By DEMOCRACY NOW!:
* Why did the Bush Administration Hold Jose Padilla for 3 Years as an Enemy
Combatant? No Mention of al Qaeda or Plot to Attack U.S. in Indictment *
The Justice Department announced Tuesday criminal charges have been filed
against Jose Padilla - the U.S. citizen who had been held for over three
years in solitary confinement on a military brig in South Carolina. We speak
with one of Padilla's attorneys and the legal director of the Center for
* Al Jazeera London Bureau Chief Responds to Report of British Memo Alleging
From Mark Golding
Tony Blair faces a fresh move by senior MPs to set up a full Parliamentary inquiry into the UK role in the run up to the Iraq war and its aftermath.
Tory Ken Clarke and Lib Dem deputy leader Sir Menzies Campbell are among those backing the cross-party motion.
They are aiming to get 200 signatures and get a debate in the Commons.
Another signatory, SNP leader Alex Salmond, said: "This apparently modest motion may be the iceberg towards which Blair's Titanic is sailing."
There have been four separate inquiries into different aspects of the Iraq war, including the Butler report into intelligence failings and the Hutton inquiry.
The Christian Science Monitor just published an article with the headline "Why Iraq war support fell so fast." After some historical background, the article comes to the point:
"John Mueller, an expert on war and public opinion at Ohio State University, links today's lower tolerance of casualties to a weaker public commitment to the cause than was felt during the two previous, cold war-era conflicts. The discounting of the main justifications for the Iraq war - alleged weapons of mass destruction and support for international terrorism - has left many Americans skeptical of the entire enterprise."
This is why the work we are all doing to expose the lies and demand accountability is key to ending the war.
To: Interested Parties
From: Bob Graham, former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman John Podesta, President and C.E.O., Center for American Progress
Re: Pre-War Intelligence and Vice President Cheney’s Speech on Iraq
Date: November 21, 2005
In his speech today, Vice President Cheney wisely backed away from the White House’s personal criticism of Congressman John Murtha. But the Vice President continued the Administration’s irresponsible misrepresentation of the facts that led to President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. Vice President Cheney repeated his misleading assertions regarding actions taken by the Clinton Administration and the Congress to combat the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Report
Democrats leading the charge into the second phase of a bipartisan investigation into pre-war Iraq intelligence have said this week that they will spend the next month or so working with Pentagon officials who last week agreed to probe a top secret spy shop once headed by Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith that many longtime CIA and FBI officials and other intelligence analysts believe was responsible for providing the Bush administration with bogus intelligence used to justify war with Iraq.
When the probe is complete, which aides to Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) - both of whom are aggressively working to collect pre-war intelligence documents that undercut administration's claims that Iraq posed a grave threat to national security - said will likely be in early 2006, there could be some sort of "public reprimand" brought against lower-level administration officials who work or worked at the Defense Department, the National Security Council, and in the office of Vice President Dick Cheney, for "cherry-picking" questionable intelligence on Iraq and using it to win public support for the war.
All Things Considered, November 19, 2005 · Host Debbie Elliott gets reactions to the recent fireworks over the Iraq war on Capitol Hill from two veterans: Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Operation Truth, and Frank Adams, commander of a Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Fallbrook, Calif. She asks them whether talk of a withdrawal is undermining troops' morale.
LINK TO ORIGINAL
By Andrea Seabrook, NPR
NPR.org, November 19, 2005 · No fewer than five American flags flanked the podium when Pennsylvania Democrat John Murtha strode into a Capitol briefing room to announce his dramatic reversal on the war in Iraq. Once a solid vote in favor of the invasion, Murtha now says the troops should come home "at the earliest practicable date."
Murtha, 73, is not one of the Capitol's many dandies; he is a large, leathery, no-nonsense kind of guy who makes his own grammatical rules. He won two Purple Hearts as a combat Marine in the Korean and Vietnam wars, after which he tacked on 23 more years in the Marine Reserve. In Congress since 1973, he has been a staunch supporter of the Pentagon, voting to back the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and for the current Iraq conflict in 2002 (unlike most Democrats, in both cases). Since 1989, he has been either chairman or the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
By The Day
Letters To The Editor:
Recent letters leave me amazed in the writers' focus on making sure that the mess this country is in is blamed on the people who voted with the president and his core group three years ago. The Democrats who supported the president did so because they believed him when he told them that the use weapons of mass destruction was an imminent threat. They voted with our president because they trusted him and didn't question his “intelligence.
By Frank Nicosia, burlingtonfreepress.com
The many revelations by former administration and government insiders, coupled with the Downing Street Memo, the Lewis Libby indictment, and numerous other sources since the invasion of Iraq almost three years ago leave little doubt that the Bush administration deceived Americans and the world before invading a country that threatened no one.
Many Americans now believe that Bush's real reasons for war were the removal of Saddam Hussein and control of Iraq and its oil, and not alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction or ties between Saddam and al-Qaida.
By Irvin Peckham, Baton Rouge, The Advocate (Letter)
In his Nov. 11 syndicated column, Rich Lowry excoriates members of the Democratic Party for whining about how President Bush misled them into voting for the 2002 War Resolution.
Lowry is following Bush adviser Karl Rove's script for a response to Plamegate and President Bush's plunge in the polls: Everyone, they say, had the same information and thought Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and mushroom clouds in his pocket; our soldiers are dying, and anyone who criticizes our decisions ("rewrites history") is giving aid to the enemy and is directly responsible for more of our soldiers being killed.
By Chris Walker, UMW Post
This past Veterans Day, President Bush made a strong charge: that Democrats criticizing his handling of the war have rewritten history.
While it’s true that many of the Democrats who are now criticizing him initially supported the war, it is Bush who should take a step back and think before he is so fast to accuse.
George W. Bush entered us into this war based on misinformation. That much we know. It’s hard to blame him for that — given the same information he had, many Democrats voted to give him full authority in dealing with Iraq.
What many Americans don’t know is that the Bush administration was fixing the facts around the policy, not the other way around.
By Andrew Cohen, CBS News
After all that, this:
Under deadline pressure from the United States Supreme Court, the Bush Administration Tuesday finally decided to allow a judge and jury to determine the fate of Jose Padilla, the young man to whom we were introduced three years ago by a former U.S. Attorney General as a "dirty bomber."
Only the government did not in the end charge Padilla with plotting to explode a radiological device in an urban core, as John Ashcroft once suggested in a dramatic news conference fed to stunned viewers via satellite from Russia. The feds did not allege that the young street punk was on his way to back to America — he was arrested at O’Hare airport in Chicago — to kill civilians here.
By Mort Kondracke, Roll Call
The 2006 election is shaping up to be a bitterly fought referendum on President Bush - to the point where, if Democrats win, they just might impeach him.
The "I-word" so far is mainly tossed around in the left-wing blogosphere: Barbra Streisand is calling for impeachment on her Web site, for example, as is an unofficial "progressive" site called Democrats.com. But Democratic accusations that Bush lied to get the United States into the Iraq war would seem to lead logically to demands for his removal from office.
By Jeeni Criscenzo
I went down to Carlsbad Blvd. today to do a final walkabout, looking for any unexpected problems for our vigil on Friday. As I stood there looking south, toward Cannon Rd., I created a picture in my mind of what that stretch will look like 3:00 PM on Friday when over 2,000 people will line it. It's going to be an incredible experience!
As I count my blessings this Thanksgiving, above all, I am thankful to have all of you in my heart - because if you are on this email list, you are most definitely in my heart. I am overwhelmed when I think about how many loving, brave and genuine people I have met and worked with here, over the past year. It seems as if, as things in our government get more and more horrendous, there is an equally powerful force growing within ordinary people who are finding the inner resolve to stand up and do something. I am honored and thankful to have you as my friends and supporters. A year from now, with your help, I'll be packing my bags for Washington, DC, to be your voice in a new Congress where people matter. Change is most definitely in the wind!
There is no one in this country more responsible for the change in Americans' attitudes toward the Iraq War than Cindy Sheehan. Let's ask Time Magazine to consider her for 2005 Person of the Year.
Nominate Cindy Sheehan for Time Magazine Person of the Year - Pass it on!
Click here to vote.
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
By Kristina Borjesson
Weighed down by the detritus of their war-selling campaign, including the Plame affair, President Bush and Vice President Cheney came out swinging against charges that they misused pre-war intelligence. The intelligence was faulty, not manipulated, they say. "While it is perfectly legitimate to criticize my decisions or the conduct of the war," the president declared, "it is irresponsible to re-write the history of how the war began."
Re-writing history may be wrong, but reviewing it is instructive. The record shows that Bush and Cheney's claims that they were duped by bad intelligence are disingenuous.
Iraq Fact Sheet
Americans Want Change and Leadership
• Americans believe change in Iraq is necessary. A recent CBS News Poll showed 59% of Americans want to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible. The same poll indicated 64%, nearly 2/3 of Americans believe the results of the Iraq war are not worth its costs.
• Americans are disappointed with the current leadership on Iraq. According to a recent Washington Post-ABC News Poll, 64% of Americans disapprove of the way President Bush is handling the situation in Iraq.
By Phil Restino, Founding Member, Central Florida Chapter, Veterans for Peace
Lance Brown, one of the earliest to expose the PNAC and who launched the site http://www.pnac.info
which has recently been updated and re-launched, will be the 1-hour guest on Oregon's Progressive Talk Radio KOPT 1600 tomorrow (Wednesday, Nov 23rd) ... starting at 3:00 PM Pacific Time ... http://kopt.com/audio.php
... please pass the word and listen in if you can ... thanks ... Phil R.
Document allegedly says PM dissuaded Bush push for attack on Al-Jazeera
NBC News and news services
Updated: 2:37 p.m. ET Nov. 22, 2005
LONDON - A civil servant has been charged under Britain’s Official Secrets Act for allegedly leaking a government memo that a newspaper said Tuesday suggested that Prime Minister Tony Blair persuaded President Bush not to bomb the Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera.
The Daily Mirror reported that Bush spoke of targeting Al-Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha, Qatar, when he met Blair at the White House on April 16, 2004. The Bush administration has regularly accused Al-Jazeera of being nothing more than a mouthpiece for anti-American sentiments.
From Progressive Democrats of America
While we support the efforts of Rep. Murtha, PDA's focus and resources will be devoted to support Rep. James McGovern's (D-MA) bill calling for withdrawal now. Rep. McGovern recently wrote a letter to PDA staff in which he asked to have us share it with our grassroots base. The letter outlines the need to withdraw from Iraq. You can read the letter here: http://www.pdamerica.org/misc/McGovern-PDA-Letter.pdf
You can also read a letter that gives some background on this issue: http://www.pdamerica.org/misc/McGovern-Background.pdf.
McGovern was recently at a PDA Washington, D.C. function at which he outlined the above letter in a new bill he has put forward and described specifically how PDA can help. A short video clip of part of his interview can be seen here: Rep. McGovern Video Clips (requires free RealPlayer software): [56k Modem] [Broadband]
2,100 soldiers now dead in Iraq; suicide bomber kills 17; Larry Johnson; dirty bomb suspect Padilla indicted; and more ... Browse our continually updating front page at http://www.truthout.org
VIDEO SPECIAL | School of the Americas Protest
A Film by Rebecca MacNeice
Rebecca MacNeice reports from the 16th annual School of the Americas protest at Fort Benning, GA. 20,000 people participated in the protest, including 41 who were arrested. The protesters focused their attention on the School because of its involvement in the training of many Central American military officers who went on to commit human rights abuses.
Operation Yellow Feather: Day Two
by BostonJoe, dailykos.com
Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohip) is in deep political trouble because she called Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania) a coward. And the progressive blogosphere has played a part in ensuring that she is held accountable for her remarks.
The Cincinnati Enquirer says she skipped two local appearances Monday. She is a true Chicken Hawk. Talk the talk. But when the going gets tough -- AWOL.
Freshman Congresswoman Has Long Relationship with Far-Right Wingnut Danny Bubp
Her Website May Also Be in Violation of Law, House Rules
The Marine Corps Reserve Colonel whom freshman Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R-OH) claimed she was quoting last week when she delivered his "message" on the floor of the U.S. House that "cowards cut and run, Marines never do" has disavowed that statement and denies having made it to Schmidt.
The comment was directed to 37-year Marine colonel and combat veteran, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA). says she got his comments wrong.
Schmidt has a longtime relationship working on far Right Fundamentalist Christian causes with Danny Bubp, and now appears to be breaking a few rules/laws on her own website. All in contradiction to what she had promised just months ago when she was sworn in...
By Kevin Zeese, Director, www.DemocracyRising.US
Dear Peace Stalwarts:
This Thanksgiving time period may be critical to the direction of the Iraq War debate in the nation's capitol. Below are three steps you can take to move this issue forward at this critical time.
Before leaving Washington, DC on Thanksgiving recess the debate on the Iraq War – something that has been quietly heating up – reached a boiling point in both chambers of Congress. At the beginning of the week the Senate took action with Republicans responding to a Democratic attempt to push an exit from Iraq. The Republicans passed legislation that would require the President to report quarterly to the Congress on progress toward ending the U.S. occupation of Iraq – sending a clear message of bi-partisan concern about the current Iraq policy.
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Report
Embattled Washington Post editor Bob Woodward provided an important clue that may help shed light on the identity of the person who told him in June 2003 that Valerie Plame Wilson was a CIA agent.
In an interview with "Larry King Live" Monday night, Woodward said he realized that he was the first journalist to learn of Plame Wilson's covert CIA status when Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald announced the indictment last month of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, contradicting evidence that said former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who was jailed for 85 days for refusing to testify to a grand jury about her source, was the first reporter who was told about Plame Wilson.
By Jeffrey Laurenti, The Century Foundation
The near hysterical reaction of the Bush administration to Representative John Murtha’s call for a swift American pullout from Iraq, lumping the hawkish Pennsylvania Democrat with “Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party,
By Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
Contact: Brendan Daly/Jennifer Crider, 202-226-7616
Washington, D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on the President's failure to provide a plan for success in Iraq:
"This week, Iraqi leaders at the Arab League conference in Cairo called for a timetable for withdrawing foreign forces from Iraq, further evidence of how far out of touch President Bush's Iraq policy is from reality. While senior Administration officials such as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggest that U.S. forces may still be in Iraq in 10 years, Iraqi Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish leaders have all stated clearly that they want the Iraqi people to quickly take over their country's future and be responsible for its security.
By Murray Waas, special to National Journal
Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda, according to government records and current and former officials with firsthand knowledge of the matter.
Obama Calls for Troop Reduction in Iraq By ANNA JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer
12 minutes ago
CHICAGO - Sen. Barack Obama on Tuesday called for a troop reduction in Iraq and criticized the Bush administration for questioning the patriotism of people who have spoken out against the war.
"I believe that U.S. forces are still a part of the solution in Iraq," the Illinois Democrat said during a speech to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations. "The strategic goals should be to allow for a limited drawdown of U.S. troops, coupled with a shift to a more effective counter-insurgency strategy that puts the Iraqi security forces in the lead and intensifies our efforts to train Iraqi forces."