Pelosi and Murtha to Hold Press Conference on War in Iraq

Washington, D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congressman John Murtha will hold a news conference today at 2:15 p.m. to discuss the war in Iraq and the questions Democrats would like the President to answer in his speech on Iraq tonight.

WHO: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Congressman John Murtha, Ranking Member, Defense Appropriations Subcommittee

WHAT: News Conference to Discuss War in Iraq and questions Democrats would like the President to address in his speech

WHEN: Tuesday, June 28 at 2:15 p.m.

WHERE: H-204, The Capi

General Mosley Flying Under Radar?

By Shakespeare's Sister

Following up on yesterday’s post about the general who confirmed in a 2003 briefing the secret air war, known as the "spikes of activity" which preceded Congressional authorization for the Iraq War, we come to find out, care of Spoof News editor JJ, that the same general, Gen. T. Michael Moseley, was nominated by Bush on May 16 as chief of staff of the Air Force to succeed Gen. John P. Jumper who has served in the position since September 2001.

57 Percent Say Bush Administration Intentionally Exaggerated Evidence

Majority of Americans believe Bush administration misled public on Iraq: poll Tue Jun 28, 2:14 AM ET
By AFP

Most Americans now believe that President George W. Bush's administration "intentionally misled" the public in going to war in Iraq, according to a poll.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll came on the eve of a key speech in which Bush will seek public support for the war, which 53 percent of Americans who were surveyed said was not worth fighting.

A record 57 percent say the Bush administration "intentionally exaggerated its evidence that pre-war Iraq possessed nuclear, chemical or biological weapons," according to the poll.

Rumsfeld Said What?

It wasn’t all that long ago when a young conservative congressman from Illinois named Donald Rumsfeld spoke eloquently on the floor of the House of Representatives during the Vietnam War about the need for the Johnson administration to speak more truthfully about that conflict.

A 1966 article in the Chicago Tribune quoted Rumsfeld as saying the following: “The administration should clarify its intent in Viet Nam,’ he said. ‘People lack confidence in the credibility of our government.’ Even our allies are beginning to suspect what we say, he charged. ‘It’s a difficult thing today to be informed about our government even without all the secrecy,’ he said. ‘With the secrecy, it’s impossible. The American people will do what’s right when they have the information they need.

Iraq memo has serious implications about war

Oregon Daily Emerald
By Emerald editorial board
June 28, 2005

Earlier this month, a piece of documentation relating to the war in Iraq was uncovered: The Downing Street memo; it is the most convincing proof yet that military action in Iraq was based on faulty, possibly nonexistent intelligence. Worst of all, the memo makes it perfectly clear that the lack of concrete information pertaining to Saddam Hussein’s possession of weapons of mass destruction was no secret to President Bush.

The memo details British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s report on a political talk involving President Bush. The most poignant line of the memo, dated eight months prior to the United States’ invasion of Iraq, reads:

U.K. media keeps pressure on Bush

Edward M. Gomez, special to SF Gate, www.sfgate.com
Tuesday, June 28, 2005

As President Bush gets ready to deliver another carefully stage-managed televised speech to the nation from an army base in North Carolina tonight, commentators and news analysts in the British press are cutting through the White House's rhetoric to ask, in language that often sounds much stronger than that of their counterparts in the United States, some hard questions about the Republicans' Iraq-war policy and the future of the post-Saddam crisis.

"U.S. public opinion on the Iraq war dips with every dead soldier and plummets at the first sniff of defeat," commentator Gary Younge writes in The Guardian. Citing a recent Gallup poll of Americans, Younge notes that "[m]ore than half [of those surveyed] believe the war has not made them safer, and 40 percent believe it has striking similarities to the experience in Vietnam." (A separate CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll conducted June 16-19 shows that 59 percent of adult Americans nationwide are now opposed to the war. (PollingReport.com))

52 Percent Say Bush Administration Deliberately Misled Public Before War

That's the buried lead in this Washington Post article, and that figure comes from a survey taken BEFORE people's activism forced the Post to put this issue on its front page today.

Americans skeptical about claims on insurgents
Most support staying in Iraq, though, poll finds
By Richard Morin and Dan Balz
The Washington Post
Updated: 10:29 p.m. ET June 27, 2005

As President Bush prepares to address the nation about Iraq tonight, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that most Americans do not believe the administration's claims that impressive gains are being made against the insurgency, but a clear majority is willing to keep U.S. forces there for an extended time to stabilize the country.

Dems target pre-Iraq war intelligence

The Hill
By Josephine Hearn

Democrats are eyeing several parliamentary maneuvers to prod Congress into investigating the so-called Downing Street memo and other recently disclosed documents that they contend shows that the Bush administration manipulated prewar intelligence to build support for the war in Iraq.

Although any Democratic move will almost certainly fail in the face of vigorous Republican opposition, such maneuvers would constitute the first steps toward filing articles of impeachment, a bold step that some Democrats have left as an open question in recent weeks.

“If you read the record of the writing of the Constitution, ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ had a very particular meaning at the time of the drafting of the Constitution. It certainly didn’t mean lying about sex, but it might well mean lying to the Congress about a large public purpose such as Iraq,

Washington Post Covers Downing Street Documents on Front Page

Link to original.

From Memos, Insights Into Ally's Doubts On Iraq War
British Advisers Foresaw Variety of Risks, Problems

By Glenn Frankel
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, June 28, 2005; A01

LONDON -- In the spring of 2002, two weeks before British Prime Minister Tony Blair journeyed to Crawford, Tex., to meet with President Bush at his ranch about the escalating confrontation with Iraq, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw sounded a prescient warning.

"The rewards from your visit to Crawford will be few," Straw wrote in a March 25 memo to Blair stamped "Secret and Personal." "The risks are high, both for you and for the Government."

U.S., Britain led massive secret bombing campaign

The unofficial war: U.S., Britain led massive secret bombing campaign before Iraq war was declared
By Larisa Alexandrovna and John Byrne, Raw Story

A U.S. general who commanded the U.S. allied air forces in Iraq has confirmed that the U.S. and Britain conducted a massive secret bombing campaign before the U.S. actually declared war on Iraq.

The quote, passed from RAW STORY to the London Sunday Times last week, raises troubling questions of whether President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair engaged in an illegal war before seeking a UN resolution or congressional approval.

World Tribunal on Iraq Preliminary Declaration

WTI: PRELIMINARY DECLARATION OF THE JURY OF CONSCIENCE WORLD

In February 2003, weeks before war was declared on Iraq, millions of people protested in the streets of the world. That call went unheeded. No international institution had the courage or conscience to stand up to the aggression of the US and UK governments. No one could stop them. It is two years later now. Iraq has been invaded, occupied, and devastated. The attack on Iraq is an attack on justice, on liberty, on our safety, on our future, on us all. We the people of conscience decided to stand up. We formed the World Tribunal on Iraq, to demand justice and a peaceful future.

KARL ROVE CAN'T LIE HIS WAY OUT

Niagara Falls Reporter
By Bill Gallagher

DETROIT -- Cynicism is the soul of George W. Bush's presidency and Karl Rove, the man he calls his "brain," speaks out loud the thoughts lurking in the president's ruthless but muddled mind. Rove is the most vile, despicable, duplicitous, power-addicted, war-mongering, lying neo-fascist in the administration, save Dick Cheney and the man who lets them run the government for him.

Rove's cynicism is a perfect reflection of Bush's jaded mind and willingness to say and do anything to grab and preserve power. If that means sending young men and women to die in an illegal, unnecessary war against the wrong enemy, Rove figures, so what?

Incinerating Iraqis: The Napalm Cover-Up

By Mike Whitney
www.dissidentvoice.org
June 27, 2005

“You smell that? Do you smell that? Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for twelve hours. When it was all over I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory.

U of Texas Prof Defends Imperialism, Suggests Bush Had to Lie Because People too Dumb to Understand

Going on the attack

By Allan Saxe

Special to the Star-Telegram

Criticism of President Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq based on that country's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction continues without abatement.

The Downing Street memo recently surfaced in Britain. It implied that Bush wanted the war no matter what and that he used the WMD issue as a pretext.

Having been criticized for a lack of post-war planning, Bush ironically is being chastised for a surfeit of pre-war planning.

Nations have always used various reasons -- usually dramatic, oversimplified and visual -- as pretexts for war. This simple, sound-bite approach often obfuscates real and more complicated motivations.

Downing Street Minutes to Hit House Floor

Congressman John Conyers, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and Congresswoman Barbara Lee are asking their colleagues in the House of Representatives to join them on the evening of June 28 to discuss the Downing Street Minutes on the floor of the House.

They need our help. Please contact your Congress Member right away and ask them to contact the Judiciary Committee staff and commit to taking part.
Phone: 1-877-762-8762
Email: http://www.democrats.com/peoplesemailnetwork/39

Below is a letter that has been circulated to Congress members:

Join the 'Out of Iraq' Caucus
On June 28, 2005 for an Hour of Special Order on the Downing Street Minutes

Protest to Target Washington Post Under-Reporting of Downing Street Papers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 27, 2005

WHAT: PICKET LINE AND DEMONSTRATION
WHEN: 5:00 PM, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29
WHERE: 1150 15TH ST., NW, WASHINGTON, DC

Members of a growing list of organizations concerned about the continued failure by the Washington Post, in particular, and much of the mainstream media, in general, to adequately cover the eight "Downing Street Papers", will conduct a peaceful protest in front of the Washington, D. C. offices of the Washington Post from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Wednesday, June 29.

The demonstration has already been endorsed by the Progressive Democrats of America, Code Pink, AfterDowningStreet.org, Democrats.com, Northern Virginians United for Peace and Justice, with more groups signing on every day. Members of the DC Anti-War Network (DAWN), Gold Star Families for Peace, and other organizations will also participate in the demonstration.

More Americans Say Bush Responsible for Provoking Iraq War

49% Say Bush Responsible for Provoking Iraq War, 44% Say Hussein

June 23, 2005--Forty-nine percent (49%) of Americans say that President Bush is more responsible for starting the War with Iraq than Saddam Hussein. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 44% take the opposite view and believe Hussein shoulders most of the responsibility.

In late 2002, months before the fighting began, most Americans thought that Hussein was the one provoking the War. Just one-in-four thought the President was doing the provoking at that time.

The biggest change in perceptions has come among Democrats.

Memo to editors: Cover memos

By C.B. Hanif
Palm Beach Post Editorial Writer
Sunday, June 26, 2005

No topic has funneled more recent outrage to this desk than what have become known as the Downing Street memos. Critics charge that the leaked British intelligence documents are further evidence that the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq was a done deal at least eight months earlier, rather than a last resort, and that the administration scammed a timid Congress while assuring a fearful American public that an invasion decision had not been made.

"And, if this be true," e-mailed Jimmy L. Shirley Jr., "it shows that the war is based on a lie (sound familiar?) and that our boys and girls are dying and being maimed based on this. Two of my sons are over there in the Army. I hope they get out and away alive and in one piece."

'Spikes of Activity' In The DSM

By Why Are We Back in Iraq?
http://www.whyareweback.blogspot.com

UPDATE: At the end of this post, I've added excerpts from a Department of Defense briefing with Gen. Peter Pace, Vice-Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld from September 16th, 2002. Shockingly (or not so shockingly), Rumsfeld made light of the war before the war, and many members of the press laughed about it with him.

(Updated with excerpts from Michael Smith's articles from 2002, and his latest Sunday Times article...even more updates...this article will remain at the top of my blog and I will continue to add to it over the next few days.)

How the leaked documents questioning war emerged from 'Britain's Deep Throat'

Sunday Times
June 26, 2005
By Michael Smith

It started with a phone call and has now swept across America: Michael Smith tells the tale of his 'Downing Street memo' scoop

It began with a phone call from a friend nearly 10 months ago — somebody well-placed who had given me a few stories before. But he wasn’t really a journalistic source, though he has now been dubbed "the British Deep Throat" by some of the US press.

He was just a friend. So I had no great expectations of the meeting we arranged in a quiet West End bar. I was just expecting a convivial drink, with the usual exchange of gossip, the catching-up on how our lives were going.

Testimony given to the World Tribunal on Iraq

Published on Saturday, June 25, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
The Conduct of the UN Before and After the 2003 Invasion
by Hans Von Sponeck
June 24, 2005

In discussing UN involvement before and after the 2003 invasion of US, UK and other coalition forces into Iraq, a clear distinction has to be made between the policy makers and the civil servants expected to carry out the policies, i.e., between member governments in the UN Security Council and the UN Secretariat.
If this is done, it quickly becomes clear that primary responsibility for the human catastrophe in Iraq lies with the political UN, with those member governments in the UN Security Council who had the power to make a difference. The failure of the Council to make a humanitarian, ethical and legal difference is much more monumental than is commonly known. There is not only the betrayal of the Iraqi people but also the betrayal of the UN Charter and the betrayal of the international conscience.

The Ever Changing Definition of "Mission" In Iraq

From ThinkProgress

A headline in the Washington Post today declares “Bush Defends Strategy In Iraq, Pledges to ‘Complete the Mission’.

Is this Bush's 'smoking gun'?

War opponents seek U.S. inquiry into U.K. memos Documents show war started before Congress approved
Toronto Star
TIM HARPER, WASHINGTON BUREAU

WASHINGTON—Cindy Sheehan never supported George W. Bush's war in Iraq, and always thought the case for the invasion was built on a pyramid of lies.

Her son Casey shared her views, she says, even as he deployed for Iraq from Fort Hood, Tex. His perception didn't change even as the army specialist mounted a rescue mission in Sadr City 14 months ago, then took a bullet in the midst of chaotic battle, ending a life that didn't last 25 years.

He had been in Iraq only two weeks.

Ten Senators Send Letter on Downing Street Minutes to Senate Intelligence Committee

DOWNING STREET UPDATE
From RawStory.com
Larisa Alexandrovna - Raw Story Staff

Senator Kerry (D - MA) sends letter to Senate Intelligence Committee pressing for answers on the Downing Street Memo and other Downing documents. The letter leaked to Raw Story, is also signed by Senators Johnson, Corzine, Reed, Lautenberg, Boxer, Kennedy, Harkin, Bingaman, and Durbin. The text of the letter is below.
###
June 22, 2005
The Honorable Pat Roberts, Chairman
The Honorable John D. Rockefeller, IV, Vice Chairman
United States Senate
Select Committee on Intelligence
SH-211

Washington, DC 20510

Fixing the Facts

EDITORIAL
Memphis Flyer

There are many lessons to be learned from the increasingly famous Downing Street memo and the related documents now emerging in its wake. First of all is the most obvious: a categorical report by Sir Richard Dearlove, the chief of British intelligence, that President Bush was determined to go to war against Iraq in mid-2002 (and probably much earlier), that there was insufficient intelligence data to justify military action, and that the Bush administration intended to "fix the facts around the policy" so as to justify military action.

Dearlove had been invited to Washington to participate in high-level planning sessions in the wake of 9/11. He held talks with George Tenet, director of the CIA, and other high-ranking administration officials. The memo was his no-nonsense summary of those sessions, prepared for subsequent scrutiny by the government of Bush's war partner, Prime Minister Tony Blair. "Military action was now seen as inevitable," wrote Dearlove. "Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD."

British memos raise questions

South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board

June 24, 2005

ISSUE: British memos raise questions about the Bush administration's prewar planning and motives.

As the public buzz grows louder over leaked British memoranda on the planning that led to the war in Iraq, one thing must be clearly emphasized: there is no "smoking gun" among the memos. But there is plenty to warrant suspicion, and to prompt Americans and their representatives in Congress to demand answers from the Bush administration.

Why, for instance, did Condoleezza Rice, then U.S. national security adviser, show no interest in discussing Osama bin Laden or al-Qaida when she met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair's chief foreign policy adviser a mere six months after 9-11? The adviser says all Rice wanted to talk about was "regime change" in Iraq.

Fixing To Fix “Fixed

By Ray McGovern

The Downing Street papers are proving a formidable challenge to the White House PR machine as it desperately tries—in often-ludicrous ways—to slow down a train that has already left the station. And interest continues to build. The leaked British documents are now on the top-ten list of Google queries.

One huge fly in the ointment for the administration was British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s early decision that it would be a fool’s errand to challenge the authenticity of the papers. Why? Because there is still a relatively free Fourth Estate in the U.K. together with patriotic whistleblowers willing to risk jail for exposing government dishonesty.

Resurgence of anti-war activism evident in Michigan on 4th of July

By Michigan Peaceworks

Peace organizations to march in Ann Arbor parade with "Fahrenheit 9/11" military mom Lila Lipscomb, place advertisements in 8 newspapers throughout the state.

Ann Arbor, MI, July 4th, 2005: Nationwide, the anti-war movement is experiencing a resurgence in the wake of the revelatory "Downing Street memos."* Michigan, a state from which 52 soldiers have been killed in the Iraq War, serves as a prime example of this renewed activity. Activists from around the state are ushering in Independence Day with a declaration of peace and new national priorities.

In Ann Arbor, site of historic anti-war demonstrations, post-9/11 peace advocacy organization Michigan Peaceworks will give Fourth of July celebrations an alternative spin. Activists from Ann Arbor and other parts the state will display a "peace float" and march by the dozens in the Independence Day parade. The peace float and marching unit features a rock band playing peace anthems, a drum corps, a giant dove puppet, peace signs on tall sticks, and distribution of chocolate "Earth" balls. Click here for photos of the 2004 Independence Day peace float. The parade begins downtown at William and Maynard streets. It travels east on William St., north on State St., west on Liberty St., south on Main St., and east on William St. to Maynard St.

Got XM Satelite Radio? Here's Where to Tune on Saturday!

I want to take a moment and inform you of who is going to be "On With Leon" this Saturday the 25th of June from 2:00 -4:00 PM ET.

2:00 - 4:00 PM ET Did President George W. Bush intentionally mislead Congress in his quest to topple Saddam Hussein?

This is the question that was at the heart of a hearing conducted by Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan) on Thursday, June 16. Should this be investigated? If the President, members of his cabinet and administration lied to Congress and the American people, what should the consequences be? Do the words high crimes and misdemeanors mean anything to you?

The War Before The War

By John Prados
June 24, 2005
http://www.TomPaine.com
John Prados is a senior fellow with the National Security Archive in Washington, D.C. He is author of Hoodwinked: The Documents That Reveal How Bush Sold Us a War (The New Press).

The now-notorious Downing Street memos make it necessary to reframe the story of the aerial operations that took place before the war, with significant new conclusions emerging. It now appears that the United States, dragging a reluctant Great Britain behind it, executed a deliberate, purposeful bombing campaign against Saddam Hussein's Iraq beginning in May 2002. Among the Downing Street memos are British government legal briefs written immediately before May 2002 finding that these air operations had no basis in international law and constituted aggressive acts.

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