Tomgram: The Immoral Relativists of the Bush Administration
a project of the Nation Institute
compiled and edited by Tom Engelhardt
This post can be found at http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=4027
And Other Distractions of the Age of Bush
By Tom Engelhardt
"At a breakfast meeting with reporters, Wolfowitz said he hasn't read the [Downing Street] memos because he doesn't want to be ‘distracted' by ‘history' from his new job as head of the world's leading development bank. He returned this weekend from a tour of four African nations.
“Not only can they not find WMD in Iraq,
Iraq Combat Veterans describe occupation of Iraq as a “runaway train.
State Green Party officials hope to put question on local ballots
By GRAEME ZIELINSKI
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
As President Bush encourages support for the Iraq war, Wisconsin activists and elected officials are in the midst of their own efforts to hasten the withdrawal of American troops there, in opposition to administration policy and in the face of continuing bloodshed.
The state Green Party and allied peace groups have begun a campaign to have the question of the Iraq war placed as an advisory referendum on local ballots in spring elections.
At its convention June 11 in Oshkosh, the state Democratic Party became the second state party nationally to call for the impeachment of the president and Vice President Cheney because of what the party views as mishandling of the war.
The Downing Street Memo
By DAVID MODEL
After the leak of the Downing Street memo, the smoke has been wafting through the air from the barrel of the proverbial incriminating gun obliterating any remaining doubts that President Bush committed premeditated murder. The contents of the Downing Street memo should squelch all doubts about whether President Bush was determined to go to war against Iraq now that the highest members of the British government have acknowledged the authenticity of the memo although the debate over its content rages on. There is nothing shocking or surprising about the contents of the "Downing Street memo". That is not to say that it doesn't reveal that President Bush was planning to execute a plan for regime change long before his administration undertook any thoughtful analysis based on accurate intelligence. My contention is that President Bush's conduct is not an aberration but part of a foreign policy paradigm which applies to the conduct of all presidents at least since World War II
By Committee to Withdraw U.S. Troops from Iraq
Support Our Troops — But Not the Way President Bush Suggests!
Rally July 4 from Noon to 2 pm at Taft Memorial Park, at Constitution Ave. and 1st Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. (across Constitution Ave. from the Senate side of the Capitol).
To Oppose the War in Iraq and Press for a Firm Timetable to Bring Our Troops Home
Join neighbors and friends to hear speeches and music on Capitol Hill at noon on the Fourth to protest the war and demand that Congress set a firm schedule to bring U.S. troops home. Metro: Union Station, Judiciary Square and Federal Center. (NOTE: There is no march, just a rally in one location.)
America's Ministry of Propaganda Exposed
By Gar Smith / The-Edge
A Strategy of Lies: How the White House Fed the Public a Steady Diet of Falsehoods
Colonel Sam Gardiner (USAF, Ret.) has identified 50 false news stories created and leaked by a secretive White House propaganda apparatus. Bush administration officials are probably having second thoughts about their decision to play hardball with former US Ambassador Joseph Wilson. Joe Wilson is a contender. When you play hardball with Joe, you better be prepared to deal with some serious rebound.
After Wilson wrote a critically timed New York Times essay exposing as false George W. Bush's claim that Iraq had purchased uranium from Niger, high officials in the White House contacted several Washington reporters and leaked the news that Wilson's wife was a CIA agent.
Send a polite note to National editor Michael Abramowitz: email@example.com
And to Assistant managing editor, reporter Bob Woodward: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Post's Ombudsman, Michael Getler, is the readers' representative within the newspaper. E-mail him at email@example.com or call 202-334-7582.
Editor and Publisher
By Greg Mitchell
NEW YORK Now that Time Inc. has turned over documents to a federal judge, revealing who its reporter, Matt Cooper, identified as his source or sources in the Valerie Plame/CIA case, speculation runs rampant. Lawrence O'Donnell, senior MSNBC political analyst, now claims that at least two authoritative sources have confirmed that one name is top White House mastermind Karl Rove.
This afternoon, Newsweek's Michael Isikoff confirmed that Cooper did indeed talk to Rove for his story, but Rove's lawyer denied he was the key leaker in the case.
"The e-mails surrendered by Time Inc., which are largely between Cooper and his editors, show that one of Cooper's sources was White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, according to two lawyers who asked not to be identified because they are representing witnesses sympathetic to the White House," Isikoff writes on the Newsweek web site. "Cooper and a Time spokeswoman declined to comment. But in an interview with Newsweek, Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, confirmed that Rove had been interviewed by Cooper for the article. It is unclear, however, what passed between Cooper and Rove."
By Lawrence O'Donnell
I revealed in yesterday's taping of the McLaughlin Group that Time magazine's emails will reveal that Karl Rove was Matt Cooper's source. I have known this for months but didn't want to say it at a time that would risk me getting dragged into the grand jury.
McLaughlin is seen in some markets on Friday night, so some websites have picked it up, including Drudge, but I don't expect it to have much impact because McLaughlin is not considered a news show and it will be pre-empted in the big markets on Sunday because of tennis.
MSNBC Analyst Says Cooper Documents Reveal Karl Rove as Source in Plame Case
Editor and Publisher
By E&P Staff
NEW YORK Now that Time Inc. has turned over documents to federal court, presumably revealing who its reporter, Matt Cooper, identified as his source in the Valerie Plame/CIA case, speculation runs rampant on the name of that source, and what might happen to him or her. Tonight, on the syndicated McLaughlin Group political talk show, Lawrence O'Donnell, senior MSNBC political analyst, claimed to know that name--and it is, according to him, top White House mastermind Karl Rove.
A Zogby poll released on June 30 finds 42 percent of Americans — including 25 percent of Republicans - say that "if it is found that President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should hold him accountable through impeachment." According to Zogby, in Eastern and Western states supporters of impeachment outnumber opponents.
The only mention of this by a major media outlet was by Keith Olbermann on MSNBC.
Where is the rest of the media?
Contact the other networks:
The Downing Street Minutes and related documents (all available at http://www.afterdowningstreet.org ) provide new and compelling evidence that President Bush, by the summer of 2002:
This poll finding 42 percent of Americans favoring impeachment of Bush if he did not tell the truth about the reasons for war, puts support significantly higher than it was for impeachment of President Clinton.
average support for impeachment and removal was 27% (11 polls)
average support for impeachment hearings was 36% (6 polls)
By Evan Derkacz
Posted on June 30, 2005, Printed on July 1, 2005
Conservatives are loathe to accept the information contained within the Downing Street Memo's brief contents and I don't blame them. It would change things and they would no longer be good conservatives. It's right there in the word, see.
But I am entertained.
Cries of a hoax didn't take and the ho-hum response -- standard in more sophisticated circles -- that "everybody already knew this stuff," was quickly abandoned by all but the frontal lobe challenged.
Two things happened Wednesday, both concerning Tony Blair.
The Boston Globe
By Scot Lehigh | July 1, 2005
HERE'S THE question President Bush's Tuesday address to the nation raises.
Having framed the Iraq war in a dishonest way, can the president really expect the informed public to believe his presentation about how the stabilization effort is going?
Certainly Bush's speech started on a highly deceptive note, portraying the grinding conflict in Iraq as a necessary response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
More than a year ago, the 9/11 Commission reported that there was no "collaborative relationship" between Iraq and Al Qaeda.
Still, implications that Iraq was complicit in Sept. 11 and claims that Saddam had ties to Al Qaeda worked well for the Republicans in the 2004 campaign. They used the former tactic to deftly duplicitous effect at their national convention. In other venues, both Bush and Vice President Cheney insisted there was a relationship -- ''a whole series of contacts, high-level contacts," Cheney claimed -- between Al Qaeda and Saddam's regime.
How public pressure helped propel the long-ignored Downing Street memo into the news
American Journalism Review
By Kim Hart
Hart is an AJR editorial assistant.
Foreign news outlets jumped on it, bloggers ate it up and half a dozen liberal Web sites campaigned to get it prominent coverage. But until the past few weeks, the Downing Street memo managed to keep a low profile in the media, getting more attention for being ignored by American journalists than for existing in the first place.
Editors, reporters and producers have been deluged with hundreds--even thousands--of e-mails and phone calls from readers and partisan activists demanding more exposure for the secret memo, which recounts a July 2002 meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top aides. The memo, first reported by the London Sunday Times on May 1, reflects the view of Britain's top intelligence official that the Bush administration was intent on going to war in Iraq nearly eight months before doing so, and that the administration was manipulating intelligence information to support that decision.
Occupation Watch June 29-30 News Bulletin
Contrary to the notions of those who might have thought that the crafting of the Bush administration PR strategy on Iraq involved heavy use of a ouija board and frequent calls to psychic hotlines, Peter Baker and Dan Balz report in the Post that it is, in fact, being shaped by "one of the nation's top academic experts on public opinion during wartime." Duke political scientist Peter Feaver and his colleague Christopher Gelpi have concluded, on the basis of focus group polling, that the most important issue in determining public support is not the level of American casualties but perception on whether the war is winnable.
The Star-Ledger, NJ
by John Farmer
Friday, July 01, 2005
Dick Cheney is by far the most fascinating figure in the Bush administration, the force behind its hard-right ideology and the principal proponent and defender of the war in Iraq. So when his office called the other day I was, naturally, intrigued.
Seems the veep had a beef. Something I wrote about reports that he and his staff hounded CIA analysts to provide intelligence supporting the claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Not true, said a spokeswoman in Cheney's office, who cited the Silberman-Robb Commission report as having pronounced the administration clean as a hound's tooth. And, in truth, it found no evidence that analysts were pressured by the administration.
By Derrick Z. Jackson | July 1, 2005
AT FORT BRAGG, in front of soldiers and their generals, the president of the United States said, ''Terrorists can strike and can kill without warning before the forces of order can throw them back. And now he has struck again. At this very hour, a second wave of terrorists is striking the cities. Our forces are ready. I know they will acquit themselves, as they always have, however tough the battle becomes. There has never been a finer fighting force wearing the American uniform than you."
The president reasserted that each soldier represents America's will and commitment at a time that our nation's security and the freedom of an oppressed nation ''is facing a deadly challenge. Men who have never been elected to anything are threatening an elected government and the painfully achieved institutions of democracy."
By Paul Rogat Loeb
"They died for their country," read the white granite memorial in the Concord, Massachusetts town square, honoring local men who died in the Civil War. Newer headstones mourned Concord men who gave their lives in other wars -- practically every war America has fought -- belying the recent baiting of quintessentially blue-state Massachusetts as a place whose citizens lack patriotism. I was in town, on the first anniversary of Sept 11, speaking at a local church that had lost one of its most active members on a hijacked plane, a man named Al Filipov. It was clear then -- and clearer now -- that these honored dead would not be our nation's last. I thought of Concord when George Bush urged us, this past Memorial Day, to redeem the sacrifices of our soldiers in Iraq by "completing the mission for which they gave their lives." But what if this mission (which will, of course, claim more lives) itself is questionable, and founded on a basis of lies? Forty-eight Concord men died in the Civil War, which the memorial called "the War of the Rebellion." They indeed died for their country, turning the tide at battles like Gettysburg and helping end the brutal oppression of slavery. The World War II vets, listed on a nearby plaque, helped preserve the freedom of America -- and the world. We owe a profound debt to the farmers and artisans who won our freedom in America's Revolution, and whose sacrifices were marked, a few miles away, with an exhibit on the battles of Lexington and Concord. It's easy for those who have lived through too many dubious wars to forget the power of their sacrifices.
FOIA from Congress, Questions from Media, Poll from Public
There's progress on every front:
Fifty-two Congress Members have filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the White House, the Department of Defense, and the Department of State seeking any and all documents and materials concerning the Downing Street Minutes and the lead up to the Iraq war.
Prime Minister Tony Blair has confirmed the authenticity of the Downing Street Minutes.
A Zogby poll has found that 42 percent of Americans would favor impeachment proceedings if President Bush misled the nation about his reasons for going to war with Iraq. Imagine where that figure will be after the public learns about the Downing Street Minutes!
More Questions on Missing Imam
If the CIA did abduct Abu Omar in Italy, the timing suggests his rendition was connected to the upcoming war in Iraq.
By Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball
June 29 - A radical imam allegedly abducted by CIA agents in Italy shortly before the U.S. invasion of Iraq was identified as a key figure in a jihadi network supplying foreign fighters for Ansar Al-Islam—a terror group that the Bush administration was then seeking to link to Saddam Hussein’s government, according to Italian court records.
The court records laying out the Italian case against Egyptian-born cleric Mostafa Hassan Nasr Osama, or Abu Omar, suggest possible motives for an otherwise puzzling CIA operation that has created new tensions between U.S. and European counterterrorism officials. An Italian judge last week ordered the arrest of 13 purported CIA operatives on kidnapping charges and requested that Interpol, the international police agency, provide assistance in tracking them down.
CODEPINK calls on Gov. Schwarzenegger to Bring the Guard Home from Iraq and Stop them from Spying on Peace Groups
SAN FRANCISCO - June 30 - According to emails obtained by the San Jose Mercury News, the California National Guard has created a new unit designed to deal with terrorist threats.
One of the first projects of the new guard unit was to spy on women's peace groups that held a small Mother's Day rally in Sacramento calling for CA Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to bring the state's national guard troops home from Iraq.''We want the national guard troops to come home from Iraq, but not for this," said Natalie Wormeli of CODEPINK's Davis, California chapter. They should be fighting wildfires and doing the sort of work they were trained for.''
Conyers and 51 Members File FOIA Request on Downing Street Minutes; Members Formally Seek Hearings in House
Representative John Conyers, Jr., (D-MI) House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, along with 51 other Members today submitted a broad and comprehensive FOIA request to the White House, the Department of Defense, and the Department of State seeking any and all documents and materials concerning the Downing Street Minutes and the lead up to the Iraq war, RAW STORY has learned.
In addition, the Members also formally requested that the House Committees on Judiciary, Armed Services, International Relations, and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence commence hearings on the Downing Street Minutes.
You can create a public listing of your event here. You will be able to communicate with the people who sign up for your event, and to edit the listing for your event, changing or filling in details later, which means that you can signup to host an event, but indicate that some details are "To Be Announced." Again the instructions for editing your event are here.
U.S. changed Iraq policy to begin airstrikes months before war
By John Byrne
Did Bush lie to Congress about use of force?
The U.S. quietly shifted policy towards Iraq to allow for surgical, pre-emptive airstrikes months before any attempt to seek UN or Congressional approval for the use of force, RAW STORY can reveal.
The discovery, made by investigative blogger Ron Brynaert, raises questions of whether Britain and the United States violated a UN resolution to provide for the security of Iraqi citizenry in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War.
The change meant that the U.S. began systematically bombing air defense systems and other buildings, even beyond the No-Fly Zones established in the wake of the Gulf War. The U.S. justified these pre-emptive airstrikes under a 1991 UN Security Council resolution which says that Iraq must "remove the threat to international peace and security in the region."
According to a poll released by Zogby today, 42% of Americans say they would favor impeachment proceedings if President Bush misled the nation about his reasons for going to war with Iraq.
"The results of this Zogby poll are astonishing and reveal the depth of anger among the American people over President Bush's lies about Iraq, even among 25% of Republicans" said Bob Fertik, president of Democrats.com.
"These results are especially remarkable because few Americans are even aware of the secret Downing Street Memos, which prove that President Bush was determined to invade Iraq long before he consulted Congress or the United Nations in the fall of 2002," Fertik said. "These official minutes of Prime Minister Blair's national security council meeting prove 'the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy' - that Bush knowingly lied to the world to sell his war plans."
Veterans For Peace
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Veterans GROUP ISSUES "DECLARATION OF IMPEACHMENT" AND ANNOUNCES PETITION TO REMOVE pRESIDENT bUSH
St. Louis – A national veterans’ organization today issued a “Declaration of Impeachment
A Zogby poll released today finds 42% of all Americans—including 25% of Republicans—say that "if it is found that President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should hold him accountable through impeachment." According to Zogby, in Eastern and Western states supporters of impeachment outnumber opponents.
Zogby also found that Bush’s speech on Tuesday "produced no noticeable bounce in his approval numbers, with his job approval rating slipping a point from a week ago, to 43%."