Losing the War Against Terror

Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member, House Judiciary Committee

Nearly four years ago, in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 tragedy, many of us warned that we should not let our anger over an attack against our nation be used as an excuse to undermine our fundamental liberties. Unfortunately, today, as the USA PATRIOT Act comes up for renewal, it seems increasingly clear that we have failed in the task of balancing our nation's need for security and our citizen's freedoms.

While the PATRIOT Act may not deserve all or even most of the ridicule that is heaped against it, there is little doubt that the legislation has been repeatedly and seriously misused by the Justice Department. Consider the following

Video of Rev. James Lawson at Los Angeles Rally

Downing Street Memo Teach-In
Part V | Reverend James Lawson: Slaying the Monster -- 07.28.05
http://www.truthout.org/multimedia.htm

A war by any other name

Los Angeles Times
By Juliette Kayyem

It was President Bush himself who insisted on calling it a global war on terror. He wanted to indicate that this was not just another piddling law enforcement action, but an all-out, full-scale military response to Sept. 11 that would involve U.S. troops around the globe.

"A war between good and evil," he called it. A war "to save the world."

But now, apparently, a decision has been made that the language of war isn't working for him anymore. So in recent days, the "global war on terror" — which had been conveniently shortened to GWOT in bureaucrat-speak — has been shelved in favor of the "global struggle against violent extremism."

War on Terror Remake?

This column was written by CBS News Early Show Co-Anchor Harry Smith.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't know if you noticed, but the "War On Terror" is over. That ubiquitous catchall phrase that the administration so liberally used to help draw support for the War In Iraq has been deemed unfit for public consumption. From now on, it is "The Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism."

You think I'm making this up?

Well Donald Rumsfeld seems to have dropped the War On Terror in favor of the clunkier "Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism," and Monday at the National Press Club, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers said he objected to the old phrase. Said Myers, "Because if you call it a war, then you think of people in uniform being the solution."

Indict Rove / Impeach Bush

Democrats.com
Bob Fertik's blog

Democrats.com member Richard Mathews suggested this action:

It would be a huge success for us if we got MoveOn to endorse impeachment. That would get the impeachment message to millions of people and send a strong message that the group founded to fight impeachment sees that this is a case that truly deserves it.

Now through August 2, MoveOn is asking for input on slogans to get rid of Rove. Currently, the number 8 suggestion is "Indict Rove / Impeach Bush". That represents over a thousand MoveOn members who have voted for impeachment. If we can move that up a few notches in the rankings, it will help convince MoveOn that impeachment is the right answer.

Soldier Who Refused Iraq Duty Faces Charge

Associated Press
By Russ Bynum

FORT STEWART, Georgia -- Sgt. Kevin Benderman turned his back on war, but he insists he never deserted the Army whose uniform he continues to wear six months after refusing to deploy to Iraq for a second tour.

Benderman served in Iraq during the 2003 invasion, but says he decided he could no longer be a part of the destruction he witnessed, even if that meant choosing his conscience over his commitment to his fellow troops

He faces a general court-martial Thursday on charges of desertion.

"I went to war. I never ran from it," Benderman said Wednesday. "I experienced it and I realized it's not what I should be doing. In my opinion, it's not what anybody should be doing in the modern world."

Oil and Blood

New York Times
By Bob Herbert

It is now generally understood that the U.S.-led war in Iraq has become a debacle. Nevertheless, Iraqis are supposed to have their constitution ratified and a permanent government elected by the end of the year. It's a logical escape hatch for George W. Bush. He could declare victory, as a senator once suggested to Lyndon Johnson in the early years of Vietnam, and bring the troops home as quickly as possible.

His mantra would be: There's a government in place. We won. We're out of there.

But don't count on it. The Bush administration has no plans to bring the troops home from this misguided war, which has taken a fearful toll in lives and injuries while at the same time weakening the military, damaging the international reputation of the United States, serving as a world-class recruiting tool for terrorist groups and blowing a hole the size of Baghdad in Washington's budget.

Gold Star Mother Has it Right on Iraq

Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Bby Robert Sargent

When Cindy Sheehan talks one listens carefully as I did in Blue Hill recently. This co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace has been there. She's got "skin in the game," a term Cindy has learned which refers to all who are directly affected by any situation. In Cindy's case, it describes those whose family members have died or been wounded in the war in Iraq or are in harm's way there. Cindy's son Casey was killed in an ambush in Iraq five days after arriving there on assignment with the Army's First Cavalry Division.

Cindy's message is simple. She calls for immediate and unconditional withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. For Cindy, every passing day harbors risk for American sons and daughters in Iraq and for the Iraqi people. She is frustrated and, yes, angry that U.S. policy decisions on the war are being made by people who have no "skin in the game."

Interview With Rep. Barbara Lee

A Bill That Would Prohibit Permanent US Iraq Bases
Thursday, 28 July 2005, 1:14 pm
Article: Between The Lines

Between the Lines Q&A
A weekly column featuring progressive viewpoints
on national and international issues
under-reported in mainstream media
for release July 27, 2005
http://www.btlonline.org/btl072905.html

U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee Introduces Bill That Would Prohibit Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq

- Interview with Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., conducted by Melinda Tuhus

Listen in RealAudio:
http://www.btlonline.org/btl072905.ram

(Needs RealOne player or RealPlayer)

Judy Miller: Do We Want To Know Everything or Don't We?

By Arianna Huffington

Not everyone in the Times building is on the same page when it comes to Judy Miller. The official story the paper is sticking to is that Miller is a heroic martyr, sacrificing her freedom in the name of journalistic integrity.

But a very different scenario is being floated in the halls. Here it is: It's July 6, 2003, and Joe Wilson's now famous op-ed piece appears in the Times, raising the idea that the Bush administration has "manipulate[d]" and "twisted" intelligence "to exaggerate the Iraqi threat." Miller, who has been pushing this manipulated, twisted, and exaggerated intel in the Times for months, goes ballistic. Someone is using the pages of her own paper to call into question the justification for the war -- and, indirectly, much of her reporting. The idea that intelligence was being fixed goes to the heart of Miller's credibility. So she calls her friends in the intelligence community and asks, Who is this guy? She finds out he's married to a CIA agent. She then passes on the info about Mrs. Wilson to Scooter Libby (Newsday has identified a meeting Miller had on July 8 in Washington with an "unnamed government official"). Maybe Miller tells Rove too -- or Libby does. The White House hatchet men turn around and tell Novak and Cooper. The story gets out.

Naples Daily News Bans Local Citizen from Writing to Paper

Open Letter to All Anti-War Supports:

Another example of how the media is being controlled!

I have been banned from my local news paper, The Naples Daily News, from writing any more letters to the editor.

To date, I have had four, very successful and powerful anti-war and anti-Bush letters published. Yesterday, the editor of the paper banned me from any more letters.

His entirely feeble excuse was that I used excerpts from a web blog within my letter, to further my own thoughts and ideas and therefore failed to credit the author.

The failed component in his flawed reasoning is that I had FULL permission to use the quotes without credit or copyright violation. In short, it was public domain information from a "talking points" memo that may be freely used by anyone!

Mother seeking support cursed at for questioning war

It's "Old News" and thus not news worthy to point out that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9-11, yet when military families point that out, the results can be pretty ugly:

One mother's war: Mother seeking support cursed at for questioning war; Son escaped suicide bomb
By John Byrne
RAW STORY
LINK

New Song from USTHEBAND.com

http://www.ustheband.com

to the tune of "On Broadway"

THEY KEEP THEIR MEMOS LOCKED UP TIGHT ON DOWNING
THEY PAY THE NEWS TO KEEP THEM OFF THE AIR
SO WHEN THE SCANDAL HIT THE STREET
AND I FOUND OUT THE TRUTH HAD LEAKED
I HOPED SOMEHOW THAT EVERYONE WOULD CARE (ON DOWNING)

THEY SAY THEY MADE THEIR CASE WITH LIES ON DOWNING
THE FACTS WERE FIXED AROUND THE POLICY
SO DO YOU THINK WE'D GO TO WAR
IF WE HAD KNOWN ALL THIS BEFORE
A HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS ISN'T FREE (ON DOWNING)

THEY SAY THIS NEWS WON'T LAST TOO LONG ON DOWNING
THEY'LL SPIN IT OFF AND MAKE IT GO AWAY
BUT THEY'RE DEAD WRONG I KNOW THEY ARE

Secret Document from CENTRAL JERSEY COALITION AGAINST ENDLESS WAR

10 Drowsing Street
London, UK, SW1A, 2AA

SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL - US EYES ONLY

From: CENTRAL JERSEY COALITION AGAINST ENDLESS WAR

Date: 25 July 2002

ANTIWAR GROUP TO ASSIST PRESS IN REPORTING CONTENTS OF THE DOWNING STREET MEMORANDA by staging a repeat-performance of the Downing Street minutes in the parking lot at the offices of The Home News Tribune (35 Kennedy Blvd, East Brunswick, NJ) on Thursday, July 28, 2005, at 6:30 pm.

Members of the group held its original dramatic reading in Highland Park last Saturday, July 23rd as part of the National Day of Action spearheaded by Congressman John Conyers. The purpose of this event

Condoleezza Rice at the Center of the Plame Scandal

Condoleezza Rice at the Center of the Plame Scandal
The Source Beyond Rove
By ROGER MORRIS
Former NSC staffer

"We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

It was September 2002, and then-National Security Advisor, now-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was fastening on CNN perhaps the most memorable and frightening single link in the Bush regime's chain of lies propagandizing the war on Iraq. Behind her carefully planted one-liner with its grim imagery was the whole larger hoax about Saddam Hussein possessing or about to acquire weapons of mass destruction, a deception as blatant and inflammatory as claims of the Iraqi dictator's ties to Al Qaeda.

Senate probe of prewar intelligence stalls

By Rick Klein, Boston Globe Staff

WASHINGTON -- For eight months, the Senate Intelligence Committee has made little effort to pursue its long-promised probe into whether the Bush administration intentionally misconstrued intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war -- an investigation that would have delved into whether White House aides tried to put pressure on CIA analysts.

The revelation that Karl Rove, a White House political adviser, leaked information about a CIA operative to discredit her husband's complaints about President Bush's use of intelligence has focused new attention on the relationship between the White House and CIA. But the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has shown no signs of moving ahead with its investigation.

Editorial: CIA & Iraq/An effort to shift the blame

Minneapolis Star Tribune

In addition to potentially indicting one or more people in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame in the literal sense, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald could very well figuratively indict the Bush administration's case for going to war in Iraq, plus its cynical behavior when that case began to unravel. He could also expose just how badly columnist Robert Novak behaved in all this.

The Washington Post's Walter Pincus is the gold standard in trustworthy, hard-nosed reporting these days, and he, with Jim VandeHei, put together a powerful report for Wednesday's Post that illuminates several aspects of the Plame affair.

Thompson, dems seeks information around Downing Street memo

Eureka Times-Standard
By James Faulk

North Coast Congressman Mike Thompson is among a group of congressional representatives demanding answers on whether the Bush administration manipulated intelligence to make a war with Iraq seem inevitable.

Thompson, a Democrat from St. Helena, signed a letter dated June 30 that was sent to the heads of four congressional committees.

"We are writing to request that your committees hold hearings to investigate reports of a pre-war deal between the United Kingdom and the United States and evidence that pre-war intelligence was intentionally manipulated," the letter reads. "On May 1, 2005, the Sunday London Times published a leaked document with the minutes of a secret meeting from highly placed sources inside the British government."

Getting Americans To Spend Minutes On The Minutes

By Mark Drolette

I was heartened by the reaction a group of about fifty of us received the other day when, prior to attending a Downing Street Minutes (DSM) House Party, we all stood at a busy Sacramento intersection for an hour or so displaying signs and banners emblazoned with messages about the leaked highly classified British government papers that prove the Bushies cooked the Iraq war books. Honks of support a-sounded, and I personally had only one official bird sighting. It was encouraging, but there’s obviously a very long way to go before the millions of Americans who are still unaware of the documents finally learn of their existence.

A White House Bent On Misleading Public Over Iraq

SCOOP
Thursday, 28 July 2005, 2:46 pm
Article: Between The Lines

Between the Lines Q&A
A weekly column featuring progressive viewpoints
on national and international issues
under-reported in mainstream media
for release July 26, 2005
http://www.btlonline.org/btl072905.html

The Downing Street Memos and Valerie Plame-Karl Rove Scandal Reveal a White House Bent on Misleading Public on Rationale for Iraq War

- Interview with John Bonifaz, constitutional attorney, conducted by Scott Harris

Listen in RealAudio:
http://www.btlonline.org/btl072905.ram

(Needs RealOne player or RealPlayer)

Video of Maxine Waters' July 23rd Event in Los Angeles - Part IV

Downing Street Memo Teach-In
Part IV | Fernando Suarez del Solar: Bush Lied and Who Died? -- 07.27.05
http://www.truthout.org/multimedia.htm

Tomgram: Schell and Engelhardt Making Sense of the Plame Affair

The Media's Roving Eye
By Tom Engelhardt
LINK TO ORIGINAL

Oh what a tangled web we weave
When we first practice to deceive…

I've written regularly about the media's inability to connect the dots. The other day a reporter out in the far-flung reaches of our imperium wrote in to Tomdispatch pointing to a front-paged dot that no one -- myself included -- had bothered to pay much attention to or connect to anything at all. In the July 21st Washington Post, Walter Pincus and Jim VandeHei wrote a piece, Plame's Identity Marked as Secret, describing a memo from the State Department's intelligence experts that Secretary of State Colin Powell had with him on a 5-day trip to Africa he took with the President and his aides that began on July 7, 2003. This was only a day after former Ambassador Joseph Wilson published What I Didn't Find in Africa on the op-ed page of the New York Times, exposing the Bush administration's Niger uranium lie. ("Based on my experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war, I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat."); only four days before Time magazine's Matt Cooper had that conversation "on double super secret background" with Karl Rove and was told that "wilson's wife… apparently works at the agency on wmd"; only five days before CIA Director George Tenet took a provisional fall for the administration for letting those "16 words" that started the whole thing on Saddam's supposed search for African uranium for his supposed atomic program into the 2003 State of the Union Address the previous January; only seven days before Robert Novak wrote his now infamous Mission to Niger column outing Joe Wilson's wife as a CIA agent. ("Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report.")

Audio and Video from Rep. McDermott Event in Seattle

Here are some links to audio and video from the Seattle DSM event.

McDermott audio mp3

McDermott video – Windows Media Format

Broadband

Dial-up

Representative from Rep. Inslee's Office - Windows Media Format

Broadband

Dial-up

Congresswoman Maxine Waters Addresses Crowd over 1200 at Downing Street Town Hall

Press Release from Congresswoman Waters

Inglewood, CA – Supported by veterans, activists and concerned citizens, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) addressed an overflowing audience as the featured speaker at the Downing Street Town Hall coordinated by the Out of Iraq Coalition—Los Angeles last Saturday, July 23rd. The four hour event, one of over 300 national events organized by Rep. John Conyers and AfterDowningStreet.org, was held at the Convenant Worship Center in Inglewood on the third anniversary of the Downing Street Memo. The phrase ‘Downing Street Memo’ refers to the minutes taken at a meeting between Prime Minister Tony Blair and his senior aides where the Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service said that he felt that war was inevitable, and that President Bush was ‘fixing’ the intelligence to fit his decision to go to war.

Video of Maxine Waters' July 23rd Event in Los Angeles - Part III

TruthOut.org
Downing Street Memo Teach-In
Part III | Tim Goodrich: 'The Air War Began
before Bush Went to Congress' -- 07.26.05
http://www.truthout.org/multimedia.htm

Prosecutor In CIA Leak Case Casting A Wide Net

White House Effort To Discredit Critic Examined in Detail
By Walter Pincus and Jim VandeHei
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, July 27, 2005; A01

The special prosecutor in the CIA leak probe has interviewed a wider range of administration officials than was previously known, part of an effort to determine whether anyone broke laws during a White House effort two years ago to discredit allegations that President Bush used faulty intelligence to justify the Iraq war, according to several officials familiar with the case.

Prosecutors have questioned former CIA director George J. Tenet and deputy director John E. McLaughlin, former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow, State Department officials, and even a stranger who approached columnist Robert D. Novak on the street.

Memo Demo

Metro Times
Detroit's Alternative Weekly

What’s that? You say you didn’t hear about the 300 or so people who packed an auditorium to overflowing at Wayne State University last week to participate in a town hall meeting marking the creation three years ago of what has come to be known as the Downing Street memo?

What’s that? You say you didn’t hear that the Detroit forum was one of five being held around the country by congressional Democrats wanting a definitive answer to the question: Did George Bush use a quarry-full of lies to pave this country’s path to war in Iraq?

Iraq War is not just 'over there'

Fauquier Times Democrat (Virginia)
By Huel Meadows, Warrenton

It would be easy to overlook ugly world events as something happening "over there," living as we do in beautiful Fauquier County. As responsible citizens we have been blessed with liberty, freedom and abundance that must not be taken for granted.

The world came closer to Fauquier County last week when the Democrat published "We can define a path toward truth," Linda Swanson's op-ed piece on the Downing Street Minutes.

This was a report of a secret meeting held on July 23, 2002, at Number 10 Downing Street, London, the Prime Minister's residence, at which President Bush's plans to invade Iraq and to "fix" the intelligence and facts around this policy were reported to high-level British officials.

Third Anniversary of the Downing Street Minutes

Huffington Post
By Steve Cobble

The 3rd-year-anniversay town halls, house parties, and dramatic readings of the Downing Street Minutes on Saturday were a smashing success. From coast to coast, we had enthusiastic, overflow crowds, passionate and intelligent speakers, and committed Congresspeople. The sense that the Downing Street Minutes have struck a nerve was palpable. This story is far from over.

The public gets it. The people of this country know that a secret set of minutes from the highest levels of Bush's strongest ally in the war on Iraq is stating the truth.

AFL-CIO CONVENTION CALLS FOR TROOP WITHDRAWAL FROM IRAQ

By David Bacon

CHICAGO, IL (7/26/05) - On the second day of its convention in Chicago, the AFL-CIO took an historic step, calling for the rapid withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, and an end to the country's occupation. Public attention has focused largely on the split in US labor, and the decision by two of the federation's largest unions to leave. Yet the impact of this call will reverberate for years, with as profound effect on the future of US workers and their unions. Brooks Sunkett, vice-president of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), started a train of passionate speeches on the convention floor, saying that the government had lied to him when it sent him to war in Vietnam three decades ago. "We have to stop it from lying to a new generation now," he implored. Henry Nicholas, a hospital union leader in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, told delegates that his son, who has served four tours of duty in Iraq, is now threatened with yet another.

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