A photo from yesterday's Chalabi protest, courtesy of VelvetRevolution.
By David Bacon
BASRA, IRAQ (11/4/05) - The cracking towers and gas flares of the
al-Daura oil refinery rise above the neighborhood on Baghdad's
outskirts that bears its name. On February 18, Ali Hassan Abd (Abu
Fahad), a leader of the refinery's union, was walking home from work
with his young children, when gunmen ran up and shot him. Abu Fahad
had been one of 400 union activists who emerged from the underground
or returned from exile in May 2003, and at a Baghdad conference
formed the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions. Afterwards, he went back
to the refinery and urged his fellow workers to elect department and
An Incomplete Chronology
The Niger Uranium Deception and the "Plame Affair"
By GARY LEUPP, CounterPunch
I've been working on this timeline obsessively, the way historians do with chronologies. The more detailed they get, the more they clarify the problem. Imperfect though it is let me post it now, with these observations about its meaning.
(1) Officials in the Bush administration intent upon going to war with Iraq made it clear to their own intelligence services and those of close allies that it would welcome any information linking al-Qaeda and Iraq and indicating the Iraq sought to acquire WMD. They made it clear that any material, however questionable, would be of interest to them.
Rove aide called back to testify as inquiry into Rove's role wraps up, lawyers say
By Jason Leopold and Larisa Alexandrovna, RAW STORY
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will soon conclude his investigation into whether President Bush’s deputy chief of staff Karl Rove gave false statements to a grand jury investigating the leak of a covert CIA agent, attorneys close to the case say.
According to lawyers familiar with the case, Fitzgerald is trying to convince the grand jury that Rove made false statements during the three times he testified under oath and misleading statements to Justice Department and FBI investigators when he was first interviewed about his role in the leak in October 2003.
By John Prados, TomPaine.com
John Prados is a senior fellow of the National Security Archive in Washington, DC, and author of Hoodwinked: The Documents that Reveal How Bush Sold Us a War (The New Press).
As the Senate panel investigating the administration’s use of intelligence begins work, their mandate must be to probe into the heart of the cabal.
Last week a bipartisan panel of six senators launched the investigation into whether the Bush administration manipulated the findings of the intelligence community in order to wage war in Iraq. The composition of the panel, with three Democrats and three Republicans, reduces the possibility of a White House whitewash. However, it is essential that the panel tackle the central questions about the White House’s use of intelligence and not be distracted by structural roadblocks or rhetorical red herrings.
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Thursday 10 November 2005
I've been digging into one of the justifications for invading Iraq proffered by the Bush crew over the last two years. Bear with me, as this gets into chemistry.
Let's take a look at the Winnebagos of Death. You will remember these as the mobile biological weapons laboratories in Iraq so dramatically described by Colin Powell before the UN in February of 2003. "We have firsthand descriptions," said Powell, "of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails. The trucks and train cars are easily moved and are designed to evade detection by inspectors. In a matter of months, they can produce a quantity of biological poison equal to the entire amount that Iraq claimed to have produced in the years prior to the Gulf War. Ladies and gentlemen, these are sophisticated facilities. For example, they can produce anthrax and botulism toxin."
From Marty Walsh, Campaign Manager, Kennedy for Senate 2006
Public pressure is mounting on President Bush to come clean about the case he made for war in Iraq. Last week's special Senate session -- where Harry Reid put the spotlight on the Senate's stalled investigation of pre-war intelligence -- wouldn't have succeeded without the broad-based skepticism growing among Americans about integrity in the White House.
The long-due concern sweeping through this country is a direct result of communities like ours. Our activism spreads the truth Americans need to know. Many times, I'm left to think: If we don't, who will?
Published on Wednesday, November 9, 2005 by the Huffington Post
By Arianna Huffington
Fresh off this past weekend’s return trip to Tehran, neocon darling Ahmad Chalabi hits Washington today -- his first visit to the nation’s capital in over two years.
He’s got a very busy schedule planned, including meetings with Condi Rice, Treasury Secretary John Snow, and national security advisor Stephen Hadley.
There is also talk of a possible private meeting with his longtime champion, Dick Cheney.
No word on where the Cheney/Chalabi reunion might take place. Perhaps at one of the Veep’s undisclosed locations. Or maybe the St. Regis. I hear they have a nice breakfast.
BLOG | Posted 11/06/2005 @ 7:48pm
The Wrong Journalistic Decision
BLOG, The Nation.com
LINK TO ORIGINAL
If one needed more reason to criticize the Washington Post's decision to withhold information, at the government's request, about the CIA's network of prisons in Eastern Europe for suspected Al Qaeda terrorists, read Jane Mayer's horrifying article in this week's New Yorker. In "A Deadly Interrogation," Mayer reports on the death by torture of an Iraqi terrorist suspect in the custody of the CIA. Jamadi died while being interrogated at Abu Ghraib by a CIA officer and a translator. His head had been covered by a plastic bag and he was shackled in a crucifixion-like pose that inhibited his ability to breathe. According to forensic pathologists interviewed by Mayer, Jamadi died of asphyxiation. But in a subsequent internal investigation, US government authorities classified his death as a homicide. Nevertheless, the CIA investigator has not been charged with a crime, and continues to work for the agency. Mayer reports he has been under investigation by the Justice Department for more than a year. (The CIA h
CIA v. Cheney
By Ray McGovern
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
LINK TO ORIGINAL
Wednesday 09 November 2005
Allegations keep cropping up in the press that CIA professionals are undermining the administration. In at least one sense, I suppose, this is true. For when an administration embarks on a war justified by little or no intelligence, speaking truth can be regarded as treachery. The country could use more of that kind of "treachery."
Vice President Cheney in Trouble
Cheney's current situation has the makings of a Greek tragedy in the way he is about to self-destruct. The tragic flaw of overweening arrogance - the Greeks called it hubris - did not begin with Euripides. Nor will it end with the inexorably approaching demise of the vice president and other leaders of the current US administration.
November 09, 2005
Peering Into Ahmad Chalabi's Cesspool & What About New Jersey, Virginia and New York City?
By Steven C. Clemons, The Washington Note
Democrats won big in the New Jersey and Virginia Governor's races -- and a pragmatist who happens to be Republican won big in New York City. Lots of folks don't like Bloomberg, but in my mind, he's an old-line Republican centrist, and we need those back in bigger numbers.
The centrist Governor in California who went astray by getting in the way of gay civil rights and cuddling up too much with fundamentalist zealots got chastened -- BIG TIME -- with all four of his ballot initiatives crashing and burning. Maybe Arnold will now isolate the far right.
Excerpt of forthcoming editorial from the Nation magazine as quoted in the Washington Post:
"The war has also become the single greatest threat to our national security. Its human and economic costs are running out of control, with no end in sight. It has driven America's reputation in the world to a historic low point. . . .
"The Nation therefore takes the following stand: We will not support any candidate for national office who does not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq a major issue of his or her campaign. We urge all voters to join us in adopting this position. Many worry that the aftermath of withdrawal will be ugly, and there is good reason to think they are right. But we can now see that the consequences of staying will be uglier still. Fear of facing the consequences of prolonging the war will be worse.
Fallujah - The Hidden Massacre
Veteran admits: Bodies melted away before us.
Shocking revelation RAI News 24.
This video contains images that depict the reality and horror of war.
It should only be viewed by a mature audience
U.S. used chemical weapons in Fallujah- Documentary
11/8/2005 12:55:00 PM GMT
LINK TO ORIGINAL
"Phosphorus burns bodies, in fact it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone..."
Italian state TV, Rai, broadcast a documentary which showed evidence that U.S. forces used phosphorus bombs against Iraqi civilians during the bloody offensive on the city of Fallujah in November 2004, BBC reported.
The film was broadcast between 0730 and 0800 in the morning on Rai's rolling news channel with a warning that the some of the images would be disturbing.
US forces 'used chemical weapons' during assault on city of Fallujah
By Peter Popham, The Independent News, Online Edition
Published: 08 November 2005
LINK TO ORIGINAL
Powerful new evidence emerged yesterday that the United States dropped massive quantities of white phosphorus on the Iraqi city of Fallujah during the attack on the city in November 2004, killing insurgents and civilians with the appalling burns that are the signature of this weapon.
Ever since the assault, which went unreported by any Western journalists, rumours have swirled that the Americans used chemical weapons on the city.
Bush, GOP mired in political quicksand
NBC/WSJ poll shows president at new lows in all job approval categories
By Mark Murray
Political reporter, NBC News
WASHINGTON - Democrats might be overstating that their gubernatorial victories Tuesday in New Jersey and Virginia are glaring signs for next year’s midterm congressional elections and beyond, but one thing is pretty clear: President Bush and the GOP seem to be mired in political quicksand.
The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, released Wednesday night, finds that all five of Bush’s job approval ratings — on overall job performance, the economy, foreign policy, terrorism and Iraq — are at all-time lows in the survey. In addition, the CIA leak scandal seems to be taking a toll on the administration, with nearly 80 percent believing the indictment of Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter
H Res 505, introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich to require the Bush administration to turn over all documents relating to the White House Iraq Group, failed to be reported out of the House International Relations Committee on a 23-25 vote this morning.
H Res 505, which was co-sponsored by 104 House members, picked up two Republican votes from Rep. Jim Leach and Rep. Ron Paul. Two Democratic committee members failed to appear for the vote: Rep. Eni Faleomavaega of American Samoa and Rep. Howard Berman of California's 28th district.
Please contact the following House members to thank them for their extremely hard work on this resolution:
Please ALSO contact the two Democrats on the committee who failed even to show up for the vote, and ask why this happened:
TEXT OF H RES 505:
So, we welcomed Chalabi and chanted and shouted and spoke to the media. Apparently the questions we were asking were also asked inside the event. Check out this blog with photos:
DISHONORING THE DEAD AT THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE
Group Hosts Major Misleader of American People on Iraq
WASHINGTON, DC -- A broad coalition of organizations opposed to the war in Iraq will be demonstrating from 2PM to 4PM on Wednesday, November 9th against the appearance of Ahmed Chalabi at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.
By Tyler Marshall, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi on Wednesday denied that he deliberately fed the U.S. faulty intelligence to strengthen the case for invading Iraq, calling such accusations "an urban myth."
Chalabi's comments to reporters came after he met privately with Bush administration officials and delivered a speech at a conservative think-tank here, in which he discussed his vision of Iraq's political future.
Chalabi also rebutted accusations that he passed U.S. security secrets to Iran and denied knowledge of an FBI inquiry into the allegations.
By the Back Bone Campaign
Republicans Undermine Congressional Oversight by Rejecting H. Res. 505 & 'No Show' Democrats Help
By Bill Moyer
This morning in DC, the oversight legislation, H. Res. 505, a Resolution of Inquiry into the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) was stonewalled in committee, losing 23 to 25. This bill, introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and vigorously supported by Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) who sits on the reviewing House International Relations Committee, was defeated by two votes. The Republicans members of the committee were obviously very aware that the stakes were high. It is reported the Republican Chair Henry Hyde was personally calling members to make sure they showed. A number of Democrats were late, but by the end, all but two were present and accounted for and voted favor in H. Res. 505.
Road to war
Updated: 1:56 p.m. ET Nov. 8, 2005
It was September of 2002, just three days before the emotional one-year anniversary of 9/11 and the giant wound of the al Qaeda attack on New York was still open.
The Bush administration had assembled a media strategy team known as the White House Iraq Group. It consisted of top officials, including those in the vice president’s office whose goals starting after Labor Day was to sell a war on Iraq, which had no detectable role on 9/11.
On September 7, 2002, White House chief of staff Andy Card referred to the effort in an interview with The New York Times and said, “From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.
By Steve Cobble, Huffington Post
The Republican majority on the House International Relations Committee today again refused to investigate its own party. Barely.
With a 4-member advantage on the IR committee over the Democrats, the GOP managed to hang on to a 25 to 23 vote win, defeating H.Res. 505, Rep. Dennis Kucinich's attempt to actually investigate the secret activities of the WHIG, his Resolution of Inquiry (ROI) to look into the White House Iraq Group.
More than 100 House Democrats joined Kucinich in cosponsoring this resolution, even before it never made it to the floor!
Only 2 Republicans stood up for finding out the truth--Rep. Jim Leach of Iowa and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Paul, who seems to be an extremely rare species, an honest conservative who is angry about the lies that took us to war, even had the decency to publicly compliment Kucinich for being consistent by not just investigating the war now but also opposing it beforehand.
By Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi offered Wednesday to be questioned by the Senate on his role in prewar Iraq but refused to apologize for fueling allegations that Saddam Hussein had hidden caches of weapons of mass destruction.
Accorded a warm reception by the Bush administration, Chalabi lined up Vice President Dick Cheney and five Cabinet officers, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, for meetings this week and next.
Chalabi, whose reputation in Washington has soared, fallen and now revived, was welcomed by administration officials whom he briefed on Iraq's reconstruction efforts, particularly on energy and financial issues.
By Warren P. Strobel and Jonathan S. Landay
Knight Ridder Newspapers
WASHINGTON - Controversial Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi refused to apologize Wednesday for providing the U.S. government with false information on Saddam Hussein's weapons and ties to terrorists, calling charges that he did so an "urban myth."
Chalabi, now a deputy Iraqi prime minister with a chance to become the country's next leader, is the former exile whose group lobbied vigorously for a U.S. invasion of Iraq. The group, the Iraqi National Congress, provided intelligence agencies and reporters with defectors whose accounts of bioweapons factories and terror training sites proved to be bogus.
By Carol Giacomo, Diplomatic Correspondent, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iraqi deputy prime minister Ahmad Chalabi was welcomed on Wednesday by a U.S. administration that once shunned him, sparking denunciations by critics who blame him for discredited pre-war intelligence.
A Bush administration favorite who fell from favor after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Chalabi achieved a kind of political rehabilitation on a high-profile Washington visit that included meetings with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.
He is due to meet Vice President Dick Cheney on Thursday. Sessions with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Treasury Secretary John Snow are set for next week.
November 9 , 2005
The Honorable Christopher Shays
Subcommittee on National Security,
Emerging Threats, and International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. Chairman:
I understand that you intend to hold a private briefing for members of the Government Reform Committee with Iraq Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi on Thursday, November 10, at 10:00 a.m., to discuss Iraq’s reconstruction and political future. I agree that Mr. Chalabi should come before the Committee, but he should do so at a public hearing where he appears under oath to answer questions about his role in providing false intelligence to the United States, as well as the topics you propose.
By David Sirota
As most know, Senate Democrats still do not have a unified message on Iraq, despite the courageous efforts of people like Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) to demand answers from the Bush administration. What's interesting, however, is that some of the party's big-name Senate candidates in 2006 have a message of their own.
Today, Montana Senate candidate Jon Tester (D) announced his strong support for a serious exit strategy from Iraq that would bring our troops home (In full disclosure - I am not officially taking sides in this primary, but nonetheless this is clearly a good/smart/courageous move). The timing is particularly good: a new poll here in Montana shows President Bush's 51 percent of folks disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job. Those are extraordinarily bad numbers for a Republican incumbent in a red state like Montana. Meanwhile, Montanans support for the current Iraq War policy continues to plummet.
From Tomdispatch today, "The White House Ethics Lesson (From the Hope Springs Eternal Department)" http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=35043
in which I consider whether the Bush White House, at its present nadir, has reached a "tipping point" or can catch a glimmer of light at tunnel's end. I suggest -- please note: this is satire -- that it can and cite recent evidence from the Pentagon and the White House Counsel's office that this might be so. I especially explore the presidentially mandated "ethics lessons" being offered this week to White House staffers and speculate on some of the ethical questions and answers being explored. For example: