Searching for that elusive moment of accountability

by Rep Brad Miller [Subscribe]
Fri Sep 2nd, 2005 at 14:22:08 PDT
The Bush crowd says now is not the time for finger pointing. How distasteful it would be for partisanship to intrude in this tragic time.

What pious, hypocritical crap.

I really don't just take press releases and post them here as diaries. I won't do this again (well, not often) but this topic has been much discussed here during in last few days.

Here's what I said on the floor an hour ago:

"I know that today's session was a formality, that there would be no votes other than a voice vote, but I thought it was important to be here to show my support for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in whatever way I could, however modest.

US can handle Iraq, Katrina: Bush

(Editor's note: Some lawmakers have asked for the National Guard to be pulled out of Iraq and return back to the States where they're needed at home. Are we stretched to thin? Are there enough members in Congress to support bringing the troops home to help recover from this tragedy? What do you think?)

US can handle Iraq, Katrina: Bush
From correspondents in Biloxi
September 03, 2005

US President George W. Bush has rejected calls to pull resources from the war in Iraq to handle Hurricane Katrina, saying: "We've got plenty of resources to do both."

"The people (have) just got to know, we've got what it takes to do more than one thing. And we'll secure our country from the terrorists and we'll help rebuild this part of the world," he said after touring this devastated town.

Some US lawmakers have asked that Washington call home members of the National Guard whose homes were devastated by the storm, others worry about the multi-billion-dollar pricetag of funding both ventures.

Bipartisan investigation into Katrina failures

Bipartisan investigation into Katrina failures
by kos
Fri Sep 2nd, 2005 at 16:29:16 PDT
This might be a good thing, if done right.

Two key U.S. senators said on Friday they will open a bipartisan investigation into what they described as an "immense failure" of the government response to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican who heads the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, the panel's top Democrat, said they plan to begin an oversight investigation next week when the full Senate returns from a summer recess.

No whitewashes. Find out who fucked up. Republicans, Democrats, I don't care. Anyone who screwed up should be tarred and feathered.

(Funny thing is, given the two names on this effort, I trust Collins to get at the truth more than I trust Lieberman.)


Sparking a Prairie Fire: Cindy Sheehan at City Hall

Sparking a Prairie Fire: Cindy Sheehan at City Hall


The scene Wednesday evening outside the gates of the Capitol seemed almost like the preview to an outdoor concert, as the sweltering crowd awaited the arrival of the star performer. At about 5:30, two buses pulled up a converted navy-blue school bus, and a Ford E-450 Super Duty truck hauling a Winnebago christened The D.C. Express. Working her way down off the bus and through the crowd to a microphone was none other than Cindy Sheehan, the Gold Star mother who has spent the last month waiting outside President Bushs ranch at Crawford, waiting for an answer to one question: Why did her son Casey have to die in Iraq?

Write your Congressmen...DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY!!


Write your Congressmen...DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY!!
Here's the address: /

Here's the letter that I wrote to mine (copy or hack away):

Dear Sir,

I am writing you to express my great sadness and anger regarding our Federal Government's handling of the Hurricane Katrina crisis. It is becoming painfully obvious that our government has abandoned tens of thousands of our most vulnerable citizens and is letting one of our great cities fall to chaos and ruin. I am writing to ask you how, nearly four years after 9/11, we found ourselves without a plan to evacuate the sick, poor and elderly from what has been regarded as our most vulnerable city? As a formerly proud American citizen, I am outraged to see images coming from our own soil that are indistinguishable from those of a third world country. The Federal Government's response to Hurricane Katrina has been irreprehensible and I am asking for your pledge that you will demand the accountability of those responsible. Please be my voice.


The big disconnect on New Orleans

The big disconnect on New Orleans
The official version; then there's the in-the-trenches version

Friday, September 2, 2005 Posted: 1934 GMT (0334 HKT)

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- Diverging views of a crumbling New Orleans emerged Thursday. The sanitized view came from federal officials at news conferences and television appearances. But the official line was contradicted by grittier, more desperate views from the shelters and the streets.

These conflicting views came within hours, sometimes minutes of each of each other, as reflected in CNN's transcripts. The speakers include Michael Brown, chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, evacuee Raymond Cooper, CNN correspondents and others. Here's what they had to say:

Mystery unfolds over hunt for WMD in Iraq

Mystery unfolds over hunt for WMD in Iraq
9/2/2005, 1:38 p.m. CT
The Associated Press

(AP) — Beneath the giant dome of a Baghdad palace, facing his team of scientists and engineers, George Tenet sounded more like a football coach than a spymaster, a coach who didn't know the game was over.

"Are we 85 percent done?" the CIA boss demanded. The arms hunters knew what he wanted to hear. "No!" they shouted back. "Let me hear it again!" They shouted again.

The weapons are out there, Tenet insisted. Go find them.

Veteran inspector Rod Barton couldn't believe his ears. "It was nonsense," the Australian biologist said of that February evening last year, when the then-chief of U.S. intelligence secretly flew to Baghdad and dropped in on the lakeside Perfume Palace, chandelier-hung home of the Iraq Survey Group.

Missing the Forest for the Uprooted Floating Trees

By David Swanson

The trillion dollar question has long been: How do we get the major media outlets in this country to notice that the White House is run by oil barons who launch illegal wars based on lies, defund everything else, and destroy the environment at every opportunity – and that this is a single, connected story?

In June we garnered a bit of interest in the Downing Street Memos story, which then dried up and went away. Then there was the Karl Rove scandal, which dried up and went away. It's not that the actual events went away. More evidence continued to come out, protests continued to grow, congressional action by progressive Dems and brave Republicans accelerated. But the media lost interest.

BRAD SHOW Saturday Night...

BRAD SHOW Saturday Night...

Highlights from our 'Operation Noble Cause' Coverage on the Ground in Crawford, TX!
Saturday Night @ 7p-11p ET (4p-8p PT), ReBRADCast @ Noon ET on Sunday!
Thanks to our great engineer Otie Maclay (who we found on the side of the road on our way to Crawford), this Saturday Night's BRAD SHOW will feature many of the highlights from our 50+ hours of LIVE daily broadcasts from on the ground at Camp Casey in Crawford, Texas.

Highlights to include interviews with: CINDY SHEEHAN, JOAN BAEZ, REP. JOHN CONYERS, RANDI RHODES, Goldstart Mom KAREN MEREDITH, Iraqi Vet TOMAS ANDREWS, plus musical highlights and much much more!

Bush's Ventriloquist Declares Katrina Response 'Not Acceptable'

The secret cabal that controls Bush's mouth through his earpiece declared "the results are not acceptable."

Bush mouthed the words, but his brain didn't produce them.

Just watch his delivery. Watch how he utters sentence fragments, not full sentences. Watch how he pauses while he waits for the full sentences to be delivered into his ear.

Here's the play-by-play. Every time Bush pauses, he is listening to his earpiece. Usually this is accompanied by some telltale gesture - shaking his head, clenching his jaw, or waving his arms.

"Secretary Chertoff and I just finished a meeting with [uh...] Secretary Rumsfeld, General Myers, other members of my Cabinet, as well as [uh...] General Honore, [uh...] Admiral Keating, in charge of NORTHCOM -- General Honore is active duty general on the ground in Louisiana -- and Mike Brown, who's the head of FEMA.

Ending the Impunity of the Bush White House

Published on Friday, September 2, 2005 by
By Norman Solomon

The man in the Oval Office is fond of condemning "killers." But his administration continues to kill with impunity.

"They can go into Iraq and do this and do that," Martha Madden, former secretary of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, said Thursday, "but they can't drop some food on Canal Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, right now? It's just mind-boggling."

The policies are matters of priorities. And the priorities of the Bush White House are clear. For killing in Iraq, they spare no expense. For protecting and sustaining life, the cupboards go bare.

World stunned as US struggles with Katrina


World stunned as US struggles with Katrina
By Andrew Gray
2 hours, 1 minute ago

LONDON (Reuters) - The world has watched amazed as the planet's only superpower struggles with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, with some saying the chaos has exposed flaws and deep divisions in American society.

World leaders and ordinary citizens have expressed sympathy with the people of the southern United States whose lives were devastated by the hurricane and the flooding that followed.

But many have also been shocked by the images of disorder beamed around the world -- looters roaming the debris-strewn streets and thousands of people gathered in New Orleans waiting for the authorities to provide food, water and other aid.

A Can't-Do Government

A Can't-Do Government
Published: September 2, 2005

Before 9/11 the Federal Emergency Management Agency listed the three most likely catastrophic disasters facing America: a terrorist attack on New York, a major earthquake in San Francisco and a hurricane strike on New Orleans. "The New Orleans hurricane scenario," The Houston Chronicle wrote in December 2001, "may be the deadliest of all." It described a potential catastrophe very much like the one now happening.
So why were New Orleans and the nation so unprepared? After 9/11, hard questions were deferred in the name of national unity, then buried under a thick coat of whitewash. This time, we need accountability.

Places for Peaceful Protests

Friday September 2, 2005

UPDATED* BUSH in Hurricane Destruction Areas: Bush tours the Gulf Coast
today, making stops in Mobile, Biloxi, and New Orleans. In Mobile, Ala.,
the president was to get a briefing on the damage, followed by a
helicopter survey of areas along the Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana
coasts. He was to walk through hard-hit neighborhoods in Biloxi,
Mississippi. But Bush was avoiding an in-person visit to the worst areas
of New Orleans, mostly drowned in rank floodwaters and descending in
many areas into lawlessness as desperate residents await rescue or even
just food and water. Instead, the president was taking an aerial tour of

Rally to End the War in Front of White House on September 15


A rally will be held at Lafayette Square Park (in front of the White House) at 5 p.m. ET on September 15, 2005. Earlier the same day, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey will host hearings on Capitol Hill on exit strategies for Iraq. Also the same day, a coalition of organizations will hand in to Congress a petition for an exit strategy. (See )

Speaking at the rally will be Congresswoman Woolsey and other congress members who support ending the war. The rally will bring together a broad coalition, including military families and leaders from throughout the peace movement (including some not supporting the petition cited above).

Vacation is Over... an open letter from Michael Moore to George W. Bush

Friday, September 2nd, 2005
Dear Mr. Bush:

Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could you have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears parking lot. Man, was that a drag.

Also, any idea where all our national guard soldiers are? We could really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do like helping with national disasters. How come they weren't there to begin with?

Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside while the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over my head. It was only a Category 1 then but it was pretty nasty. Eleven people died and, as of today, there were still homes without power. That night the weatherman said this storm was on its way to New Orleans. That was Thursday! Did anybody tell you? I know you didn't want to interrupt your vacation and I know how you don't like to get bad news. Plus, you had fundraisers to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore and smear. You sure showed her!

Cindy’s Fight Has Just Begun

Published on Thursday, September 1, 2005 by
By Dickelle Fonda

Cindy Sheehan set up her lawn chair and umbrella in a ditch on a dirt road in Crawford, Texas. She erected a banner which articulated her question to George Bush: “For what noble cause did my son die?

Appalling Language Can Be Subtle

I was horrified to come across two photos on yahoo's site--one of a black man described as a "looter" and another of two white people described as having "found" bread and soda.

Go here to see the photos:


It is such language that reveals why we are still, 140 years after the Civil War, such a racist and divided country.

How can we possibly heal the rifts after such unconscious and appalling attitudes are revealed?

Mother’s protest sparks war debate

Poltically Incorrect
Echo Online (Eastern Michigan University)
By Joel Adkins, Opinions Columnist / Staff Writer

Politics can be depressing. There have been many occasions in recent years that I have found myself shaking my head – shaking my head in a slow, somber fashion as my face bore a grimace. Indeed, there were times when, in the midst of tears, I questioned the worth of the actions of myself and others. Why not forget the problems and leave them to someone else? Why not submit to the crooks that hold all the cards and allow them an uncontested all-access pass?

Sheehan Ends Vigil In Crawford, Heads Out on the Road


Cindy Sheehan and her supporters began dismantling 'Camp Casey,' the makeshift camp they had erected outside of President Bush's Crawford, Texas ranch. Sheehan staged a 26-day vigil in an attempt to meet with Mr. Bush. Mrs. Sheehan's oldest son, Casey, 24, died in Iraq. Subsequent information has come out leading Mrs. Sheehan to question what cause her son died for. Mr. Bush has refused to meet with her to discuss the matter.

Mrs. Sheehan's protest has given those who oppose or question the war in Iraq a focal point for their beliefs while also serving to rally Americans who continue to blindly support Mr. Bush's policies to speak their minds as well.

Letter: Lynch should speak with constituents

Needham Times
Thursday, September 1, 2005

Democracy requires a dialogue between elected officials and their constituents. Isn't that what government by the people and for the people is all about?

A group of us from Congressman Stephen F. Lynch's 9th District requested a meeting with him to voice our concerns about the war in Iraq. At the last minute, the scheduled meeting was canceled. A second meeting was set up, but Congressman Lynch - again at the last minute - informed us that he could not attend. We did, however, meet with his aide, telling him that community forums were urgently needed so that constituents could hear Congressman Lynch's opinions on: a timetable for withdrawal of American troops, the establishment of permanent bases in Iraq, independent investigations into torture and abuse at U.S. bases and questions raised by the Downing Street memo. And Congressman Lynch needs to hear the opinions of his constituents on these topics.

Preserving support for war takes more than a clever name

The Vanguard (University of South Alabama)
Melissa Webster
Staff Writer
August 31, 2005

Recently, Bush, Inc. announced the slogan "War on Terror" would be abandoned in favor of the new slogan "The Struggle Against Violent Extremism." This was an exciting new marketing opportunity for Bush to put a new face on an old and failing product.

Alarmed the American public was growing weary and dissatisfied with the progress of the war - and Bush, Inc. in general - and faced with a continued drop in approval ratings, the Bush PR team decided a new slogan would breathe life into a dying campaign.

The political smear: why does the Right use it better than the Left?

Posted by Adam Ash on August 31, 2005 10:29 AM (See all posts by Adam Ash)

I’ve noticed a peculiar difference between rightwing and leftwing political attacks.

Whereas both the left and the right are equally adept at calling each other names (on the Blogcritics site, for example), the strategy of The Big Smear -- the broad wipe of a very personal and dirty accusation -- seems to be almost exclusively rightwing.

Rush Limbaugh and other rightwing commentators are consistent practitioners of The Big Smear. Notice the personal smears dumped all over the head of Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war mother of dead Iraqi soldier Casey Sheehan. Leftwing commentators appear to largely steer clear of The Big Smear, as much as they like to indulge in name-calling. They seem to get enough kicks from calling Bush a chimp, which is hardly a smear, unless you’re a chimp.

Greens and Libertarians: Bring the Troops Home Now

Wisconsin Green Party

August 29th, 2005

Arif Khan, Chair, Libertarian Party of Wisconsin, 920-251-0844
Jeff Peterson, Campaign Coordinator, Referendum on Troop Withdrawal from Iraq 715.472.2728
Jill Bussiere, Co-Chair, Wisconsin Green Party
920.388.0529, cell 920.255.2175,

The Libertarian Party of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Green Party have joined in calling for support for U.S. troops in Iraq by bringing them home as soon as possible.

The Green and Libertarian Parties both oppose the current U.S. occupation. Both believe war should be waged only to defend the United States, and that the war on Iraq did not meet that condition. Both parties' 2004 presidential candidates proposed withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Both are concerned that the longer the U.S. occupation remains in Iraq, the more long-term will be the damage. They agree the best thing for the United States and Iraq is to bring U.S. troops home as quickly as possible. "The United States was not threatened by Iraq," said Jill Bussiere, Co-chair of the Wisconsin Green Party. "Many of us knew there were no weapons of mass destruction well before the invasion, and the administration knew it too, having fixed the 'intelligence around the policy' as the Downing Street memo notes. Now, we find that the invasion and occupation of Iraq have decreased our national security - just the opposite of what the administration claims."


A TvNewsLIES FANTASY - TVNL Contributing Editor
August 31, 2005

A TvNewsLIES FANTASY - TVNL Contributing Editor

Abandon the search for Truth; settle for a good fantasy: Anon.

Note: An employer can request an employee to submit to a polygraph test if "the test is being administered in connection with an ongoing investigation.

Reader Defends Cindy


Name: Carl
From: E-Mail:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Regarding your article listed above, I think you are missing the point of Ms. Sheehan's protesting. Many people have suggested that because she previously met with the president and made "some" good remarks about the visit and his sincerity, that she is now just a tool for the left wing. While I realize that you have not made this claim (at least not that I have read), I am mentioning this because it is directly related to Ms. Sheehan's reason for protesting the war.

Cindy Sheehan first met with the president soon after her son died (June 2004). A few months ago, the Downing Street Minutes were leaked. THIS is the main reason that Cindy Sheehan changed her perspective on the situation, and she has said this all along. She believes (as many others do, and as the evidence strongly suggests) that George W. Bush lied about the reason to invade Iraq and consequently has caused thousands of deaths across the world.

Time For Accountability Of Our Leaders

The time has come for Americans to demand accountability of our leaders. Never before has the corruption ran as deep as it does now in Washington. Everyday we learn more about the lies that led this country into war and the people who hijacked the tragedy of 9/11 to pursue an imperialistic agenda.

This isn't a partisan issue. It isn't red or blue. It's about the truth. George Bush said he had no intentions of nation building before he took office. Yet we know for a fact that many high ranking members of his administration were members of a group of people who lobbied and supported regime change in Iraq.

An Unlikely Conversation With The Cowards in Congress

Contributing Editor -
August 15, 2005

Suppose you were an idiot... And suppose you were a member of Congress...
But I repeat myself. -- Mark Twain


What shameful toads you are! Yes you, our elected lawmakers. Yes you, the folks we sent to Washington in our names. Yes you, the most spineless, cowardly and craven Congress people in history. Yes you, the most bullied, gutless and shameful herd of legislators ever elected. And you know exactly who you are.

Where in hell is your integrity? Where in hell is your self-respect? You’ve been led by your submissive noses to do the bidding of liars and warmongers. You’ve been suckered into applauding some of the most egregious crimes ever committed by a US government. You’ve become such a pitiful collection of sniveling sycophants. And you know damn well who you are.

Fixing the Intelligence and Facts

By Carol Wolman

"Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." (Downing Street minutes- July 2002)

The story of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame is a prime example of how Bush went about concocting and distorting intelligence. The Bush administration claimed, on the basis of flimsy evidence, that Saddam was trying to buy uranium yellowcake, the raw material for nuclear weapons, from the African country of Niger. The CIA sent Joe Wilson, longtime ambassador, a man familiar with Niger, to investigate this charge. Wilson found that the story was based on badly forged documents, and was untrue. He came back and reported this to the CIA, which duly passed the correction up the chain of command.

Iraq War Splurge Hits Home at 150 MPH

By Jim Lobe

With state, local, and federal officials still grappling with the extent of the devastation and human suffering inflicted by Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans and points east, suggestions that the already plunging political standing of President George W. Bush could also be a major casualty of the disaster have begun taking hold.

While few observers underestimate the Bush team's proven ability to seize the political initiative, particularly in times of crisis, as in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and the Pentagon, the fact that the kind of destruction wreaked by Katrina was both predictable – and indeed actually predicted – and avoidable gives the president's foes much more ammunition than they had after 9/11.

Speaking Events


War Is A Lie: Second Edition
Book Tour

May 28, San Francisco, CA
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Daniel Ellsberg, at San Francisco Main Public Library, 100 Larkin Street.
Sign up on FB.

May 28, Marin County, CA
4 to 6 p.m., David Swanson in conversation with Norman Solomon, at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA
Sign up on FB.

May 29, Oakland, CA
3 to 4 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Cindy Sheehan, at Diesel: A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue at Kales (near Manila), Oakland, CA
Sign up on FB.

May 29, Berkeley, CA
7:30 to 9 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, sponsored by the Social Justice Committee and Cynthia Papermaster, 1606 Bonita Ave. (at Cedar), Berkeley, CA
Sign up on FB.

May 30, Fresno, CA
2 to 4 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at a Peace Fresno event
Community United Church of Christ
5550 N. Fresno Street
Fresno, CA 93710
Contact Dan Yaseen 559-251-3361,
Sign up on FB.

June 11 St. Paul, MN, 6 p.m. at Macalester Plymouth Church Social Hall 1658 Lincoln, St. Paul, MN.
Sign up on FB.

June 12 Minneapolis, MN, 9 and 11 a.m. at St. Joan's 4533 3rd Ave So, Minneapolis, MN, plus peace pole dedication at 2 p.m.
Sign up on FB.

June 24 Roanoke, Va.
7:30 pm @ Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke (2015 Grandin Rd SW, Roanoke, VA 24015) Contact:

Other Events Here.






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