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Conyers Responds to Gonzales

May 20th DOJ Response

October 26, 2005

The Honorable Alberto Gonzales
Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530

Dear Mr. Attorney General,

I am in receipt of your response to my May 20, 2004 request for a special counsel signed by myself and 14 other members to investigate the role of senior officials in the abuse of detainees. Dated July 11, 2005, your response took 14 months to craft and failed to explain why your office refuses to appoint an independent investigator to determine whether criminal charges are warranted against members of the Bush Administration. I respectfully submit that your response is inadequate and unacceptable.

Sign My Letter to Bush Demanding No Pardons for Treasongate

By Congressman John Conyers
DailyKos.com
Cross-posted at Huffington

As the Fitzgerald investigation nears its conclusion, I am becoming increasingly concerned that Bush will prevent the exposure of wrongdoing in Treasongate by pardoning any indicted members of his administration before trial. I wrote a letter in July asking the President to pledge not to pardon these persons. I have yet to receive an answer so I have organized a letter writing campaign demanding an answer. Over 4,000 people have already signed so I'd like to generate at least 10,000 letters to Bush.

It's past time for an Iraq exit strategy

By Rep Brad Miller
Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 03:32:03 PM PDT
DailyKos.com

I know I said when I posted my floor speech on Katrina relief that I would not make it a habit to post floor speeches here as diaries. Does twice a habit make?

This evening David Price, who represents an adjoining district in North Carolina, and I will introduce a resolution calling on the President to set forth what remains to be done before we can bring our folks home from Iraq, and to present a plan for withdrawing from Iraq, including "the expected time for completing the withdrawal." In other words, it calls for an exit strategy and a timeline.

Congresswoman Waters Comments on the 2,000th US Soldier to Die in Iraq

For Immediate Release
Contact: Mikael Moore (202) 225-2201

Washington, DC - Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) issued the following statement following the Associated Press report that the 2,000th US soldier has died while serving in Iraq. According the Associated Press, 2,000 US soldiers have died and more than 15,000 have been injured since the war began in March 2003.

"Today, we received distressing news: a US soldier, Staff Sgt. George T. Alexander Jr., died today which brings the US death toll in Iraq to 2,000 soldiers. While I mourn the loss of every soldier, this milestone is yet another reminder that this war is unfolding in a dramatically different manner than described by the President, Vice-President and other Administration officials."

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy

The War in Iraq
Senate Floor

Following is Sen. Patrick Leahy's address on Iraq, delivered Tuesday morning on the Senate floor. Leahy (D-Vt.) is the ranking member of the Appropriations panel that handles the Senate's work in funding the State Department and US foreign operations and aid, and he also is a senior member of the Appropriations panel with jurisdiction over the annual defense budget bill. Leahy was one of 23 senators who voted against the resolution that authorized the invasion of Iraq.
Mr. Leahy: Three years ago when the Congress and the country debated the resolution to give President Bush the authority to launch a preemptive war against Iraq, reference was often made to the lessons of Vietnam.

U.S. REP. JIM MCGOVERN TO INTRODUCE BILL ENDING FUNDING FOR IRAQ WAR

For Immediate Release: October 25, 2005
Contact: Michael Mershon (202) 225-6101

As the number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq reaches 2,000, U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) this week will introduce legislation to prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to deploy United States Armed Forces to Iraq. The bill will allow funds to be used for the safe and orderly withdrawal of our troops; for transitional security provided by other countries – including international organizations like NATO and the United Nations; and for continued support for Iraqi security forces and international forces in Iraq – as well as funding for reconstruction efforts.

FEINGOLD: “A TIMEFRAME TO FINISH THE MILITARY MISSION IN IRAQ MAKES AMERICA SAFER

A Timetable Will Encourage Iraqis to Take Ownership of Their Political Process and Their Country’s Future

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Russ Feingold today, in the fourth in a series of speeches he has given on our nation’s national security and the Administration’s flawed policy in Iraq, spoke from the Senate floor on the need to develop a flexible timetable and strategy to finish the military mission in Iraq.

In June, Feingold introduced a resolution, the first of its kind in the Senate, that calls for the President to clarify the military mission in Iraq, lay out a plan and timeframe for accomplishing that mission, and publicly articulate a plan to withdraw American troops from Iraq. In August, Feingold again jumpstarted the discussion about Iraq by becoming the first member of the U.S. Senate to propose a target date to finish the military mission in Iraq – December 31, 2006. Because of the Administration’s conflicting signals about the duration of U.S. troop deployments, Feingold said he felt obligated to propose a specific goal for bringing U.S. forces home from Iraq.

On the Death of Rosa Parks

See Photos.

Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. released the following statement tonight
on the death of Rosa Parks:

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of one of our national treasurers, Rosa
Parks. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.

"Rosa Parks became the 'Mother of the Civil Rights Movement' because 50
years ago she sat down, and inspired a modern Civil Rights Movement to stand
up. She took the 1954 Brown decision's principle of 'equal protection under
the law' to public transportation. That major step led us to the 1964 Civil

Pre-Emptive War Against Patrick Fitzgerald

Huffington Post
By Congressman John Conyers

As if spin and character attacks were a viable justification for a massive breach of national security, Republicans have already decided to smear Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald rather than take responsibility for their own misdeeds. Prevailing wisdom expects grand jury indictments to be issued this week. Any criminal charges will likely reach deep into the White House.

Over the weekend, the GOP spin machine gave us a preview of what we can expect from the Republican Party when we finally learn who outed CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson.

Exit strategy? Honor our troops — bring them home

San Francisco Chronicle
By Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey

The Iraq war has accentuated sharp ideological differences among our elected officials and among citizens. But there has been virtual unanimity on one point: A deep respect and gratitude for the young Americans who are risking life and limb both in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, I traveled to Iraq where I received extensive briefings from military commanders and toured our state-of-the-art facilities. But nothing was more informative than sitting down to meals with enlisted soldiers from California.

Many of these soldiers are on their second or third tour of duty. I talked to fathers who have babies back home they have never seen. There were mothers who deployed mere months after giving birth. To a person, they are thoughtful, intelligent and loyal -- to their country, their mission and each other. They were respectful, but also unafraid to ask me pointed questions. They understood that my vocal anti-war activism is in no way inconsistent with my support of them. These are genuine heroes, whose courage and resolve is greater than any accolades can possibly convey.

No vote for open-ended involvement in Iraq: U.S. withdrawal should start by the middle of February

Boston Herald
By Congressman Michael E. Capuano

I recently returned from Iraq. Although I have opposed our presence there, it is important that elected officials review conditions firsthand.

While in Iraq I met with people from every level of the U.S. military, the State Department, the United Nations, various U.S. nonprofit agencies and Iraqi officials. We had many conversations, including assessments of conditions leading to the Oct. 15 constitutional referendum. It is impossible to understate the importance of this event, although entirely possible to miss the most significant aspects.

Kucinich Uses Resolution Of Inquiry To Demand Documents From White House Group That Developed Strategy To "Sell" War

VOTE WILL BE AT 10:30 a.m. ET on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9TH, 2005.

Current Cosponsors of H Res 505

One-page text of Resolution: PDF.

Print, copy, and distribute this flyer: PDF.

Use these Talking Points.


Email Your Congress member.

Or phone, toll-free, (888) 818-6641.

Tips for Calling Congressional Staffers, and Report-Back Form.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
We need volunteer organizers during the next week to help pass H. Res 505.
Contact Sophie, Field Coordinator, at 415-789-8469 or lobbykit@yahoo.com

______________

Feingold to Rice: Finish Mission, Bring Troops Home

Published on Thursday, October 20, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing - " Iraq and U.S. Foreign Policy"
Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The following is a transcript of the exchange between Senator Russ Feingold and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

FEINGOLD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Welcome, Secretary Rice. We always appreciate your presence here. And I will join the chorus and say we really do hope it will be more often.

The title of this hearing is "Iraq and U.S. Foreign Policy." And that strikes me as a good start because we need to make sure that our Iraq policy is advancing our foreign policy and national security goals, not obstructing them as it seems to me to be the case currently.

Nadler: Fitzgerald Must Broaden Investigation

CONGRESSMAN

JERROLD NADLER

8th Congressional District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Reid Cherlin

September 20, 2005
202-225-5635

Nadler: Fitzgerald Must Broaden Investigation

"Did the Bush Administration deliberately mislead Congress about the war?"

Senior Judiciary Committee member's letter to Acting Deputy Attorney
General McCallum makes first demand for Fitzgerald to

explore key new question

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In light of recent developments in the CIA leak
investigation and other recent revelations, Congressman Jerrold Nadler

Rep. John Conyers: When Was the President Told?

Rep. John Conyers
Huffington Post

Today’s New York Daily News reports that “[a]n angry President Bush rebuked chief political guru Karl Rove two years ago for his role in the Valerie Plame affair..

Conyers and Skelton Write to Rumsfeld

The Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld
Secretary
Department of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We write about reports that journalists who were embedded with U.S. forces in Iraq were given security clearances. In her recounting of discussions with Scooter Libby, the Vice President's Chief of Staff, New York Times reporter Judith Miller, disclosed her belief that she had a security clearance. She specifically wrote, "[d]uring the Iraq war, the Pentagon had given me clearance to see secret information as part of my assignment 'embedded' with a special military unit hunting for unconventional weapons."1 She also noted she was not certain whether her clearance was in existence at the time she met with Mr. Libby.2

News From House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

H-204, The Capitol, Washington D.C. 20515
http://democraticleader.house.gov

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Pelosi: ‘President Bush Has Still Not Provided a Clear Plan and Strategy for Success in Iraq’

Washington D.C. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on the Secretary of Defense’s report to Congress on Iraq:

“The Bush Administration’s second report describing the measures of security and stability in Iraq is as incomplete as the first report. President Bush still has not provided a timetable for achieving performance standards and goals for the Iraqi security forces. The report does not clearly state what has to be done so that Iraqis can provide security in Iraq independent of U.S. troops.

Citizen Asks Senator About Impeachment, Newspaper Prints Exchange

Feingold fields questions on oil, war in Iraq and Supreme Court
Published Wednesday, October 12, 2005 11:12:34 AM Central Time
By Mike Leverton
Monroe Times (WI)

MONROE -- Conversation ranged from dependency on foreign oil, health care costs, Supreme Court appointees John Roberts and Harriet Miers to the war in Iraq when U.S. Senator Russ Feingold held listening sessions with his constituents in Browntown and Darlington Tuesday.

The Middleton Democrat said the listening sessions give him an opportunity to hear directly from constituents about issues and concerns. "I don't set the topic. It's important that people talk about what they want. This is my 929th and 930th listening sessions," said Feingold, who is in his 13th year as a Senator.

NINE FOR TORTURE

From VETERANS FOR PEACE, CHAPTER 27

On 5 October 2005 Senator John McCain of Arizona offered amendment #1977 to the
Department of Defense Appropriations Bill. Nine U.S. Senators voted against the
amendment. A vote against meant a vote for cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of
detainees. These nine men voted for torture. Here are their addresses. Make sure you
send them all a postcard appended with the word SHAME.

List of Shame

Senator Wayne Allard (CO)
521 Dirksen SOB
Washington, D.C. 20510

Senator Kit Bond (MO)
274 Russell SOB
Washington, D.C. 20510

Conyers and Other Ranking Members Call on US Attorney Fitzgerald to Issue Report on Status of Ongoing Investigations

Congressman John Conyers, Jr.
Michigan, 14th District
Ranking Member, U.S. House Judiciary Committee
Dean, Congressional Black Caucus
www.house.gov/judiciary_democrats/index.html

Conyers and Other Ranking Members Call on US Attorney Fitzgerald to Issue Report on Status of Ongoing Investigations

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee and other House Ranking Committee Members sent the following letter to US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald calling for the issuance of the report on the status of all ongoing investigations:

October 11, 2005

Out of Iraq Caucus Growing: Now Has 69 Members

Rep. Richard Neal has joined the Caucus. It now has 69 members.

Senator Levin Loses Mind, Says We Should Threaten Iraqis We'll Make Plans to Leave Someday

Levin, convinced that Iraqis WANT a U.S. occupation, writes "The administration should tell Iraqis that if they do not reach a political settlement by year's end, we will consider a timetable for our withdrawal." A "settlement" seems unlikely, but this would probably guarantee not reaching it.

_____________

Using Our Leverage: The Troops
By Carl Levin
Washington Post
Monday, October 10, 2005; Page A19

As the Iraqi people prepare to vote on a new constitution Saturday, the political situation in that country is highly unstable. There are troubling signs of a split in the political alliance of Kurds and Shiites that has thus far kept Iraq from complete chaos. Sunni Arab leaders, meanwhile, openly call for the constitution to be defeated. And Iraqis from all ethnic groups have lost faith in the transitional government's ability to protect them or provide basic services.

Staying or Leaving

By Rep. Ron Paul (Republic, 14th Dist., Texas)

S upporters of the war in Iraq, as well as some non-supporters, warn of the dangers if we leave. But isn't it quite possible that these dangers are simply a consequence of having gone into Iraq in the first place, rather than a consequence of leaving? Isn't it possible that staying only makes the situation worse? If chaos results after our departure, it's because we occupied Iraq, not because we left.

The original reasons for our preemptive strike are long forgotten, having been based on false assumptions. The justification given now is that we must persist in this war or else dishonor those who already have died or been wounded. We're also told civil strife likely will engulf all of Iraq.

Conyers, Harman and Thompson Seek Specifics on Disruptive Terror Plots

Congressman John Conyers, Jr.
Michigan, 14th District
Ranking Member, U.S. House Judiciary Committee
Dean, Congressional Black Caucus
www.house.gov/judiciary_democrats/index.html

Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, joined by Reps. Jane Harman and Bennie Thompson sent the following letter to White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card requesting information on terror plots:

Conyers Added: "On numerous occasions, the President has claimed successes in the war on terror without specifics to back up his assertions. We hope yesterday's speech is not one of those instances and look forward to learning about the specific details."

Bush will veto anti-torture law after Senate revolt

Bush will veto anti-torture law after Senate revolt
By Francis Harris in Washington
(Filed: 07/10/2005)

The Bush administration pledged yesterday to veto legislation banning the torture of prisoners by US troops after an overwhelming and almost unprecedented revolt by loyalist congressmen.

The mutiny was the latest setback for an administration facing an increasingly independent and bloody-minded legislature. But it also marked a key moment in Congress's campaign to curtail the huge powers it has granted the White House since 2001 in its war against terrorism.

The late-night Senate vote saw the measure forbidding torture passed by 90 to nine, with most Republicans backing the measure. Most senators said the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal and similar allegations at the Guantanamo Bay prison rendered the result a foregone conclusion.

Feingold says Democrats will announce intentions for Iraq

Feingold says Democrats will announce intentions for Iraq
John Byrne

Democrat takes swipe at Secretary of State Rice

WASHINGTON -- Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) says Senate Democrats will soon introduce more elements of their party’s plan to resolve foreign policy with regard to Iraq. “You’ll see more evidence of that coming out of the Democratic caucus this week,

Dems' Strategy on Iraq: Hit the Gas When You Can See the Cliff Up Ahead

Huffington Post
By David Sirota

The Washington Post reports that Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), one of the most outspoken Democrats pushing the Iraq War, is now setting up a Political Action Committee (PAC) to help Democratic candidates "hone the party's message on defense-related matters." Hang on a sec...sorry, let me stop laughing uncontrollably...

Ok. Let's repeat that, just because its so snarf-your-drink-through-your-nose hilarious: the same congresswoman who, as a ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, helped emasculate the party's ability to speak credibly on the most pressing national security issue of our time is now setting up an organization to "help" Democrats "hone" their message on defense issues.

Bush Says He'll Veto "Defense" Money if Bill Bans Torture

Senate Approves Measure Aimed at Preventing Prisoner Abuse
By Deborah Tate
Capitol Hill
Voice of America

The U.S. Senate has approved a measure that would impose standards on the military's treatment of detainees in the wake of prisoner abuse scandals at the Abu Ghraib detention center and elsewhere. The vote was 90 to Nine. But the White House has vowed to veto the measure.

The measure would ban the use of cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment against anyone in custody of the Defense Department or in a Department of Defense facility, and would require that U.S. troops follow procedures in the Army Field Manual when they detain or interrogate suspects.

Political posing and the Plame inquiry

San Francisco Chronicle
By Anna G. Eshoo

The recent grand jury testimony of New York Times reporter Judith Miller may tell us more about who within the White House leaked the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame. While officials in the highest levels of government have been implicated, Congress has yet to demonstrate a sincere interest in getting to the bottom of this national security breach. For the second time in the past two years, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in a rare public meeting Sept. 15, voted to block a Resolution of Inquiry into the disclosure of Plame's identity. The resolution would have forced the Bush administration to turn over documents and records related to this case.

Obama the Enabler

Illinois Anti-Warriors and the Attractive Senator
By CARL G. ESTABROOK
CounterPunch

"...Yes, this protest march was like many we've seen over the years. First came the traditional running of the liberals [shot of what is probably the lead marchers running down the street], followed by the ritual display of somewhat eccentric signage like this one: CENTRAL ILLINOIS SAYS NO TO WAR -- reflecting the political wisdom that as goes Effingham, so go Altamont and Beecher City..."

--Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, September 27, 2005

Actually, Stewart's got it quite wrong: the sign was from Urbana, not Effingham, which is some eighty miles south of Urbana along Illinois' Interstate 57... LeMonde captured Urbana's presence in the September 24 Washington peace demonstration somewhat more accurately: in an editorial, LeMonde wrote,

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