PHOTO: John Bonifaz, Co-Founder of After Downing Street, and Rep. Jim McGovern
By Progressive Democrats of America
The 18th Century home of Dierdre and Cristobal Bonifaz on Maple Street in Conway was the settling November 5th for their son John Bonifaz’s announcement that he would explore a 2006 run for Secretary of the Commonwealth. About 60 friends, neighbors, and relatives were on hand.
Asked why he would seek the secretary post, he pointed out that it is a role which matches the efforts in which he has been involved for a number of years. Mr. Bonifaz was counsel to parties in the 2004 recount effort in Ohio, after which he testified before Congress. He expressed interest in serious campaign finance reform and restoration of public financing of elections in Massachusetts, which had overwhelming public support but was then eliminated by the legislature. He is mindful of the critical electoral role Secretary Katherine Harris played in Florida, as well as that of Secretary Kevin Blackwell in Ohio in 2004.
By Steve Bhaerman
The Republican Party has righteously painted itself as the “party with convictions,
By Eli Stephens
Left I on the News
There are still a remarkable number of people who maintain illusions in Gen.
Colin Powell, and believe he was really a "good guy" who tried his best to
moderate the evil nature of the Bush administration but failed. As part of
that, they actually give credence to Powell's recent "mea a little bit
culpa" speech in which Powell asserted that his February, 2003 speech to the
U.N. was now "painful" for him and a permanent "blot" on his record. Of
course he hid behind the claim of having "been misled about the accuracy of
VIDEO SPECIAL: t r u t h o u t's Sari Gelzer reports from San Franciso's "The World Can't Wait" demonstration. Thousands took to the streets and heard speeches from Cindy Sheehan and others. TO was also in Los Angeles to view reports from both actions go to
By Frank Rich, The New York Times
It would be a compelling story," Patrick Fitzgerald said of the narrative Scooter Libby used to allegedly mislead investigators in the Valerie Wilson leak case, "if only it were true."
"Compelling" is higher praise than any Mr. Libby received for his one work of published fiction, a 1996 novel of "murder, passion and heart-stopping chases through the snow" called "The Apprentice." If you read the indictment, you'll see why he merits the critical upgrade. The intricate tale he told the F.B.I. and the grand jury - with its endlessly clever contradictions of his White House colleagues' testimony - is compelling even without the sex and the snow.
By DOUGLAS JEHL, New York Times
WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 - A high Qaeda official in American custody was identified as a likely fabricator months before the Bush administration began to use his statements as the foundation for its claims that Iraq trained Al Qaeda members to use biological and chemical weapons, according to newly declassified portions of a Defense Intelligence Agency document.
The document, an intelligence report from February 2002, said it was probable that the prisoner, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, "was intentionally misleading the debriefers" in making claims about Iraqi support for Al Qaeda's work with illicit weapons.
By Timothy Karr
Kenneth Tomlinson and Karl Rove’s newest troubles raise more questions than they answer. Central to Tomlinson’s tampering with PBS and NPR programming is the issue of authority: Were his efforts to spin media in favor of the White House directed from within the Bush administration itself? Were they legal? And if not, should investigators start sniffing around the West Wing?
... I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend...
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Movies and Dreams...
My parents, like many Iraqis of their generation and educational background, discouraged too much tv. When E. and I were younger, they were vigilant about the type of shows and movies we were allowed to watch. They didn’t like for us to be exposed to propaganda- Arab or Western- and any programs containing excessive violence, foul language or sexual content were prohibited. On the other hand, all types of books were encouraged. I grew up reading books by authors ranging from Jane Austen to John LeCarre, from Emily Bronte to Maxim Gorky to Simone de Beauvoir… nothing was ever off-limits.
The Sunday Times (UK)
TONY BLAIR is set to face an unprecedented parliamentary inquiry into his conduct in the run-up to the Iraq war.
A coalition of Tory and Labour MPs is to table a motion to set up a Commons committee to examine “the conduct of ministers
The Council of Europe has demanded an investigation into claims the US ran secret jails for terror suspects.
The human rights watchdog called the claims "extremely worrying" and said such prisons would constitute a serious human rights violation.
A US newspaper said such prisons were set up in eight countries - some of them unnamed Eastern European states.
"It is essential that these allegations be thoroughly investigated," said Human Rights Commissioner Alvaro Gil-Robles.
"Such practices would constitute a serious human rights violation, and further proof of the crisis of values that the use of certain methods in the fight against terrorism is proving," he was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying.
Catch Dick Durbin taking on Pat Roberts on Face the Nation today.
By Barbra Streisand
If there was ever a time in history to impeach a President of the United States, it would be now. In my opinion, it is two years too late. We should have done this before the election to spare the country the misjudgment, the incompetence and the malfeasance of this administration. Let us remember that UN weapons inspectors asked for more time to search Iraq for WMDs. Two months into their search, the Director General of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, stated that he found no evidence that Iraq had revived its nuclear weapons program since its elimination in the 1990s. And Saddam Hussein had begun to comply with the administration's demands. Why would you invade a country if there was still a chance for peace? Shouldn't war be an absolute last resort? We went to war because we were misled. And we should be angry because of the 2,000 American soldiers and the 200 armed coalition forces that have died. We should be livid because of the 15,000 American soldiers that have been horribly maimed and wounded. We should be disgusted because of the 30,000 innocent Iraqi civilians that have been killed and the 20,000 that are wounded after administration officials claimed that the US was going to liberate the Iraqi people.
Editor and Publisher
By E&P Staff
NEW YORK Ever since the Democrats briefly closed the U.S. Senate from view earlier this week, to protest alleged Republican foot-dragging in probing Bush administration pre-war manipulation of intelligence, the press has been asking: So what new evidence do the Democrats have in this matter?
Tomorrow, The New York Times starts to answer the question, with reporter Doug Jehl disclosing the contents of a newly declassified memo apparently passed to him by Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
It shows that an al-Qaeda official in American custody was identified as a likely fabricator months before the Bush administration began to use his statements as the foundation for its claims that Iraq trained al-Qaeda members to use biological and chemical weapons, according to this Defense Intelligence Agency document from February 2002.
Ewen MacAskill and Julian Glover
Britain's former ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer, delivers a damaging critique of Tony Blair's approach to the war in Iraq in an interview in the Guardian today.
Sir Christopher, who had a ringside seat in the decision-making that led to the war, unfavourably contrasts Mr Blair with the boldness and attention to detail of Margaret Thatcher. He says Lady Thatcher took pride in knowing more detail than her officials. "That is why it was terrifying to be summoned into her presence because if you did not know your stuff, she would expose you. There was never that danger with Tony Blair."
By DAVID ESPO and LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writers
Vice President Dick Cheney made an unusual personal appeal to Republican senators this week to allow CIA exemptions to a proposed ban on the torture of terror suspects in U.S. custody, according to participants in a closed-door session.
Cheney told his audience the United States doesn't engage in torture, these participants added, even though he said the administration needed an exemption from any legislation banning "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment in case the president decided one was necessary to prevent a terrorist attack.
Bush's approval rating has fallen to 35. Maybe America is starting to realize that secret prisons and endless war aren't really the best government we can possibly hope for.
Dick Cheney, in the same poll, has a 19 percent approval rating.
That's two points less popular than cheating on your spouse and seven points behind corporal punishment in schools (scroll down).
That's down in what can be politely called lunatic territory. As I've been pointing out for years, twenty or thirty percent of Americans believe any insane thing you can imagine.
New York Times
By JAMES GLANZ
An auditing board sponsored by the United Nations recommended yesterday that the United States repay as much as $208 million to the Iraqi government for contracting work in 2003 and 2004 assigned to Kellogg, Brown & Root, the Halliburton subsidiary.
The work was paid for with Iraqi oil proceeds, but the board said it was either carried out at inflated prices or done poorly. The board did not, however, give examples of poor work.
Some of the work involved postwar fuel imports carried out by K.B.R. that previous audits had criticized as grossly overpriced. But this is the first time that an international auditing group has suggested that the United States repay some of that money to Iraq. The group, known as the International Advisory and Monitoring Board of the Development Fund for Iraq, compiled reports from an array of Pentagon, United States government and private auditors to carry out its analysis.
News Hour, PBS
Retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's former chief of staff, has sharply criticized the Bush administration's handling of the run up to the Iraq war. Following an interview with Wilkerson, two experts debate his charges.
RAY SUAREZ: In recent weeks, criticism has intensified over the Bush administration's Iraq policy, both in the run-up to the war and its aftermath.
A former top-level foreign policy insider claimed the vice president and other administration officials hijacked some of the most important decisions about US national security, including vital decisions about post-war Iraq.
By Associated Press
Caledonia, Mich: A woman who took an unpaid leave of absence from work to see her husband off to war with an Indiana National Guard unit has been fired after failing to show up for her part-time receptionist job the day following his departure.
"It was a shock," said Suzette Boler, a 40-year-old mother of three and grandmother of three. "I was hurt. I felt abandoned by people I thought cared for me. I sat down on the floor and cried for probably two hours."
Officials at her former workplace, Benefit Management Administrators Inc., a Caledonia employee-benefits company, confirmed that Boler was dismissed when she didn't report to work the day after she said goodbye to her husband of 22 years.
Federation of Oil Unions in Iraq formed in Iraqby Hassan Juma'a Awwad Al-Assadi, President, Federation of Oil UnionsNovember 4th, 2005
From US Labor Against the War
All are aware of the role that Iraqi labour unions have played in theprevious and present phrases of Iraq's history as the most importantbasis of Iraqi society for development and construction. Unionscontinued with their work until they became the object of a conspiracyon the part of the despotic regime, which stripped them of their rightsin 1987. After the dictator fell, on 20/04/2003, that is eleven daysafter the entry of the occupation forces, activists formed the oilUnion, the first nucleus of which was the Southern Oil Company and theother oil companies. The Union masterfully led the process of buildingand reconstruction and equipping of the plants and oil installations andthe process of improving living conditions and obtaining the rights ofits members. ...Building on what has gone before and in accordance with presentexperiences of Iraqis as part of embodying the practice of democracy forthe new phase, we announce with God's blessing the formation of theFederation of Oil Unions in Iraq, with its centre in Basra, composed ofunions representing the oil sector in Basra, Meisan, and DhiQar, as a Federation specialised in all aspects of the oil sector and part of the movement of Iraqi labour unions. READ COMPLETE ARTICLE AT:
National Priorities Project Bulletin
In the long tradition of National Priorities Project turning data into action, NPP releases today a major expansion of the NPP Database. With the addition of military recruitment data, we're once again highlighting the cost of war and militarism on local communities.
As of today, from anywhere in the country, you can find out the number of military recruits in 2004 that came from your high school, zip code, county or your state, along with breakdowns by race, ethnicity, gender and income levels. Get your local numbers at: www.nationalpriorities.org/database.
From U.S. Labor Against the War
Friday, November 11, 2005, 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM, Up Fifth Avenue, from 26th Street to 56th Street
Labor participation in Anti-War Action at the NYC Veterans Day Parade: Iraq Vets Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace, and Gold Star Families for Peace are having an anti-war float at the Veterans Day Parade on Friday, Nov. 11th. They are asking for only Veterans and their families to join them in the parade. If you know of any union activists or anti-war activists, co-workers, friends, neighbors, etc, who are vets or their families, please tell them to meet at 10:30 am on E. 28th Street between Madison and Fifth Avenue on Nov. 11th. US Labor Against the War and other anti-war groups will have an anti-war contingent as observers on the parade line of march (Fifth Avenue between 26th and 51 Streets --exact details will be sent out as soon as we have them), so if you can come to the parade on Friday, November 11th, please consider joining us.
By Larry Beinhart
The first step in getting out of Iraq is to blame George W. Bush.
This is a serious suggestion. It is neither facetious nor partisan.
It would be wonderful if the occupation were going to lead to the creation of a stable, secular, self-sustaining democracy. But that doesn't seem to be the case. Chaos and disorder are increasing.
The best prediction is that the country is headed toward full-scale civil war. It will end with Iraq divided along ethnic and religious lines. At least one segment will have an Islamic government closely tied to Iran. Our presence seems to be making things worse. Nor has anyone suggested some alternative way of running the war that might work better.
Washington Post withholds info on secret prisons at government request
On November 2, the Washington Post carried an explosive front-page story about secret Eastern European prisons set up by the CIA for the interrogation of terrorism suspects. While the Post article, by reporter Dana Priest, gave readers plenty of details, it also withheld the most crucial information--the location of these secret prisons--at the request of government officials.
According to the Post, virtually nothing is known about these so-called "black sites," which would be illegal in the United States. Given the abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, news that the U.S. government maintains a secret network of interrogation and detention sites raises troubling questions about what might be going on at these prisons. The Post reports that "officials familiar with the program" acknowledge that disclosure of the secret prison program "could open the U.S. government to legal challenges, particularly in foreign courts, and increase the risk of political condemnation at home and abroad."
November 5, 2005 from 7-9 p.m.
Turners Falls High School
222 Turnpike Road, Montague, MA
Please join us for an exciting event
A panel discussion with Congressman Jim McGovern and John Bonifaz.
Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman Phil Johnston will moderate the forum.
At their annual state convention in June, Massachusetts Democrats unanimously approved a resolution calling for an end to the war in Iraq.
The panelists will discuss how the U.S. got involved in the war, the present situation in Iraq, and our exit strategy.
What: A panel discussion on the Iraq War
Who: Congressman Jim McGovern
From an article on FindLaw.com by James Dean (former counsel to Richard Nixon):
...Fitzgerald has clearly thrown a stacked indictment at Libby, laying it on him as heavy as the law and propriety permits. He has taken one continuous false statement, out of several hours of interrogation, and made it into a five-count indictment. It appears he is trying to flip Libby - that is, to get him to testify against Cheney - and not without good reason. Cheney is the big fish in this case.
With the latest CBS poll putting Bush's approval rating at 35%, he's genuinely entered into Nixon territory. Since polling began, Nixon is the only two-term president with lower approval ratings at a comparable point in his presidency:
Johnson 66% (Oct. 1965)
Reagan 63% (Oct. 1985)
Clinton 57% (Oct. 1997)
Eisenhower 57% (Oct. 1957)
Truman 49% (Oct. 1949)
Bush 39% (Oct. 2005)
Nixon 29% (Oct. 1973)
So, I've helpfully graphed both Bush's approval rating and disapproval rating against Nixon's. Note Bush still has about a year to go before he gets to the point in Nixon's presidency when Nixon resigned.
By Stirling Newberry, http://www.bopnews.com
In the last week the nation has turned the corner on impeaching George W Bush. It has gone from a cry of protest and anger, to being the subtext of what is said and done at the highest levels of government. The tumblers are whirring, and one by one falling into place. The force of gravity is now on the side of it occurring, rather than it not occurring. Impeachment is a Trial by Constitution, and the search for probable cause has begun.
The reason for this is that scandals do not happen, they are allowed to happen. Either they are the product of desperation, as a side that is defeated in a political bout grabs for any weapon to use in a last ditch attempt, or they are the product of a general disgust and desire to force out a government that has lost all connection with those it governs.
Lee; Adam Smith; Tauscher; Kilpatrick; Jackson-Lee; Serrano; Grijalva; Watson; Clay; DeFazio; Woolsey; Frank; Jackson; Rangel; McNulty; McDermott; Abercrombie; Conyers; Ackerman; Maloney; Allen; David Price; Schwartz; Danny Davis; McKinney; Filner; Stark; Kaptur; Meeks; Tim Bishop; Sherrod Brown; Becerra; Capuano; Cummings; Gutierrez; Stephanie Tubbs Jones; McGovern; Payne; Towns; Millender-McDonald; Mike Thompson; Velazquez; Rahall; Gwen Moore; Sanders; Slaughter; Solis; Inslee; Doggett; Van Hollen; McCollum; Napolitano; John Lewis; Farr; Honda; Eddie Bernice Johnson; Strickland; Sabo; Schako
Hinchey, Waxman, & Conyers Request Cheney To Testify Before Congress On CIA Leak Case
From the Office of Rep Hinchey
November 3 , 2005
Daniel J. Ahouse
Congressman Maurice Hinchey
291 Wall Street
Kingston, NY 12401
For Immediate Release: Contacts: Jeff Lieberson (Hinchey) 202-225-1265
November 3, 2005 Dena Graziano (Conyers) 202-225-6906
Hinchey, Waxman, & Conyers Request Cheney
To Testify Before Congress On CIA Leak Case
Say Many Doubts & Questions Remain Unanswered About Vice President's Involvement
With Disclosure Of CIA Agent's Identity; Call On Vice President To Follow The Example Of His Former Boss, President Ford, Who Testified On Capitol Hill While In Office On Nixon Pardon