To A Soldier, From A Citizen

To A Soldier, From A Citizen
[Editor's note: Matthew Carnicelli is on vacation. This Sunday's feature article comes to us from DCP regular Christy Cole. A full coterie of Ms. Cole's writing can be found at the group blog, ReBelle Nation. Our regular Sunday morning feature series, The Tao of Politics, will return when Mr. Carnicelli does. In the meantime, please enjoy the talented writing of our associate, Christy Cole.]

To A Soldier, From A Citizen

To the soldiers of my nation, wherever you are, I send you greetings from the heart of your empire. A grateful nation awaits your homecoming.

Letter Shows Authority to Expand CIA Leak Probe Was Given in '04

Letter Shows Authority to Expand CIA Leak Probe Was Given in '04

By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 23, 2005; Page A05

Weeks after he took over the investigation 22 months ago into the unauthorized disclosure of a CIA operative's identity, special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald got authority from the Justice Department to expand his inquiry to include any criminal attempts to interfere with his probe, according to a letter posted Friday on Fitzgerald's new Web site.

Fitzgerald is nearing a decision on whether he will prosecute anyone when the federal grand jury term ends Friday. The letter specified that he could investigate and prosecute "perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence and intimidation of witnesses."

Dean calls for end to 'culture of corruption'

Dean calls for end to 'culture of corruption'
By JOSIE HUANG, Portland Press Herald Writer
LEWISTON — The Bush White House is the most corrupt administration in U.S. history since President Warren G. Harding's, said Howard Dean during his first visit to Maine as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Dean's comments Saturday came as top White House advisers are being investigated for their roles in the outing of a CIA operative and Tom DeLay, the former second-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, faces conspiracy and money-laundering charges.

"The first thing we're going to do is we're going to have ethics come back to Washington again," said Dean, the keynote speaker at Saturday night's annual fundraising dinner for the Maine Democratic Party at the Lewiston Armory.

Torture in Iraq

Torture in Iraq
By Human Rights Watch

Thursday 03 November 2005

The following article is an excerpt, in somewhat modified form, from "Leadership Failure: Firsthand Accounts of Torture of Iraqi Detainees by the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division," a report issued by Human Rights Watch on September 25, 2005. The full report is available at

On their day off people would show up all the time. Everyone in camp knew if you wanted to work out your frustration you show up at the PUC tent.(1) In a way it was sport. The cooks were all US soldiers. One day a sergeant shows up and tells a PUC to grab a pole. He told him to bend over and broke the guy's leg with a mini Louisville Slugger that was a metal bat. He was the fucking cook. He shouldn't be in with no PUCs.

Leak Prosecutor Is Called Exacting and Apolitical

Leak Prosecutor Is Called Exacting and Apolitical
Published: October 22, 2005
WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 - In 13 years prosecuting mobsters and terrorists in New York, Patrick J. Fitzgerald earned a public reputation for meticulous preparation, a flawless memory and an easy eloquence. Only his colleagues knew that these orderly achievements emerged from the near-total anarchy of his office, where the relentless Mr. Fitzgerald often slept during big cases.
Doug Mills/The New York Times
Patrick J. Fitzgerald leaving court in Washington last week. He is expected to decide soon whether to bring charges in the C.I.A. leak investigation.

GOP Talking Points: Don't Indict On Perjury "Technicality"

Sunday :: Oct 23, 2005
GOP Talking Points: Don't Indict On Perjury "Technicality"
The new GOP talking points are in place, and according to the same people who thought that perjury stemming from a consensual relationship was an impeachable offense, perjury stemming from a breach of national security, media manipulation, public disinformation, and political payback is now a “technicality.

Bush 41 Security Adviser Scowcroft: US is Moving In The Direction Of The Vietnam War…

AlterNetYour turn
Bush 41 Security Adviser Scowcroft: US is Moving In The Direction Of The Vietnam War…

From October 31, 2005, issue of The New Yorker:

[...] The neoconservatives—the Republicans who argued most fervently for the second Gulf war—believe in the export of democracy, by violence if that is required, Scowcroft said. “How do the neocons bring democracy to Iraq? You invade, you threaten and pressure, you evangelize.

Fitzgerald Must Broaden Investigation

Fitzgerald Must Broaden Investigation
Katrina vanden Heuvel
Sat Oct 22, 7:55 PM ET

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.

Lawyers in CIA-leak case say charges possible this week

Lawyers in CIA-leak case say charges possible this week
Sun Oct 23, 2005 12:16 PM ET
By Adam Entous
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald appears to be laying the groundwork for indictments this week over the outing of a covert CIA operative, including possible charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, lawyers involved in case said on Sunday.

Top administration officials are expected to learn from Fitzgerald as early as Monday whether they will face charges as the prosecutor winds up his nearly two-year investigation, the lawyers said.

Fitzgerald could convene the grand jury as early as Tuesday to lay out a final summary of the case and ask for approval of possible indictments, legal sources said. The grand jury hearing the CIA leak case normally meets on Wednesdays and is scheduled to expire on Friday unless Fitzgerald extends it.

Colonel quits as fears grow for the safety of his men

Colonel quits as fears grow for the safety of his men
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
(Filed: 23/10/2005)

A senior army officer serving in Iraq, who voiced concerns over a lack of armoured vehicles for his men, has resigned. Details of the resignation emerged just days after another of Lt Col Nick Henderson's soldiers was killed in a bomb attack in Basra.

Last month the 43-year old commanding officer of 1st Bn Coldstream Guards, who is married with children, made a request to senior officers for extra Warrior armoured personnel carriers.

Lt Col Nick Henderson
It is understood that Lt Col Henderson, whose battalion is responsible for security in the southern Iraqi capital of Basra, was concerned that Land Rovers did not offer his men enough protection from terrorist bomb attacks, which have left nine soldiers dead since May. It is unclear whether that request was authorised.

4 U.S. deaths bring toll to near 2,000

By Lee Keath
Associated Press

BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. troops and warplanes killed 20 insurgents Saturday while destroying safehouses for foreign militants near the Syrian border, and four more American military deaths edged the war’s U.S. death toll closer to 2,000.
Iraqi election officials, meanwhile, said no significant fraud had been detected in last weekend’s constitutional referendum as they released partial results. Officials indicated the final count would not come for at least a few more days.

The day’s heaviest fighting came when U.S.-led forces raided five houses suspected of sheltering foreign fighters in Husaybah, a town near Iraq’s border with Syria, the military said. The troops reportedly killed 20 insurgents and captured one.

San Diego Setting Example for Activists

2,000 Too Many!
Must see flash video:
National Call to Action!
Vigil in San Diego the day AFTER the 2,000th U.S.
serviceperson's death is announced,
4:00 TO 7:30pm
COME to Horton Plaza!

and join the hundreds of peace and justice groups throughout the country as we tell the President, Congress and the world that 2,000 U.S. deaths in Iraq is 2,000 too many.
WE the PEOPLE, in one unified voice, can STOP this WAR!
For more information contact: San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice (619) 263-9301

Karl and Scooter's Excellent Adventure

By Frank Rich
The New York Times

There were no weapons of mass destruction. There was no collaboration between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda on 9/11. There was scant Pentagon planning for securing the peace should bad stuff happen after America invaded. Why, exactly, did we go to war in Iraq?

"It still isn't possible to be sure - and this remains the most remarkable thing about the Iraq war," writes the New Yorker journalist George Packer, a disenchanted liberal supporter of the invasion, in his essential new book, "The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq." Even a former Bush administration State Department official who was present at the war's creation, Richard Haass, tells Mr. Packer that he expects to go to his grave "not knowing the answer."

An Interview with Rev. William Sloane Coffin

Published on Saturday, October 22, 2005 by
By Ralph Nader

I recently spoke to Rev. William Sloane Coffin about the war in Iraq and what concerned citizens can do to stop this illegal and unjust war.

Rev. William Sloane Coffin was a leader against the war in Vietnam and is a leading advocate for civil rights and opponent of nuclear weapons. Coffin was an Army officer in World War II. He earned his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Yale in 1956 and was ordained a Presbyterian minister.

In 1977, he became senior minister at Riverside Church in New York City. He currently resides in Vermont.

Secret MoD poll: Iraqis support attacks on British troops

By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent

Millions of Iraqis believe that suicide attacks against British troops are justified, a secret military poll commissioned by senior officers has revealed.

The poll, undertaken for the Ministry of Defence and seen by The Sunday Telegraph, shows that up to 65 per cent of Iraqi citizens support attacks and fewer than one per cent think Allied military involvement is helping to improve security in their country.

It demonstrates for the first time the true strength of anti-Western feeling in Iraq after more than two and a half years of bloody occupation.

Week of Milestones Fails to Reassure Frustrated Iraqis

Referendum and Trial Called Diversions
By John Ward Anderson and Bassam Sebti
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, October 22, 2005; A16

BAGHDAD -- Thaer Abbas Shammari smiled contentedly and leaned on a table crammed with merchandise outside his Baghdad convenience store on constitution referendum day last weekend, bantering with neighbors, customers and passersby. But when the talk turned to voting, he stood bolt upright.

"Look!" he bellowed, lifting his shirt and one pant leg to display neck, stomach and ankle scars that he said were inflicted during 14 years as a political prisoner under Saddam Hussein. When he pointed to a picture of his brother taped to the front door -- a "hero and martyr" executed by the former government for supposedly belonging to an outlawed political party -- it seemed natural to assume that Shammari would march to the polling center 100 yards away and cast his ballot.

NY Times reporter in CIA case criticized in paper

By Gelu Sulugiuc

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A reporter for The New York Times came under sharp criticism in the pages of her own newspaper on Saturday, over her conduct related to a probe into the outing of a CIA operative.

The Times' executive editor was quoted in the paper as saying reporter Judith Miller appeared to have misled it about her role in the controversy, and a top columnist suggested the Times' reputation would be endangered if she returned from leave to her old job.

"If that were to happen, the institution most in danger would be the newspaper in your hands," columnist Maureen Dowd wrote in the Times, one of the most influential U.S. newspapers.

More Bad News for Bush

By Larry C. Johnson

The CIA field commander for the agency's Jawbreaker team at Tora Bora, Gary Berntsen, has finally got approval to publish his book, which will hit the streets on December 27, 2005. The CIA has sat on the book for more than a year and tried to stop its publication. Although the book is not intended as a criticism of President Bush, it will land another body blow to the beleaguered Bush Presidency. Bernsten's key point in the book is his testimonty that he and other U.S. commanders did know that bin Laden was among the hundreds of fleeing Qaeda and Taliban members. According to NEWSWEEK, "Berntsen says he had definitive intelligence that bin Laden was holed up at Tora Bora--intelligence operatives had tracked him--and could have been caught. He was there."

Fitzgerald Expands Probe to Prewar Intel

Source: Chalabi responsible for forged WMD documents

As readers found out on Wednesday, prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald’s investigation into the Plame leak case has broadened to include a probe into the catalyzing event that set off the "outing" of CIA agent Valerie Plame to begin with: the Niger uranium forgeries. These documents, which purported to show that the Iraqis were trying to procure uranium from the African nation of Niger, were utilized by the Bush administration in making the case for war – but, alas, they turned out to be crudely done fakes. The question of who forged them has always been at the heart of this case, and now it looks like Fitzgerald is getting close to the answer.

The Cost of War at Walter Reed

By Stewart Nusbaumer
Intervention Magazine,

Inside Walter Reed Army Hospital is the horrible reality of the Iraq War, a reality that few Americans see, and fewer want to see.

Washington, DC - In the dining hall is a family of three. The mother's shirt says "Thank a Soldier," the father's hat says "Vietnam Veteran," and the son's T-shirt says "Seattle Sonics." A normal family, except the son has no legs.

The tough talking lions of the Bush Administration proclaimed "shock and awe" would destroy the Iraqi will to fight and then it would be a simple "cakewalk." So the cocky civilians unleashed the "mother" of all air assaults on Baghdad and then our strutting commander in chief - decked out in a fine flight suit - proclaimed, "Mission Accomplished."

Blix Says US Misled Itself, The World on Iraq

Published on Saturday, October 22, 2005 by the Boston Globe
WMD reports, satellite photos called lacking
By Russell Contreras

MEDFORD, Massachusetts -- Bush administration officials misled themselves on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and ''then they misled the world," Hans Blix, the former United Nations chief weapons inspector said yesterday.

Speaking at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Blix criticized the administration's actions before invading Iraq in March 2003, but stopped short of saying it intentionally fooled the public on the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Strong criticism for N.Y. Times' Miller from boss

By Pete Yost

WASHINGTON – Judith Miller's boss says the New York Times reporter appears to have misled the newspaper about her role in the CIA leak controversy.
In an e-mail memo Friday to the newspaper's staff, Executive Editor Bill Keller said that until Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald subpoenaed Miller in the criminal probe, "I didn't know that Judy had been one of the reporters on the receiving end" of leaks aimed at Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson.

"Judy seems to have misled" Times Washington bureau chief Bill Taubman about the extent of her involvement, Keller wrote.

The Coming Hurricane Fitzgerald...

Wherein we submit our entry in the "guess how many indictments" pool.
By thepen

As always we feature the action link first, this one to call for the impeachment of George Bush

There is a storm of historic proportions headed for the United States, one that will make Hurricane Wilma (also en route) look like a small splash in the pond by comparison. It's been building and gathering strength in the increasingly hot waters of the Special Counsel's office for almost two years, and in a matter of days it may lay waste to the entire political infrastructure of Washington, D.C., from one end to the other.

Who Is Scooter Libby?

By John Dickerson

The secretive Cheney aide at the heart of the CIA leak case.

Who is I. Lewis Libby? The not-Karl-Rove character at the center of the CIA leak investigation is so mysterious he hides his first name. Rove we know: He's Bush's political id-a self-taught master of political hardball, a brash Texan who has plotted the president's advance for 25 years.

The adviser universally known as "Scooter" represents the other side of the Bush administration: the secret undisclosed side. Like the vice president he works for, Libby prefers to work on policy in the shadows and leave the politics to others. Unlike Rove, or even fellow neocons Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, Libby rarely speaks on the record; he almost never gives public speeches. Unlike the Texas gang, he doesn't boast at being an anti-intellectual and is in fact proud of his intellectual credentials. "Lewis Libby is a graduate of Yale University and Columbia University School of Law," reads the blurb under his picture on the back flap of his book, a historical novel about Japan at the turn of the 19th century.

Lies Judith Miller Told Us

By Joel Bleifuss, In These Times

In the last few months all manner of gas has been expended on the Valerie Plame case.

Did Karl Rove and Scooter Libby out Plame as a CIA officer to punish her husband Joseph Wilson IV? Who else in the White House knew of or condoned this crime? And is there some kind of medal we can bestow on Judith Miller, who suffered prison to protect her First Amendment rights?

Yes it makes for good drama, but in a perverse way the Plame case obscures the larger story. The media understandably finds it more interesting to ferret out the specific crimes of a Karl Rove than to reflect on the larger, more profound crime: how we were misled into invading Iraq. First, the Bush administration created a catalogue of lies and misinformation in order to justify invasion. Second, some prominent members of the national media parroted those lies.

Editor Says He Missed Miller 'Alarm Bells'

By JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press Writer

The New York Times' Judith Miller belatedly gave prosecutors her notes of a key meeting in the CIA leak probe only after being shown White House records of it, and her boss declared Friday she appeared to have misled the newspaper about her role.

In a dramatic e-mail, Executive Editor Bill Keller wrote Times' employees he wished he'd more carefully interviewed Miller and had "missed what should have been significant alarm bells" that she had been the recipient of leaked information about the CIA officer at the heart of the case.

"Judy seems to have misled (Times Washington bureau chief) Phil Taubman about the extent of her involvement," Keller wrote in what he described as a lessons-learned e-mail. "This alone should have been enough to make me probe deeper."


Democracy Now!

Friday, October 21st, 2005

Scott Ritter on the Untold Story of the Intelligence

Conspiracy to Undermine the UN and Overthrow Saddam


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We speak with Scott Ritter, the chief United Nations

weapons inspector in Iraq between 1991 and 1998 about

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