By Congressman John Conyers
Cross-posted at Huffington
As the Fitzgerald investigation nears its conclusion, I am becoming increasingly concerned that Bush will prevent the exposure of wrongdoing in Treasongate by pardoning any indicted members of his administration before trial. I wrote a letter in July asking the President to pledge not to pardon these persons. I have yet to receive an answer so I have organized a letter writing campaign demanding an answer. Over 4,000 people have already signed so I'd like to generate at least 10,000 letters to Bush.
BY JONATHAN S. LANDAY
Knight Ridder Newspapers
WASHINGTON - The grand jury probe into the leak of a covert CIA officer's name has opened a new window into how the Bush administration used intelligence from dubious sources to make a case for a pre-emptive war and discarded information that undercut its rationale for attacking Iraq.
CIA officer Valerie Plame was outed in an apparent attempt to discredit her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, after he challenged President Bush's allegation in his 2003 State of the Union speech that Iraq had tried to buy uranium for nuclear weapons from the African nation of Niger.
By Rep Brad Miller
Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 03:32:03 PM PDT
I know I said when I posted my floor speech on Katrina relief that I would not make it a habit to post floor speeches here as diaries. Does twice a habit make?
This evening David Price, who represents an adjoining district in North Carolina, and I will introduce a resolution calling on the President to set forth what remains to be done before we can bring our folks home from Iraq, and to present a plan for withdrawing from Iraq, including "the expected time for completing the withdrawal." In other words, it calls for an exit strategy and a timeline.
By Danny Schechter
With the Bush administration on the defensive, with rationalizations for the war fading, with public opinion shifting, with talk of troop withdrawals all the buzz even as the Pentagon hardens "permanent" bases in the mess it has made of 'Messopotamia,' it's time for those who oppose the war to think about where our pressure and protest might hasten the war's end.
The Administration is locked into its own imperial logic with Condoleezza Rice even now refusing to rule out new wars in Iran and Syria. It is incapable and unwilling to listen to any voice other than its own, even as its forward thrust has been put on the defensive by scandals like the Valerie Plame affair and the Katrina catastrophe.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mikael Moore (202) 225-2201
Washington, DC - Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) issued the following statement following the Associated Press report that the 2,000th US soldier has died while serving in Iraq. According the Associated Press, 2,000 US soldiers have died and more than 15,000 have been injured since the war began in March 2003.
"Today, we received distressing news: a US soldier, Staff Sgt. George T. Alexander Jr., died today which brings the US death toll in Iraq to 2,000 soldiers. While I mourn the loss of every soldier, this milestone is yet another reminder that this war is unfolding in a dramatically different manner than described by the President, Vice-President and other Administration officials."
U.S. Death Toll in Iraq Tops 2,000
Tomorrow, Wed, 10/26, join veterans, military families and United for Peace and Justice NYC for a solemn vigil at the Times Square Recruiting Center on 43rd St. and Broadway. 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Bring flowers to lay on the doorstep of the Recruiting Center and banners and signs.
We have just received word that the moment we have been dreading has arrived: 2,000 U.S. servicepeople have now died in Iraq. We grieve for these two thousand men and women, killed in the prime of their lives, for a war based on lies, and we grieve for the tens of thousands of Iraqis who have also died in the chaos and carnage the Bush Administration has brought to their country.
The War in Iraq
Following is Sen. Patrick Leahy's address on Iraq, delivered Tuesday morning on the Senate floor. Leahy (D-Vt.) is the ranking member of the Appropriations panel that handles the Senate's work in funding the State Department and US foreign operations and aid, and he also is a senior member of the Appropriations panel with jurisdiction over the annual defense budget bill. Leahy was one of 23 senators who voted against the resolution that authorized the invasion of Iraq.
Mr. Leahy: Three years ago when the Congress and the country debated the resolution to give President Bush the authority to launch a preemptive war against Iraq, reference was often made to the lessons of Vietnam.
Fox's Brit Hume downplays U.S. deaths in Iraq
Imagine a major mainstream media figure stating that the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq are not really a big deal. You would expect that pundits across the political spectrum would attack such a statement as an affront to the troops and a belittling of their sacrifices.
But you don't have to imagine; this scenario has already happened, with hardly a peep from other commentators. The journalist in question is Fox News Channel anchor Brit Hume. On the October 13 broadcast of Special Report, the show he regularly hosts, Hume said of U.S deaths in Iraq, "by historic standards, these casualties are negligible."
From the TheWashingtonNote.com blog by Steven Clemons, "Indictments Coming Tomorrow; Targets Received Letters Today". The blog entry goes on to say:
An uber-insider source has just reported the following to TWN:
- 1-5 indictments are being issued. The source feels that it will be towards the higher end.
- The targets of indictment have already received their letters.
- The indictments will be sealed indictments and "filed" tomorrow.
- A press conference is being scheduled for Thursday.
By Tom Hayden
It is urgent that civil society barrage the mainstream media about lack of coverage of legitimate questioning of the Iraqi election results. For instance, the New York Times on October 25 mentioned the fraud claims in the nineteenth paragragh on page nine, and only to suggest a lack of evidence.
It makes no sense. If both parties in this country lie, cheat and cut corners, how could an Iraqi election be fair and open? That’s a gut feeling, of course, but the circumstantial evidence is plain.
The constitution was rejected in the Sunni majority provinces of Anbar and Salahaddin. The third, Nineveh, “is the focus of fraud allegations
text, audio, and video from the Bush Crimes Commission:
Italy's intelligence chief met with Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley just a month before the Niger forgeries first surfaced.
By Laura Rozen
With Patrick Fitzgerald widely expected to announce indictments in the CIA leak investigation, questions are again being raised about the intelligence scandal that led to the appointment of the special counsel: namely, how the Bush White House obtained false Italian intelligence reports claiming that Iraq had tried to buy uranium "yellowcake" from Niger.
The key documents supposedly proving the Iraqi attempt later turned out to be crude forgeries, created on official stationery stolen from the African nation's Rome embassy. Among the most tantalizing aspects of the debate over the Iraq War is the origin of those fake documents -- and the role of the Italian intelligence services in disseminating them.
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: 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
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.
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.
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.
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
By Michael Scherer
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
By Katrina Vanden Heuvel
"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.
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.
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.
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.