Friday :: Sep 30, 2005
Body Armor for the Troops - A Response
Here's one for the Democrats to ponder this weekend. John over at AMERICAblog has a fine idea on one of those consequences of having idealogical fruitcake thugs running things in this country in conjunction with timid and idea challenged Democrats as ineffectual opposition.
It's time for Democrats to take an obvious issue handed to them by God himself and run with it in an intelligent, strategic way.
We shouldn't be offering stupid amendments to help the soldiers get reimbursed for armor they already purchased (that's the current Democratic plan)...
Judy and Cheney?
Raw Story: A lawyer who knows Mr. Libby's account said the administration efforts to limit the damage from Mr. Wilson's criticism extended as high as Mr. Cheney. This lawyer and others who spoke about the case asked that they not be identified because of grand jury secrecy rules....read on
" You go to war with the army you have not the army you might want or wish to have?"
During a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee where he appeared with several Generals to discuss the state of Iraq and the training of their armed forces. (The Iraq forces are down to one battalion) Ted Kennedy said to Rummy:
September 26, 2005
In the Spirit of Ghandi and MLK...
Today's activities for democracy are two: I've got the easier one: I'm speaking with my Congressmember (and then flying home.) But a new friend of ours is going for the gusto! She will be participating in today's civil disobedience. The following letter is from her, describing her thoughts about today's actions:
We've got Stephanie's back...
Craziness! Just 3 days ago I was back home in Buffalo not knowing where I'd be staying while in DC let alone if I'd participate in the civil disobedience.
The story of my White House Arrest
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 06:47 PM by meganmonkey
I'll start my story on Sunday, the day before the arrest. The weekend thus far had been a blast - I had fun partying with DUers, marching, yelling, celebrating the solidarity of the movement. But Sunday, I woke up in a very different state of mind. I went into the city at around noon, and my first stop was Camp Casey. As soon as I got there I started weeping. It was as if I finally remembered why I was there in the first place, and it hit me that every one of those crosses in the field represented not only a soldier, but also hundreds of Iraqi citizens, and I wept. A very kind stranger approached me and held me and said 'You are too young to feel this way' and wept with me. That moment has stayed in my heart since then - I am typing through tears now and I am only on my first paragraph. This is going to be a long story....but this is my personal permanent record of it, so forgive me.
From the Peace March in Washington, DC on September 24, 2005
President Bush's initial reasons for invading Iraq have proven to be false. His administration promised that weapons of mass destruction would be found. None were found. Administration claims that the Iraq regime aided the September 11 terrorism have also remained unsubstantiated.
1. Do you believe the Bush administration misled the American people on its motives for invading Iraq?
2. If so, do you believe Congress should initiate impeachment proceedings against George W Bush?
Government Accountability Office Says Bush Adm. Violated Law By Disseminating "Covert Propaganda"…
From the wire:
Posted at 9:50 PM on September 30, 2005. Wire
Federal auditors said on Friday that the Bush administration violated the law by buying favorable news coverage of President Bush's education policies, by making payments to the conservative commentator Armstrong Williams and by hiring a public relations company to analyze media perceptions of the Republican Party.
In a blistering report, the investigators, from the Government Accountability Office, said the administration had disseminated "covert propaganda" in the United States, in violation of a statutory ban.
Miller's Testimony Increases Anxiety In The White House And Republican Circles About How Investigation Might End…
Miller's Testimony Increases Anxiety In The White House And Republican Circles About How Investigation Might End…
From the wire:
Posted at 8:08 AM on October 1, 2005.
Judith Miller, a reporter for The New York Times, spent Friday morning testifying to a federal grand jury investigating whether Bush administration officials leaked the identity of a Central Intelligence Agency operative.
Ms. Miller made her appearance at the federal courthouse here a day after she and her lawyers reached an agreement with the prosecutor for her to testify and she was released from a jail in Virginia where she had been incarcerated for 12 weeks for refusing to testify to the grand jury.
US Generals: Presence Of Troops In Iraq Is Fueling Insurgency… Urge Reductions…
From the wire:
Posted at 9:54 AM on October 1, 2005.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. generals running the war in Iraq presented a new assessment of the military situation in public comments and sworn testimony this week: The 149,000 U.S. troops currently in Iraq are increasingly part of the problem.
During a trip to Washington, the generals said the presence of U.S. forces was fueling the insurgency, fostering an undesirable dependency on American troops among the nascent Iraqi armed forces and energizing terrorists across the Middle East.
Article Launched: 09/29/2005 11:01:00 AM
Retired general: Iraq invasion was 'strategic disaster'
The Lowell Sun
WASHINGTON -- The invasion of Iraq was the “greatest strategic disaster in United States history,
By Ray McGovern
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
The news that yet another Army private, Lynndie England, 22, of Fort Ashby, West Virginia, has been convicted and sentenced for posing for the infamous photos of torture at Abu Ghraib, while her superiors duck responsibility, is a sad commentary on the extent to which the Bush administration has corrupted the US Army.
The reminder of the photos of those inexcusable activities was sickening enough, and England deserves to be punished. But I am of the old-Army school where officers took responsibility for the actions of those under their command. For anyone who cares to look, there is abundant documentary evidence that the Army brass and its civilian leadership are responsible for the torture. They continue to dance away from taking responsibility.
Get report, photos, and audio here.
George Galloway, Member of Parliament - UK (Respect Unity Coalition), spoke to a capacity audience at the First Congregational Church in Washington, DC. Ralph Nader and Dennis Brutus were special guests, while Louisiana activists were honored (see below). Appearing with Galloway were, in order of speaking, Virginia Harabin (moderator); Mounzer Sleiman, PhD, who made welcoming remarks on behalf of National Council of Arab Americans; Camilo Mejia, Army soldier who refused to fight in Iraq; he is a conscientious objector and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War; Elias Rashmawi, National Council of Arab Americans; Rose Gentle, founding member of Military Families Against the War (UK); and Ahmed Shawki, Editor, International Socialist Review and Board member of National Council of Arab Americans - he introduced George Galloway. link.
By WILL LESTER, AP
WASHINGTON (Sept. 29) - The American public has doubts about whether the Bush administration policy of promoting democracy internationally will make the world a safer place.
A poll done at the University of Maryland found that just over a fourth, 28 percent, say they think the world is safer when there are more democracies, while more than twice as many, 68 percent, say democracy may make life better within a country but does not make the world safer.
The poll, released Thursday, was conducted by the university's Program on International Policy Attitudes in association with the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.
Prosecutor Quiet After Miller's Testimony By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 11 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - It has been two years since a grand jury began looking into the Valerie Plame CIA identity case, a criminal investigation that could close up shop shortly or cause more pain for the Bush White House.
Following Friday's grand jury testimony by New York Times reporter Judith Miller, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald gave no indication of his plans, and his spokesman refused to comment.
"I'm leaving," was all Fitzgerald offered to reporters as the prosecutor left the federal courthouse where he had just won the latest round in his investigation. He had finally persuaded Miller to cooperate after she spent 85 days in jail for refusing to testify.
Miller testimony to end grand jury CIA probe
By Edward Alden in Washington
Published: September 30 2005 21:34 | Last updated: September 30 2005 23:50
A US grand jury investigation into whether White House officials broke the law by exposing a covert Central Intelligence Agency operative is set to conclude after testimony on Friday from a New York Times reporter.
Judith Miller, who was imprisoned for nearly three months after refusing to testify about her conversations with a top aide to Dick Cheney, vice-president, was released on Thursday when she agreed to testify. She appeared before the grand jury in Washington Friday morning.
By Robert Parry
October 1, 2005
Can American voters impose any meaningful accountability on George W. Bush, including possibly removing him and his team from office?
That’s a question – implicit in our recent stories about his administration’s failures – that has attracted skepticism from some readers. Several have sent e-mails expressing strong doubts that anything at all can be achieved through the electoral process, given the cowardice of the Democratic Party and the complicity of the mainstream news media.
There is much to be said for those arguments. A sub-theme of my book, Secrecy & Privilege, is that the massive conservative investment in media, think tanks and attack groups over the past three decades has led to a systemic change in U.S. politics, the creation of a right-wing machine that can crush almost anyone who gets in the way.
The UFPJ Lobby Day on Sept. 26 was the biggest lobby day for peace any of us can remember - and you helped make it so! Even if you had to miss out on the lobby day, I will continue to reach out to you so that you can be involved in our follow-up activities.
Here is a quick report - upwards of 1,000 citizen lobbyists hit Capitol Hill, meeting with over 300 members of Congress and/or their staff. We represented 40 states, and met with about an equal number of Republican and Democratic members. Even the media were interested, the News Hour with Jim Lehrer covered the Indiana delegation meeting with Senator Lugar, Phil Donhue and his crew were present at a few meetings with the California delegation. Most delegations were met with a polite and respectful response. One Congressional Aide told a delegation "you are the best prepared and largest group I have ever met with"!
Triangle Ed-Op Interviews: Congressman Curt Weldon
By James Mack, Jr.
Published: Friday, September 30, 2005
Article Tools: Page 2 of 6
So, what I've had to do is to fight with both of them, both the 9-11 Commission and the [Bush] administration, who I think neither of whom wants this information to be put out to the American people. Now, what bothers me is that the bulk of the information in Able Danger acquired was open-source information; it wasn't classified. To deny these military officers, who are very dedicated, loyal Americans, to tell their story not only flies in the face of everything this country stands for, but it is also a personal attack against them. It also flies in the face of the legitimate role of Congress in oversight of the executive branch. So as Senator Glassly said yesterday, this is a lot of bigger than Curt Weldon or Able Danger: It's about Congress exercising its legitimate roll in oversight.
By Steve Bhaerman
As America recovers and rebalances after the huge tragedy in New Orleans, we can expect political rhetoric to seek pre-flood levels. >From the left we can expect to hear help was too little too late because most of the left-behinds were black folks. And no doubt, that is a factor. You too probably saw the two AP news photos and their captions. The white guy slogging through the bog with a garbage bag is “finding food.
Posted on Thu, Sep. 29, 2005
Our political elite is in paralysis'
BY PATRICK J. BUCHANAN
President Bush is in big trouble, and so are we. In this town, there is barely disguised glee that the president so badly bumbled the rescue-and-recovery operation post-Katrina that he has lost the aura of a strong, decisive leader.
Democrats and their coalition partners in the media are gloating that Bush's fumbling proves them right: He is the fortunate son who is beyond his depth in an office he would not have won had it not been for his name, connections and a friendly Supreme Court. The piling on begins to grate, but that is the nature of politics. When Nixon was mired in Watergate, Reagan in Iran-contra and Clinton in the Monica mess, Washington was whistling Happy Days Are Here Again.
No-Bid Contracts To Get Close Look
Inspectors General Promise to Review Katrina Deals, Earlier FEMA Agreements
By Griff Witte
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 29, 2005; Page A11
The officials responsible for monitoring more than $60 billion in federal Hurricane Katrina spending promised yesterday to take a hard look at every no-bid contract awarded since the storm and to investigate the adequacy of contracts the government had in place before disaster struck.
The assurances came at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing at which lawmakers from both parties questioned a panel of inspectors general about whether Katrina aid money is being well spent. The inspectors general provided few answers because, they said, their work has just begun. But they said repeatedly that they would investigate.
Poets Against the War Founder Sam Hamill comes to Washington, D.C., in October 2005, with two new books, Almost Paradise: New and Selected Poems & Translations and Tao Te Ching: A New Translation (both from Shambhala Publications, 2005).
Wednesday, October 19, 7pm - Jimenez-Porter House, Dorchester Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Click here for a map of campus. College Park/Green line on the Metro.
Thursday, October 20, noon - Pryzbyla Center, Great Room A, Catholic University, Washington, DC. Includes a short reading by D.C. Poets Against the War coordinator Sarah Browning and the screening of an excerpt from Voices in Wartime. Brookland/Red line on the Metro. Click here for a map of campus.
Indicting the President's Policies
2 hours, 27 minutes ago
The Nation -- In Washington, where it is exceeding difficult to get the political players or the press corps to pay attention to more than one story at once, no0 one would suggest that it was "smart politics" to deliver a major address on the day that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay being forced to step aside after being indicted on criminal conspiracy charges.
But sometimes the work of Washington involves more than political games.
Sometimes it involves life and death questions of national policy. And it is particularly frustrating in such moments to see vital statements about the nation's future get lost in the rush to discuss the scandal du jour. To be sure, the well-deserved indictment of DeLay merited the attention it received. But the indictment of President Bush's "stay-the-course" approach with regard to the Iraq War, which was delivered on the same day by U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold (news, bio, voting record), D-Wisconsin, should have gotten a lot more attention than it did.
Miller Walks: The Plot Thickens
It’s time for Judy Miller and Arthur Sulzberger to change their talking points.
The claim that Miller “has finally received a direct and uncoerced waiver