No elections will be credible while occupation continues

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.

Welcome To The Surveillance State

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

Radical Proposal for Iraq: A Democratic Vote on Whether to End 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.

BUSH FOOLS AMERICANS BY APPEARING TO ACCEPT MCCAIN'S BAN ON TORTURE

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

Bush Secretly Lifted Some Limits on Spying in US after 9/11, Officials Say

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.

Kerry Calls for Impeachment ... And Then Gets Backed Down

By Donnie Fowler, Huffington Post

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.

House to vote on Need for "Victory" Without Defining It, or Declaring It and Getting Out

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:

Congress doesn't see same intelligence as president, report finds

By Jonathan S. Landay, Knight Ridder Newspapers
http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/13416512.htm

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.

NYT Withholds Evidence: Bush Said to Let NSA Tap US Calls

http://www.locustfork.net/blog/

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

Rove's moment of truth?

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.

Don't like limits on torture? Just change the rules

By Tim Grieve / Salon
http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room

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?

Baghdad Burning: Elections

By Baghdad Burning
http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/

... I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Elections...

Elections have been all we hear about for the last ten days at least.

Listen to George Galloway's Speech at the International Peace Conference

"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.

Senator Gary Hart Challenges the Unholy Alliance of 'Faith' and Government

A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW
http://www.buzzflash.com

... 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.

Congress Didn't Have Same Intelligence -- But Can Now

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 Agrees to Ban Torture -- And We Didn't Even Have to Torture Him

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.

Kevin Zeese on Bush's War

Film: "Kevin Zeese on Bush's War, Social Justice & the Middle East,"
can be found at this site:
http://homepage.mac.com/bhughes2/iMovieTheater168.html

Happy Holidays from COTAM.org !!

http://www.cotam.org

Get Your FREE Vote Scarf !
Looking for the perfect last-minute gift for all the progressives on your list? Well, look no further. Now, when you purchase 4 or more shirts (including sale items!) from Clothing of the American Mind, we’ll include a free VOTE scarf with your order. This new item is the softest, most comfy scarf you can own and it’s lightweight too, making it great for all seasons. You can’t beat the message, either. This holiday season, fight the “war on Christmas

Editor's Note: Examining Raw Story's leak reporting

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.

Fitzgerald forced to cancel grand jury for Conrad Black indictments

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.

Newsnight: "Allies on Trial"

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".

White House Says Nothing, Media Calls This "Taking Issue"

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.

Camp Casey Los Angeles

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.

Iraq slides deeper into disaster

Bush claims that Iraqis are leading “better lives,

Kerry Says Case for Impeachment Solid, then Flip-Flops and Wriggles

Impeachment is in the news! The Washington Post's Dan Froomkin reports on the latest impeachment poll here.

And the Hotline reports on comments by John Kerry:

The Big Lie that is skewing the Iraq debate

By David Sirota, http://www.workingforchange.com/blog/

Throughout the political coverage and chatter about Iraq, it seems there is a virulent assumption that has jumped from theory into fact, without even a shred of factual support. I'm not talking about there only being a small amount of proof - I'm talking about an assumption that is being made by "experts," "operatives" and the media analysts with literally absolutely no evidence at all. It is so egregious that to call it an assumption is to be dishonest - what it is is a lie.

Hear Military Families speak at the International Peace Conference

London, December 10th.

The Military Families Campaigns section was one of 4 sections to the
International Peace Conference. Traprock will post audio and photos
from each section. Andrew Murray introduced Andrew Burgin of Military

Columnist Says Bush Knows Who Leaked Name

By Carol D. Leonnig, Washington Post Staff Writer

Syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak, who has repeatedly declined to discuss his role in disclosing the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, said in a speech this week that he is certain President Bush knows who his mystery administration source is.

Iraq, the Congress, and the Truth

By Rep. John Murtha

America wants and deserves real answers on Iraq: What is the clear definition of success? Is there a plan? How much longer and how many more lives? In short, what is the end game?

Speaking Events

Jan 19-22: Washington, D.C.: Non-Violent Protest Anti War/Anti Nuke on Inauguration Day and on Facebook

January 29: David Swanson speaking in Arlington, Va.

February David Swanson debating a war supporter in Boston, Mass.

April 7-9: Huntsville, Alabama: 25th Annual Space Organizing Conference & Protest

May or June: UNAC's annual conference in Richmond, Va. April 29: possible multi-issue protest in DC.

August 2-6: Democracy Convention in Minneapolis.

Find more events here.

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