OUTRAGE AT PM'S IRAQ WAR 'ARROGANCE' ON PARKINSON
By Matt Roper, The Mirror, UK
TONY Blair believes that God will judge him over his decision to invade Iraq.
The Prime Minister told ITV chat-show host Michael Parkinson: "If you have faith about these things, then you realise that judgment is made by other people. If you believe in God, it's made by God as well."
The controversial remark outraged families of servicemen who have died in Iraq and sparked debate over whether the PM overstepped the mark by mixing politics and religion.
By Philadelphia Inquirer
When a human-rights group reported in February that 98 detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan had died in U.S. custody in the war on terror - nearly half of them under still-secret conditions - the Bush administration all but shrugged.
A Pentagon spokesman said he couldn't provide (or couldn't be bothered to dig up?) a blow-by-blow account of the deaths. Such a bother. The paperwork was scattered around various Army command posts.
Impeachment Proves Risky Political Issue
Some Democratic Activists Push Removing Bush From Office, But Mainstream Steers Clear
By JEANNE CUMMINGS, Wall Street Journal
March 6, 2006; Page A4
If Democratic candidate Tony Trupiano wins a Michigan House seat this fall, he pledges that one of his first acts will be to introduce articles of impeachment against President Bush.
That has earned Mr. Trupiano the endorsement of ImpeachPAC, a group of Democratic activists seeking to remove Mr. Bush from office. ImpeachPAC's Web site lists 14 candidates offering similar commitments, which are reminiscent of the Republican drive to oust former President Bill Clinton after the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Majority of Americans Believe Iraq Civil War is Likely
By Richard Morin, Washington Post
An overwhelming majority of the public believe fighting between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Iraq will lead to civil war and half say the U.S. should begin withdrawing its forces from that violence-torn country, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The survey found that 80 percent believed that recent sectarian violence made civil war in Iraq likely, and more than a third said such a conflict was "very likely" to occur. Expectations for an all-out sectarian war in Iraq extended beyond party lines. More than seven in 10 Republicans and eight in 10 Democrats and political independents believe civil war was likely.
By TIM GOLDEN
This article was reported by Margot Williams, Tim Golden and Raymond Bonner and written by Mr. Golden.
Among the hundreds of men imprisoned by the American military at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, there are those who brashly assert their determination to wage war against what they see as the infidel empire led by the United States.
"May God help me fight the unfaithful ones," one Saudi detainee, Ghassan Abdallah Ghazi al-Shirbi, said at a military hearing where he was accused of being a lieutenant of Al Qaeda.
By Mike McDonough, The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk
US and UK forces in Iraq have detained thousands of people without charge or trial for long periods and there is growing evidence of Iraqi security forces torturing detainees, Amnesty International said today.
In a new report published today, the human rights group criticised the US-led multinational force for interning some 14,000 people.
Published on Sunday, March 5, 2006 by the Sunday Times/UK
by Sarah Baxter, Washington and Uzi Mahnaimi, Tel Aviv
WHEN Major-General Axel Tüttelmann, the head of Nato’s Airborne Early Warning and Control Force, showed off an AWACS early warning surveillance plane in Israel a fortnight ago, he caused a flurry of concern back at headquarters in Brussels.
It was not his demonstration that raised eyebrows, but what he said about NATO’s possible involvement in any future military strike against Iran. “We would be the first to be called up if the NATO council decided we should be,
· Bolton says nuclear plant can be 'taken out'
· UN agency meets to send report to security council
Julian Borger, The Guardian
The US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, has told British MPs that military action could bring Iran's nuclear programme to a halt if all diplomatic efforts fail. The warning came ahead of a meeting today of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which will forward a report on Iran's nuclear activities to the UN security council.
By Center for Constitutional Rights
(Editor's Note: this is an excerpt from the Center for Constitutional Right's new book, "Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush," reprinted with permission from Melville House, 2006.)
How can it be that we are yet again debating another presidential impeachment? Still weary from the Clinton impeachment battles and now completely exhausted from the momentous changes brought about by both 9/11 and this president -- changes that include the Iraq war, indefinite detentions around the world, torture, domestic wiretapping, and more -- we have all we can do to understand and perhaps resist some or all of these measures on an ad hoc basis. While any of the individual acts and policies outlined in the following articles would constitute an impeachable offense, taken as a whole, as a pattern and practice, they constitute something far more sinister, a plan to significantly weaken, if not destroy, our democracy.
By Onnesha Roychoudhuri, AlterNet
Until recently, talk of ousting President George W. Bush has proved little more than a distant rumbling. For too long, impeachment has been deemed implausible. It’s not going to happen with a Republican Congress, so the argument goes. Not with the president finishing his second term, not while we're at war.
But the distant rumbling is growing louder by the day, creating a resonant echo that is rapidly taking root in public discourse. “Impeach Him,
Published on Sunday, March 5, 2006 by the lndependent/UK
The President's visit to Pakistan was cool compared to the way he wooed rivals India
by Justin Huggler
Seeking to bolster America's main ally in the "war on terror", President George Bush made his first visit to Pakistan under intense security yesterday. But Pakistani discomfort was visible at the new strategic alliance the US is seeking with India, its historic rival.
Thousands of detainees held in Iraq are still being denied basic human rights with reports of torture rife, Amnesty International has said.
It said its interviews with ex-inmates across Iraq had shown the lessons of the Abu Ghraib jail scandal appeared to have been ignored.
The US and UK insist prisoners are treated to international standards.
Iraq's acting human rights minister admitted abuse was continuing but that the government was trying to curb it.
Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald
The Senate Intelligence Committee was created in 1976 and, from the beginning, it has been unique in its structure and operation. Due to the urgency of ensuring that our country has nonpartisan and non-politicized oversight over the Government's intelligence activities, the Intelligence Committee is structured so that -- unlike every other Senate Committee -- the majority is unable to dominate the Committee's operation and agenda, and the minority has much greater powers than it does on any other Senate Committee.
From Tomdispatch today, Dahr Jamail's "Tracing the Trail of Torture, Embedding Torture as Policy from Guantanamo to Iraq" http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=65894
In just the last few weeks, there has been a cascade of torture news as the latest Abu Ghraib photos were released, administration lawyers went to court to fight for a "torture exemption" for detainees at Guantanamo, military officials organizing the administration's trials at that prison refused to ban testimony induced by torture, and the New York Times revealed that at Bagram Air Base we now have a second Guantanamo, totally beyond the reach of the law. And that's just been the tip of the iceberg.
WASHINGTON - The U.S. presence in Iraq is hurting the worldwide war on terrorism and benefits only Iran and al Qaeda, Rep. John Murtha said Sunday.
Murtha expressed skepticism of assurances given by Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on NBC’s “Meet the Press
By Mark Mazzetti, Los Angeles Times
The ranking US general there says a Pentagon review found the program does not violate policy. It could be replicated elsewhere.
Washington - The U.S. military plans to continue paying Iraqi newspapers to publish articles favorable to the United States after an inquiry found no fault with the controversial practice, the top U.S. general in Iraq said Friday.
By Greg Miller, Mark Mazzetti and Josh Meyer, Los Angeles Times
Washington - Forced by a federal court to lift the cloak of secrecy that had long shrouded the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Pentagon released thousands of pages of documents Friday containing names and other details for hundreds of detainees scooped up after the Sept. 11 attacks.
The records provide the most comprehensive view to date of the Guantanamo prison population, as well as an exhaustive catalog of the U.S. government's charges against detainees who - in page after page of tribunal proceeding transcripts - protest their treatment and proclaim their innocence.
By Dan Eggen, Washington Post
The Bush administration, seeking to limit leaks of classified information, has launched initiatives targeting journalists and their possible government sources. The efforts include several FBI probes, a polygraph investigation inside the CIA and a warning from the Justice Department that reporters could be prosecuted under espionage laws.
In recent weeks, dozens of employees at the CIA, the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies have been interviewed by agents from the FBI's Washington field office, who are investigating possible leaks that led to reports about secret CIA prisons and the NSA's warrantless domestic surveillance program, according to law enforcement and intelligence officials familiar with the two cases.
By Monica Davey and Eric Schmitt, New York Times
Washington - In a rare rebuke of military investigators, the Defense Department inspector general has directed the Army to open a criminal inquiry into the shooting death of Cpl. Pat Tillman, the former professional football player whose enlistment as an Army Ranger drew national attention, Pentagon officials said on Saturday.
The new inquiry into the killing of Corporal Tillman, who the Army initially said had died as a hero in a blaze of enemy fire before attributing his death in 2004 to an accidental shooting by fellow Rangers, will be conducted by the Army Criminal Investigation Command.
By Ben Fox, Associated Press
San Juan, Puerto Rico - New documents on the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay suggest the Bush administration has cast a wide net in its war on terrorism, but the U.S. has often come up empty, as American troops picked up suspects with descriptions as varied as a Kazakh apple seller and a Pakistani millionaire.
Evidence against the apple seller, for example, showed he had been captured by the Taliban and forced to work as a cook.
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent, The Telegraph, UK
All British and United States troops serving in Iraq will be withdrawn within a year in an effort to bring peace and stability to the country.
The news came as defence chiefs admitted privately that the British troop commitment in Afghanistan may last for up to 10 years.
Iraq's national defence force will assume responsibility for security
Channel 4 (UK)
Tony Blair has been criticised by antiwar campaigners over his admission that he believes God will be the ultimate judge of the Iraq war.
In an interview with chat show host Michael Parkinson, the Prime Minister said he made policy decisions according to his conscience, which is guided by his Christian faith.
Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon was killed in Basra in 2004, said she was "quite disgusted" at the comments made by Mr Blair.
By Martin Hodgson, The Independent, UK
Relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq attacked Tony Blair last night over his comments that God will be the ultimate judge of the Iraq war.
Reg Keys, the father of one of six military policemen killed in June 2003, said the Prime Minister's words were "abhorrent". Mr Keys, who founded the campaigning group Military Families Against the War, said: "He is using God as a get-out for total strategic failure."
By ANTONIO CASTANEDA, Associated Press
RUTBAH, Iraq (AP) - U.S. Marines used to patrol the streets of this city near the volatile Syrian border. Now they've penned it in with a wall of sand, leaving only three ways in or out.
While causing discomfort to the townspeople, the military says it is an effective barrier to insurgents and frees up troops for use in other parts of restive Anbar province in western Iraq.
Published on Sunday, March 5, 2006 by the Seattle Times (Washington)
The Bush administration has a substantial credibility problem. Things it says turn out not to be true. Again and again.
Two troubling examples made the news last week, and they illustrate a serious problem rooted in a combination of political arrogance, incompetence and disdain for the audience. Often it seems the White House, or the president himself, offers the American public an incredulous shrug to punctuate the plea, "Who could have known?"
A Brief Summary
by Stephen Soldz, http://www.opednews.com
The invasion of Iraq was justified as an attempt to protect our country by removing weapons of mass destruction. As former government officials have spoken out and secret documents have been leaked, we now know that this justification was but an excuse for a war desired for other reasons. Despite what we were publicly told, the policy decision to launch a war was decided upon in advance and, as the famous Downing Street Minutes of secret meetings between US and British officials stated, "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." As a response, over 20 members of Congress have called for an impeachment investigation in response to this war based on lies.
By Gary Zimmerman
(Sacramento, CA March 4, 2006) About 200 Sacramento activists held
the first of three major anti-war/anti-Bush/pro-democracy rallies at
By Qassim Abdul-Zahra, Associated Press
Baghdad, Iraq - Pressure mounted Sunday on Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari to give up his bid for a new term amid anger over a recent surge of sectarian killing that has complicated already snarled negotiations on a new Iraqi government.
The delay forming a government has prevented the parliament elected Dec. 15 from meeting since the vote was certified last month. But Kurdish and some Shiite officials said Sunday it should be ready to convene within days.
(Washington-AP) March 5, 2006 - Democratic Congressman John Murtha doubts the administration's optimism over Iraq.
Murtha tells CBS the White House has mischaracterized the war for two years.
Joint Chief chairman Peter Pace said on the morning talk shows that progress is being made in Iraq, which he says it not on the brink of civil war. But he admits "anything can happen."
Pace says the bloody violence that erupted after a Shiite mosque was attacked has led the nation to the abyss.