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Jim McDermott: Seattle Labor Temple


I was unable to blog directly from the Labor Temple but kept my eyes and ears open & rushed home via the first bus possible, to upload my photos & get on-line! (I'll also be posting at, &

I had always intended to read the Downing Street Memo in full but hadn't completed the task, so the skit - sponsored by the Backbone Campaign - was stunning in its overt plotting behind the backs of the British & American people. The readers wore the costumes and nametags of Jack Straw, Geoff Hoon and other British dignitaries/neocons & Tony Blair was played by a puppet that looked like something between a poodle and a lamb.

I was sitting in the front row between a guy from Vets for Peace/ Washington Truth in Recruiting & a guy who was scaring the heck out of me with conspiracy theoriees. To my left, really close up, was the familiar face of Congressman Jim McDermott. He's familiar because he's from my district, he was in Fahrenheit 9/11, I've voted for him many times, & I was not surprised to see that he was reading the New York Times.

Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign introduced Jim and mentioned that he was the first recipient of the Backbone Award (there are also Spinless Awards). When Jim accepted the invitation, he didn't check with his scheduling people - he just said yes, he'd be glad to speak.

When Congressman McDermott was going to return to Iraq on a fact-finding mission (he had been there multiple times before, investigating depleted uranium effects after the lst Gulf War), he first met in Washington DC with the Ambassador to Iraq. He was told that even if Saddam let the weapons inspectors back in, it was expected that Bush would go into Iraq regardless. This was in September of 2002. The war started in March of 2003. Now the Downing Street Memo proves that what McDermott heard was true.

At that time, in September of 2002, Jim decided to call a press conference to let it be known that the President would mislead us into war. A month later, Jim went to Iraq and was asked by George Stephanopolous whether he still believed this. He said yes, knowing full well that if he didn't, they'd pull out his statement from a month before. This unleashed an assault from the rightwing press such as FOX and Limbaugh and earned him the moniker "Bagdad Jim."

Yet he points out that if the American people had really known and absorbed the truth, we would never have gone to war! Absolute untruths were first told on the floor of the House, then by the President to the people in the form of the State of the Union Address.

Thanks to Ambassador Joe Wilson's piece in the New York Times, the truth was told about the Niger/uranium claim. This unleashed another full-scale assault, this time on both Wilson and his wife.

Recently, Jim sat with retired CIA officers who are very unhappy about the fact that an officer's identity has been "outed" and that the President won't protect agents. This creates a dire emergency and lowers morale. On top of that, there is the matter of Rove, who if "convicted" will probably lose his position rather than going to prison like anyone else would. Jim believes that Judith Miller is probably sitting in prison because she is protecting someone.

Then there is the matter of the Vets. Did the government ever think ahead when rushing to war? & what about the 25,000+ Iraqis killed? The administration now admits we may be in Iraq for 12 years or more. "America is not safer. The Republicans refuse to admit it."

Jim then produced his folder copy of the New York Times and reminded us that today, "everything above the fold is about terrorism" and that more terrorism was unleashed by starting this war. As we know, the American military has the power to bomb but what do they do once the bombing stops? We seem to have turned Iraq into another training ground, like Afghanistan was. This is a democracy?!

Almost half of the Iraqi Parliament signed a letter asking us to end the Occupation, much as in our country, Congressman Conyers did something similar. The US government says we can't leave til they ask us to leave, but then when they do, we can't explain how we will leave or why we are building four full military bases there.

There will be an "Out of Iraq Caucus" with as many as 60 members, probably having a hearing in September. The focus will be ways to extricate ourselves from Iraq, which we need a plan to do. Of course it can't be sudden, with so many there. Jim also informed us that yesterday there was an amendment to a bill in Congress which gives us more of a "blank check" for staying in Iraq.

He compared it to the old West, where we had forts all over the Indian territory, only now it's throughout the middle east. He reminded us that Vietnam War was stopped because of people power, and that democracy, as Churchill said, is not an orderly form of government. We need to organize, to support Barbara Lee's letter of Inquiry which is the first step. We need information and we need a very good case, for cleaning up the mess in Washington.


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Nice post Dianne. And the Backbone Campaign did a bang up job!!

Jim McDermott ROCKS!!!!!!!!! He was great and called all the lies for what they truly are: LIES!!!!!!!!!!
Says the CIA’s morale is at an all time low as Bush continues to lie.
Says Judith Miller is in prison because she is covering up for someone?
KOMO 4 ABC was the only local media there and they got wild applause for showing up. However, there was no coverage on KOMO 4 ABC news tonight.
“Bush has unleashed terror throughout the world

I just sent and email to KOMO 4 ABC asking why they did not air today's events?

Molly Blancett replied back and said it would air tonight at 11:00 and 85% sure it would run tomorrow on Sunday. Thanks Molly.

Ok, so I stayed up to catch the 11:00 news. Again, very disappointed to hear the spin KOMO 4 ABC put on this story. I need help bombarding them with emails before tomorrow’s news.

Basically; the 11:00 coverage said: “Jim McDermott was in Seattle today speaking about the threat of terrorism

Joni, earlier this morning, I had sent an email to KOMO News before I even knew you were giving a shout out. I was appalled that the lead story last night and this morning was Sunday liquor sales -- what the hell has happened to this news station? I was blown away that the Town Hall got maybe 20 second coverage and voiced my disappointment very loudly. I'm going to now resend the email to Molly to make sure she sees it as well.


Hi Mari,
Here's the reason I received:

From: Blancett, Molly []
Sent: Saturday, July 23, 2005 8:26 PM
To: Joni Job
Subject: RE: Saturday July 23rd - Jim McDermott: Seattle Labor Temple

"It will be in the 11pm show today. I just checked the script. It was supposed to go in the earlier shows, but was not ready due to breaking news."

So, Liquor Stores opening on Sundays; Painful Porcupine Encounters; and some new soda pop that kids create the names for are now considered breaking news? I couldn't believe it myself! And then when they finally do air it, they misrepresent the whole issue.....Maybe that's why they are opening the liquor stores on Sundays now. Everyone can just stay drunk and anesthetized and pretend noyhing is happening????

We are going to have to picket!!!!!!!!

Now here is some interesting news...I wonder if it will get any further press? CSpan was supposed to air the hearings late on the 23rd but I missed it:

McKinney reopens 9/11
Conspiracy theories implicating president aired at 8-hour hearing

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 07/23/05

Washington — Revisiting the issue that helped spur her ouster from
Congress three years ago, Rep. Cynthia Mc Kinney led a Capitol Hill
hearing Friday on whether the Bush administration was involved in the
terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The eight-hour hearing, timed to mark the first anniversary of the
release of the Sept. 11 commission's report on the attacks, drew
dozens of contrarians and conspiracy theorists who suggest President
Bush purposely ignored warnings or may even have had a hand in the
attack — claims participants said the commission ignored.
please see earlier press releases from Rep. McKinney office posted at

Bush's world should be crumbling by all means but it's going to take more hard work. I had to work all day today but I am going to write letters to the editors Times/PI tomorrow.

Thanks for helping and keep in touch,

Ok, sorry, my neighbor just sent me this older article and it's pretty good......

U.S. Congressman Jim McDermott on the White House's "Fear Factory"
August 14, 2003

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