Posted on TPM Cafe
By Larry Johnson
The revelation that the National Security Agency was allowed to conduct non-FISA intercepts of American citizens should bring last summer's hearing on John Bolton's nomination to the United Nations back into focus. As Legal times noted in September of this year, "During the confirmation hearings of John Bolton as the U.S. representative to the United Nations, it came to light that the NSA had freely revealed intercepted conversations of U.S. citizens to Bolton while he served at the State Department. . . . More generally, Newsweek reports that from January 2004 to May 2005, the NSA supplied intercepts and names of 10,000 U.S. citizens to policy-makers at many departments, other U.S. intelligence services, and law enforcement agencies."
Throughout the Iraq War, the mainstream media have shown little interest in documenting or quantifying the suffering of Iraqis. But a recent comment by George W. Bush provoked an unexpected round of discussion of the topic.
By Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey
"Americans and Iraqis continue to die while House Republicans play political games," said Rep. Woolsey.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma) led 17 Members of Congress in protesting today's Republican measure, H.Res.612, because it calls for a continued, open-ended presence of American troops in Iraq. "I congratulate the Iraqis for their successful election, but we must have an open debate on Iraq on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, said Woolsey. "Americans and Iraqis continue to die while House Republicans play political games."
By David Sirota
Yesterday, I wrote a long piece about how there is not one shred of actual hard data to sustain the assumption being peddled in Washington that pro-exit-strategy Democrats will be punished for their positions by voters. I also made the point that not being pro-exit-strategy is a recipe for disaster. Now today, we get a pristine example of exactly what I am talking about, from the local paper in a congressional district that is considered one of the Democrats' top potential pickups in 2006. This story shows exactly how the Republicans are capitalizing not on Democrats who are concrete in their support of an exit strategy, but how the GOP is feasting on Democrats who try to have it both ways and split the difference, as the "strategists" in Washington are prescribing. Just read the article's subheading - sadly, it says it all.
Iraq's current political process will not solve the crisis. Only a US and British pullout and a UN sponsored poll can do that
Harith al-Dari, The Guardian
Iraq has a long history of civilisation that has contributed both knowledge and wisdom to humanity. For many centuries, Islam also immunised Iraq against religious or sectarian strife and protected its population from the oppression that peoples of the ancient world had been subjected to. Generation after generation of Iraqis succeeded in maintaining peaceful coexistence among their diverse sects and races, despite the hardships and challenges they faced. It is by virtue of this cohesion that Iraq managed to rise up again and put its house in order in the wake of every calamity.
By the American Progress Action Fund
The Bush administration is trying to jam through a permanent extension of the PATRIOT Act before Congress adjourns for the year. But Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) has assembled a bipartisan coalition advocating a more deliberative approach -- a temporary, three month extension until the Senate can resolve remaining concerns that certain provisions give "government too much power to investigate its citizens." An effort by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) to block a permanent extension of the act this year appears to have enough votes to be successful. But it does it matter? The New York Times reported that in 2002, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to eavesdrop on Americans and others in the United States in ways that "go far beyond the expanded counterterrorism powers granted by Congress under the USA Patriot Act." The program has revived a domestic spying operation at the NSA not seen since the 1960s when the agency routinely eavesdropped "on Vietnam War protesters and civil rights activists."
Kucinich Introduces Bipartisan Legislation To Allow Iraqi Parliament To Vote On The Future Of US Occupation
Kucinich Introduces Bipartisan Legislation To Allow Iraqi Parliament - Not US House of Representatives - To Vote On The Future Of US Occupation
Kucinich/Paul Legislation Would Have Sovereign Iraq Vote On The Future Of US Occupation
Rumor has it Congressman Dennis Kucinich will introduce this resolution:
Expressing the sense of Congress that the new permanent Council of Representatives of Iraq should debate and vote on whether or not the continued U.S. military presence in Iraq is desired by the Government of Iraq.
BY: EVAN AUGUSTINE PETERSON, III
In Washington politics, things are seldom what they appear to be -
especially when devious Machiavellians are running the White House.
And we often end up getting a fairy-tale version of reality because
By James Risen and Eric Lichtblau
The New York Times
Washington - Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.
The Washington DC crowd must be all atwitter with fear. Another Democrat has dared to call for real accountability by the White House ... at least until the handlers got to correcting the record. According to DC political newsletter "The Hotline" (published by the National Journal), John Kerry on Wednesday night said that if Democrats retake the House, there's a "solid case" to bring "articles of impeachment" against President Bush for allegedly misleading the country about pre-war intelligence.
From John Isaacs:
The House may vote today on the following resolution put forward by Republicans that includes the following language:
"setting an artificial timetable for the withdrawal of United States Armed Forces from Iraq, or immediately terminating their deployment in Iraq and redeploying them elsewhere in the region, is fundamentally inconsistent with achieving victory in Iraq:
By Jonathan S. Landay, Knight Ridder Newspapers
WASHINGTON - President Bush and top administration officials have access to a much broader ranger of intelligence reports than members of Congress do, a nonpartisan congressional research agency said in a report Thursday, raising questions about recent assertions by the president.
Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the
National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the
United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the
To believe his various tales about his involvement in the Plame affair requires ignoring some glaring facts.
By Joe Conason, http://www.salon.com
Dec. 16, 2005 | Stripped of deniability in the CIA leak investigation, the Bush White House now must confront the increasing possibility that the president's top political advisor will be indicted sometime soon for testifying falsely about his role in that affair.
By Tim Grieve / Salon
John McCain's legislation aimed at preventing the U.S. military from torturing those in its custody ties the legal standard for appropriate interrogation techniques to the rules set forth in the Army Field Manual. As McCain's measure moves closer to becoming law, can you make a guess as to what Pentagon officials are doing?
By Baghdad Burning
... I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend...
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Elections have been all we hear about for the last ten days at least.
"Today London declared peace on the world." - George Galloway, Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, speaking on Dec 10th at the International Peace Conference in London.
Hear George Galloway's keynote speech on building an international movement. Andrew Murray and Jane Shallice moderated a conference panel that featured Galloway, with Ishmael Patel, Friends of Al Aqsa; Herbert Docena, Focus on Global South; Judith LeBlanc, United for Peace and Justice; Sabah Jawad, Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation; Dr. Azzam Tamini, Muslim Association of Britain; and Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP of Islington North.
A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW
... the reason you can’t mix religion and politics is, religion is about absolutes, right and wrong, good and evil. Politics is about compromise. If you cannot compromise on issues that are not central to a person’s faith – and that’s about 99% of the issues our country faces – then the country doesn’t work. The government doesn’t work. That’s why we’ve had government grinding to a halt in recent years. People are frustrated by it.
By David Swanson
The CRS report for Feinstein about whether or not Congress had access to the same intelligence on Iraq as the Bush administration, comes to a surprising answer: No.
But, Jonathan Schwartz points out that a section of the report says
Bush and McCain Reach Deal on Treatment of Torture Suspects
By Brian Knowlton, The International Herald Tribune
Washington - The White House, after weeks of resistance, agreed today to Senator John McCain's call for a law specifically banning cruel or inhuman treatment of terror suspects anywhere in the world.
Film: "Kevin Zeese on Bush's War, Social Justice & the Middle East,"
can be found at this site:
Get Your FREE Vote Scarf !
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By John Byrne, www.rawstory.com
In the past few months RAW STORY has worked tirelessly to bring you the latest, breaking news about the leak of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson. Often, these stories have been groundbreaking and have subsequently been reported by the mainstream media after it first appeared on RAW STORY. Lately, there have also been a number of misconceptions about our reporting on this issue.
Jason Leopold and John Byrne, www.rawstory.com
The special prosecutor investigating the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson canceled a scheduled meeting with his grand jury because he was called back to Chicago to deal with last-minute elements of a case involving erstwhile media tycoon Conrad Black, RAW STORY has learned.
With ongoing controversy surrounding the conduct of the war in Iraq and the treatment of terror suspects in the wider "War on Terror", Newsnight staged a special programme entitled: "Allies on Trial".
W.House takes issue with Novak on CIA leak claim
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House took issue on Thursday with a claim by syndicated columnist Robert Novak that President George W. Bush knows who the source is who leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame.
From Gold Star Families for Peace
Just a reminder that every friday Los Angeles area Gold Star Familes for Peace along with Military Familes Speak Out, Orange County, Code Pink and the Camp Casey Peace movement are setting up a Camp Casey outside of Cal Sen Diane Feinsteins office.We are now in the 3rd week of our encampment. We will be there from 3pm to 6 pm waiting for her to answer the questions posed to her in September by Cindy Sheehan. For What Noble cause are our kids dying ? How many more lives are she willing to sacrifice for this Noble cause? And, what is she doing to bring an end to the US occupation of Iraq? Until she answers these questions we will be there.
Bush claims that Iraqis are leading “better lives,