By Larry Johnson
Larry Johnson worked as a CIA intelligence analyst and State Department counter-terrorism official. He is a member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).
The investigation into who in the Bush administration leaked the fact that Valerie Plame, wife of former US Ambassador Joseph Wilson, was a CIA undercover operative, is nearing completion. Virtually lost in the recent spurt of press reporting is the fact that the compromise of Ms. Plame (and, as night follows the day her carefully cultivated network of spies) was unconscionable. Ms. Plame, a very gifted case officer, was a close colleague of mine at CIA. Her dedication and courage were clear in her willingness to assume the risks of an agent under non-official cover—meaning that if you get caught, too bad, you’re on your own; the US government never heard of you.
Have you read Bush's speech from earlier today? Where would he be without Bin Laden? With no evidence, Bush ties together numerous actions around the world and unites them under the name of Bin Laden, whom he quotes to define his enemy in the "war on terror" and whom he guarantees would run Iraq if the United States ended its occupation. I don't know if Bush has ever really tried to capture Bin Laden, but it's hard to imagine he would want to.
In today's disturbing rant about evil and the civilized world, Bush lists some actual reasons for people's anger at the United States: "Over the years, these extremists have used a litany of excuses for violence: Israeli presence on the West Bank or the U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia...." But then he asserts that those reasons do not actually exist: "In fact, we're not facing a set of grievances that can be soothed and addressed. We're facing a radical ideology with unalterable objectives: to enslave whole nations and intimidate the world. No act of ours invited the rage of the killers, and no concession, bribe or act of appeasement would change or limit their plans for murder."
BBC will report Bush told Palestinian leaders that God
told him to end tyranny in Iraq
President George W. Bush allegedly told Palestinian ministers that God had told him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq - and create a Palestinian State, the BBC will report in a program slotted to run Oct. 17, RAW STORY can reveal.
The BBC errantly posted a press release link on their website early, revealing the documentary's contents.
In Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs, a major three-part series on BBC TWO (at 9.00pm on Monday Oct. 10, Monday Oct. 17 and Monday Oct. 24 British time), Abu Mazen, Palestinian Prime Minister, and Nabil Shaath, his Foreign Minister, describe their first meeting with President Bush in June 2003 to BBC reporters.
By David Sirota
The Washington Post reports that Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), one of the most outspoken Democrats pushing the Iraq War, is now setting up a Political Action Committee (PAC) to help Democratic candidates "hone the party's message on defense-related matters." Hang on a sec...sorry, let me stop laughing uncontrollably...
Ok. Let's repeat that, just because its so snarf-your-drink-through-your-nose hilarious: the same congresswoman who, as a ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, helped emasculate the party's ability to speak credibly on the most pressing national security issue of our time is now setting up an organization to "help" Democrats "hone" their message on defense issues.
The March in DC - a Report
By Virginia Moran
Wednesday 05 October 2005
I went with my friend, Kim and her friends. We left from the West Carrollton Station and took the Metro. From the moment we entered the parking lot at the Metro station until midnight that night, we were surrounded by incredibly determined, kind, funny, angry, sincere, interesting, opinionated, strong, discouraged, depressed, desperate, sad, fearful like-minded souls and it felt great. Not in a misery loves company kind of way - but in finding a sane home for awhile. Separately, we tear our hair and wring our hands. Collectively, we change the world.
ZNet | Criminal Justice System
By Harvey Wasserman
An angry groundswell has risen against the appointment of George W. Bush's personal attorney to the US Supreme Court. One key question must be asked: as a Justice, would she soon be asked to rule on a conspiracy conviction against her present boss?
In light of the new indictments against former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, the question may not be so far fetched.
DeLay was originally indicted on charges of violating campaign finance law. His lawyers have quickly raised serious technical challenges.
But now two additional charges have been filed by a second grand jury. Conspiracy is involved, taking things to a whole other level, including the possibility of jail time. The prospect of "The Hammer" duck-walking in orange polyester to a Texas prison cell may warm progressive hearts everywhere. But there's a much deeper message here about the case of Valerie Plame.
IN THESE TIMES
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A federal court decision forces Voices in the Wilderness to disband
By Erin Polgreen October 4, 2005
After 10 years of delegations, peace activism and non-violent protest, Chicago-based Voices in the Wilderness (VitW) was silenced on August 12, when a federal judge ordered the group to pay a $20,000 civil penalty for delivering medical supplies to Iraq without a permit.
By Larry Johnson
The investigation into who in the Bush Administration leaked the name of CIA non-official cover case officer, Valerie Plame aka Mrs. Joseph Wilson, is winding down. Unfortunately the media is primed to paint the outing of Valerie as a non-issue if no indictments are forthcoming. Regardless of whether anyone in the Bush Administration is indicted, what was done to Valerie Plame Wilson was wrong and morally reprehensible. Rather than hold members of his Administration to the highest ethical and moral standards, President George W. Bush has not only lowered lowered the standard of acceptable conduct by members of his Administration, his actions and inactions have weakened the CIA and its ability to accomplish its various national security missions.
C.I.A. Chief Refuses to Seek Discipline for 9/11 Officials
The New York Times
by DOUGLAS JEHL
WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 -- The C.I.A. will not pursue disciplinary action against George J. Tenet, a former director, or anyone else among current or former officials singled out by an inspector general for poor performance on counterterrorism before Sept. 11, 2001, the agency said today.
The decision by the agency's current director, Porter J. Goss, signifies an end to nearly four years of inquiries into the agency's performance before the Sept. 11 attacks. It means that no current or former officer will be reprimanded for his performance, despite what the inspector general, John L. Helgerson, concluded were serious shortcomings in advance of the attacks.
By David Phinney
Jing Soliman left his family in the Philippines for what sounded like a sure thing - a job as a warehouse worker at Camp Anaconda in Iraq. His new employer, Prime Projects International (PPI) of Dubai, is a major, but low-profile, subcontractor to Halliburton's multi-billion-dollar deal with the Pentagon to provide support services to US forces.
But Soliman wouldn't be making anything near the salaries - starting $80,000 a year and often topping $100,000 - that Halliburton's engineering and construction unit, Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR) pays to the truck drivers, construction workers, office workers, and other laborers it recruits from the United States. Instead, the 35-year-old father of two anticipated $615 a month - including overtime. For a 40-hour work week, that would be just over $3 an hour. But for the 12-hour day, seven-day week that Soliman says was standard for him and many contractor employees in Iraq, he actually earned $1.56 an hour.
The group that is leading the fight for answers from President George W. Bush about the Iraq war wants to hear your opinions. After Downing Street has raised over $7,900 as of Wednesday afternoon to finance Polling on Impeachment. According to thier website, the group wants to raise $10,000 to pay public opinion pollsters to ask questions about impeaching George Bush.
A Zogby International poll done in June showed that 42 percent of American voters favored impeaching Bush if he lied about his reasons for going to war with Iraq. Zogby has not asked impeachment questions in its presidential approval rating surveys since then.
By JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY
Knight Ridder Newspapers
WASHINGTON - A truly horrible summer that seemed unending is finally fading away, and the cold winds of reality are blowing down the collars of a president and the key players in his administration. Those winds could foretell an even more terrible winter ahead.
The folks who prided themselves on sticking to the message like grass-burrs on a hairy dog suddenly are all over the map on everything that counts when you are a lame-duck president whose party is going into a critical midterm congressional election next year.
The president's second-term "piece de resistance," Social Security reform, is dead on arrival. His cherished tax breaks for rich Americans are on life support. His generals are saying we need to reduce the American presence in Iraq because just by being there we are infuriating the typical Iraqi and thus fanning the flames of the insurgency we are trying to defeat.
Editor and Publisher
By E&P Staff
NEW YORK -- Is it the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning? Whatever way you look at it, it seems clear to many in Washington right now that indictments in the Valerie Plame affair will likely be announced soon, possibly on Thursday.
Note to editors and reporters: As the aspens turn, don't stray too far from your desks, cells or Blackberries.
Rumors surged all day Wednesday, though reports of 22 indictments did seem a bit farfetched. But late Wednesday, Reuters suggested that indeed the end--or beginning--was near, "within days," and added one major clue: Karl Rove's lawyer, who has always stated that his client was not a target in the probe, now refused to comment on that one way or the other.
Senate Approves Measure Aimed at Preventing Prisoner Abuse
By Deborah Tate
Voice of America
The U.S. Senate has approved a measure that would impose standards on the military's treatment of detainees in the wake of prisoner abuse scandals at the Abu Ghraib detention center and elsewhere. The vote was 90 to Nine. But the White House has vowed to veto the measure.
The measure would ban the use of cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment against anyone in custody of the Defense Department or in a Department of Defense facility, and would require that U.S. troops follow procedures in the Army Field Manual when they detain or interrogate suspects.
Former Bush Official Indicted in Probe
By MICHAEL J. SNIFFEN
The Associated Press
Wednesday, October 5, 2005; 6:52 PM
WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration's former chief procurement official was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on charges of making false statements and obstructing investigations into high-powered Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
The five felony counts in the indictment charge David H. Safavian with obstructing Senate and executive branch investigations into whether he aided Abramoff in efforts to acquire property controlled by the General Services Administration around the nation's capital.
The Associated Press
Baghdad, Iraq - Iraq's National Assembly voted on Wednesday to reverse last-minute changes it had made to rules for next week's referendum on a new constitution following criticism by the United Nations that the rules were unfair to the Sunni minority.
After a brief debate, the Assembly voted 119-28 to restore the original voting rules for the referendum, which will take place Oct. 15. Washington hopes a majority "yes" vote in the referendum will unite Iraq's disparate factions and erode support for the country's bloody insurgency.
U.S. and U.N. officials hope that restoring the original rules will avert a boycott of the referendum by the Sunni minority, action that would have deeply undermined the credibility of the vote and set back efforts to bring Sunnis into the political process.
By Joseph Galloway
Washington - Army Secretary Noel Harvey and vice chief of staff Gen. Richard Cody said Monday that the Army was using looser Defense Department rules that permitted it to sign up more high school dropouts and people who score lower on mental-qualification tests, but they denied that this meant it was lowering standards.
Until Army recruiters began having trouble signing up enough recruits earlier this year, the Army had set minimum standards that were higher than those of the Defense Department.
The Army has a recruiting shortfall of 6,000 to 8,000 soldiers over the past 12 months. It hasn't fallen so short of its annual goal since 1979, several years after the Vietnam war.
The cast of administration characters with known connections to the outing of an undercover CIA agent:
By John Cleese
To the citizens of the United States of America, in the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.
Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories.
Except Utah, which she does not fancy.
Your new Prime Minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a Minister for America without the need for further elections.
Supremes: White House evacuating for Hurricane Patrick?
The emerging conventional wisdom about the Harriet Miers nomination--ratified today by the Big Three dailies (NYT, WP, LAT)--is that it's a safe compromise pick by a weakened Bush administration. Richard Stevenson of the NYT writes that in picking Miers, "President Bush revealed something about himself: that he has no appetite, at a time when he and his party are besieged by problems, for an all-out ideological fight." Dan Balz joins him in the echo chamber: "The nomination appeared designed primarily to avoid a major fight in the Senate and, said skeptics on the left and right, was made out of a position of political weakness, not strength."
Marines: Looking for a Few Good Aliens?
Recruiter on trial for selling IDs to enlist illegals
by Douglas Gillison
October 4th, 2005 5:11 PM
On Wednesday, a general court martial is to begin at Parris Island, South Carolina, for a U.S. Marine recruiter accused of selling and delivering counterfeit documents to illegal aliens in order for them to join the service.
Gunnery Sergeant Hubert A. Lucas, 35, is one of four suspects named in a report by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, part of which was obtained by the Voice.
The report says an investigation began on August 11, 2004, after an intelligence report by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency revealed that a Marine at Camp Pendleton in California, who had admitted to entering the United States illegally and enlisting with a counterfeit green card and stolen Social Security number, identified Lucas as the individual who charged her $250 for the documents for the purpose of effecting her fraudulent enlistment in the Marine Corps.
Poll: Bush approval rating hits all-time low in New York
Vote: Do you approve of Bush's performance?
LINK TO ORIGINAL
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 5, 2005
ALBANY -- President Bush's job approval rating has hit an all-time low in New York with just 29 percent of New York voters giving him favorable marks, a statewide poll reported Wednesday.
Sixty-seven percent of those polled by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute disapproved of how the Republican president was handling his job.
An Italian court has issued three more arrest warrants for suspected CIA agents accused of helping to kidnap a Muslim cleric in 2003.
The authorities have already ordered the arrest of 19 people suspected of being involved in the abduction of Egyptian Osama Mustafa Hassan.
The suspects are accused of abducting Mr Hassan, also known as Abu Omar, and flying him to Egypt for interrogation.
Correspondents say the case has soured relations between Washington and Rome.
Italy says the alleged operation hindered Italian terrorism investigations.
No arrests have been made. None of the suspects is currently believed to be in Italy.
Anti-war activist says she, supporters plan fall tour, return to Bush ranch
Jon Kamman and Lindsey Collom
The Arizona Republic
The nation's most visible anti-war activist may be heading back to President Bush's ranch for a second stakeout at Thanksgiving, she said Monday in Phoenix.
Cindy Sheehan, who staged a 28-day vigil at Crawford, Texas, in an effort to meet with Bush during his August vacation, said she and supporters are considering an anti-war bus tour this fall that would end at the ranch, where the president normally spends Thanksgiving.
A week after being arrested in Washington, D.C., with nearly 400 other protesters who refused to move from the sidewalk in front of the White House, Sheehan was in Phoenix to lead an evening march to Eastlake Park followed by a rally and prayer service at the Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Memorial.
Cindy Sheehan delivered a letter to Gov. Janet Napolitano's office Monday urging her to request the withdrawal of Arizona National Guard troops from Iraq, the first of several such letters Sheehan plans to deliver to western governors.
Sheehan, who lost her son in Iraq, and her supporters also plan to contact the governors of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.
"Let's start bringing our troops home, let's start with the National Guard," Sheehan said at a news conference held at the Arizona Capitol to announce the letter campaign. "George Bush says bring it on, I say bring them home."
How do you expose corruption by protecting the corrupt?
Extra! September/October 2005
By Jim Naureckas
No reasonable person believes that a journalist’s right to protect their confidential sources is absolute. If a government official told a reporter—after obtaining a promise of strict confidentiality—that he was a serial killer planning to strike again, who would argue that the reporter should conceal that official’s identity—let alone defy a subpoena from a grand jury seeking evidence of the official’s crimes?
This is not to say that journalists aren’t often justified in keeping their sources secret. Government (and corporate) wrongdoing is frequently exposed by people without a legal right to reveal the incriminating information, who may face retribution if they are revealed as whistleblowers. Many times the public interest in learning about malfeasance outweighs the laws that protect official secrets.
It has been interesting to see how the pro-war crowd tries to demonize Cindy Sheehan.
She is no politician, like Sen. John McCain. She is a mother who has paid the greatest price for the war and she, along with the rest of America, deserves an explanation. The question is no longer whether or not the Bush administration lied; the question is, "Why did they lie?"
As someone who has studied U.S. policy in the Middle East for many years, I felt fairly certain that Saddam posed no threat to the United States. I got my information from newspapers, magazine articles and books.
Snohomish County opinion
By Norton R. Nowlin
Special to The Times
The death of 20-year-old Army Spec. Justin W. Herbert, on Aug. 1, 2003, marked the first Snohomish County son and brother killed in the Iraq war. He was killed when a rocket-propelled grenade struck and devastated his vehicle in Kirkuk, Iraq.
Since that time, three more soldiers and Marines from cities and towns in Snohomish County have fallen to an emboldened Iraqi insurgency as part of the total of more than 1,900 American GI's killed in the war. Thirty-nine of those were from different parts of Washington.
By Mel Goodman
U.S. Tour of Duty
Mel Goodman, co-author of "Bush League Diplomacy: How the Neoconservatives Are Putting the World at Risk," is senior fellow at the Center for International Policy. He worked at the CIA from 1966 to 1990.
In 1947 the new National Security Council directed the new Central Intelligence Agency to conduct clandestine operations against the Soviet Union, primarily covert action and propaganda. Covert action consists of secret operations to influence organizations or individuals in support of a policy in a manner that is not attributable to the United States. Covert propaganda is the distribution of information that has been created with a specific political outcome in mind. Both covert action and propaganda were designed to provide U.S. presidents with plausible denial or the ability to mask the role of the White House. We now know that the Bush administration has been resorting illegally to both covert action and propaganda at home in support of its policies.
As the noose tightens at the White House, the State Department memo may be the key piece of Plame evidence.
By Michael Tomasky
Think it’s fair to say that the combination Sunday of the Walter Pincus-Jim VandeHei piece in The Washington Post and George Stephanopoulos’ bombshell on television’s This Week felt like a tug on the noose around the White House’s neck?
The Post article noted that Patrick Fitzgerald, the prosecutor looking into the Valerie Plame investigation, could bring conspiracy indictments against Karl Rove and Scooter Libby -- even if he fails to pin down evidence that they violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.