Here's a plan for a quick Iraq exit strategy

Here's a plan for a quick Iraq exit strategy, By Byron McNutt Vilas County News Review Oct. 19, 2005

While most Americans recognize the need to "win the war on terrorism, many of those people believe the invasion of Iraq was a mistake that has sapped our national treasury, created more fanatic Islamic enemies worldwide, taken our focus off efforts to capture the perpetrators of Sept. 11 and lowered America's reputation in the world.

Our presence in Iraq has already cost about $200 billion. The death count is about 2,000 troops, plus tens of thousands have returned home with serious lifelong injuries. There are still more than 140,000 troops stationed in Iraq, plus tens of thousands of private workers helping to rebuild the

A New USLAW Speaking Tour

A New USLAW Speaking Tour: Looking at the War through the Eyes of Our Veterans and Military Families, USLAW Vets & Military Families Task Force October 20th, 2005

The US Government is still at war with Iraq. They have spent over $200 billion of our taxes on this war. Nearly 2000 American soldiers and well over 100,000 Iraqi, mostly women and children, have been killed. More than 15,000 U.S. troops and countless thousands of Iraqis have been wounded, many maimed and disabled for life.As American workers, we feel the war everyday in our concessionary contracts and in our ever-declining government services.US Labor Against the War (USLAW), a membership organization of over 100 labor organizations, state federations, labor councils, and thousands of individual unionists, is launching a speaking tour with vets and military families to speak directly to union members and leaders, to engage them in first hand experiences in the war, and to make connections between the war on Iraq and the war on workers at home. In August and September of 2005, the entire nation and the world was riveted as Cindy Sheehan and other military families gathered at the President's ranch in Crawford, TX and then traveled across the country demanding an end to the war. For the vets in Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and Vets for Peace, for the parents and loved ones in Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), the best way to support the troops is to bring them home now.We urge your union to plan meetings with rank and file members as well as leaders in which representa-tives from these vets and family groups, along with USLAW leaders can speak. The objective is to reach those who may not yet be convinced - who have doubts or questions - not just those who are already active in the antiwar movement. You give us the dates, times and places, and we'll schedule speakers to attend. Tell us how much time you can allot to this exchange (e.g., 90 minutes, 30-minutes, 20-minutes) and we'll prepare a presentation. Tell us if you'd like us to include information on contract language that can protect our members called to military service or from exploitation and discrimination upon return from military servic

U.S. REP. JIM MCGOVERN TO INTRODUCE BILL ENDING FUNDING FOR IRAQ WAR

For Immediate Release: October 25, 2005
Contact: Michael Mershon (202) 225-6101

As the number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq reaches 2,000, U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) this week will introduce legislation to prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to deploy United States Armed Forces to Iraq. The bill will allow funds to be used for the safe and orderly withdrawal of our troops; for transitional security provided by other countries – including international organizations like NATO and the United Nations; and for continued support for Iraqi security forces and international forces in Iraq – as well as funding for reconstruction efforts.

Honor the Fallen

By Lance Ciepiela

To honor the sacrifice of the 2000 American Troops that have now been killed in Iraq, I've taken part in Operation Truth's Honor the Fallen campaign. We're calling on newspapers to honor the sacrifice of America's Troops by publishing daily casualty reports on Page One, instead of the back pages.

It took me less than a minute to send a letter. Every email makes a difference, so please join me in writing to your newspaper editor. It's is an easy way to make a concrete change in war coverage in our community, and to honor the sacrifice of the American Troops that have died in Iraq.

FEINGOLD: “A TIMEFRAME TO FINISH THE MILITARY MISSION IN IRAQ MAKES AMERICA SAFER

A Timetable Will Encourage Iraqis to Take Ownership of Their Political Process and Their Country’s Future

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Russ Feingold today, in the fourth in a series of speeches he has given on our nation’s national security and the Administration’s flawed policy in Iraq, spoke from the Senate floor on the need to develop a flexible timetable and strategy to finish the military mission in Iraq.

In June, Feingold introduced a resolution, the first of its kind in the Senate, that calls for the President to clarify the military mission in Iraq, lay out a plan and timeframe for accomplishing that mission, and publicly articulate a plan to withdraw American troops from Iraq. In August, Feingold again jumpstarted the discussion about Iraq by becoming the first member of the U.S. Senate to propose a target date to finish the military mission in Iraq – December 31, 2006. Because of the Administration’s conflicting signals about the duration of U.S. troop deployments, Feingold said he felt obligated to propose a specific goal for bringing U.S. forces home from Iraq.

Cheney's Role in CIA Leak Exposed

TODAY'S DEMOCRACY NOW!:

* Rosa Parks 1913-2005: We Air A Rare 1956 Interview With Parks During the
Montgomery Bus Boycott *

Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks has died at the age of 92. It was 50 years
ago this December that she refused to relinquish her seat to a white man
aboard a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her act of resistance led to a
13-month boycott of the Montgomery bus system that would spark the civil
rights movement. We go back to 1956 to air a rare interview aired on KPFA
with Parks.

Listen/Watch/Read
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/10/25/1412239

Plame Games

By Michael Scherer
Salon.com

The GOP spin: Smear Wilson (again), belittle the charges. The Dems' spin: Bush and his enforcers lied us into war.

Washington - Long ago, Washington's political attack dogs resigned themselves to the fact that they have nothing on special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. The man is so squeaky clean that just about the only dirt besmirching his public record concerns long work hours that made him ineligible to adopt a cat. Later this week, the most powerful men and women in the country will sit helplessly on the sidelines as Fitzgerald decides whether to indict White House officials in the case of Valerie Plame, a clandestine CIA agent whose identity was leaked to the press by the Bush administration.

The White House Cabal

By Lawrence B. Wilkerson
The Los Angeles Times

Lawrence B. Wilkerson served as chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell from 2002 to 2005.

In President Bush's first term, some of the most important decisions about U.S. national security - including vital decisions about postwar Iraq - were made by a secretive, little-known cabal. It was made up of a very small group of people led by Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

When I first discussed this group in a speech last week at the New American Foundation in Washington, my comments caused a significant stir because I had been chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell between 2002 and 2005.

Cheney Plan Exempts CIA from Bill Barring Abuse of Detainees

By R. Jeffrey Smith and Josh White
The Washington Post

The Bush administration has proposed exempting employees of the Central Intelligence Agency from a legislative measure endorsed earlier this month by 90 members of the Senate that would bar cruel and degrading treatment of any prisoners in U.S. custody.

The proposal, which two sources said Vice President Cheney handed last Thursday to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the company of CIA Director Porter J. Goss, states that the measure barring inhumane treatment shall not apply to counterterrorism operations conducted abroad or to operations conducted by "an element of the United States government" other than the Defense Department.

It is About Death Not Sex

By Larry C. Johnson

The patethic whiney column by Nicholas Kristoff in the New York Times today makes one wonder if we must see the actual bodies before we understand the damage done to this country when White House officials exposed the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame. Valerie, who was still working under non-official cover, was in the process of converting to official cover. All that means is that she would no longer have to travel overseas and face the threat of death if caught while carrying out espionage activities. No, in the future, she would have traveled with a black U.S. diplomatic passport and would have been entitled to Geneva Convention protections. However, she would have still been undercover and still protected by the law.

Two Thousand Too Many Event in Santa Cruz

"Not one more death, not one more dollar for war!"

WHAT: Public Candlelight Vigil & March
WHERE: Town Clock Park, Santa Cruz
WHEN: 7:00 PM on the evening after the 2,000th soldier falls

Join concerned citizens in cities across the US in a public candlelight vigil to mark the loss of the 2,000th US soldier in Iraq. Two thousand is too many, and we call upon the Bush Administration and all our elected officials to pull our men and women immediately out of this needless war. We call for an end to all death and injury, American and Iraqi alike. We call for an end to the occupation now! And we call for a return of the resources of Iraq to the Iraqi people.

It Starts With Cheney

By American Progress Action Fund

The New York Times reveals this morning that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, first learned "about the C.I.A. officer at the heart of the leak investigation in a conversation with Mr. Cheney weeks before her identity became public in 2003." The assertion is backed by hard evidence. According to the Times, "Notes of the previously undisclosed conversation" are in the possession of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. While the revelation does not, on its face, suggest Cheney is in serious legal jeopardy, it could cause problems for the vice president if it conflicts with what he told the federal prosecutors, or if it can be shown that he participated in a larger conspiracy to knowingly reveal the identity of a covert CIA agent and/or subsequently cover it up. For Libby, the revelation that he learned of Plame from Cheney is particularly damaging because it is at odds with testimony he provided to the grand jury that he first learned of Plame's identity from journalists.

Fitzgerald Must Broaden Investigation

By Katrina Vanden Heuvel
The Nation

"The CIA leak issue is only the tip of the iceberg," Congressman Jerry Nadler told me when I ran into him on the street near our offices on Friday afternoon. He was quick to tell me of a call--led by Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and

Nadler, along with 39 of their House colleagues--for Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation to be expanded to examine whether the White House--President, Vice-President, and members of the WH's Iraq War Group--conspired to deliberately deceive Congress into authorizing the war. And, as Nadler reminded me, lying to Congress is a crime under several federal statutes.

Danish Media on Soldier Deaths

By Bo Elkjaer, Denmark

You have probably seen it on the news already, but today the 2,000th US military casualty in Iraq was announced.

Attached is a pdf-copy of a commemorative supplement my paper Ekstra Bladet ran with on september 9 2004, shortly after the 1,000th casualty.

The supplement is in Danish but I think the point is clear. We put the faces on the 1,000 dead servicemen. Sadly, the iraqis die in the dark - and in so much larger numbers.

Feel free to use and redistribute the pdf in any way you see fit.

U.S. military death toll in Iraq reaches 2,000

Iraqi draft constitution passes, election officials say

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The war in Iraq saw two milestones Tuesday that reflect the country's path toward democracy and its human toll as officials said the referendum on a draft constitution passed and the number of U.S. military deaths reached 2,000.

CNN's count of U.S. fatalities reflects reports from military sources and includes deaths in Iraq, Kuwait and other units assigned to the Iraq campaign.

The U.S. military does not publish an up-to-date running tally of deaths.

Among the latest casualties, an American soldier was killed Saturday by a roadside bomb, and a roadside blast killed two Marines in combat Friday near Amariya in the western Anbar province, according to the U.S. military.

Where Chaos Is King

From Tomdispatch today, Mark LeVine, professor of Middle Eastern history and Islamic Studies (and just back from the region), writes, "Where Chaos Is King" http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=30881 LeVine has been a student of Washington-inspired "sponsored chaos" for some time. Now, at a moment when significant parts of the Middle East teeter at the edge of chaos, he considers the question -- in both Iraq and in Israel/Palestine -- of just who benefits from that chaos and how much it has been the result of stupidity, incompetence, hubris, and mismanagement; how much of conscious desire and planning. This is a distinctly under-explored subject of great importance.

Today at the White House

I'm going to get arrested tomorrow with Cindy. Are you?

Was it Cesar Chavez? Maybe it was Dorothy Day
Some will say Dr. King or Gandhi set them on their way
No matter who your mentors are it's pretty plain to see
That, if you've been to jail for justice, you're in good company

Have you been to jail for justice? I want to shake your hand
Cause sitting in and lyin' down are ways to take a stand
Have you sung a song for freedom? or marched that picket line?
Have you been to jail for justice? Then you're a friend of mine

This Morning at the White House


CLICK THE PHOTO

Rupert Murdoch and Judith Miller

Informed Comment
Thoughts on the Middle East, History, and Religion
Juan Cole is Professor of History at the University of Michigan
http://www.juancole.com

The extraordinary exchanges between New York Times editor Bill Keller and reporter Judith Miller over her role in the Plame scandal and reporting on non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq have suggested to me a wider context of the entire matter.

The wider context is that Rupert Murdoch, and Richard Mellon Scaife, and other far rightwing billionaires have deeply corrupted our information environment. They are in part responsible for what happened at the NYT.

Weaponsgate is a Media Scandal

Published on Monday, October 24, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
By Jeff Cohen

I admit it: I'm gleeful about the White House scandal, as indictments appear imminent. These last days have been some of the happiest since Team Bush seized power 57 months ago. It couldn't happen to a more reckless bunch of bullies-- who launched one of the most disastrous wars in history.

It's traditional in elite punditry to grouse about how such a scandal hurts our country or our image abroad. I take a different view: If the White House is demoralized and paralyzed, our country and world can breathe easier.

Cindy Sheehan to Begin Week-long Vigil at White House

Civil Disobedience Planned for Day After 2000th US Death in Iraq is Announced

Sheehan and other peace activists will mourn the lives lost in Iraq and serve as a daily reminder to the Bush administration that the majority of Americans want the troops brought home from Iraq NOW

WHEN: Tuesday, October 25, 12 Noon thru Friday, October 28, 8 PM

WHERE: Lafayette Park side of the White House, Washington, DC

WHAT: Daily vigil at the White House, from 12 Noon – 8 PM Tuesday, October 25 thru Friday, October 28. A larger protest and civil disobedience will take place at 6 PM the day after the US announces the 2000th US soldier death in Iraq

Expose the WHIG

EXPOSE THE WHIG!

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) has introduced a Resolution of Inquiry to demand the White House turn over all white papers, minutes, notes, emails or other communications kept by the White House Iraq Group (WHIG).

"This group, comprised of the President and Vice President's top aides, was critical in selling the Administration's case for war," Kucinich said. "We now know that the Administration hyped intelligence and misled the American public and Congress in their effort to 'sell' the war."

This Resolution must be voted on in the House International Relations Committee by November 9th, 2005. The same committee, on September 14, came within one vote of passing a Resolution of Inquiry into the Downing Street Memo (H. Res. 375).

That near victory came after a great deal of citizen activism. This time we need to persuade all of the Democrats on the Committee to push a little bit harder and a few more Republicans to do the right thing. Co-Sponsorship of the Resolution by members not on the committee helps this effort.

Email Your Congress Member:
http://www.democrats.com/peoplesemailnetwork/72

More Information and How to Get Involved:
http://www.AfterDowningStreet.org/whig
_____________

On the Death of Rosa Parks

See Photos.

Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. released the following statement tonight
on the death of Rosa Parks:

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of one of our national treasurers, Rosa
Parks. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.

"Rosa Parks became the 'Mother of the Civil Rights Movement' because 50
years ago she sat down, and inspired a modern Civil Rights Movement to stand
up. She took the 1954 Brown decision's principle of 'equal protection under
the law' to public transportation. That major step led us to the 1964 Civil

Off With Their...WHIG...

Huffington Post
By Steve Cobble

Congressman Dennis Kucinich wants to look under Bush's WHIG, and see what's festering there.

The WHIG is the White House Iraq Group, the secret group that was quietly formed in 2002 in order to sell the war to the American people--whether they wanted it or not, whether it was legal or not, whether the facts about WMDs were there or not.

Rep. Kucinich has introduced H. Res. 505, a Resolution of Inquiry demanding "all documents from 2003 pertaining to the taskforce organized by Andrew Card, consisting of Karl Rove, Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin, Nicholas E. Calio, James R. Wilkinson, Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley and I. Lewis Libby, known as the White House Iraq Group."

C.D. in D.C.

2000, Why?
Not One More

By Cindy Sheehan

"Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the State becomes lawless and corrupt." Mahatma Gandhi

Unfortunately the 2000th American death in Iraq is tragically coming up too soon. In addition to the wasted young lives in Iraq, 246 of our brave men and women have been killed in Afghanistan. Our troops and the war in Afghanistan get even less attention than Iraq, if possible.

I am in Washington, DC now and along with a coalition of peace groups and local activists, we will be holding vigils at the White House for the rest of the week from 12 noon to 8 PM.

NY Times Does Actual Reporting -- Nails Cheney

Cheney Told Aide of C.I.A. Officer, Notes Show
New York Times
By DAVID JOHNSTON, RICHARD W. STEVENSON and DOUGLAS JEHL

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 — I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, first learned about the C.I.A. officer at the heart of the leak investigation in a conversation with Mr. Cheney weeks before her identity became public in 2003, lawyers involved in the case said Monday.

Notes of the previously undisclosed conversation between Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney on June 12, 2003, appear to differ from Mr. Libby’s testimony to a federal grand jury that he initially learned about the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, from journalists, the lawyers said.

Who Told Dick Cheney?

My first cut at the NY Times scoop. WOW!
Who Told Dick Cheney?
By Larry C. Johnson

Thanks to the NY Times one more piece of the tangled web woven by White House operatives has unraveled and we now know that Vice President Cheney told Scooter Libby that Joe Wilson's wife worked at the CIA. It also seems pretty clear that the notes show that Libby lied to the Grand Jury when he claimed he learned the name from reporters. Libby faces big trouble. Although the NY Times story reports that Libby's notes indicate that George Tenet told Cheney about Plame, there are some intriguing unanswered questions. For starters it is highly unlikely that George Tenet showed up at the White House and just happened to know the name of Valerie Plame. Someone at the White House asked for it first. Tenet clearly came prepared to respond to a White House request. I'm sure the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, knows who called CIA to ask the question.

EXPOSE THE WHIG!

EXPOSE THE WHIG!

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) has introduced a Resolution of Inquiry to demand the White House turn over all white papers, minutes, notes, emails or other communications kept by the White House Iraq Group (WHIG).

"This group, comprised of the President and Vice President's top aides, was critical in selling the Administration's case for war," Kucinich said. "We now know that the Administration hyped intelligence and misled the American public and Congress in their effort to 'sell' the war."

Bush Calls CIA Leak Case 'Very Serious'

By Adam Entous
Reuters

Washington - U.S. President George W. Bush said on Monday the investigation into the outing of a covert CIA operative was "very serious," even as Republican allies started casting aspersions on the prosecutor and the possibility of perjury charges.

The mixed signals came as special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald appeared close to indicting top White House officials in the nearly two-year investigation, lawyers involved in the case said.

Fitzgerald's investigation has focused largely on Karl Rove, Bush's top political adviser, and Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, and their conversations with reporters about CIA operative Valerie Plame in June and July of 2003.

2,000th Memorial in Houston, Texas

A Memorial to those Fallen in the Iraqi Conflict

Saturday, Oct.29, 2005, at 6 p.m., will begin a weeklong observance of the 2,000th U.S. Military Casualty and a memorial to all nationalities killed or wounded in the ongoing Iraq conflict. The location of the observance is on the Heights Boulevard esplanade between 10th and 11th St., next to the World War II Memorial.

At 6 p.m., following the placement of some 2,000 American flags and some 180 Texas flags (to honor fallen Texans) there will be an ecumenical ceremony and the planting of the 2,000th flag.

Each evening of the memorial period, there will be a ceremony at 6 p.m., marked

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