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To: Interested Parties
From: Bob Graham, former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman John Podesta, President and C.E.O., Center for American Progress
Re: Pre-War Intelligence and Vice President Cheney’s Speech on Iraq
Date: November 21, 2005
In his speech today, Vice President Cheney wisely backed away from the White House’s personal criticism of Congressman John Murtha. But the Vice President continued the Administration’s irresponsible misrepresentation of the facts that led to President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. Vice President Cheney repeated his misleading assertions regarding actions taken by the Clinton Administration and the Congress to combat the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.
By Jeeni Criscenzo
I went down to Carlsbad Blvd. today to do a final walkabout, looking for any unexpected problems for our vigil on Friday. As I stood there looking south, toward Cannon Rd., I created a picture in my mind of what that stretch will look like 3:00 PM on Friday when over 2,000 people will line it. It's going to be an incredible experience!
As I count my blessings this Thanksgiving, above all, I am thankful to have all of you in my heart - because if you are on this email list, you are most definitely in my heart. I am overwhelmed when I think about how many loving, brave and genuine people I have met and worked with here, over the past year. It seems as if, as things in our government get more and more horrendous, there is an equally powerful force growing within ordinary people who are finding the inner resolve to stand up and do something. I am honored and thankful to have you as my friends and supporters. A year from now, with your help, I'll be packing my bags for Washington, DC, to be your voice in a new Congress where people matter. Change is most definitely in the wind!
There is no one in this country more responsible for the change in Americans' attitudes toward the Iraq War than Cindy Sheehan. Let's ask Time Magazine to consider her for 2005 Person of the Year.
Nominate Cindy Sheehan for Time Magazine Person of the Year - Pass it on!
Click here to vote.
Iraq Fact Sheet
Americans Want Change and Leadership
• Americans believe change in Iraq is necessary. A recent CBS News Poll showed 59% of Americans want to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible. The same poll indicated 64%, nearly 2/3 of Americans believe the results of the Iraq war are not worth its costs.
• Americans are disappointed with the current leadership on Iraq. According to a recent Washington Post-ABC News Poll, 64% of Americans disapprove of the way President Bush is handling the situation in Iraq.
From Progressive Democrats of America
While we support the efforts of Rep. Murtha, PDA's focus and resources will be devoted to support Rep. James McGovern's (D-MA) bill calling for withdrawal now. Rep. McGovern recently wrote a letter to PDA staff in which he asked to have us share it with our grassroots base. The letter outlines the need to withdraw from Iraq. You can read the letter here: http://www.pdamerica.org/misc/McGovern-PDA-Letter.pdf
You can also read a letter that gives some background on this issue: http://www.pdamerica.org/misc/McGovern-Background.pdf.
McGovern was recently at a PDA Washington, D.C. function at which he outlined the above letter in a new bill he has put forward and described specifically how PDA can help. A short video clip of part of his interview can be seen here: Rep. McGovern Video Clips (requires free RealPlayer software): [56k Modem] [Broadband]
2,100 soldiers now dead in Iraq; suicide bomber kills 17; Larry Johnson; dirty bomb suspect Padilla indicted; and more ... Browse our continually updating front page at http://www.truthout.org
VIDEO SPECIAL | School of the Americas Protest
A Film by Rebecca MacNeice
Rebecca MacNeice reports from the 16th annual School of the Americas protest at Fort Benning, GA. 20,000 people participated in the protest, including 41 who were arrested. The protesters focused their attention on the School because of its involvement in the training of many Central American military officers who went on to commit human rights abuses.
Operation Yellow Feather: Day Two
by BostonJoe, dailykos.com
Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohip) is in deep political trouble because she called Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania) a coward. And the progressive blogosphere has played a part in ensuring that she is held accountable for her remarks.
The Cincinnati Enquirer says she skipped two local appearances Monday. She is a true Chicken Hawk. Talk the talk. But when the going gets tough -- AWOL.
By Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
Contact: Brendan Daly/Jennifer Crider, 202-226-7616
Washington, D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on the President's failure to provide a plan for success in Iraq:
"This week, Iraqi leaders at the Arab League conference in Cairo called for a timetable for withdrawing foreign forces from Iraq, further evidence of how far out of touch President Bush's Iraq policy is from reality. While senior Administration officials such as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggest that U.S. forces may still be in Iraq in 10 years, Iraqi Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish leaders have all stated clearly that they want the Iraqi people to quickly take over their country's future and be responsible for its security.
If you're in DC...
Don’t Miss Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s Emergency Speak Out on The War & Our Priorities at Home
Moderator: Kojo Nnamdi of WAMU 88.5 FM
Thursday, December 1, 2005,6:30 – 8:30pm
345 Cannon House Office Building - Cannon Caucus Room, 1st and C Streets SE (Capitol South Metro)
You’ve Heard Contrasting Views from Rep. Jack Murtha and President Bush Congresswoman Norton Wants to Hear from You!
Brief Remarks by Emory Kosh, a Veteran Home from Iraq then the floor is yours on the War and on $50 billion in new House cuts in vital services, including health care and student loans.
By Bob Fertik, President, Democrats.com
CNN LATE EDITION WITH WOLF BLITZER
Interview With Donald Rumsfeld; Interview With Lawrence Wilkerson
Aired November 20, 2005 - 11:00 ET
RUMSFELD: We know intelligence is imperfect.
BLITZER: That's why the U.S. went to war: the WMD and the Iraq- Al Qaida
connection that you alleged.
RUMSFELD: The reason the United States went to war, the president has
announced and said it repeatedly. There were 17 resolutions in the U.N.
that were ignored by Saddam Hussein. Our planes were being shot at on a
Institute for Public Accuracy
The British group PLATFORM has just released a report: "Crude
Designs: The Rip-Off of Iraq's Oil Wealth." Among the group's
* "Current Iraqi oil policy will allocate the development of at
least 64 percent of Iraq's reserves to foreign oil companies."
* "The estimated cost to Iraq over the life of the new oil
contracts is $74 to $194 billion, compared with leaving oil
development in public hands."
* "The contracts would guarantee massive profits to foreign
companies, with rates of return of 42 to 162 percent. The kinds of
United For Peace and Justice
Washington Update – November 22, 2005
Members of Congress are home for the holidays, we encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to visit them in their district offices, or question them about the war in Iraq at public events in the district. For updated lobbying materials – including talking points, bills and actions to ask for and more, please check the legislative page on the UFPJ website: http://www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?id=3116#grassroots
It was a busy week in Congress, the upshot is that we have many vehicles to press members on to show their support for an end to the war.
She'll get you, Rep. Murtha, you little pretty
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Gen. JC Christian, patriot
Patriot Boy. Blogspot
Rep. Jean Schmidt
US House of Representatives
Dear Representative Schmidt,
It's about time someone called Rep. Murtha to account for the cowardice he's shown during America's darkest times. When Sen. McCarthy needed him to fight the war of ideas by exposing the communist professors on our campuses, Murtha left his college and slunk off to hide out with the Marines. When Strom Thurmond needed him to beat up the uppity brown people holding sit-ins at our finest drug store lunch counters, Murtha wormed his way over to Vietnam. And while you were voting to cut the taxes of our best Americans and take away food stamps and health benefits from the un-moneyed rabble who don't deserve America's bounty, he was calling for us to abandon the fledgling Islamic theocracy we're building in Iraq.
U.S. Tour of Duty presents
HOW WE GOT INTO IRAQ AND HOW TO GET OUT
Featuring in person: SCOTT RITTER
Monday, December 5, 7:30-9:00 PM at Venice United Methodist Church, 1020 Victoria Avenue, Venice (1 block north of Venice Blvd. at Lincoln Blvd.)
Join Scott Ritter, former UN Weapons Inspector and author of Iraq Confidential (Nation Books), and Lila Garrett, host of KPFK's "Connect the Dots," for an incisive discussion on how to extract ourselves from the Iraq quagmire.
A book sale and signing will follow the event.
Doors open 6:30 PM. Seating is first-come, first-served.
Suggested donation: $10 (nobody turned away)
Murtha says Americans agree with his call for Iraq withdrawal
By DAN LOVERING, Associated Press
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - U.S. Rep. John Murtha, a key Democrat on military issues, on Monday defended his call to pull U.S. troops from Iraq, saying he was reflecting Americans' sentiment.
"The public turned against this war before I said it," Murtha said. "The public is emotionally tied into finding a solution to this thing, and that's what I hope this administration is going to find out."
Murtha, 73, a decorated Vietnam veteran and the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriates defense subcommittee, said he has received support from the public since calling for the troop pullout on Thursday. He said he has gotten e-mails from World War II veterans and parents of American soldiers in Iraq.
PDA plans to be meeting with Democratic National Committee (DNC) members at their next meeting in Phoenix, AZ. Our goal will be simple: to message that the progressive movement within the Democratic Party is organized and in force!
We also plan to host an evening reception for attendees of the Young Democrats of America (YDA) and DNC events. This event will be open to the public and a place for folks to network with DNC members. There is a possibility of having some very progressive, well-known musicians there. Stay tuned as we firm that up. The details of this event are linked below.
By Falah Alwan, President, Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq
Our federation will hold a sit in protest in the station of electrecity in Musayab, calling for withdrawal of the US troops from the station.
A number of workers in the thermal power station in the city Musayeb have submitted complain to the Federation of worker councils and unions in Iraq regarding the current situations in the station. Therefore we write this memorandum a according to these demands, and our commitment as a union to reject the transformation of the workplace into military barracks.
From U.S. Labor Against the War
We encourage all USLAW affiliates, members and contacts to follow the lead of this initiative by USLAW affiliate SEIU District 1199P. Many Democrats are running scared away from Murtha. It is important to contact your local Democratic members of Congress to tell them they should not just support Murtha, they too should demand an immediate end to the war and occupation of Iraq.
Brothers and Sisters,
In coordination with US Labor Against the War (USLAW), we are asking key leaders of important labor organizations in PA to join us in making calls to PA Congressman John Murtha to offer our support and encouragement for the courageous position he announced yesterday calling for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. Below is a link to his speech:
By Progressive Democrats of America
November 16, 2005--Watch exclusive online video of Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) being interviewed regarding his bill H. Res. 4232, which would cut off funding for the Iraq war. See links below to select a clip appropriate for your Internet connection speed. Then take action to support the resolution!
On November 18, Congressman John Murtha introduced H.J.Res. 73, a resolution that:
"The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date.
"A quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S. Marines shall be deployed in the region.
"The United States of America shall pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy."
PDF of bill.
By William M. Arkin
The Washington Post
How to get out of Iraq.
Congressman John Murtha's speech on Iraq yesterday is another turning point in the Iraq debate. The President and Vice President may argue that politicians are playing politics and their feelings may be hurt that their competence and motives are called into question, but when one of the Pentagon's best friends speaks out against continuing the Iraq enterprise, the voices at the White House seem ever more puny and defensive.
So it isn't surprising that all White House spokesman Scott McClellan could say yesterday was that Murtha was "endorsing the policy positions of ... the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party."
Eli Stephens, Left I on the News
Serendipity. Driving from one place to another with a bit of time on my hands, I was sucked into a passing bookstore, and what did I find on the shelves but Not One More Mother's Child by Cindy Sheehan, the just-published first book from Koa Books. The book features a prominent picture of Sheehan, Martin Sheen, and a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War standing behind a striking IVAW banner on the cover. I'm sure I've read many of the writings inside, all of which have been on the web somewhere or other, but I'm sure it will still be a worthwhile purchase.
Scheer out as Bush attacks Iraq War critics
Los Angeles Times columnist Robert Scheer was fired on November 11 after nearly 30 years at the paper, the last 13 as one of its most progressive political columnists.
In a published statement announcing op-ed page changes (11/10/05), the Times insisted that it is dedicated to "provid[ing] readers with a wide range of voices and perspectives," but in dumping Scheer, the paper has gotten rid of one of the few prominent progressive columnists in the country.
Scheer's forceful and independent commentary has often placed him in the middle of national debates. He has been one of the strongest critics of the White House over the Iraq War. For instance, in a pre-war column (8/6/02) that undercuts the current notion that everyone got the WMD story wrong, Scheer wrote that “a consensus of experts
(Editor's note: Sent to my mailbox...)
President Bush says, "We don't torture," but his actions speak otherwise. He has threatened to veto bills that contain amendments sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would definitively ban torture by U.S. forces . His vice president, Dick Cheney, has repeatedly pushed to exempt the CIA from McCain's bill. Cheney's tune hasn't changed in the four years since he said, "A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly, without any discussion, using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies...so it's going to be vital for us to use any means at our disposal, basically, to achieve our objective" (emphasis added) .
Drown out Bush's State of the Union speech in January with protest
BUSH: STEP DOWN AND TAKE YOUR WHOLE PROGRAM WITH YOU!
Saturday/Sunday November 19/20, 2005
The Law School of Columbia University
116th Street at Amsterdam Avenue, New York City
sliding scale: $25 - $100
Saturday 19 10 am-9:30 pm
10:30 Open the conference
11:00 Presentations on what we accomplished with our launch from Steering Committee members. Further Proposals presented on State of the Union, Funds, national mobilization
By Global Exchange
In the name of the “war on terrorism,
This just in from Media Matters:
Last August, CNN suspended syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak, a frequent contributor to the cable news channel's programs, for uttering an obscenity and storming off the set. He has not been reinstated but is currently in negotiations with CNN to renew his contract (which is set to expire in 2006).
Please click here and urge CNN not to renew his contract!
By 20-20 Vision
It was one of the most overwhelming votes in recent memory. By a vote of 90-9, the Senate voted for the so-called McCain Amendment. The Amendment was simple. It stated that, "No individual in the custody or under the physical control of the United States Government, regardless of nationality or physical location, shall be subject to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment." In short, it promised the world that the US would not commit acts of torture.
It's amazing that it has come to this. It's outrageous that Vice President Richard Cheney went to the Congress to lobby against this simple statement. It's inconceivable, yet true, that nine US Senators voted in favor of condoning torture. But the Senate put aside its partisan differences and overwhelmingly voted in favor of the amendment. It seemed that simple decency would be affirmed.
"In a sign of the unpopularity of the Iraq war, Bush's presence prompted a demonstration by about 100 protesters who banged drums and carried signs that said 'Impeach Bush.' He is expected to face larger protests in South Korea."