"One float was the Downing Street Memo-mobile, complete with three dummies in the back seat eating Doritos that represented Tony Blair, George Bush and Saddam Hussein."
West Athens celebrates alternative 4th
'Heaven' theme makes for eclectic town parade
WEST ATHENS - It was heaven Monday in West Athens, albeit a wacky, irreverent, alternative version.
More than 500 people poured into this tiny town for the 32nd or 33rd (no one can really remember) annual Fourth of July parade and play, which this year was titled "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," a who-gets-in and who-doesn't kind of story.
A letter to the editor
July 5, 2005
Dear Editor: The Iraq War Resolution passed the House on Oct. 10, 2002, and the Senate the following day after repeated assurances, public and private, to Congress that war would be a "last resort" and that President Bush would follow the terms of the resolution, first seeking U.N. Security Council approval. Both were lies, according to the Downing Street minutes of three months before. It is a crime to defraud Congress.
The 23 "whereas" clauses that precede the resolution text mention, in order of frequency: weapons of mass destruction 10 times, the U.N. Security Council nine times, terrorists seven times, 9/11 four times, Persian Gulf three times, weapons inspectors once, al-Qaida once (saying they had a base in Iraq and failing to say it was in the Kurdish-controlled area), and regime change once (the real reason). So the justification was mainly about WMD and the U.N.
By GENE LYONS
Ask Karl Rove for an apology? Not me. Apologies are appropriate for foolish remarks made in the heat of argument. Rove read from a script. The White House handed out copies. Besides, what would an apology from that flabby little apparatchik be worth? He's the human equivalent of a fear-biting dog: His Master's Voice.
"Conservatives," Rove said, "saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. In the wake of 9/11, conservatives believed it was time to unleash the might and power of the United States military against the Taliban; in the wake of 9/11, liberals believed it was time to submit a petition. I am not joking."
Mom, Who Lost Son In Iraq, Talks About 'Disgusting' White House Private Meeting With Bush; Claims He Was Arrogant, 'Totally Detached From Humanity' And Didn't Even Know Her Name
Founder of peace group to stop senseless murder of our children, Cindy Sheehan wants parents to 'wake up' to the illegal nature of the war and Bush's corrupt motives meriting impeachment. She tells parents to advise their children not to fight, saying it's better 'to spend a year in jail instead of an eternity in a coffin.'
July 5, 2005
Cindy Sheehan has already had her heart ripped into a million pieces by the illegal Iraqi war, losing the son she loved more than life itself only five days after he arrived in Baghdad in April 2004.
The following letter, drafted by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), was issued to other House Democrats for signature this afternoon, and obtained by RAW STORY.
Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, calls on Bush adviser Karl Rove to explain his role in the outing of a CIA agent or resign his office.
"We write in order to urge that you require your Deputy White House Chief of Staff, Karl Rove, to either come forward immediately to explain his role in the Valerie Plame matter or to resign from your Administration," the veteran Democrat writes. "High-ranking members of your Administration who are involved in any effort to smear a private citizen or to disseminate information regarding a CIA operative should be expected to meet a far higher standard of ethical behavior and forthrightness."
An interview with the creator of Independent World Television
BuzzFlash: I want the BuzzFlash readers to know what you anticipate doing is not just news, but a full-fledged broadcast schedule. The news is one part of it, but there's so much more going on. But I want to get your response as to just how you would see your network handling the Downing Street memo, as compared to what has happened. As soon as it appeared in the Times of London, we had it up on BuzzFlash. Several readers sent that to us, and it was our headline story all that Sunday. The Washington Post didn't run a story for twelve days on the Downing Street memo. Walter Pincus, one of their writers, wrote a piece, which ran on page 18 of the front section, almost two weeks after it appeared in Britain. And most papers in the United States just didn't cover it. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune recently ran a piece by their ombudsman that tried to explain why they didn't cover it. He said we didn't know about it until about a few days later, when a reader of BuzzFlash -- and they mentioned BuzzFlash by name -- wrote to him, the ombudsman, and said I'm reading all these stories about the Downing Street Memo on BuzzFlash.com. How come you're not covering it? And so the guy went to BuzzFlash.com. And the ombudsman for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune said, oh, gee, you know, how come we don't know about this?
From American Progress Action Fund
Over the weekend, McLaughlin Group panelist Lawrence O'Donnell revealed (and Newsweek confirmed) that one of the PlameGate sources being protected by Time reporter Matt Cooper is none other than President Bush's senior adviser, the Mayberry Machiavelli himself, Karl Rove. Of course, we have known for some time that Rove played a leading role in the coordinated smear campaign against former ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame, the outed CIA operative. (Shortly after Plame's identity was revealed, MSNBC's Chris Matthews famously told Wilson: "I just got off the phone with Karl Rove, who said your wife was fair game.") Yet the new revelations, confirmed by Rove's lawyer Robert Luskin, are important. Not only do they provide first-hand confirmation of Rove's role in the Plame case (contradicting previous claims from the White House), but they represent what O'Donnell calls "the first hole in the Rove two-year wall of silence about the case." Below, a few questions for Mr. Rove.
Plan a Peaceful Protest at One of These Events
Tuesday July 5, 2005
BUSH in Denmark: President Bush travels to Denmark prior to his participation in the Group of Eight (G-8) Summit in Gleneagles, Scotland in the United Kingdom. The President's bilateral program in Denmark will take place on July 6, 2005. Denmark is a close friend and ally of the United States, and Prime Minister Rasmussen is a strong proponent of effective transatlantic cooperation. [White House, 5/25/05]
Wednesday July 6, 2005
President Bush's Birthday
BUSH in Scotland: July 6-8, 2005: President Bush attends G-8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland [ABC News, 6/22/05]
So says Danish journalist Bo Elkjaer whose pointed letter to both Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and President George W. Bush appeared in the popular daily newspaper, Ekstra Bladet, to greet Bush on his arrival today in Denmark. Last year Elkjaer won the Danish equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of events leading up to the U.S.-U.K invasion of Iraq. With the full support of the Ekstra Bladet management, Elkjaer did the kind of reporting and analysis largely missing from the U.S. "mainstream media."
The Danish journalist's letter reflects a continuing determination to hold his prime minister and the U.S. president accountable for the lies leading to launching of war on Iraq.
By Daniel Ellsberg
President Bush's explanation Tuesday night for staying the course in Iraq evoked in me a sense of familiarity, but not nostalgia. I had heard virtually all of his themes before, almost word for word, in speeches delivered by three presidents I worked for: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon. Not with pride, I recognized that I had proposed some of those very words myself.
Drafting a speech on the Vietnam War for Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara in July 1965, I had the same task as Bush's speechwriters in June 2005: how to rationalize and motivate continued public support for a hopelessly stalemated, unnecessary war our president had lied us into.
Talking Points Memo is Pursuing a New Aspect of the Story
By Congressman John Conyers
Saturday, July 2
How do the facts and intelligence get fixed around the policy, as the highest ranking British government officials have alleged the Bush Administration was doing to justify the Iraq war?
One way would be by having the Vice President hover over the shoulders of intelligence analysts. This paragraph caught my eye from a 2003 Washington Post article. Notice how close the wording of the last sentence is to the language in the Downing Street Minutes:
"Vice President Cheney and his most senior aide made multiple trips to the CIA over the past year to question analysts studying Iraq's weapons programs and alleged links to al Qaeda, creating an environment in which some analysts felt they were being pressured to make their assessments fit with the Bush administration's policy objectives, according to senior intelligence officials."
Next Steps Taken on Downing Street; Letter to Speaker on Another GOP Abuse of Power; Bush Hits Another Low
By Congressman John Conyers
Thursday, June 30
This is my inaugural blog since the new registration and rss systems were created, and I very much look forward to being able to work with you all and review your comments again.
At least Three Important Developments to Report on Today:
Today, 51 Members and I took the Downing Street Investigation to the next level by filing a Freedom of Information Act request with the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department. We also made a formal request for hearings with the Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, International Relations, Armed Services, and Intelligence. Raw Story has a copy of both letters.
Caught Between Rock And Hard Place With No Answers
A majority of Americans believe President misled country into war. Congress one step closer to formal investigation as 52 members file Freedom of Information Act request, seeking needed documents and witnesses. Further complicating a White House response, Tony Blair confirmed authenticity of minutes of Downing Street war meeting.
July 4, 2005
By Greg Szymanski
The infamous Downing Street Memo has suddenly grown wings in Washington, slowly floating through town like a feather in the wind during a two month media blackout but finally landing like a lead balloon on President Bush’s desk.
BY NOAM CHOMSKY
4 July 2005
IN his June 28 speech, President Bush asserted that the invasion of Iraq was undertaken as part of "a global war against terror" that the United States is waging. In reality, as anticipated, the invasion increased the threat of terror, perhaps significantly.
Half-truths, misinformation and hidden agendas have characterised official pronouncements about US war motives in Iraq from the very beginning. The recent revelations about the rush to war in Iraq stand out all the more starkly amid the chaos that ravages the country and threatens the region and indeed the world.
By David Michael Green
One thing you can say about us Americans, we support our troops. Or do we?
It seems like we must, since there are magnetic ribbons saying so affixed to the back of every other SUV tooling down the highway. But what does it really mean - we might ask ourselves on this Fourth of July - to support our troops?
It doesn't seem to mean signing up to go fight along side them and relieving them of the burden they're carrying. Despite our saying that these 130,000-some Americans are fighting in Iraq for the freedom and security of our country, the remaining 300 million of us seem fairly content to let them do all the heavy lifting. Nor does the president dare institute a draft for his unpopular war, though doing so would spread out its costs far more equitably.
Zogby Polls on the I Word
Even the pollster couldn't believe his eyes. "It was much higher than I expected," John Zogby said of the 42 percent of voters who said they would support impeaching President Bush if it were established that he lied about his reasons for the Iraq war. The Zogby International poll was released Thursday and showed Bush's job approval rating at 43 percent.
By comparison, in October 1998, as the House moved to impeach President Bill Clinton over the Monica S. Lewinsky scandal, a Zogby poll found that 39 percent of voters supported the House action, while 56 percent opposed it.
By David Swanson
Remarks prepared for July 4, 2005, anti-war rally in Washington, D.C.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll last week found 52 percent of Americans believe the Bush administration "deliberately misled the public before the war," and 57 percent say the Bush administration "intentionally exaggerated its evidence that pre-war Iraq possessed nuclear, chemical or biological weapons."
A Zogby poll last week found 42 percent of Americans say that "if it is found that President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should hold him accountable through impeachment."
By Carol Wolman
Tourists always crowd the little seaside town of Mendocino, California, on Fourth of July weekend. I made lots of copies of the attached letter to Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), which encourages him to investigate possible grounds for impeachment, and sallied forth to collect signatures.
It's the easiest canvassing I've ever done. People stood in line to sign. About half the people who signed (around 100, in a couple of hours) also took a blank copy so they could canvass their friends.
WASHINGTON, July 3 (UPI) -- Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, called Sunday for Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove to personally deny leaking the name of a CIA official.
Saturday, Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin told The Washington Post Rove had not disclosed the name of Valerie Plame to Newsweek in a 2003 interview.
Sunday, Schumer, who led the push for a Congressional inquiry into the leak, issued a challenge for Rove to speak for himself.
"We've heard it from his lawyer, but it would be nice to hear it directly from Mr. Rove that he didn't leak the identity of Valerie Plame, and that he didn't direct anyone else to do such a dastardly thing," Schumer said in a statement. "I have said from the first day ... whoever leaked the classified information should be punished to the full extent of the law."
By Cheryl Seal
I watched "Meet the Press" on Sunday (Oct 5), a show that more accurately should be called the "Tim Russert Kiss-ass Hour" (or TRKA - which, appropriately, sounds like the title of one of the more knuckle-dragging species of college fraternities). The show's sole purpose for being is to allow Bush administration officials and other darlings of the rightwing to drop by for coffee-and-camera time each Sunday morning and present their slanted version of the latest outrage they have committed on America while Russert smiles, nods and simpers.
As the saying goes, you cannot serve two masters. Bob Novak and Karl Rove, representing the most arms of America most subverted by the NeoCon regime - the White House and the media - are making it emminently clear who they serve, and it isn't the American public.
His decision to play it cagey in the Plame case is helping no one.
Los Angeles Times
By Jonathan Turley
Jonathan Turley is a professor at George Washington University Law School and has represented individuals asserting the journalistic privilege.
July 1, 2005
Columnist Robert Novak has made a career for himself as a human flamethrower for conservative causes. Yet, even Novak appears surprised at the mounting cost of his disclosure in 2003 of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame.
It was classic Novak: a hatchet job directed not at Plame, but at her husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. The firestorm that erupted has consumed millions of dollars in investigation and litigation costs and has wreaked havoc with the career not just of Plame (who had to leave the CIA) but of two reporters who were hauled into court and threatened with prison.
By Lawrence O'Donnell
On Friday, I broke the story that the e-mails that Time turned over to the prosecutor that day reveal that Karl Rove is the source Matt Cooper is protecting. That provoked Rove’s lawyer, Robert Luskin, to interrupt his holiday weekend to do a little defense work with Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times. On Saturday, Luskin decided to reveal that Rove did have at least one conversation with Cooper, but Luskin told the Times he would not “characterize the substance of the conversation.
One-On-One Interview With Ray McGovern, Former CIA Senior Analyst, Who Warns U.S. Headed Down A Fascist Road And Highly Critical Of President Bush and Neo Con Explanations OF WMD, 9/11 And Manipulation of Intelligence Gathering
McGovern says back in the 'old days' he told it straight,' an integrity trait sorely lacking at the CIA under the dogmatic Bush administration.
July 2, 2005
By Greg Szymanski
Ray McGovern’s Irish eyes were smiling the moment he joined the CIA as a young, principled and energetic analyst during the Kennedy administration.
The Fordham College graduate, born in the Bronx, went on to have an illustrious career, spanning seven Presidents and dealing with top Russian intelligence issues, saying he always "told it straight," an integrity trait he claims sorely missing under the dogmatic Bush administration.
Toronto Star, Canada
If clear evidence emerged showing George W. Bush had written in his diary that he had lied to the American people to justify his invasion of Iraq, would the U.S. media even consider that a story?
I'm not sure any more. To an astonishing extent, the U.S. media have avoided scrutinizing this U.S. president, even after it became clear he'd launched a war in the name of disarming Iraq of weapons that didn't exist.
The Bush administration and the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee blamed this on "faulty intelligence," an explanation the media have largely parroted.
The Real News
ZNet | Iraq
By David Edwards; July 02, 2005
We have to admit that our attention was elsewhere when Michael Smith published his Sunday Times article on the Downing Street memo on May 1. We were busy focusing on our own pre-election Media Alerts and then immediately moved on to the task of completing the first Media Lens book: Guardians Of Power - The Myth of The Liberal Media (forthcoming, Pluto Press, January 2006).
Our understanding of the story was based solely on what we had gleaned from a few newspaper and TV reports. According to the media accounts we saw, the main revelation appeared to centre around comments made by Sir Richard Dearlove, then head of MI6:
The Baltimore Sun
Public Editor: Paul Moore
June 26, 2005
On June 15, The Sun's Opinion/Commentary page published a two-part package on the Downing Street Memo, a British government document that suggests the Bush administration was not forthcoming about the timing and circumstance of its decision to invade Iraq.
Reports on the memo in the British media - including its publication in the Sunday Times of London on May 1 - cost Prime Minister Tony Blair political support in recent parliamentary elections and have fueled a journalistic debate in this country.
The first Sun op-ed piece maintained that the memo, the official minutes of a secret July 23, 2002, meeting about Iraq with Blair and his inner circle, contradicts the Bush administration claims that it invaded as a last resort and that intelligence about weapons of mass destruction was honestly presented.
Tomgram: The Immoral Relativists of the Bush Administration
a project of the Nation Institute
compiled and edited by Tom Engelhardt
This post can be found at http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=4027
And Other Distractions of the Age of Bush
By Tom Engelhardt
"At a breakfast meeting with reporters, Wolfowitz said he hasn't read the [Downing Street] memos because he doesn't want to be ‘distracted' by ‘history' from his new job as head of the world's leading development bank. He returned this weekend from a tour of four African nations.
“Not only can they not find WMD in Iraq,
Iraq Combat Veterans describe occupation of Iraq as a “runaway train.