CIA acquires new US clandestine leadership role
By David Morgan
Thursday, October 13, 2005; 12:08 PM
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The CIA will lead a new clandestine service designed to coordinate all traditional U.S. spying activities overseas, including those of the FBI and Pentagon, top intelligence officials said on Thursday.
As part of an ambitious strategy to rebuild U.S. human intelligence after debilitating lapses over Iraq and the September 11, 2001, attacks, the new National Clandestine Service, or NCS, will operate out of the spy agency under a director reporting to CIA Director Porter Goss.
By Cindy Sheehan
Going to the movies was something Casey and I enjoyed doing together. Casey was a Theater Arts major in college and he went with a critical eye. Since I love sharing my children's passions with them, Casey and I would go to the movie theater often.
We saw two movies the last time he was home at Christmas, 2003 before he was deployed to Iraq . We saw the last movie in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the live action movie Peter Pan. I still have the ticket stub for that movie in my wallet. We got to the theater a little late, so we had to sit up front with the moms and dads and their small children. I commented to Casey that it looked like we were the only "grown ups" interested in the movie. The small children were cute to watch as they enjoyed the movie and Casey and I got quite a few chuckles from them also.
A New Low For Operation Photo-Op
(Photo Credit: thinkprogress.org)
UPDATE: The money quote from Bush via Atrios:
I wish I could be there to see you face to face and thank you personally. Probably a little early for me to go to Tikrit. Perhaps one of these days the situation will be such that I’ll be able to get back to Iraq.
LINK TO ORIGINAL
POWER GRAB: Pentagon Says Militarization of US Disaster Relief " Inevitable "
Thu Oct 13, 2005 at 01:48:33 AM PDT
Recall earlier this month during Bush's snoozer of a press conference that he slipped in a little bombshell about the possiblity of using the US military to enforce quarantines in case of an outbreak of Avian Flu:
The policy decisions for a president in dealing with an avian flu outbreak are difficult.
One example: If we had an outbreak somewhere in the United States, do we not then quarantine that part of the country? And how do you, then, enforce a quarantine?
Reporters hound Scott McClellan with same question 23 times, still no answer
Wed Oct 12, 2005 at 06:22:39 PM PDT
From It Affects You
Today's press gaggle lasted 32 minutes. For Scotty, it must have felt much longer. You see, in that 32 minutes, reporters repeated essentially the same question twenty three times. For those wishing to calculate such things, that's once every 83 seconds.
Reporters wanted to know why the administration is peddling Miers' religious beliefs, and when he refused to answer, they asked again. And then they asked again. And then again. They kept this up practically from start to finish, 23 times, once every 83 seconds. They had to repeat the question 23 times, and still they received no straight answer.
From Stop the War Coalition (UK)
Tuesday 18 October 3pm - Wednesday 19 October 3pm.
Rose Gentle's son Gordon died in a roadside bombing in Basra on 28th
June 2004 - Susan Smith's son Philip was killed in a roadside bombing in
Al Amarah on 16th July this year. Next Tuesday both mothers will camp
outside Downing Street to protest at the political decision to deny the
families legal aid in their campaign to bring the Prime Minister to book
for the Iraq war. The families believe the war to have been fought on
the basis of lies and deceit and moreover consider that there was no
Dear Richard Cohen
This was my letter to Richard Cohen regarding this morning's column in the Washington Post:
Dear Mr. Cohen,
From this morning's column regarding Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation of the Plame Leak case, "Let This Leak Go":
The alleged crime involves the outing of Valerie Plame, a CIA operative whose husband, Joseph Wilson IV, had gone to Africa at the behest of the agency and therefore said he knew that the Bush administration -- no, actually, the president himself -- had later misstated (in the State of the Union address, yet) the case that Iraq had sought uranium in Niger.
Let This Leak Go
By Richard Cohen
Thursday, October 13, 2005; Page A23
(Editor's note: All the President's men trying to pull this President out of his corrupt, treasonous hole. Check out the spin...)
The best thing Patrick Fitzgerald could do for his country is get out of Washington, return to Chicago and prosecute some real criminals. As it is, all he has done so far is send Judith Miller of the New York Times to jail and repeatedly haul this or that administration high official before a grand jury, investigating a crime that probably wasn't one in the first place but that now, as is often the case, might have metastasized into some sort of coverup -- but, again, of nothing much. Go home, Pat.
Published on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 by the UExpress.com
Bush Asks Congress for Martial Law
By Ted Rall
New York -- Soldiers brandishing automatic weapons, a defining characteristic of life in Third World dictatorships, have become commonplace at airports, bus and train stations, government offices and highway checkpoints since 9/11. Now troops are becoming our first responders to situations, such as natural disasters and flu outbreaks, which normally fall under civilian jurisdiction.
Everything's gone topsy-turvy: The National Guard, charged with keeping order here at home and legally under the control of state governors, has been shipped off to Iraq and Afghanistan, shanghaied by the federal government. Here in the U.S., whatever comes up, the Bush Administration's first reaction is to send in the regular army troops who are supposed to be in Iraq. Whether it's a sinister plot against American democracy or the most sustained large-scale foolishness in history, the Bush Administration is tearing down the traditional wall between overseas military action and domestic law enforcement.
By John Diamond, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — A newly released report published by the CIA rebukes the Bush administration for not paying enough attention to prewar intelligence that predicted the factional rivalries now threatening to split Iraq.
Policymakers worried more about making the case for the war, particularly the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, than planning for the aftermath, the report says. The report was written by a team of four former CIA analysts led by former deputy CIA director Richard Kerr.
"In an ironic twist, the policy community was receptive to technical intelligence (the weapons program), where the analysis was wrong, but apparently paid little attention to intelligence on cultural and political issues (post-Saddam Iraq), where the analysis was right," they write.
Published on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 by The Nation
By Tom Hayden
The lack of critical media coverage at the beginning of the Iraq War is widely acknowledged. But the media's failure to cover Iraqi voices of opposition is arguably a greater default.
The mainstream media convey the impression that there are two categories of Iraqis--the handful of fanatical jihadist terrorists and the majority who showed their yearning to be free during January's election. In this paradigm, our troops are seen as defending, even cultivating, a nascent democracy. Not surprisingly, a Fox News poll in February revealed that 53 percent of Americans believed the Iraqis wanted our troops to stay while only 35 percent thought the Iraqis wanted us to leave.
Contempt Finding Is Lifted in Case of Times Reporter
New York Times
By DAVID JOHNSTON
WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 - A federal district judge here lifted a contempt order Wednesday against Judith Miller, a reporter for The New York Times, after she testified before a grand jury investigating the C.I.A. leak case about recently discovered notes relating to a conversation she had with a senior White House official.
The judge, Thomas F. Hogan, lifted the contempt finding several hours after Ms. Miller testified about the notes, which she took during a discussion on June 23, 2003, with I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff.
By PEN, People's Email Network
First we give the action link, http://www.millionphonemarch.com/impeach.htm
Why an action link first? It's because our words are useless unless they mobilize people to take some immediate action in direct response. Unless the central goal of all progressive punditry is to engage more people to DO something themselves, then what is the point . . . really? And if the modestly patient reader will bear with us for just a couple of paragraphs, we will show you how you can increase the effectiveness of your own activist efforts in an incredible, new way.
Polls are now saying that a majority of Americans (50 to 44%) would favor impeaching the president IF he lied about Iraq. So our work is done, right? Until that is a proven fact to those 50%, let's not kid ourselves. To impeach the president NOW, a substantial number of members of the president's own party must turn on him in a dramatic way. And given the bias of the media coverage so far, as a practical matter that will happen only if 1) a major new "smoking gun" emerges (as from the Patrick Fitzgerald probe), or if 2) larger numbers of us communicate personally with them as their constituents to demand it. Since we can't rely on the first, we must concentrate on the second, and encourage everyone else we know to do the same. WE ARE the true majority! If even 1% of us were to actually speak out on a regular basis, miracles will happen. The energy of a vast, grassroots communication web will be powerfully effective!
By Guy Dinmore
Even among the strongest advocates in Washington of the war in Iraq there is a sense of alarm these days, with harsh criticism directed particularly at the draft constitution, which they see as a betrayal of principles and a recipe for disintegration of the Iraqi state.
Expressions of concern among conservatives and former Iraqi exiles, seen also in the rising disillusionment of the American public, reflect a widening gap with the Bush administration and its claims of “incredible political progress
10/12/2005 @ 10:10 pm
Filed by Jason Leopold
Cheney's role in CIA outing not known
Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is trying to determine whether Vice President Dick Cheney had a role in the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame-Wilson, individuals close to Fitzgerald say. Plame’s husband was a vocal critic of prewar intelligence used by President George W. Bush to build support for the Iraq war.
The investigation into who leaked the officer's name to reporters has now turned toward a little known cabal of administration hawks known as the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), which came together in August 2002 to publicize the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. WHIG was founded by Bush chief of staff Andrew Card and operated out of the Vice President’s office.
Feingold fields questions on oil, war in Iraq and Supreme Court
Published Wednesday, October 12, 2005 11:12:34 AM Central Time
By Mike Leverton
Monroe Times (WI)
MONROE -- Conversation ranged from dependency on foreign oil, health care costs, Supreme Court appointees John Roberts and Harriet Miers to the war in Iraq when U.S. Senator Russ Feingold held listening sessions with his constituents in Browntown and Darlington Tuesday.
The Middleton Democrat said the listening sessions give him an opportunity to hear directly from constituents about issues and concerns. "I don't set the topic. It's important that people talk about what they want. This is my 929th and 930th listening sessions," said Feingold, who is in his 13th year as a Senator.
Remember when the Democrats were keeping their powder dry for the fierce battle against the President's still unknown second nominee to the Supreme Court -- and so, during the Roberts nomination hearings, didn't even ask the judge a question about his well-reported role in the Florida 2000 vote recount battle? They were, they swore, saving their "opposition" for the even worse candidate sure to come. Now she's here -- Harriet Miers, the President's lawyer, who contributed $5,000 to his Florida "Recount Fund" in 2000 and was running political/legal interference for the President and Vice President that year. She may also rate as the single most sycophantic candidate for just about any office in memory. (According to former Bush speechwriter David Frum, "She once told me that the president was the most brilliant man she had ever met.") In essence, having passed on a man who, in at least a modest way, helped George grab the 2000 election via the Supreme Court -- not a Democratic senator even asked him if he'd recuse himself, should another such case ever reach the court -- they are now in the process of topping themselves by sending courtwards a family retainer; or rather, as on so many other issues (count the Iraq War as issue number one in this regard), they seem to be preparing yet again to stand aside and let the President willingly commit suicide, or, in the case of Miers, the right supposedly take her down. It could happen, but don't hold your breath waiting (despite all the recent press punditry about this).
Left I on the News
In discussing the latest polls showing 59% of Americans want U.S. troops withdrawn from
Iraq "as soon as possible," I expressed skepticism that that many people
really agreed with me that "as soon as possible" means "now", and
frustration at the use of a simple two-option poll.
Now comes this British
poll LINK which offers
three options: withdraw "immediately," "set a firm date,", or withdraw "only
when Iraqi security forces were ready to take over." In this poll, which I
consider more reasonable, there were still a solid 31% (essentially
one-third) of Britons supporting the "immediate" option, with another 23%
backing the "firm date" option.
Congress should consider impeaching President Bush if he lied about his reasons for going to war in Iraq, according to half of the Americans surveyed in a recent poll.
The poll, commissioned by the After Downing Street Coalition, a loose aggregation of antiwar, Democratic and progressive groups, was conducted by the nonpartisan firm Ipsos Public Affairs U.S.
Here's how the question was put: "If President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable by impeaching him." Fifty percent of the 1,001 Americans surveyed agreed with that statement, while 44 percent disagreed; 6 percent said they didn't know or declined to answer. The breakdown was not entirely on partisan lines. Twenty percent of Republicans surveyed agreed with the statement, as did 72 percent of Democrats and 56 percent of independents.
By Molly Ivins
On one of those television gong shows that passes for journalism, the panelists used to have to pick an Outrage of the Week. Then, each performer would wax indignant about his or her choice for 60 seconds or so. If someone asked me to name the Outrage of the Week about now, I'd have a coronary. How could anyone possibly choose?
I suppose the frontrunner is the anti-torture amendment. Sen. John McCain proposed an amendment to the military appropriations bill that would prohibit "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment of prisoners in the custody of the U.S. military.
Associated Press | October 11, 2005
WASHINGTON - The Army has a master plan for recovering from this year's painful recruiting problems that includes new financial incentives for enlistees, greater use of computers, a new way for recruiters to make their pitch and a proposed finder's fee for soldiers who refer recruits.
The plan was assembled after the Army fell more than 6,600 recruits below of its goal of 80,000 for the year that ended Sept. 30. It was the first time it had fallen short since 1999.
The military services were releasing their complete year-end recruiting figures Tuesday. The Army, which has borne the largest share of the combat burden in Iraq and Afghanistan, was expected to be the only service to have fallen short, although the Marine Corps struggled for part of the year.
Impeachment, Now and Then
Here's a fascinating bit of news: More people today want to see President Bush impeached than wanted Clinton impeached on the eve of the House's vote on his impeachment.
According to a poll by the Zogby organization, just released by the group Afterdowningstreet.org, 50 percent of the American public now would like to see the House impeach Bush if it were found that he had lied about the reasons for going to war in Iraq (if?).
Compare that to December 17, 1998, only days before Clinton's impeachment by the House of Representatives, when an AP poll found that only 36 percent of the American public wanted to see the president impeached.
Political Affairs Magazine
By Joel Wendland
As President Bush's approval rating sinks to around 37 percent, another poll number related to his job performance is up. This number is not good news for the White House, however.
A recent survey commissioned by the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition revealed this week that at least half of Americans agree that Bush should be impeached if he is found to have not told the truth about the reasons to go to war with Iraq.
Conducted by a survey and public opinion outfit that provides similar surveys for the Associated Press, this poll shows an eight-point increase since a June poll done by Zogby that asked a similar question about impeachment.
The Outing of Joe Wilson
We've been thinking for over two years that the Plame Affair is about the outing of a CIA NOC, Valerie Plame Wilson. With Judy Miller's acknowledgement that she met with Libby in June 2003 to talk about Wilson, the most important details become how and when the White House learned of Joe Wilson's identity and what they did with it. The outing of Wilson, not Plame. If this thing will be traced back to Cheney, as rumors suggest, it will be through the way he outed Joe Wilson.
Let's start with the story the Bush Administration would have us believe.They acknowledge Dick Cheney asked CIA for more information on Niger, a request we know led to Wilson's trip to Niger. But they say they never learned of the results of his trip. On June 8 2003, Condi told Tim Russert no one had known about Wilson's (and other) investigations into Niger. "Maybe somebody in the bowels of the Agency knew something about this, but nobody in my circles." A month later, Condi would say that taht Russert question was the first she had heard of Wilson's trip.
Scooter Libby: Screwed, Blued and Tattooed
Looks like the future of Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff Lewis Libby might include fewer beltway cocktail parties and more brewing pruno in Hefty bags and trading smokes with the screws.
According to Murray Waas:
In two appearances before the federal grand jury investigating the leak of a covert CIA operative's name, Lewis (Scooter) Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, did not disclose a crucial conversation that he had with New York Times reporter Judith Miller in June 2003 about the operative, Valerie Plame, according to sources with firsthand knowledge of his sworn testimony.
What Two Thousand Looks Like
"The truth is, the administration's mishandling of the war in Iraq has made us less safe, and Iraq risks becoming what it was not before the war: a training ground for terrorists...
We cannot continue to stay the course, we must change the course. The American people and our brave men and women in Iraq deserve better.
Dear Randi Rhodes,
You were talking today about our poll on impeachment, so Bob Fertik called in to speak with you. But you spent the whole conversation attacking the idea of impeachment, claiming that it couldn't succeed and would therefore make any Democrats who tried it look stupid.
Randi, Randi. Such fatalism! From YOU! Such misguided "pragmatism" and "strategic thinking." Don't you realize that people won't vote the Dems a majority BEFORE the Dems stand for something?
This whole chorus of "We'll try it once we have the majority," is self-contradictory. You can't GET the majority that way.
Dana Milbank on Movement Analysis
Many of you know I am a movement analyst and I comment on body language for the media. Today I am joned by the Washington Post columnist, Dana Milbank, in his new-found understanding of the interpretation of movement. Welcome to the dance, Mr. Milbank:
"...this much could be seen watching the tape of NBC's broadcast during Bush's 14-minute pre-sunrise interview, in which he stood unprotected by the usual lectern. The president was a blur of blinks, taps, jiggles, pivots and shifts. Bush has always been an active man, but standing with Lauer and the serene, steady first lady, he had the body language of a man wishing urgently to be elsewhere."