By Paul Rogat Loeb
"They died for their country," read the white granite memorial in the Concord, Massachusetts town square, honoring local men who died in the Civil War. Newer headstones mourned Concord men who gave their lives in other wars -- practically every war America has fought -- belying the recent baiting of quintessentially blue-state Massachusetts as a place whose citizens lack patriotism. I was in town, on the first anniversary of Sept 11, speaking at a local church that had lost one of its most active members on a hijacked plane, a man named Al Filipov. It was clear then -- and clearer now -- that these honored dead would not be our nation's last. I thought of Concord when George Bush urged us, this past Memorial Day, to redeem the sacrifices of our soldiers in Iraq by "completing the mission for which they gave their lives." But what if this mission (which will, of course, claim more lives) itself is questionable, and founded on a basis of lies? Forty-eight Concord men died in the Civil War, which the memorial called "the War of the Rebellion." They indeed died for their country, turning the tide at battles like Gettysburg and helping end the brutal oppression of slavery. The World War II vets, listed on a nearby plaque, helped preserve the freedom of America -- and the world. We owe a profound debt to the farmers and artisans who won our freedom in America's Revolution, and whose sacrifices were marked, a few miles away, with an exhibit on the battles of Lexington and Concord. It's easy for those who have lived through too many dubious wars to forget the power of their sacrifices.
FOIA from Congress, Questions from Media, Poll from Public
There's progress on every front:
Fifty-two Congress Members have filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the White House, the Department of Defense, and the Department of State seeking any and all documents and materials concerning the Downing Street Minutes and the lead up to the Iraq war.
Prime Minister Tony Blair has confirmed the authenticity of the Downing Street Minutes.
A Zogby poll has found that 42 percent of Americans would favor impeachment proceedings if President Bush misled the nation about his reasons for going to war with Iraq. Imagine where that figure will be after the public learns about the Downing Street Minutes!
More Questions on Missing Imam
If the CIA did abduct Abu Omar in Italy, the timing suggests his rendition was connected to the upcoming war in Iraq.
By Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball
June 29 - A radical imam allegedly abducted by CIA agents in Italy shortly before the U.S. invasion of Iraq was identified as a key figure in a jihadi network supplying foreign fighters for Ansar Al-Islam—a terror group that the Bush administration was then seeking to link to Saddam Hussein’s government, according to Italian court records.
The court records laying out the Italian case against Egyptian-born cleric Mostafa Hassan Nasr Osama, or Abu Omar, suggest possible motives for an otherwise puzzling CIA operation that has created new tensions between U.S. and European counterterrorism officials. An Italian judge last week ordered the arrest of 13 purported CIA operatives on kidnapping charges and requested that Interpol, the international police agency, provide assistance in tracking them down.
CODEPINK calls on Gov. Schwarzenegger to Bring the Guard Home from Iraq and Stop them from Spying on Peace Groups
SAN FRANCISCO - June 30 - According to emails obtained by the San Jose Mercury News, the California National Guard has created a new unit designed to deal with terrorist threats.
One of the first projects of the new guard unit was to spy on women's peace groups that held a small Mother's Day rally in Sacramento calling for CA Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to bring the state's national guard troops home from Iraq.''We want the national guard troops to come home from Iraq, but not for this," said Natalie Wormeli of CODEPINK's Davis, California chapter. They should be fighting wildfires and doing the sort of work they were trained for.''
Conyers and 51 Members File FOIA Request on Downing Street Minutes; Members Formally Seek Hearings in House
Representative John Conyers, Jr., (D-MI) House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, along with 51 other Members today submitted a broad and comprehensive FOIA request to the White House, the Department of Defense, and the Department of State seeking any and all documents and materials concerning the Downing Street Minutes and the lead up to the Iraq war, RAW STORY has learned.
In addition, the Members also formally requested that the House Committees on Judiciary, Armed Services, International Relations, and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence commence hearings on the Downing Street Minutes.
You can create a public listing of your event here. You will be able to communicate with the people who sign up for your event, and to edit the listing for your event, changing or filling in details later, which means that you can signup to host an event, but indicate that some details are "To Be Announced." Again the instructions for editing your event are here.
U.S. changed Iraq policy to begin airstrikes months before war
By John Byrne
Did Bush lie to Congress about use of force?
The U.S. quietly shifted policy towards Iraq to allow for surgical, pre-emptive airstrikes months before any attempt to seek UN or Congressional approval for the use of force, RAW STORY can reveal.
The discovery, made by investigative blogger Ron Brynaert, raises questions of whether Britain and the United States violated a UN resolution to provide for the security of Iraqi citizenry in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War.
The change meant that the U.S. began systematically bombing air defense systems and other buildings, even beyond the No-Fly Zones established in the wake of the Gulf War. The U.S. justified these pre-emptive airstrikes under a 1991 UN Security Council resolution which says that Iraq must "remove the threat to international peace and security in the region."
According to a poll released by Zogby today, 42% of Americans say they would favor impeachment proceedings if President Bush misled the nation about his reasons for going to war with Iraq.
"The results of this Zogby poll are astonishing and reveal the depth of anger among the American people over President Bush's lies about Iraq, even among 25% of Republicans" said Bob Fertik, president of Democrats.com.
"These results are especially remarkable because few Americans are even aware of the secret Downing Street Memos, which prove that President Bush was determined to invade Iraq long before he consulted Congress or the United Nations in the fall of 2002," Fertik said. "These official minutes of Prime Minister Blair's national security council meeting prove 'the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy' - that Bush knowingly lied to the world to sell his war plans."
Veterans For Peace
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Veterans GROUP ISSUES "DECLARATION OF IMPEACHMENT" AND ANNOUNCES PETITION TO REMOVE pRESIDENT bUSH
St. Louis – A national veterans’ organization today issued a “Declaration of Impeachment
A Zogby poll released today finds 42% of all Americans—including 25% of Republicans—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." According to Zogby, in Eastern and Western states supporters of impeachment outnumber opponents.
Zogby also found that Bush’s speech on Tuesday "produced no noticeable bounce in his approval numbers, with his job approval rating slipping a point from a week ago, to 43%."
SAN STEFFAN / WESTMINSTER
DATGANIAD I'R WASG PLAID CYMRU THE PARTY OF WALES PRESS RELEASE
Wednesday 29 June 2005 - for immediate release
The Prime Minister has confirmed the authenticity of a Downing Street memo in which Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, tells Mr Blair that the Bush administration was "fixing" the intelligence and facts about Saddam Hussein's regime to back up a decision that had been taken to invade Iraq as early as July 2002.
The Downing Street memo which was leaked to the Sunday Times newspaper in May 2005 has become a critical issue in the US. Senators Kennedy and Kerry have joined the escalating debate by writing to the President asking whether or not the memo was authentic and accurate. Downing Street has previously refused to comment on the memo's authenticity, but challenged for the first time on the floor of the House of Commons the Prime Minister has finally confirmed its authenticity.
By Robert Parry
In the days ahead, American politicians and pundits will talk a lot about “leveling
Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
Media analysis, critiques and activism
ACTION ALERT: June 29, 2005
After George W. Bush's June 28 speech about Iraq, MSNBC's Hardball presented viewers with a decidedly skewed "town meeting" featuring a panel dominated by Iraq war boosters.
The two-hour coverage, hosted by Chris Matthews, was anchored by a panel discussion that featured MSNBC reporter Norah O'Donnell, Islam scholar Reza Aslan, and four conservative Bush supporters: Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, MSNBC host Tucker Carlson, Bobbie Patray of the Eagle Forum of Tennessee and Jerry Sutton, pastor of the Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, where the event was held.
LONDON (AP) - British Prime Minister Tony Blair wants the world to know that the Iraq war was not predetermined by the United States.
Blair tells The Associated Press that the "Downing Street Memo," which was leaked to the media, paints a distorted picture.
The memo suggested that the White House viewed the war with Iraq as inevitable, and that the Bush administration was looking for ways to justify that war, through the use of intelligence about weapons of mass destruction.
Blair says "the decision was not already taken." And he says he's "a bit astonished" at the intense coverage the memo has gotten in the U-S.
Military Families Speak out
Joyce and Kevin Lucey are members of Military Families Speak Out and Gold Star Families for Peace. Their son, Cpl. Jeffrey Lucey, served in the Marine Reserves in Iraq in 2003. He came home neither safe nor sound. He suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and took his own life on June 22, 2004. His name is not in the Department of Defenses' roster of those who died in this war; yet Cpl. Lucey is a casualty of this war as much as any who has lost his or her life on the battlefield. This is their thoughts after watching President speak at Fort Bragg on June 28, 2005.
Published on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
By Cynthia Bogard
Jefferson Morley, a staff writer at washingtonpost.com, suggested recently that the Downing Street Memo (DSM) story continues to spread because it represents two stories, "an emerging alternative history of how the United States came to attack Iraq and a story of how the New Media has usurped some of the Old Media's power to set the agenda."
The "New Media" --the blogosphere and alternative news and views websites such as rawstory.com, buzzflash.com, commondreams.org and, especially pertinent to this story, afterdowningstreet.org--certainly deserve a lot of credit. On-line complaints about Old Media's neglect of the story have had a major impact. So has the "letters to the editors" campaign started by the original downingstreetmemo.com site that has deluged newspapers around the nation with reader demands for DSM coverage. Old Media--television and the major daily newspapers, The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and perhaps the L.A. Times and Chicago Tribune--finally have begun to get the message that the DSM story is not going to go away because New Media is not going to let it.
LONDON, England (AP) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Wednesday defended the war in Iraq, and brushed off a new question about a government memo that suggested Washington was determined to justify the invasion.
"I was glad that we took the action we did," Blair told the House of Commons when asked about the so-called Downing Street memo.
According to the leaked minutes of a July 23, 2002, meeting between Blair and top government officials at his Downing Street office, Sir Richard Dearlove, then chief of Britain's intelligence service, said the White House viewed military action against Saddam Hussein as inevitable.
With all due respect to Colonel Moon and the 25,000 or so American families who awaken every day trying to convince themselves that their loved ones' sacrifices have been, in George Bush's words, "worth it," I must say I am one American who came perilously close to throwing a shoe through the TV screen last night. Word up, Mr. Bush, we can handle the truth - some of us knew it from the start. So quit lying and obfuscating and preying upon our instinctive patriotism while our nation's sons and daughters are killed and maimed trying to fight the illegal, immoral war which you and your axis of evangelical, neo-conservative sycophants have hung around our nation's neck like an albatross. You, in my opinion, are years past the time when you should have been impeached, put before an international war crimes tribunal, and put in prison.
Letters are effective when they're in your own words. Don't copy this one. Just learn from it.
Dear Senator Coburn:
Thank you for your prompt response. I feel I must, with respect, disagree
with your decision not to support a Congressional Resolution of Inquiry into
the President's long-ago decided upon war against Iraq.
The Downing Street Memos and other documents dated as early as 1999 clearly
illustrate this administration's determination to launch an unprovoked war
of aggression against Iraq. The marketing of this lethal "product", as
White House spokesman Scott McLellan has so callously labeled it, was based
There is Something in the Air, But It is Not on the Airwaves
By Chris Chandler and Anne Feeney arranged by David Roe
You know, we have GOT it together. There ARE people in the streets.
At the very onset of Oil War Two there were already more people on the
streets protesting than there were at the height of the Vietnam war.
There is something in the air, but it is not on the airwaves.
If there are a half a dozen Jaycees in Cincinnati on a street corner
waving yellow ribbons, Fox news acts like it's A Republican Woodstock.
"By the time we got to Fallujah we were half a million strong."
* Amy Goodman on CNN's News Night with Aaron Brown 6/28/05 *
Please thank CNN for having Amy Goodman on the program News Night with Aaron
Brown last night after the Pres. Bush speech.
Click here for the form to submit the comment:
Here is a link to the video:
Listen to the mp3 here:
* Read transcript posted below
= = = = = = = = =
NEW FEATURE: Democracy Now!'s daily news summaries are now available in
Read Wednesday, June 29, 2005:
BY TOMIO GERON
THE OLYMPIAN, WA
While President Bush made his case Tuesday for the war in Iraq, a small group of local veterans called for his impeachment for taking the country into war in the first place.
About a dozen members of the local chapter of Veterans for Peace delivered a letter to the Olympia office of U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, D-Vancouver, calling on him to support an inquiry into impeachment of the president.
The veterans filed into Baird's waiting room and spoke to the congressman's representative, who accepted their statements.
"I want the war to end. I want our soldiers to come home," said Jody Tiller of Olympia, who served six years in Korea with the Air Force. "I want our soldiers home safe and well. Our soldiers were betrayed into going over there."
By David Swanson, AfterDowningStreet.org
In the coming free 30 minutes of uninterrupted airtime that ABC News and the Disney Corporation will no doubt give to a spokesperson for the majority of Americans who believe that the war on Iraq was a mistake, I expect we'll see some of the following points made about the speech that Bush just gave.
First, it was curious to see Bush adopt usage of the French language, in particular his repeated usage of the word "oui." At one point, he said "Oui, accept these burdens." Some viewers supposed he meant "We accept these burdens," but no one has been able to identify a single burden that Bush has accepted, leading to the consensus that the French word must have been the one on the teleprompters.
If the Downing Street Documents didn't make the important points that they do (Bush had decided on war, had decided to lie about WMD and 9/11, had actually started the war early) then citizens would not have forced them down the media's throat, yet what the media says the documents are about never quite gets it right:
SCHNEIDER: There is evidence in today's ABC News-"Washington Post" poll. For the first time, a majority of Americans, 52 percent, told that poll that the Bush administration, in their view, intentionally misled the public in making the case for war. Now, that could be the impact of the Downing Street Memo, which was the recently released British government document suggesting that the Bush administration manipulated the facts in order to make the case for war.
Akron Beacon Journal
June 29, 2005
The media coverage of Watergate has been extensive since Mark Felt identified himself as Deep Throat. Granted, it's an intriguing story and definitely should not be forgotten, but is it worth all the ink when we have a looming scandal of perhaps equal significance in a memo that almost cost British Prime Minister Tony Blair his bid for re-election? The so-called ''Downing Street memo,'' the top-secret minutes from a Blair Cabinet meeting concerning a previous meeting in Washington, D.C., between top British and American security officials, was leaked to the London Times and subsequently published May 1. Among the more disturbing statements in it was this: ''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.''
By News Hounds
For those who think Democrats can't do well on FOX News, check out how Congressman Charles Rangel, on Hannity & Colmes no less, managed to drive home his point that Bush planned to attack Iraq before 9/11. Democrats should study how he was able to turn around Hannity's "questions" and use them for his own talking points. He was never intimidated by Hannity and he never got angry.
Sean Hannity opened the discussion with this "fair and balanced" question: President Bush promised that the United States would stay the course in bringing freedom to the people of Iraq but some Democrats are advocating for the troops to come home now before the job is done... It's very predictable from the Democratic party. I have heard the president called a liar repeatedly by the leaders of your party... Howard Dean says Republicans are evil, brain-dead corrupt... so we should, I guess, anticipate that your Democratic friends didn't like the speech tonight? (Comment: I think we can anticipate that Sean Hannity didn't like the speech tonight, either, because he said very little about it.)
Raleigh News and Observer
By MATTHEW EISLEY, Staff Writer
FAYETTEVILLE -- As President Bush renewed his case for war among hundreds of soldiers at Fort Bragg, a detachment of about 50 war protesters in Fayetteville urged a turn toward peace.
"I love my country," said Hillary Fisher, 34, the owner of the Modern Times clothing store in Chapel Hill and a first-time war protester.
"I can't believe what's happening, so I was compelled to come out," she said. "President Bush owes us answers. And he owes us an end date. The fact that there's no end date concerns me."
Fisher and others at the peace vigil at Fayetteville's antebellum Market House, a central landmark in this military city, read aloud the names of the more than 1,700 U.S. troops killed so far in Iraq.
By: Monica Lewis, BlackAmericaWeb.com
"We will stay in the fight until the fight is won."
Those were the words of President George W. Bush, determined not to let his critics or the rising number of U.S. military dead deter his plans to continue the conflict in Iraq.
Despite the apropos setting of the Fort Bragg military base, Bush’s words, spoken during a primetime address Tuesday evening, did little to change the minds of people like Ron Walters, the noted University of Maryland political scientist. Walters told BlackAmericaWeb.com that Bush did nothing more than give a speech, failing to send a clear message as to how and when the conflict will be resolved.
Corp. Media's Failure to Cover Downing St Memos
Wednesday, 29 June 2005, 2:53 pm
Article: Between The Lines
Between the Lines Q&A
A weekly column featuring progressive viewpoints
on national and international issues
under-reported in mainstream media
for release June 27, 2005
Progressive Activists and Legislators Challenge Corporate Media's Failure to Cover Downing Street Memo
- Interview with Danny Schechter, journalist and filmmaker, conducted by Scott Harris
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