By Ray McGovern
Ray McGovern is a member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). He worked as a CIA analyst for 27 years, and now works for Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC.
The surprising degree of consensus reached by the main Iraqi factions at the Arab-League orchestrated Reconciliation Conference in Cairo last weekend sharply undercuts the unilateral, guns-and-puppets approach of the Bush administration to the deteriorating situation in Iraq. The common demand, by Shia and Kurds as well as Sunnis, for a timetable for withdrawal of occupation forces demolishes the administration’s argument that setting such a timetable would be a huge mistake. Who would know better—the Iraqis or the ideologues advising Bush?
By Robert Scheer
You've got to hand it to Dick Cheney; no other modern politician has come so close to perfecting the theater of the absurd. Even as he protests his innocence of lying about matters of state, he lies about matters of state.
In speeches Friday and Monday, the vice president, who has long insisted Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda were allies, Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, we would be greeted as liberators in Baghdad, and that the Iraqi insurgency is in its "last throes," again evidenced his trademark inability to speak the truth.
Continuing the administration's recent shrill defensive barrage over whose fault the Iraq mess is and with the truth chasing the lies in full view, Cheney had the gall to smear the war's critics as "corrupt and shameless." Then, within a few sentences, he showed again why 52 percent of those polled by Newsweek believe Cheney deliberately "misused or manipulated" prewar intelligence.
By Steven C. Clemons, The Washington Note
Is there a counter-leaker on Plame case working for the side of good?
Who is Patrick Fitzgerald's "Deep Throat" Source? Is there a Counter-Leaker on Plame Case Working for the Side of Good?
There is a high level official in the Bush administration who helped give the "inside scoop" on the earliest moves by the White House in the Valerie Plame investigation - but who is it?
On September 28, 2003, Washington Post writers Dana Priest and Mike Allen clearly note the existence of a source with knowledge about the outing campaign conducted as "a vendetta" against Joe Wilson by senior officials in the Bush White House.
Check your Congress Member's voting record on all measures related to ending the war HERE.
By Julia Baird, Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
The Rolling Stone reporter Evan Wright was embedded with the first marines to go into Iraq, hard men who punched the skies with their fists when American helicopter gunships flew overhead, shouting: "Get some!"
In Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American War, Wright vividly describes the confusion and raw brutality of executing a military strategy in a civilian landscape.
In one story, after a bloody expedition through an Iraqi town, a marine who was excited at the death and mayhem pants: "I was just thinking one thing when we drove into that ambush. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. I felt like I was living it when I seen the flames coming out of windows, the blown-up car in the street, guys crawling around shooting at us. It was f---ing cool."
By Jeremy Scahill, AlterNet
The refrain of the Democrats about being misled into supporting the invasion of Iraq has become really tired. And someone other than the White House smearmongers needs to say it: The Democrats cannot be allowed to use faulty intelligence as a crutch to hold up their unforgivable support for the Iraq invasion. What is DNC Chair Howard Dean's excuse? He wasn't in Congress and didn't have any access to Senate intelligence. Still, on March 9, 2003, just days before the invasion began, Dean told Tim Russert, on NBC's Meet The Press, "I don't want Saddam staying in power with control over those weapons of mass destruction. I want him to be disarmed."
Amy Goodman will be on Hardball with Chris Matthews on MSNBC tonight (Wed.,
November 23) at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. (Eastern) to debate U.S. troop
withdrawal from Iraq.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Freepers Hi-Jack Murtha's Poll: WND hails it triumphantly
Some publications will print anything to protect the administration. Cynthia sent me this story via email.
WorldNetDaily posts this article: "The congressman at the center of the battle last week over withdrawal of troops from Iraq removed the results from his own Internet poll on the subject after online voters overwhelmingly opposed his stance....read on"
By In These Times
Contributing Editor Frida Berrigan investigates the use of white phosphorus (WP) during the siege of Fallujah in “White Phosphorus Lies.
By Norman Solomon
When Thanksgiving arrives, the media coverage is mostly predictable.
Feature stories tell of turkeys and food drives for the needy. We
hear about why some people, famous and unknown, say they feel
thankful. And, of course, holiday advertising campaigns launch via
TV, radio and print outlets.
Like our own responses to Thanksgiving, the repeated media messages
are apt to be contradictory. Answers to basic questions run the
gamut: How much time and money should we spend on the holiday dinner
compared to helping the less fortunate? Is this really the time to
Ambiguous Hawk In A Fog Of War
By Ben Smith, New York Observer
Before the American project in Iraq turned from reconstruction back to combat, Senator Hillary Clinton liked to chide the Bush administration about its analogies to World War II.
“It took 10 years to create a stable, sovereign government
Times Confronted By Ms. Rice In 2002 But Held Ground
By Gabriel Sherman, New York Observer
In late August of 2002, David Sanger, White House correspondent for The New York Times, found himself in the far west wing of the West Wing: at President George W. Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Tex.
There, in what must have been a fairly routine meeting with then–National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, he was told in no uncertain terms what the White House had thought of much of The Times’ reporting on the President’s Iraq policy that summer. They were not happy.
“I would not discuss any background conversations with any sources in the White House,
By DEMOCRACY NOW!:
* Why did the Bush Administration Hold Jose Padilla for 3 Years as an Enemy
Combatant? No Mention of al Qaeda or Plot to Attack U.S. in Indictment *
The Justice Department announced Tuesday criminal charges have been filed
against Jose Padilla - the U.S. citizen who had been held for over three
years in solitary confinement on a military brig in South Carolina. We speak
with one of Padilla's attorneys and the legal director of the Center for
* Al Jazeera London Bureau Chief Responds to Report of British Memo Alleging
From Mark Golding
Tony Blair faces a fresh move by senior MPs to set up a full Parliamentary inquiry into the UK role in the run up to the Iraq war and its aftermath.
Tory Ken Clarke and Lib Dem deputy leader Sir Menzies Campbell are among those backing the cross-party motion.
They are aiming to get 200 signatures and get a debate in the Commons.
Another signatory, SNP leader Alex Salmond, said: "This apparently modest motion may be the iceberg towards which Blair's Titanic is sailing."
There have been four separate inquiries into different aspects of the Iraq war, including the Butler report into intelligence failings and the Hutton inquiry.
The Christian Science Monitor just published an article with the headline "Why Iraq war support fell so fast." After some historical background, the article comes to the point:
"John Mueller, an expert on war and public opinion at Ohio State University, links today's lower tolerance of casualties to a weaker public commitment to the cause than was felt during the two previous, cold war-era conflicts. The discounting of the main justifications for the Iraq war - alleged weapons of mass destruction and support for international terrorism - has left many Americans skeptical of the entire enterprise."
This is why the work we are all doing to expose the lies and demand accountability is key to ending the war.
To: Interested Parties
From: Bob Graham, former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman John Podesta, President and C.E.O., Center for American Progress
Re: Pre-War Intelligence and Vice President Cheney’s Speech on Iraq
Date: November 21, 2005
In his speech today, Vice President Cheney wisely backed away from the White House’s personal criticism of Congressman John Murtha. But the Vice President continued the Administration’s irresponsible misrepresentation of the facts that led to President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. Vice President Cheney repeated his misleading assertions regarding actions taken by the Clinton Administration and the Congress to combat the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Report
Democrats leading the charge into the second phase of a bipartisan investigation into pre-war Iraq intelligence have said this week that they will spend the next month or so working with Pentagon officials who last week agreed to probe a top secret spy shop once headed by Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith that many longtime CIA and FBI officials and other intelligence analysts believe was responsible for providing the Bush administration with bogus intelligence used to justify war with Iraq.
When the probe is complete, which aides to Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) - both of whom are aggressively working to collect pre-war intelligence documents that undercut administration's claims that Iraq posed a grave threat to national security - said will likely be in early 2006, there could be some sort of "public reprimand" brought against lower-level administration officials who work or worked at the Defense Department, the National Security Council, and in the office of Vice President Dick Cheney, for "cherry-picking" questionable intelligence on Iraq and using it to win public support for the war.
All Things Considered, November 19, 2005 · Host Debbie Elliott gets reactions to the recent fireworks over the Iraq war on Capitol Hill from two veterans: Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Operation Truth, and Frank Adams, commander of a Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Fallbrook, Calif. She asks them whether talk of a withdrawal is undermining troops' morale.
LINK TO ORIGINAL
By Andrea Seabrook, NPR
NPR.org, November 19, 2005 · No fewer than five American flags flanked the podium when Pennsylvania Democrat John Murtha strode into a Capitol briefing room to announce his dramatic reversal on the war in Iraq. Once a solid vote in favor of the invasion, Murtha now says the troops should come home "at the earliest practicable date."
Murtha, 73, is not one of the Capitol's many dandies; he is a large, leathery, no-nonsense kind of guy who makes his own grammatical rules. He won two Purple Hearts as a combat Marine in the Korean and Vietnam wars, after which he tacked on 23 more years in the Marine Reserve. In Congress since 1973, he has been a staunch supporter of the Pentagon, voting to back the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and for the current Iraq conflict in 2002 (unlike most Democrats, in both cases). Since 1989, he has been either chairman or the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
By The Day
Letters To The Editor:
Recent letters leave me amazed in the writers' focus on making sure that the mess this country is in is blamed on the people who voted with the president and his core group three years ago. The Democrats who supported the president did so because they believed him when he told them that the use weapons of mass destruction was an imminent threat. They voted with our president because they trusted him and didn't question his “intelligence.
By Frank Nicosia, burlingtonfreepress.com
The many revelations by former administration and government insiders, coupled with the Downing Street Memo, the Lewis Libby indictment, and numerous other sources since the invasion of Iraq almost three years ago leave little doubt that the Bush administration deceived Americans and the world before invading a country that threatened no one.
Many Americans now believe that Bush's real reasons for war were the removal of Saddam Hussein and control of Iraq and its oil, and not alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction or ties between Saddam and al-Qaida.
By Irvin Peckham, Baton Rouge, The Advocate (Letter)
In his Nov. 11 syndicated column, Rich Lowry excoriates members of the Democratic Party for whining about how President Bush misled them into voting for the 2002 War Resolution.
Lowry is following Bush adviser Karl Rove's script for a response to Plamegate and President Bush's plunge in the polls: Everyone, they say, had the same information and thought Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and mushroom clouds in his pocket; our soldiers are dying, and anyone who criticizes our decisions ("rewrites history") is giving aid to the enemy and is directly responsible for more of our soldiers being killed.
By Chris Walker, UMW Post
This past Veterans Day, President Bush made a strong charge: that Democrats criticizing his handling of the war have rewritten history.
While it’s true that many of the Democrats who are now criticizing him initially supported the war, it is Bush who should take a step back and think before he is so fast to accuse.
George W. Bush entered us into this war based on misinformation. That much we know. It’s hard to blame him for that — given the same information he had, many Democrats voted to give him full authority in dealing with Iraq.
What many Americans don’t know is that the Bush administration was fixing the facts around the policy, not the other way around.
By Andrew Cohen, CBS News
After all that, this:
Under deadline pressure from the United States Supreme Court, the Bush Administration Tuesday finally decided to allow a judge and jury to determine the fate of Jose Padilla, the young man to whom we were introduced three years ago by a former U.S. Attorney General as a "dirty bomber."
Only the government did not in the end charge Padilla with plotting to explode a radiological device in an urban core, as John Ashcroft once suggested in a dramatic news conference fed to stunned viewers via satellite from Russia. The feds did not allege that the young street punk was on his way to back to America — he was arrested at O’Hare airport in Chicago — to kill civilians here.
By Mort Kondracke, Roll Call
The 2006 election is shaping up to be a bitterly fought referendum on President Bush - to the point where, if Democrats win, they just might impeach him.
The "I-word" so far is mainly tossed around in the left-wing blogosphere: Barbra Streisand is calling for impeachment on her Web site, for example, as is an unofficial "progressive" site called Democrats.com. But Democratic accusations that Bush lied to get the United States into the Iraq war would seem to lead logically to demands for his removal from office.
By Jeeni Criscenzo
I went down to Carlsbad Blvd. today to do a final walkabout, looking for any unexpected problems for our vigil on Friday. As I stood there looking south, toward Cannon Rd., I created a picture in my mind of what that stretch will look like 3:00 PM on Friday when over 2,000 people will line it. It's going to be an incredible experience!
As I count my blessings this Thanksgiving, above all, I am thankful to have all of you in my heart - because if you are on this email list, you are most definitely in my heart. I am overwhelmed when I think about how many loving, brave and genuine people I have met and worked with here, over the past year. It seems as if, as things in our government get more and more horrendous, there is an equally powerful force growing within ordinary people who are finding the inner resolve to stand up and do something. I am honored and thankful to have you as my friends and supporters. A year from now, with your help, I'll be packing my bags for Washington, DC, to be your voice in a new Congress where people matter. Change is most definitely in the wind!
There is no one in this country more responsible for the change in Americans' attitudes toward the Iraq War than Cindy Sheehan. Let's ask Time Magazine to consider her for 2005 Person of the Year.
Nominate Cindy Sheehan for Time Magazine Person of the Year - Pass it on!
Click here to vote.
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
By Kristina Borjesson
Weighed down by the detritus of their war-selling campaign, including the Plame affair, President Bush and Vice President Cheney came out swinging against charges that they misused pre-war intelligence. The intelligence was faulty, not manipulated, they say. "While it is perfectly legitimate to criticize my decisions or the conduct of the war," the president declared, "it is irresponsible to re-write the history of how the war began."
Re-writing history may be wrong, but reviewing it is instructive. The record shows that Bush and Cheney's claims that they were duped by bad intelligence are disingenuous.