Prime Minister Tony Blair – (not much of a speaking role, can be played by a moderately well-behaved poodle)
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
Then Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon
Attorney General Lord Goldsmith
Sir Richard Dearlove, the Chief of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI6)
Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee John Scarlett
From Editor & Publisher, July 5, 2005
By Bill Israel
In 99.9 percent of cases I know, journalists must not break the bonds of appropriate confidentiality, to protect their ability to report, and to defend the First Amendment. I’ve testified in court to that end, and would do so again.
But the Valerie Plame-CIA case that threatens jail time for reporters from Time and The New York Times this week is the exception that shatters the rule. In this case, journalists as a community have been played for patsies by the president’s chief strategist, Karl Rove, and are enabling him to abuse the First Amendment, by their invoking it.
By American Progress Action Fund
Stunningly, no member of the White House press corps has asked press secretary Scott McClellan about Karl Rove's role in outing former CIA operative Valerie Plame since Rove's lawyer admitted on Saturday that Rove was one of Time reporter Matt Cooper's sources. Below are ten vital facts that the media needs to communicate -- and that Americans deserve to know -- about PlameGate. (Click here to get the email addresses of your local media outlets, and let them know they're missing out on a serious story.)
THE PLAME LEAK IS OF VITAL IMPORTANCE: Commenting on the remarks of the federal judges who have ruled on Cooper/Miller case, Lawrence O'Donnell today pointed out that "All the judges who have seen the prosecutor's secret evidence firmly believe he is pursuing a very serious crime, and they have done everything they can to help him get an indictment." And remember, it was George W. Bush's father who, speaking at CIA headquarters in 1999, said, "I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors." Likewise, when asked whether exposing Valerie Plame's identity would be "worse than Watergate," President Bush's close colleague Ed Gillespie said, "Yeah, I suppose in terms of the real world implications of it," adding that "to reveal the identity of an undercover CIA operative -- it's abhorrent, and it should be a crime, and it is a crime." Those who try to play down the importance of PlameGate are deceiving themselves.
Thursday July 7, 2005
BUSH in Auchterarder, Scotland: President Bush participates in a Working Breakfast with the Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom. [White House, 7/5/05]
BUSH in Auchterarder, Scotland: President Bush attends G-8 summit. [ABC News, 6/22/05, White House, 7/5/05]
ALLEN in Columbia and Greenville County, South Carolina: Sen. George Allen (R-VA) will make his 2nd trip to SC this year. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) will host a fundraising event for him in Columbia and he will headline an event for Wilson afterwards. Allen will also appear at the Greenville County GOPers' "Bronze Elephant" dinner in the evening. [National Journal, 6/29/05]
Bush and Blair demand support over Iraq but have no strategy
Just after George Bush was awarded the presidency for the first time by the US courts, I was invited to Downing Street for a chat on the sofa with the prime minister to work out an approach to the new administration. I was struck by how troubled Tony Blair was that the Conservatives would make their pitch that only a Tory prime minister could do business with a Republican president. He was therefore determined to stick even more closely to the new White House incumbent than he had to Bill Clinton.
Ironically, the success of the prime minister's strategy in making himself George Bush's best mate has turned out not to be a political asset but a colossal albatross around his neck. It proved such a liability at the last election that even the Conservative party ran election adverts exploiting negatives shots of Blair and Bush standing shoulder to shoulder.
July 23rd: Downing Street Minutes 3rd Anniversary Events
Several Congress Members have agreed to host events in their home districts on July 23rd, the third anniversary of the famous meeting on Downing Street. On that day, all over the country, there will be town hall meetings, dramatic readings of the Downing Street Minutes, study circles, and house parties. Participants around the country will be able to call into a conference call with Congressman John Conyers and other featured speakers.
If you haven't signed up yet, please do so now.
By Tom Hayden
I am distracted from the trials of Judith Miller and Matt Cooper because of the larger shadow of Robert Novak, whose apparent immunity from prosecution is unexplainable. Is Novak the protected asset of one of our intelligence agencies?
It may be that his musings over the past 45 years merely parallels the inner world of the intelligence community, but his present protected status is eerie.
He's not really a journalist, nor is he a party liner. But over the years there has been a pattern.
I remember in the civil rights movement when he wrote 1963 columns alleging infiltration of the movement by "far left" elements (as recalled in his own recollections, May 15, 2003). Who were his sources?
By Citizens for Legitimate Government
Joseph Wilson is the author of The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity (Avalon Publishing Group, 2004). Joseph Wilson is a political centrist, was a career United States diplomat from 1976 to 1998. During Democratic and Republican administrations he served in various diplomatic posts throughout Africa and eventually as ambassador to Gabon. He was the acting ambassador to Baghdad when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. In February 2002, he investigated reports of Iraq’s attempt to buy uranium from Niger. In October 2003, Wilson received the Ron Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling from the Fertel Foundation and the Nation Institute. He lives in Washington, D.C.
The Impeachment Question
By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Wednesday, July 6, 2005; 1:24 PM
More than four in 10 Americans, according to a recent Zogby poll, say that if President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment.
But you wouldn't know it from following the news. Only three mainstream outlets that I can find made even cursory mention of the poll last week when it came out.
You also wouldn't know it judging from the political discourse in Washington, but that makes a little more sense. After all, impeachment is for all practical purposes a political act, not a legal one. So with a Republican-controlled Congress that doesn't even like to perform basic White House oversight, it's basically a moot point.
N.Y. Times Reporter Jailed for Refusing to Reveal Source
Time Magazine's Cooper Agrees to Testify, Saying Source Freed Him From Promise 'In Somewhat Dramatic Fashion'
By William Branigin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 6, 2005; 4:09 PM
A federal judge today ordered the jailing of a New York Times reporter for refusing to divulge a confidential source, but a Time magazine reporter facing possible jail time in the same case reversed course and agreed to testify before a grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA agent's identity.
Judith Miller, a national security correspondent for the New York Times, told U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan that she could not break her word in order to stay out of jail. Hogan then ordered her taken into custody immediately for civil contempt of court and incarcerated in the Washington area. She is expected to serve jail time that could last as long as the grand jury continues investigating, possibly until late October.
"One float was the Downing Street Memo-mobile, complete with three dummies in the back seat eating Doritos that represented Tony Blair, George Bush and Saddam Hussein."
West Athens celebrates alternative 4th
'Heaven' theme makes for eclectic town parade
WEST ATHENS - It was heaven Monday in West Athens, albeit a wacky, irreverent, alternative version.
More than 500 people poured into this tiny town for the 32nd or 33rd (no one can really remember) annual Fourth of July parade and play, which this year was titled "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," a who-gets-in and who-doesn't kind of story.
A letter to the editor
July 5, 2005
Dear Editor: The Iraq War Resolution passed the House on Oct. 10, 2002, and the Senate the following day after repeated assurances, public and private, to Congress that war would be a "last resort" and that President Bush would follow the terms of the resolution, first seeking U.N. Security Council approval. Both were lies, according to the Downing Street minutes of three months before. It is a crime to defraud Congress.
The 23 "whereas" clauses that precede the resolution text mention, in order of frequency: weapons of mass destruction 10 times, the U.N. Security Council nine times, terrorists seven times, 9/11 four times, Persian Gulf three times, weapons inspectors once, al-Qaida once (saying they had a base in Iraq and failing to say it was in the Kurdish-controlled area), and regime change once (the real reason). So the justification was mainly about WMD and the U.N.
By GENE LYONS
Ask Karl Rove for an apology? Not me. Apologies are appropriate for foolish remarks made in the heat of argument. Rove read from a script. The White House handed out copies. Besides, what would an apology from that flabby little apparatchik be worth? He's the human equivalent of a fear-biting dog: His Master's Voice.
"Conservatives," Rove said, "saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. In the wake of 9/11, conservatives believed it was time to unleash the might and power of the United States military against the Taliban; in the wake of 9/11, liberals believed it was time to submit a petition. I am not joking."
Mom, Who Lost Son In Iraq, Talks About 'Disgusting' White House Private Meeting With Bush; Claims He Was Arrogant, 'Totally Detached From Humanity' And Didn't Even Know Her Name
Founder of peace group to stop senseless murder of our children, Cindy Sheehan wants parents to 'wake up' to the illegal nature of the war and Bush's corrupt motives meriting impeachment. She tells parents to advise their children not to fight, saying it's better 'to spend a year in jail instead of an eternity in a coffin.'
July 5, 2005
Cindy Sheehan has already had her heart ripped into a million pieces by the illegal Iraqi war, losing the son she loved more than life itself only five days after he arrived in Baghdad in April 2004.
The following letter, drafted by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), was issued to other House Democrats for signature this afternoon, and obtained by RAW STORY.
Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, calls on Bush adviser Karl Rove to explain his role in the outing of a CIA agent or resign his office.
"We write in order to urge that you require your Deputy White House Chief of Staff, Karl Rove, to either come forward immediately to explain his role in the Valerie Plame matter or to resign from your Administration," the veteran Democrat writes. "High-ranking members of your Administration who are involved in any effort to smear a private citizen or to disseminate information regarding a CIA operative should be expected to meet a far higher standard of ethical behavior and forthrightness."
An interview with the creator of Independent World Television
BuzzFlash: I want the BuzzFlash readers to know what you anticipate doing is not just news, but a full-fledged broadcast schedule. The news is one part of it, but there's so much more going on. But I want to get your response as to just how you would see your network handling the Downing Street memo, as compared to what has happened. As soon as it appeared in the Times of London, we had it up on BuzzFlash. Several readers sent that to us, and it was our headline story all that Sunday. The Washington Post didn't run a story for twelve days on the Downing Street memo. Walter Pincus, one of their writers, wrote a piece, which ran on page 18 of the front section, almost two weeks after it appeared in Britain. And most papers in the United States just didn't cover it. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune recently ran a piece by their ombudsman that tried to explain why they didn't cover it. He said we didn't know about it until about a few days later, when a reader of BuzzFlash -- and they mentioned BuzzFlash by name -- wrote to him, the ombudsman, and said I'm reading all these stories about the Downing Street Memo on BuzzFlash.com. How come you're not covering it? And so the guy went to BuzzFlash.com. And the ombudsman for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune said, oh, gee, you know, how come we don't know about this?
From American Progress Action Fund
Over the weekend, McLaughlin Group panelist Lawrence O'Donnell revealed (and Newsweek confirmed) that one of the PlameGate sources being protected by Time reporter Matt Cooper is none other than President Bush's senior adviser, the Mayberry Machiavelli himself, Karl Rove. Of course, we have known for some time that Rove played a leading role in the coordinated smear campaign against former ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame, the outed CIA operative. (Shortly after Plame's identity was revealed, MSNBC's Chris Matthews famously told Wilson: "I just got off the phone with Karl Rove, who said your wife was fair game.") Yet the new revelations, confirmed by Rove's lawyer Robert Luskin, are important. Not only do they provide first-hand confirmation of Rove's role in the Plame case (contradicting previous claims from the White House), but they represent what O'Donnell calls "the first hole in the Rove two-year wall of silence about the case." Below, a few questions for Mr. Rove.
Plan a Peaceful Protest at One of These Events
Tuesday July 5, 2005
BUSH in Denmark: President Bush travels to Denmark prior to his participation in the Group of Eight (G-8) Summit in Gleneagles, Scotland in the United Kingdom. The President's bilateral program in Denmark will take place on July 6, 2005. Denmark is a close friend and ally of the United States, and Prime Minister Rasmussen is a strong proponent of effective transatlantic cooperation. [White House, 5/25/05]
Wednesday July 6, 2005
President Bush's Birthday
BUSH in Scotland: July 6-8, 2005: President Bush attends G-8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland [ABC News, 6/22/05]
So says Danish journalist Bo Elkjaer whose pointed letter to both Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and President George W. Bush appeared in the popular daily newspaper, Ekstra Bladet, to greet Bush on his arrival today in Denmark. Last year Elkjaer won the Danish equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of events leading up to the U.S.-U.K invasion of Iraq. With the full support of the Ekstra Bladet management, Elkjaer did the kind of reporting and analysis largely missing from the U.S. "mainstream media."
The Danish journalist's letter reflects a continuing determination to hold his prime minister and the U.S. president accountable for the lies leading to launching of war on Iraq.
By Daniel Ellsberg
President Bush's explanation Tuesday night for staying the course in Iraq evoked in me a sense of familiarity, but not nostalgia. I had heard virtually all of his themes before, almost word for word, in speeches delivered by three presidents I worked for: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon. Not with pride, I recognized that I had proposed some of those very words myself.
Drafting a speech on the Vietnam War for Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara in July 1965, I had the same task as Bush's speechwriters in June 2005: how to rationalize and motivate continued public support for a hopelessly stalemated, unnecessary war our president had lied us into.
Talking Points Memo is Pursuing a New Aspect of the Story
By Congressman John Conyers
Saturday, July 2
How do the facts and intelligence get fixed around the policy, as the highest ranking British government officials have alleged the Bush Administration was doing to justify the Iraq war?
One way would be by having the Vice President hover over the shoulders of intelligence analysts. This paragraph caught my eye from a 2003 Washington Post article. Notice how close the wording of the last sentence is to the language in the Downing Street Minutes:
"Vice President Cheney and his most senior aide made multiple trips to the CIA over the past year to question analysts studying Iraq's weapons programs and alleged links to al Qaeda, creating an environment in which some analysts felt they were being pressured to make their assessments fit with the Bush administration's policy objectives, according to senior intelligence officials."
Next Steps Taken on Downing Street; Letter to Speaker on Another GOP Abuse of Power; Bush Hits Another Low
By Congressman John Conyers
Thursday, June 30
This is my inaugural blog since the new registration and rss systems were created, and I very much look forward to being able to work with you all and review your comments again.
At least Three Important Developments to Report on Today:
Today, 51 Members and I took the Downing Street Investigation to the next level by filing a Freedom of Information Act request with the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department. We also made a formal request for hearings with the Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, International Relations, Armed Services, and Intelligence. Raw Story has a copy of both letters.
Caught Between Rock And Hard Place With No Answers
A majority of Americans believe President misled country into war. Congress one step closer to formal investigation as 52 members file Freedom of Information Act request, seeking needed documents and witnesses. Further complicating a White House response, Tony Blair confirmed authenticity of minutes of Downing Street war meeting.
July 4, 2005
By Greg Szymanski
The infamous Downing Street Memo has suddenly grown wings in Washington, slowly floating through town like a feather in the wind during a two month media blackout but finally landing like a lead balloon on President Bush’s desk.
BY NOAM CHOMSKY
4 July 2005
IN his June 28 speech, President Bush asserted that the invasion of Iraq was undertaken as part of "a global war against terror" that the United States is waging. In reality, as anticipated, the invasion increased the threat of terror, perhaps significantly.
Half-truths, misinformation and hidden agendas have characterised official pronouncements about US war motives in Iraq from the very beginning. The recent revelations about the rush to war in Iraq stand out all the more starkly amid the chaos that ravages the country and threatens the region and indeed the world.
By David Michael Green
One thing you can say about us Americans, we support our troops. Or do we?
It seems like we must, since there are magnetic ribbons saying so affixed to the back of every other SUV tooling down the highway. But what does it really mean - we might ask ourselves on this Fourth of July - to support our troops?
It doesn't seem to mean signing up to go fight along side them and relieving them of the burden they're carrying. Despite our saying that these 130,000-some Americans are fighting in Iraq for the freedom and security of our country, the remaining 300 million of us seem fairly content to let them do all the heavy lifting. Nor does the president dare institute a draft for his unpopular war, though doing so would spread out its costs far more equitably.
Zogby Polls on the I Word
Even the pollster couldn't believe his eyes. "It was much higher than I expected," John Zogby said of the 42 percent of voters who said they would support impeaching President Bush if it were established that he lied about his reasons for the Iraq war. The Zogby International poll was released Thursday and showed Bush's job approval rating at 43 percent.
By comparison, in October 1998, as the House moved to impeach President Bill Clinton over the Monica S. Lewinsky scandal, a Zogby poll found that 39 percent of voters supported the House action, while 56 percent opposed it.
By David Swanson
Remarks prepared for July 4, 2005, anti-war rally in Washington, D.C.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll last week found 52 percent of Americans believe the Bush administration "deliberately misled the public before the war," and 57 percent say the Bush administration "intentionally exaggerated its evidence that pre-war Iraq possessed nuclear, chemical or biological weapons."
A Zogby poll last week found 42 percent of Americans 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."
By Carol Wolman
Tourists always crowd the little seaside town of Mendocino, California, on Fourth of July weekend. I made lots of copies of the attached letter to Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), which encourages him to investigate possible grounds for impeachment, and sallied forth to collect signatures.
It's the easiest canvassing I've ever done. People stood in line to sign. About half the people who signed (around 100, in a couple of hours) also took a blank copy so they could canvass their friends.