Bush Feared 'Looking Weak' on Iraq

consortiumnews.com

By Robert Parry
October 15, 2005

Less than two months before invading Iraq, George W. Bush fretted that his war plans could be disrupted if United Nations weapons inspectors succeeded in gaining Saddam Hussein’s full cooperation, possibly leaving Bush “looking weak,

Impeachment

Helena Independent Record (MT)
Letters to the Editor

By a margin of 50 percent to 44 percent, Americans want Congress to consider impeaching President Bush if he lied about the war in Iraq, according to a new poll commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

In this space, I called for Bush’s impeachment shortly after the Downing Street Memo was published by a UK newspaper. I’m not surprised that 50 percent of America now considers impeachment a possibility. I’m astounded that 44 percent don’t want Congress to consider impeachment.

Cheney may be target of probe

New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com

BY JAMES GORDON MEEK, THOMAS M. DeFRANK and KENNETH R. BAZINET
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU
Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

WASHINGTON - A special prosecutor's intensifying focus into who outed a CIA spy has raised questions whether Vice President Cheney himself is involved, knowledgeable sources confirmed yesterday.
At least one source and one reporter who have testified in the probe said U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is pursuing Cheney's role in the Valerie Plame affair.

In addition, at least six current and former Cheney staffers - most members of the White House Iraq Group - have testified before the grand jury, including the vice president's top honcho, Lewis (Scooter) Libby, and two top Cheney national security lieutenants.

Plame Plame Plame Plame Plame

Will Fitzgerald learn from Walsh's mistakes?
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/10/17/172421/66

Ari Fleischer Is The One Who Has Flipped (Here's Why) Isikoff UPDATE
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/10/17/201611/91

Cheney's Office Is A Focus in Leak Case

New York Daily News source believes senior White House official has flipped in leak case
http://www.rawstory.com/

Some Times reporters question whether editor can effectively lead in wake of Miller scandal

After Downing Street Update

ANOTHER DOWNING STREET DOCUMENT

Bush to Blair: First Iraq, Then Saudi
By The Independent UK
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/3730

ACTION IN EUROPE

British Mothers to Camp Out at Blair's House
By Stop The War Coalition
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/3645

Danish Suit Against Prime Minister Over War Advances
By Bo Elkjær
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/3663

A MESSAGE FROM JOHN BONIFAZ

Message from John Bonifaz
Dear Friends,
What if you could vote to end the war in Iraq? Soon Massachusetts voters will be able to do so.

Gephardt and Kucinich on the War

Gephardt and Kucinich on the War
By David Swanson

Many will recall that Congressman Dennis Kucinich was a leader in organizing two-thirds of the Democrats in the House to vote against the war that three quarters of them have been afraid to speak out against since it started.

The Democrats' "leader" at that time was Congressman Dick Gephardt, who joined Bush in the rose Garden to promote the war. Well, apparently, Gephardt -- reversing himself far faster than, say, Robert McNamara (and, more to the point, John Kerry) -- last week said his support for the war was a mistake.

This past weekend, Kucinich said something else. At a gathering of several hundred progressive activists in Denver, Kucinich said that if the Democrats nominate a pro-war candidate in 2008, he will not support them. This promise received huge applause from a crowd of mostly die-hard Democrats. It ought to be a promise every one of us makes about 2008 and 2006. Let's make this resolution now: We will only vote for candidates commited to bringing the troops home now.

The point is not to defeat Democrats who are measurably better than Republicans, but to force the Democrats to positions that allow them to win.

Event to Bring Together Pro-Peace and Pro-Death Crowds

MONDAY, OCT. 24, 7:30PM SHERWOOD HIGH SCHOOL, OLNEY, MD

CONTACT: Coordinator and Discussion Moderator: Vic Simon (301) 588-1871 vic.simon@rcn.com

Public Relations Coordinator: Jennifer Carter EMAIL: mitierradc@yahoo.com

Reservations recommended, not necessary….email: mitierradc@yahoo.com with “war talk

Officials unaware of reporter's special status

NY Times' Miller wrote she had 'security clearance' for Iraq WMD reporting
By Jim Miklaszewski
Correspondent
NBC News
Updated: 8:15 p.m. ET Oct. 17, 2005

WASHINGTON — Officials from the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon say they have no idea what New York Times reporter Judith Miller was talking about when she claimed to have been given a "security clearance" while she was embedded with a U.S. Army unit in Iraq in 2003.

In a first-person account of her recent testimony before a federal grand jury, published in the newspaper on Sunday, Miller wrote the Pentagon had given her "clearance to see secret information as part of my assignment 'embedded' with a special military unit hunting for unconventional weapons."

Would You Like the Chicken or the Fish?

http://firedoglake.blogspot.com/

Will Bunch has a great post up, which -- in light of the fact that Fitzgerald now seems to have Cheney in his sites -- sheds a bit of light on why the Special Counsel might have reason to suspect the VP was involved in smearing Joe Wilson. He takes us back to a June July 16, 2003 dinner honoring Gerald Ford attended by Andrea Mitchell. Her husband, Alan Greenspan, was also a guest of honor, meaning Mrs. Greenspan likely sat next to Darth Cheney.

Why is this interesting? Because via the Chicago Tribune, March 5, 2004 we learn that Fitzgerald has subpoenaed not only the guest list, but at least one of the guests from this particular dinner (via TalkLeft):

Conyers and Skelton Write to Rumsfeld

The Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld
Secretary
Department of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We write about reports that journalists who were embedded with U.S. forces in Iraq were given security clearances. In her recounting of discussions with Scooter Libby, the Vice President's Chief of Staff, New York Times reporter Judith Miller, disclosed her belief that she had a security clearance. She specifically wrote, "[d]uring the Iraq war, the Pentagon had given me clearance to see secret information as part of my assignment 'embedded' with a special military unit hunting for unconventional weapons."1 She also noted she was not certain whether her clearance was in existence at the time she met with Mr. Libby.2

Military reverses plan to add Ed Schultz show to Armed Forces Radio

10/17/2005 ) Military reverses plan to add Ed Schultz show to Armed Forces Radio

The United States' military's Armed Forces Radio has reversed a decision to add The Ed Schultz show to their lineup abroad, RAW STORY has learned.

Schultz was told Sept. 29 he would be added to the military's programming today. That decision was reversed this morning. His producers are currently seeking answers from the military.

On his program Friday, Schultz attacked Alison Barber, an Armed Forces official, over President Bush's staged conversation with U.S. troops in Iraq. Barber is an Assistant Secretary of Defense.

Left I mea culpa

Eli Stephens
Left I on the News
http://lefti.blogspot.com

A blockbuster! How could I have missed this! Well, thanks to Mike Whitney's
post at CounterPunch today, my poor eyesight has been cured. Here, buried in
the middle of Judith Miller's article on "Plamegate" is this statement
[emphasis added]:

"My third interview with Mr. Libby occurred on July 12, two days before
Robert D. Novak's column identified Ms. Plame for the first time as a C.I.A.
operative...I told Mr. Fitzgerald I believed that before this call, I might
have called others about Mr. Wilson's wife.

Let's start with the small stuff, the legal bullshit designed to protect

The Heart of the Matter

By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Monday 17 October 2005

Well, I screwed it up real good, didn't I?
- Richard M. Nixon

In a New York Times article published on Sunday, columnist Frank Rich buried the dart right in the center-black. "What matters most in this case," wrote Rich, "is not whether Mr. Rove and Lewis Libby engaged in a petty conspiracy to seek revenge on a whistle-blower, Joseph Wilson, by unmasking his wife, Valerie, a covert C.I.A. officer. What makes Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation compelling, whatever its outcome, is its illumination of a conspiracy that was not at all petty: the one that took us on false premises into a reckless and wasteful war in Iraq. That conspiracy was instigated by Mr. Rove's boss, George W. Bush, and Mr. Libby's boss, Dick Cheney."

The Nexus of Politics and Terror

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6210240/

October 12, 2005 -- MSNBC -- (Keith Olbermann)
The Nexus of Politics and Terror

Secaucus - Last Thursday on Countdown, I referred to the latest terror threat - the reported bomb plot against the New York City subway system - in terms of its timing. President Bush's speech about the war on terror had come earlier the same day, as had the breaking news of the possible indictment of Karl Rove in the CIA leak investigation.
I suggested that in the last three years there had been about 13 similar coincidences - a political downturn for the administration, followed by a "terror event" - a change in alert status, an arrest, a warning.

"Run Amok" Judith Miller Goes Down in Plames

By Dave Lindorff
http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/

I cannot remember having as entertaining a time reading the New York Times as I did this past Sunday reading the page one story on Judith Miller and her self-imposed jail time.

Really, the three reporters assigned to report on her release from jail, where she was being held for contempt for failing to reveal her source and what had been said to her regarding CIA agent Valerie Plame, and on her own account of her four-hour grand jury questioning, published the same day, handled their difficult task brilliantly.

Without outright calling their co-worker a liar and a shill for the Bush administration's war marketing campaign, they left almost no doubt in the reader's mind not only that this was in fact what she was, but that the Times’ senior management and many of her colleagues at the paper thought exactly the same thing.

Blogging on Judy

This blog digs into the Judith Miller journalistic embarassment:
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/

Miller, The Fourth Estate And The Warfare State

TomPaine.com
Norman Solomon
October 17, 2005
Norman Solomon is the author of the new book War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. For information, go to: www.WarMadeEasy.com

More than any other New York Times reporter, Judith Miller took the lead with stories claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Now, a few years later, she’s facing heightened scrutiny in the aftermath of a pair of articles that appeared in the Times on Sunday-- a lengthy investigative piece about Miller plus her own first-person account of how she got entangled in the case of the Bush administration’s “outing

Should The New York Times Fire Judith Miller and Apologize to Readers?

TODAY'S DEMOCRACY NOW!:

* Iraqi Feminist Yanar Mohammed on the Iraq Constitution Vote *

In Iraq, early election results suggest that voters have approved a new
US-backed constitution. Millions of ballots are still being counted two days
after the referendum which was a simple "Yes" or "No" on whether to accept
the document.

Listen/Watch/Read
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/10/17/1422236

* Should The New York Times Fire Judith Miller and Apologize to Readers? *

On Sunday, Miller revealed that she spoke with Scooter Libby about
undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame weeks before her name appeared in the

Cheney May Be Entangled in CIA Leak Investigation, People Say

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- A special counsel is focusing on whether Vice President Dick Cheney played a role in leaking a covert CIA agent's name, according to people familiar with the probe that already threatens top White House aides Karl Rove and Lewis Libby.

The special counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald, has questioned current and former officials of President George W. Bush's administration about whether Cheney was involved in an effort to discredit the agent's husband, Iraq war critic and former U.S. diplomat Joseph Wilson, according to the people.

Fitzgerald has questioned Cheney's communications adviser Catherine Martin and former spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise and ex-White House aide Jim Wilkinson about the vice president's knowledge of the anti-Wilson campaign and his dealings on it with Libby, his chief of staff, the people said. The information came from multiple sources, who requested anonymity because of the secrecy and political sensitivity of the investigation.

Partisan War Syndrome

http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2354/

In These Times – 10/17/05

Partisan War Syndrome
The left falls victim to a debilitating disease.

By David Sirota

A disease is running rampant through the American left these days. Its symptoms are intense and increasingly pervasive in every corner of the self-proclaimed "progressive" coalition. A good name for the disease could be "Partisan War Syndrome" - and it is eating away at what remains of progressives' ideological underpinnings and the Democratic Party's ability to win elections over the long haul.

The disease is simple to understand: It leads the supposedly "ideological" grassroots left to increasingly subvert its overarching ideology on issues in favor of pure partisan concerns. That may sound great at first glance. Democratic Party officials always talk about a need for "big tent unity" and subsequently try to downplay ideology. But as a trait of the grassroots and not just the party, Partisan War Syndrome could be positively devastating not just for issue advocacy, but also for Democrats' political aspirations as well.

Bush to Blair: First Iraq, Then Saudi

By Marie Woolf
The Independent UK
Sunday 16 October 2005

George Bush told the Prime Minister two months before the invasion of Iraq that Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran and North Korea may also be dealt with over weapons of mass destruction, a top secret Downing Street memo shows.

The US President told Tony Blair, in a secret telephone conversation in January 2003 that he "wanted to go beyond Iraq".

He implied that the military action against Saddam Hussein was only a first step in the battle against WMD proliferation in a series of countries.

Mr Bush said he "wanted to go beyond Iraq in dealing with WMD proliferation", says the letter on Downing Street paper, marked secret and personal.

Tomdispatch Interview: Juan Cole on George Bush's Iraq

The Treasure, the Strongbox, and the Crowbar
A Tomdispatch Interview with Juan Cole (Part 1)

The man who starts my every on-line day is standing at the door. He's small-framed with short, wavy hair and fragile-looking specs. Nattily dressed in a dark suit and tie, he apologizes, as he enters, for being so formally togged out on a Sunday morning. As it happens, I'm but a pit stop on the way to an afternoon TV interview at the PBS program Great Decisions on one of his specialties, Iran.

This is, of course, Juan Cole. His website, Informed Comment, first came on line in April 2002, almost a year before the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq. As he recalls his life back then, "I was just a Midwestern college professor. I taught my courses and wrote my articles about the Middle East. My interests were in religious institutions, religious movements, especially Shiite Islam and Sunni modernism. I knew where these movements came from. I knew the history of the Shiite clergy in Najaf back to the eighteenth century. And I had lived in the Middle East off and on for a significant period of time. When my blog began, it was little more than gardening for me, a small hobby on the side to put up a few thoughts every once in a while, initially read by fifty to a hundred people a day." Now, it is counted among the top hundred blogs at Technorati.com, a site which follows such things, and may be one of the more linked to blogs on Earth. American reporters trapped in hotels in Baghdad read it regularly for the latest news from Iraq. The secret of his success? "I type fast," he says with a sly smile. "Seventy words a minute."

Rock 'n Rove: Johnny Rivers Hit Inspires 'Secret Agent Plame'

Editor and Publisher
By E&P Staff
Published: October 12, 2005 9:25 PM ET

NEW YORK Finally the Valerie Plame/CIA leak scandal has a song some (perhaps only the left) can dance to: a takeoff on the old Johnny Rivers hit, "Secret Agent Plame."

It's featured on the soundtrack of a DVD film about Karl Rove that's available at TakeBackTheMedia.com, titled "Rove's War." The song is written and sung (also with lead guitar) by someone whose name appears to be Symbolman. He also produced and directed the film.

The Rivers song itself was the theme to the TV series "Secret Agent Man."

The Web site has a link to an mp3 of the song and a 12-minute preview of the film.

"No War" Hats, Stickers, T-Shirts

Buy stickers, hats, t-shirts.
25 percent of the price will go to support AfterDowningStreet!
LINK

antiwar rally in Zephyrhills

25-50 protesters expected at antiwar rally in Zephyrhills
The Nature Coast Coalition for Peace and Justice picked east Pasco for its rally to represent middle America.
By MOLLY MOORHEAD
St Petersburg Times (Florida)
Published October 14, 2005

------------------------------

ZEPHYRHILLS - When Brian Moore first began organizing protests against the war in Iraq, he drew fire of all kinds.

Catcalls, obscene gestures and swear words.

But in the past several months, Moore, 62, of Spring Hill said the reactions have shifted.

"We've just seen a sea change," he said, in the form of thumbs-up from drivers and honking horns.

The Iraqi Constitution: A Referendum for Disaster

By Phyllis Bennis
Institute for Policy Studies
Thursday 13 October 2005

The constitutional process culminating in Saturday's referendum is not a sign of Iraqi sovereignty and democracy taking hold, but rather a consolidation of U.S. influence and control. Whether Iraq's draft constitution is approved or rejected, the decision is likely to make the current situation worse.

The ratification process reflects U.S., not Iraqi urgency, and is resulting in a vote in which most Iraqis have not even seen the draft, and amendments are being reopened and negotiated by political parties and elites in Baghdad as late as four days before the planned referendum.

Using Asia's Poor to Build US Bases in Iraq

By David Phinney
CorpWatch
Saturday 15 October 2005

Companies like Halliburton are importing 'third country nationals' - and putting them to work in horrible conditions - to fulfill their U.S. government contracts.

Jing Soliman left his family in the Philippines for what sounded like a sure thing - a job as a warehouse worker at Camp Anaconda in Iraq. His new employer, Prime Projects International (PPI) of Dubai, is a major, but low-profile, subcontractor to Halliburton's multi-billion-dollar deal with the Pentagon to provide support services to U.S. forces.

But Soliman wouldn't be making anything near the salaries - starting $80,000 a year and often topping $100,000 - that Halliburton's engineering and construction unit, Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR) pays to the truck drivers, construction workers, office workers, and other laborers it recruits from the United States. Instead, the 35-year-old father of two anticipated $615 a month - including overtime. For a 40-hour work week, that would be just over $3 an hour. But for the 12-hour day, seven-day week that Soliman says was standard for him and many contractor employees in Iraq, he actually earned $1.56 an hour.

THEY'RE GOING TO TRY TO EXEMPT THE CIA FROM THE TORTURE PROHIBITION

By People's Email Network

That's right. There are evil forces still working behind the scenes to try to cut the heart out of the anti-torture provision, which was passed 90-9 by the Senate, in the conference on the defense bill with the House. What part of NO TORTURE don't they get? They want to cut the CIA a blanket "get out of atrocity free" card, in actual effect, by omission, to AUTHORIZE torture by its worst offenders. Please contact all your members of the House and Senate at once and tell them this attempt to subvert the will of the people is a further outrage!

http://www.nocrony.com/no_torture.htm

Message from John Bonifaz

Message from John Bonifaz

Dear Friends,

What if you could vote to end the war in Iraq? Soon Massachusetts voters will be able to do so.

I am writing to tell you about HomeFromIraqNow.org, an exciting campaign that is getting underway in Massachusetts. The goal of HomeFromIraqNow.org is to place a binding initiative on the Massachusetts ballot to prevent the governor from sending any more National Guard troops to Iraq. A yes vote on this initiative will not only stop future deployments of the National Guard to Iraq, but will also send a very strong message to our elected leaders that we want them to end the war and bring all of our troops home now.

ARMY'S TOP ABUSE COP KILLS HIMSELF IN IRAQ

Captain's body is found at barracks
Mirror (UK)
By Chris Hughes Security Correspondent

THE Army officer in charge of investigating abuse of civilians by British forces in Iraq has been found dead, it was revealed yesterday.

Royal Military Police Captain Ken Masters, 40, is believed to have killed himself. His body was found on Saturday evening.

An army colleague is said to have made the grim discovery in Waterloo Lines camp within the main British military base at Basra airport.

Ministry of Defence sources said last night it is not believed Capt Masters had left a suicide note and it is not yet known how he died. No firearms are believed to have been involved.

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