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Source: Center for American Progress
April 7, 2006
Yesterday, a court filing disclosed that President Bush specifically authorized Vice President Cheney's chief of staff Scooter Libby to disclose classified information in an effort to discredit Joseph Wilson, a former CIA adviser whose criticisms undermined the administration's case for war. According to the 39-page document submitted by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald on late Wednesday night, Libby testified that Cheney "advised him that the President had authorized [Libby] to disclose relevant portions" of the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (N.I.E.), the key CIA document that the administration used to persuade Congress and the American public into war. The court filing "for the first time places Bush and Vice President Cheney at the heart of what Libby testified was an exceptional and deliberate leak of material designed to buttress the administration's claim that Iraq was trying to obtain nuclear weapons." While the document does not address the issue of whether Bush was personally involved in specifically leaking Valerie Plame's identity, it is clear from the timing of the leak authorization by President Bush that he was personally involved in the administration-wide effort to smear Joseph Wilson by any means necessary.
Ex-Lt. General William E. Odom, a former director of the National Security Agency, says U.S. troops should withdraw as soon as possible.
By Peter B. Lord, Journal Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE -- The U.S. invasion of Iraq may be the biggest strategic mistake in U.S. history, a retired general and international-intelligence expert said here yesterday. He argued that we still haven't seen the worst consequences.
By Margaret Carlson
April 10 (Bloomberg) -- I. Lewis ``Scooter'' Libby, former chief of staff and close confidante to the vice president, looked into the maw of a grand jury and disgorged words that few thought could be squeezed out of him.
Libby told the grand jury, according to court documents obtained by the New York Sun, that he was authorized by President George W. Bush, through Vice President Dick Cheney, to spill classified information to New York Times reporter Judith Miller. This Libby did, on July 8, 2003, over drinks at the St. Regis Hotel, a few blocks north of the White House.
Elizabeth de la Vega, "Final Jeopardy, Asking the Right Question About the President's Involvement in the CIA Leak Affair"
From Tomdispatch today:
Elizabeth de la Vega, "Final Jeopardy, Asking the Right Question About the President's Involvement in the CIA Leak Affair"
Former Federal Prosecutor De la Vega considers the latest news in the Plame/Libby Leak case and, in a brilliant analysis of this Toad's Wild Ride of an inside-the-Beltway Imax 3-D extravaganza in which, it looks increasingly apparent, Bush and Co. have lost their way, she suggests why the typical media questions of the moment -- "Is what the President did legal?" or "Does the President have authority to declassify information at will?" -- aren't the right ones to ask.
Prosecutor Describes Cheney, Libby as Key Voices Pitching Iraq-Niger Story
By Barton Gellman and Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, April 9, 2006; A01
As he drew back the curtain this week on the evidence against Vice President
Cheney's former top aide, Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald for the
first time described a "concerted action" by "multiple people in the White
By Larry Johnson
If you saw Cameron's version of TITANIC, I am sure you recall the scene just after the ship disappeared below the surface and the heroine, Rose, was grabbed and forced underwater by another passenger who couldn't swim. Today, Scooter Libby was that passenger and George W. Bush is Rose. Only in this case, there is nothing heroic about George W. Bush. In fact, Bush is a coward.
April 6, 2006
Council for a Livable World
Permanent Bases in Iraq
The Bush Administration has been vague and non-committal about whether the United States intends to maintain permanent bases in Iraq.
Officials use slippery formulations such as:
“at the moment, there are no plans for long-term bases”
“we do not intend to have any permanent bases”
“we want to bring our people home as soon as possible”
By David Rossie
News item: "CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuela had a blunt message this week for Exxon Mobil, one of the world's most powerful oil companies: Get off my crude-rich turf."
All right, what do we have to do, wait for a pack of crazed Latinos to crash a hijacked airliner into Disneyland before we realize that Venezuela and its power-crazed presidente cum dictator Hugo Chavez have declared war on the United States?
Bush's Grand Game: A "PNAC Primer" UPDATE
By Bernard Weiner
Co-Editor, The Crisis Papers
April 4, 2006
When the Bush Administration keeps hauling out its "we-didn't-know-nothin'" spin -- about Katrina, 9/11, Iraq, torture -- in effect they're using incompetence as their defense. How can you try to censure or impeach us, they're saying, when we didn't know what was happening, what to do or how to do it?
100th AMERICAN CITY DECLARES: "BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!"
Madison, Wisconsin joins 99 other cities and townships
Simultaneously, 24 towns and cities in Wisconsin, including the city of Madison, joined 76 other municipalities across the country in passing resolutions and non-binding referenda that demand the Bush Administration bring American troops home from Iraq now. This effort was spearheaded by the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice. This brings the number of post-war Cities for Peace up to 100.
Washington Post - April 5, 2006 - By Kari Kydersen, Washington Post Staff Writer
SHOREWOOD, Wis., April 4 -- Voters in the majority of 32 Wisconsin towns with local referendums on the Iraq war voted Tuesday to bring the troops home.
A call to withdraw from Iraq by the end of the year passed overwhelmingly in the liberal Milwaukee suburb of Shorewood, while in conservative Watertown, where the City Council had opposed having the referendum, it was voted down by 75 percent.
By Vanessa Arrington
The Associated Press
Sunday 02 April 2006
An Apache helicopter that crashed southwest of Baghdad was believed to have been shot down and the two crew members were presumed dead, the U.S. military said Sunday.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, meanwhile, made a surprise visit to press Iraqi politicians to speed up the formation of the government. Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari faced mounting pressure from his fellow Shiites to step aside from seeking a second term amid opposition from minority Sunnis and Kurds.
In harm's way
By Thomas C Greene in Dover, Delaware in The Register
1 April exclusive
First daughters Jenna and Barbara Bush will be assigned to a high-tech unit in Iraq, the Air Force Human Resources Command has confirmed. Having finished basic training at the Officer Training School (OTS) at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, they are scheduled to receive advanced training in telecommunications at the School of Information Technology before deployment overseas with the USAF Information Operations Squadron. For security reasons, the exact dates have been withheld.
Cheney And Halliburton Hold Title - Top Earners In Iraq
30 March, 2006
There has never been an investigation into Cheney's involvement in awarding Halliburton no-bid contracts making the company the number one war profiteerer in Iraq. Apparently people have forgotten about the March 5, 2003 e-mail between the Army Corps of Engineers and a Pentagon employee that stated the contract "has been coordinated w VP's office."
As nobody remembers, Gorbachev made noises about withdrawing Soviet troops from Afghanistan for some time before it actually happened in 1988-9. Part II of the BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares includes a later interview with him, in which he sounds very much like a U.S. politician circa 2006:
GORBACHEV: We had to finish this war. But in a way so the Russian people would understand why tens of thousands had died. We couldn't just run away from there in shame. No. We needed to find a process.
What's hilarious—to the degree things involving massive bloodshed can be hilarious—is the subsequent footage from 1987 of Richard Perle dismissing all this "process" nonsense:
What White House staffer wrote a memo saying this?
No written communications from the White House to the Departments -- all information about the program would be transmitted verbally... documents prepared would not indicate White House involvement in any way.
From the article Washington's Iraq Blindness by Robert Dreyfuss in TomPaine.com:
While Bush reinforces his Zarqawi myth and Dems call lamely for more armor, the battle lines for civil war in Iraq are being drawn.
The Iraq that exists in President Bush’s imagination and the real Iraq, the one in which 160,000 U.S. troops occupy a nation sliding into civil war, have never seemed further apart. Bush’s Iraq is a fantastical one in which American forces are battling the enemy that struck us on 9/11. Yet on the ground, in the real Iraq, more than six weeks have passed since Iraq’s election, and battle lines for civil war are being drawn up.
By British Army Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster. Published in the U.S. Army journal, Military Review. Here are some excerpts:
Few could fail to be impressed by the speed and style of the U.S.-dominated coalition victory over Saddam's forces in spring 2003. At the time, it appeared, to skeptics and supporters alike, that the most ambitious military action in the post-Cold War era had paid off, and there was an air of heady expectation of things to come.
In contrast, two years later, notwithstanding ostensible campaign successes such as the elections of January 2005, Iraq is in the grip of a vicious and tenacious insurgency. Few would suggest Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) has followed the path intended by President Bush when he committed U.S. forces.
From an article in The Guardian:
The real cost to America of the Iraq war is likely to be between $1 trillion and $2 trillion, up to 10 times more than previously thought, according to a report written by Nobel prize-winning economist and a Harvard budget expert Joseph Stiglitz.
The study, which expands on traditional estimates by including such costs as lifetime disability and healthcare for troops injured in the conflict as well as the impact on the American economy, concludes that the U.S. Government is continuing to underestimate the cost of the war....
(Editor's note: Richard posted this on an earlier thread, but I am raising it in honor of Richard's father who fought in WWII and my father as well.)
George, what the hell does this mean:
"As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have," Bush said. "The unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk."
The Secret Government
If you've taken the time to explore some of the vast amount of reliable, verifiable information on WantToKnow.info, you have very likely come to the conclusion that there is a powerful shadow or secret government which manipulates global politics behind the scenes. Government bureaucracies are known for their inefficiency, yet it is their very well-organized and hierarchical military and intelligence services through which those involved with the secret government are able to implement their secret plans.
From the NY Times Op-Ed section, by Kanan Makiya, professor at Brandeis University and author of "Cruelty and Silence: War, Tyranny, Uprising and the Arab World":
WASHINGTON and Baghdad will be tempted, with the adoption of a new Constitution and the election on Thursday for a four-year government, to declare victory in Iraq. In one sense, they are right to do so. The emerging Iraqi polity undoubtedly represents a radical break not only with the country's past but also with the whole Arab state system established by Britain and France after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
But in the larger sense, such optimism is misguided, for none of the problems associated with Iraq's monumental change have been sorted out. Worse, profound tensions and contradictions have been enshrined in the Constitution of the new Iraq, and they threaten the very existence of the state.
By pastor Anthony B. Robinson in SeattlePi.com:
You might not expect a West Point graduate, Vietnam vet and career soldier to come out with a book titled "The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Addicted to War." But that's what Andrew Bacevich, who now directs the program in International Relations at Boston University, has done.
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