Bill Clinton Calls Iraq 'Big Mistake'

Bill Clinton Calls Iraq 'Big Mistake'
Wednesday November 16, 2005 4:46 PM
Associated Press Writer

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Former President Clinton told Arab students Wednesday the United States made a ``big mistake'' when it invaded Iraq, stoking the partisan debate back home over the war.

Clinton cited the lack of planning for what would happen after Saddam Hussein was overthrown.

``Saddam is gone. It's a good thing, but I don't agree with what was done,'' Clinton told students at a forum at the American University of Dubai.

Sheehan, Other Protesters Plead Not Guilty

Sheehan, Other Protesters Plead Not Guilty
Wednesday November 16, 2005 9:01 PM
By Pete Yost,Associated Press Writer, Guardian.Co.Uk

WASHINGTON (AP) - War protester Cindy Sheehan and several others pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of demonstrating without a permit outside the White House.

The protesters, who face fines and not jail time, were being tried Wednesday afternoon by U.S. Magistrate Alan Kay after several hours of talks with court officials about how quickly their trial could be wrapped up.

Rep. McGovern Writes to All Congress Members for Support

From Congressman Jim McGovern

A War Begun with Lies and Deception
Requires that an Honorable Withdrawal Begin Now
Cosponsor H.R. 4232: The End the War in Iraq Act

Dear Colleague,

I would like to bring to your attention the November 15th editorial by the New York Times that responds to the recent attacks by President Bush against critics of the war in Iraq. The United States is engaged in a war born out of deceit and lies - and it needs to be brought to an honorable end now. I urge you to join me as a cosponsor to H.R. 4232, the End the War in Iraq Act.

H.R. 4232 would end all funding for the deployment of U.S. troops in Iraq, but it would provide the defense funding needed to ensure a safe and orderly withdrawal of our uniformed men and women from Iraq. It would also provide defense funds to finance and equip the Iraqi security forces and for the consultation with other governments and international organizations - such as NATO and the United Nations - to create and deploy a transitional, international security force to provide for Iraqi security as the U.S. withdraws. Under H.R. 4232, the United States could also provide financial support and equipment to this international security force(s).

Reid snaps back at Cheney on Senate floor

Reid snaps back at Cheney on Senate floor

Washington, DC – Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid gave the following speech on the Senate Floor tonight.

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Tonight the Vice President has come out of his bunker and is speaking at a gathering of Washington DC insiders, which is closed to the press.

“Unfortunately, he brought his bunker mentality with him. He is repeating the same tired attacks we’ve heard from administration officials over the last two weeks.

Protest Cnn's negotiations with Robert Novak

This just in from Media Matters:

Last August, CNN suspended syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak, a frequent contributor to the cable news channel's programs, for uttering an obscenity and storming off the set. He has not been reinstated but is currently in negotiations with CNN to renew his contract (which is set to expire in 2006).
Please click here and urge CNN not to renew his contract!

Countdown: How High?

Countdown: How High?

John Dean, Nixon's former White House counsel, explains why he suspects Fitzgerald is targeting Cheney (video).

Photo Credit:


Text of Woodward's Statement Testifying in the CIA Leak Case

Text of Woodward's Statement
Testifying in the CIA Leak Case

Wednesday, November 16, 2005; Page A08

On Monday, November 14, I testified under oath in a sworn deposition to Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald for more than two hours about small portions of interviews I conducted with three current or former Bush administration officials that relate to the investigation of the public disclosure of the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame.

The interviews were mostly confidential background interviews for my 2004 book "Plan of Attack" about the leadup to the Iraq war, ongoing reporting for The Washington Post and research for a book on Bush's second term to be published in 2006. The testimony was given under an agreement with Fitzgerald that he would only ask about specific matters directly relating to his investigation.

Smears, Lies and Videotape: A Leak Scandal Documentary

Smears, Lies and Videotape: A Leak Scandal Documentary
Think Progress.Org

The story of the CIA leak scandal is far from over. But so much has already happened, sometimes it’s easy to miss the big picture.

We’ve created a video to help you keep everything straight. It uses footage pulled directly from the White House, recent TV news clips and other archival video to explain exactly what happened and why it’s important. Most of the story is told by administration officials themselves.

National Security Adviser was Woodward's source, attorneys say

National Security Adviser was Woodward's source, attorneys say
Larisa Alexandrovna and Jason Leopold,

National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley was the senior administration official who told Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward that Valerie Plame Wilson was a covert CIA officer, attorneys close to the investigation and intelligence officials tell RAW STORY.

Testifying under oath Monday to Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, Woodward recounted a casual conversation he had with Hadley, these sources say. Hadley did not return a call seeking comment.

Bob Woodward

Bob Woodward
Suz Krueger, Democracy Cell Project

From his involvement in uncovering Richard Nixon's illegal activities during Watergate, and documented in the book All the President's Men, we would think that Bob Woodward was a muckraker, a truthteller, an investigative journalist of the highest order.

However, today, highly esteemed journalist Bob Woodward completed his free-fall from the idealistic journalist of old--the one who showed tremendous integrity and perseverance while protecting the American public from their corrupt government--to the journalist of today who protects his own self interests and connections to a corrupt White House.

Bob Woodward, Lost in Cronyism?

Bob Woodward, Lost in Cronyism?
By Larry Johnson | bio
From: Media
How is it that one of the most revered investigative reporters of our generation is such a dunce when it comes to outing a CIA officer? If you had a chance to watch Woodward's "dazzling" performance on Larry King Live this past Thursday, you would have been treated to the spectacle of incurious Bob dismissing the leaking of a CIA officer's identity as gossip run amuck. Nothing more, nothing less. Yep, nothing to report here, move along.

Bill Clinton Says International Crimes Should Be Committed More Professionally and With Better Planning

Bill Clinton Calls Iraq 'Big Mistake'
By LARA SUKHTIAN, Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Former President Clinton told Arab students Wednesday the United States made a ``big mistake'' when it invaded Iraq, stoking the partisan debate back home over the war.

Clinton cited the lack of planning for what would happen after Saddam Hussein was overthrown.

``Saddam is gone. It's a good thing, but I don't agree with what was done,'' Clinton told students at a forum at the American University of Dubai.

``It was a big mistake. The American government made several errors ... one of which is how easy it would be to get rid of Saddam and how hard it would be to unite the country.''

Breaking Update: More Pathetic Excuses

By Dave Lindorff,

Still squirming at the exposure of its WMD war crime in Fallujah, the Pentagon late Wednesday came up with two more rationales for its use of phosphorus bombs. The first: it's just another part of the "conventional" arsenal. The second: armies have all used this weapon for a century.

Let's examine these excuses. First of all, phosphorus is no conventional weapon. It is a chemical weapon that kills slowly and painfully by burning its way into the body, making it as insidious as any poison gas weapon (precisely why the Pentagon initially denied its use in Fallujah). Second, there are lots of horrible weapons that have been used routinely by armies over the past century. Phosphorus is one. Others are mustard gas, chlorine gas, and various germ weapons. Common usage in the past is no justification for continued use of such barbaric weaponry. Heck, killing POWs was accepted practice long ago, too, as well as rape and pillage following conquest. Now those are war crimes.

Witnesses leery of testifying while Roberts stays on leak investigation

By Alexander Bolton, The Hill

Two witnesses interviewed by the FBI in its probe of classified information leaked from a joint congressional inquiry in 2002 say they are very concerned about cooperating with a Senate Ethics Committee review of the matter because Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) has not recused himself from the review.


Roberts is a member of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics and chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Good-government advocates have called on Roberts to recuse himself from the committee’s probe into the leak case, which the Justice Department referred to it last summer.

Dennis Kucinich Speaks Truth To Tantrum-Throwing Sean Hannity

Wrapping up the segment with Senator Lindsey Graham, Sean Hannity gleefully announced, "Wait til we show our audience something next. We're going to show them intelligence... Democrats are screaming about pre-war intelligence but is there a piece of evidence that they have no answer for? Wait til you hear the tape we play next."

The so-called "piece of evidence" Hannity was crowing about was a tape from Colin Powell's UN Presentation in which an Iraqi general and a colonel discuss a coming UN inspection. The colonel asks what to say if an inspector sees "this modified vehicle." The general says "I'm worried you all have something left." The colonel responds, "We evacuated everything. We don't have anything left."

We Don't Torture, The Lions Do

Iraqis Say Troops Caged Them With Lions
By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press

Two Iraqi businessmen, who were imprisoned by U.S. forces in Iraq, claimed Monday that American soldiers threw them into a cage of lions in a Baghdad palace, as part of a terrifying interrogation in 2003.

"They took me behind the cage, they were screaming at me, scaring me and beating me a lot," Thahe Mohammed Sabbar said in an interview. "One of the soldiers would open the door, and two soldiers would push me in. The lions came running toward me and they pulled me out and shut the door. I completely lost consciousness."

Anti-war activist says she will demand a trial on protest charge

By Associated Press

WASHINGTON War protester Cindy Sheehan is demanding a trial for demonstrating without a permit outside the White House.

Sheehan and other anti-war activists arrested September 26th appeared at the federal courthouse in Washington today to answer the misdemeanor charge.

Sheehan's 24-year-old soldier son Casey was killed in Iraq last year. She plans to revive her war protest near President Bush's Central Texas ranch during Thanksgiving week, despite new McLennan County restrictions banning roadside camping.

President Bush and his family are expected to spend the holiday at the ranch near Crawford.

The Cairo Peace Process

By Robert Dreyfuss

Robert Dreyfuss is the author of Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam (Henry Holt/Metropolitan Books, 2005). Dreyfuss is a freelance writer based in Alexandria, Va., who specializes in politics and national security issues. He is a contributing editor at The Nation, a contributing writer at Mother Jones, a senior correspondent for The American Prospect, and a frequent contributor to Rolling Stone.He can be reached at his website:

In two days, the beginning of the end of the war in Iraq could be here—that is, if the Bush administration and its Shiite fundamentalist friends in Baghdad don’t mess it up. They’re trying.

Crossing The Bridge...

Yesterday was a very full day in the land of ever-changing power structures. After a few days off to recuperate from Mr. Chalabi's visit and the Election Day Pushback, the Washington DC progressive community got back in gear for the next phase.

First off, I met Stephanie at the train station--she has returned in order to go to court tomorrow morning. You may remember Stephanie from the September 26 nonviolent civil disobedience actions. Both she and Cindy Sheehan (and many others) will be in court at 9 am to have their say. Stephanie told me she would like to remind the court (and the media) that not only does she have the right to speak up to this country's leadershop, she has the responsibility to do so.

Congresswoman Waters and the 'Out of Iraq' Caucus Push for Congressional Debate on the Iraq War

By Congresswoman Waters

Washington, DC - Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35), Chair and Founder of the 'Out of Iraq' Congressional Caucus, announced that the 'Out of Iraq' Caucus has filed a discharge petition on H J Res 55, authored by Congressman Neil Abercrombie (HI-1) and Congressman Walter Jones (NC-3). If passed by Congress, H J Res 55 would require the President to begin bringing US troops home from Iraq.

A discharge petition is a House rule that permits members to bring to the floor for consideration a measure not reported from committee if 218 members sign the petition. The discharge petition, as drafted, provides 17 hours of debate and permits consideration of any germane amendments including amendments that would move up the date at which US troops would begin to return home. The discharge petition, which was filed on November 9th, takes seven legislative days to ripen.

Oppose Torture!

By 20-20 Vision

It was one of the most overwhelming votes in recent memory. By a vote of 90-9, the Senate voted for the so-called McCain Amendment. The Amendment was simple. It stated that, "No individual in the custody or under the physical control of the United States Government, regardless of nationality or physical location, shall be subject to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment." In short, it promised the world that the US would not commit acts of torture.

It's amazing that it has come to this. It's outrageous that Vice President Richard Cheney went to the Congress to lobby against this simple statement. It's inconceivable, yet true, that nine US Senators voted in favor of condoning torture. But the Senate put aside its partisan differences and overwhelmingly voted in favor of the amendment. It seemed that simple decency would be affirmed.

Shake and Bake: Who would Jesus burn?

By Dave Lindorff

What kind of country is this?

Not only does America use grotesque chemical weapons in its "War of Liberation"--in this case white phosphorus bombs that are as nasty as anything Saddam Hussein could have dreamt up, with the ability to eat their way into a body and liquefy flesh--but our shameless leaders, when caught in the act, try to lie their way out of their own atrocious behavior.

When an Italian documentary producer released a film exposing this war crime committed in the course of the destruction of Fallujah, the honchos at the Pentagon and the White House lied through their teeth, claiming that the scenes of cascading phosphorus bombs blanketing the city, incinerating fighters and civilians alike, which were depicted clearly in the film, were just flares being used for night lighting.

Raid on torture dungeon exposes Iraq's secret war

By Kim Sengupta in Baghdad
The Independent (UK)

The raid was at a building in central Baghdad. Men armed with automatic rifles burst in and made their way to a set of underground cells where they found 175 people huddled together. They had been captured by paramilitaries and tortured. The terrified, mainly Sunni, captives had been held in an office of the Iraqi interior ministry, and the rescue party were Iraqi police and American soldiers.

Yesterday, 24 hours later, the Prime Minister, Ibrahim Jaafari, promised an investigation after the shocking demonstration of how paramilitary units working for the government, and death squads allegedly linked to it, are waging a savage war in the shadows.

"Impeach Bush" Signs in China

"In a sign of the unpopularity of the Iraq war, Bush's presence prompted a demonstration by about 100 protesters who banged drums and carried signs that said 'Impeach Bush.' He is expected to face larger protests in South Korea."

Warmonger Interrupted by Peace Activists

Cheney heckled by peace protesters
Vice president honors former lawmaker in talk
By DUNCAN MANSFIELD, The Associated Press

Vice President Dick Cheney was heckled by peace protesters yesterday as he spoke at the groundbreaking for a public policy center honoring former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker. Cheney continued speaking and didn't acknowledge the protesters, who were escorted from the ceremony inside the University of Tennessee's basketball arena.

About 50 protesters, most of them appearing to be college age, demonstrated outside. Several carried signs, including one that read "Honor Baker, Impeach Cheney."

Following Bush and Hadley's lead, media figures continued to falsely claim

Following Bush and Hadley's lead, media figures continued to falsely claim that White House, Congress saw "same intelligence" on Iraq

In recent days, media figures have continued to repeat false claims by President Bush and national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley that the White House and Congress examined the "same intelligence" on the Iraqi threat during the buildup to war in late 2002. The media's frequent repetition of this claim provides ballast for the administration's attacks on Democrats, who are demanding that the Senate Intelligence Committee meet its promise of completing "phase two" of its investigation of pre-war intelligence, which is to include an examination into the administration's use, and possible misuse, of that intelligence. But Congress did not have access to the "same intelligence" on Iraq as the Bush administration. The White House typically receives a greater amount of intelligence on a daily basis than Congress, as Media Matters for America has noted. Moreover, there is ample evidence that the Bush administration played an active role in decisions to limit the intelligence delivered to Capitol Hill and utilized "unique" intelligence sources during the year prior to the war.

The End of News?

By Michael Massing, NY Review of Books

In late September, the Government Accountability Office—a nonpartisan arm of Congress—issued a finding that the Bush administration had engaged in "covert propaganda," and thereby broken the law, by paying Armstrong Williams, a conservative commentator, to promote its educational policies. The GAO also faulted the administration for hiring a public relations firm to distribute video news segments without disclosing the government's part in producing them. The auditors' report, which followed a year-long investigation, presents chilling evidence of the campaign that officials in Washington have been waging against a free and independent press. Only months before, it was revealed that Kenneth Tomlinson, the President's choice to head the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, had paid a Republican operative to monitor the political leanings of guests on Bill Moyers's show Now, as part of a broader effort to shift PBS's programming to the right.

Media, White House push falsehoods on prewar Iraq intel

In recent days, conservatives have pushed two principal falsehoods -- echoed by President Bush in a November 11 speech and uncritically reported in mainstream news reports -- to rebut Democratic criticism that the White House manipulated intelligence to build the case for war in Iraq. First, conservatives have claimed that the White House's Democratic critics saw the same intelligence as the Bush administration and similarly concluded that Iraq was a significant threat. Second, the administration's defenders have conflated two issues: whether the administration pressured intelligence analysts to produce intelligence supporting its case for war, and whether the administration manipulated or cherry-picked the intelligence it received. By conflating the two questions in news reports, the media have advanced the Bush administration's line that several government inquiries have already cleared the administration of both pressuring intelligence agencies and manipulating intelligence. In fact, Media Matters for America has debunked each of these claims, documenting that: 1) The White House had access to intelligence that was unavailable to Congress and began making claims about the Iraqi threat months before Congress received any substantial intelligence analysis; and, 2) while several reports found that analysts felt no "pressure" from senior policy-makers in reaching their intelligence assessments -- a conclusion that has since been challenged by several senior intelligence officials -- no government entity has thus far investigated and reported on whether Bush administration officials manipulated that intelligence once they received it.

Court Day

By CindySheehan,

Today is the day that some of the 376 people who were arrested in front of the White House are going to court to fight our arrest.

Out of the 376, 125 have their appearance day today. The court (Scooter and Karl's court) is expecting about 60 to 70 people to come today to contest the arrest.

We have a team of fine DC lawyers helping us today. My attorney, Jon Norris, has informed me that we could be facing up to a 500.00 fine and/or 6 months in jail.

This seems like a pretty stiff sentence to me for demonstrating without a permit!

I am prepared, but I will not be too thrilled, to serve the maximum sentence. I don't think we will get any jail time, but I am certainly not going to pay the fine either!!

Speaking Events


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