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Peering Under the Plame Outing


Remarks at "Plan B for Baghdad" Event, Denver, Col., October 15, 2005
By David Swanson

I wrote these remarks down on Thursday, when a Washington Post columnist was pleading with Patrick Fitzgerald to please just go away, and a New York Times news article was claiming that if Lewis Libby leaked anything, he did so with the best of intentions. Meanwhile virtually no voices in the corporate media were asking why Joe Wilson had to be attacked, who had made the false claims that Wilson had debunked, and who had forged the documents that the Bush Administration had used to claim that Iraq was developing nuclear weapons – or, in the case of Dick Cheney, that Iraq already had nuclear weapons.

What I think we need, more than anything else, is a broader view of the situation we're in. Let's look at this war from a thousand miles up.

There are those who believe in such a thing as a just war. Many of them supported this war early on and have since changed their minds. And you can see why. Because, if there is such a thing a just war, this is the opposite. A just war, if we can fantasize about it, would be fought by the people who decided to wage it, would be fought purely in self-defense, would be decided upon in a democratic process with public information, would be based on generally honest information, would be fought with respect for the subsection of human rights that international law holds to apply even in war, and would not be exploited to limit rights domestically, destroy useful domestic programs, or transfer public wealth to the wealthy.

I want to focus on one of the general areas that makes this a model unjust war, namely the lies that were used to launch it. I'm not an intelligence expert. I'm just an activist who's been part of a campaign that has made some noise in Congress and in the media about these lies. Still, I have faith in my own ability and that of the general public to grasp the important points here. For one thing, the important points here could hardly be more absurd had we just lived through a Marx Brothers movie.

Unmanned aircraft coming to kill us within 45 minutes! A mushroom cloud! Diseases, poisons, gasses! As a movie this would not make a millionth of the money the real thing cost.

Bush took office with the goal of removing Saddam Hussein written into the Republican Party platform. He immediately began demanding intelligence claims that could be used to justify that, and he intensified that demand immediately after September 11th. Cheney made at least 10 trips to the CIA to apply pressure, and the Pentagon set up its own shadow CIA in case the CIA couldn't be sufficiently pressured. Multiple CIA staff have independently told multiple reporters that they were instructed that "Bush wants to go to war, it's your job to give him a reason to do so."

And what reasons did the White House end up with? (And let's note that these were all reasons that most of the world rejected.)

First, a lot of the claims about Iraq having so-called weapons of mass destruction were based on statements made by Hussein Kamel, son-in-law of Saddam Hussein, who said at the same time that Iraq had destroyed all of its weapons of mass destruction in 1991. But the Bush gang accidentally left out that little fact with great consistency.

After the U.S. Department of Energy informed the White House that aluminum tubes being sent to Iraq were not suitable for use in developing nuclear weapons, the Bushies went out and claimed the opposite with absolute certainty.

A likely alcoholic informant to German spies, whom the Germans labeled "out of control" and "a waste of time" and named Curveball was used to justify Bush's claims about biological weapons, even though U.S. intelligence knew that the so-called weapons labs were actually making hydrogen for weather balloons.

Forged documents that wouldn't have gotten past my high school teachers were used to claim that Iraq was buying uranium, even though the CIA and the State Department thought that was nonsense and succeeded in having the claim removed from some Bush speeches before it made its way into his State of the Union address in 2003.

Meanwhile, doing their best Keystone Kops imitation, if we give them credit for honesty, U.S. intelligence gatherers were spotting increased activity at suspicious sites in Iraq, not realizing that what they were observing was not an increase in activity, but an increased frequency at which they themselves were taking satellite snapshots.

The intelligence community produced a National Intelligence Estimate for Congress, but it was 93-pages long. Only 17 Congress Members claim they read it. Most of Congress read, if anything, a 25-page unclassified version, which oddly made claims with a lot more confidence than did the longer paper.

Colin Powell put on a performance at the United Nations that went against countless warnings and advice from his own State Department and others, and as far as anyone knows included claims and audio recordings and photographic analyses that were quite simply made up.

The U.S. and the British said they needed UN approval for the war, didn't get it, and launched the war anyway.

The war makers said they wanted to find weapons in Iraq. Inspectors in Iraq concluded the weapons weren't there, and the U.S. launched the war anyway.

The Bush Administration's claims about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda were as laughable as all the claims about weapons. But they were made over and over again, and not debunked effectively by the media. As we meet today, a third of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein was working with Osama Bin Laden.

A fair amount of the evidence of all of this dishonesty was made public through the mass media, but usually on page 18 in an article with an unrelated headline or in the cartoon section in the Boondocks cartoon, and in a newspaper with the lies trumpeted as truth on the front page.

In a survey of voters last November, the University of Maryland's PIPA, the Program on International Policy Attitudes, found that most of those who got their news from the commercial TV networks held at least 1 of 3 fundamental "misperceptions" about the war in Iraq (and some held 2 or 3 of them):

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How can we, the people, demand Mr. Bush's impeachment - WITHOUT our Congresscritters help?

A bill? There has to be a way - our 'elected' representatives are obviously being paid or threatened into silence.

A very well written article. We have already asked our congressmen and Senators to IMPEACH. If only our representatives would have the courage to do so.

Bravo. How very articulate. I could not agree more.

The Bush Administration continue to use 9/11 as their reason for their war in Iraq.Just this morning on Meet the Press Secretary of State Rice did so in discussing the Iraq vote.Tim Russert never once corrected her on this.This is a prime example of the news medias's colusion with the Bush Mafia.They should be held accountable for aiding and abeting the deciet of the American Public.

The whole story makes it seem as if there is a secret power threatening worse than all this if they don't do this stuff. It is SO outrageous on its face... Kucinich would introduce those articles in a heartbeat... that you have to start looking at all the possibilities for Democratic pusillanimity, British willingness to knowingly engage in the fabrications of this administration, TWO presidential elections LOST by the president, NO one in the corporate media breaking ranks to educate the public....

A greedy cabal in power, and the fatness, laziness and self-serving credulity of their constituencies, does explain it, but it's so bad now that I wonder if even these cover it. The Democrats we have left in office should be jumping all over this stuff, and they have not. WHY? It's against the whole world's interests, even their own, to go along with this.

WE, the people, should mean exactly that, the people of the United States, not the White House, not the Congress, not the Courts of the United States, but WE the people, and 50% of the people favor impeachment if President Bush lied, and 50% said he did lie and continues to lie about the basis and necessity for war in Iraq. WE, the people, are looking for one (1), yes, only one (1) good Democrat to introduce the Articles of Impeachment for President Bush. WE, the people, would prefer sooner, like now, rather than later!

WHY hasn't Kucinich? I can't believe he wouldn't without compelling reason. What is that reason? What is the "wisdom" or the "fear" behind Democratic inaction?

David, You have done a fine job inceasing the general public's awareness, as the the truth, behind the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. You have helped to show the American public what they often fail to grasp. The bigger picture. The long term ramifications and consequences of such action, on no less, than our collective national security. The fourth estate (Main stream media)At worst were either working in collusion with the architect's of the War, or at least were a total failure at doing their job as journalist, by exposing the disceptions being perpetrated by the Bush White House, before the invasion of Iraq. It is a sad commentary on the state of American journalism when it is void of the journalistic integrity of the likes of men such as Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite. Personally I have attempted to enlighten my member of Congress (Kay Granger- Ft. Worth) as to the revelations made public in THE DOWNING STREET MEMO. and encouraged her to co-sponser Rep. Barbara Lee's House Resolution pertaining to THE DOWNING STREET MEMO. Congresswoman Granger's reponse is that THE DOWNING STREET MEMO is a widely discredited document. What the hell is that suppose to mean? It is simply what it is , the minutes of a meeting of high level officals in Blair's British government. She further claims that Saddam was directly involved in funding terrorism. There's that nebulus, in vogue term of "Terrorism" which is loosely bantered about and can be implied to mean anything from Osahma Bin Ladden to Checnyian resistance. I am sure if I were to pin Rep. Granger down to back up her claim that Saddam funded terrorist she would mention his support for Palestinian Resistance. If that was one of her justifications for attacking Iraq, I reckon she could use the same excuse, as a reason to attack America's ally Saudi- Arabia which has funded the Palestian cause even more than Saddam had. I would think that the GOP spin machine would try to manufacture better excuses than these. They must be desparate.

Are there any laws allowing the public to IMPEACH a President in a civil action suite, or some other avenue, if the Congress does not do the job that we want them to do?

Congress is supposed to represent the people. Judging from the quoted polls, the "people" want impeachment.
If Congress fails to act, there must be some sort of action the PEOPLE can take other then "waiting for an election" which has no guarentee for "change"

Any one know the answer to this question?

In 1776 there was a little document called the Declaration of Independence. That document reads much like most of the articles you find on this site. That document clearly defines what "The People" have a right to do when their government no longer represents their interests and rights.
Do I promote revolution, no, we still hold the power over the government, though our grip is slipping daily. We can still win the fight through peaceful measures.
DO NOT be deluded by cries for a "Third Party", in our dumb downed society of couch potatoes, a third party will never win a national election. We must look at every open seat, every Republican that is the least bit vulnerable and get them out. The Democrats that hold seats now could be crying for Impeachment, but they do not see this as a winning stratagy in their own elections next year, it is just too risky. This site and those like it are not demonstrating enough power to make them feel "safe" to take this step.
Letter writing campaigns are great, but they don't make the news. Protests and marches do. Get enough people out of their chairs and into the streets demanding the attention of the media and the elected officials will begin to take notice. But it isn't a one day march led by a Mom in DC that will do it.
How about a Month of Protest. Turn off the TV media, cancel the paper and the magazines that refuse to report, don't access the main stream web-sites. Get everyone you know who agrees and are concerned to go down to the places of Government, City Halls, Capitals, Court Houses. Bring signs that say, "Tell us the Truth Mr. President". These actions are a Revolution of sorts, we revolt against the media that refuses to ask the questions for us and we empower those who represent us to do the job we put them there to do.
Or you can sit on the sidelines and just read these blogs and wait for the end of days.....

No impeachment. Not a single member of Congress (of ANY party), having seen all of the (mostly censored) worse-than-Nazi horrors (like raping children in front of their mothers), or the media, has come forward.

What does it mean when WE THE PEOPLE scream and no one (gov't or media) deigns to notice? When TRUTH takes a backseat to PROFIT? When the end justifies the means (torture, impoverishing the middle-class, destroying the environment, fooling the masses about their votes)? Is gov't and media all staged to keep the American populace manageable as it unwittingly aids these warlords? Is this the American-brand of fascism?

Why is it that the American People know so little of what the rest of the world already knows?

Germans had to be marched by the concentration camp dead before they would believe in their own government's atrocities. How bad must it get?

And from the Declaration of Independence:

"That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it ..."

I am so thankful I came upon After Downing Street. I have asked my congressman and two senators for impeachment. How can we educate the public when main stream media consistantly stands in the way? What can I do to help, other than tell everyone to read your information? I have urged all the women I know to come together to demand that no child of ours ANYWHERE fights a war or dies from or in a war ever again. To give birth just to see such a ridiculous loss? NEVER AGAIN!!

Where is my democratic leadership on this issue of an unneeded war?? I am so disillusioned with my country - sheep! Going along with "PRE-EMPTIVE" strategy?? Taking away our civil rights?? Using the boogeyman terrorist to whip us all in line, and Americans falling into step unquestioningly? Those who do question are labelled as ANTI-AMERICAN??

How can we get to the truth NOW, rather than wait for the tell all books thirty years from now when it is too late? If it is not too late already to reverse the damage done since Bush took office...

You can sign the petition to impeach Bush at votetoimpeach/impeachbush.org. It can't hurt! I am really mad (as in insane) that no one seems to be taking any of this seriously, after the Clinton impeachment for lying about the high crime of conducting a private affair (I guess it being in the Oval Office did it). Bushies commit crimes, treason against the American public, and lie about it, cover it up with the collusion of our so-called free press and "liberal" media giving him a pass. WHAT IS WRONG WITH US ALL??????

If anyone running for president wants to be credible, be they dem or repub, they have to realize the total extent of failure of the Bush admin and address that issue. Take back the tax break for the very wealthy, replace the provisions that protect the underprivlaged and the environment, remove our troops from Iraq and work WITH the UN to establish stability in the near east, at the same time finish the job against al Qaeda. Investigate ALL Bush's policies and members of the Bush administration including the PNAC. Throw out everything that dosn't work and go back to what did work. and see that those responsible are held accountable for their actions.

The Democratic Party (in general), as it is defined today, is a spinless, hopeless mass of uselessness.

I have NO faith in them whatsoever (as a whole). There are, of course, several fine countrymen left. Conyers and Boxer to name two.
Even Howard Dean is fading into the woodwork. As far as I can see.

Bush/Cheney/Rove stole two elections. Endofit. We let them.
And now we whine and whine and whine.

Until our Democratic leaders stand the *f* up and STAND FOR SOMETHING we are sunk. I see nothing but a bunch of whiners. When push comes to shove and they take a vote on something, they amaze me at their hypocricy.

As a life long passionate democrat, I am DISGUSTED with our leadership.

But, thank you progressive dems for your fight !!!! You are our last hope. Off to make more phone calls and write more letters, and hope that our leadership in Washington will grow a spine. I have little hope, sadly.

Sheree

I think we all just have to keep hammering away at our representatives in Washington. I'm surprised Ted Kennedy hasn't proposed impeachment. He's usually a shoe-in to get re-elected.

If we keep calling our representatives, every day, sooner or later there will have been enough pressure brought to bear that one of them will have to take the leap.

Mr. Swanson, wake up! You are not getting it! Everybody actually knows that the reasons for war were fabrications. Everybody! The press, the politicians, even the American people. They all know it. You see, because regime change is illegal, it's a given that excuses were needed to justify a war that was going to do good - depose a cruel dictator and be the first round of a fight to bring democracy to the Middle East. As grandmother used to say, sometimes you have to lie a little. Swanson, you and that other little tightass, Maureen Dowd, you are the only ones still around with the misguided belief that politicians actually should be leveling with the public. How naive can you get? Do you actually think the Congress would have signed up for this thing (even a Republican Congress held by the balls by Mssrs. Delay and Frisk) if we had been having an intelligent, open and detailed discussion in the media about the probable costs of such a war, the political and security risks vs. the rewards? The actual number of troops neded to control a country the size of California where every man owns an AK47? I do declare Mr. Swanson, you are old fashioned! Let it go! I have an excellent remedy for you: watch more TV! That will for sure calm you down. It seems to work for the rest of us!

Those who would lie us into war on Iraq would also lie us into "war on terrorism." The 9/11 investigation was late (441 days) and controlled by the Administration. It did not answer serious omissions such as the following. Terrorists could not have...
1. pulled bomb sniffing dogs from duty over a week before 9/11;
2. reassigned interceptor jets to war games on that fateful morning,
without replacements;
3. firefighters heard explosive charges that morning;
4. the buildings fell at free fall speed which they only do by demo-
lition explosives...they did not "pancake";
5. steel girder fragments were photographed flying sideways 300'
out from the Towers;
6. molten steel pools were found at ground level weeks after 9/11
indicating explosives were used;
7. no other high rises have ever disintegrated from fire alone;
8. the Towers were built to withstand being struck by airliners;
9. Building 7 was destroyed without serious fires or being struck;
10. The Pentagon strike was not truthfully explained.

The Administration lied about 9/11. It was in collusion and
exacerbated the terrorists' plans to insure our outrage, approval of increased military expenses and pre-emptive war.

Read; David Ray Griffin's "The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions," and Eric Hufschmid's "Painful Questions" a photo documentary of 9/11, and/or Michael Ruppert's "Crossing the Rubicon."

We need an authentic investigation into 9/11, not one controlled by the Bush Administration to confirm or dispel genuine concerns. We need to learn if either of our wars is legitimate.

LBS

I've been driving around MA for a month with "Please...Enough...Impeach" on an 8X11 sheet in my rear window. The reactions I get suggest that the majority of people who oppose my message (in SUVs and empty pick-ups) are stubbornly resistent to getting to know, much less act on the truth. Their responses are, in some cases, openly hostile. The far fewer positive responses I get - from smaller cars, usually - tend to be accompanied with a honk, wave or thumbs-up signal of support.

I think the heart of the matter is that the truth (of impeachable offenses) is there for all who care to look, but the majority of us no longer care. Why? Fear, in large part, I suspect. We are a nation in massive denial about a number of issues, and we only block what threatens us. So what will it take? I suspect that only one thing will rally the citizenry, and it's for a smart, no-nonsense, visionary, and, I'm afraid, charismatic leader to emerge and start LEADING instead of following. Regretfully, no candidates spring to mind. Yet...

REPLY:
1. THEY DONOT NEED BETTER EXCUSES, WE ARE FALLING EASILY FOR THE LAME ONES.
2. SINCE MEDIA IS RESPONSIBLE ALONG WITH THE ADMINISTRATION. WHAT PROCEDURE WILL HOLD MEDIA ACCOUNTABLE. WILL FILLING A LAW SUIT AGAINST MEDIA'S ROLE IN THE DEATHS OF OUR YOUNG, OR A MISLEADING CASE, BRING RESULTS?

REPLY:
1. THEY DONOT NEED BETTER EXCUSES, WE ARE FALLING EASILY FOR THE LAME ONES.
2. SINCE MEDIA IS RESPONSIBLE ALONG WITH THE ADMINISTRATION. WHAT PROCEDURE WILL HOLD MEDIA ACCOUNTABLE. WILL FILLING A LAW SUIT AGAINST MEDIA'S ROLE IN THE DEATHS OF OUR YOUNG, OR A MISLEADING CASE, BRING RESULTS?

We looked for the enemy, and he was us. (Pogo) The 1st WTC bomb, TWA 800, stolen elections, 9/11, ANTHRAX, Patriot Act, Iraq, PEAK OIL. Don't rock the boat or we'll throw you overboard.

After Rove & Libby are indicted this week and Cheney is named as an unindicted co-conspirator, it will be much easier for a member of Congress to stand up and initiate an impeachment inquiry. While I am as impatient and as disgusted as anyone, I still have to believe that the democratic process has not been totally destroyed or that our justice system has been rendered completely impotent, despite the attempts of this administration to do exactly those things.
We must keep hoping, screaming, and fighting. This kind of pressure will eventually encourage and motivate courageous people to action.

BU_ _SH_ _. Coincidence? I think not.

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