Sydney Morning Herald
A leaked document from Britain's Defence Ministry says the British and US governments are planning to reduce their troop levels in Iraq by more than half by mid-2006, the Mail on Sunday newspaper reported.
The memo, reportedly written by the Defence Minister, John Reid, said Britain would reduce its troop numbers to 3,000 from 8,500 by the middle of next year.
"We have a commitment to hand over to Iraqi control in Al Muthanna and Maysan provinces [two of the four provinces under British control in southern Iraq] in October 2005 and in the other two, Dhi Qar and Basra, in April 2006," the memo was reported to have said.
Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.
By Liz Soares
In 1990, I began working with children, and was struck by a curious new phrase that had become part of the lexicon.
"I didn't do it!"
Of course, I was familiar with the line. I was a child once and remembered denial as a sometimes effective line of defense. What I found amazing was that the kids were shrieking the phrase as they were "acting out."
Take the little girl in the supermarket who maliciously rammed a cart into the dairy case. She turned to her mother and shrugged. "I didn't do it!"
Out of the mouths of babes came the first evidence of a new morality: lying with a straight face. Lying even when you're caught red-handed.
Senator Barbara Boxer Speech at the Commonwealth Club
San Francisco July 6, 2005
It is a great honor to be back at the Commonwealth Club.
When I decided to give a speech about Iraq, I knew I wanted to give it here. That’s because of the pivotal role the Commonwealth Club has played for more than 100 years, fostering real dialogue on the critical challenges that define the times in which we live.
Today, those challenges are vast, from the Supreme Court vacancy to the attack on Social Security. But the war in Iraq is the most daunting because the status quo—of Americans dying, of Iraqis dying, of young soldiers coming home by the thousands with injuries to mind and body—weighs so heavily on all Americans.
ROBERT FISK SYNDICATED COLUMNIST
Friday, July 8, 2005
"If you bomb our cities," Osama bin Laden said in a recent videotape, "we will bomb yours."' It was clear Britain would be a target ever since British Prime Minister Tony Blair decided to join President Bush's "war on terror" and his invasion of Iraq. We had, as they say, been warned. The G-8 summit was obviously chosen, well in advance, as Attack Day.
It's no use Blair telling us, "They will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear." They are not trying to destroy "what we hold dear." They are trying to get public opinion to force Blair to withdraw from Iraq, out of his alliance with the United States, out of his adherence to Bush's policies in the Middle East. The Spanish paid the price for their support for Bush -- and Spain's subsequent retreat from Iraq proved that the Madrid bombings achieved their objectives -- while the Australians were made to suffer in Bali.
By Jim Lobe
WASHINGTON - Thursday's terror attacks against London's public transportation system, which killed at least 37 people, came amid indications of growing skepticism here about the effectiveness of US President George W Bush's "war on terror", the policy initiative that earned him his highest public-approval ratings.
The Gallup organization released a new survey this week which found that 41% of US respondents believed that neither the US and its allies nor the "terrorists" were currently winning the war and that a two-and-a-half year high of 20% of the public believed that the "terrorists are winning".
A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW
In my judgment, a smear campaign operated out of the White House is unethical, to say the least. The First Amendment specifically says that nothing should be done to abridge a citizen's right to petition his government to redress a grievance. The attack on me, through the compromise of Valerie's identity, is an assault on not just my petition to redress a grievance, but it is also a deterrent to other citizens who might step forward. That is why I have always argued that Rove should be fired, even if no indictments are forthcoming.
* * *
If there's a list of people who have fearlessly stood up for democracy, decency and the truth against the corrupt buzzsaw of the Bush Administration, Ambassador Joe Wilson is certainly at the top of the list.
Merrimack River Current
By Michael Cook/ Sitting In
Friday, July 8, 2005
That was how many times George Walker Bush invoked 9-11 in his speech to the nation and the world on June 28.
What is difficult to understand is why so many Americans still believe there was a connection between 9-11 and Saddam Hussein's regime.
They forget that in September of 2002, bonny Prince George himself said he had seen no substantive evidence linking Saddam to the attacks on NYC or the Pentagon.
They forget the 9-11 Commission found Saddam had no involvement in Dark Tuesday.
"An assault on Iraq will inflame world opinion and jeopardise security and peace everywhere. London, as one of the major world cities, has a great deal to lose from war and a lot to gain from peace, international cooperation and global stability.
A letter penned by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) calling on Bush adviser Karl Rove to explain or resign over his role in outing a CIA agent has garnered a handful of signatories in the House, RAW STORY has learned.
Just 17 members have signed. Finding congressmembers to sign a letter during a Congressional recess is often difficult, and Conyers' office has extended a deadline for others to sign on until next Wednesday.
The current signers are Reps. John Conyers, Jr.; Maurice Hinchey; Sheila Jackson Lee; Sam Farr; Diane Watson; Barbara Lee; Zoe Lofgren; Danny Davis; Henry Waxman; Corrine Brown; Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick; Raul Grijalva; James McGovern; Bernie Sanders; Lynn Woolsey; Mike Honda; and Carolyn Maloney.
Published on Friday, July 8, 2005 by Dawn, Pakistan's leading English-speaking newspaper.
by Huck Gutman
The writer is a professor at the University of Vermont in the US.
Bush is quite likely the worst president in the 200-year history of the United States. This has enormous implications for the international community, since his country is not a small republic like the Maldives or Andorra, but a global behemoth.
His power as the most powerful man on earth derives not from a particular intelligence or set of talents, but by virtue of his position as the leader of the dominant military and economic nation on our planet.
Published on Friday, July 8, 2005 by Arianna Online
by Arianna Huffington
How is it that the second most powerful man in America is about to take a fall and the mainstream media are largely taking a pass? Could it be that the fear of Karl Rove and this White House is so great that not even the biggest of the media big boys are willing to take them on? Does the answer to that one go without saying?
Chatter about the Rove story has come to dominate the downtime at the Aspen Institute's five-day Ideas Festival. Whenever participants are not in sessions, they're gathering in small groups and dissecting, analyzing, and speculating about the outcome of this surprisingly slow-breaking scandal.
I recently had the opportunity to conduct a quick e-mail interview with Cindy Sheehan, co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace. Cindy and the GSFP were present in Washington on June 15, 2005, to meet with Rep. John Conyers and other members of Congress to demand a Resolution of Inquiry into the Downing Street Memo and related documents.
Cindy says that "the mission of GSFP is to stop the war so other families won't have to suffer as we are." The organization's web site states a dual purpose: To bring an end to the occupation of Iraq, and to be a support group for Gold Star Families.
By David Sirota
You knew it was coming, didn't you? That's right - within 24 hours, the right-wing spin machine is up and working to transform the tragic London bombing into a way to attack progressives as weak on terrorism. Sadly, it is a tactic that continues to emasculate many Democrats, who still can't seem to find the guts to stand up to this nonsense.
Exhibit A is this morning's Wall Street Journal opinion page - the place that essentially re-prints talking points from the Republican National Committee. There James Taranto says that "certain people don't remember" that "an attack on a much worse scale happened in the U.S. less than four years ago." Really, James? Who are those people? Are you speaking of people who have become senile in that time?
Forty Events on July 23rd
Mourn the Losses, Learn the Truth, and Investigate the Lies
There are currently 40 events planned around the country for Saturday, July 23, the three-year anniversary of the famous meeting on Downing Street. It's definitely not too late to make it 41. Early next week we'll announce these events to the media.
By Dave Richardson
New Paltz - Last night, more than 500 people hung on Maurice Hinchey's every word.
The Hurley Democrat leaned into the podium and looked gravely at the audience.
"We are in danger of losing our republic," he said. He was far from joking.
The topic of discussion: the so-called Downing Street memos, a series of documents recounting conversations between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and high-ranking British officials in 2002, during the buildup to the war in Iraq.
The memos, which have reportedly been authenticated by British officials, paint a picture of a Bush administration apparently set on war with Iraq long before the decision to invade was supposedly made and bent on "fixing the facts and the intelligence around the policy."
News & Record (Greensboro, NC)
BY KATHE LATHAM
I was stunned yet again by the media's coverage of the president's speech on the war in Iraq and wondered anew just how far we have wandered from practicing true democracy. In a democratic society, our communication systems should reflect a diverse participation and representation in the framing and articulation of major issues that so deeply effect us all. Recent polls show that more than 51 percent of the American people now believe this war is wrong. We are now clear that most of what we were told to be the reasons for rushing to war, against world opinion, are now false. There were no weapons of mass destruction, no depleted uranium, and there is no connection between Sept. 11 and the war in Iraq. The recent Downing Street memo confirms our worst suspicions - that the administration wanted to go to war so badly in Iraq that the intelligence was fixed to fit the policy.
July 6, 2005 Wednesday
This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.
The use of anonymous sources is certainly in the news this week between the case of Judith Miller and Matt Cooper and the publication of Bob Woodward's book about Deep Throat. We'll talk with Woodward tomorrow. Right now, we're going to hear the story of how an anonymous source leaked the so-called Downing Street Memo to my guest, Michael Smith. He is a reporter for the Sunday Times of London. That now famous memo was one of several that were leaked to Smith. Six memos were leaked to him in September 2004 when he was working for The Daily Telegraph.
By Hallie Arnold , DailyFreeman.com
NEW PALTZ - The Downing Street memos, a series of communications that some say proves the Bush administration fabricated its justification for the war in Iraq, should be the subject of a full-blown Congressional inquiry, U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey told the crowd assembled for a presentation on the memos on the SUNY New Paltz campus Thursday night.
But the lack of checks and balances in the "monolithic" government, in which both the Congress and Senate favor the administration, will make mounting such an investigation a difficult prospect for those lawmakers who have questioned and continue to question both the impetus for the war in Iraq, and America's continued involvement there, Hinchey, D-Hurley, said.
Deceits enervate an Iraq exit
By DOUG BANDOW, CATO Institute
WASHINGTON -- President George W. Bush's latest attempt to justify his Iraq policy with a televised address to America comes as more evidence emerges that the invasion of Iraq was a war of choice. In arguing that the United States must persevere because Iraq has become "a central front in the war on terror," he sounds like the man who kills his parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court for being an orphan.
It has long been evident that leading administration officials desired war against Iraq long before Sept. 11, 2001. A series of leaked British government documents demonstrate that the lengthy "debate" over Iraq was Kabuki theater, irrelevant to the preordained result.
By Fox 40
Congressman Maurice Hinchey, D-NY, spoke out against the war in Iraq at a community forum last night. The forum was held at Binghamton’s Christ Episcopal Church and focused on a recently leaked Downing Street memo. Hinchey said the memo, printed in Britain’s The Sunday Times, seemed to reveal that American intelligence was manipulated in order to gain public support for the invasion of Iraq. Hinchey fielded questions about the memo and allegations that the Bush administration was intent on war, disregarding the potential consequences. Hinchey avoided questions about whether Bush should be impeached over the issue, but said there is rapidly growing dissent in Congress over the war.
By David T. Pyne (07/07/05)
An increasing percentage of the American people and U.S. congressional and military leaders are coming to the conclusion that the United States is losing the counterinsurgency war in Iraq. Car bombings and attacks by insurgents killed 80 U.S. troops in May. An additional 47 U.S. soldiers were killed during the first half of June. A total of 1,730 of our troops have died in Iraq thus far and at least 13,000 have been wounded, many very seriously, according to Pentagon figures with no end to the war or the carnage in sight. These casualty numbers resemble the U.S. military casualty count during the first four to five years of the Vietnam war between 1961 and early 1966.
The Daily Republic
By Kelvin Wade
"Why, of course, the people don't want war, (but) the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
- Hermann Goering, April 18, 1946
There's a reason why President Bush's speech on Iraq last week went unheard by most Americans and hasn't changed his sagging poll numbers. He and his administration have a credibility problem that Democrats and Independents have seen for some time and some Republicans are starting to acknowledge.
Earlier we posted a guide to doing a dramatic recreation that included a bit of humor. Here's a version that plays it completely straight. Both can be found with additional materials at
Dramatic Recreation of the Downing Street Meeting
A One Act Play
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
Then Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon
Attorney General Lord Goldsmith
Sir Richard Dearlove, the Chief of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI6)
Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee John Scarlett
Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, Chief of Defence Staff, head of Britain’s armed forces
By David Sirota
Media Matters points out that Fox News' top anchorman, Brit Hume, gave us a glimpse into just how cynical, greedy and disgusting the right-wing's outlook on the world is:
"My first thought when I heard - just on a personal basis, when I heard there had been this attack and I saw the futures this morning, which were really in the tank, I thought, 'Hmmm, time to buy.'"
- Fox News's Brit Hume, 7/7/05
That's right - his first thought wasn't "how tragic," or "let's say a prayer for the dead," or "how can I help the victims" - his first thought was, there was a terrorist attack, how can I personally profit off it? In fact, his impulse to use the bloodshed to make himself money was so intense, he actually voiced it on national television (FYI - in case you'd like to voice your displeasure, Brit's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and his office number is 202-824-6300).
In talking about the Downing Street Minutes these days, you may be asked for an opinion about the attacks in London on July 7, 2005. Here are some suggested points to make:
The bombings are completely regrettable and inexcusable. The comments of Fox News commentator Brian Kilmeade that these bombings work to the advantage of the West by focusing us on terrorism as an important issue are disgraceful. It is to no one's advantage for this cycle of violence to spiral further out of control.
But the bombings do remind us that the Bush administration took the focus off Al Qaeda before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and then as quickly as possible took the focus off Al Qaeda again in order to put it on Saddam Hussein, who had no ties to Al Quaeda and played no role in the 9-11 attacks.
By Brad Blog
And the Bush Administration Continues to Lie About It...
As London erupts, and Bush tells us "the war on terror goes on", Eric Brewer, BTCNews.com's man in the White House has a timely posting today on the Administration's continued...
As London erupts, and Bush tells us "the war on terror goes on", Eric Brewer, BTCNews.com's man in the White House has a timely posting today on the Administration's continued fudging of numbers in their Terrorism Reports.
The number of terror incidents continue to rise, even as the Administration attempts to downplay, fudge, obfuscate the numbers in various statements and annual reports wherever possible.
By Tom Hayden
So much for Tony Blair's hope to "put Iraq behind us." The dustbin now awaits George Bush's argument that "we must take the fight to the enemy over there so we don't have to fight them at home." Imperial fantasies, as shattered as the London transit system. The G-8 leaders feign innocence while the innocents die.
At first we may see the militarist impulse. As the pompous Robert Kaplan has written, "in a world of tribes and thugs, manliness goes a long way." (imperial hubris, 240).
But reality will quickly sink in. Already Denmark and Italy are warned that they are next. The "coalition of the willing" has dwindled from 34 to 20, and will continue to disintegrate, leaving the US with 20,000 stateless mercenaries subsidized by America's taxpayers as the largest ally in Iraq.
By David Corn
July 07, 2005
David Corn writes The Loyal Opposition twice a month for TomPaine.com. Corn is also the Washington editor of The Nation and is the author of The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception (Crown Publishers).
As Judith Miller of The New York Times sits in jail for refusing to reveal a source to Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor investigating the Bush administration leak that identified CIA officer Valerie Wilson (nee Plame), the question remains, why is Robert Novak, the conservative columnist who published the original leak, enjoying his freedom?
Hinchey To Host Two Community Forums
To Discuss Implications Of Downing Street Memos
Congressman Will Visit Binghamton and New Paltz To Highlight Bush Administration's Deception and Manipulation Of The American Public and Media Surrounding Iraq War
Washington, DC - Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) will hold two community forums next week to discuss the implications of the Downing Street memos and other information recently uncovered that further calls into question the Bush Administration's case for war in Iraq. Hinchey's first community forum on the Downing Street memos will take place on Wednesday, July 6 from 5:00-7:00pm at the Christ Episcopal Church located at the corner of Henry and Washington Streets in Binghamton. On Thursday, July 7, Hinchey will hold the second forum from 7:00-9:00pm at the Coykendall Science Building Auditorium at SUNY New Paltz.