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Do you have what it takes?

By Amy Branham
Houston, TX
Mother of Sgt. Jeremy R. Smith
Nov. 1981 – Feb. 2004

For the last couple of weeks or so various news outlets have been reporting more and more about how we were lied to by our administration about the reasons for going to war in Iraq. Every day I hear the talking heads, with self-righteous indignation, verbally pummel the Bush administration for their lies. This began to happen right about the time that Scooter Libby was indicted by a grand jury.

While I am glad that the media has *finally* caught on and began reporting what so many of us knew long before now, I have to wonder what took them so long? The evidence was right in front of them a long time ago! The Downing Street Minutes came out and have been available for at least a couple of years now. Initially, these documents were completely ignored by the main stream media of America because they simply weren’t considered newsworthy at the time.

And what about the leaders of this country, the politicians that the American people elected to serve them? Why didn’t they pay more attention to the Downing Street Minutes and do something about it? Where were all those Congressmen and Women, where were the Senators who had heard about and read these documents? Why didn’t they step up to the plate and say something? More importantly, why didn’t they DO something? All of a sudden they are now coming out publicly in droves, tripping over one another as they rush to give interviews and state for the world to hear that they believe that the American people were lied to and that they were lied to as well.

I submit that they, too, have had this information available for the same period of time and they did absolutely nothing about it. Sure, there were a few Senators and Congressmen and women here and there that spoke up, but a vast majority remained silent.

All of this brings some pretty strong emotion to the surface within me and many other families who have lost sons and daughters, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers to this war. We are now hearing what we have known all along, that we were lied to. We are now hearing that our loved ones gave their lives for nothing more than the lies of greedy people in Washington who don’t care about them.

Let me tell you, even for those of us who have been doing our best to call attention to the lies we were told, the absolute wrongness of this war, for those of us who have known the truth from the beginning, this is a hard pill to swallow. No one ever wants to believe that someone they love died needlessly. And now, finally after all this time, the media and the political leaders of this country are validating what we have been saying for months, even years.

I have to wonder, what took the American main stream media and politicians so long? Maybe if they had acted sooner we wouldn’t have over 2060 dead American soldiers or over 15,000 wounded. Maybe the innocent civilians in Iraq, numbering on the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, would be alive today if you had only listened to us and done your job sooner. They had the power to stop this, to call attention to this terrible injustice done to Iraq and to our country, but they didn’t do it.

Maybe, just maybe, my son wouldn’t have died an early and needless death.

So now we are beginning to hear the truth from the media and from the elected leaders of this country. What are they going to do about the war? What are they going to do about the veterans coming back injured and permanently disabled? Our elected leaders cut funds to the Veterans Administration during war time. What about the innocent civilians of Iraq? We have done so much damage there, not only to their homes, but to the very infrastructure of their country. Civil unrest and anger brews, begetting new terrorists every day and making the world a much, much less safe place to be for all of us.

So, dear leaders of this great country, what are you going to do now? Where do we, as a country, go from here? Are any of you ready to step up to the plate and show some courage? Because that is exactly what this country needs right now, the courage to take charge and turn this country around. The people of America are telling you it’s time for change. We are telling you we want this war to end. We are telling you that George Bush and his administration need to be taken from their seats of power.

Do you have it what it takes?

Amy Branham
Houston, TX
Mother of Sgt. Jeremy R. Smith
Nov. 1981 – Feb. 2004


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This is utterly ridiculous and heartbreaking... sons, daughters, wives, husbands, fathers and mothers are dying for Bush's lies because of his pre-election Neocon Secret Agenda. Every blogger in the land should be allowed to present evidence to the PHASE II INQUIRY regarding the PNAC cabal's plot to war even prior to Bush's first election. We are all witnesses to PNAC , Downing Street Memo, the Niger Uranium Forgeries, etc. evidence ... we should all be allowed to present it to PHASE II !!!


Thank you for the very important questions you raise in your posting of 11/13. I too have wondered for a long time why Congress and the media have backed away from the many issues of deception, lying & manipulation by the current administration. I'm afraid the short answer is Money (always follow the money), Power & Greed. Anyone who marched in the Anti-War Protests of Feb. 2003 knows that the quality of pre-invasion intelligence was very clearly being questioned at that time so the pathetic mantra of this administration, "everyone had bad intelligence" is just infuriating. What it will take from now on is this. Keeping informed through incredible Internet sites like, Buzzflash,etc.; DO SOMETHING EVERYDAY like sending emails to your Senators & Congressperson DEMANDING their participation in seeking the truth surrounding the Iraq invasion; send money (even small amounts help) to organizations that are pushing for an Inquiry into Impeachment & to qualified Democrats who are running for Congress in 2006 & INSIST that your friends do whatever it is that they can do. Also it will take remembering the names and faces of the men & women like Jeremy R. Smith who have given their lives as a result of the tragic lies perpetrated on our country. Thanking you, in solidarity, for your courage, from a Veteran & a Citizen.

FEAR. they're gripped with FEAR. go to the top of the food chain, GREED. there's money to be had, people to be fleeced. carrot and stick.

seems to me the one person with the most credibility would be SCOTT RITTER, former chief weapons inspector and the one person who was on the ground, on site, hands on, with more first hand information than anyone else on the subject. Certainly more credibility than a known liar with an axe to grind and tremendous personal gain to be had, repeating third- and fourth-hand innuendo that amounts to highly suspicious GOSSIP at best(chalabi, obviously.) partisan? Scott Ritter is an avowed republican ex-marine appointed by GHW bush and voted for GW Bush. calling him a partisan is a bit of a stretch.
if you haven't heard his pre-war speech from july 23, I STRONGLY encourage checking it out. it can be found at

for the love of God it just makes me sick.Every time I start to believe the cows are finally coming home for this administration of TYRANTS, they manage to spin their way out.

...It is unworthy and unfair and ill-advised when our men and women in combat are putting their lives on the line to relitigate an issue (prewar intelligence manipulation)....we need to put this debate behind us

why are we not ready for this? without fail, they relate support for the troops to support for bush. bush DOES NOT EQUAL the troops-far from it. in fact, the man is YELLOW,truth be known.why are we allowing this kind of crap? it works. it works because we LET it work.everyone with a (D) after their name, every independant or alternate party affiliate, needs to be out there saying that it is precisely BECAUSE our men and women are in peril that we need to get to the bottom of this! they use this bull crap "you don't support the troops!"attack because they know from 2 years of experience that the opposition will FLEE with their tails between their legs as soon as they equate supporting bush and supporting troops! Purposely lying in order to put our troops in harm's way is NOT support. Cutting veteran's benefits is NOT supporting our troops. Implementing torture on the highest levels of government is NOT supporting our troops- it is increasing the odds that OUR troops will be tortured. When stories break about u.s torture policies coming down from Rumsfeld, Gonzales et al, blaming the TROOPS for obeying ORDERS in order to protect THEIR OWN chickenhawk asses is NOT the kind of support our troops need. why on earth do our elected officials run away from this spin when it is so damn easy to counter?
WE are running from THEIR vulnerabilities??? does supporting our troops mean getting 2000+ killed ? this is just sick. every day I just keep expecting to wake up and find that the last five years were all just a bad dream. a REALLY, REALLY bad dream.

Sorry folks, the nightmare is real. These right wing radicals who CALL themselves neo-conservatives have been massing their forces since Reagan. People have forgotten the absolute meanness with which severely disabled people were targetted by the Reagan Administration and thrown off social security. Many died. People have also forgotten the huge fight to defeat Reagan workfare programs that would have replaced Unionized public service workers with welfare mothers working off their welfare grants. How about the attempt to gut the school lunch program and classify catsup as a vegetable? Reagan also initiated the destruction of government assisted housing programs which has resulted in many disabled and elderly living in shelters or on the street. The nightmare has been going on for 25 years for the most vulnerable of our citizens and now it is affecting the whole country. These people are just plain evil.

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