By Congressman John Conyers
When the Downing Street Minutes began to gain some notoriety in May and June, the President and Prime Minister Blair answered a question about them briefly. Interestingly, both seemed to want to spend the most time talking about the minutes' contention that the President had always intended to go to war (despite the President's public pronouncements to the contrary). That was a smart thing to do, in a political sense, because the President's state of mind is a much more difficult allegation to prove, requiring subjective interpretations of the President's actions.
Cobblestones: Mad Dog at Recess
By Steve Cobble
George W. made his continuing contempt for the Senate official this morning, giving John "Mad Dog" Bolton a recess appointment, only days after Bolton confessed he lied to the Senate.
Well, why not? Why should he be the only liar left out? After all, it's not like the "Liar's Club" is some exclusive group in the Bush Administration, like Skull & Bones. Heck, the Bush & Co. Liar's Club isn't even whites-only or male-only. They can all join.
Of course, in the polite circles in which top Democrats and media big-foots circulate, the word "lie" is so definitive, so harsh. I should be nice, and find synonyms.
The following was written by London Sunday Times reporter Michael Smith for Raw Story.
LONG-RUNNING disputes between UK and American intelligence and security services over intelligence in the war on terror rose to the surface last week with US sources accusing the British of blocking the capture of a key member of the al-Qaeda team that carried out the London bombings.
The claims followed leaks of British police photographs, including a nail bomb found in the trunk of a bomber's car, passed to the US-based ABC News, apparently by a member of the US team sent to London to assist the investigation.
Plan a Peaceful Protest:
Tuesday August 2, 2005
BUSH in Crawford, TX: President and Mrs. Bush depart for their ranch.
Wednesday August 3, 2005
NEW* HUCKABEE in Little Rock, AK - 9:00 AM: Governor hosts "Ask The Governor," a monthly call-in program on the Arkansas Radio Network, ARN studios, 700 Wellington Hills Road. [www.arkansas.gov]
NEW* HUCKABEE in Conway, AK - 7:00 PM: Governor participates in "Arkansans Ask," a monthly call-in program on the Arkansas Educational Television Network, AETN studios, 350 S. Donaghey St. [www.arkansas.gov]
Thursday August 4, 2005
BUSH in Crawford, TX: President and Mrs. Bush will welcome President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia and Mrs. Uribe to their ranch in Crawford, Texas on August 4, 2005. [White House, 7/13/05]
By James Risen
The New York Times
Washington - The Central Intelligence Agency was told by an informant in the spring of 2001 that Iraq had abandoned a major element of its nuclear weapons program, but the agency did not share the information with other agencies or with senior policy makers, a former CIA officer has charged.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court here in December, the former CIA officer, whose name remains secret, said that the informant told him that Iraq's uranium enrichment program had ended years earlier and that centrifuge components from the scuttled program were available for examination and even purchase.
Saturday, August 6 in Seattle
Doors at 6pm, Presentation at 6:30pm
Writer and international activist Larry Everest on the new national campaign to drive out the Bush regime
The World Can't Wait! Let's Get Organized! Mobilize for Novemember 2, 2005!
Gather to hear Larry Everest speak on how we in our millions can drive out the Bush regime. Larry just returned from testifying at the World Tribunal on Iraq in Instanbul, Turkey. He is a contributing writer to Revolution newspaper (voice of the Revolutionary Commu nist Party) and author of Oil, Power and Empire: Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda. Join us to kick off plans and launch this historic movement in Seattle.
HOUR 2 (8pm ET): FBI 9/11 Whistleblower, Coleen Rowley
HOUR 3 (9pm ET): Carl Conetta of Project on Defense Alternatives on "400
Days and Out of Iraq" Plan.
HOUR 4 (10pm ET): Patricia Birnie of the Raging Grannies, arrested for
All listenable via http://www.BradShow.com
Wild: Hundreds of honks heard
Somerville Journal, MA
By Patricia Wild
Thursday, July 28, 2005
The day after President Bush had proclaimed John G. Roberts Jr. to be his Supreme Court nominee and NPR's "Talk of the Nation" focused on Roberts' anti-civil rights, anti-Roe versus Wade pronouncements, discouraged and weighted down with those "What's the use?" feelings prevalent among progressives these days, I held a "Honk to Impeach Bush" sign in Davis Square for a while and, in spite of the heat, my spirits lifted. Organized by Carl Martin and Joe Ramsey, key members of the Somerville-Medford Ad-Hoc Committee to End the War, similar Davis Square demonstrations are scheduled every Monday from 5 until 7 p.m. in the little park in front of J.P. Licks. Won't you join us?
Here's a wonderful portion of Rep. Conyers' July 23rd Town Hall meeting in Detroit, Mich., captured by Symbolman at the scene featuring Lila Lipscomb's inspiring speech.
We will be producing and releasing more sections of this wonderful event in the near future.
Currently Symbolman is hard at work on Rove's War DVD which you can see a preview and order here and if you're interested in the full 5 hours of the June 16 hearing and rally in Washington D.C., you can donate and receive the two DVD set here.
By Uwe E. Reinhardt
The Washington Post
President Bush assures us that the ongoing twin wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are worth the sacrifices they entail. Editorialists around the nation agree and say that a steadfast American public was willing to stay the course.
Should anyone be surprised by this national resolve, given that these wars visit no sacrifice of any sort -- neither blood nor angst nor taxes -- on well over 95 percent of the American people?
At most, 500,000 American troops are at risk of being deployed to these war theaters at some time. Assume that for each of them some 20 members of the wider family sweat with fear when they hear that a helicopter crashed in Afghanistan or that X number of soldiers or Marines were killed or seriously wounded in Iraq. It implies that no more than 10 million Americans have any real emotional connection to these wars.
Bush Appoints Bolton as U.N. Envoy, Bypassing Senate
By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS
Published: August 1, 2005
President Bush bypassed the Senate confirmation process today and appointed John R. Bolton as the new United States ambassador to the United Nations.
At the White House, President Bush announced his decision today with John R. Bolton at his side.
The appointment, while Congress is in recess, ends a months-long standoff between the White House and Senate Democrats who deem Mr. Bolton unfit for the job and have been holding up his confirmation.
"I chose John because of his vast experience in foreign policy, his integrity and his willingness to confront difficult problems head on," Mr. Bush said in making the announcement at the White House.
Tomgram: Jim Lobe on Timing the Cheney Nuclear Drumbeat
LINK TO ORIGINAL
In a recent piece, The Media's Roving Eye, trying to establish a timeline that would offer context for the Plame case, I wrote the following:
"Vice President Cheney started the administration's atomic drumbeat to war in Iraq with a series of speeches on Saddam's supposed nuclear capabilities and desires beginning in August of 2002. (The crucial role of Cheney, whose eye was first caught by a Defense Intelligence Agency report on the Niger uranium documents back in February 2002, in the events that would become the Plame case, has been poorly covered...)"
By MASSIMO CALABRESI
As the investigation tightens into the leak of the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame, sources tell TIME some White House officials may have learned she was married to former ambassador Joseph Wilson weeks before his July 6, 2003, Op-Ed piece criticizing the Administration. That prospect increases the chances that White House official Karl Rove and others learned about Plame from within the Administration rather than from media contacts. Rove has told investigators he believes he learned of her directly or indirectly from reporters, according to his lawyer.
New Blogger, More Bolton, and Other News
LINK TO ORIGINAL
Good morning, everyone.
Joining our cast of bloggers today is Leon Hadar, a research fellow in foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, a journalist, a professor, and a gentleman. Leon is the author of the just published Sandstorm: Policy Failure in the Middle East (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)."
Overnight, AP's Liz Sidoti reported on Senator Biden's request for information on whether Bolton testified before the Fitzgerald grand jury, providing significant exposure to the story (Google News shows around 150 newspapers picked it up). Hidden in the bowels of Sidoti's piece was a bit of new information - Representative Jane Harman is looking into the production of the State Department memoranda that identified Wilson's wife:
Mark Schmitt: Constitutional Crisis
LINK TO ORIGINAL
I'm grateful to Steve for inviting me to fill in at The Washington Note. I've been encouraging Steve for a few weeks to make the leap across the thin barrier that separates the Bolton nomination from the Rove-Plame scandal. Being a very responsible, seasoned foreign policy professional, however, Steve hesitates to go further than the available information justifies. And while I admire that restraint, I'm glad Steve has allowed his blog to be temporarily held hostage by people like me with a little more penchant for speculation.
Why would a news channel have a show called "The Big Story" and leave out the big story of Karl Rove and Traitorgate? Because it's Fox News following the GOP game plan of misdirection.
"The Big Story" on Wednesday (July 27, 2005) avoided mentioning the grand jury investigation into Rove's involvement in revealing the identity of a CIA agent. The outing was in retaliation for her husband's op-ed piece disproving the administration's claim that Saddam Hussein was trying to buy uranium to build a nuclear bomb.
The White House has been trying to divert attention from the scandal, even moving up its announcement of a Supreme Court nominee by ten days to get the press looking in another direction.
By Tony Thompson, Mark Townsend, Martin Bright and Barbara McMahon Rome
The Observer UK
One of the men accused of taking part in the failed terror attacks in London on 21 July has claimed the bomb plot was directly inspired by Britain's involvement in the Iraq war.
In a remarkable insight into the motives behind the alleged would-be bombers, Hussain Osman, arrested in Rome on Friday, has revealed how the suspects watched hours of TV footage showing grief-stricken Iraqi widows and children alongside images of civilians killed in the conflict. He is alleged to have told prosecutors that after watching the footage: 'There was a feeling of hatred and a conviction that it was necessary to give a signal - to do something.'
By Linda McQuaig
In the official, mainstream view of terrorism — the view trumpeted by western governments, think tanks and media commentators — terrorists are freedom-loathing zealots with an irrational hatred of our western lifestyle and culture.
But another view, polls suggest, is gaining ground with the public: Terrorism is actually a response to military interventions perpetrated by western governments.
These sharply diverging views are central to the question of how to deal with terrorism. Under the "irrational hatred" view, there's not much we can do other than ratchet up our security and hunker down for a long fight with a bunch of lunatics.
By Robert Winnett, Whitehall Correspondent
THE SPLIT over the Iraq war, which ran through the Labour party, reached into Tony Blair’s innermost circle, according to an updated biography of the prime minister.
Key Downing Street advisers including Alastair Campbell, former director of communications, and Baroness Morgan, former director of political and government relations, are revealed to have had “private reservations
By C. Fraser Smith
IF YOU leave aside the war in Iraq and the spread of terrorism, this thing about leaks and presidential adviser Karl Rove is just another inside-the-beltway story.
It's the usual slashing and burning told in the obscure language of Washington politics. Lives and limbs are hanging in the balance, along with the nation's good name, but that's just collateral damage.
News stories about leaked information and reporters protecting sources and special prosecutors float out to the rest of the nation on a turbid sea fathomable only by the wily inside players.
By Carl Doerner
Each time I encounter constitutional attorney John Bonifaz I am more impressed with his grasp of contemporary political problems and historical analysis and with his ability to crisply articulate the issues before us. On Saturday afternoon he addressed 160 of us packed tightly into the meeting room of the Media Education Foundation in Northampton, MA. This was one of 350 such July 23 meetings throughout the country, marking the third anniversary of preparation of what is referred to in infrequent media accounts as the Downing Street Memo.
Forty members of Congress have now co-sponsored Congresswoman Barbara Lee's Resolution of Inquiry. Many more will almost certainly do so if asked by their constituents.
More Info. and What You Can Do.
TAKE PART IN DFA MEETUPS ON WED. AUGUST 3
Democracy for America is taking up the cause of promoting investigation of the Downing Street Memos. They have organized meetings all over the country on Wednesday, August 3, and you can sign up for one here: http://dfa.meetup.com/
Later in the month of August, DFA will organize meetings with Congress Members while they are home in their district offices. Sixty of these meetings have already been scheduled. At these meetings, people will ask their Congress Members to co-sponsor Rep. Lee's Resolution. To help organize these events, participate in the MeetUps on Wednesday.
FORUM: THE DOWNING STREET MEMOS
Has Bush Conspired to Lie to Congress and the American People about the Basis for the Iraq War?
Date, Location and Speakers:
Sunday, July 31, 6:30-8:30pm
Arlington St. Church
Arlington & Boylston Streets, Boston
Representative, Massachusetts 4th Congressional District
Gloria L. Fox
State Representative, Seventh Suffolk District (Boston)
Discussion of what we can do in response to this information.
The speakers will include Representative Barney Frank, State Representative Gloria Fox and John Bonifaz, a Boston-based attorney who specializes in constitutional law and is co-founder of www.afterdowningstreet.org. Mr. Frank and Mr. Bonifaz will discuss the Downing Street Memos and their implications, while Ms. Fox will discuss the impact of the illegal Iraq War on Boston and other inner cities. After questions and answers, a discussion will ensue about the need to launch a full investigation of these stunning and disturbing revelations.
The Huffington Post
By Arianna Huffington
The more I'm reading about Judy Miller and her actions leading up to and during the early days of the war, and then through the unfolding Plame-Rove-Libby-Gonzalez-Card scandal, the more I’m struck by the special access and relationships she enjoyed with many of the key players in the Iraq debacle (which, at the end of the day, is really what Plamegate is all about).
For starters, of course, we have her still unfolding involvement in the Plame leak. Earlier this month, Howard Kurtz reported that Miller and Libby spoke a few days before Novak outed Plame -- and I’m hearing that the Libby/Miller conversation occurred over breakfast in Washington. Did Valerie Plame come up -- and, if so, who brought her up? There is no question that Miller was angry at Joe Wilson… and continues to be. A social acquaintance of Miller told me that, once, when she spoke of Wilson, it was with “a passionate and heated disgust that went beyond the political and included an irrelevant bit of deeply personal innuendo about him, her mouth twisting in hatred.