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August 12, 2005
Dear Mr. Swanson:
Thank you for getting in touch with me regarding the Bush Administration's claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) used to justify going to war. I agree with you that we need a thorough, effective and objective investigation of the intelligence on Iraq and how it was used.
As a Senator and a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, I was presented information that led me to believe that Saddam Hussein had biological and chemical weapons and the means to use them. Bush Administration officials also said that Iraq had links to terrorism and was developing nuclear weapons. This has been called into question in light of what UN inspectors and U.S. forces have found - and not found - on the ground in Iraq.
August 11, 2005
Mr. Brett Gerry Ms. Margaret P. Grafeld
Associate Counsel Information and Privacy Coordinator
Office of Counsel to the President Office of Information Programs & Services
The White House A/RPS/IPS/RL
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. U.S. Department of State, SA-2
Washington, D.C. 20502 Washington, D.C. 20522-6001
Re: Freedom of Information Act Request
Dear Sir and Madam:
On June 30, 2005, I and 51 other Members of Congress requested access to “all agency records, including but not limited to handwritten notes, formal correspondence, electronic mail messages, intelligence reports and other memoranda,
Congressmen Chris Van Hollen and James McGovern have joined the growing list of those who want to knwo whether Bush lied to Congress.
By Rep. John Conyers
August is typically a month of no news. Congress goes on its summer recess. The President takes a long vacation. A very long one. For those in the White House press corps who are not so fortunate to be assigned to bake in the Crawford, Texas sun, they too take vacations (though not as long as the President's).
This August is different. If you listen closely enough, you can hear the slow drip of scandal turning into a waterfall of corruption and coverups in the Bush White House. On the internet, new pieces of the puzzle are coming together. My friend and the proprietor of this blog, Arianna Huffington seems to have the best sources inside the New York Times newsroom and has led many of us to begin asking whether Judith Miller's refusal to testify is not what it seems.
New Boss for Fitzgerald? Sheehan in Crawford
By Rep. John Conyers
I just read Murray Wass' excellent piece in the American Prospect describing a private meeting between Judith Miller and Scooter Libby on July 8, 2003, two days after Ambassador Wilson's now famous column questioning the WMD assertions of the Administration, and before Novak's outing of Wilson's wife -- based on two administration sources. This is a very comprehensive piece, and adds much critical information to what we know about Treasongate. Wass also explains that one of the key hold ups in Fitzgerald's investigation is that Libby has not yet issued a specific privelege waiver to Miller allowing her to tell the prosecutor what she knows about these alleged crimes. Given that the president said he wanted full cooperation so that the prosecutor could get to the bottom of the security leak, and that he he raised the bar for dismissal to committing a federal crime, this is nothing less than outrageous. Needless to say, I intend to pursue this matter further in the coming days.
Congessman Pete DeFazio has joined the list of Congress Members co-sponsoring Congresswoman Lee's Resolution of Inquiry. That makes 42 co-sponsors, plus Lee makes 43. Keep 'em coming!
IRAQ WAR: WHEN WILL THE KILLING STOP?
By Congressman Charles Rangel
With the deaths of 21 Marines in two days this week, the body count of U.S. troops killed in Iraq rose dramatically to 1,815 and counting. Even as newspapers and TV stations broadcast the death toll, we were still counting on the churches, synagogues and mosques to show that they recognize the inhumanity of this immoral war.
Aren't there passages in the Bible, the Koran and the Torah which command that killing for a fraudulent cause has to stop? Why is no one speaking out?
At least 23,000 civilians have also died in the Iraqi killing field and the U.S. is stuck in a quagmire. With conflict surging, last May 30th Defense Secretary Rumsfeld boasted that the insurgency was "in the last throes." In the days after that insurgents killed well over 100 U.S. troops and more than 600 Iraqis.
On Tuesday, August 2, Sen. Diane Feinstein's office issued the following press release:
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is urging the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to complete its investigation into the use of intelligence by policymakers prior to the Iraq War, with additional attention paid to the “ Downing Street Memo
By SCOTT SHEPARD
Cox News Service
WASHINGTON — As Congress tip-toes into the controversy over the leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity, some lawmakers and analysts worry that the criminal investigation of the matter could be undermined by any congressional grant of immunity from prosecution, as has happened in the past in politically charged investigations.
The cases of key Iran-contra figures Oliver North and John Poindexter underscore their worries: both were prosecuted and convicted by independent counsel Lawrence Walsh, but their convictions were overturned because Congress had granted them immunity in order to compel them to testify in the congressional investigation of the Reagan administration's arms-for-hostages deals.
Welcome to Part II of my Online Town Hall Meeting on the War in Iraq
Congressman Charlie Rangel (NY-15)
I would like to thank you for your participation in part two of my e-town hall meeting on the War in Iraq. The questions have been informative and stimulating. More than anything, they demonstrated just how much you care about our troops, about our government and America. Following are the responses to some of the questions that time did not allow covering last week.
Why were so many people misled about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?
By Congressman John Conyers
When the Downing Street Minutes began to gain some notoriety in May and June, the President and Prime Minister Blair answered a question about them briefly. Interestingly, both seemed to want to spend the most time talking about the minutes' contention that the President had always intended to go to war (despite the President's public pronouncements to the contrary). That was a smart thing to do, in a political sense, because the President's state of mind is a much more difficult allegation to prove, requiring subjective interpretations of the President's actions.
New Blogger, More Bolton, and Other News
LINK TO ORIGINAL
Good morning, everyone.
Joining our cast of bloggers today is Leon Hadar, a research fellow in foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, a journalist, a professor, and a gentleman. Leon is the author of the just published Sandstorm: Policy Failure in the Middle East (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)."
Overnight, AP's Liz Sidoti reported on Senator Biden's request for information on whether Bolton testified before the Fitzgerald grand jury, providing significant exposure to the story (Google News shows around 150 newspapers picked it up). Hidden in the bowels of Sidoti's piece was a bit of new information - Representative Jane Harman is looking into the production of the State Department memoranda that identified Wilson's wife:
Forty members of Congress have now co-sponsored Congresswoman Barbara Lee's Resolution of Inquiry. Many more will almost certainly do so if asked by their constituents.
More Info. and What You Can Do.
Ranking Member Tom Lantos, California, 12th District (a report on lobbying Lantos)
Howard L. Berman, California, 28th District
Gary L. Ackerman, New York, 5th District
Eni F. H. Faleomavaega, American Samoa
Eliot L. Engel, New York, 17th District
Earl Blumenauer, Oregon, 3rd District
Grace F. Napolitano, California, 38th District
Adam B. Schiff, California, 29th District
Ben Chandler, Kentucky, 6th District
Ron Paul, Texas, 14th District
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman, Illinois, 6th District
Christopher H. Smith, Vice Chairman, New Jersey, 4th District
Sanford Bishop Jr.
Harold Ford Jr.
Jesse Jackson Jr.
Eleanor Holmes Norton
Eleanor Holmes Norton
Nick Rahall II
FORUM: THE DOWNING STREET MEMOS
Has Bush Conspired to Lie to Congress and the American People about the Basis for the Iraq War?
Date, Location and Speakers:
Sunday, July 31, 6:30-8:30pm
Arlington St. Church
Arlington & Boylston Streets, Boston
Representative, Massachusetts 4th Congressional District
Gloria L. Fox
State Representative, Seventh Suffolk District (Boston)
Discussion of what we can do in response to this information.
The speakers will include Representative Barney Frank, State Representative Gloria Fox and John Bonifaz, a Boston-based attorney who specializes in constitutional law and is co-founder of www.afterdowningstreet.org. Mr. Frank and Mr. Bonifaz will discuss the Downing Street Memos and their implications, while Ms. Fox will discuss the impact of the illegal Iraq War on Boston and other inner cities. After questions and answers, a discussion will ensue about the need to launch a full investigation of these stunning and disturbing revelations.
This morning a group of eight citizens from Fauquier County, Virginia were cordially greeted by their Congressman, Rep. Frank Wolf (Republican - Virginia’s 10th Congressional District). We were made comfortable in his Capitol Hill office and invited to let him know our concerns. One member of his staff also sat in on the meeting.
Rep. Wolf had been invited to attend an AfterDowningStreet house party in Warrenton, VA last Saturday evening but he declined to attend or to provide a statement to be read. His scheduler did invite us to meet with him in his office whenever we would like, and since the August recess starts next week, we took the opportunity to meet with him today.
Ceder Creek Pilot (Texas)
Thompson gearing up for Congressional seat run
By John H. Cox
A retired U.S. Navy Commander and economic development executive acknowledged recently that his official announcement to seek the Democratic nomination is still forthcoming.
However, Charles Edward "Charlie" Thompson was ready to make his unofficial notice available to the public.
"Right now I'm in the midst of putting together a campaign team," the 61-year-old Athens resident said. "I do have a well-known Cedar Creek Lake Area resident as my campaign manager, Bill Hanstom. "When we get everything together, we hope to make our major official announcement."
Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member, House Judiciary Committee
Nearly four years ago, in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 tragedy, many of us warned that we should not let our anger over an attack against our nation be used as an excuse to undermine our fundamental liberties. Unfortunately, today, as the USA PATRIOT Act comes up for renewal, it seems increasingly clear that we have failed in the task of balancing our nation's need for security and our citizen's freedoms.
While the PATRIOT Act may not deserve all or even most of the ridicule that is heaped against it, there is little doubt that the legislation has been repeatedly and seriously misused by the Justice Department. Consider the following
A Bill That Would Prohibit Permanent US Iraq Bases
Thursday, 28 July 2005, 1:14 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 July 27, 2005
U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee Introduces Bill That Would Prohibit Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq
- Interview with Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., conducted by Melinda Tuhus
Listen in RealAudio:
(Needs RealOne player or RealPlayer)
By Rick Klein, Boston Globe Staff
WASHINGTON -- For eight months, the Senate Intelligence Committee has made little effort to pursue its long-promised probe into whether the Bush administration intentionally misconstrued intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war -- an investigation that would have delved into whether White House aides tried to put pressure on CIA analysts.
The revelation that Karl Rove, a White House political adviser, leaked information about a CIA operative to discredit her husband's complaints about President Bush's use of intelligence has focused new attention on the relationship between the White House and CIA. But the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has shown no signs of moving ahead with its investigation.
By James Faulk
North Coast Congressman Mike Thompson is among a group of congressional representatives demanding answers on whether the Bush administration manipulated intelligence to make a war with Iraq seem inevitable.
Thompson, a Democrat from St. Helena, signed a letter dated June 30 that was sent to the heads of four congressional committees.
"We are writing to request that your committees hold hearings to investigate reports of a pre-war deal between the United Kingdom and the United States and evidence that pre-war intelligence was intentionally manipulated," the letter reads. "On May 1, 2005, the Sunday London Times published a leaked document with the minutes of a secret meeting from highly placed sources inside the British government."
Downing Street Memo Teach-In
Part IV | Fernando Suarez del Solar: Bush Lied and Who Died? -- 07.27.05
Press Release from Congresswoman Waters
Inglewood, CA – Supported by veterans, activists and concerned citizens, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) addressed an overflowing audience as the featured speaker at the Downing Street Town Hall coordinated by the Out of Iraq Coalition—Los Angeles last Saturday, July 23rd. The four hour event, one of over 300 national events organized by Rep. John Conyers and AfterDowningStreet.org, was held at the Convenant Worship Center in Inglewood on the third anniversary of the Downing Street Memo. The phrase ‘Downing Street Memo’ refers to the minutes taken at a meeting between Prime Minister Tony Blair and his senior aides where the Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service said that he felt that war was inevitable, and that President Bush was ‘fixing’ the intelligence to fit his decision to go to war.
Good afternoon, and welcome to my e-town hall meeting on the War in Iraq.
For me, as a veteran of the Korean War, our continued occupation of Iraq is the most heartbreaking of issues. Placing our young men and women in harm's way is always difficult. But it is devastating to ask them to sacrifice their lives when every reason, every justification for war given by their leaders is proven false.
No issue is more important to me and to our nation. More than 1,750 American troops have been killed and 12,000 wounded, many maimed for life. Though seldom mentioned, tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi's have been bombed and strafed to their deaths. The land we swore to liberate is now the world's leading training ground for terrorists, and as proven recently in London, a provocation to attackers abroad. Iraq is the most devastating military catastrophe to our nation since the Vietnam War, and there is no end in sight.
By Rep. Henry Waxman
The disclosure of the covert identity of Valerie Plame Wilson in a July 14, 2003, column by Robert Novak has triggered a criminal investigation and led to calls for congressional investigations. The Novak column, however, appears to be only one of multiple leaks of Ms. Wilson's identity. A new fact sheet released today by Rep. Waxman documents that there appear to be at least 11 separate instances in which Administration officials disclosed information about Ms. Wilson's identity and association with the CIA.
New Fact Sheet Details Multiple Administration Security Breaches Involving Valerie Plame Wilson