By Lauren Markoe and Seth Borenstein
Knight Ridder Newspapers
Washington - The Pentagon paid $20 each for plastic ice-cube trays that once cost 85 cents. A supplier was paid more than $81 each for coffee makers that for years were purchased from the manufacturer for $29.
That's because instead of receiving competitive bids or buying directly from manufacturers as it once did, the Pentagon now uses middlemen who set prices. It's the equivalent of shopping for weekly groceries at a convenience store.
And the practice is costing taxpayers 20 percent more than the old system, an investigation found.
By Deborah Zabarenko
Washington - Cindy Sheehan, the military mother who made her son's death in Iraq a rallying point for the anti-war movement, plans to tie herself to the White House fence to protest the milestone of 2,000 U.S. military deaths in Iraq.
"I'm going to go to Washington, D.C. and I'm going to give a speech at the White House, and after I do, I'm going to tie myself to the fence and refuse to leave until they agree to bring our troops home," Sheehan said in a telephone interview last week as the milestone approached.
"And I'll probably get arrested, and when I get out, I'll go back and do the same thing," she said.
By Norman Solomon
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Many politicians and pundits have told us that "Iraq is not Vietnam." Certainly, any competent geographer would agree.
Substantively, the histories of Iraq and Vietnam are very different. And the dynamics of US military intervention in the two countries - while more similar than the American news media generally acknowledge - are far from identical.
Iraq is not Vietnam. But the United States is the United States.
War after war, decade after decade, the US news media have continued to serve those in Washington who strive to set the national agenda for war and lay down flagstones on the path to military intervention.
By Bradley Graham
The Washington Post
US is citing tolls to show success in Iraq.
Eager to demonstrate success in Iraq, the U.S. military has abandoned its previous refusal to publicize enemy body counts and now cites such numbers periodically to show the impact of some counterinsurgency operations.
The revival of body counts, a practice discredited during the Vietnam War, has apparently come without formal guidance from the Pentagon's leadership. Military spokesmen in Washington and Baghdad said they knew of no written directive detailing the circumstances under which such figures should be released or the steps that should be taken to ensure accuracy.
The Associated Press
Monday 24 October 2005
Baghdad, Iraq - Three enormous bombs, including a cement-mixing truck packed with explosives, blew up near an Iraqi police post outside the Palestine Hotel - home to many foreign journalists in Iraq. Iraqi officials said 17 people were killed.
A second bomb exploded inside a car not far from the police position on the northeast side of Firdous Square and more than 100 yards east of the hotel grounds. Both were believed to be suicide attacks. Security officials said a third bomb struck the area around the same time.
It did not appear that anybody was killed inside the hotel, which has been the target of previous insurgent attacks. Three of the wounded were in the hotel but were not hurt seriously. Three others were at a U.S. military checkpoint at the northwest corner of the hotel compound.
By Congressman John Conyers
As if spin and character attacks were a viable justification for a massive breach of national security, Republicans have already decided to smear Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald rather than take responsibility for their own misdeeds. Prevailing wisdom expects grand jury indictments to be issued this week. Any criminal charges will likely reach deep into the White House.
Over the weekend, the GOP spin machine gave us a preview of what we can expect from the Republican Party when we finally learn who outed CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson.
Why Iraq Still sells its oil à la cartel
Twilight of the neocon gods
Exclusive to Harper's Magazine
Monday, October 24, 2005
By Greg Palast
Note: This Saturday, October 22, Greg Palast and his co-author, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, received a Project Censored award, the "alternative Pulitzer Prize," for their report, JIM CROW RETURNS TO THE VOTING BOOTH: DOES AMERICA HAVE AN APARTHEID VOTE-COUNTING SYSTEM?
The Palast investigative team received a second award for uncovering the State Department's confidential pre-war plans for the economic conquest of Iraq.
By special arrangement with Harper's magazine, we are reproducing here for the first time the entire updated article on the US government's secret schemes for seizing control of the oil fields of Iraq....
By Crispin Sartwell
Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into the Valerie Plame case is winding down, and he will perhaps indict a few people for the crime of revealing the identity of a CIA agent. I would like, however, to issue a broader indictment.
It is obvious that the Bush administration, and specifically Vice President Cheney, was intent on invading Iraq under almost any conditions. It did not, probably, simply manufacture intelligence to justify the invasion; rather, it purported to take seriously any flimsy rumor or doctored document that lent support to the case for war, while attempting to discredit all information that tended to undermine that case.
By Jason Leopold
The special prosecutor investigating the outing of a covert CIA agent expanded his probe last year to include intelligence information used by the Bush administration claiming that Iraq tried to purchase yellow-cake uranium from Niger, RAW STORY has found.
According to a court filing posted on the website of Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor investigating who leaked the name of undercover CIA agent to reporters, was interested in questioning New York Times reporter Judith Miller about the CIA agent or whether she discussed Iraq's alleged efforts to purchase uranium from Niger.
Filed by Jason Leopold and Larisa Alexandrovna
With the possibility of indictments just days away, sources close to the investigation into who outed covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson have provided RAW STORY a more detailed account into how and why Plame's name was leaked and what role the Pentagon and the vice president's office played.
Those close to the investigation say that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has been told that David Wurmser, then a Middle East adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney on loan from the State Department, met with Cheney and his chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter
By Mike Hersh
Despite their utter failure to keep us safe on 9/11/01, the Bush
administration exploited that terrorist attack and manipulates our
emotions to narrow partisan advantage. Along came Richard Clarke proving
Bush blew it and let 9/11 happen. Paul O'Neil saying Bush intended to
attack Iraq long before 9/11 - despite sworn statements to Congress that
he'd exhaust all diplomatic and nonmilitary means before attacking. The
Downing Street Minutes which prove Bush was already coordinating efforts
to "sell" the war and fitting intelligence to this policy.
It seems the Bush Administration finally went too far attacking Joe
1. He Murdered Vincent Foster
2. Is Son Of A Liberal Elitist Doorman
3. Claims He Spent Christmas, 1983 In Cambridge; Actually Was In Somerville
4. Casey Sheehan Would Be Ashamed Of Him
5. Charles Krauthammer Thinks He's Crazy, And Krauthammer Is A Psychiatrist
6. Fathered John McCain's Illegitimate Black Child
7. Let's Not Forget That The Vatican—The Center Of His Religion—Is The Great Whore Of Revelation 17
8. Is Irish, Not That We're Implying Anything About Him And The Booze
9. A Friend Of Mine Knows The Cousin Of The Neighbor Of Someone Who Worked With Him In 1986 Who Says the Coffee Machine In The Office Cost 50 Cents But Sometimes You Would Put In A Quarter And It Would Start Working Which Meant it Had Eaten The Quarter Of The Person Ahead of You And Once They Saw Fitzgerald Get Coffee Like This Which Meant He Essentially Stole A Quarter From Someone In The Office, Which Really Brings Up The Character Issue
By Jeeni Criscenzo
Friday, November 25, 2005, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Carlsbad Blvd., Between Pine Ave. & Cannon Rd., Carlsbad, CA
On the day after Thanksgiving, hundreds of people will stand in silent mourning for the 2,000 troops who have died in Iraq. The vigil, Nov. 25, 2005 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, will span nearly two miles along Carlsbad Blvd. (Carlsbad’s old Coast Hwy.) between Pine Ave. and Cannon Rd. with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop. We will assemble in Cannon Park at the intersection of Cannon and Carlsbad Blvd.
Participants will be dressed in black, each wearing the name, age and date of death of one of the fallen pinned to their shirt.
MORE IMPORTANT NOW: 60 Minutes Niger story that never aired... Let's get it aired!
by jbalazs [Subscribe]
Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 10:30:38 AM PDT
Re-Post from August 25th and September 30. Commenters encouraged me to post it again when the time was right... The time is right! With Fitzmas coming this week, CBS needs to get this timely story out NOW!
Consider this an actionable item diary for all of you Kossacks. I think the tone in the media has changed sufficiently over the past few months that now is the time to push to get stories out there.
One story inparticular is already done but has never been aired. 60 Minutes has it ready to go, they've just never aired it. Now is the time to contact them and request they show this important story. Here is the contact information:
At the edge of what is certain to be Plame Week in America comes Steve Weissman's "Outing CIA Agents, Valerie Plame Meets Philip Agee" http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=30695 It's an attempt to put the law that launched the Firtzgerald investigation into some historical perspective -- to remind people that, as Weissman writes, "Being bashed by Team Bush does not turn the Central Intelligence Agency into the home team or necessarily make Valerie Plame a modern-day Joan of Arc." It is above all an attempt to consider, again in the context of the past, the "outing" of CIA agents, to put the subject of Plame's outing in particular into some perspective. As I point out in my introduction to the piece, there is a certain irony -- and a hint of blowback -- in the possibility that this administration will have come undone over the 1982 law on the outing of CIA agents.
By Amy Branham, Gold Star Mother
There is pain in my soul this morning as I sit at this keyboard. It is an all-encompassing feeling that reverberates through my whole body. This is a pain that I cannot ignore and will not go away.
Sometime this week, maybe even today, the war in Iraq will claim the 2000th life of an American soldier killed in the line of duty. Let me repeat that last sentence in a more humanistic way: 2000 of America’s sons and daughters have died in Iraq in the war. 2000 warriors have died, have been brought home in flag-draped caskets that most of this country will never see. 2000 families have had their lives forever changed and their hearts forever broken. 2000 mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, husbands and wives either have or will bury their hearts when they bury their hero.
By Brian Bogart
“They gazed at the wall rising around them, encircling them for all time. They touched, smelled, tasted, and listened to it, and talked about it until they died. They did absolutely everything but challenge its rise, and could have toppled it if they had tried.
The Capital Times
By Dave Zweifel
Several months ago I suggested in this column that if Bill Clinton could be impeached for lying about his extracurricular sex life, then George Bush could be impeached for telling lies to get us involved in what appears to be a never-ending war that has taken the lives of nearly 2,000 Americans, wounded another 15,000-plus and resulted in the deaths of at least 30,000 Iraqis.
As far as I can tell, Monica Lewinsky was the only victim of Clinton's shenanigans and she's still very much alive.
I got letters, of course, telling me how stupid I was and, besides, since Congress is controlled by Republicans, there's no way that Bush will ever get impeached in the first place.
Monday October 24, 2005 5:16 PM
By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Three enormous bombs, one of them a cement-mixing truck packed with explosives, blew up near an Iraqi police post near the Palestine Hotel - home to many foreign journalists in Iraq. Police said 17 people were killed.
The dead included Iraqi police and civilians, said Assistant Interior Minister Maj. Gen. Hussein Kamal.
A second bomb exploded not far from the police post which sits on the northeast side of Firdous Square, just east of the hotel grounds.
By Bryan Bender, Boston Globe Staff
WASHINGTON -- The defense secretary who served under President Richard M. Nixon during the Vietnam War is warning that the United States is repeating in Iraq some of the mistakes that led to public disillusionment and ultimate defeat in Vietnam, including the impression that there is no clear goal for victory or a detailed, well-described plan to bring US troops home.
Melvin R. Laird, who led the Defense Department in the final years of the Vietnam War, writes in the next edition of Foreign Affairs magazine that most Americans want to see a clearly defined exit strategy and will not tolerate an open-ended military commitment in Iraq -- something that he said would make the fledgling Iraqi government even more dependent on US forces and hinder its independence.
By Melvin R. Laird
From Foreign Affairs, November/December 2005
Summary: During Richard Nixon's first term, when I served as secretary of defense, we withdrew most U.S. forces from Vietnam while building up the South's ability to defend itself. The result was a success -- until Congress snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by cutting off funding for our ally in 1975. Washington should follow a similar strategy now, but this time finish the job properly.
MELVIN R. LAIRD was Secretary of Defense from 1969 to 1973, Counselor to the President for Domestic Affairs from 1973 to 1974, and a member of the House of Representatives from 1952 to 1969. He currently serves as Senior Counselor for National and International Affairs at the Reader's Digest Association.
By Robert Dreyfuss
Robert Dreyfuss is a freelance writer based in Alexandria, Va., who specializes in politics and national security issues. He is a contributing editor at The Nation, a contributing writer at Mother Jones, a senior correspondent for The American Prospect, and a frequent contributor to Rolling Stone. His book, Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam, will be published by Henry Holt/Metropolitan Books in the fall .
The news from Syria shows that the neoconservative plan for the Middle East is still in play.
Three years ago, the U.S. invasion of Iraq was widely viewed as the first chapter of a region-wide strategy to remake the entire map of the Middle East. Following Iraq, Syria and Iran would be the next targets, after which the oil-rich states of the Arabian Gulf, including Saudi Arabia, would follow. It was a policy driven by neoconservatives in and outside of the Bush administration, and they didn’t exactly make an effort to keep it secret. In April, 2003, in an article in The American Prospect titled “Just the Beginning ,
Walker's World: Bush at bay
By MARTIN WALKER
WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- The CIA leak inquiry that threatens senior White House aides has now widened to include the forgery of documents on African uranium that started the investigation, according to NAT0 intelligence sources.
This suggests the inquiry by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald into the leaking of the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame has now widened to embrace part of the broader question about the way the Iraq war was justified by the Bush administration.
Fitzgerald's inquiry is expected to conclude this week and despite feverish speculation in Washington, there have been no leaks about his decision whether to issue indictments and against whom and on what charges.
Arianna posted eloquently today on Judith Miller's plaintive cry, "We were all wrong."
Nuh-uh, Ms. Miller.
The truth is, many ordinary people knew a lie when they saw one. Indeed, most of the world knew the Bushies were pushing lies.
A few politicos had it right from the start, too. A few stepped up when others were still in hiding.
For instance, here's a couple (note--both of whose campaigns I have worked for)--two who not only challenged the Bush lies, but did so eloquently and clearly and prophetically.
GOP Senator Links Indictment, Resignation
Sunday October 23, 2005 11:31 PM
AP Photo WX104
WASHINGTON (AP) - A Republican senator said Sunday that it would be appropriate for any White House aide to step aside if indicted in the CIA leak investigation.
President Bush was urged by a Senate Democrat to make clear whether a White House adviser under indictment would remain on the job.
The grand jury that has investigated the disclosure of CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity for the past two years is set to expire on Friday.
Top presidential political adviser Karl Rove and Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis ``Scooter'' Libby, have emerged as central figures in the probe because they had contacts with reporters who learned Plame's identity or disclosed it in news stories.