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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,

Conyers on Department of Peace

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN CONYERS’ REMARKS
Conference on Establishing A Department of Peace
Washington, D.C. 9/12/2005

Congressman Conyers was scheduled to give the following remarks at our September 2005 conference on Monday the 12th, just prior to our attendees going off to lobby on the hill. Due to unforseen circumstances, he was unable to make it. He wanted us to share with our network the comments he was prepared to make. Below are his inspiring words about our campaign and the work we have before us.

I’m delighted to join you again for several reasons:

· I share your passion to build a peace-making capability to match America’s war-making ability, and to reduce violence at home and abroad.

'Out of Iraq' Congressional Caucus Meets with a Jordanian to Hear a Middle East Perspective of the Iraq War

Washington, DC - On Tuesday, the 'Out of Iraq' Congressional Caucus met with Dr. Munther J. Haddadin, who served in the Jordanian government in numerous capacities, including Minister of Water and Irrigation. Dr. Haddadin was invited to address the Caucus by its Chair, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35), and Congressman Jim McDermott (WA-7).

"Dr. Haddadin's knowledge of the Middle East provided us with a unique prospective of the war in Iraq and the public opinion about the war in neighboring countries," said Congresswoman Waters. "Dr. Haddadin said it was his belief that this war was based on false information and sold to the public in order to justify a policy that was conceived a long time ago, a belief that is shared by many members of this Caucus."

In Support of Weakness on National Security

In Support of Weakness on National Security
By David Swanson

A senior staff person for one of the most progressive and courageous members of Congress recently advised a room full of peace activists that they won't be able to persuade Democrats to oppose the war simply by showing them polls finding that a majority of Americans oppose the war. Rather they must assuage the Democrats' fears of being called "weak on national security."

But that's not possible. Opponents of a war will inevitably be called weak on national security. And even if that ceases to be the case, Democrats will continue to fear it for a generation or more. My advice to you, Democratic Members of Congress, is to embrace it and change the discourse. Don't run scared of someone else's language. Learn to recognize when the greatest gift you could ask for is to be attacked by your discredited, despised, and indicted opponents.

Body Armor for the Troops - A Response

Friday :: Sep 30, 2005
Body Armor for the Troops - A Response
Here's one for the Democrats to ponder this weekend. John over at AMERICAblog has a fine idea on one of those consequences of having idealogical fruitcake thugs running things in this country in conjunction with timid and idea challenged Democrats as ineffectual opposition.

It's time for Democrats to take an obvious issue handed to them by God himself and run with it in an intelligent, strategic way.
We shouldn't be offering stupid amendments to help the soldiers get reimbursed for armor they already purchased (that's the current Democratic plan)...

No-Bid Contracts To Get Close Look

No-Bid Contracts To Get Close Look
Inspectors General Promise to Review Katrina Deals, Earlier FEMA Agreements

By Griff Witte
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 29, 2005; Page A11

The officials responsible for monitoring more than $60 billion in federal Hurricane Katrina spending promised yesterday to take a hard look at every no-bid contract awarded since the storm and to investigate the adequacy of contracts the government had in place before disaster struck.

The assurances came at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing at which lawmakers from both parties questioned a panel of inspectors general about whether Katrina aid money is being well spent. The inspectors general provided few answers because, they said, their work has just begun. But they said repeatedly that they would investigate.

Miller's time almost there

Miller's time almost there

Raleigh Congressman Brad Miller's a war critic, but not quite ready to say "Out of Iraq."

B Y B O B G E A R Y

At first, Congressman Brad Miller thought that the only way ordinary Iraqis would join their own military and their own police forces was if they were convinced the American troops would stay to protect them from the insurgents. They didn't want to be left holding the bag--he thought. Now, Miller's almost convinced that the only way ordinary Iraqis will actually come together and defend their own country is if they're convinced that the Americans are going to leave--soon--and it's that or chaos.

Permanent Occupation

IN THESE TIMES
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This article is permanently archived at: http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2323/

Permanent Occupation
By Rep. Barbara Lee September 29, 2005

If you are inclined to believe the president, we will be in Iraq, in his words "as long as necessary, and not a day longer." Members of the Bush administration, including the president, have been at pains to dispel any notion that they have plans for a permanent military presence in Iraq.

On April 13, 2004, President Bush said, "As a proud and independent people, Iraqis do not support an indefinite occupation and neither does America."

Santa Cruz City Council Asks for Bush Impeachment

By Sherry Conable

On Tuesday, September 27th, the SC City Council voted unanimously to
send, once again, their letter to the House Judiciary Committee asking
for investigation of the Bush Regime with regard to the possibility of
beginning impeachment procedures. They are resending the six original
questions they asked to have investigated, and adding some new ones.
When I get a copy of what goes out, I will send it to everyone.

Channel 8 news was there and did an evening show, and the Watsonville
Register-Pajaronian has a story today (register-pajaronian.com) - I
have not seen either yet. The SC Sentinel failed to cover it, just as

A direct request to Congressman John Conyers from B Robert Franza MD

Good evening Congressman Conyers,

I have posted the following at DU and hope you will discuss with your colleagues and family and consider taking the proposed action:

======================

"The one Democratic leader who requires no spin, and who likely never will, is Congressman Conyers.

The Nation needs for him to step forward and assume leadership.

So, everyone, how about a concerted effort to convince Congressman Conyers to declare that if Bush and Cheney are not either forced to resign or are impeached before Nov 2006, then after he leads the Democrats to capturing the majority in both the House and the Senate in 2006 - based on a campaign laser focused on the vast criminality of Bush administration and the Republican 109th Congress -- he will lead the effort to impeach them in the House and assist his colleagues in the Senate to convict both of them.

Out of Iraq Caucus Growing Every Day: Now Has 68 Members

‘Out of Iraq’ Caucus Membership
(As of September 27, 2005)

Rep. Maxine Waters, Chair, Co-Founder
Rep. Lynn Woolsey, Co-Founder
Rep. John Conyers, Co-Founder
Rep. Charlie Rangel, Co-Founder
Rep. Barbara Lee, Co-Founder
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Co-Founder
Rep. William Delahunt, Co-Founder
Rep. John Lewis, Co-Founder

Rep. Neil Abercrombie
Rep. Tammy Baldwin
Rep. Xavier Becerra
Rep. Corrine Brown
Rep. Sherrod Brown
Rep. Lois Capps
Rep. Michael Capuano
Rep. Julia Carson
Rep. Donna Christensen
Rep. William Lacy Clay
Rep. Elijah Cummings
Rep. Danny Davis

Conyers Writes to Police Re Treatment of Civil Resisters

Office of the Chief
United States Park Police
Dwight E. Pettiford
1100 Ohio Drive S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20242

Dear Chief of Police:

I am writing to request information regarding the treatment of individuals arrested on September 26, 2005, in front of the White House and processed at the United States Park Police Anacostia Station.

Yesterday 384 protestors, including peace activist Cindy Sheehan, were arrested outside the White House and were brought to the United States Park Police Anacostia Station. I was very surprised to learn that many of those arrested were kept handcuffed in vans and buses for up to 12 hours before they were charged and released. Some of those were released at 4:30 in the morning after being arrested at 4:00 the previous afternoon. Many of those held captive the longest were grandmothers and senior citizens. Those released after midnight were unfamiliar with Washington, D.C., and had no means to travel back to their hotels once the metro had closed. Anacostia is not frequented by taxicabs after midnight.

Santorum Exit Strategy: You, Me, and Sept. 30th

By Chuck Pennacchio, candidate for U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania

Last Saturday in Washington, D.C. I joined 300,000 marching Americans -- all of whom want a clear new direction for our country. The "Bring Them Home Now Tour" was led by military veterans and families who have lost loved ones in Iraq. I proudly stood -- and continue to stand -- with these veterans and families who demand an immediate end to the U.S. military occupation of Iraq and a dramatic change in a national security policy that provides us with many results. Unfortunately, security is not one of them. The radical right's war-first policies have cost thousands of lives, wasted billions of dollars, weakened our homeland, and undermined global friendships that won us the Second World War and the Cold War.

A Democrat Speaks Up

Democratic congressman says conspiracy trial ironic; Sees Bush conspiracy to attack and occupy Iraq
RAW STORY

New York congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) delivered a fiery critique of the Bush Administration's drive to war in Iraq, labeling the push part of a "conspiracy" to deceive Congress and occupy the country.

The speech, made Sept. 19 outside the District Courthouse in Binghamton, New York before the federal trial of the St. Patrick’s Four, was transcribed by RAW STORY's Jennifer Van Bergen.

Speaking of the four protesters who spilled their own blood at a military recruiting center, Hinchey said "what they were protesting was the conspiracy of the Administration of George W. Bush to bring about an attack and then an occupation of the country of Iraq, and as a result making the world a much more dangerous and difficult place than it was prior to those actions."

Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus Now Has 67 Members

‘Out of Iraq’ Caucus Membership
(As of September 26, 2005)
Rep. Maxine Waters, Chair, Co-Founder
Rep. Lynn Woolsey, Co-Founder
Rep. John Conyers, Co-Founder
Rep. Charlie Rangel, Co-Founder
Rep. Barbara Lee, Co-Founder
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Co-Founder
Rep. William Delahunt, Co-Founder
Rep. John Lewis, Co-Founder
Rep. Neil Abercrombie
Rep. Tammy Baldwin
Rep. Xavier Becerra
Rep. Corrine Brown
Rep. Sherrod Brown
Rep. Lois Capps
Rep. Michael Capuano
Rep. Julia Carson
Rep. Donna Christensen
Rep. William Lacy Clay
Rep. Elijah Cummings
Rep. Danny Davis
Rep. Lloyd Doggett
Rep. Lane Evans

No Permanent Military Bases in Iraq!

Tell your Congress Member here that even if they lack the integrity to support getting out now, they need to summon the nerve to oppose staying forever, or stand revealed as supporters of a dishonest imperialistic slaughter.

Senator Dayton introduces Department of Peace legislation in the Senate!

From the Peace Alliance

Dear Friends,

On September 22nd, 2005, Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN) introduced the Department of Peace legislation into the U.S. Senate (S. 1756), calling for an elevation of the Reagan-established "Institute of Peace" to a Cabinet-level position.

This is a huge moment for our campaign, and for the future of the Department of Peace! Senator Dayton's leadership and enthusiastic support will take us to the next level in our work as we continue to advocate for this historic legislation.

Speaking from the Senate floor, Dayton said, "If we are to remain the world's leader, and if we are to lead the world into a more secure and more prosperous future, we must become better known and more respected for our peacemaking successes than for our military forces. Peace, to have any lasting value, must be advanced, expanded and strengthened continuously. Doing so requires skill, dedication, persistence, resources, and, most importantly, people."

Lietta Ruger: "walking the halls of Congress in shorts."

Thursday night, 11:30 PM ...

(Lietta)This was an extremely busy day. I got to see a lot of famous buildings I've only seen on TV and in movies ... The Supreme Court Building, the Library of Congress, the Senate office buildings, the Capitol Building ... just like the tourist I always felt I'd be when coming finally to Washington D.C. to see first hand the tangible monuments to our national heritage and democracy-in-action. Only I wasn't a tourist today, but an activist lobbying for our core American values and what we baby boomers were taught growing up in a country proud of its heritage and unafraid to practice what we we taught.

Hip Hop Forum on Hurricane at Congressional Black Caucus This Friday

Greetings,

First and foremost, I ask that we pray for everyone living in the path of Hurricane Rita.

But God will not be mocked, and God will create it's own "Shock and Awe", it's time for change, the world has been living under the path of Hurricane George for way to long, and it is time for the people to rebuild not only this country, but our world!

On Friday, September 23, 2005 the Hip Hop community will be having a powerful town hall meeting at the Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference in Washington DC, titled "The Hurricane and Hip Hop - From Storm to Strategy", this town hall meeting will be looking at a number of violations that took place before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina (See Attachment), and looking into the statements, made by Kanye West, that the current President of the United States doesn't like some of it's citizens just because of there race or economic standing.

Progressive Activists and Members of Congress Convene for 2006 Electoral Planning Session

Thursday September 22, 12:34 am ET
Strategic planning session held on electoral strategies for the 2006 election cycle

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- This Sunday, September 25, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) will host a Strategic Planning Session for the 2006 election cycle, marking the initiation of a coordinated effort within the Democratic Party to embrace the pro-peace movement. The Strategic Planning Session will be held at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, Firebird Inn - Building 38, B-Level, 4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW from 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
PDA will be joined by: Co-Chairs of Congressional Progressive Caucus Rep. Lynn Woolsey and Rep. Barbara Lee; Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus Rep. John Conyers, Jr.; nationwide Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) activists and key organizers, Democratic Strategists Steve Cobble (PDA), Gary Flowers (Rainbow/PUSH), Butch Wing (Rainbow/PUSH), antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan, and Actress/Activist Mimi Kennedy ("Abby" from Dharma & Greg) and other Congressional aides.

Plamegate: The John Bolton Connection

by Arianna Huffington
The Huffington Post

I'm now hearing that the investigation may be inching closer to never-confirmed UN Ambassador John Bolton.

According to two sources, Bolton's former chief of staff, Fred Fleitz, was at least one of the sources of the classified information about Valerie Plame that flowed through the Bush administration and eventually made its way into Bob Novak's now infamous column.

After delving into Fleitz, I can safely report that he is, at a minimum, a very interesting character.
He is a career CIA agent who Bolton handpicked to join him at Foggy Bottom, having gotten to know him during the administration of the first President Bush. While working as Bolton's top aide, Fleitz also continued his work in the CIA's WINPAC division, the group responsible for some of the worst prewar intelligence on Iraq (for instance, they were, among other things, big fans of Curveball and had "high confidence" in the presence of WMD in Iraq).

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