By Cindy Sheehan
It was hard to feel blessed today as I sat at Casey's grave here in Vacaville, Ca. Sure, a lot of good things have happened in my sphere of influence this year, but the blessings are always hampered by the reason for the blessings.
If Casey had not have been killed in Iraq in George's imperialistic war for power and wealth, I wouldn't be on this path. I wish to God, I weren't on this path. But I am, so here are the blessings I am thankful for this year.
The main blessings that I can thankfully still count are my 3 children: Carly, Andy, and Janey. They are incredibly wonderful children who didn't ask for the trail that George Bush has set them on by the murder of their oldest brother. They didn't ask to have a mom who is away most of the time trying to make the world a better place to leave for them. They didn't ask for it, but they are handling everything with the courage and integrity that are the hallmarks of Sheehan children.
A Fractured Anti-War Movement
By JOHN WALSH, CounterPunch
The polls leave no doubt that the sentiment against the war in the U.S. is overwhelming. Fully 60% of Americans want some or all troops withdrawn from Iraq at once; military recruitment is down and it is clear to all but the most hidebound Bush loyalists that the country was lied into war. And yet the war goes on with little sign that top Republicans or Democrats are feeling sufficient heat to call it quits. Many Dems are willing to say Bush lied, but aside from Teddy Kennedy, no major figure in either party is willing to call for immediate and total withdrawal ? as opposed to exit strategies, exit discussions, etc. The Dems like the Republicans are for "staying the course."
By Margaret Kimberly, the BlackCommentator.com
The American corporate media is comprised of political operatives for the Bush administration. They have been there all along, but it is the judicial process, not their colleagues, that has brought their brazen behavior out into the open for all to see.
The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward is the most recent example of a reporter who has turned out to be nothing more than a Bush spokesman. Woodward made a name for himself on the Watergate story more than 30 years ago. His reputation as the crusading, hard-hitting journalist may have been deserved in the 1970s but Woodward profited from that image years later than he should have. Despite years of being a Washington insider who long ago lost his journalistic truth seeking inclinations, Woodward’s name still gave him credibility.
By the BlackCommentator.com
Only three Democrats voted on the issue of the Iraq war, last Friday. The rest followed Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s directives, a continuation of her "strategy" of insulating the pro-war wing of the party, centered in the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), from the wrath of the party’s base, which is now overwhelmingly anti-war. For the DLC’s sake, Pelosi smothers the party’s progressive wing - of which she was once a proud member. Thus, the San Francisco congresswoman maintains the fiction of a united House Democratic front, to disguise the flaccid reality: the pro-war faction has veto power over Democratic Iraq policy - a veto exercised by Pelosi, herself.
Pro-GOP Democrats leaving
WASHINGTON, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Republicans in the U.S. House are losing Democrats who used to support their bills as the 2006 midterm elections loom.
The Christian Science Monitor reports on the recent big votes on such issues as energy and the budget reconciliation bill, Republicans did not get a single Democratic vote. But as recently as last spring, 73 Democrats had backed a bankruptcy bill despite their leader Nancy Pelosi's warning it would create "modern-day indentured servants," the report said. On another measure, 50 Democrats supported GOP efforts to reform class-action lawsuits.
Report: Dissenting View on WMD Coverage at 'NY Times'
By E&P Staff, Editor and Publisher.com
Published: November 23, 2005 10:45 AM ET
NEW YORK A lengthy report by Gabriel Sherman in this week's New York Observer offers several revelations, and criticism from unnamed sources, concerning that crucial period at The New York Times in 2002 when the newspaper advanced flawed information about WMD in Iraq.
As the piece points out, Publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., speaking on the Charley Rose Show this month, described this as the “overheated period that followed 9/11,
WASHINGTON | Rep. Jean Schmidt says her comments Friday on the floor of the U.S. House have been misinterpreted and that she has been made a scapegoat by a media disappointed that Congress didn't vote to withdraw troops from Iraq.
Meanwhile, the Ohio state representative whom Schmidt quoted in the speech has issued a statement saying he was misquoted.
Sen. Clinton says immediate withdrawal would be mistake
By JIM FITZGERALD
Associated Press Writer
November 21, 2005, 6:11 PM EST
RYE BROOK, N.Y. -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that an immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would be "a big mistake."
While professing "the greatest respect" for Rep. Jack Murtha of Pennsylvania, the ex-Marine who called for a troop pullout last week, Clinton said, "I think that would cause more problems for us in America."
On the other hand, she said, the administration's pledge to stay in Iraq "until the job is done" amounts to giving the Iraqis "an open-ended invitation not to take care of themselves."
Iraqi detainees tell of torture
By Caroline Hawley
BBC News, Baghdad
Detainees told of beatings and being given electric shocks
Prisoners at an Iraqi detention centre opened up to journalists have told the BBC of widespread abuse.
One man said he had been whipped with a cable and then had salt rubbed in the wound, while another said his captors had tried to pull out his toenails.
The BBC was also shown inside a Baghdad bunker at the centre of a scandal over detainee abuse by Iraqi forces.
More than 170 prisoners were found there last week, showing signs of malnourishment and torture.
White House 'double-crossed' Blair, says Plame husband
Tony Blair was "doubled crossed" by US President George W Bush's aides in the run-up to the Iraq war, according to the former diplomat at the centre of a political crisis engulfing the White House.
Tony Blair 'thought it was a disarmament campaign'
Joe Wilson, the husband of Valerie Plame, an undercover CIA agent who was allegedly 'outed' by senior administration figures, made the claim in an interview for the BBC.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Wilson said: "I watched the way that the British built their case, and it was a disarmament case as best I could see it.
By Tim Grieve for Salon.com:
The Aug. 6, 2001, presidential daily briefing is the stuff of legend, but we haven't heard so much about the Sept. 21, 2001, PDB. That may change soon. Reporting in the National Journal,
Murray Waas says George W. Bush was told in the Sept. 21 PDB that the
U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to
the attacks of 9/11.
As Richard Clarke
recounts in his book, Bush asked his aides on Sept. 12, 2001, "to go
back over everything, everything," to see if Saddam Hussein was linked
in any way to the attacks. "But, Mr. President," Clarke said, "al-Qaida
did this." Clarke says that Bush responded by saying, "I know, I know,
but ... see if Saddam was involved. Just look. I want to know any
From Tomdispatch at the cusp of Thanksgiving, Jonathan Schell, "The Fall of the One-Party Empire" http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=39141
, his latest "Letter from Ground Zero" for the Nation magazine (exclusively on-line from Tomdispatch) and one of his best. He takes us on a tour of the neocon global Pax Americana that never was, asking a simple question: Where exactly are the monuments of that empire? If it is now threatened with collapse, what exactly did it build?
This is a classic piece -- and if you don't get to it until after Thanksgiving, it doesn't matter at all. It's not time bound. Please note that, in response to Schell's question, I've written a little whirl of a tour through the monuments of that "empire" from Camp Victory North in Iraq and sunny Guantanamo to Afghanistan's "Salt Pit" and the ruined city of Fallujah (with a quick stop at the Pentagon's Bavarian R&R eden, the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort). Check out "American Ziggurats, Imperial Ruins, and Other Wonders of the Modern Age" which follows the Schell and might makes a good companion piece to it.
O'Reilly Column Says U.S. Needs Timetable to Get Out of Iraq
By E&P Staff
Published: November 22, 2005 1:17 PM ET
NEW YORK Conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly writes in his current column that there needs to be a timetable for the U.S. to leave Iraq.
"Let's win the damn thing," he said in his Creators Syndicate feature. "But there must be a time limit. Mr. Bush and his crew have to understand that American blood and treasure are not unlimited. It is not undermining the war to suggest giving the Iraqis a realistic private timetable to defend themselves. Basic training for a U.S. soldier is six weeks. We've been training the Iraqi army for almost two years now. Even Gomer Pyle would be up to speed."
By Congressional Quarterly
Two House Republicans and two Democrats joined forces this week to urge House conferees on the fiscal 2006 defense authorization bill to accept Senate language prodding the Bush administration to start bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq next year.
The lawmakers said adopting such legislation would be “an important first step
By Mel Goodman
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
President Bush, in defense of his decision to use force in Iraq, contends that the Congress supported the decision and that it had access to the same intelligence available to the White House. Not true!
The president and his key advisers, usually about five or six principals, receive the CIA's "President's Daily Brief" (PDB) five or six times a week. The PDB contains sensitive intelligence, including raw intelligence, that is not seen anywhere else in the policy community or on Capitol Hill. Most of this intelligence is of the compartmented variety that isn't even available to intelligence analysts working on a particular problem. In addition to the PDB, the briefer usually brings additional intelligence reporting that would be of special interest to the president or the secretaries of state or defense. Again, these items are highly classified and not available to the general community.
Dems win McCain’s backing
By Alexander Bolton
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who has emerged as a leading opponent of the Bush administration’s policy on interrogating detainees in the war on terrorism, wants Senate investigators to interview senior administration officials about their statements regarding the threat posed by Saddam Hussein before the war.
McCain backed Democratic calls for interviews of top-level administration officials in an interview last week. But his position is at odds with many in his party, including Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), whom McCain may face in the 2008 GOP presidential primary.
By Steven Clemons, The Washington Note
Just about every government in the Middle East has been ticked off at the reporting by Al-Jazeera. This fact, more than anything else, indicates that Al-Jazeera is doing a lot right.
I have made no secret of my respect for Al-Jazeera and its ability to dominate the Middle East media market with its reporting. I have appeared on several Al-Jazeera shows and was recently interviewed in a major production underway on the subject of "rendition."
The forthcoming Al-Jazeera production on rendition is a dicey one for its chief producer, Yosri Fouda -- a brilliant Egyptian senior Al-Jazeera investigative reporter based in London -- because there are usually three types of nations involved in the "rendering" of detainees: American CIA planes that allow transiting from or through other countries, to a final destination -- that is frequently in the Middle East -- including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, and Egypt.
From the Wall Street Journal
A majority of U.S. adults believe the Bush administration generally
misleads the public on current issues, while fewer than a third of
Americans believe the information provided by the administration is
generally accurate, the latest Harris Interactive poll finds.
While the telephone survey of 1,011 U.S. adults indicates about 64% of
Americans believe the Bush administration "generally misleads the American
public on current issues to achieve its own ends," opinion on the topic is
Peace Action's Paul Kawika Martin interviewed today with Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc. which owns 25 television stations, and manages an additional three television and two radio stations, in geographically diverse U.S. markets. The Company's television stations reach approximately 18% of U.S. TV households, making it one of the largest U.S. television station groups.
The segment is about the political events on Iraq last week and the peace movement in general. It may run in the below stations in their news programs.
Linda Feldmann of the Christian Science Monitor on the Brian
Lehrer Show on WNYC on Monday:
LEHRER: You can't impeach someone for incompetence, just crimes and
misdemeanors, right? Linda?
FELDMANN: Yes, that's right. Democrats.com are sending out lots of
emails about how it's time to impeach the president and they're raising
money to support that cause.
LEHRER: What's Democrats.com? Is that the party?
FELDMANN: [laughs] No, it wouldn't be fair to the Democrats to leave
that impression. That's an activist group, very liberal left wing
activist group that thinks it's time
Pull out plan?
Nov. 23: The Pentagon might be drawing up plans to pull some troops out of Iraq. NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski reports.
Sheriff enforces new bans on camping, parking; Sheehan due later in week
CRAWFORD, Texas - (AP) -- A dozen war protesters were arrested Wednesday for setting up camp near President Bush’s ranch in defiance of new local bans on roadside camping and parking.
McLennan County sheriff’s deputies arrested them for criminal trespassing.
Another dozen or so demonstrators left the public right of way after deputies warned them they would be arrested.
By John Byrne, RAWSTORY.com
A listing of all requests made of the Pentagon under the Freedom of Information Act since 2000, acquired by RAW STORY, provides new insight into the aggressiveness of American news agencies.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, the public can request records of government agencies. Records seen as jeopardizing national security or individual rights are typically exempted. All requests are public.
The request for a list of all who made inquiries of the Pentagon was filed by Michael Petrelis (http://mpetrelis.blogspot.com/, a San Francisco-based activist and blogger. He provided a copy to RAW STORY, which will be released in full next week.
Sources in Britain are reporting that a newly leaked Downing Street Memo says that U.S. President George Bush was dissuaded by British Prime Minister Tony Blair from attacking the Al Jazeera media outlet. In response, the British government, rather than reprimanding the White House, is taking new extreme (even Bush-like)steps to discourage and punish whistleblowers and media outlets. Read the details from RAWSTORY here.
Contact members of the U.S. media and ask them to stand up for their fellow journalists by doing their job and covering this story.
By Larisa Alexandrovna, RawStory.com
The Mirror, a UK publication which reported Tuesday on an alleged US plan to bomb an Arab TV station seen as anti-US, has been gagged from reporting any further on the memo and its contents by Attorney General Lord Goldsmith, Raw Story has learned.
The publication reported on the contents of a five page memo, stamped Top Secret, alleging that President Bush had threatened to undertake military action against al-Jazeera, a TV station located in the country of Qatar. While al-Jazeera is seen by some in the Bush administration to be largely anti-West, Qatar is an American ally.
From Progressive Democrats of America
Thursday, December 1st
The Lucky Break - 2nd Street and Jefferson, in Phoenix, Ariz.
(Only 2 1/2 blocks from the Wyndham)
8:00pm - 12:00am
Join many well known activists, politicos and elected officials for a night of relaxing, mingling, great live music, dancing, pool, eating and drinking.
Entertainment: Raza and Tim Reynolds of Dave Matthews Band
Speakers include: Rep. Raul Grijalva and Rep. Diane Watson
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (877) 368-9221
There will be a $5 cover which will be waived for PDA donors.
By David Corn, TomPaine.com
David Corn writes The Loyal Opposition twice a month for TomPaine.com. Corn is also the Washington editor of The Nation and is the author of The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception (Crown Publishers). Read his blog at http://www.davidcorn.com.
When Vice President Dick Cheney spoke on Monday at the American Enterprise Institute—the conservative think tank that has provided the intellectual ammo for George W. Bush's war in Iraq—he signaled that the Bush campaign (that is, the White House) was retreating from its personal and mean-spirited attacks on Rep. John Murtha, the hawkish Democrat who days earlier had called for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. Let's have a real policy debate, Cheney said. After all, he explained:
By Ray McGovern
Ray McGovern is a member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). He worked as a CIA analyst for 27 years, and now works for Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC.
The surprising degree of consensus reached by the main Iraqi factions at the Arab-League orchestrated Reconciliation Conference in Cairo last weekend sharply undercuts the unilateral, guns-and-puppets approach of the Bush administration to the deteriorating situation in Iraq. The common demand, by Shia and Kurds as well as Sunnis, for a timetable for withdrawal of occupation forces demolishes the administration’s argument that setting such a timetable would be a huge mistake. Who would know better—the Iraqis or the ideologues advising Bush?
By Robert Scheer
You've got to hand it to Dick Cheney; no other modern politician has come so close to perfecting the theater of the absurd. Even as he protests his innocence of lying about matters of state, he lies about matters of state.
In speeches Friday and Monday, the vice president, who has long insisted Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda were allies, Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, we would be greeted as liberators in Baghdad, and that the Iraqi insurgency is in its "last throes," again evidenced his trademark inability to speak the truth.
Continuing the administration's recent shrill defensive barrage over whose fault the Iraq mess is and with the truth chasing the lies in full view, Cheney had the gall to smear the war's critics as "corrupt and shameless." Then, within a few sentences, he showed again why 52 percent of those polled by Newsweek believe Cheney deliberately "misused or manipulated" prewar intelligence.
By Steven C. Clemons, The Washington Note
Is there a counter-leaker on Plame case working for the side of good?
Who is Patrick Fitzgerald's "Deep Throat" Source? Is there a Counter-Leaker on Plame Case Working for the Side of Good?
There is a high level official in the Bush administration who helped give the "inside scoop" on the earliest moves by the White House in the Valerie Plame investigation - but who is it?
On September 28, 2003, Washington Post writers Dana Priest and Mike Allen clearly note the existence of a source with knowledge about the outing campaign conducted as "a vendetta" against Joe Wilson by senior officials in the Bush White House.