False prewar data offers a hard lesson, senators say

By Walter Pincus, Washington Post

WASHINGTON - The Republican chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said Sunday that one lesson of the faulty prewar intelligence on Iraq is that senators would take a hard look at intelligence before voting to go to war.

``I think a lot of us would really stop and think a moment before we would ever vote for war or to go and take military action,'' Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas said on ``Fox News Sunday.''

``We don't accept this intelligence at face value anymore,'' he said. ``We get into pre-emptive oversight and do digging in regards to our hard targets.''

Arlington West: Veterans Speak Out

VIDEO SPECIAL | Arlington West: Veterans Speak Out

The Peace Movement continues to grow. Interviews with Ron Kovic (Vietnam veteran and author of "Born on the 4th of July") and others on Veterans Day weekend, 2005.

Powell Protest, Scheer Firing, Massey Debate


* Students Arrested at Powell Speech Protest Accuse Police of Racial
Profiling *

Police arrested eight people Friday night at the San Francisco Bay Area's De
Anza College while protesting against a visit by Colin Powell. Six of the
eight arrested were Muslims. Students are accusing police of using racial
profiling and excessive force while arresting activists during the


* LA Times Fires Longtime Progressive Columnist Robert Scheer *

The Los Angeles Times newspaper last week announced that it was firing

Debating Warmongering with Bill O'Reilly

Tonight, Monday, Nov 14, Todd Chretien, organizer of the successful Proposition 1 campaign in San Francisco where voters declared their opposition to military recruiting in schools, debates Jeff Katz from Talk 910 KNEW AM radio in SF and Bill O'Reilly. It will air 8 pm and 11 pm EST (5 pm and 8 pm PST) on Fox News.

O'Reilly shocked the nation on November 8th when he reacted to the Proposition 1 vote:

"Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead." O'Reilly went on: "And if al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead." - Bill O'Reilly on the Thursday, Nov 8 broadcast of The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly on Fox News. See more of O'Reilly's comments below.

Policymakers on torture take note -- remember Pinochet

By Philippe Sands, San Francisco Chronicle

Before embarking on international travels, David Addington and others who are said to be closely associated with the crafting of the Bush administration's policy on the interrogation of detainees would do well to reflect on the fate of Augusto Pinochet.

The Chilean senator and former head of state was unexpectedly arrested during a visit to London on Oct. 16, 1998, at the request of a Spanish judge who sought his extradition on various charges of international criminality, including torture.

The House of Lords -- Britain's upper house -- ruled that the 1984 convention prohibiting torture removed any right he might have to claim immunity from the English courts and gave a green light to the continuation of extradition proceedings.

The killing of insurgents: whodunit?

By Eli Stephens, Left I on the News

I've written on multiple occasions on the sham nature of the so-called "exit
strategy" in Iraq, which suggests that Iraqi troops will gradually replace
American troops. Even if that were to happen, the chances that an Iraqi air
force will replace the American air force is nil, and it is American air
power that is responsible for most of the "successes" (i.e., the killing) in

Today's news is not only a case in point, but an object lesson in how the
American press tries to hide this fact from the American public. Here's one

A New Strategy to Force a Debate on Iraq on the House Floor

Because every bill to investigate war lies or end the war is killed in committee, leaders of the Out of Iraq Caucus are seeking to collect the signatures of a majority of Congress Members on a discharge petition, which would force a real and open debate of the war onto the floor of the House. The discharge petition is using H.J.Res. 55 as a vehicle, but once the debate begins, the content of any other bill can be offered as an amendment.

Graham Amendment Invokes Constitutional Crisis

By Marjorie Cohn
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

The "accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands ... may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."
--James Madison, Federalist Paper No. 47

In blatant defiance of the Constitution's guarantees of Habeas Corpus and separation of powers, the Senate on Thursday approved the Graham Amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 49 to 42. Five Democrats joined all but 4 Republican Senators in giving the President unfettered power to hold prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, for the rest of their lives, with no criminal charges, and no right to challenge their confinement by Habeas Corpus.

Everlasting Evidence

By David Swanson

According to Reuters:

"National security adviser Stephen Hadley told CNN's 'Late Edition' that Bush relied on the same intelligence that his predecessor Bill Clinton saw and that 77 of 100 senators used in 2002 to back Bush on the use of force in Iraq."

Why didn't he demand updated intelligence? And why did Bush's reliance on this "evidence" take such a catastrophically different course?

Berman's Explanation

Congressman Howard Berman is now claiming, through his staff, that he would have voted for H Res 505 last week, but that he couldn't make it back to DC from California in time. H Res 505 was a Resolution of Inquiry into the White House Iraq Group, and it lost by two votes after picking up two Republican supporters. Two Democrats, Berman and Congressman Faleomalvaega, failed to show up and vote. Other Congress Members from California did make it to the vote on time.

Questionable Sources of Advice

By David Swanson

Right-wing columnists like George Will can manage to seem quite fair and honest when they offer advice to the Democrats, because they usually offer advice that's identical to what Democratic advisors are themselves offering. But it's just possible that the George Wills are promoting their own agenda, and that it's the Democratic strategists we should be wondering about.

Read this closing paragraph of a Will column on Russ Feingold:

"Cindy Sheehan, surely a Republican mole toiling to make the anti-war position repulsive, starred at a Washington rally that featured exactly two speakers from Congress – including Cynthia McKinney, the Georgia Democrat who darkly hints that President Bush may have known that the 9/11 attacks were coming and welcomed them as a boost for defense-industry stocks owned by 'persons close to' his administration. In 2008, the many Democratic activists who vibrate like tuning forks to such stimuli will find their Howard Dean, some firebrand who will force, or tempt, other candidates to move in his direction. If that person is not Feingold, the country could conceivably have this contest: McCain vs. Feingold."

Smear Job

Is Ron Harris Telling the Truth?
By JIMMY MASSEY, CounterPunch

When I'm on my death bed and I have to face God with all the sins I committed throughout my life, when I come to the sin of killing innocent people in Iraq, I know I will only be able to meet my maker if I tell the truth now.

My story has been widely published in mainstream American and international press, as well as widely circulated on right-wing pro-war websites, for more than 1 year and 8 months. In December, 2004, MSNBC interviewed Pentagon Marine Corps spokesman Maj. Douglas Powell about me saying, "We're not saying he's lying, but his perception of what the situation was in relation to the rules of engagement, and what was justified, is different than ours." In a letter written to the editor of the Mountaineer, which was the first newspaper to publish my story in February 2004, Major Dan Schmitt, my former Commanding officer said, "There is no profit for anyone in discrediting his story in any way."

Protesters demand troop withdrawal


Hundreds of anti-war protesters brought the centre of the Scottish capital to a standstill as they demanded UK and American forces be withdrawn from Iraq.

Up to a thousand people made their way down Edinburgh's Royal Mile and past the Scottish Parliament before staging a brief sit-down protest a hundred yards from the US Consulate.

After proceeding along Princes Street, the crowd gathered on the Mound for a rally, where various speakers called for Tony Blair to bring the troops home.

Rose Gentle, whose 19 year old son Gordon, a Fusilier, was killed in a roadside bomb in Basra last year, Scottish Socialist leader Colin Fox and Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, addressed the crowds.

FBI whistleblower runs for Congress

By Patrick Condon, Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Minn. -- For better or worse, Coleen Rowley the candidate for Congress sounds a lot like Coleen Rowley the FBI whistleblower.
The former FBI agent who scathingly exposed the bureau's failure to uncover the Sept. 11 plot is running for a House seat in Minnesota in 2006 as a Democrat, and she is employing her fearlessly blunt style on the campaign trail.

"This was a lied-into war that is a quagmire now," the 50-year-old Rowley recently told a group of rural Democrats in a garage in this small town south of the Twin Cities. "It could be worse than Vietnam. The truth is we can't win, and there's still an ongoing deception."

All in the Family

Returning soldiers and their spouses, parents, and children are the backbone of the antiwar movement spreading today in the United States. And they're speaking louder than ever.
By Nan Levinson, Boston Globe

CARLOS ARREDONDO, a wiry man with expansive gestures, circles the Cambridge Common, handing out copies of letters his son Alexander wrote in January 2003 as he shipped out for his first tour of duty in Iraq. "I feel so lucky to be blessed with the chance to defend my country 6 months after I joined the military," Alexander writes to his brother. To his parents: "I am not afraid of dying. I am more afraid of what will happen to all the ones that I love if something happens to me." He had enlisted in the Marines at 17, just before beginning his senior year in high school at Blue Hills Regional Technical School in Canton, and left for training days after graduation. On August 25, 2004, Alexander Arredondo was killed in Najaf, Iraq. He was 20 years old.

Suing the War Party

An OTR Editorial
By Ahmed Amr, http://www.thousandreasons.org

"While the indictment and resignation of Lewis 'Scooter' Libby is a welcome development, the responsibility for lying to the American people and targeting critics and dissidents needs to go all the way up the chain of command. Scooter Libby was clearly one of the administration's attack dogs unleashed on opponents of this fraudulent war, but he serves higher masters. This administration continues to wage a war based on lies, a war that has taken the lives of 2,000 Americans, including my son, and the lives of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis. This indictment reinforces the growing calls in this country and around the world to end the occupation, bring our troops home and hold those responsible accountable for their crimes. Let this serve as a springboard to put the war on trial and bring our troops home now." Cindy Sheehan

Call Your Senator And Urge A Yes Vote For The Bingaman Amendment

By Armando, Dailykos

Please call your Senators and urge them to vote for the Bingaman Amendment regarding habeas corpus at Guantanamo Bay. If you agree, please call your senators, and ask them to vote for Jeff Bingaman's S. AMDT 2517 to bill S. 1042.

Hilzoy and Katherine at Obsidian Wings have a long series explaining why.

I also agree with the New York Times:

It certainly is a relief that the Senate is finally getting around to doing the job it so shamefully refused to do four years ago, after the 9/11 attacks: requiring the administration to follow the law and the Geneva Conventions in dealing with prisoners taken by the military and intelligence operatives.

Senator Graham Pulls A FAST ONE To Abort Habeas Corpus

Urgent Action Alert
By thepen, http://www.opednews.com

With virtually no advance notice the Republican majority in the Senate (with the shameful complicity of Democrats Conrad, Landrieu, Lieberman, Nelson [Ben], and Wyden) approved a last minute amendment to the Defense Authorization Act to deny U.S. courts jurisdiction to examine the legality of detainee detention in Guantanamo and elsewhere. They did this in defiance of the not yet completely packed Supreme Court (another reason to reject Alito), whose authority they would annul. This is all despite the well-known FACT that many scooped up into these hell holes of torture are not terrorists at all, some even having been sold for bounty. Senator Bingaman immediately responded with a proposed corrective amendment (S.AMDT.2517) to restore jurisdiction.

Graham Amendment Taking Away Habeus Jurisdiction

By Clara Gutteridge, http://www.end-unlawful-imprisonment.org.uk

On Thursday 10th of November the US Senate passed an amendment to the Defence Appropriations Bill introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham
This amendment would strip all those designated by the US Administration as enemy combatants of the right to seek Habeas Review in Federal Courts. It would also limit judicial inquiry at Guantanamo to the US Military’s compliance with its own regulations relating to the bogus legal category of "enemy combatants".

Not only is this Bill an unconstitutional usurpation of US judicial authority by Congress, it also presents serious problems for other States seeking to protect the rights of their own citizens. Whilst the current focus is on detainees at Guantanamo, the provision extends to anyone designated by the US Military as an "enemy combatant". The US is in the process of passing a Bill which could deny rights of Habeas Relief for a British Citizen held abroad.

US 'Can't Maintain Iraq Troop Levels'

By John P. Gramlich

Washington- Unless the Bush administration significantly cuts American troop levels in Iraq next year, the U.S. military's roughly 140,000-strong presence there will become a detriment to America's national security, according to a report released this week.

In the latest instance of foreign policy experts calling for the Bush administration to set a timetable for U.S. troop reductions in Iraq, the Center for American Progress, a think tank headed by President Bill Clinton's former chief of staff John Podesta, Wednesday said the future of America's military hangs in the balance.

Impeachment in Seven Reasons

By Stirling Newberry, dailykos.com

Kos has said that impeachment talk is silly. With all due respect, it is deadly serious and completely necessary. The constellation of impeachment is rising.

First let me set the terms of debate. No President has ever been removed through conviction in the Senate. Only one has come close, and he almost had to side with the defeated South after a bloody war. No, no one seriously expects Bush to be removed. For the same reason, talk of "President Cheney" is also irrelevant, because Bush isn't going to resign. He won't even listen to people who contradict him on small matters, let alone large ones. Resignation is not in the cards for King George.

VIDEO - Senators Roberts and Rockefeller Debate Pre-Iraq War Lies

From BradBlog.com
Guest blogged by David Edwards

From today's edition of Fox News Sunday:

Video in Windows Media format

Video in QuickTime format

Do you have what it takes?

By Amy Branham
Houston, TX
Mother of Sgt. Jeremy R. Smith
Nov. 1981 – Feb. 2004

For the last couple of weeks or so various news outlets have been reporting more and more about how we were lied to by our administration about the reasons for going to war in Iraq. Every day I hear the talking heads, with self-righteous indignation, verbally pummel the Bush administration for their lies. This began to happen right about the time that Scooter Libby was indicted by a grand jury.

While I am glad that the media has *finally* caught on and began reporting what so many of us knew long before now, I have to wonder what took them so long? The evidence was right in front of them a long time ago! The Downing Street Minutes came out and have been available for at least a couple of years now. Initially, these documents were completely ignored by the main stream media of America because they simply weren’t considered newsworthy at the time.

Libby Masking Cheney's Role?

Sunday, November 13, 2005
Libby Masking Cheney's Role?
ReddHedd, firedoglake.blogspot.com

Why would Scooter Libby tell such an intricate series of lies, which were clearly contradicted by his own detailed notes, unless...he's covering for someone else. Say, his boss.
In the opening days of the CIA leak investigation in early October 2003, FBI agents working the case already had in their possession a wealth of valuable evidence. There were White House phone and visitor logs, which clearly documented the administration's contacts with reporters.

Blair faces new inquiry into Iraq war Impeachment campaigners claim former ministers will join 200 supporters to force probe

Sunday Herald - 13 November 2005
Blair faces new inquiry into Iraq war
Impeachment campaigners claim former ministers will join 200 supporters to force Commons probe
By James Cusick, Westminster Editor

MPs organising the campaign to impeach Tony Blair believe they have enough support to force a highly damaging Commons investigation into the Prime Minister’s pre-war conduct.
A renewed attempt to impeach Blair over claims he misled parlia ment in making his case for war against Iraq, will be made in the Commons within the next two weeks.

Nonviolence on Veterans Day?

By Greg Moses, Peacefile

In a few minutes I want to speak about nonviolence.
But on Veteran's Day, allow me to speak first about
the truth, goodness, and beauty of violence; because
if violence could be none of these things, how would
Hollywood bake its bread?

I have sometimes confessed to the joys of war games on
computer, so now I admit to the thrill of action
movies, whether lo-tech Westerns or hi-tech
Terminators. In Westerns, violence of the false, bad,
and ugly kind gets sprayed onto our faces early in the
show, so that a more satisfying violence may follow.

The Washington Post discovers the economic draft (but not by name)

Eli Stephens, Left I on the News

"As sustained combat in Iraq makes it harder than ever to fill the ranks of
the all-volunteer force, newly released Pentagon demographic data show that
the military is leaning heavily for recruits on economically depressed,
rural areas where youths' need for jobs may outweigh the risks of going to

"More than 44 percent of U.S. military recruits come from rural areas,
Pentagon figures show. In contrast, 14 percent come from major cities."

Of course, knowing that 14 percent come from major cities doesn't tell you

'We Do Not Torture' and Other Funny Stories

By Frank Rich, The New York Times

If it weren't tragic it would be a New Yorker cartoon. The president of the United States, in the final stop of his forlorn Latin America tour last week, told the world, "We do not torture." Even as he spoke, the administration's flagrant embrace of torture was as hard to escape as publicity for Anderson Cooper.

The vice president, not satisfied that the C.I.A. had already been implicated in four detainee deaths, was busy lobbying Congress to give the agency a green light to commit torture in the future. Dana Priest of The Washington Post, having first uncovered secret C.I.A. prisons two years ago, was uncovering new "black sites" in Eastern Europe, where ghost detainees are subjected to unknown interrogation methods redolent of the region's Stalinist past. Before heading south, Mr. Bush had been doing his own bit for torture by threatening to cast the first veto of his presidency if Congress didn't scrap a spending bill amendment, written by John McCain and passed 90 to 9 by the Senate, banning the "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment of prisoners.

Ellsberg Warns Iraq Is Similar to Vietnam

By ROSA CIRIANNI, Associated Press Writer

The former Defense Department official who leaked secret documents about the Vietnam War said Saturday that he sees many similarities between that conflict and the one in Iraq.

Daniel Ellsberg, 74, became famous for his release of the Pentagon Papers, which indicated the government had deceived the public about whether the war could be won and the extent of casualties.

He spoke to a crowd of more than 400 people at a New Jersey high school, telling them that the Vietnam War and the war in Iraq were both based on lies, referring to the such as the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Libby May Have Tried to Mask Cheney's Role

By Carol D. Leonnig and Jim VandeHei, Washington Post

In the opening days of the CIA leak investigation in early October 2003, FBI agents working the case already had in their possession a wealth of valuable evidence. There were White House phone and visitor logs, which clearly documented the administration's contacts with reporters.

And they had something that law enforcement officials would later describe as their "guidebook" for the opening phase of the investigation: the daily, diary-like notes compiled by I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, then Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, that chronicled crucial events inside the White House in the weeks before the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame was publicly disclosed.

Speaking Events


May 30 NYC here and here and here

August 27, Chicago


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