Authorities Brace For A Perfect Storm In Crawford
Local Officials Brace For Weekend Protest
The population of Crawford could increase tenfold this weekend as anti-war and pro-Bush protesters stream into town for vigils and rallies.
As many as 7,000 demonstrators could gather in and around the town of about 700 people near the President’s Central Texas ranch, and local authorities spent the day Friday making plans to deal with the crowds and the potential for problems.
The combination of high summer temperatures and high emotions could lead to confrontations that authorities hope to defuse quickly.
Momentum for the weekend of demonstrations both for and against the war and the President’s policy on Iraq has been building ever since Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, Calif. began what at first was a quiet vigil along a rural roadside, demanding a meeting with the President about the death of her son Casey, 24, a 1st Cavalry Division soldier who was killed in 2004 in Iraq.
Sheehan’s protest quickly attracted the attention of the White House press corps and within days was receiving national and international attention and generating local and national controversy.
Warriors in Crawford
by APRIL FITZSIMMONS
CRAWFORD, TEXAS — “I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about,
A Nurse's Perspective on Iraq
First Lutentant Rachel Grover has been serving as a nurse in Iraq since the beginning of December. On leave for two weeks Rachel is relaxing with family and friends. But she talks about how the injuries to soldiers have gone from bullet wounds to something worse.
“IED Injuries...shrapnel wounds a lot of burns and amputations stuff like that
August 26, 2005
Watch TV show to decide who was 'Dead Wrong'
Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel said this week that the longer we stay in Iraq, the more it looks like Vietnam. In so many ways he is right and as a decorated veteran of that earlier war he has the experience and the authority to offer that judgment.
But Vietnam comparisons are wrong in one respect. Listening to the Johnson White House tapes of the early months of 1963-1964, one cannot help but sense the anguish, turmoil and indecision as the president grapples with pressures to escalate the war and send more troops to the inescapable battlefields of Southeast Asia. Sleepless to the point that Lady Bird worried for his health, LBJ would go to the White House situation room at midnight to await the nightly casualty reports.
August 25, 2005
A CIA Cover Blown, a White House Exposed
By Tom Hamburger and Sonni Efron, Times Staff Writers
WASHINGTON — Toward the end of a steamy summer week in 2003, reporters were peppering the White House with phone calls and e-mails, looking for someone to defend the administration's claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
About to emerge as a key critic was Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former diplomat who asserted that the administration had manipulated intelligence to justify the Iraq invasion.
At the White House, there wasn't much interest in responding to critics like Wilson that Fourth of July weekend. The communications staff faced more pressing concerns — the president's imminent trip to Africa, growing questions about the war and declining ratings in public opinion polls.
Courage under fire
By NANCY DILLON
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
BAGHDAD - As its armored Humvees rumbled west along Route Mets in northern Baghdad, the ill-fated convoy sensed something was wrong.
"I remember we all mentioned there were no Iraqi police out. We were like, 'Oh man, that's never a good sign,'" said Daniel Barr, 33, a sergeant with New York's Fighting 69th.
"It was still an hour and a half before curfew. It seemed like the neighborhood knew something."
The soldiers were in the same meat market a week earlier, buying watermelon from a local vendor. But now it was 10:45 p.m., and the darkness was compounded by the start of a nasty sandstorm that would later shut down Baghdad.
Nobody saw the powerful platter charge hidden in a bag and tucked beside a vending stall.
No special treatment for journalists in Iraq, says US
Friday August 26, 2005
The US military has told journalists working in Iraq they will be given no special consideration after Reuters demanded an explanation for the continued detention of its cameraman in the country's notorious Abu Ghraib prison.
Reuters has been denied access to Ali Omar Abrahem al-Mashhadani since he was arrested by US troops at his home in Ramadi on August 8.
Military sources told the news agency Mashhadani was a "security detainee", implying suspected links to insurgents, but have refused to give details of any suspicions or accusations.
Does Anyone Making Decisions at "The NYTimes" Bother to Connect Dots?
The answer through the Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter of 2002, is not just no, but far worse.
The answer from January 2003 until now, remains NO and the consequences, irrespective of intent, have been catastrophic.
I review an item that appeared today at Huffington Post with two VIPS memoranda sent to Bush - one on February 7, 2003 and the other on March 18, 2003.
"We The People ..." didn't need Michael Smith to publish leaked Downing Street classified documents to have had ample access, prior to the start of Bush's illegal war on Iraq, to the deception being spewed, intentionally, by the Bush administration.
What "We The People ..." needed was a 4th Estate that was not a full-throated propaganda instrument of Bush and his neoconster buddies.
Cindy Sheehan to Shift Focus to Congress, Starting with Tom Delay
Cindy Sheehan announced today that she plans to focus her attention on Congress, starting with Bush’s buddy House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
One of DeLay’s Texas district offices would likely be the first stop, she said. That would be about a 5.5 hour drive from Bush’s ranch in Crawford, where he is on a month-long vacation.
“I think our first stop might be Tom DeLay’s office,
Legionnaires Condemn War Protests, A Gold Star Families for Peace and Legion Auxillary Member's Response
Dear Honorable Commander Cadmus,
I learned today that the American Legion passed Resolution 3, which states: "The American Legion fully supports the president of the United States, the United States Congress and the men, women and leadership of our armed forces as they are engaged in the global war on terrorism and the troops who are engaged in protecting our values and way of life."
I would like to bring to your attention a previous position from the American Legion.
In 1999, the American Legion wrote the following letter to President Clinton:
The American Legion, a wartime veterans organization of nearly three-million members, urges the immediate withdrawal of American troops participating in "Operation Allied Force.''
NEW YORK -- The Rev. Al Sharpton plans to join peace activist Cindy Sheehan, known as the Peace Mom, on Sunday near President Bush's Texas ranch.
Sharpton's office said Thursday he would participate in a prayer vigil Sunday with Sheehan in Crawford, Texas. Sheehan returned on Wednesday to Camp Casey, named after her 24-year-old son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, who was killed last year in Iraq.
Sheehan began her vigil on the road leading to Bush's ranch Aug. 6, vowing to stay through his monthlong vacation unless he met with her. She left last week to visit her 74-year-old mother, who had suffered a stroke, in Los Angeles.
Friday August 26, 2005
Bus canceled; local residents will drive to Crawford for rally
A caravan of a few vehicles, rather than a chartered bus, will take Brown County residents to a pro-Bush rally in Crawford on Saturday, Brown County Veterans Services Officer Billy Murphey said.
Murphey said Thursday that he had decided to cancel the bus because there weren't enough riders to help defray the $1,300 charter fee. Riders would have been asked to donate $25 each toward the cost.
Murphey, who is helping organize the trip, had made tentative plans to charter the 55-seat bus, but said Wednesday that only seven riders had signed up.
Friday, August 26, 2005
TREASONGATE: US COURT OF APPEALS: "Special Counsel's Showing Decides The Case"
While Joe Wilson, who still hasn't mentioned the hovering ominous specter of 18 USC 794, is in damage control mode cowardly hiding behind the bravery of Cindy Sheehan, and Judith Miller continues to whine about being put in jail for protecting criminals and crimes, I thought it would make good reading to summarize the incendiary 83 page opinion issued by The US Court of Appeals (D.C. Circuit),IN RE: GRAND JURY SUBPOENA, JUDITH MILLER so you can have some judicial perspective from the three judge appellate tribunal as to the seriousness of the crimes Fitzgerald is pursuing.
This Court of Appeals decision will be interesting to readers of this blog since it not only damns the crimes of the Bush administration, but it also backs up the issue of Fitzgerald's plenary authority as acting Attorney General for the Tgate prosecution, and cites United States v. Williams to witness authority for the argument that the federal grand jury acts as an independent branch of the US Government.
Letter submitted by author, Sally Tarasoff (former CPT, US Army)
I understand that the Legion has condemned protests against the war. In reading the press release, I note that protesters are being lumped in with Jane Fonda, and seen basically as traitors. However, your release notes you respect the right to protest.
As a Legion member, I am incensed by this condemnation. Obviously, you all have your heads in the sand and think anti-war protesters in 2005 are just like those during the Vietnam war. Nothing could be further from the truth. I guarantee you that my fellow protesters, and those in Crawford as well, support our troops whole-heartedly. In fact, most of these people have done much more than put yellow "support your troops" magnets on their vehicles, they have put their money and efforts where their mouths are. They have sent boxes to the troops, contributed to the USO, written to support increased VA benefits, written to stop funding cuts to the military and military and veterans medical care, contributed to http://anysoldier.com/, visited patients in VA and military hospitals and Fisher Houses, and supported the families that reservists have left behind.
by Medea Benjamin and Gayle Brandeis
Published on Friday, August 26, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
When Cindy Sheehan marched into Crawford, Texas to ask President Bush why her son died in Iraq, it was Mother's Day. Not the Hallmark-infused, soft focus, breakfast-in-bed Mother's Day that shows up on the calendar in May. This was the day that Julia Ward Howe envisioned when she created Mother's Day in 1870 as a time for all the mothers who lost their sons in the Civil War to protest the senseless violence.
Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation begins:
Arise then women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
"Cindy Sheehan is all of us" -- An open letter to President Bush
An Open Letter to Mr Bush from Fernando Suarez del Solar. Fernando’s son, Jesus, died in Iraq on March 27th, 2003.
To the President of the United States
I write to you in order to call your attention to the current situation in our nation. Because of the immoral and criminal war you initiated against the innocent people of Iraq, the nation is divided. We can all support efforts to vigorously resist international terrorism because no one has the right to take the life of another in the name of some "freedom." Through a series of lies you involved us in a war whose primary justifications--WMDs, a connection between Iraq and the attacks of September 11, 2001, biological weapons--you have been unable to sustain over the last thirty months during which more than 1800 brave and noble U.S. soldiers have died (among them my beloved son Jesús Alberto) and thousands of Iraqi children, women, and old men have been killed.
Soldier's mother gains support of high-profile war critic
BY DAVID JACKSON
The Dallas Morning News
CRAWFORD, Texas - (KRT) - Cindy Sheehan's Texas vigil has drawn support from another high-profile Iraq war opponent - former ambassador Joseph Wilson, whose criticisms are at the heart of an ongoing grand jury investigation in Washington.
"This White House never wants an open public discussion, and it certainly never wants to be told that it is wrong," Wilson said, accusing President Bush's allies of trying to smear Sheehan. "It always tries to change the message by attacking the messenger."
Houston, Tx.: How would you respond to Cindy Sheehan and the other family members who believe their children have been sacrificed for a lie?
General Clark: I have the deepest sympathy and empathy with Cindy Sheehan. My son served in the Armed Forces and I worried about him every day. And, I carried a burden of guilt about his service, as I am sure most mothers and fathers do. Because, after all, we either encourage them, supported them, or sustained them in making this committment to their country. My prayers and condolences are with every family who has lost a loved one in Iraq or Afghanistan, or seen him or her come home forever scarred or crippled. And I thank them for their loved ones' service and for their sacrifice. And I understand the depth of their feelings I believe, because every American trusts our leaders to use our men and women in combat only, only, only as a last resort. And in Iraq, this wasn't the case. And we will probably never learn the full array of motives that lead our nation's leaders to take us to this war. I warned at the time that it was "elective"--we didn't have to do it. There wasn't an eminent threat. So why did we? Cindy Sheehan, every mother and father of our service members, and every American has a right to know. It was a strategic blunder to go there. Now America sees it in hindsight. But those in power have responsibilities to do the right thing, and when they don't they should be held accountable. Cindy is doing everything she can to hold them accountable. President Bush should talk to her and tell her the truth.
He was having an online discussion at WaPo.
The Democrats Are Just As Bad
by Justin Raimondo
"The most influential interpreters of our public affairs are accepting, rather than expanding, a noose-tight frame the Washington political culture is enforcing to limit permissible discourse on the war in Iraq…. Look at almost any major daily op-ed page, watch the Sunday shows or listen to nightly cable-babble. See how seldom you encounter voices against the war permitted to argue we should just end it, not try to mend it."
Friday, August 26, 2005
There was something truly repulsive about the way Bush and his handlers latched onto poor Tammy Pruett, the Idaho mother whose husband and four sons have already served or are still serving in Iraq.
I have no doubt but that this woman, despite all the smiles and cheering at the rally at which she received the presidential peck on the cheek, spends lonely nights wondering darkly what is happening to her three sons (her husband and one son are back from their tours). Any parent would, knowing their children were living in a shooting gallery and were the targets.
The Peace Movement: Right Before the War, Right Today
by Steve Breyman
As Cindy Sheehan supporters continue their vigil in Crawford, and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) plans hearings on her resolution calling on the administration to begin planning an exit strategy for Iraq, it's useful for the growing number of concerned citizens to recall that their friends, neighbors, and family members opposed to the war were right in their critique of the Bush administration's case for the invasion, and right in their predictions of what would happen following the invasion.
This week, a right-wing group opposed to Cindy Sheehan has been getting a ton of media coverage, including extensive time to viciously attack Cindy and her supporters on MSNBC's Hardball.
MoveAmericaForward.org, which cloned its name from Moveon.org, is the creation of rightwing Republican Howard Kaloogian, a former California legislator who led the Recall Gray Davis effort. Its "chief strategist" is Sal Russo, a high-paid Republican media consultant. Its leading TV spokespeople are radio talk show hosts Melanie Morgan and Mark Williams, both of whom have filled the airwaves with lies.
MoveAmericaForward.org's latest project is an attempt to "SwiftBoat" Cindy Sheehan through a publicity campaign featuring TV ads and a "You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy" Bus Tour. Yet the central claim of this tour is a lie.
"If I only had a nickel for each time Bush mentions 9/11, I could have enough money to go after Bin Laden!
"A helicopter flew overhead lower than others we were accustomed to. The helicopter had an agent riding outside with a weapon trained on us, but once the motorcade passed he moved on as well. The motorcade went by us twice, very fast, and a few of the vehicles had rifles pointed out open windows, I was thankful no one made any sudden moves." This is what we've come to in the land of the free.
Published on Friday, August 26, 2005 by the Press & Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, NY)
Peaceful Siege Makes Chicken Hawks Squawk
by David Rossie
Nowhere is that more apparent today than in the case of Cindy Sheehan, whose peaceful siege of Prairie Chapel -- a reverse siege of the Alamo, with the good guys on the outside this time, and the bad guys on the inside -- has polarized the nation, or at least a part of it.
Withdrawal from Iraq, or the Greater Mistake
President George W. Bush said in Idaho, "I think immediate withdrawal from Iraq would be a mistake." Immediate withdrawal might well be a mistake. But withdrawal will come, and the greater mistake is in delaying it too long.
The occupation of Iraq has been fraught with mistakes, from the failure to stop looting and the order to disband the Iraqi army to setting the size of the occupation force too low. But to send more troops, as some Democrats suggest, would compound mistakes. The president argued in Salt Lake City that the deaths of 1,864 American soldiers in Iraq was an argument to keep fighting. He said, "We owe them something. We will finish the task that they gave their lives for."
Cindy Sheehan Planning Anti-War Bus Tour
By ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press Writer Thu Aug 25, 7:30 PM ET
CRAWFORD, Texas - A fallen soldier's mother said Thursday that the anti-war vigil she started nearly three weeks ago near
President Bush's ranch won't end when she and other protesters pack up their camp next week.
Cindy Sheehan said the day after she leaves Aug. 31, she will embark on a bus tour ending up in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24. Then the group will start a 24-hour vigil in the nation's capital.
"I am not alone," she said at a news conference Thursday. "There's the people standing behind me here, but there's thousands of military families ... who want the same answers to the same questions."
Poll: Many Back Right to Protest Iraq War
By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer Fri Aug 26, 7:21 AM ET
WASHINGTON - An overwhelming number of people say critics of the Iraq war should be free to voice their objections — a rare example of widespread agreement about a conflict that has divided the nation along partisan lines.
Nearly three weeks after a grieving California mother named Cindy Sheehan started her anti-war protest near
President Bush's Texas ranch, nine of 10 people surveyed in an AP-Ipsos poll say it's OK for war opponents to publicly share their concerns about the conflict.
Working Assets to Deliver Flowers to Crawford Saturday
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- When the long distance and wireless company Working Assets offered to deliver roses to Cindy Sheehan in Crawford, it was surprised by the massive response from citizens eager to show their support.
The mother of a soldier slain in Iraq has been the emotional anchor for a growing vigil less than one mile from President and Mrs. Bush's Crawford compound.
Within hours of posting the opportunity online, over 3,300 people took advantage of the company's offer to deliver a rose to Camp Casey for anyone who contributed $3. The roses will be delivered to Crawford on Saturday, August 27.
Cindy Meets the Media
By David Swanson
There's a press conference at 10:30 a.m. CT every day at Camp Casey 2 near Crawford, Texas, and today was no exception.
PHOTO OF PRESS CONFERENCE: http://tinyurl.com/coayr
Seven military family members and veterans spoke very briefly, then Cindy Sheehan spoke, and then Cindy answered questions from the assembled representatives of our (private) public communications system. The whole thing took 20 minutes. Then it took me 20 minutes to drive back to the Crawford Peace House, another 20 minutes to do an interview for Pacifica Radio about it, and another 20 to 30 minutes to talk to people on the way to my computer, which is the great thing about being in Crawford. So, this live blog is live in a delayed way.