London death toll climbs to 52
The Iraq question: Britons ask if their government's support of the U.S. figured in the attacks
- Zachary Coile, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
London -- Members of Parliament shouted approving chants of "Hear, hear!" when opposition Conservative party leader Michael Howard praised Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labor government for its response to last week's deadly terror bombings
But on the streets of London and elsewhere, the bombings have rekindled a debate that has raged in Britain ever since Blair pledged to join President Bush in the invasion of Iraq. While virtually unanimous in their condemnation of the bombings, some Britons have begun to ask whether the country's role in the Iraq conflict helped bring about the worst attack on the British mainland since World War II.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
July 12, 2005
I thought Stewart Powell's piece on the forum headed by U.S. Rep. John Conyers had a misleading headline ("Democrats talk impeachment," June 17). It makes it appear that this forum was a partisan endeavor to damage President Bush, much like the partisan impeachment of President Clinton for personal behavior.
It's true that this is a constitutional matter and that only Democrats attended. That was not the fault of the Democrats. Republicans did not choose to attend, choosing instead to do everything in their power to block any discussion of serious breaches of the law in the House and in committee. Congress is compelled to examine serious issues like the Downing Street memo and to exercise oversight over the executive branch of government. The GOP by their actions are guilty of dereliction of duty and obstructing justice.
Back on March 30, a national veterans' organization, Veterans For Peace (VFP), called for the removal of President George W. Bush and Vice-President Richard Cheney for crimes the group charges were committed during the invasion and occupation of Iraq. As more information such as the Downing Street Memo comes forth VFP continues to push for impeachment.
In a letter sent to each member of the U.S. House and Senate, VFP stated that “...This administration’s war on Iraq, in addition to being increasingly unpopular among Americans, is an unmistakable violation of our Constitution and federal law which you have sworn to uphold. In our system, the remedy for such high crimes is clear: this administration must be impeached.
Letter to Bush Sent Today --- President Must Keep National Security a Priority
Washington, DC – Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sent a letter today to President George Bush requesting that he immediately direct Karl Rove’s security clearances be suspended pending the outcome of the government’s investigation into the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity as an undercover agent for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
As reported today in Newsweek, Karl Rove was a confidential source for Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper on the identification of a covert CIA agent. Rove disclosed that Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s trip to Iraq to investigate charges that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Niger was authorized by Mr. Wilson’s wife, a CIA employee working on issues related to weapons of mass destruction. At that time, Valerie Plame, Ambassador Wilson’s wife, was a covert operative with the CIA whose identity as such had not yet been publicly revealed.
By Greg Palast
The tooth fairy, Santa Clause, WorldCom profits, the Easter Bunny, al-Qaeda.
The cruel, evil jerks who blew up the London subway last week, despite appropriating al-Qaeda's name for their website and T-shirts, have about as much to do with al-Qaeda as a Beatles tribute band has to do with the Fab Four.
For all the horror, hoopla and hair-pulling, this was no September 11. Timmy McVeigh slaughtered a heck of a lot more people in Oklahoma City with his cow-poop bomb.
I'm not belittling the heartbreaking hideousness of this crime, but let's get the facts straight. If al-Qaeda is the Panzer Division of terrorism, these London bombers were terrorism's Cub Scouts. We're talking a few pounds of nitro wired to a clock -- a design badly copied off the Internet.
Spokesman Holds Tongue During Intense Grilling
By Dana Milbank
Tuesday, July 12, 2005; Page A04
On the north lawn of the White House yesterday afternoon, gardeners were taking a chain saw and wood chipper to some tree branches. Inside the briefing room, reporters were taking press secretary Scott McClellan to the woodshed.
It was journalists' first chance to grill McClellan on camera since coming to the conclusion that he had misled them 18 months ago when he said President Bush's top political aide, Karl Rove, had nothing to do with the unmasking of a CIA operative. The recipients of McClellan's bum steer were furious -- hectoring him more than questioning him.
White House Leaks: A serious security matter
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER EDITORIAL BOARD
President Bush has plenty of evidence to begin acting on Karl Rove's involvement in the disclosure of a secret agent's name to exact political vengeance. The president's choice will say a lot about whether he intends to control abuses of power within what some see as one of the most power-hungry administrations the United States has ever experienced.
The president ought to be outraged that, so far, one reporter has gone to jail for acting honestly while some in his administration continue to be free of consequences for revealing Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA operative. The leak of her name and role to Bush-friendly columnist Robert Novak in 2003 was a violation of federal law, if done deliberately.
Published on Monday, July 11, 2005 by The Nation
By David Corn
In a weekend posting I asked if it was time to get ready for the Karl Rove frog-march? The question was prompted by a Newsweek article by reporter Michael Isikoff that disclosed the first documentary evidence showing that Rove revealed to a reporter that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife worked at the CIA. In a July 11, 2003 email that Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper sent to his bureau chief, Cooper noted he had spoken to Rove on "double super secret background" and that Rove had told him that Wilson's "wife...apparently works at the agency on wmd issues." "Agency" means CIA. This is not good news for Rove and the White House.
By Keith Olbermann, MSNBC
SECURED UNDISCLOSED LOCATION -- Karl Rove is a liability in the war on terror.
Rove -- Newsweek’s new article quotes the very emails -- told a Time reporter that Ambassador Joe Wilson’s trip to investigate of the Niger uranium claim was at the behest of Wilson’s CIA wife.
To paraphrase Mr. Rove, liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers; conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared to ruin the career of one of the country’s spies tracking terrorist efforts to gain weapons of mass destruction -- for political gain.
TRANSCRIPT: WHITE HOUSE GRILLED ON ROVE...
The following is a excerpts of a rush transcript of the White House press briefing Monday... You can see the video here.
QUESTION: Scott, can I ask you this: Did Karl Rove commit a crime?
MCCLELLAN: Again, David, this is a question relating to a ongoing investigation, and you have my response related to the investigation. And I don't think you should read anything into it other than: We're going to continue not to comment on it while it's ongoing.
QUESTION: Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003, when you were asked specifically about Karl and Elliot Abrams and Scooter Libby, and you said, "I've gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me they are not involved in this"?
The Honorable Tom Davis
Committee on Government Reform
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. Chairman:
I am writing regarding recent reports that provide new details about the involvement of Karl Rove, the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, in the disclosure of Valerie Plame's identity as an agent of the Central Intelligence Agency.
An article in the Washington Post  this morning and recent disclosures in Newsweek and other reports  are extraordinary. If true, they indicate that the President's top political advisor played a central role in the outing of a covert CIA agent. According to the Washington Post account, Mr. Rove's attorney insists that Mr. Rove did not identify Ms. Plame "by name." But Mr. Rove did identify her as the spouse of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV, which would seem to be a distinction without a difference.
Z Magazine Online
By Jason Leopold
The recent revelation that W. Mark Felt, the former number two person at the FBI, was the anonymous source known as Deep Throat who helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein unravel the Watergate scandal in the pages of the Washington Post 30 years ago, should be seen as an important reminder that the leader of the “free world
By Robert Parry
July 11, 2005
A key national security principle for dealing with top-secret information, such as the identity of undercover CIA officers, is strict compartmentalization, often called “the need to know
Please plan peaceful protests for the following events, and in the meantime ask the White House when Bush will reply to Congressman John Conyers' letter.
Tuesday July 12, 2005
NEW* BUSH in Washington, DC - 7:00 AM: Bush meets with Senate leaders
from both parties (Frist/Reid/Specter/Leahy) to discuss SCOTUS.
[CNN.com, 7/11/05; ABCNews.com, 7/11/05]
BUSH in Washington, DC - 9:10 AM: President Bush will welcome Prime
Leaked secret memo says coalition forces will be cut to 66,000 by middle of next year.
By Tom Regan | csmonitor.com
A secret leaked memo written form British Prime Minister Tony Blair by his Defense Secretary John Reid says that British and US troops have drawn up plans to withdraw the majority of their troops by the middle of next year.
The memo, first reported on by the Mail on Sunday, is marked 'Secret — UK Eyes Only,' and says "emerging US plans assume that 14 out of 18 provinces could be handed over to Iraqi control by early 2006." This would allow a reduction in overall US-led forces in Iraq to 66,000 troops. The troop level in Iraq is currently 160,000, including 138,000 American troops.
Here's a pointed comment from TalkingPointsMemo.com:
SO WE'VE GOT Karl Rove's latest story, as recounted by his lawyer, Robert Luskin.
Rove did spill the beans about Plame in an effort to discredit Joe Wilson. Only he didn't mention the name 'Valerie Plame'. He only spilled the beans about 'Joe Wilson's wife'.
I'm no lawyer. But I'd hate to go into court with my case resting on that distinction.
And remember, the president has certainly known all of this from the beginning.
-- Josh Marshall
The other claim we can imagine Rove making is that he didn't know Plame was undercover. And here's another useful comment from TalkingPointsMemo.com on October 9, 2003:
Toronto Star, July 10, 2005
Haroon Siddiqui says terrorists are targeting us because of our policies in Muslim lands, not because we are free
Madrid: 191 dead. Beslan: 330 murdered, half of them children. Riyadh and Jeddah: more than 100 killed. London: about 50 massacred.
Then there's the daily terror of Iraq, where more than 700 people have been killed in the last month alone.
Our leaders respond with revulsion and resolve, as they must, when the tragedy hits closer to home.
They walk the fine line between increasing security and causing panic, between feeling our pain and exploiting it.
By Leonard Pitts Jr.
Knight Ridder Newspapers
Tell me again how the Iraq war has made us safer from terrorism. Spin for me once more the theory of how, by drawing the terrorists' attention there, we've made ourselves more secure here. Point out for me again how we've suffered no terrorist attack since the day George Bush took the fight to the enemy.
You'll have to speak up, though. It's going to be hard to hear you over the explosions and sirens and wails of the maimed in London.
Yes, you're right. Thursday's coordinated bomb attacks on the Underground and a double-decker bus happened there, not here. But it is close enough to home -- our staunchest ally in the Iraq war -- that maybe you'll agree the technicality doesn't matter. Or if you don't agree, don't worry. Sooner or later, one awful morning yet to come, it will be us again, for real.
While Christiane Amanpour is discussing the London terror attacks a man passing by breaks in and speaks truth to the camera. The man says: "tell the truth about what happened" and then: "They're in Iraq, that’s why it happened. There were 50 killed in Iraq". Watch video clip.
What Karl Rove told Time magazine's reporter
By Michael Isikoff
July 18 issue - It was 11:07 on a Friday morning, July 11, 2003, and Time magazine correspondent Matt Cooper was tapping out an e-mail to his bureau chief, Michael Duffy. "Subject: Rove/P&C," (for personal and confidential), Cooper began. "Spoke to Rove on double super secret background for about two mins before he went on vacation..." Cooper proceeded to spell out some guidance on a story that was beginning to roil Washington. He finished, "please don't source this to rove or even WH [White House]" and suggested another reporter check with the CIA.
Time to get ready for the Karl Rove frog-march?
By David Corn
I don't usually log on Saturday evenings. But I've received information too good not to share immediately. It was only yesterday that I was bemoaning the probability that -- after a week of apparent Rove-related revelations--it might be a while before any more news emerged about the Plame/CIA leak. Yet tonight I received this as-solid-as-it-gets tip: on Sunday Newsweek is posting a story that nails Rove. The newsmagazine has obtained documentary evidence that Rove was indeed a key source for Time magazine's Matt Cooper and that Rove--prior to the publication of the Bob Novak column that first publicly disclosed Valerie Wilson/Plame as a CIA official -- told Cooper that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife apparently worked at the CIA and was involved in Joseph Wilson's now-controversial trip to Niger.
Sydney Morning Herald
A leaked document from Britain's Defence Ministry says the British and US governments are planning to reduce their troop levels in Iraq by more than half by mid-2006, the Mail on Sunday newspaper reported.
The memo, reportedly written by the Defence Minister, John Reid, said Britain would reduce its troop numbers to 3,000 from 8,500 by the middle of next year.
"We have a commitment to hand over to Iraqi control in Al Muthanna and Maysan provinces [two of the four provinces under British control in southern Iraq] in October 2005 and in the other two, Dhi Qar and Basra, in April 2006," the memo was reported to have said.
Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.
By Liz Soares
In 1990, I began working with children, and was struck by a curious new phrase that had become part of the lexicon.
"I didn't do it!"
Of course, I was familiar with the line. I was a child once and remembered denial as a sometimes effective line of defense. What I found amazing was that the kids were shrieking the phrase as they were "acting out."
Take the little girl in the supermarket who maliciously rammed a cart into the dairy case. She turned to her mother and shrugged. "I didn't do it!"
Out of the mouths of babes came the first evidence of a new morality: lying with a straight face. Lying even when you're caught red-handed.
Senator Barbara Boxer Speech at the Commonwealth Club
San Francisco July 6, 2005
It is a great honor to be back at the Commonwealth Club.
When I decided to give a speech about Iraq, I knew I wanted to give it here. That’s because of the pivotal role the Commonwealth Club has played for more than 100 years, fostering real dialogue on the critical challenges that define the times in which we live.
Today, those challenges are vast, from the Supreme Court vacancy to the attack on Social Security. But the war in Iraq is the most daunting because the status quo—of Americans dying, of Iraqis dying, of young soldiers coming home by the thousands with injuries to mind and body—weighs so heavily on all Americans.
ROBERT FISK SYNDICATED COLUMNIST
Friday, July 8, 2005
"If you bomb our cities," Osama bin Laden said in a recent videotape, "we will bomb yours."' It was clear Britain would be a target ever since British Prime Minister Tony Blair decided to join President Bush's "war on terror" and his invasion of Iraq. We had, as they say, been warned. The G-8 summit was obviously chosen, well in advance, as Attack Day.
It's no use Blair telling us, "They will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear." They are not trying to destroy "what we hold dear." They are trying to get public opinion to force Blair to withdraw from Iraq, out of his alliance with the United States, out of his adherence to Bush's policies in the Middle East. The Spanish paid the price for their support for Bush -- and Spain's subsequent retreat from Iraq proved that the Madrid bombings achieved their objectives -- while the Australians were made to suffer in Bali.
By Jim Lobe
WASHINGTON - Thursday's terror attacks against London's public transportation system, which killed at least 37 people, came amid indications of growing skepticism here about the effectiveness of US President George W Bush's "war on terror", the policy initiative that earned him his highest public-approval ratings.
The Gallup organization released a new survey this week which found that 41% of US respondents believed that neither the US and its allies nor the "terrorists" were currently winning the war and that a two-and-a-half year high of 20% of the public believed that the "terrorists are winning".
A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW
In my judgment, a smear campaign operated out of the White House is unethical, to say the least. The First Amendment specifically says that nothing should be done to abridge a citizen's right to petition his government to redress a grievance. The attack on me, through the compromise of Valerie's identity, is an assault on not just my petition to redress a grievance, but it is also a deterrent to other citizens who might step forward. That is why I have always argued that Rove should be fired, even if no indictments are forthcoming.
* * *
If there's a list of people who have fearlessly stood up for democracy, decency and the truth against the corrupt buzzsaw of the Bush Administration, Ambassador Joe Wilson is certainly at the top of the list.
Merrimack River Current
By Michael Cook/ Sitting In
Friday, July 8, 2005
That was how many times George Walker Bush invoked 9-11 in his speech to the nation and the world on June 28.
What is difficult to understand is why so many Americans still believe there was a connection between 9-11 and Saddam Hussein's regime.
They forget that in September of 2002, bonny Prince George himself said he had seen no substantive evidence linking Saddam to the attacks on NYC or the Pentagon.
They forget the 9-11 Commission found Saddam had no involvement in Dark Tuesday.
"An assault on Iraq will inflame world opinion and jeopardise security and peace everywhere. London, as one of the major world cities, has a great deal to lose from war and a lot to gain from peace, international cooperation and global stability.