exit-strategy Democrats will be punished for their positions by voters. I also made the point that not being pro-exit-strategy is a recipe for disaster. Now today, we get a pristine example of exactly what I am talking about, from the local paper in a congressional district that is considered one of the Democrats' top potential pickups in 2006. This story shows exactly how the Republicans are capitalizing not on Democrats who are concrete in their support of an exit strategy, but how the GOP is feasting on Democrats who try to have it both ways and split the difference, as the "strategists" in Washington are prescribing. Just read the article's subheading - sadly, it says it all.

No elections will be credible while occupation continues

Iraq's current political process will not solve the crisis. Only a US and British pullout and a UN sponsored poll can do that

Harith al-Dari, The Guardian

Iraq has a long history of civilisation that has contributed both knowledge and wisdom to humanity. For many centuries, Islam also immunised Iraq against religious or sectarian strife and protected its population from the oppression that peoples of the ancient world had been subjected to. Generation after generation of Iraqis succeeded in maintaining peaceful coexistence among their diverse sects and races, despite the hardships and challenges they faced. It is by virtue of this cohesion that Iraq managed to rise up again and put its house in order in the wake of every calamity.

Welcome To The Surveillance State

By the American Progress Action Fund

The Bush administration is trying to jam through a permanent extension of the PATRIOT Act before Congress adjourns for the year. But Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) has assembled a bipartisan coalition advocating a more deliberative approach -- a temporary, three month extension until the Senate can resolve remaining concerns that certain provisions give "government too much power to investigate its citizens." An effort by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) to block a permanent extension of the act this year appears to have enough votes to be successful. But it does it matter? The New York Times reported that in 2002, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to eavesdrop on Americans and others in the United States in ways that "go far beyond the expanded counterterrorism powers granted by Congress under the USA Patriot Act." The program has revived a domestic spying operation at the NSA not seen since the 1960s when the agency routinely eavesdropped "on Vietnam War protesters and civil rights activists."

Kucinich Introduces Bipartisan Legislation To Allow Iraqi Parliament To Vote On The Future Of US Occupation

Kucinich Introduces Bipartisan Legislation To Allow Iraqi Parliament - Not US House of Representatives - To Vote On The Future Of US Occupation

Kucinich/Paul Legislation Would Have Sovereign Iraq Vote On The Future Of US Occupation

Radical Proposal for Iraq: A Democratic Vote on Whether to End Occupation

Rumor has it Congressman Dennis Kucinich will introduce this resolution:

Expressing the sense of Congress that the new permanent Council of Representatives of Iraq should debate and vote on whether or not the continued U.S. military presence in Iraq is desired by the Government of Iraq.

BUSH FOOLS AMERICANS BY APPEARING TO ACCEPT MCCAIN'S BAN ON TORTURE

BY: EVAN AUGUSTINE PETERSON, III

In Washington politics, things are seldom what they appear to be -
especially when devious Machiavellians are running the White House.
And we often end up getting a fairy-tale version of reality because

Bush Secretly Lifted Some Limits on Spying in US after 9/11, Officials Say

By James Risen and Eric Lichtblau
The New York Times

Washington - Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.

Kerry Calls for Impeachment ... And Then Gets Backed Down

By Donnie Fowler, Huffington Post

The Washington DC crowd must be all atwitter with fear. Another Democrat has dared to call for real accountability by the White House ... at least until the handlers got to correcting the record. According to DC political newsletter "The Hotline" (published by the National Journal), John Kerry on Wednesday night said that if Democrats retake the House, there's a "solid case" to bring "articles of impeachment" against President Bush for allegedly misleading the country about pre-war intelligence.

House to vote on Need for "Victory" Without Defining It, or Declaring It and Getting Out

From John Isaacs:

The House may vote today on the following resolution put forward by Republicans that includes the following language:

"setting an artificial timetable for the withdrawal of United States Armed Forces from Iraq, or immediately terminating their deployment in Iraq and redeploying them elsewhere in the region, is fundamentally inconsistent with achieving victory in Iraq:

Congress doesn't see same intelligence as president, report finds

By Jonathan S. Landay, Knight Ridder Newspapers
http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/13416512.htm

WASHINGTON - President Bush and top administration officials have access to a much broader ranger of intelligence reports than members of Congress do, a nonpartisan congressional research agency said in a report Thursday, raising questions about recent assertions by the president.

NYT Withholds Evidence: Bush Said to Let NSA Tap US Calls

http://www.locustfork.net/blog/

Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the
National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the
United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the

Rove's moment of truth?

To believe his various tales about his involvement in the Plame affair requires ignoring some glaring facts.

By Joe Conason, http://www.salon.com

Dec. 16, 2005 | Stripped of deniability in the CIA leak investigation, the Bush White House now must confront the increasing possibility that the president's top political advisor will be indicted sometime soon for testifying falsely about his role in that affair.

Don't like limits on torture? Just change the rules

By Tim Grieve / Salon
http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room

John McCain's legislation aimed at preventing the U.S. military from torturing those in its custody ties the legal standard for appropriate interrogation techniques to the rules set forth in the Army Field Manual. As McCain's measure moves closer to becoming law, can you make a guess as to what Pentagon officials are doing?

Baghdad Burning: Elections

By Baghdad Burning
http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/

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

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Elections...

Elections have been all we hear about for the last ten days at least.

Listen to George Galloway's Speech at the International Peace Conference

"Today London declared peace on the world." - George Galloway, Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, speaking on Dec 10th at the International Peace Conference in London.

Hear George Galloway's keynote speech on building an international movement. Andrew Murray and Jane Shallice moderated a conference panel that featured Galloway, with Ishmael Patel, Friends of Al Aqsa; Herbert Docena, Focus on Global South; Judith LeBlanc, United for Peace and Justice; Sabah Jawad, Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation; Dr. Azzam Tamini, Muslim Association of Britain; and Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP of Islington North.

Senator Gary Hart Challenges the Unholy Alliance of 'Faith' and Government

A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW
http://www.buzzflash.com

... the reason you can’t mix religion and politics is, religion is about absolutes, right and wrong, good and evil. Politics is about compromise. If you cannot compromise on issues that are not central to a person’s faith – and that’s about 99% of the issues our country faces – then the country doesn’t work. The government doesn’t work. That’s why we’ve had government grinding to a halt in recent years. People are frustrated by it.

Congress Didn't Have Same Intelligence -- But Can Now

By David Swanson

The CRS report for Feinstein about whether or not Congress had access to the same intelligence on Iraq as the Bush administration, comes to a surprising answer: No.

But, Jonathan Schwartz points out that a section of the report says

Bush Agrees to Ban Torture -- And We Didn't Even Have to Torture Him

Bush and McCain Reach Deal on Treatment of Torture Suspects
By Brian Knowlton, The International Herald Tribune

Washington - The White House, after weeks of resistance, agreed today to Senator John McCain's call for a law specifically banning cruel or inhuman treatment of terror suspects anywhere in the world.

Kevin Zeese on Bush's War

Film: "Kevin Zeese on Bush's War, Social Justice & the Middle East,"
can be found at this site:
http://homepage.mac.com/bhughes2/iMovieTheater168.html

Happy Holidays from COTAM.org !!

http://www.cotam.org

Get Your FREE Vote Scarf !
Looking for the perfect last-minute gift for all the progressives on your list? Well, look no further. Now, when you purchase 4 or more shirts (including sale items!) from Clothing of the American Mind, we’ll include a free VOTE scarf with your order. This new item is the softest, most comfy scarf you can own and it’s lightweight too, making it great for all seasons. You can’t beat the message, either. This holiday season, fight the “war on Christmas

Editor's Note: Examining Raw Story's leak reporting

By John Byrne, www.rawstory.com

In the past few months RAW STORY has worked tirelessly to bring you the latest, breaking news about the leak of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson. Often, these stories have been groundbreaking and have subsequently been reported by the mainstream media after it first appeared on RAW STORY. Lately, there have also been a number of misconceptions about our reporting on this issue.

Fitzgerald forced to cancel grand jury for Conrad Black indictments

Jason Leopold and John Byrne, www.rawstory.com

The special prosecutor investigating the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson canceled a scheduled meeting with his grand jury because he was called back to Chicago to deal with last-minute elements of a case involving erstwhile media tycoon Conrad Black, RAW STORY has learned.

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