Congresswoman Lee Town Hall: Welcome

By 10:45, Alan Michaan's movie palace was already half full, with activists of all stripes wide awake despite the early hour for a Saturday morning, destributing flyers, looking for friends, and some even tried to carry out their morning routines (reading the paper, drinking coffee), despite the hubub. The Congresswoman herself welcomed many of the attendees, who poured in with casual/political attire in sharp contrast to Lee's staff and security (who watched over with sharp eyes and suits). In fact, by this time the blue-ribbon panel, including Daniel Ellsberg (who published the Pentagon Papers) was already assembled on stage.

Downing Street Minutes Anniversary Town Hall Webcast

You will be able to access the audio feed, live from The Society of Ethical Culture, in New York City, by cutting and pasting the following URL in your web browser.

http://www.kpftx.org/pls/kpftx6210.pls

The Town Meeting is scheduled to begin at 2:00 pm.

Pre-Event Welcome: Congresswoman Barbara Lee's Town Hall

Good morning. My name is Keith Kamisugi and I'll be covering Congresswoman Barbara Lee's town hall meeting highlighting the Bush administration’s failure to address the questions raised by the Downing Street Memo and other documents. Today, July 23, marks the third anniversary of the Downing Street meeting between U.S and British officials whose minutes have prompted questions that intelligence was "fixed" to justify invasion.

We're here at the historic Grand Lake Theatre in Oakland. Opened in 1926, the theatre was designed by Reid Brothers, the same firm that designed the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco and the Oaks Theater in Berkeley. It was also here that I saw the premiere of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" in a packed house.

Mad Hatters in the UK

Given the fact that the Mad Hatter's Teaparty planned for Downing Street had to be postponed due to the security situation in London; activists from Bedford Stop the War took the party to Bedford town centre. As well as recreating the Downing Street meeting, we were able to express our view that Bush and Blair are part of the problem, NOT part of the solution, and for the future stability of the world they must both go.

We had some quizzical interest, and were delighted to recruit a new member.

Bedford is 50 miles north of London and at one time was the most culturally diverse town in the country. We are home to over 100 different people groups, and 60 different languages are spoken here.

"America is very alive right now"

Ann is 86 and a veteran of almost 70 years of activism. Stephen is younger, but has white hair and a twinkle in his eye. Sarah is younger still, and has been protesting for only a few years; but she just came back from London, where, she says "Everyone knows about the Downing Street Minutes."

All are in front of Rockefeller Plaza, and the NBC Studios, to remind passersby about the mideia's silence on the reasons we went to war in Iraq.

You can see photos and read more here.

It is a lovely day here in NYC.

Today's Plans in Houston

Former Diplomat speaks on the Downing St. Memo SAT

Sat. July 23 The Downing Street Minutes - Teach in and film with former diplomat Ann Wright

When: 7-9:30 p.m., Saturday, July 23 Where: 5200 Fannin Street at Southmore, First Unitarian Universalist Church, Houston, TX 77004, 713.526.5200

Background: The Downing Street Minutes (DSM) are the minutes of a meeting between Prime Minister Tony Blair and his advisers, which were leaked to a London newspaper. They show conclusively that Bush deceived the American people and the world by saying he would try to avoid war when he had in fact already decided to invade Iraq.

Waxman: 11 Security Breaches in Plame Case

YubaNet.com
By Rep. Henry Waxman

The disclosure of the covert identity of Valerie Plame Wilson in a July 14, 2003, column by Robert Novak has triggered a criminal investigation and led to calls for congressional investigations. The Novak column, however, appears to be only one of multiple leaks of Ms. Wilson's identity. A new fact sheet released today by Rep. Waxman documents that there appear to be at least 11 separate instances in which Administration officials disclosed information about Ms. Wilson's identity and association with the CIA.

New Fact Sheet Details Multiple Administration Security Breaches Involving Valerie Plame Wilson

Bob Fertik's Remarks at New York City Town Hall

Here are the prepared remarks of AfterDowningStreet.org Co-Founder and Democrats.com President Bob Fertik for today's Town Hall Forum with Congressman Maurice Hinchey in New York City.

PowerPoint Previews Discussion at Texas Event

The DSM Day Event in Winnie-Stowell, Texas, today will use this Power Point to lead a discussion:
WMV VIDEO

Life, Community, and Everything

Here in NYC, my friend Luis wears a t-shirt that reads "We deserve the government we allow." Luis is an artist; he knows the power of truth-telling.

Last night, we sat in Central Park and saw the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company move through memory, speaking and evoking truth and hope.

The crowd was large, and the shared understanding, palpable.

One small section was about the peroneus, a muscle along the side of the leg, and the use of the "peroneus strike", a method of torture. Bill T. made the connection between joyous moving in community and abuse of each other as humans quite clear.

It's DSM Day!

Today, Saturday, July 23rd, is DSM Day, the three-year anniversary of the Downing Street Meeting. We have over 350 events planned!

If you are participating in an event, we encourage you to do more than participate:

BE THE MEDIA!

If you would like a password that will allow you to post reports on the http://www.afterdowningstreet.org website, please send us your name, Email address, and which event you'll be attending or hosting.

Otherwise, simply Email reports as soon as you can to david@davidswanson.org

If you post reports on your own site, we can post a short blurb on ours and link to you.

Could Plame sue Rove?

By Anthony J. Sebok, FindLaw columnist
Special to CNN.com

(FindLaw) -- In 1998, President Bill Clinton was almost forced from office because he lied about whether he had "sexual relations" with Monica Lewinsky in a deposition. The deposition was conducted by lawyers for Paula Jones -- who had sued the president under federal civil rights law and Arkansas tort law.

One of the greatest features of the American civil justice system -- especially its tort law -- is that it gives average citizens the power to force anyone to answer them in court. Could Valerie Plame, the CIA agent whose identity was leaked to the press, take matters into her own hands and use the civil justice system to get Karl Rove -- who may, it seems, have been the leaker -- to answer her in court?

Pundits on Plame: Clueless and conscienceless

Loyal GOP mouthpieces insisted Valerie Plame had a desk job. Now that we know she was a covert CIA operative, will they apologize? Of course not.
Salon
By Joe Conason

July 23, 2005 | Under intense political pressure, once scarce information about the CIA leak prosecution is suddenly emerging from "persons familiar with the case." Should those whispers prove accurate, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl "Turd Blossom" Rove and vice-presidential Chief of Staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby may yet be held accountable for whatever roles they actually played in the exposure of Valerie Wilson's CIA identity -- and in the coverup of that potential crime.

The Iran War Buildup

The Nation Magazine
By Michael Klare

There is no evidence that President Bush has already made the decision to attack Iran if Tehran proceeds with uranium-enrichment activities viewed in Washington as precursors to the manufacture of nuclear munitions. Top Administration officials are known to have argued in favor of military action if Tehran goes ahead with these plans--a step considered more likely with the recent election of arch-conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iran's president--but Bush, so far as is known, has not yet made up his mind in the matter. One thing does appear certain, however: Bush has given the Defense Department approval to develop scenarios for such an attack and to undertake various preliminary actions. As was the case in 2002 regarding Iraq, the building blocks for an attack in Iran are beginning to be put into place.

Panel discussion to cover pre-war intelligence

Poughkeepsie Journal

U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-Hurley, will take part in a panel discussion today in New York City regarding the alleged manipulation of pre-war intelligence by the Bush administration.

The event, titled, ‘‘Torture and Lies: Who is Accountable? From Abu Ghraib to the Downing Street Minutes,’’ is being held from 2 to 4 p.m. at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, at 2 W. 64th St. in Manhattan.

Hinchey will be joined on the panel by former New York congresswoman Liz Holtzman and Randi Rhodes, a host on Air America Radio.

The forum is being held in commemoration of the third anniversary of the meeting at #10 Downing Street in London, which generated the so-called ‘‘Downing Street Memo.’’ The memo purportedly offers proof the United States and Great Britain secretly agreed to invade Iraq in the summer of 2002, well before seeking a U.N. resolution to remove Saddam Hussein from power.

Ex-CIA Officers Rip Bush Over Rove Leak

By DONNA DE LA CRUZ
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON — President Bush is jeopardizing national security by not disciplining Karl Rove for his role in leaking the name of a CIA officer, and has hampered efforts to recruit informants in the war on terror, former U.S. intelligence officers say.

Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson used the Democratic Party's weekly radio address Saturday to reiterate comments he made Friday to a panel of House and Senate Democrats.

At that event, Johnson and others expressed great frustration that CIA operative Valerie Plame's name was made public. Plame is married to former ambassador Joseph Wilson, a critic of Bush's Iraq policy.

CIA Leak Investigation Turns to Possible Perjury, Obstruction

Los Angeles Times
By Douglas Frantz, Sonni Efron and Richard B. Schmitt
Times Staff Writers

WASHINGTON — The special prosecutor in the CIA leak investigation has shifted his focus from determining whether White House officials violated a law against exposing undercover agents to determining whether evidence exists to bring perjury or obstruction of justice charges, according to people briefed in recent days on the inquiry's status.

Differences have arisen in witnesses' statements to federal agents and a grand jury about how the name of Valerie Plame, a CIA agent, was leaked to the press two years ago.

Follow The Deployments

Did Bush Administration troop deployment patterns suggest a President who was content to give peace a chance? Or did they suggest a President bent on war regardless of Saddam Hussein's degree of cooperation, and the findings of the UN weapons inspectors?

As far as I'm concerned, it's the latter. And if the latter is true, then the Downing Street memos are tantamount to a smoking gun.

Think about it. George Bush and Tony Blair contend that when they went to the UN, they went in order to give Saddam Hussein one last chance to cooperate. Yet, if you follow the troop deployment patterns of both the United States and Great Britain - and the fashion in which both nations were stranding several hundred thousand troops in Qatar and Kuwait, at states of high readiness - the only conclusion that I can draw is that Bush and Blair were planning to go to war regardless of Saddam’s degree of cooperation with the UN inspectors. By going to the UN, Bush and Blair were only looking for political cover.

Mimi Kennedy Joining Oakland Event

Congresswoman Barbara Lee has invited Progressive Democrats of America Board President Mimi Kennedy up from Los Angeles to take part in today's Town Hall Forum in Oakland.

Kennedy commented:"I'm standing with Barbara Lee because she stands for an American foriegn policy, including a response to violence and terror, that is not based on murder and vengeance -- and that is the only response that can make America and the world truly secure."

Kennedy is best known as Abby, Dharma's hippie mom, on TV's "Dharma and Greg," but many remember her late-night appearances on Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect," railing at right-wing pundits. Movies include "Pump Up The Volume," "Erin Brokovich" and "Buddy." Work on Dennis Kucinich's anti-war presidential campaign led to founding support for Progressive Democrats of America, of which she is Honorary Chair. She continues her acting and writing career in Los Angeles while studying Nonviolence with Reverend James Lawson. A charter member of Artists United to Win Without War, she is an active supporter of LA's Office of the Americas, Homeboy Industries, the Garment Workers' Center, and Farm Sanctuary. Her mid-life memoir, "Taken to the Stage; The Education of an Actress" was published by Smith and Kraus in 1996.

Rove Scandal Could Stick

Distributed to newspapers by Knight-Ridder/Tribune Information Services
Published on Friday, July 22, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
By Mark Weisbrot

The Bush Administration has ploughed through so many scandals that it is easy to cynically dismiss the current controversy over White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove as just another inside-the-beltway, partisan tussle that will soon be as forgotten as all those Bush Administration officials with ties to Enron. Or the Harken Energy Corporation and Halliburton scandals (to which the President and Vice President were personally linked). The 9/11 intelligence failures, the missing weapons of mass destruction, Abu Ghraib - nothing sticks to these guys. So why should this scandal be any different?

Resolution of Inquiry Introduced Surrounding Bush’s Iraq War Policy

By Political Affairs

Yesterday, Rep. Barbara Lee (D–CA) introduced a Resolution of Inquiry in the House of Representatives which would require the White House and the State Department to "transmit all information relating to communication with officials of the United Kingdom between January 1, 2002, and October 16, 2002, relating to the policy of the United States with respect to Iraq." The resolution was introduced with 26 co-sponsors.

The resolution is regarded as a first step in an official congressional investigation of recently leaked information showing that in the spring and summer of 2004, as much as one year before the war began, high-level British government officials believed that the Bush administration was intent on going to war with Iraq, that is was planning to fix intelligence to support its cause, and that its case for war was insupportable with the known intelligence.

Et Tu, Ari?

THINK PROGRESS
Another White House official possibly facing perjury charges?

Last Monday, Bloomberg News reported that former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer had seen the classified memo thought to be the original source of Valerie Plame’s identity. “On the flight to Africa, Fleischer was seen perusing the State Department memo on Wilson and his wife, according to a former administration official who was also on the trip.

Former CIA Officer Testifies: Rove Leak, Cover-Up 'Increases Risk to Security of American People'!

Former CIA Officer Testifies: Rove Leak, Cover-Up 'Increases Risk to Security of American People'!

BRAD BLOG

Blasts 'Partisan Obfuscation', 'Ruthless Attacks' on Joe Wilson at Joint House/Senate Hearings!
Says 'Politics in This Country Trumps National Security'

Jim Marcinkowski, former CIA case officer, gave some remarkable testimony at today's Joint Democratic House/Senate Hearings on Karl Rove's TreasonGate. He described the leak about Valerie Plame's identity and it's subsequent coverup by the White House as "a disservice to our country," resulting in an "increase in the risk to the people of the United States."...

Rep. Conyers Releases 36-Page Timeline of March to War

Congressman John Conyers has produced a 36-page timeline of the Bush Administration's march to war.
Get it here.

Here is Congressman Conyers' summary.

Congresswoman Slaughter: America deserves better than 'no comment' on leak; Raises question of treason

RAW STORY

The following statement was delivered to the Democratic Policy Committee hearing on the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson Friday, and released to RAW STORY.

#
I would like to thank our esteemed co-chairs this morning, Senator Dorgan and Congressman Waxman for calling this special joint hearing of Congress.

George W. Bush campaigned on ‘restoring dignity’ to the White House. During his first inaugural address, he affirmed a commitment “to live out our nation's promise through civility, courage, compassion and character.

Colleague of outed agent seeks to 'set the record straight'

RAW STORY

Copy of my testimony to be presented on Friday, 22 July 2005 before a joint session of Congressional Democrats. / CORRECTING THE RECORD ON VALERIE PLAME / Larry C. Johnson

I submit this statement to the Congress in an effort to correct a malicious and disingenuous smear campaign that has been executed against a friend and former colleague, Valerie (Plame) Wilson. Neither Valerie, nor her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson has asked me to do anything on their behalf. I am speaking up because I was raised to stop bullies. In the case of Valerie Plame she is facing a gang of bullies that is being directed by the Republican National Committee.

Serrano Calls For Investigation

Congressman José E. Serrano
PRESS RELEASE

On Third Anniversary of Infamous Downing Street Meetings, Serrano Calls For Investigation, Bringing Troops Home

Washington, DC, July 22, 2005—Marking the third anniversary of the controversial Downing Street meetings, during which it was revealed that the Bush administration was determined to push ahead against Iraq regardless of its “thin case

TreasonGate - What Did Bush Know, And When Did He Know It?

By Thom Hartmann

Political smears by right-wingers are nothing new. In the election of 1800, John Adams had a surrogate newspaper publisher write an article about "Dusky Sally," the half-sister of Thomas Jefferson's deceased wife, who was also one of the Jefferson family slaves. Jefferson succeeded in avoiding the issue, and his friends pointed out that it was merely about his personal life, not national security.
George W. Bush may not be so fortunate.

Today comes the revelation in The Wall Street Journal that "A key department memo discussing Joseph Wilson's Niger trip was classified 'Top Secret,' and the passage about his wife's CIA role was specially marked 'S/NF' -- not to be shared with any foreign intelligence agencies."

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