From Tomdispatch at the cusp of Thanksgiving, Jonathan Schell, "The Fall of the One-Party Empire" http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=39141
, his latest "Letter from Ground Zero" for the Nation magazine (exclusively on-line from Tomdispatch) and one of his best. He takes us on a tour of the neocon global Pax Americana that never was, asking a simple question: Where exactly are the monuments of that empire? If it is now threatened with collapse, what exactly did it build?
This is a classic piece -- and if you don't get to it until after Thanksgiving, it doesn't matter at all. It's not time bound. Please note that, in response to Schell's question, I've written a little whirl of a tour through the monuments of that "empire" from Camp Victory North in Iraq and sunny Guantanamo to Afghanistan's "Salt Pit" and the ruined city of Fallujah (with a quick stop at the Pentagon's Bavarian R&R eden, the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort). Check out "American Ziggurats, Imperial Ruins, and Other Wonders of the Modern Age" which follows the Schell and might makes a good companion piece to it.
O'Reilly Column Says U.S. Needs Timetable to Get Out of Iraq
By E&P Staff
Published: November 22, 2005 1:17 PM ET
NEW YORK Conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly writes in his current column that there needs to be a timetable for the U.S. to leave Iraq.
"Let's win the damn thing," he said in his Creators Syndicate feature. "But there must be a time limit. Mr. Bush and his crew have to understand that American blood and treasure are not unlimited. It is not undermining the war to suggest giving the Iraqis a realistic private timetable to defend themselves. Basic training for a U.S. soldier is six weeks. We've been training the Iraqi army for almost two years now. Even Gomer Pyle would be up to speed."
By Congressional Quarterly
Two House Republicans and two Democrats joined forces this week to urge House conferees on the fiscal 2006 defense authorization bill to accept Senate language prodding the Bush administration to start bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq next year.
The lawmakers said adopting such legislation would be “an important first step
By Mel Goodman
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
President Bush, in defense of his decision to use force in Iraq, contends that the Congress supported the decision and that it had access to the same intelligence available to the White House. Not true!
The president and his key advisers, usually about five or six principals, receive the CIA's "President's Daily Brief" (PDB) five or six times a week. The PDB contains sensitive intelligence, including raw intelligence, that is not seen anywhere else in the policy community or on Capitol Hill. Most of this intelligence is of the compartmented variety that isn't even available to intelligence analysts working on a particular problem. In addition to the PDB, the briefer usually brings additional intelligence reporting that would be of special interest to the president or the secretaries of state or defense. Again, these items are highly classified and not available to the general community.
Dems win McCain’s backing
By Alexander Bolton
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who has emerged as a leading opponent of the Bush administration’s policy on interrogating detainees in the war on terrorism, wants Senate investigators to interview senior administration officials about their statements regarding the threat posed by Saddam Hussein before the war.
McCain backed Democratic calls for interviews of top-level administration officials in an interview last week. But his position is at odds with many in his party, including Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), whom McCain may face in the 2008 GOP presidential primary.
By Steven Clemons, The Washington Note
Just about every government in the Middle East has been ticked off at the reporting by Al-Jazeera. This fact, more than anything else, indicates that Al-Jazeera is doing a lot right.
I have made no secret of my respect for Al-Jazeera and its ability to dominate the Middle East media market with its reporting. I have appeared on several Al-Jazeera shows and was recently interviewed in a major production underway on the subject of "rendition."
The forthcoming Al-Jazeera production on rendition is a dicey one for its chief producer, Yosri Fouda -- a brilliant Egyptian senior Al-Jazeera investigative reporter based in London -- because there are usually three types of nations involved in the "rendering" of detainees: American CIA planes that allow transiting from or through other countries, to a final destination -- that is frequently in the Middle East -- including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, and Egypt.
From the Wall Street Journal
A majority of U.S. adults believe the Bush administration generally
misleads the public on current issues, while fewer than a third of
Americans believe the information provided by the administration is
generally accurate, the latest Harris Interactive poll finds.
While the telephone survey of 1,011 U.S. adults indicates about 64% of
Americans believe the Bush administration "generally misleads the American
public on current issues to achieve its own ends," opinion on the topic is
Peace Action's Paul Kawika Martin interviewed today with Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc. which owns 25 television stations, and manages an additional three television and two radio stations, in geographically diverse U.S. markets. The Company's television stations reach approximately 18% of U.S. TV households, making it one of the largest U.S. television station groups.
The segment is about the political events on Iraq last week and the peace movement in general. It may run in the below stations in their news programs.
Linda Feldmann of the Christian Science Monitor on the Brian
Lehrer Show on WNYC on Monday:
LEHRER: You can't impeach someone for incompetence, just crimes and
misdemeanors, right? Linda?
FELDMANN: Yes, that's right. Democrats.com are sending out lots of
emails about how it's time to impeach the president and they're raising
money to support that cause.
LEHRER: What's Democrats.com? Is that the party?
FELDMANN: [laughs] No, it wouldn't be fair to the Democrats to leave
that impression. That's an activist group, very liberal left wing
activist group that thinks it's time
Pull out plan?
Nov. 23: The Pentagon might be drawing up plans to pull some troops out of Iraq. NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski reports.
Sheriff enforces new bans on camping, parking; Sheehan due later in week
CRAWFORD, Texas - (AP) -- A dozen war protesters were arrested Wednesday for setting up camp near President Bush’s ranch in defiance of new local bans on roadside camping and parking.
McLennan County sheriff’s deputies arrested them for criminal trespassing.
Another dozen or so demonstrators left the public right of way after deputies warned them they would be arrested.
By John Byrne, RAWSTORY.com
A listing of all requests made of the Pentagon under the Freedom of Information Act since 2000, acquired by RAW STORY, provides new insight into the aggressiveness of American news agencies.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, the public can request records of government agencies. Records seen as jeopardizing national security or individual rights are typically exempted. All requests are public.
The request for a list of all who made inquiries of the Pentagon was filed by Michael Petrelis (http://mpetrelis.blogspot.com/, a San Francisco-based activist and blogger. He provided a copy to RAW STORY, which will be released in full next week.
Sources in Britain are reporting that a newly leaked Downing Street Memo says that U.S. President George Bush was dissuaded by British Prime Minister Tony Blair from attacking the Al Jazeera media outlet. In response, the British government, rather than reprimanding the White House, is taking new extreme (even Bush-like)steps to discourage and punish whistleblowers and media outlets. Read the details from RAWSTORY here.
Contact members of the U.S. media and ask them to stand up for their fellow journalists by doing their job and covering this story.
By Larisa Alexandrovna, RawStory.com
The Mirror, a UK publication which reported Tuesday on an alleged US plan to bomb an Arab TV station seen as anti-US, has been gagged from reporting any further on the memo and its contents by Attorney General Lord Goldsmith, Raw Story has learned.
The publication reported on the contents of a five page memo, stamped Top Secret, alleging that President Bush had threatened to undertake military action against al-Jazeera, a TV station located in the country of Qatar. While al-Jazeera is seen by some in the Bush administration to be largely anti-West, Qatar is an American ally.
From Progressive Democrats of America
Thursday, December 1st
The Lucky Break - 2nd Street and Jefferson, in Phoenix, Ariz.
(Only 2 1/2 blocks from the Wyndham)
8:00pm - 12:00am
Join many well known activists, politicos and elected officials for a night of relaxing, mingling, great live music, dancing, pool, eating and drinking.
Entertainment: Raza and Tim Reynolds of Dave Matthews Band
Speakers include: Rep. Raul Grijalva and Rep. Diane Watson
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (877) 368-9221
There will be a $5 cover which will be waived for PDA donors.
By David Corn, TomPaine.com
David Corn writes The Loyal Opposition twice a month for TomPaine.com. Corn is also the Washington editor of The Nation and is the author of The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception (Crown Publishers). Read his blog at http://www.davidcorn.com.
When Vice President Dick Cheney spoke on Monday at the American Enterprise Institute—the conservative think tank that has provided the intellectual ammo for George W. Bush's war in Iraq—he signaled that the Bush campaign (that is, the White House) was retreating from its personal and mean-spirited attacks on Rep. John Murtha, the hawkish Democrat who days earlier had called for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. Let's have a real policy debate, Cheney said. After all, he explained:
By Ray McGovern
Ray McGovern is a member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). He worked as a CIA analyst for 27 years, and now works for Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC.
The surprising degree of consensus reached by the main Iraqi factions at the Arab-League orchestrated Reconciliation Conference in Cairo last weekend sharply undercuts the unilateral, guns-and-puppets approach of the Bush administration to the deteriorating situation in Iraq. The common demand, by Shia and Kurds as well as Sunnis, for a timetable for withdrawal of occupation forces demolishes the administration’s argument that setting such a timetable would be a huge mistake. Who would know better—the Iraqis or the ideologues advising Bush?
By Robert Scheer
You've got to hand it to Dick Cheney; no other modern politician has come so close to perfecting the theater of the absurd. Even as he protests his innocence of lying about matters of state, he lies about matters of state.
In speeches Friday and Monday, the vice president, who has long insisted Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda were allies, Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, we would be greeted as liberators in Baghdad, and that the Iraqi insurgency is in its "last throes," again evidenced his trademark inability to speak the truth.
Continuing the administration's recent shrill defensive barrage over whose fault the Iraq mess is and with the truth chasing the lies in full view, Cheney had the gall to smear the war's critics as "corrupt and shameless." Then, within a few sentences, he showed again why 52 percent of those polled by Newsweek believe Cheney deliberately "misused or manipulated" prewar intelligence.
By Steven C. Clemons, The Washington Note
Is there a counter-leaker on Plame case working for the side of good?
Who is Patrick Fitzgerald's "Deep Throat" Source? Is there a Counter-Leaker on Plame Case Working for the Side of Good?
There is a high level official in the Bush administration who helped give the "inside scoop" on the earliest moves by the White House in the Valerie Plame investigation - but who is it?
On September 28, 2003, Washington Post writers Dana Priest and Mike Allen clearly note the existence of a source with knowledge about the outing campaign conducted as "a vendetta" against Joe Wilson by senior officials in the Bush White House.
Check your Congress Member's voting record on all measures related to ending the war HERE.
By Julia Baird, Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
The Rolling Stone reporter Evan Wright was embedded with the first marines to go into Iraq, hard men who punched the skies with their fists when American helicopter gunships flew overhead, shouting: "Get some!"
In Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American War, Wright vividly describes the confusion and raw brutality of executing a military strategy in a civilian landscape.
In one story, after a bloody expedition through an Iraqi town, a marine who was excited at the death and mayhem pants: "I was just thinking one thing when we drove into that ambush. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. I felt like I was living it when I seen the flames coming out of windows, the blown-up car in the street, guys crawling around shooting at us. It was f---ing cool."
By Jeremy Scahill, AlterNet
The refrain of the Democrats about being misled into supporting the invasion of Iraq has become really tired. And someone other than the White House smearmongers needs to say it: The Democrats cannot be allowed to use faulty intelligence as a crutch to hold up their unforgivable support for the Iraq invasion. What is DNC Chair Howard Dean's excuse? He wasn't in Congress and didn't have any access to Senate intelligence. Still, on March 9, 2003, just days before the invasion began, Dean told Tim Russert, on NBC's Meet The Press, "I don't want Saddam staying in power with control over those weapons of mass destruction. I want him to be disarmed."
Amy Goodman will be on Hardball with Chris Matthews on MSNBC tonight (Wed.,
November 23) at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. (Eastern) to debate U.S. troop
withdrawal from Iraq.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Freepers Hi-Jack Murtha's Poll: WND hails it triumphantly
Some publications will print anything to protect the administration. Cynthia sent me this story via email.
WorldNetDaily posts this article: "The congressman at the center of the battle last week over withdrawal of troops from Iraq removed the results from his own Internet poll on the subject after online voters overwhelmingly opposed his stance....read on"
By In These Times
Contributing Editor Frida Berrigan investigates the use of white phosphorus (WP) during the siege of Fallujah in “White Phosphorus Lies.
By Norman Solomon
When Thanksgiving arrives, the media coverage is mostly predictable.
Feature stories tell of turkeys and food drives for the needy. We
hear about why some people, famous and unknown, say they feel
thankful. And, of course, holiday advertising campaigns launch via
TV, radio and print outlets.
Like our own responses to Thanksgiving, the repeated media messages
are apt to be contradictory. Answers to basic questions run the
gamut: How much time and money should we spend on the holiday dinner
compared to helping the less fortunate? Is this really the time to
Ambiguous Hawk In A Fog Of War
By Ben Smith, New York Observer
Before the American project in Iraq turned from reconstruction back to combat, Senator Hillary Clinton liked to chide the Bush administration about its analogies to World War II.
“It took 10 years to create a stable, sovereign government
Times Confronted By Ms. Rice In 2002 But Held Ground
By Gabriel Sherman, New York Observer
In late August of 2002, David Sanger, White House correspondent for The New York Times, found himself in the far west wing of the West Wing: at President George W. Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Tex.
There, in what must have been a fairly routine meeting with then–National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, he was told in no uncertain terms what the White House had thought of much of The Times’ reporting on the President’s Iraq policy that summer. They were not happy.
“I would not discuss any background conversations with any sources in the White House,
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