You are hereGeneral Discussion
PART I – THE WOMAN
George climbed into bed beside Laura, tired from the long day of work. Running a nation isn’t easy. It’s really hard work. The war in Iraq wasn’t going well and disapproval by the American people was growing by the day. His economic policies were awash. You have to make hard decisions when you are President of a country, he told himself. I’m the President and I can do what I want. The people elected me, and that gave me the freedom to do what needs to be done.
By Larry Johnson
If you've paid attention to the right wing flapping about the so called "war on Christmas" (i.e., the apparent plot of politicians and merchants to substitute the phrase "Happy Holidays" for "Christmas") you are getting an inkling of the future of Iraq. With the likes of Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity railing against those who don't want to bow the knee to Jesus, we are getting a taste of what life in the new Iraq will be like. The religious extremists in our country, who insist that there is no compromise when it comes to Jesus, capture perfectly the mentality of the folks who are poised to take the reins of power in Baghdad. Note, even some of the President's most stalwart supporters among evangelical Christians have made quite a show of throwing away the "Holiday" card sent by the White House. Welcome to the American Taliban.
Dear Members of Congress:
Fifty eight thousand of your fellow citizens died during the Vietnam War in an attempt by the United States Government to impose its political will on the people of Vietnam. The lesson that the 58,000 paid for with their lives is that the United States can not, and should not, hope to impose its political will by military force in foreign lands when neither the people of the foreign country nor the people of the United States wants it. The parallels between the Vietnam War and the war in Iraq should be well-known to you, and the lesson of Vietnam should be one that you are loath to repeat, both for its effects on your fellow citizens and for its effects on the people of Iraq.
By: Mary Maxwell, Ph.D.
At the Law School graduation at Berkley in 2004, a quarter of the graduates sported red armbands to express disapproval of their professor, John Yoo, in relation to his support of torture. Perhaps next year the students will signify their disapproval of Professor Yoo’s assault on the Constitution.
The Left Coaster: WMDgate: Fixing Intelligence Around Policy, Part 3 -- The White House Iraq Protocol (WHIP) for Deceiving the United States
By Alexander Cockburn for CounterPunch.org:
"Four-Star Generals briefed Murtha and gave him the state-of-the-art data which made his speech so deadly, stinging the White House into panic-stricken and foolish denunciations of Murtha as a clone of Michael Moore."
The immense significance of Rep John Murtha's November 17 speech calling for immediate withdrawal from Iraq is that it signals mutiny in the US senior officer corps, seeing the institution they lead as "broken, worn out" and "living hand to mouth", to use the biting words of their spokesman, John Murtha, as he reiterated on December his denunciation of Bush's destruction of the Army.
ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL
By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
The first lady today announced the theme for the 2005 holiday season at
the White House.
It is this:
By Michael McAuliff for The Daily News:
President Bush will hear no evil on the Iraq war - even when the bad news comes from military brass and top government officials, a new report says.
Bush "remains convinced that it is his personal mission to bring democracy to Iraq," according to The New Yorker magazine.
The article, echoing a Daily News story yesterday, says Bush and his inner circle are so determined to follow their own plan that generals fear saying what's wrong in Iraq - and senior advisers are snubbed if they have bad news.
* "he had spent time and effort acquiring mobile biological weapons labs, and we're quite confident he did, in fact, have such a program. We've found a couple of semi trailers at this point which we believe were, in fact, part of that program." Source: Morning Edition, NPR (1/22/2004) \n* "I continue to believe. I think there's overwhelming evidence that there was a connection between al-Qaeda and the Iraqi government." Source: Morning Edition, NPR (1/22/2004) \n* "[T]he reporting that we had prior to the war this time around was all consistent with that -- basically said that he had a chemical, biological and nuclear program, and estimated that if he could acquire fissile material, he could have a nuclear weapon within a year or two." Source: Transcript of interview with Vice President Dick Cheney, Rocky Mountain News (1/9/2004) \n* "If we had had that information and ignored it, if we'd been told, as we were, by the intelligence community that he was capable of producing a nuclear weapon within a year if he could acquire fissile material and ignored it . . . we would have been derelict in our duties and responsibilities." Source: Vice President Dick Cheney Remarks at Luncheon for Congressman Jim Gerlach, White House (10/3/2003)\n* "Al Qaida had a base of operation there up in Northeastern Iraq where they ran a large poisons factory for attacks against Europeans and U.S. forces." Source: Richard B. Cheney Delivers Remarks at a Bush-Cheney '04 Fund-Raiser, White House (10/3/2003) [Northeastern Iraq was not controlled by Saddam Hussein] \n* "[Since September 11] We learned more and more that there was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the '90s, that it involved training, for example, on BW and CW, that al-Qaeda sent personnel to Baghdad to get trained on the systems that are involved. The Iraqis providing bomb-making expertise and advice to the al-Qaeda organization." Source: Meet the Press, NBC (9/14/2003)\n* \n
A letter from Gary Hart in my inbox
(no link available)
"The public trust must be earned, and speaking clearly, candidly and forcefully now about the mess in Iraq is the place to begin."
By Robert Parry, Consortium News
Despite pretty words about democracy and freedom, George W. Bush’s “victory
By Tim Grieve for Salon.com:
The Aug. 6, 2001, presidential daily briefing is the stuff of legend, but we haven't heard so much about the Sept. 21, 2001, PDB. That may change soon. Reporting in the National Journal,
Murray Waas says George W. Bush was told in the Sept. 21 PDB that the
U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to
the attacks of 9/11.
As Richard Clarke
recounts in his book, Bush asked his aides on Sept. 12, 2001, "to go
back over everything, everything," to see if Saddam Hussein was linked
in any way to the attacks. "But, Mr. President," Clarke said, "al-Qaida
did this." Clarke says that Bush responded by saying, "I know, I know,
but ... see if Saddam was involved. Just look. I want to know any
From TomsDispatch.com, by Tom Engelhard:
It's finally Wizard of Oz time in America. You know -- that moment when the curtains are pulled back, the fearsome-looking wizard wreathed in all that billowing smoke turns out to be some pitiful little guy, and everybody looks around sheepishly, wondering why they acted as they did for so long.
..to their amazement, Bush administration officials find themselves thrust through the equivalent of a Star-Trekkian wormhole into an anti-universe where everything that once worked for them seems to work against them. As always, in the face of domestic challenge, they have responded by attacking -- a tactic that was effective for years...
But instead of watching the Democrats fall silent under assault as they have for years, they unexpectedly found themselves facing a roiling oppositional hubbub threatening the unity of their own congressional party.
..Now, the war threatens to crack open the Republican base and chase the dream of a single-party Republican political future -- only recently so close -- right off the map.
Excerpts from an article by Paul Krugman in the NY Times (paid subscription required and I encourage you to sign up and pay so that the NY Times knows Krugman is popular):
Not long ago wise heads offered some advice to those of us who had argued since 2003 that the Iraq war was sold on false pretenses: give it up. The 2004 election, they said, showed that we would never convince the American people. They suggested that we stop talking about how we got into Iraq and focus instead on what to do next.
It turns out that the wise heads were wrong. A solid majority of Americans now believe that we were misled into war. And it is only now, when the public has realized the truth about the past, that serious discussions about where we are and where we're going are able to get a hearing...
Posted by: NonnyO at November 19, 2005 03:32 PM
Democracy Cell Project
(Editor's note: NonnyO simplified the vote and it's misinterpretation from yesterday's Republican ploy.)
The Republican alternative simply said: "It is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately."
Everything would hinge on the meaning of the word "deploy"/deployment (American Heritage Dictionary): Deploy: "To distribute (persons or forces) systematically or strategically." "To put into use or action." Knowing the meaning of the word deployment makes all the difference, because the Repub/NeoCon wording only means the US would cease sending more military personnel to Iraq. It doesn't say a bloody thing about bringing the ones who are already there home, or withdrawing from Iraq immediately or in the future; the way it's worded it only means we would cease sending more troops. The ones already there could be stationed there indefinitely, even if no more troops are sent (and it would mean no rotation of troops).
November 19, 2005
The Green Table
Karen, Democracy Cell Project
In 1932, the ballet choreographer Kurt Jooss created a piece called “The Green Table.
A letter to the editor in NewsTimesLive.com by John Schneider:
The fraud has thrown down the gauntlet.
In a thoroughly disgusting display of partisan politics, George W. Bush chose Veterans Day, which should be nothing but a solemn day of remembrance, to turn up the volume on the cacophony of lies surrounding his unnecessary, unconstitutional, illegal, immoral war of choice.
How apropos for such a clueless corporate puppet.
"The stakes in the global war on terror are too high, and the national interest is too important, for politicians to throw out false charges," Bush said.
The British are feeling the pinch in relation to recent bombings and have raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." Londoners have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorised from "Tiresome" to a "Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was during the great fire of 1666.
Also, the French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide". The only two higher levels in France are "Surrender" and "Collaborate." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralysing the country's military capability.
An Open Letter To Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald From Former White House Counsel John W. Dean
By JOHN W. DEAN
Friday, Nov. 18, 2005
November 18, 2005
The Honorable Patrick J. Fitzgerald
Bond Federal Building
1400 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530
Dear Special Counsel Fitzgerald:
Excuse my being so presumptuous as to send you this open letter, but the latest revelation of the testimony, before the grand jury, by Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward has raised some fundamental questions for me.
In your post as Special Counsel, you now have nothing less than authority of the Attorney General of the United States, for purposes of the investigation and prosecution of "the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee's identity." (The employee, of course, is Valerie Plame Wilson, a CIA employee with classified status, and the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.) On December 30, 2003, you received a letter from the Deputy Attorney General regarding your powers. On February 6, 2004 you received a letter of further clarification, stating without reservation, that in this matter your powers are "plenary." In effect, then, you act with the power of the Attorney General of the United States.
With the latest CBS poll putting Bush's approval rating at 35%, he's genuinely entered into Nixon territory. Since polling began, Nixon is the only two-term president with lower approval ratings at a comparable point in his presidency:
Johnson 66% (Oct. 1965)
Reagan 63% (Oct. 1985)
Clinton 57% (Oct. 1997)
Eisenhower 57% (Oct. 1957)
Truman 49% (Oct. 1949)
Bush 39% (Oct. 2005)
Nixon 29% (Oct. 1973)
So, I've helpfully graphed both Bush's approval rating and disapproval rating against Nixon's. Note Bush still has about a year to go before he gets to the point in Nixon's presidency when Nixon resigned.
What It's Like
By Paul Begala
From: TPMCafe Special Guests
Tom Petty was wrong. The waiting is not the hardest part.
Sure, all of what Eric Alterman dubbed "the punditocracy" has a severe case of indictus interruptus, but for President Bush and his White House staff, the worst is yet to come. To be sure, waiting on a decision to indict is an exquisite form of torture. But what lies ahead is worse. If special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald does choose to indict one or more senior Bush White House officials, they will be the first top White House aides to be indicted in a decade and a half.
October 26, 2005
New Information: First the Website, Now the New Office Space
-- Steve Clemons
Patrick Fitzgerald's intermediaries denied that there was any significance to the establishment of a new website, minimalist as it is, for the Office of the Special Counsel which is investigating the "outing" of Valerie Plame Wilson's covert CIA responsibilities to the media.
Fitzgerald's people said that the investigation coming to a close and the website going up was just coincidence.
Well, news has just reached TWN that Patrick Fitzgerald is expanding not only into a new website -- but also into more office space.
The Iraqi death toll
by Chris in Paris - 10/26/2005 03:24:00 AM
So is Bush also laughing about the thousands of Iraqis who have died as well? Estimates vary but a reasonable starting point seems to be around 30,000 Iraqi deaths since the beginning of the US/UK invasion of Iraq. With the faux constitution that does not address any of the serious issues (once again put off for another day) there is no reason to think that the Iraqi deaths will decrease. The numbers are pretty bad:
One U.S. military spokesman said it is possible the figure for the entire war could be 30,000 Iraqis...
1. He Murdered Vincent Foster
2. Is Son Of A Liberal Elitist Doorman
3. Claims He Spent Christmas, 1983 In Cambridge; Actually Was In Somerville
4. Casey Sheehan Would Be Ashamed Of Him
5. Charles Krauthammer Thinks He's Crazy, And Krauthammer Is A Psychiatrist
6. Fathered John McCain's Illegitimate Black Child
7. Let's Not Forget That The Vatican—The Center Of His Religion—Is The Great Whore Of Revelation 17
8. Is Irish, Not That We're Implying Anything About Him And The Booze
9. A Friend Of Mine Knows The Cousin Of The Neighbor Of Someone Who Worked With Him In 1986 Who Says the Coffee Machine In The Office Cost 50 Cents But Sometimes You Would Put In A Quarter And It Would Start Working Which Meant it Had Eaten The Quarter Of The Person Ahead of You And Once They Saw Fitzgerald Get Coffee Like This Which Meant He Essentially Stole A Quarter From Someone In The Office, Which Really Brings Up The Character Issue
Vote for (or write-in) your favorite answer to "How many Bush Administration officials does it take to screw in a light bulb?" (You must be logged in to vote). The current most popular answer is:
130,000. First you have to mass the troops, then, after breaking the first twenty bulbs because you didn't have enough staffing who could read Arabic, you can protect the perimeter and secure the oil wells that supply the power to light the bulb. What, you didn't think oil was involved?
* None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are a delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effect. Why do you hate freedom?\n* 130,000. First you have to mass the troops, then, after breaking the first twenty bulbs because you didn't have enough staffing who could read Arabic, you can protect the perimeter and secure the oil wells that supply the power to light the bulb. What, you didn't think oil was involved?\n* We don't know how to replace it. But it's not our fault. Clinton was the one who broke it.\n* You read by the bulb you have, not the one you would like to have.\n* One to arrange a photograph of Bush, dressed as a janitor, standing on a stepladder under the banner: Light Bulb Change Accomplished;\n* One administration insider to resign and write a book documenting in detail how Bush was literally in the dark.\n* One to confuse Americans about the difference between screwing a light bulb and screwing the country\n* \n* \n* \n* \n
VR ANALYSIS OF THE FEDERAL SENTENCING GUIDELINES DEMONSTRATES THAT SENIOR WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS ARE FACING THE PROSPECT OF LIFE IN PRISON FOR THE OUTING OF CIA AGENT VALERIE PLAME UNLESS THEY HURRY UP AND TURN ON EACH OTHER
It looks more and more like Karl Rove and his GOP associates made a huge mistake when they decided to disclose the identity of Valerie Plame in retaliation for statements by Ambassador Joe Wilson about the implausibility of President Bush's statements about Iraq's nuclear capabilities. By going after Wilson and his wife, they committed serious crimes which, apparently, they then compounded by obstructing justice and committing and suborning perjury. As a result, they have virtually ensured that, if convicted, they could receive a sentence up to life in federal prison under the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are used to compute sentences based on severity offense levels. The higher the level, the greater the sentence, and federal courts routinely follow the Guidelines in the vast majority of cases.
Plame B.S. debunked
Posted by Evan Derkacz at 6:10 AM on October 14, 2005.
But Valerie Plame worked in an office?
When it first became clear that someone fairly high up in the leak of Valerie Plame's identity may actually get caught, a number of disingenuous arguments were deployed in the off chance that they may actually work.
One of these was that Valerie Plame, while technically being an undercover officer, actually worked at a desk job (with whatever subtle misogynistic undertones you want to take from that...), so her outing wasn't a terribly harmful move.
Put aside the fact that it ONLY MAKES SENSE as a retaliatory measure if it is somehow threatening and welcome the facts. Larry Johnson, a former CIA officer himself, pulls no punches in his critique of yesterday's Richard Cohen column in the Washington Post contending that no crime could have been committed because Plame "worked at a desk job" and therefore prosecutor Fitzgerald ought to just close up shop and slink away.