Referendum and Trial Called Diversions
By John Ward Anderson and Bassam Sebti
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, October 22, 2005; A16
BAGHDAD -- Thaer Abbas Shammari smiled contentedly and leaned on a table crammed with merchandise outside his Baghdad convenience store on constitution referendum day last weekend, bantering with neighbors, customers and passersby. But when the talk turned to voting, he stood bolt upright.
"Look!" he bellowed, lifting his shirt and one pant leg to display neck, stomach and ankle scars that he said were inflicted during 14 years as a political prisoner under Saddam Hussein. When he pointed to a picture of his brother taped to the front door -- a "hero and martyr" executed by the former government for supposedly belonging to an outlawed political party -- it seemed natural to assume that Shammari would march to the polling center 100 yards away and cast his ballot.
By Gelu Sulugiuc
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A reporter for The New York Times came under sharp criticism in the pages of her own newspaper on Saturday, over her conduct related to a probe into the outing of a CIA operative.
The Times' executive editor was quoted in the paper as saying reporter Judith Miller appeared to have misled it about her role in the controversy, and a top columnist suggested the Times' reputation would be endangered if she returned from leave to her old job.
"If that were to happen, the institution most in danger would be the newspaper in your hands," columnist Maureen Dowd wrote in the Times, one of the most influential U.S. newspapers.
By Larry C. Johnson
The CIA field commander for the agency's Jawbreaker team at Tora Bora, Gary Berntsen, has finally got approval to publish his book, which will hit the streets on December 27, 2005. The CIA has sat on the book for more than a year and tried to stop its publication. Although the book is not intended as a criticism of President Bush, it will land another body blow to the beleaguered Bush Presidency. Bernsten's key point in the book is his testimonty that he and other U.S. commanders did know that bin Laden was among the hundreds of fleeing Qaeda and Taliban members. According to NEWSWEEK, "Berntsen says he had definitive intelligence that bin Laden was holed up at Tora Bora--intelligence operatives had tracked him--and could have been caught. He was there."
Source: Chalabi responsible for forged WMD documents
As Antiwar.com readers found out on Wednesday, prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald’s investigation into the Plame leak case has broadened to include a probe into the catalyzing event that set off the "outing" of CIA agent Valerie Plame to begin with: the Niger uranium forgeries. These documents, which purported to show that the Iraqis were trying to procure uranium from the African nation of Niger, were utilized by the Bush administration in making the case for war – but, alas, they turned out to be crudely done fakes. The question of who forged them has always been at the heart of this case, and now it looks like Fitzgerald is getting close to the answer.
By Stewart Nusbaumer
Intervention Magazine, http://www.interventionmag.com
Inside Walter Reed Army Hospital is the horrible reality of the Iraq War, a reality that few Americans see, and fewer want to see.
Washington, DC - In the dining hall is a family of three. The mother's shirt says "Thank a Soldier," the father's hat says "Vietnam Veteran," and the son's T-shirt says "Seattle Sonics." A normal family, except the son has no legs.
The tough talking lions of the Bush Administration proclaimed "shock and awe" would destroy the Iraqi will to fight and then it would be a simple "cakewalk." So the cocky civilians unleashed the "mother" of all air assaults on Baghdad and then our strutting commander in chief - decked out in a fine flight suit - proclaimed, "Mission Accomplished."
Published on Saturday, October 22, 2005 by the Boston Globe
WMD reports, satellite photos called lacking
By Russell Contreras
MEDFORD, Massachusetts -- Bush administration officials misled themselves on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and ''then they misled the world," Hans Blix, the former United Nations chief weapons inspector said yesterday.
Speaking at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Blix criticized the administration's actions before invading Iraq in March 2003, but stopped short of saying it intentionally fooled the public on the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
By Pete Yost
WASHINGTON – Judith Miller's boss says the New York Times reporter appears to have misled the newspaper about her role in the CIA leak controversy.
In an e-mail memo Friday to the newspaper's staff, Executive Editor Bill Keller said that until Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald subpoenaed Miller in the criminal probe, "I didn't know that Judy had been one of the reporters on the receiving end" of leaks aimed at Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson.
"Judy seems to have misled" Times Washington bureau chief Bill Taubman about the extent of her involvement, Keller wrote.
Wherein we submit our entry in the "guess how many indictments" pool.
As always we feature the action link first, this one to call for the impeachment of George Bush
There is a storm of historic proportions headed for the United States, one that will make Hurricane Wilma (also en route) look like a small splash in the pond by comparison. It's been building and gathering strength in the increasingly hot waters of the Special Counsel's office for almost two years, and in a matter of days it may lay waste to the entire political infrastructure of Washington, D.C., from one end to the other.
By John Dickerson
The secretive Cheney aide at the heart of the CIA leak case.
Who is I. Lewis Libby? The not-Karl-Rove character at the center of the CIA leak investigation is so mysterious he hides his first name. Rove we know: He's Bush's political id-a self-taught master of political hardball, a brash Texan who has plotted the president's advance for 25 years.
The adviser universally known as "Scooter" represents the other side of the Bush administration: the secret undisclosed side. Like the vice president he works for, Libby prefers to work on policy in the shadows and leave the politics to others. Unlike Rove, or even fellow neocons Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, Libby rarely speaks on the record; he almost never gives public speeches. Unlike the Texas gang, he doesn't boast at being an anti-intellectual and is in fact proud of his intellectual credentials. "Lewis Libby is a graduate of Yale University and Columbia University School of Law," reads the blurb under his picture on the back flap of his book, a historical novel about Japan at the turn of the 19th century.
By Joel Bleifuss, In These Times
In the last few months all manner of gas has been expended on the Valerie Plame case.
Did Karl Rove and Scooter Libby out Plame as a CIA officer to punish her husband Joseph Wilson IV? Who else in the White House knew of or condoned this crime? And is there some kind of medal we can bestow on Judith Miller, who suffered prison to protect her First Amendment rights?
Yes it makes for good drama, but in a perverse way the Plame case obscures the larger story. The media understandably finds it more interesting to ferret out the specific crimes of a Karl Rove than to reflect on the larger, more profound crime: how we were misled into invading Iraq. First, the Bush administration created a catalogue of lies and misinformation in order to justify invasion. Second, some prominent members of the national media parroted those lies.
By JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press Writer
The New York Times' Judith Miller belatedly gave prosecutors her notes of a key meeting in the CIA leak probe only after being shown White House records of it, and her boss declared Friday she appeared to have misled the newspaper about her role.
In a dramatic e-mail, Executive Editor Bill Keller wrote Times' employees he wished he'd more carefully interviewed Miller and had "missed what should have been significant alarm bells" that she had been the recipient of leaked information about the CIA officer at the heart of the case.
"Judy seems to have misled (Times Washington bureau chief) Phil Taubman about the extent of her involvement," Keller wrote in what he described as a lessons-learned e-mail. "This alone should have been enough to make me probe deeper."
Friday, October 21st, 2005
Scott Ritter on the Untold Story of the Intelligence
Conspiracy to Undermine the UN and Overthrow Saddam
Listen to Segment http://tinyurl.com/apf3c
Download Show mp3 http://tinyurl.com/7wvha
Watch 128k stream http://tinyurl.com/aspt5
Watch 256k stream http://tinyurl.com/aspt5
Read Transcript http://tinyurl.com/aaz2p
Printer-friendly version http://tinyurl.com/bsk42
We speak with Scott Ritter, the chief United Nations
weapons inspector in Iraq between 1991 and 1998 about
Sobering statistics offer reminder of war's human cost
Knight Ridder Tribune
WASHINGTON - The U.S. military announced Friday the deaths of four Marines and one soldier, bringing the number of American servicemen and women who've died in Iraq since the war began two and a half years ago to 1,993.
Three of the Marines were killed Thursday by a roadside bomb west of Baghdad and the fourth died Wednesday in a car-bomb attack in Karbala. The soldier died of wounds sustained during a mortar attack Thursday on a base in Hit, northwest of the Iraqi capital.
With deaths coming at an average of more than two per day, it appears likely that the number of dead will reach 2,000 in a matter of days.
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Robin L. Flanigan, Staff writer
BRIGHTON — The Brighton school district is investigating whether it needs to train staffers on First Amendment rights after a Twelve Corners Middle School student was told to remove two buttons bashing President Bush.
As instructed by a teacher's aide Sept. 28, seventh-grader Rebecca Braiman-Dewey took off the souvenirs she had bought four days earlier at an anti-war rally in Washington, D.C.
The buttons read "Impeach Bush" and "Fire the Liar" — the latter showing President Bush's face with a Pinnochio-sized nose.
Written by Kevin Zeese
A Rotten Foundation is Hard to Build On
"It wouldn't surprise me if the election was rigged," said a U.S. Army officer in Mosul who requested anonymity from Time and who worked on security arrangements for the poll with Iraqi security and election officials. "I don't even trust our election process."
If democracy is supposed to provide legitimacy to government - what does a fraudulent election provide? The U.S. occupation, already suffering a host of problems - false reasons for the invasion, lack of international support, wanning support in the U.S., Abu Gharib prison scandals, the Fallujah attack, the killing of civilians, a strengthening insurgency, lack of support by former generals and foreign service officers, and generals on the ground saying the presence of U.S. troops are increasing the strength of the insurgency - now has a voting scandal on its hands.
San Francisco Chronicle
By Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey
The Iraq war has accentuated sharp ideological differences among our elected officials and among citizens. But there has been virtual unanimity on one point: A deep respect and gratitude for the young Americans who are risking life and limb both in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Earlier this month, I traveled to Iraq where I received extensive briefings from military commanders and toured our state-of-the-art facilities. But nothing was more informative than sitting down to meals with enlisted soldiers from California.
Many of these soldiers are on their second or third tour of duty. I talked to fathers who have babies back home they have never seen. There were mothers who deployed mere months after giving birth. To a person, they are thoughtful, intelligent and loyal -- to their country, their mission and each other. They were respectful, but also unafraid to ask me pointed questions. They understood that my vocal anti-war activism is in no way inconsistent with my support of them. These are genuine heroes, whose courage and resolve is greater than any accolades can possibly convey.
By Congressman Michael E. Capuano
I recently returned from Iraq. Although I have opposed our presence there, it is important that elected officials review conditions firsthand.
While in Iraq I met with people from every level of the U.S. military, the State Department, the United Nations, various U.S. nonprofit agencies and Iraqi officials. We had many conversations, including assessments of conditions leading to the Oct. 15 constitutional referendum. It is impossible to understate the importance of this event, although entirely possible to miss the most significant aspects.
"Not one more death, not one more dollar for war!"
WHAT: Public Candlelight Vigil & March
WHERE: Veterans Building (corner of McAllister & Fulton)
WHEN: 7:00 PM on the evening after the 2,000 soldier falls
Join all of San Francisco and concerned citizens in cities across the US in a
public candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of the 2,000th US soldier in Iraq.
Two thousand is too many, and we call upon the Bush Administration,
Representative Nancy Pelosi, and all our elected officials to pull our men and
women immediately out of this needless war.
On the evening after the 2,000th death, we will meet at 7:00 PM at the Veterans
By Larry Johnson
Tired of the drum beat of bad news surrounding TreasonGate and the outing of CIA officer Valerie Wilson. How about some good news from Iraq? Sorry, nothing to report. Before you remind me about the apparent success of the recent election, keep reading.
The delusional happiness reflected in Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice's remarks this week to Congress about the so-called progress in Iraq ignores hard facts that point to a debacle. The international media appears to be finally catching on that the Washington spin about the purple thumb as a sign of democratic progress is pure nonsense. It is true that more people in Iraq voted in this election than last January. What Rice and other folks out of touch with reality ignore is that the increased number of Sunnis who voted came out to defeat the constitution. Unfortunately, the fix was in. Vote fraud was rampant. U.S. TV crews caught one Shia on tape casting seven yes votes. That's sort of an old style American politics a la Chicago's Daley machine--you know, vote early, vote often. And, results are now, once again, being withheld to "investigate" the irregularities.
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Cindy Sheehan
I received this email the other day. I have removed the names:
Dear Ms. Sheehan ~ I wasn't sure how else to contact you, so am sending this thru the gsfp website. I just want to thank you for posting your essay entitled, 'A Peaceful Day' dated October 17th on the commondreams.org website, a site I visit every weekday.
My cousin, "brave soldier", 30, originally of Indiana, was one of the five U.S. soldiers killed on Saturday, October 15th -- Iraq's 'peaceful day.' He is survived by his wife, his two children, his parents, his sister, our grandma, his aunt, his two uncles and his two cousins. We are currently awaiting confirmation per dna identification.
Can the reporter--or the New York Times--be trusted?
The New York Times editorial page told readers over and over again that Times reporter Judith Miller went to jail for 85 days for a noble cause--the protection of confidential sources. But to many outside observers, the principles that Miller went to jail for were far from clear, with many fundamental questions left unanswered. Readers and media watchers were eager to hear Miller's side of the story, and to see the newspaper devote its considerable journalistic energy to investigating a crucial political story that its reporter was in the middle of: the efforts of Bush administration officials to punish a critic by leaking the covert identity of Valerie Plame Wilson to the media.
Community (LPAC) will join groups across the nation in marking the loss of 2,000 US soldiers in Iraq by displaying 2000 t-shirts strung on 100ft. lengths of clothesline. We will have our action on Friday, October 28, from 4:00-6:00 pm. We will gather at the corner of Lexington Rd. & Grinstead Ave. and spread out in groups holding the shirts along Grinstead from I-64 to Ray Avenue. We'll have signs to explain that each shirt represents one fallen soldier and peacekeepers will direct people to their location.
LPAC has organized many protests against the US invasion of Iraq--starting three years ago in October 2002. We are angry and frustrated that this war has gone on so long with such a huge loss of American and Iraqi lives. We believe it is important to commemorate this sad milestone and encourage you to contact your family & friends and ask them to join us. Please let us know if you can help at email@example.com
Be in Times Square the day after the 2000th soldier dies in Iraq!
As of today, 1992 soldiers have died in Iraq. Over 15,000 have been wounded. Tens of thousands Iraqis have died. How many more will die before Bush ends this senseless war?
Two thousand have died while a majority of people in our country believe the war is a mistake and our troops should come home. We must go to the military recruiting centers which promote war as the only alternative for our children and say: Not another death in this immoral war!
Join military families, veterans and United for Peace and Justice/NYC at the recruiting center in Times Square from 6:00-7:00 pm on the day after the 2000th death. Bring flowers to lay on the doorstep of the recruiting center in remembrance of those who have died. Bring your signs and banners.
Come As Your Favorite Crony!
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By Peter Wallsten and Tom Hamburger
The Los Angeles Times
Cheney's chief of staff reportedly sought an aggressive campaign against Wilson.
Washington - Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff was so angry about the public statements of former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, a Bush administration critic married to an undercover CIA officer, that he monitored all of Wilson's television appearances and urged the White House to mount an aggressive public campaign against him, former aides say.
Those efforts by the chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, began shortly after Wilson went public with his criticisms in 2003. But they continued into last year - well after the Justice Department began an investigation in September 2003, into whether administration officials had illegally disclosed the CIA operative's identity, say former White House aides.
By Joe Conason
The same pundits who are absurdly smearing Fitzgerald as a partisan zealot were notably silent during the Whitewater disgrace.
With the mounting anticipation that Bush administration officials will be indicted in the CIA leak investigation, we have arrived at the stage that was always inevitable: a wave of preemptive attacks on special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald and his expected prosecutions.
While the attackers have various motives, their arguments tend to share the same specious themes: that the special counsel has "run amok"; that he is pursuing the "criminalization of politics"; that no crimes were committed except possibly in covering up administration misbehavior, which supposedly are not crimes worth prosecuting; and that Fitzgerald is somehow comparable to Kenneth W. Starr, the Whitewater independent counsel whose gross abuse of his office led to its abolition.
By Pete Yost
The Associated Press
Even if White House aides leaked a covert CIA officer's identity, they were simply passing along information they'd already heard from the news media, the administration's supporters maintain in a defense that looks increasing shaky as new evidence accumulates.
Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald now knows that Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, met three times with a New York Times reporter before the leak of Valerie Plame's identity, that Libby initiated a call to NBC newsman Tim Russert and that Libby was a confirming source about the wife of Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson for a Time magazine reporter.
Stop the International Crimes Against Humanity
Speak Out at the White House Encampment to “Drive Out the Bush Regime