Investigator of CIA leak seen as relentless

Investigator of CIA leak seen as relentless
By Judy Keen, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — When defense attorney Ron Safer heard that Patrick Fitzgerald would lead an inquiry into the leak of a CIA operative's name, his first thought was that, from the Bush administration's perspective, "they could not have picked a worse person."

"He ... goes where the facts lead him": CIA leak investigator Patrick Fitzgerald.
By Charles Rex Arbogast, AP

Safer, a Chicago lawyer who has watched Fitzgerald since he was named U.S. attorney there in 2001, says the prosecutor "will bring to this the same energy and aggression that he does to every other project he undertakes."

Making the "Strong," "Tough," & "Macho" Case for Withdrawal

By David Sirota
Huffington Post

The mainstream media and political pundit/activist class has, for the last few years, been focused on the need for politicians to appear "strong," especially on national security. That word has been distorted by both political parties into a euphemism for "essentially ignoring the people who killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11, and instead supporting a war in Iraq - a country that had nothing to do with 9/11."

Despite all of this, we have seen a few courageous politicians step up and talk openly about how ridiculous this oxymoronic definition of "strength" really is. Back in 2004, Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL) opposed the Iraq War on the grounds that it was taking the military's focus off the more pressing problem of Iraq. Earlier this year, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) made the case for a target timetable for withdrawal, noting that it would be in America's national security interests to get out of an ever-worsening and mismanaged situation.

Iraq war now costing $6 billion a month

October 7, 2005
By Lolita C. Baldor Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration is spending about $7 billion a month to wage the war on terror, and costs could total $570 billion by the end of 2010, assuming troops are gradually brought home, a congressional report estimates.

The paper by the Congressional Research Service underscores how the price tag has been gradually rising for the war in Iraq. A year ago, the Pentagon was calculating its average monthly costs in that conflict at below $5 billion — an amount the research service says has now grown close to $6 billion.

Ex-Iraqi Officials Sought in $1B Theft

By Qassim Abdul-Zahra
The Associated Press

Iraq has issued arrest warrants against the defense minister and 27 other officials from the U.S.-backed government of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi over the alleged disappearance or misappropriation of $1 billion in military procurement funds, officials said Monday.

Those accused include four other ministers from Allawi's government, which was replaced by an elected Cabinet led by Shiite parties in April, said Ali al-Lami of Iraq's Integrity Commission. Many of the officials are believed to have left Iraq, including Hazem Shaalan, the former defense minister who moved to Jordan shortly after the new government was installed.

The Labyrinth of Iraq

Published on Monday, October 10, 2005 by the Boston Globe
By James Carroll

THE ANCIENT myth has it that a person entering the maze will never find the way out. As if that were not terrifying enough, inside the maze lives the beast whose special appetite is for the young. The maze is a cluster of tricks, paths to nowhere, the realm of dead ends. There is no escape. The young must fear being eaten alive, but an eternity of false exits threatens everyone.

The maze is a daunting metaphor, an image of psychological imprisonment. At night, the dream of the maze comes to every sleeper, involving movement through a string of corridors that lead only into other corridors. Humans can be afraid even in the absence of the thing that kills. Not getting out can be terrifying enough. Dreams in which the monster actually appears, with child's blood on its teeth, have a simpler function -- to awaken the knowledge that the future itself can be at risk.

Danish Prime Minister sued for breach of Constitution re war in Iraq

Tuesday 11 October 2005, at 2:00 pm, a group of
Danish citizens will deliver a document to the
Danish High Court (Østre Landsret,
Justitskontoret, Fredericiagade 26, Copenhagen)
instituting legal proceedings against Prime
Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen for breaches of
the Constitution in connection with Denmark's
participation in the war in Iraq. Denmark's
participation, under American command and without
a UN mandate, was based on the decision of 61
members of the parliament on 21 March 2003.

A Presidency On Life Support

A Presidency On Life Support
by John Kenneth White

The George W. Bush presidency is on life support. At first, these words seem harsh and overstated. For starters, Bush has more than a thousand days left in office. He can nominate Supreme Court justices and get them confirmed, as the 78 to 22 Senate vote for John Roberts so easily demonstrates. He also wields other important constitutional powers, including the veto which he can use to impose his will on a recalcitrant Congress. Finally, he retains considerable diplomatic and war powers at his disposal. But for the remainder of his presidency, George W. Bush will govern without the consent of the governed.

Who Isn't against Torture?

By Bob Herbert
The New York Times
Monday 10 October 2005

Some people get it. Some don't.

Senator John McCain, one of the strongest supporters of the war in Iraq, has sponsored a legislative amendment that would prohibit the "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of prisoners in the custody of the US military. Last week the Senate approved the amendment by the overwhelming vote of 90 to 9.

This was not a matter of Democrats vs. Republicans, or left against right. Joining Senator McCain in his push for clear and unequivocal language banning the abusive treatment of prisoners were Senator John Warner of Virginia, the Republican chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a former military lawyer who is also a Republican and an influential member of the committee. Both are hawks on the war.

The Faith-Based President Defrocked

NY Times Op/Ed
October 9, 2005
The Faith-Based President Defrocked
TO understand why the right is rebelling against Harriet Miers, don't waste time boning up on her glory days with the Texas Lottery Commission. The real story in this dust-up is not the Supreme Court candidate, but the man who picked her. The Miers nomination, whatever its fate, will be remembered as the flashpoint when the faith-based Bush base finally started to lose faith in our propaganda president and join the apostate American majority.

Though James Dobson, America's foremost analyst of the gay subtext of SpongeBob SquarePants, was easily rolled by Karl Rove and dragged back into the Miers camp, he's an exception. The pervasive mood on the right was articulated by Cathie Adams, president of the Texas branch of Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum. She told The Washington Post: "President Bush is asking us to have faith in things unseen. We only have that kind of faith in God."

Family feels misled by recruiter: Kingston student to be sent to Iraq

Family feels misled by recruiter
Kingston student to be sent to Iraq
By Jenna Russell, Globe Staff | October 10, 2005

KINGSTON -- Brian Shepard thought he had the perfect plan: a special program, offered by a Marine Corps recruiter last spring, that would let him finish four years of college before he faced active duty.
Instead, the 18-year-old was notified last week -- less than one month into his freshman year at New Hampshire Technical Institute -- that his Marine Reserve unit will be sent to Iraq early next year, a development that Shepard said his recruiter never told him was possible.

Mambo Italiano and Plame Gate

By Larry C Johnson

With friends like the Italians who needs enemies? If Karl Rove and Scooter Libby are indicted they can shift some of the blame to the Italians. If it were not for Italy, Joe Wilson probably never would have been sent to Africa to investigate the claim that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Niger and the ensuing chain of events to smear Wilson would not have happened. A careful review of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Report on the Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq (July 2004) shows very clearly that there was only one source claiming that Iraq was buying the uranium. Shades of Curveball! Except in this case the source was not an Iraqi linked to Ahmed Chalabi, but a foreign liaison service. Knowledgeable friends say it was the Italian Intelligence Service (SISME).


Fourth Time Is a Charm

It all started three years ago today. On October 7, 2002, President Bush gave a speech in Cincinnati "in which he made the case for war." According to Condoleezza Rice, "a line had been there about the uranium issue and Saddam Hussein seeking uranium in Africa. And Director Tenet had called Steve Hadley and he told him... I don't think you should put that in the president's speech." The reference was removed from his speech that day, but famously reappeared in a 16-word sentence three months later during the President's State of the Union address. (Bush: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.") On July 6, 2003, former ambassador Joe Wilson wrote a column indicating that the Bush administration knew the claim was bogus in advance of the speech. The following day, the administration was forced to publicly acknowledge the President was wrong. The incident set into motion an aggressive effort at the White House to "slime" Wilson that culminated in a Robert Novak column which outed his wife, undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame. A criminal investigation followed involving numerous administration officials, and it is expected to conclude this month. Yesterday, we learned that Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove -- who is "now genuinely concerned he could face [criminal] charges" -- is scheduled to make his fourth appearance before the grand jury to answer questions about his involvement in the smear campaign.

Karl's Repeat Performance

Karl's Repeat Performance

October 7, 2005

Three years ago today, President Bush gave a speech in Cincinnati "in which he made the case for war." At the behest of CIA Director George Tenet, then-Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley removed any reference to Iraq’s alleged attempt to purchase uranium from Africa from the president’s speech. Tenet made the request in a phone call to Hadley, and in a follow-up memo in which it was noted that the CIA had informed the British government that it differed with them on the Niger uranium intelligence.

The same British intelligence the CIA told the White House was flawed famously reappeared in a 16 word sentence three months later during the president's State of the Union address. On July 6, 2003, former Ambassador Joe Wilson wrote a column indicating that the Bush administration knew the claim was bogus in advance of the speech. The following day, the administration was forced to publicly acknowledge the president was wrong.

American Democracy in Trouble

Published on Thursday, October 6, 2005 by
American Democracy in Trouble

It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse

Keynote Speech by Al Gore
We Media Conference in New York, NY
October 5, 2005

I came here today because I believe that American democracy is in grave danger. It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse. I know that I am not the only one who feels that something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America's fabled "marketplace of ideas" now functions.

September 24, 2005 Peacemakers in Ann Arbor

Photo Credit:Joel Panozzo


"MillerGate" At The New York Times

by David Wyles

"The First Amendment exists so that the press can be a check on government abuse of power, not a handmaiden to it."
--FAIR press release, 8/19/04

"Journalists should not have to face the prospect of imprisonment for doing nothing more than aggressively seeking to report on the government's actions."
--Arthur Sulzberger Jr., publisher of the New York Times, 8/13/04

An Open Letter to Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. and the Editors and Staff of The New York Times --

Dear Mr. Sulzberger and Editors, Mr. Keller, Ms. Abramson, and Ms. Collins,

Terror Threats: MSNBC's Countdown Counts Thirteen Coincidences

As noted below, the mainstream media as a whole has not acted sufficiently skeptical about the timing of the latest terror alert. But on last night's Countdown, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann did his part to question the NYC subway threat. "Keith said that his staff found 13 circumstances when a brand new terror alert "just happened" to come at a time when there was trouble in the administration," an e-mailer says. Here's the transcript, with Craig Crawford as guest:

OLBERMANN: Well...I'm going to raise this question as skeptically and bluntly as I can. It's not a question that doubts the existence of terror, nor the threat of terrorism. But we've cobbled together in the last couple of hours a list of at least 13 occasions that -- on which -- whenever there has been news that significantly impacted the White House negatively, there has been some sudden credible terror threat somewhere in this country. How could the coincidence be so consistent?

No Lie Left Untried: Recruiting in the Schools

By Dave Lindorff

When it comes to a reputation for selling snake oil, surely the army recruiter has long been right down there in the muck with the used car salesman and the patent medicine huckster. It's common knowledge that the promises made by recruiters about postings and future positions and training are worthless, and that once someone signs on as a recruit, her or his fate is at the whim of the military. That said, recruiters these days, desperate to fill the pipeline to Iraq's slaughterhouse with new bodies, are resorting to an interesting new spiel this days.

A U.S. Senator Starts Talking Some Sense -- THANK HIM

Why the US Must Leave Iraq
By Michael Scherer

Monday 10 October 2005

Sen. Russ Feingold says it's time to admit the war was a disaster - and accuses his fellow Democrats of going along with Bush out of fear.

Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., speaks at the State Employees Association of New Hampshire on Sept. 30, 2005.
(Photo: Lee Marriner / AP Photo)

Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold has latched his political future to the third rail of American foreign policy. This summer, he proposed a date for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq: Dec. 31, 2006. The date raises a specter that no one in Washington - and especially no Democrat - has been willing to broach: that the American people should begin to prepare for a political failure in Iraq, at least a failure by President Bush's standard of establishing, before the troops leave, a fully functional, democratic Iraqi state.

Picking away at the Plame Affair

Picking away at the Plame Affair

Kudos are due to The Next Hurrah's emptywheel for her superb posts about the Plame grand jury and where and what Fitzgerald might be looking into next. Her post Sunday was extremely well-written and suspenseful, and invoked for me those troubling days after Bush had started his war because many of us knew that he had lied about the WMD, and felt that it was possible that the administration would plant WMD in Iraq if they could. Certainly within weeks of the invasion of Iraq, Rumsfeld worried publically that some might accuse the Americans of planting WMD in Iraq. Yet, even more frightening was the idea that they would use their "success" to create more excuses for invading other countries preemptively.

Remove All Torturers from Power

By Scott Galindez
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Monday 10 October 2005

The Bush administration and those who support the Iraq war frequently justify it by saying that Saddam Hussein tortured his people. They say that Iraq is better off without him. I agree that Saddam needed to go, but with the reports from Abu Graib and other US run prisons it is clear that the Iraqi people are still being tortured.

Last week the Senate voted 90-9 on an amendment requiring humane treatment of detainees in US custody. The nine Senators who voted against this amendment need their power stripped as well. They are Senators Allard (CO), Bond (MO), Coburn (OK), Cochran (MS), Cornyn (TX), Inhofe (OK), Roberts (KS), Sessions (AL), and Stevens (AK).


United for Peace and Justice-NYC and the International Solidarity Movement-NYC present:


Sunday October 16th, 7:15 PM:

Catholic Center, 58 Washington Square Park South, Manhattan

Ayed Morrar and Jonathan Pollak are friends and among the major figures in the Palestinian-led, Israeli-supported nonviolent struggle against Israel’s military occupation. Largely unreported by the media, thousands of Palestinians and hundreds of Israelis are waging a major grassroots nonviolent campaign of resistance to the construction of Israel’s Wall. Palestinian farmers, workers, mothers, and students, together with Israeli and international volunteers, are braving teargas, beatings, bullets, arrest, and even death to block the construction of the Wall with their bodies. Ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004, the Wall appropriates Palestinian land and destroys villages for more Israeli settlements.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Lies

Here's a nice analysis of right-wing blogger lies about crowd size at the march on September 24.

Get the Video!

Take Back The Media and their Hollywood Award winning director/producer Symbolman is proud to present the Definitive Chronology of the Rove/Plamegate outing in DVD format, "Roves War."

After more than a year of research, filtering through hundreds of hours of footage and blogs, the "Rove's War" double DVD set weighs in at 150+ minutes of Red Meat for those that want to know exactly where, when, what and who pulled treasonous crimes - as we shred media propaganda and rumors, and expose the Truth.

Showcasing the Downing Street Minutes hearing and Joe Wilson's testimony, "Rove's War" weaves the tale of how Valerie Plame's outing can be traced to Saudi ties with the Bush Family and Administration, exposes breathtaking corruption in both the CIA, Pentagon and State Department leading to a War based on intentionally faulty, cherry picked intelligence by rogue elements in the Bush corner. The story includes how the White House Iraq Group or "WHIG" conspired while supplying lies, dodges, and obfuscations, with the goal of filling Halliburton's coffers while destroying the section of the CIA that was in search of actual weapons of mass destruction, who was spying on the Saudis.

The Government's War on Soldiers

HOME FRONT: The Government's War on Soldiers
By Rick Anderson
Foreword by Francis A. Boyle


Inspired by the untold story of Sgt. Joe Hooper, Vietnam's most decorated solider and a home-front causality, Home Front chronicles how--in the midst of his war--George Bush has cut benefits of both veterans and frontline troops.

It reveals how the Pentagon has ordered soldiers to take experimental medicines that sometimes prove fatal, how defense contractors sometimes knowingly delivery faulty weapons to troops, and how the true casualty measure of war is the body count--the medical failures, psychological toll and the uninvestigated suicides--that occurs on the home front. Only 148 soldiers were killed in the 1991 Gulf War, but 11,000 have died since. New figures show that one third of the 696,000 Gulf I troops have sought war-related medical treatment. A similar pattern is emerging today in Gulf II.

Thousands protest Iraq war in silence

Steven Barrie-Anthony, Los Angeles Times
Sunday, October 9, 2005

Los Angeles -- Thousands of people gathered in MacArthur Park on Saturday morning to advocate for peace -- but left banners and megaphones at home.

Activist mom Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, whose summer vigil outside President Bush's Texas ranch crystallized antiwar sentiment, sat in silence with the others as Buddhist monk and longtime peace advocate Thich Nhat Hanh explained from an open stage: "We don't think shouting in anger can help. If you make people angry and fearful, then you cannot reduce violence and fear.

"When you speak to people, you should speak to them in a language they can understand. By doing that, we can turn our enemies into our friends."

Washington Democrats: No Will, No Backbone
By Joshua Frank

These are tremulous times for the Republican establishment. A poll released this past weekend by Ipsos/Associated Press confirms that Bush's agenda has slid right off the table and into the trash bin. The president's popularity has plummeted to a meager 39 percent, the lowest of his tenure. At the center of Bush's nose dive is the Iraq catastrophe: almost two-thirds of those polled disapproved of Bush's handling of the invasion and subsequent occupation. The people's voices have indeed been heard. They want light, not more tunnel and lies.

So you'd think Democrats, the alleged opposition party in Washington, would be elated over the latest findings, quickly devising a scheme to capitalize on Bush's overwhelming disapproval ratings. Well, they are devising a scheme, all right, but it's not one that will bring the troops home or provide any mortar for Bush's cracked foreign policy.

Rove failed to tell grand jury information

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- A discrepancy between the grand jury testimony of Karl Rove and Time Magazine reporter Matthew Cooper is the reason Rove will testify again.

Newsweek reports investigators have found an e-mail confirming a meeting between Cooper and Rove, President Bush's top political adviser.

Rove failed to disclose the meeting both during a 2003 FBI interview and during his first appearance before a federal grand jury investigating the leak to the press of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Rove will testify before the grand jury for a fourth time this week.

Cooper told the grand jury Rove disclosed the name of Plame and that she was the wife of former ambassador Joe Wilson -- who had recently written an op-ed in the New York Times challenging the White House claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger to make nuclear weapons.

Hawai'i resident jailed in protest

By Karen Blakeman
Honolulu Advertiser

Retired Army officer and former career diplomat Ann Wright recently added a new experience to her varied background.

The Honolulu resident was arrested Sept. 26 in front of the White House while protesting with Cindy Sheehan, the Gold Star mom who has become a rallying point for the anti-war movement.

"It was my first time in the clink," Wright said.

Wright was held for eight hours and released from the Anacostia Processing Center at 4 a.m. She was ticketed for $50 and charged $25 in processing fees.

Among her observations: Flexicuffs, those plastic replacements for traditional handcuffs, "hurt like hell."

Senator Levin Loses Mind, Says We Should Threaten Iraqis We'll Make Plans to Leave Someday

Levin, convinced that Iraqis WANT a U.S. occupation, writes "The administration should tell Iraqis that if they do not reach a political settlement by year's end, we will consider a timetable for our withdrawal." A "settlement" seems unlikely, but this would probably guarantee not reaching it.


Using Our Leverage: The Troops
By Carl Levin
Washington Post
Monday, October 10, 2005; Page A19

As the Iraqi people prepare to vote on a new constitution Saturday, the political situation in that country is highly unstable. There are troubling signs of a split in the political alliance of Kurds and Shiites that has thus far kept Iraq from complete chaos. Sunni Arab leaders, meanwhile, openly call for the constitution to be defeated. And Iraqis from all ethnic groups have lost faith in the transitional government's ability to protect them or provide basic services.


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