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Congresswoman Lee Town Hall: Daniel Ellsberg


Although these posts are all showing my ID, every other post is actually being submitted by Robert Klein, sitting right next to me. We're alternating posts as the program moves one. Each speaker was only given three minutes each so that there's time for the audience to ask questions.

Following Bill Mitchell is Berkeley's Daniel Ellsberg, the former government worker who leaked the "Pentagon Papers" on U.S. decision-making in Vietnam in 1971. Ellsberg received a standing ovation from the crowd after being introduced.

Ellsberg started by recalling a call from one of Congreswoman Lee's staffer reminding him that today's event was a "Congressional town hall" and not a rally. He took his jacket off and said, "Aw, hell," indicating that he would speak his mind regardless. Ellsberg is energetic and animated as he transitions to comments about Karl Rove. "After Rove is convicted, [he] deserves a fair and honest trial," says Ellsberg. "They really do give the President a benefit of the doubt that no President deserves," he continued on.

He recalled his work for President Johnson, "allowing these lies to go on" -- analogizing how the Johnson administration lied about the Vietnam War and comparing the Pentagon Papers to the Downing Street Memo.

"We don't have the American counterparts yet to the Downing Street Memo proving that we were lied into the war," he continued. "We cannot understand why we're in the war by listening to the president. We need more documents out of the inside that will tell us [why we're in Iraq]."

"There should be another Saturday Night Massacre ... This is outrageous and we want this investigation to continue. We need leaks like the Downing Street Memo, like Joe Wilson, that will tell us where we're going."

The "Saturday Night Massacre" (October 20, 1973) was the term given by political commentators to U.S. President Richard Nixon's executive dismissal of independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox, and the forced resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus during the controversial and drawn-out Watergate scandal.

Ellsberg ended by calling on the audience to hold Congress accountable and open to the possibility of impeaching the Presdient. If we don't get such candidates in the next election, "we'll fire them."

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Revealed in Greg Palast's testimony letter for Conyer's/Congress Downing St Hearings. Palast is an Investigative Journalist for BBC Newsnight and along with Harper's their investigation revealed a secret 323-page document. Their March 17,2005 report was on BBC News World Edition, and it aired online at Democracy Now and was in the April Issue of Harper's.(Poster has Palast's email-delivered article of excerpts/quotes about investigation.)

They discovered a 2001 plan for Iraq Regime change and Iraqi oil. Palast says "Insiders told Newsnight that planning began 'within weeks' of Bush's first taking office in 2001, long before the September 11th attack on the US." "The Bush Admin made plans for war and for Iraq's oil before the 9/11 attacks sparking a policy battle between neocons and 'Big Oil', BBC's Newsnight has revealed." "In fact there were two conflicting plans, setting off a hidden policy war between neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a combination of 'Big Oil' executives and the US State Department 'pragmatists'. 'Big Oil' appears to have won.

The latest plan, obtained by Newsnight from the US State Department was,we learned, drafted with the help of American oil industry consultants." "An Iraqi-born oil industry consultant,Falah Aljibury, says he took part in secret meetings in California, Washington and the Middle East. He described a State Department plan for a forced coup d' etat. Mr Aljibury himself told Newsnight that he interviewed potential successors to Saddam Hussein on behalf of the Bush Administration. The industry-favored plan was pushed aside by yet another secret plan, drafted just before the invasion in 2003, which called for the sell-off of all of Iraq's oil fields.

The new plan, crafted by neo-conservatives intent on using Iraq's oil to destroy the Opec cartel through massive increases in production above Opec quotas. The sell-off was given the green light in a secret meeting in London headed by Fadhil Chalabi shortly after the US entered Baghdad, according to Robert Ebel. Mr Ebel, a former Energy and CIA oil analyst, now a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, flew to the London meeting,he told Newsnight, at the request of the State Department."

(Poster's Note--these are just the beginning excerpts--the secret oil plan keeps changing, and the article has other important revealments and people involved.} Go to gregpalast.com

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