November 09, 2005
Peering Into Ahmad Chalabi's Cesspool & What About New Jersey, Virginia and New York City?
By Steven C. Clemons, The Washington Note
Democrats won big in the New Jersey and Virginia Governor's races -- and a pragmatist who happens to be Republican won big in New York City. Lots of folks don't like Bloomberg, but in my mind, he's an old-line Republican centrist, and we need those back in bigger numbers.
The centrist Governor in California who went astray by getting in the way of gay civil rights and cuddling up too much with fundamentalist zealots got chastened -- BIG TIME -- with all four of his ballot initiatives crashing and burning. Maybe Arnold will now isolate the far right.
Excerpt of forthcoming editorial from the Nation magazine as quoted in the Washington Post:
"The war has also become the single greatest threat to our national security. Its human and economic costs are running out of control, with no end in sight. It has driven America's reputation in the world to a historic low point. . . .
"The Nation therefore takes the following stand: We will not support any candidate for national office who does not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq a major issue of his or her campaign. We urge all voters to join us in adopting this position. Many worry that the aftermath of withdrawal will be ugly, and there is good reason to think they are right. But we can now see that the consequences of staying will be uglier still. Fear of facing the consequences of prolonging the war will be worse.
Fallujah - The Hidden Massacre
Veteran admits: Bodies melted away before us.
Shocking revelation RAI News 24.
This video contains images that depict the reality and horror of war.
It should only be viewed by a mature audience
U.S. used chemical weapons in Fallujah- Documentary
11/8/2005 12:55:00 PM GMT
LINK TO ORIGINAL
"Phosphorus burns bodies, in fact it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone..."
Italian state TV, Rai, broadcast a documentary which showed evidence that U.S. forces used phosphorus bombs against Iraqi civilians during the bloody offensive on the city of Fallujah in November 2004, BBC reported.
The film was broadcast between 0730 and 0800 in the morning on Rai's rolling news channel with a warning that the some of the images would be disturbing.
US forces 'used chemical weapons' during assault on city of Fallujah
By Peter Popham, The Independent News, Online Edition
Published: 08 November 2005
LINK TO ORIGINAL
Powerful new evidence emerged yesterday that the United States dropped massive quantities of white phosphorus on the Iraqi city of Fallujah during the attack on the city in November 2004, killing insurgents and civilians with the appalling burns that are the signature of this weapon.
Ever since the assault, which went unreported by any Western journalists, rumours have swirled that the Americans used chemical weapons on the city.
Bush, GOP mired in political quicksand
NBC/WSJ poll shows president at new lows in all job approval categories
By Mark Murray
Political reporter, NBC News
WASHINGTON - Democrats might be overstating that their gubernatorial victories Tuesday in New Jersey and Virginia are glaring signs for next year’s midterm congressional elections and beyond, but one thing is pretty clear: President Bush and the GOP seem to be mired in political quicksand.
The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, released Wednesday night, finds that all five of Bush’s job approval ratings — on overall job performance, the economy, foreign policy, terrorism and Iraq — are at all-time lows in the survey. In addition, the CIA leak scandal seems to be taking a toll on the administration, with nearly 80 percent believing the indictment of Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter
H Res 505, introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich to require the Bush administration to turn over all documents relating to the White House Iraq Group, failed to be reported out of the House International Relations Committee on a 23-25 vote this morning.
H Res 505, which was co-sponsored by 104 House members, picked up two Republican votes from Rep. Jim Leach and Rep. Ron Paul. Two Democratic committee members failed to appear for the vote: Rep. Eni Faleomavaega of American Samoa and Rep. Howard Berman of California's 28th district.
Please contact the following House members to thank them for their extremely hard work on this resolution:
Please ALSO contact the two Democrats on the committee who failed even to show up for the vote, and ask why this happened:
TEXT OF H RES 505:
So, we welcomed Chalabi and chanted and shouted and spoke to the media. Apparently the questions we were asking were also asked inside the event. Check out this blog with photos:
DISHONORING THE DEAD AT THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE
Group Hosts Major Misleader of American People on Iraq
WASHINGTON, DC -- A broad coalition of organizations opposed to the war in Iraq will be demonstrating from 2PM to 4PM on Wednesday, November 9th against the appearance of Ahmed Chalabi at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.
By Tyler Marshall, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi on Wednesday denied that he deliberately fed the U.S. faulty intelligence to strengthen the case for invading Iraq, calling such accusations "an urban myth."
Chalabi's comments to reporters came after he met privately with Bush administration officials and delivered a speech at a conservative think-tank here, in which he discussed his vision of Iraq's political future.
Chalabi also rebutted accusations that he passed U.S. security secrets to Iran and denied knowledge of an FBI inquiry into the allegations.
By the Back Bone Campaign
Republicans Undermine Congressional Oversight by Rejecting H. Res. 505 & 'No Show' Democrats Help
By Bill Moyer
This morning in DC, the oversight legislation, H. Res. 505, a Resolution of Inquiry into the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) was stonewalled in committee, losing 23 to 25. This bill, introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and vigorously supported by Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) who sits on the reviewing House International Relations Committee, was defeated by two votes. The Republicans members of the committee were obviously very aware that the stakes were high. It is reported the Republican Chair Henry Hyde was personally calling members to make sure they showed. A number of Democrats were late, but by the end, all but two were present and accounted for and voted favor in H. Res. 505.
Road to war
Updated: 1:56 p.m. ET Nov. 8, 2005
It was September of 2002, just three days before the emotional one-year anniversary of 9/11 and the giant wound of the al Qaeda attack on New York was still open.
The Bush administration had assembled a media strategy team known as the White House Iraq Group. It consisted of top officials, including those in the vice president’s office whose goals starting after Labor Day was to sell a war on Iraq, which had no detectable role on 9/11.
On September 7, 2002, White House chief of staff Andy Card referred to the effort in an interview with The New York Times and said, “From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.
By Steve Cobble, Huffington Post
The Republican majority on the House International Relations Committee today again refused to investigate its own party. Barely.
With a 4-member advantage on the IR committee over the Democrats, the GOP managed to hang on to a 25 to 23 vote win, defeating H.Res. 505, Rep. Dennis Kucinich's attempt to actually investigate the secret activities of the WHIG, his Resolution of Inquiry (ROI) to look into the White House Iraq Group.
More than 100 House Democrats joined Kucinich in cosponsoring this resolution, even before it never made it to the floor!
Only 2 Republicans stood up for finding out the truth--Rep. Jim Leach of Iowa and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Paul, who seems to be an extremely rare species, an honest conservative who is angry about the lies that took us to war, even had the decency to publicly compliment Kucinich for being consistent by not just investigating the war now but also opposing it beforehand.
By Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi offered Wednesday to be questioned by the Senate on his role in prewar Iraq but refused to apologize for fueling allegations that Saddam Hussein had hidden caches of weapons of mass destruction.
Accorded a warm reception by the Bush administration, Chalabi lined up Vice President Dick Cheney and five Cabinet officers, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, for meetings this week and next.
Chalabi, whose reputation in Washington has soared, fallen and now revived, was welcomed by administration officials whom he briefed on Iraq's reconstruction efforts, particularly on energy and financial issues.
By Warren P. Strobel and Jonathan S. Landay
Knight Ridder Newspapers
WASHINGTON - Controversial Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi refused to apologize Wednesday for providing the U.S. government with false information on Saddam Hussein's weapons and ties to terrorists, calling charges that he did so an "urban myth."
Chalabi, now a deputy Iraqi prime minister with a chance to become the country's next leader, is the former exile whose group lobbied vigorously for a U.S. invasion of Iraq. The group, the Iraqi National Congress, provided intelligence agencies and reporters with defectors whose accounts of bioweapons factories and terror training sites proved to be bogus.
By Carol Giacomo, Diplomatic Correspondent, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iraqi deputy prime minister Ahmad Chalabi was welcomed on Wednesday by a U.S. administration that once shunned him, sparking denunciations by critics who blame him for discredited pre-war intelligence.
A Bush administration favorite who fell from favor after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Chalabi achieved a kind of political rehabilitation on a high-profile Washington visit that included meetings with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.
He is due to meet Vice President Dick Cheney on Thursday. Sessions with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Treasury Secretary John Snow are set for next week.
November 9 , 2005
The Honorable Christopher Shays
Subcommittee on National Security,
Emerging Threats, and International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. Chairman:
I understand that you intend to hold a private briefing for members of the Government Reform Committee with Iraq Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi on Thursday, November 10, at 10:00 a.m., to discuss Iraq’s reconstruction and political future. I agree that Mr. Chalabi should come before the Committee, but he should do so at a public hearing where he appears under oath to answer questions about his role in providing false intelligence to the United States, as well as the topics you propose.
By David Sirota
As most know, Senate Democrats still do not have a unified message on Iraq, despite the courageous efforts of people like Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) to demand answers from the Bush administration. What's interesting, however, is that some of the party's big-name Senate candidates in 2006 have a message of their own.
Today, Montana Senate candidate Jon Tester (D) announced his strong support for a serious exit strategy from Iraq that would bring our troops home (In full disclosure - I am not officially taking sides in this primary, but nonetheless this is clearly a good/smart/courageous move). The timing is particularly good: a new poll here in Montana shows President Bush's 51 percent of folks disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job. Those are extraordinarily bad numbers for a Republican incumbent in a red state like Montana. Meanwhile, Montanans support for the current Iraq War policy continues to plummet.
From Tomdispatch today, "The White House Ethics Lesson (From the Hope Springs Eternal Department)" http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=35043
in which I consider whether the Bush White House, at its present nadir, has reached a "tipping point" or can catch a glimmer of light at tunnel's end. I suggest -- please note: this is satire -- that it can and cite recent evidence from the Pentagon and the White House Counsel's office that this might be so. I especially explore the presidentially mandated "ethics lessons" being offered this week to White House staffers and speculate on some of the ethical questions and answers being explored. For example:
By Tim Grieve, www.Salon.com
We spend a lot of our time wondering what the 60 percent of the American people who disapprove of George W. Bush's job performance now were thinking on Election Day a year ago. Yes, there's more evidence of administration ineptitude now than there was in November 2004. An additional 900 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq since then. The administration has flubbed an attempt to reform Social Security, bumbled its way through a natural disaster and stumbled on a Supreme Court nomination since then. And, of course, the chief of staff to the vice president has been indicted since then.
Kucinich: House International Relations Committee Once Again Shuns War Oversight Duties
House International Relations Committee Narrowly Rejects Kucinich Resolution of Inquiry On White House Iraq Group (WHIG)
Today, by a narrow 25-23 vote, the House International Relations Committee rejected a Resolution of Inquiry, offered by Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) and co-sponsored by 106 Members of Congress, demanding all documents produced by the White House Iraq Group (WHIG).
The Kucinich Resolution (H. Res. 505) demanded that the White House turn over to Congress all white papers, minutes, notes, emails or other communications kept by the WHIG. Kucinich's resolution was supported by all Democrats at the committee hearing and Congressman Paul (R-TX) and Congressman Leach (R-IA).
By Arianna Huffington
Getting ready to take my 14 year old to school this morning, I turned on C-SPAN 2. “Oh, no, not C-SPAN 2 again,
Read transcript of David Airhart's entire talk at
"When I realized how over the top it was, was after An Nasiriyah. We were supposed to set up a perimeter around the city. We were out of sand bags. We didn’t have enough sand bags to protect our holes from small arms fire and things like that. Conveniently, there was a flour truck driver riding a truck down the highway that was full of canvas flour bags. And sand bags are made out of canvas, so this was perfect for sand bags. We were ordered to open fire on this man - just say, a working family man, and to use his flour bags as sand bags. A lot of guys in my platoon opened fire and the man was killed. And the individuals who didn’t open fire on this man were ordered to remove his body from the truck and throw it off in a ditch on the side of the road into a ditch and throw some dirt on top of it. And after that, I was an extreme, I guess, sort of anti-war marine."
By Judy Linehan
While denying a UN group access to Guantanamo detainees this week, Rumsfeld was unconscionably dismissive of torture reports and the extreme issues leading to hunger strikes. Indeed, abrogating all Pentagon responsibility the Defense Secretary callously denied the reality of hunger strikes, “There are a number of people who go on a diet where they don’t eat for a period and then go off of it at some point. And then they rotate and other people do that.
By Dan Robinson, Voice of America
Questions about the issue of intelligence used to justify the war in Iraq remain in the spotlight in Capitol Hill. Later Wednesday a congressional committee considers a resolution by opposition Democrats seeking information from the Bush administration, amid more heated debate across the political spectrum over the war in Iraq and the issue of treatment of terrorist suspects.
A resolution before the Republican-controlled House International Relations Committee marks the latest attempt by Democrats to intensify debate over Iraq pre-war intelligence.
News From House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
H-204, The Capitol, Washington D.C. 20515
Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Contact: Brendan Daly/Jennifer Crider, 202-226-7616
House Leaders to President Bush: Uphold the Rule of Law, Do Not Misuse the Public Trust
Washington, D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, Democratic Caucus Chair Robert Menendez, and Democratic Caucus Vice Chair James E. Clyburn sent a letter to President Bush today, urging him not to give special treatment to anyone under investigation regarding the CIA leak case.
By emptywheel, http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com
Laura Rozen offers the most astute comment I've seen on Chalabi's impending visit to the US.
If you think about it, it does seem possible that both sides, Washington and Tehran, might consider Chalabi a useful back channel.
She's alluding to Chalabi's visit to Iran, just before his trip to the US. Pretty curious timing, but perhaps not unsurprising.
We know Chalabi has serious business to conduct with the Bush Administration; as this Joe Klein column scooped, the Bush Administration considers Chalabi a realistic candidate to be Iraq's prime minister in Iraq's December 15 election.
ADD YOUR SIGNATURE AS A COMMENT BELOW
November 9, 2005
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi
Iraqi National Congress
c/o The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown
3100 South Street, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Dear Mr. Deputy Prime Minister:
We write to you as members of the 60 to 70 percent of Americans who believe that this war has been (in the words of the polling companies) a "mistake," or (in our own words) a criminal fraud. We resent the role you played in instigating it. We believe you owe an apology.
Left I on the News
President Bush's disastrous visit to Latin America, it's unnerving to
realize that his presidency still has more than three years to run. An
administration with no agenda and no competence would be hard enough to
live with on the domestic front. But the rest of the world simply can't
afford an American government this bad for that long."
By Robert Scheer, The Los Angeles Times
Who in the White House knew about DITSUM No. 044-02 and when did they know it?
That's the newly declassified smoking-gun document, originally prepared by the Defense Intelligence Agency in February 2002 but ignored by President Bush. Its declassification this weekend blows another huge hole in Bush's claim that he was acting on the best intelligence available when he pitched the invasion of Iraq as a way to prevent an Al Qaeda terror attack using weapons of mass destruction.
The report demolished the credibility of the key Al Qaeda informant the administration relied on to make its claim that a working alliance existed between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. It was circulated widely within the U.S. government a full eight months before Bush used the prisoner's lies to argue for an invasion of Iraq because "we've learned that Iraq has trained Al Qaeda members in bomb making and poisons and deadly gases."