Iraq Vet Group Critical of Bush's Veterans' Day Speech

Blogged by Brad on

Iraq Vet Group Critical of Bush's Veterans' Day Speech, Demands Support for Troops from Commander-in-Chief and a 'Real Investigation Into Prewar Intelligence'

In a response just issued by , "the nation's first and largest organization for Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," their Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff expressed disappointment...

In a response just issued by, "the nation's first and largest organization for Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," their Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff expressed disappointment in George W. Bush's just-completed Veterans' Day speech to troops in Pennsylvania.

Iraq War Veterans' Thoughts on Veterans Day

By Paul Rieckhoff,

NEW YORK – The head of the nation’s first and largest organization for Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Operation Truth, released the following statement today, Veterans Day:

“The more than 600 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans that make up Operation Truth salute those who have fought alongside us, those that fought before us, and pray for the safety of those who are currently on the battlefield.

But Veterans’ Day is more than just a day to give Veterans a parade and a thank you. Veterans Day is about honoring those who have fought in service to this nation. The best way to honor our sacrifice is to take care of our needs and answer the questions we have. To date, all we have gotten from most people in Washington is a bunch of lip service and requests to be window dressing for advantageous politicians.

An Evening with Ambassador Joseph Wilson

Please join the University of Maryland College Democrats for,
An Evening with Ambassador Joseph Wilson

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 at 8pm at the Memorial Chapel at the University
of Maryland College Park, Doors open at 7:30pm. Please come early.

For directions and parking at the Chapel, please visit:

The event is free of charge. Everyone is welcome, you do not have to be
associated with the University in any way to come.

Wilson, whose wife's name -- Valerie Plame -- was allegedly leaked by White
House officials as a covert CIA operative, will be appearing at the


CONTACT: Kevin Spidel, (877) 368-9221
More information:

WHEN: Tuesday, November 15, 4-6:30 PM

WHERE: The National Democratic Club - 30 Ivy St., SE - Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., November 11, 2005 - "Peace Mom" Cindy Sheehan and "Dharma's Mom" Mimi Kennedy will join several members of Congress and important activists on the Progressive Democrats of America's National Advisory Board at a Press Conference and Reception to celebrate the launch of the organization’s National Advisory Board, and meet with media and the public.

Each new opinion poll reveals deeper public disapproval of the Iraq War and Republican policies. Is the political pendulum swinging left? Progressive Democrats of America's rapid growth suggests this is the case. PDA unites tens of thousands of forward thinking, "Left of Liberal" activists to lead and lobby on key issues while building alliances with citizens and elected officials.

Chalabi and the Times: A Tale of Two Ahmads

By Arianna Huffington,

In one of those delicious coincidences, Day One of the post-Judy era at the Times has delivered a noticeable shift in the paper's coverage of Judy's old pal Ahmad Chalabi.

For months, the paper has insisted on identifying the discredited neocon darling by his latest official title -- "deputy prime minister" -- without a nod to the key role he played in providing the bogus intel the White House used to sell the war.

I've said before, this is like doing a story on Ken Lay and describing him as "a prominent Houston businessman."

As recently as this past Sunday, a story about Chalabi's visit to Iran opened with: "Ahmad Chalabi, the former Iraqi exile who has become a deputy prime minister, met with senior Iranian leaders here on Saturday..."

Protesters Try to Remove Maine Peace Flags

Protesters Try to Remove Maine Peace Flags Fri Nov 11,10:24 AM ET
Yahoo News

WATERVILLE, Maine - Protesters led by a veterans post tried to remove a flag display placed by peace activists at a veterans cemetery, and five were charged with criminal trespass.

The display remained intact Friday, Veterans Day, despite a threat by at least one of the protesters to return later to finish yanking up the flags.

The display of 2,000 white flags, meant to remember U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq, was set up at Veterans Memorial Park cemetery Oct. 30 under a permit issued to Waterville Area Bridges for Peace and Justice.

Hadley Lies About Bushie Lies

By Steve Cobble,

Maybe I should be charitable today. Maybe instead of the word "lies" in my headline, I should just say that Stephen Hadley was sent out by the Bushies to "mislead" us again, to "misdirect" the MSM away from the Bush Administration lies about Iraq.

But stay focused here, Mr. & Ms. MSM, especially now that you're supposedly ready to stand up to George & Dick & Karl at last.

Don't go Judy Miller on us again. Keep your eyes on the prize.

The question on the table is not whether Bill Clinton was wrong about WMDs in Iraq; nor is the question whether John Kerry or Harry Reid or other top Dems are hypocrites for supporting the war then and criticizing it now.

Arianna on Judith on Democracy Now!

Arianna Huffington on the Retirement of Judith Miller and Schwarzenegger’s Ballot Defeat
Friday, November 11th, 2005

We speak with columnist and author Arianna Huffington about the resignation of New York Times reporter Judith Miller and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ballot defeat. Huffington says of Miller: “How can you be so cavalier as a journalist about reporting that is so fundamentally wrong, not about any matter, but matters of life and death, war and peace?

Where's the Media?

Progressive Caucus Media Reform Committee
Linda Milazzo reporting ...

This week on MSNBC, in an interview with the Washington Post's Dana Milbank, Keith Olberman presented a series of Bush Administration poll results... none favorable to Bush. After reporting that a majority of Americans believe Bush purposely mislead us to war, Keith asked if it was now IMPEACHMENT time? This was the first and only time I've heard the word IMPEACHMENT mentioned anywhere on television. Kudos (as usual) to Keith Olberman. Dana Milbank erroneously responded that after the Clinton debacle, Americans have had their fill of impeachment. Oh really????

Miller Defends Libby ID and WMD Reporting on NPR Today

By E&P Staff, Editor and Publisher

NEW YORK Appearing on NPR's "Morning Edition" Friday, former New York Times reporter Judith Miller got into a couple of heated exchanges with interviewer Renee Montagne, mainly over Scooter Libby's request that he be identified as a "former Hill staffer" rather than as an administration official.

Miller denied it, making the distinction that "I agreed to listen to the information in that way, and that's all," and might have asked him to change his ID later. She said this was "very common in Washington."

Clearly surprised, the interviewer asked if she does this frequently. Miller then replied, "No, I did not say I do it. I said it is often done in Washington, especially in the National Security area."

Chalabi Pushes Iran Card in Last Ditch Self-Promotion Offensive

The Insitute for International Mediation and Conflict Resolution knew 48 hours before anyone else that Chalabi was meeting with Cheney. Here's what else they know:

"Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi has been playing hard ball with Bush administration officials during his eight day trip to Washington D.C.

"According to senior associates of the Iraqi official, who have accompanied him to meetings with Bush administration officials, Mr. Chalabi has been threatening his friends in the Bush administration that if they do not support his candidacy to become the next prime minister of Iraq that there will be no way to contain Iran. He has told them in no uncertain terms that he is the only one who can make the Iranians behave."

Watch Chalabi from Wednesday at AEI Today on C-Span


05:07 PM EST
1:15 (est.)
Situation In Iraq
American Enterprise Institute
Ahmed Chalabi , Iraq

GOP memo touts new terror attack as way to reverse party's decline

From Capitol Hill Blue
Publisher, Capitol Hill Blue

A confidential memo circulating among senior Republican leaders suggests that a new attack by terrorists on U.S. soil could reverse the sagging fortunes of President George W. Bush as well as the GOP and "restore his image as a leader of the American people."

The closely-guarded memo lays out a list of scenarios to bring the Republican party back from the political brink, including a devastating attack by terrorists that could “validate

TomDispatch Interviews Ann Wright

A new Tomdispatch Interview today:

Former diplomat Ann Wright, who publicly resigned in protest before the invasion of Iraq and became one of our most out-of-the-ordinary antiwar activists describes her life and thoughts in a wide-ranging interview: "A Felon for Peace"

Wright, who spent 29 years in the Army and 16 years as a State Department diplomat in some of the toughest assignments on Earth, discusses her resignation, service to country, the nature of opposition to Bush administration policies within the government, why government officials generally don't speak out, her own arrests, and many other matters. Her life has been remarkable; her present actions striking; and she describes it all vividly indeed. Don't miss this interview.

Poll: Most Americans Doubt Bush's Honesty

By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer

Most Americans say they aren't impressed by the ethics and honesty of the Bush administration, already under scrutiny for its justifications for an unpopular war in Iraq and its role in the leak of a covert CIA officer's identity.

Almost six in 10 — 57 percent — said they do not think the Bush administration has high ethical standards and the same portion says President Bush is not honest, an AP-Ipsos poll found. Just over four in 10 say the administration has high ethical standards and that Bush is honest. Whites, Southerners and white evangelicals were most likely to believe Bush is honest.

Bungling meant leak letter leaked

Bungling meant leak letter leaked
By Alexander Bolton, The Hill News

A leak suspected to have come from the office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) complicated, confused and nearly derailed a joint effort by Senate and House Republican leaders to seek an investigation of the unauthorized release of classified information.

Frist and House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) both eventually signed a letter Tuesday calling for the Senate and House intelligence committees to conduct a joint investigation of how The Washington Post discovered of the existence of CIA-run detention and interrogation facilities in eight foreign countries.

WSJ poll: 69% hold Cheney responsible for Plame leak;

WSJ poll: 69% hold Cheney responsible for Plame leak;
60% want public hearings

According to Friday's Wall Street Journal: "Six in 10, including 43% of Republicans, say there should be a public investigation and hearings into exposure of operative Valerie Plame's identity." The statistic is published in the paper's Washington Wire.

"Fully 69% of Americans hold Cheney personally responsible for the matter; 54% hold Bush responsible.

"Republican congressional leaders don't plan to go along. Among conservatives, 60% say other administration officials aside from Libby may have acted illegally.

Politically Strategic Impeachment

By David Swanson

While it would of course be good for the world for Bush and Cheney to be impeached, convicted, and sent packing, would it be politically advantageous for a Congress Member to introduce articles of impeachment? And would it benefit the Democratic Party for some or all of the Democrats to push for impeachment at this time? Or should they do it later? Or is there another way?

The facts that would seem to argue in favor of pushing impeachment include an NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll released November 10th showing 57 percent of Americans believe Bush deliberately misled them in making his case for war, while 35 percent think he provided accurate information. And a Zogby International poll released November 4th found that 53 percent of Americans want Congress to consider impeaching Bush if he did not tell the truth about the reasons for war.

Report from Wednesday's Chalabi Protest


VR, in a letter signed by dozens of activists, including many VR affiliates, formally protested the visit by Ahmed Chalabi to the United States because of his criminal activities, lies to intelligence services and the media, and theft of taxpayers money. See letter here.

Group Banned from Filming Funerals at Arlington


VR is working with its affiliate Justice Through Music on some music videos about the war in Iraq, and a few weeks ago we asked to shoot some footage at Arlington National Cemetery. We got permission to video some actual funerals and did so in the press area with the other national media. However, when we left the press area to shoot footage of the thousands of graves throughout the massive cemetery, we were told that we could not do so without specific permission and we were escorted off the grounds.

Rep. Shays Suggests Betrayal of Secrets to Iran Admirable; AP Guides Focus Away from Pre-War Lies

Congressman Weighs in on Iraq's Chalabi
By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer

The chairman of the House subcommittee on national security said Thursday he would not be surprised if Ahmad Chalabi, a deputy Iraqi prime minister, gave Iran information that the U.S. would prefer to be withheld.

After an hourlong private meeting with Chalabi and other Iraqi officials, Rep. Christopher Shays said in an interview, "My take on it is he works overtime to have a relationship with whoever he can."

As a result, Shays, R-Conn., said, "I wouldn't be surprised if he told Iranians facts, issues, whatever, we did not want them to know in order to develop a relationship."

Barbara Lee Condemns House GOP Refusal to Investigate White House Marketing of Iraq War

By Congresswoman Barbara Lee

(Washington, DC) – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) issued the following statement today after 25 Republican Members of the House International Relations Committee denied a bipartisan effort to obtain documents and communications from the White House Iraq Group (WHIG):

“Yet again the Republican majority in the House has thwarted the will of the majority of Americans who are demanding answers about the war in Iraq. And yet again, the American people have been denied a fair and open debate around the extent to which the Bush administration misled the nation and the world in making its case for war against Iraq.

Andrea Mitchell: I 'Misspoke' on Plame ID


NBC's senior diplomatic correspondent Andrea Mitchell is claiming that her comments have been deliberately distorted in reports covering a 2003 interview where she said Valerie Plame's identity had been "widely known" before her name appeared in a Robert Novak column.

"The fact is that I did not know [Plame's identity] before the Novak column," she told radio host Don Imus on Thursday.

"I said it was widely known that an envoy had gone [to Niger]," she insisted. "I said we did not know who the envoy was until the Novak column."

But the actual exchange in question shows that Mitchell was questioned specifically about Plame's CIA employment, not her envoy husband.


By Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma) led 61 bipartisan Congressional Colleagues in sending a letter to President Bush today calling for U.S. policy in Iraq to change course by engaging in greater multilateral cooperation with our allies; pursuing diplomatic/non-military initiatives; preparing for a robust post-conflict reconciliation process; and withdrawing the U.S. Armed Forces.

Rep. Lynn Woolsey was the first Member of Congress to call for U.S. troops to return from Iraq and has led a series of important activities aimed at ending the war:

Sen. Roberts Tries to Avoid Duty By Passing Buck to Pentagon

Senate Asks Pentagon to Probe Feith Role on Iraq
By Reuters

Washington - The Pentagon's inspector general has been asked to investigate the prewar intelligence role of a planning office headed by former US defense policy chief Douglas Feith, a main architect of the Iraq war, officials said on Tuesday.

The request was made by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in a letter sent in August.

It said the Defense Department should determine whether Feith and his Office of Special Plans wielded excessive influence over intelligence that claimed Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

Local veteran champions the cause of Iraq's orphans


Veterans Day will be filled with bittersweet emotion for Jonathan Powers. He went to Iraq to fight a war and came back home trying to help that country's children.
Four soldiers Powers served with, including Sgt. David McKeever of South Buffalo, were killed in the war.

"We lost four guys," said Powers, 27. "I got to come home. They didn't. That's part of the reason I'm trying to help the kids. To make sure the sacrifices of those guys has value."

Powers spent 14 months in Iraq with the Army's 1st Armored Division, and was prominently featured in the nationally acclaimed documentary film, "Gunner Palace," released earlier this year. On Thursday, he will officially be announced as program manager of the War Kids Relief program, partially sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans of America.

Saturday Morning Radio in the Bay Area

Catch David Swanson of After Downing Street this Saturday morning from 9:30 10 a.m. PT on KPFA talking about Chalabi, about impeachpac, about Libby, etc. etc., with host Kris Welch:

U.S. denies using white phosphorus on Iraqi civilians

By Phil Stewart, Reuters

ROME (Reuters) - The U.S. military in Iraq denied a report shown on Italian state television on Tuesday saying U.S. forces used incendiary white phosphorus against civilians in a November 2004 offensive on the Iraqi town of Falluja.

It confirmed, however, that U.S. forces had dropped MK 77 firebombs -- which a documentary on Italian state-run broadcaster RAI compared to napalm -- against military targets in Iraq in March and April 2003.

The documentary showed images of bodies recovered after a November 2004 offensive by U.S. troops on the town of Falluja, which it said proved the use of white phosphorus against men, women and children who were burnt to the bone.

U.S. Army publication confirms United States used incendiary weapon in Falluja


The March edition of Field Artillery magazine, a U.S. Army publication, reveals that the U.S. military did in fact use the incendiary weapon white phosphorous in Fallujah, Iraq, a Daily Kos diarist has found.

"WP [i.e., white phosphorus rounds] proved to be an effective and versatile munition," the article's author wrote. "We used it for screening missions at two breeches and, later in the fight, as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes when we could not get effects on them with HE. We fired 'shake and bake' missions at the insurgents, using WP to flush them out and HE to take them out."

David Swanson Discussing Chalabi


Swanson is co-founder of the After Downing coalition, comprised of a number of veteran and peace groups seeking key facts about the buildup to the war in Iraq. Swanson said today: "Wednesday the House International Relations Committee is scheduled to debate and vote on a resolution of inquiry into the White House Iraq Group. This will be the first vote Congress takes related to the war since Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Lewis Libby was indicted. The WHIG produced bogus information about Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction program."
* Listen to the MP3 Audio - Segment 1 (9.97 MB)

Speaking Events


War Is A Lie: Second Edition
Book Tour

May 19, Sarasota, FL, 7:00 p.m. Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota, FL

May 20, Jacksonville, FL, 7:00 p.m., Florida Christian Center Auditorium, 1115 Edgewood Ave S, Jacksonville, FL 32205, (904) 381-4800.

May 21, Gainesville, FL
7:00 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville, Florida
4225 NW 34th St, Gainesville, FL 32605
(352) 377-1669
Sign up on FB.

May 28, San Francisco, CA
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Daniel Ellsberg, at San Francisco Main Public Library, 100 Larkin Street.
Sign up on FB.

May 28, Marin County, CA
4 to 6 p.m., David Swanson in conversation with Norman Solomon, at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA
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May 29, Oakland, CA
3 to 4 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Cindy Sheehan, at Diesel: A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue at Kales (near Manila), Oakland, CA
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May 29, Berkeley, CA
7:30 to 9 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, sponsored by the Social Justice Committee and Cynthia Papermaster, 1606 Bonita Ave. (at Cedar), Berkeley, CA
Sign up on FB.

May 30, Fresno, CA
2 to 4 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at a Peace Fresno event
Community United Church of Christ
5550 N. Fresno Street
Fresno, CA 93710

June 11 St. Paul, MN, 6 p.m. at Macalester Plymouth Church Social Hall 1658 Lincoln, St. Paul, MN.
Sign up on FB.

June 12 Minneapolis, MN, 9 and 11 a.m. at St. Joan's 4533 3rd Ave So, Minneapolis, MN, plus peace pole dedication at 2 p.m.
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Other Events Here.


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