By Larry C Johnson
With friends like the Italians who needs enemies? If Karl Rove and Scooter Libby are indicted they can shift some of the blame to the Italians. If it were not for Italy, Joe Wilson probably never would have been sent to Africa to investigate the claim that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Niger and the ensuing chain of events to smear Wilson would not have happened. A careful review of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Report on the Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq (July 2004) shows very clearly that there was only one source claiming that Iraq was buying the uranium. Shades of Curveball! Except in this case the source was not an Iraqi linked to Ahmed Chalabi, but a foreign liaison service. Knowledgeable friends say it was the Italian Intelligence Service (SISME).
Fourth Time Is a Charm
It all started three years ago today. On October 7, 2002, President Bush gave a speech in Cincinnati "in which he made the case for war." According to Condoleezza Rice, "a line had been there about the uranium issue and Saddam Hussein seeking uranium in Africa. And Director Tenet had called Steve Hadley and he told him... I don't think you should put that in the president's speech." The reference was removed from his speech that day, but famously reappeared in a 16-word sentence three months later during the President's State of the Union address. (Bush: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.") On July 6, 2003, former ambassador Joe Wilson wrote a column indicating that the Bush administration knew the claim was bogus in advance of the speech. The following day, the administration was forced to publicly acknowledge the President was wrong. The incident set into motion an aggressive effort at the White House to "slime" Wilson that culminated in a Robert Novak column which outed his wife, undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame. A criminal investigation followed involving numerous administration officials, and it is expected to conclude this month. Yesterday, we learned that Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove -- who is "now genuinely concerned he could face [criminal] charges" -- is scheduled to make his fourth appearance before the grand jury to answer questions about his involvement in the smear campaign.
Karl's Repeat Performance
October 7, 2005
Three years ago today, President Bush gave a speech in Cincinnati "in which he made the case for war." At the behest of CIA Director George Tenet, then-Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley removed any reference to Iraq’s alleged attempt to purchase uranium from Africa from the president’s speech. Tenet made the request in a phone call to Hadley, and in a follow-up memo in which it was noted that the CIA had informed the British government that it differed with them on the Niger uranium intelligence.
The same British intelligence the CIA told the White House was flawed famously reappeared in a 16 word sentence three months later during the president's State of the Union address. On July 6, 2003, former Ambassador Joe Wilson wrote a column indicating that the Bush administration knew the claim was bogus in advance of the speech. The following day, the administration was forced to publicly acknowledge the president was wrong.
Published on Thursday, October 6, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
American Democracy in Trouble
It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse
Keynote Speech by Al Gore
We Media Conference in New York, NY
October 5, 2005
I came here today because I believe that American democracy is in grave danger. It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse. I know that I am not the only one who feels that something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America's fabled "marketplace of ideas" now functions.
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
by David Wyles
"The First Amendment exists so that the press can be a check on government abuse of power, not a handmaiden to it."
--FAIR press release, 8/19/04
"Journalists should not have to face the prospect of imprisonment for doing nothing more than aggressively seeking to report on the government's actions."
--Arthur Sulzberger Jr., publisher of the New York Times, 8/13/04
An Open Letter to Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. and the Editors and Staff of The New York Times --
Dear Mr. Sulzberger and Editors, Mr. Keller, Ms. Abramson, and Ms. Collins,
As noted below, the mainstream media as a whole has not acted sufficiently skeptical about the timing of the latest terror alert. But on last night's Countdown, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann did his part to question the NYC subway threat. "Keith said that his staff found 13 circumstances when a brand new terror alert "just happened" to come at a time when there was trouble in the administration," an e-mailer says. Here's the transcript, with Craig Crawford as guest:
OLBERMANN: Well...I'm going to raise this question as skeptically and bluntly as I can. It's not a question that doubts the existence of terror, nor the threat of terrorism. But we've cobbled together in the last couple of hours a list of at least 13 occasions that -- on which -- whenever there has been news that significantly impacted the White House negatively, there has been some sudden credible terror threat somewhere in this country. How could the coincidence be so consistent?
By Dave Lindorff
When it comes to a reputation for selling snake oil, surely the army recruiter has long been right down there in the muck with the used car salesman and the patent medicine huckster. It's common knowledge that the promises made by recruiters about postings and future positions and training are worthless, and that once someone signs on as a recruit, her or his fate is at the whim of the military. That said, recruiters these days, desperate to fill the pipeline to Iraq's slaughterhouse with new bodies, are resorting to an interesting new spiel this days.
Why the US Must Leave Iraq
By Michael Scherer
Monday 10 October 2005
Sen. Russ Feingold says it's time to admit the war was a disaster - and accuses his fellow Democrats of going along with Bush out of fear.
Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., speaks at the State Employees Association of New Hampshire on Sept. 30, 2005.
(Photo: Lee Marriner / AP Photo)
Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold has latched his political future to the third rail of American foreign policy. This summer, he proposed a date for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq: Dec. 31, 2006. The date raises a specter that no one in Washington - and especially no Democrat - has been willing to broach: that the American people should begin to prepare for a political failure in Iraq, at least a failure by President Bush's standard of establishing, before the troops leave, a fully functional, democratic Iraqi state.
Picking away at the Plame Affair
Kudos are due to The Next Hurrah's emptywheel for her superb posts about the Plame grand jury and where and what Fitzgerald might be looking into next. Her post Sunday was extremely well-written and suspenseful, and invoked for me those troubling days after Bush had started his war because many of us knew that he had lied about the WMD, and felt that it was possible that the administration would plant WMD in Iraq if they could. Certainly within weeks of the invasion of Iraq, Rumsfeld worried publically that some might accuse the Americans of planting WMD in Iraq. Yet, even more frightening was the idea that they would use their "success" to create more excuses for invading other countries preemptively.
By Scott Galindez
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Monday 10 October 2005
The Bush administration and those who support the Iraq war frequently justify it by saying that Saddam Hussein tortured his people. They say that Iraq is better off without him. I agree that Saddam needed to go, but with the reports from Abu Graib and other US run prisons it is clear that the Iraqi people are still being tortured.
Last week the Senate voted 90-9 on an amendment requiring humane treatment of detainees in US custody. The nine Senators who voted against this amendment need their power stripped as well. They are Senators Allard (CO), Bond (MO), Coburn (OK), Cochran (MS), Cornyn (TX), Inhofe (OK), Roberts (KS), Sessions (AL), and Stevens (AK).
United for Peace and Justice-NYC and the International Solidarity Movement-NYC present:
NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE IN PALESTINE
A NATIONAL SPEAKING TOUR ON THE PALESTINIAN/ISRAELI NONVIOLENT MOVEMENT:
Palestinian AYED MORRAR and Israeli JONATHAN POLLAK
Sunday October 16th, 7:15 PM:
Catholic Center, 58 Washington Square Park South, Manhattan
Ayed Morrar and Jonathan Pollak are friends and among the major figures in the Palestinian-led, Israeli-supported nonviolent struggle against Israel’s military occupation. Largely unreported by the media, thousands of Palestinians and hundreds of Israelis are waging a major grassroots nonviolent campaign of resistance to the construction of Israel’s Wall. Palestinian farmers, workers, mothers, and students, together with Israeli and international volunteers, are braving teargas, beatings, bullets, arrest, and even death to block the construction of the Wall with their bodies. Ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004, the Wall appropriates Palestinian land and destroys villages for more Israeli settlements.
Here's a nice analysis of right-wing blogger lies about crowd size at the march on September 24.
Take Back The Media and their Hollywood Award winning director/producer Symbolman is proud to present the Definitive Chronology of the Rove/Plamegate outing in DVD format, "Roves War."
After more than a year of research, filtering through hundreds of hours of footage and blogs, the "Rove's War" double DVD set weighs in at 150+ minutes of Red Meat for those that want to know exactly where, when, what and who pulled treasonous crimes - as we shred media propaganda and rumors, and expose the Truth.
Showcasing the Downing Street Minutes hearing and Joe Wilson's testimony, "Rove's War" weaves the tale of how Valerie Plame's outing can be traced to Saudi ties with the Bush Family and Administration, exposes breathtaking corruption in both the CIA, Pentagon and State Department leading to a War based on intentionally faulty, cherry picked intelligence by rogue elements in the Bush corner. The story includes how the White House Iraq Group or "WHIG" conspired while supplying lies, dodges, and obfuscations, with the goal of filling Halliburton's coffers while destroying the section of the CIA that was in search of actual weapons of mass destruction, who was spying on the Saudis.
HOME FRONT: The Government's War on Soldiers
By Rick Anderson
Foreword by Francis A. Boyle
Inspired by the untold story of Sgt. Joe Hooper, Vietnam's most decorated solider and a home-front causality, Home Front chronicles how--in the midst of his war--George Bush has cut benefits of both veterans and frontline troops.
It reveals how the Pentagon has ordered soldiers to take experimental medicines that sometimes prove fatal, how defense contractors sometimes knowingly delivery faulty weapons to troops, and how the true casualty measure of war is the body count--the medical failures, psychological toll and the uninvestigated suicides--that occurs on the home front. Only 148 soldiers were killed in the 1991 Gulf War, but 11,000 have died since. New figures show that one third of the 696,000 Gulf I troops have sought war-related medical treatment. A similar pattern is emerging today in Gulf II.
Steven Barrie-Anthony, Los Angeles Times
Sunday, October 9, 2005
Los Angeles -- Thousands of people gathered in MacArthur Park on Saturday morning to advocate for peace -- but left banners and megaphones at home.
Activist mom Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, whose summer vigil outside President Bush's Texas ranch crystallized antiwar sentiment, sat in silence with the others as Buddhist monk and longtime peace advocate Thich Nhat Hanh explained from an open stage: "We don't think shouting in anger can help. If you make people angry and fearful, then you cannot reduce violence and fear.
"When you speak to people, you should speak to them in a language they can understand. By doing that, we can turn our enemies into our friends."
By Joshua Frank
These are tremulous times for the Republican establishment. A poll released this past weekend by Ipsos/Associated Press confirms that Bush's agenda has slid right off the table and into the trash bin. The president's popularity has plummeted to a meager 39 percent, the lowest of his tenure. At the center of Bush's nose dive is the Iraq catastrophe: almost two-thirds of those polled disapproved of Bush's handling of the invasion and subsequent occupation. The people's voices have indeed been heard. They want light, not more tunnel and lies.
So you'd think Democrats, the alleged opposition party in Washington, would be elated over the latest findings, quickly devising a scheme to capitalize on Bush's overwhelming disapproval ratings. Well, they are devising a scheme, all right, but it's not one that will bring the troops home or provide any mortar for Bush's cracked foreign policy.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- A discrepancy between the grand jury testimony of Karl Rove and Time Magazine reporter Matthew Cooper is the reason Rove will testify again.
Newsweek reports investigators have found an e-mail confirming a meeting between Cooper and Rove, President Bush's top political adviser.
Rove failed to disclose the meeting both during a 2003 FBI interview and during his first appearance before a federal grand jury investigating the leak to the press of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame.
Rove will testify before the grand jury for a fourth time this week.
Cooper told the grand jury Rove disclosed the name of Plame and that she was the wife of former ambassador Joe Wilson -- who had recently written an op-ed in the New York Times challenging the White House claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger to make nuclear weapons.
By Karen Blakeman
Retired Army officer and former career diplomat Ann Wright recently added a new experience to her varied background.
The Honolulu resident was arrested Sept. 26 in front of the White House while protesting with Cindy Sheehan, the Gold Star mom who has become a rallying point for the anti-war movement.
"It was my first time in the clink," Wright said.
Wright was held for eight hours and released from the Anacostia Processing Center at 4 a.m. She was ticketed for $50 and charged $25 in processing fees.
Among her observations: Flexicuffs, those plastic replacements for traditional handcuffs, "hurt like hell."
Levin, convinced that Iraqis WANT a U.S. occupation, writes "The administration should tell Iraqis that if they do not reach a political settlement by year's end, we will consider a timetable for our withdrawal." A "settlement" seems unlikely, but this would probably guarantee not reaching it.
Using Our Leverage: The Troops
By Carl Levin
Monday, October 10, 2005; Page A19
As the Iraqi people prepare to vote on a new constitution Saturday, the political situation in that country is highly unstable. There are troubling signs of a split in the political alliance of Kurds and Shiites that has thus far kept Iraq from complete chaos. Sunni Arab leaders, meanwhile, openly call for the constitution to be defeated. And Iraqis from all ethnic groups have lost faith in the transitional government's ability to protect them or provide basic services.
Saturday :: Oct 8, 2005
The Message IS The Medium
Some of our Wrong-Wing Wregulars still don't get it - and maybe they never will - but I'm going to try one more time. Please lean in so that you can hear me clearly.
GEORGE W. BU$H HAS LOST CONTROL OF THE CONTENT OF THE MEDIA!!!
Without total control of the mass media machine, little irritants like The Truth can seep inside closed Red State minds, corrupting the GOP concepts that we are all expected to understand in the manner directed. For instance, we are to believe that Harriet Miers is qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice, and that Iraq is all about establishing democracy and freedom.
Published on Sunday, October 9, 2005 by The Independent
By Norman Dombey
President Bush's principal adviser Karl Rove is to be questioned again over the improper naming of a CIA official. Mohamed ElBaradei, accused by the American right of being insufficiently aggressive, wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his stalwart work at the helm of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Pentagon official Larry Franklin pleads guilty to passing on classified information to Israel. Just a normal week in politics. But there is a thread linking these events and it is Iraq.
Politicians tell us they acted in good faith on the road to war, and maybe they did, but that leaves a prickly question: who was so keen to prove that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat that they forged documents purporting to show that he was trying to buy 500 tons of uranium from Niger to develop nuclear weapons? The forgery was revealed to the Security Council by ElBaradei. That was not an intelligence error. It was a straightforward lie, an invention intended to mislead public opinion and help start a war.
By Bob Fertik, Democrats.com
The headline of the latest CBS News Poll was Bush Ratings Hit New Low - only 37% approve while 58% disapprove. Bush is on his way to becoming the Most Hated President in American history.
As I read through the results, one number really struck me: the "most important problem" facing the U.S.
----------- 10/05 9/05
War in Iraq 18% 13%
Economy and Jobs 16% 14%
President Bush 5% 5%
Gas/oil crisis 5% 9%
Terrorism 4% 6%
Look at this carefully - Americans see BUSH as a Bigger Problem than TERRORISM! (And he is tied for Biggest Problem with $3 Gas).
I am Home
By Cindy Sheehan
I was honored and humbled to be in the presence of holy man, Thich Nhat Hahn, today at MacArthur Park in a very Hispanic neighborhood in Los Angeles.
Tha^y, (teacher) as he is known, is a Buddhist monk who was active during the Vietnam War years bringing peace and reconciliation to the countries of North and South Vietnam. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr. He walks with an aura of peace and acceptance radiating from him.
Every day we do things, we are things that have to do with peace. If we are aware of our life..., our way of looking at things, we will know how to make peace right in the moment, we are alive. Thich Nhat Hahn.
Published on Saturday, October 8, 2005 by the Daily Mirror/UK
America's sense of itself - its pride in its power - has been profoundly damaged
By Dermot Purgavie
This week Karen Hughes, long-time political adviser to George Bush, began her new mission as the State Department's official defender of America's image with a tour of the Middle East.
She might have been more help to her beleaguered president had she stayed at home and used her PR skills on her neighbors. At the end of a cruel and turbulent summer, nobody is more dismayed and demoralized about America than Americans.
By Rep. Ron Paul (Republic, 14th Dist., Texas)
S upporters of the war in Iraq, as well as some non-supporters, warn of the dangers if we leave. But isn't it quite possible that these dangers are simply a consequence of having gone into Iraq in the first place, rather than a consequence of leaving? Isn't it possible that staying only makes the situation worse? If chaos results after our departure, it's because we occupied Iraq, not because we left.
The original reasons for our preemptive strike are long forgotten, having been based on false assumptions. The justification given now is that we must persist in this war or else dishonor those who already have died or been wounded. We're also told civil strife likely will engulf all of Iraq.
The latest twist in the Plame Affair only deepens the mystery: What's in the suddenly uncovered notebook that documents the previously unknown Judith Miller/Scooter Libby chat of June 25, 2003? Who told the prosecutor about it? And why, exactly, does he want to talk to Miller again?
By Greg Mitchell, Editor and Publisher
(October 09, 2005) -- If its recent track record is any guide, The New York Times, later today or tomorrow, will get around to confirming Michael Isikoff’s Newsweek revelation late Saturday that the missing notes Judith Miller suddenly found and turned over to the federal prosecutor on Friday in the Plame case were located in a notebook in the newspaper’s Washington, D.C. bureau. The prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, has now scheduled another meeting with Miller on Tuesday.
By Michael Isikoff
17 October 2005 Issue
The White House's handling of a potentially crucial e-mail sent by senior aide Karl Rove two years ago set off a chain of events that has led special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to summon Rove for a fourth grand jury appearance this week. His return has created heightened concern among White House officials and their allies that Fitzgerald may be preparing to bring indictments when a federal grand jury that has been investigating the leak of a CIA agent's identity expires at the end of October. Robert Luskin, Rove's lawyer, tells NEWSWEEK that, in his last conversations with Fitzgerald, the prosecutor assured Luskin "he has not made any decisions."
By David Swanson
I recommend the movie "Good Night, and Good Luck," which is named with the line with which Ed Murrow ended his news broadcasts on CBS News, back when CBS did news. It's a well-made movie and ought to be heartening, except that it gives you an intense pain in your stomach when you realize that the corporate pressures Murrow was under have completely taken over, that we haven't just lost the literacy and the cigarettes, that we've lost the ability of news reporters to report that official assertions conflict with facts. Murrow's recent integrity-free illiterate successor at CBS, Dan Rather, was booted for less than anyone could make a movie out of. Here's a take on that pathetic episode from a forthcoming book by a producer at CBS.
Published on Saturday, October 8, 2005 by the Boston Globe
By Robert Kuttner
President Bush, faced with plummeting support for the war in Iraq, keeps turning to an old standby. In another high-profile speech on Thursday, Bush warned Americans to be terrified of terror, and tried once again to tie Iraq to Al Qaeda and the attacks of 9/11.
The public isn't buying it. A large majority -- 64 to 32 in CBS polls -- opposes Bush's conduct of the war.
Yet the opposition party has been mostly missing in action. Democratic pollsters and political advisers seem to believe that with Bush failing as a war president Democrats should stay out of the way and let him sink.