Posted on Thu, Sep. 29, 2005
Our political elite is in paralysis'
BY PATRICK J. BUCHANAN
President Bush is in big trouble, and so are we. In this town, there is barely disguised glee that the president so badly bumbled the rescue-and-recovery operation post-Katrina that he has lost the aura of a strong, decisive leader.
Democrats and their coalition partners in the media are gloating that Bush's fumbling proves them right: He is the fortunate son who is beyond his depth in an office he would not have won had it not been for his name, connections and a friendly Supreme Court. The piling on begins to grate, but that is the nature of politics. When Nixon was mired in Watergate, Reagan in Iran-contra and Clinton in the Monica mess, Washington was whistling Happy Days Are Here Again.
No-Bid Contracts To Get Close Look
Inspectors General Promise to Review Katrina Deals, Earlier FEMA Agreements
By Griff Witte
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 29, 2005; Page A11
The officials responsible for monitoring more than $60 billion in federal Hurricane Katrina spending promised yesterday to take a hard look at every no-bid contract awarded since the storm and to investigate the adequacy of contracts the government had in place before disaster struck.
The assurances came at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing at which lawmakers from both parties questioned a panel of inspectors general about whether Katrina aid money is being well spent. The inspectors general provided few answers because, they said, their work has just begun. But they said repeatedly that they would investigate.
Poets Against the War Founder Sam Hamill comes to Washington, D.C., in October 2005, with two new books, Almost Paradise: New and Selected Poems & Translations and Tao Te Ching: A New Translation (both from Shambhala Publications, 2005).
Wednesday, October 19, 7pm - Jimenez-Porter House, Dorchester Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Click here for a map of campus. College Park/Green line on the Metro.
Thursday, October 20, noon - Pryzbyla Center, Great Room A, Catholic University, Washington, DC. Includes a short reading by D.C. Poets Against the War coordinator Sarah Browning and the screening of an excerpt from Voices in Wartime. Brookland/Red line on the Metro. Click here for a map of campus.
Indicting the President's Policies
2 hours, 27 minutes ago
The Nation -- In Washington, where it is exceeding difficult to get the political players or the press corps to pay attention to more than one story at once, no0 one would suggest that it was "smart politics" to deliver a major address on the day that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay being forced to step aside after being indicted on criminal conspiracy charges.
But sometimes the work of Washington involves more than political games.
Sometimes it involves life and death questions of national policy. And it is particularly frustrating in such moments to see vital statements about the nation's future get lost in the rush to discuss the scandal du jour. To be sure, the well-deserved indictment of DeLay merited the attention it received. But the indictment of President Bush's "stay-the-course" approach with regard to the Iraq War, which was delivered on the same day by U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold (news, bio, voting record), D-Wisconsin, should have gotten a lot more attention than it did.
Miller Walks: The Plot Thickens
It’s time for Judy Miller and Arthur Sulzberger to change their talking points.
The claim that Miller “has finally received a direct and uncoerced waiver
IMPORTANT NOW: 60 Minutes Niger story that never aired... Let's get it aired!
by jbalazs [Subscribe]
Fri Sep 30th, 2005 at 09:29:23 PDT
Re-Post from August 25th. Commenters encouraged me to post it again when the time was right... The time is right! With Judy Miller's testimony being covered today, CBS needs to get this timely story out NOW!
Consider this an actionable item diary for all of you Kossacks. I think the tone in the media has changed sufficiently over the past few months that now is the time to push to get stories out there.
One story inparticular is already done but has never been aired. 60 Minutes has it ready to go, they've just never aired it. Now is the time to contact them and request they show this important story. Here is the contact information:
Bush Misleads on Progress in Iraq
President Bush, 9/28/05:
At this moment, more than a dozen Iraqi battalions have completed training and are conducting anti-terrorist operations in Ramadi and Fallujah. More than 20 battalions are operating in Baghdad. And some have taken the lead in operations in major sectors of the city. In total, more than 100 battalions are operating throughout Iraq. Our commanders report that the Iraqi forces are operating with increasing effectiveness.
Associated Press, 9/29/05:
The number of Iraqi battalions capable of combat without U.S. support has dropped from three to one, the top American commander in Iraq told Congress Thursday.
Ontario advocates join anti-war protests
September 25, 2005
Anti-war advocates marched in downtown Toronto and Ottawa over the weekend to protest Western military involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and Haiti.
One of the protesters outside the U.S. Consulate in Toronto, was a soldier who refused to go to Iraq and is now seeking refugee status in Canada. He spoke against his country's role in Iraq.
More than 1,000 came out for the Ontario protests. Other rallies were held in cities around the world, including Washington, London, England and Baghdad.
Crowds opposed to the war in Iraq surged past the White House during the Washington protest, shouting "Peace now" in the largest anti-war protest in the U.S. capital since the invasion.
Torture and the "Controversial" Arc of Injustice
By Norman Solomon, AlterNet. Posted September 29, 2005.
What are we to make of the fact that the media considers torture controversial -- instead of clearly unjust?
Several decades ago, "controversial" subjects in news media included many issues that are now well beyond controversy. During the first half of the 1960s, fierce arguments raged in print and on the airwaves about questions like: Does a black person (a "Negro," in the language of the day) have the right to sit at a lunch counter, or stay at a hotel, the same way that a white person does? Should the federal government insist on upholding such rights all over the country?
From August 6: Scooter Libby and Judy Miller met on July 8, 2003, two days after Joe Wilson published his column. And Patrick Fitzgerald is very interested.
By Murray Waas
Web Exclusive: 09.30.05
In early August, Murray Waas reported that the meeting between Judith Miller and Lewis Libby was the whole ballgame for Miller's incarceration. Now that she's agreed to talk, read what she has to talk about.
I. Lewis “Scooter
The ghosts of Vietnam haunting the Iraq war are also lurking over the movement against it.
By Philip Weiss
New York Magazine - October 3, 2005 issue
As Washington goes, it was a religious moment... TV will ignore a disturbing trend as long as it can, but when it stops ignoring the issue, it will demand immediate response. It will speed up the Vietnam curve. Cindy Sheehan was just a taste.
As Washington goes, it was a religious moment.
A slender man with sharp features and a thatch of graying hair in an invisible gray suit flitted down the big marble hallway seeming to want to disappear before he turned into a small room. Wrong room. This was some kind of teach-in crowded with antiwar soldiers. Priests with attitude, maimed Vietnam vets, seventies ghosts with silver goatees, the beaded fringe of the Congressional Black Caucus, and all led by a beatific congresswoman from Sonoma County with great legs and a habit of chanting, "Thank you, thank you, thank you for being here."
Ray McGovern served as a captain in the U.S. Army from 1962-64 before serving 25 years as an analyst in the CIA. He now works for Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. He is also a member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
The news that yet another Army private, Lynndie England, 22, of Fort Ashby, W. Va., has been convicted and sentenced for posing for the infamous photos of torture at Abu Ghraib, while her superiors duck responsibility, is a sad commentary on the degenerating ethos of the U.S. Army.
Published on Thursday, September 29, 2005 by Salon.com
As more and more Americans turn against Bush's Iraq war, Democratic politicians remain silent.
Their play-it-safe strategy isn't just cowardly, it also won't work.
By Juan Cole
The antiwar mother of a U.S. soldier killed in Iraq, Cindy Sheehan, protested with hundreds of others outside the White House on Monday. She and the others approached the gate of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue three times, and each time police warned them that they were trespassing. On the third approach, Ms. Sheehan was arrested and carried from the scene, as were the others. She left behind, in the fence, a picture of her dead son Casey, who died fighting the Mahdi Army in Sadr City in spring of 2004. Ever since, Ms. Sheehan has been asking the U.S. government to explain what exactly he died for.
Miller's Big Secret
By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Friday, September 30, 2005; 12:03 PM
Can it be? That after all that, New York Times reporter Judith Miller sat in jail for 12 weeks to protect the confidentiality of a very senior White House aide -- even though the aide repeatedly made it clear he didn't want protecting?
That somehow Miller was more intent on keeping their conversations secret than the aide was?
Miller was released from jail yesterday and showed up this morning at a federal courthouse to testify before the grand jury investigating the leak of Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA operative.
Published on Thursday, September 29, 2005 by Hearst Newspapers
Nixon, Johnson Agonized Over War
by Helen Thomas
How does the president of the United States ignore thousands of Americans who come to Washington with a special anti-war message?
It's easy to do, if you are President George W. Bush. You get out of town.
If you are as insulated as Bush is from the real world, a massive public outcry against your policies simply doesn't register.
Bush was happy to get out of town and track Hurricane Rita last weekend as a way of displaying his new-found interest in the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people in the Gulf area.
Friday, September 30, 2005
Our soldiers in Iraq are STILL being forced to buy THEIR OWN body armor
by John in DC - 9/30/2005 10:15:00 AM
Any US military out there reading this, or their friends and families? Once again, you're hearing of this outrage from a liberal blog. Not from Republicans, who are the ones you keep thinking care more about our troops, but from Democrats. This is absolutely outrageous. I may be upset about the snuff-porn scandal we've been reporting on all week, but that doesn't mean I want our troops to die in battle because we haven't given them the equipment they need. Yes, I think this war has become a very sad joke, but leaving our men and women as sitting ducks is hardly the answer.
Peace mom Cindy Sheehan meets with Elizabeth Dole over Iraq war
(AP) September 30, 2005 - It's no surprise that North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole and anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan don't see eye-to-eye on the war in Iraq.
The two women met privately for ten minutes Thursday to discuss the war.
Dole's office issued a statement saying statements made by Sheehan and her political organization undermine the war on terror and are detrimental to the military. Dole is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Sheehan was more direct. She called Dole "a gentle lady" and a "warmonger," the latter a term she used to describe Arizona Senator John McCain after meeting with him on Wednesday.
A coalition of 120 liberal and progressive groups calling themselves VelvetRevolution.us has launched what they call the "Government Accountability Reward Fund," a $100,000 prize for information leading to the arrest and conviction of "high government officials." Specifically, they are asking for information about the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame, purported fraud in the 2004 Ohio presidential election, and bribes allegedly given to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, as reported in Vanity Fair.
A press release issued by VelvetRevolution.us is even more specific. An excerpt follows:
Published on Thursday, September 29, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
By David MacMichael
Speech delivered in Oklahoma City
September 24, 2005
In their first Memorandum for the President, dated February 5, 2003, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity remarked that then-Secretary of State Colin Powell’s UN speech earlier that day “did not come close
By Larry Neumeister
The Associated Press
New York - Pictures of detainee abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison must be released despite government claims that they could damage America's image, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
US District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein said terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan have proven they "do not need pretexts for their barbarism."
The American Civil Liberties Union sought the release of 87 photographs and four videotapes as part of an October 2003 lawsuit demanding information on the treatment of detainees in US custody and the transfer of prisoners to countries known to use torture. The ACLU contends that prisoner abuse is systemic.
Statements by Sulzberger, Keller, Miller on Her Release
Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.
By E&P Staff
Published: September 29, 2005 9:30 PM ET
NEW YORK The New York Times' publisher, editor, and formerly jailed reporter all issued statements Thursday night after her release, with Judith Miller's grand jury testimony now set for Friday, they confirmed separately.
According to the Times, I. Lewis Libby "had made clear that he genuinely wanted her to testify," and gave her a waiver on their confidential conversations. But the Times account tonight revealed that Libby and his lawyers said he had given his waiver a year ago--and then again two weeks ago--but Miller did not accept it. She was released today after she and her lawyers met at the jail with Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the prosecutor in the case, to discuss her testimony, the Times revealed.
By Tom Hayden
PEACE PROCESS NOTES #1
NOTES ON LONDON INTERVIEWS WITH IRAQIS RE PEACE PROCESS.
The National Foundation Congress (NFC), a coalition of 20 Iraqi political parties and organizations opposed to the occupation, was formed in April 2004. Since its second Congress in May 2005 the group has begun seeking contact with Western anti-war networks, including journalists and officials.
I met in London Sept. 28 with two Iraqis who work closely with the international network, who explained the Congress' agenda and goals.
They are two years on the ground, I was told, and now seek a voice on the outside of Iraq. They are not a street-based organization but effective at peacemaking bridges within the country. To counter the divide-and-rule strategy of the occupiers, they attempt to cross ethnic and sectarian lines in order to rebuild a nationalist and united Iraqi state.
Judith Miller released from jail, agrees to testify in leak investigation
JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press
September 30, 2005
WASHINGTON -- After nearly three months behind bars, New York Times reporter Judith Miller was released Thursday after agreeing to testify about the Bush administration's disclosure of a covert CIA officer's identity.
Miller left the federal detention center in Alexandria, Va., after reaching an agreement with Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald. She will appear Friday morning before a grand jury investigating the case.
"My source has now voluntarily and personally released me from my promise of confidentiality regarding our conversations," Miller said in a statement.
The human side of the war
Cindy Sheehan’s anti-war march heads to Washington, drumming up support they hope will make a difference
B Y P A T R I C K O ' N E I L L
Standing in Raleigh's Moore Square Park, the mother who may be remembered as the person who set in motion the campaign that ended the Iraq war, told her story.
September 21, 2005
Angry that her son, Casey, was killed in the war, Cindy Sheehan had a "brainstorm." While in Dallas for a Veterans for Peace convention, Sheehan thought it might be worthwhile to drive to President George W. Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch to ask the vacationing commander-in-chief why her son had to die in a war based on lies.
A handful of congressional Democrats -- and N.C. Republican Walter Jones -- start the push to get out of Iraq
B Y B O B G E A R Y
WASHINGTON, D.C. --Room 122 of the Cannon House Office Building. It's small--it's not a hearing room--and it's about as far away from the Capitol itself as it's possible to be and still be in a House office. No surprise, then, that this is the room Congresswoman Lynne Woolsey, Democrat of California, was permitted to use by the House Republican leadership for her "informal hearing" Thursday, Sept. 15, on exit strategies to get our troops out of Iraq.
Miller's time almost there
Raleigh Congressman Brad Miller's a war critic, but not quite ready to say "Out of Iraq."
B Y B O B G E A R Y
At first, Congressman Brad Miller thought that the only way ordinary Iraqis would join their own military and their own police forces was if they were convinced the American troops would stay to protect them from the insurgents. They didn't want to be left holding the bag--he thought. Now, Miller's almost convinced that the only way ordinary Iraqis will actually come together and defend their own country is if they're convinced that the Americans are going to leave--soon--and it's that or chaos.
Anti-war lawmakers kept in the basement
LINK TO ORIGINAL
WASHINGTON — Polls show that most people in the United States favor withdrawal of at least some troops from Iraq, and Bush's overall approval ratings are at record lows. Yet, when a few dozen House members gathered on Feb. 15 to talk about an exit strategy, they were consigned to a tiny, crowded room in a House office building, and charged that they are being denied a proper forum to air their views.
The House members opposed to the war say they have been stifled in the International Relations and Armed Services Committees and from offering legislation for debate on the House floor, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. "The nearest thing we have to a hearing is a pep rally for the administration's policies, so we are forced into a forum like this,
Representatives debate Iraq, but is anyone listening?
By Joe Feuerherd
National Catholic Reporter
It was the sort of no-holds-barred debate Americans might expect from their representatives amid an increasingly unpopular war. On one side, Democrats demanding answers about pre-war planning and an occupation conducted with all the efficiency of a FEMA emergency response operation. On the other, Republicans loyal to the president decrying a "cut and run" mentality that would surely weaken the U.S. in the eyes of its terrorist enemies.
The Democratic effort to force disclosure of presidential and other executive branch communications related to the "Downing Street Memo" was all about "politics, politics, politics," charged Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), chairman of the House International Relations committee. It was a contemptible attempt to "weaken and erode the authority of the president" during war, said Hyde.
The Meaning of the IAEA Iran Vote
Where have we seen this before?
by Jorge Hirsch
What could possibly be the purpose of the "gentle slap" (according to the L.A. Times headline, 9/25) delivered to Iran via the IAEA vote that found it in noncompliance with the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and requires that it be reported to the UN at an unspecified date? One might argue that the threat of sanctions from the Security Council (SC) would put pressure on Iran to further satisfy demands of Europe and the U.S. regarding its nuclear program. However, because Russia and China abstained from the IAEA vote, oppose sanctions on Iran, and have veto power in the SC, there is no possibility that sanctions on Iran will be imposed by the Security Council. Hence no additional pressure on Iran will result from this IAEA vote. Why then did the U.S. push for it so adamantly?