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President Bush authorized U.S. special forces to conduct ground assaults inside Pakistan without seeking Islamabad's permission first, a senior American intelligence official said Thursday.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said better U.S.-Pakistan cooperation is needed to fight terror.
"We have had the president's OK for months," said the official, who declined to be identified because the order is classified. "It is my understanding that the Pakistanis are well-aware of the change."
"The events of the past seven years," Andrew Bacevich begins in his new piece at TomDispatch.com, "have yielded a definitive judgment on the strategy that the Bush administration conceived in the wake of 9/11 to wage its so-called Global War on Terror. That strategy has failed, massively and irrevocably. To acknowledge that failure is to confront an urgent national priority: to scrap the Bush approach in favor of a new national security strategy that is realistic and sustainable -- a task that, alas, neither of the presidential candidates seems able to recognize or willing to take up."
This post represents a powerful analysis from an important critic of the Bush administration's Global War on Terror -- of just how a small group of Washington officials, dreaming of "transforming" the political and military map of the Middle East and deeply convinced of their own perspicacity, led us into disaster. They were, Bacevich writes, believers in the deepest sense. "They worshipped in the Church of the Indispensable Nation, a small but intensely devout Washington-based sect formed in the immediate wake of the Cold War. Members of this church shared an exalted appreciation for the efficacy of American power, especially hard power. Their strategy of transformation emerged as a direct expression of their faith."
From the introduction to: "Report in Support of Articles of Impeachment Against President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney for Making False and Fraudulent Statements to Congress and or Conspiring to Defraud Congress Regarding the Most Notorious of the Grounds for the War in Iraq: the Grounds that Iraq Had Sought Uranium for a Nuclear Weapon, And Articles of Impeachment" by Francis T. Mandanici.
In his recent book entitled What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception, former White House press secretary Scott McClellan describes the White House’s deceptive campaign to sell the war in Iraq to the American people.1
A 2-page flyer/media alert is now available to print and fax to your local media outlets and elected officials for the Justice Robert Jackson Conference on the Planning for Prosecution of High Level American War Criminals this weekend.
The event will be live-streamed over the internet and will be available by recorded video post-event. Viewers need to pre-register, so allow a few minutes to do that.
For your quick reading, I've listed key statistics about the Iraq War, taken primarily from data analyzed by various think tanks, including The Brookings Institution's Iraq Index, and from mainstream media sources. Data is presented as of August 27, 2008, except as indicated.
U.S. SPENDING IN IRAQ
Spent & Approved War-Spending - About $600 billion of US taxpayers' funds. In June 2008, President Bush signed a bill approving about 200 billion more for 2008, which brings the cumulative total to close to $800 billion.
U.S. Monthly Spending in Iraq - $12 billion in 2008
U.S. Spending per Second - $5,000 in 2008 (per Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on May 5, 2008)
On August 15, 2008, Russia dropped cluster bombs on civilian areas in the neighboring country of Georgia, killing at least 14 civilians and wounding dozens more. This weekend, the Georgian government admitted to having dropped cluster bombs in certain locations between the Roki tunnel and Dzara road. This area links Georgia's South Ossetia with North Ossetia, which is Russian territory. Georgia claims not to have dropped any cluster bombs in civilian areas.
On August 7, 2008, Russia began an armed offensive against Georgia over South Ossetia, a region long recognized as part of Georgia but home to an ethnic minority with close ties to Russia.
Keti Javakhishvili, a twenty-five year-old woman in Gori, Georgia, barely survived a cluster bomb attack. She was walking with neighbors to get bread when the cluster bombs fell. “I heard an explosion and dropped to the ground,” she told Human Rights Watch researchers from her hospital bed.
Reflections on 9-11
Cindy Sheehan | www.CindyforCongress.org
The 7th anniversary of September 11, 2001 is approaching and it seems like a good time to reflect on what our nation has lost since that tragic day and what we can do to go forward.
I do not think that anyone alive on that day will forget the shock that struck our nation when the symbols of US capitalism and militarism were struck out of the clear blue sky. I was in panic mode for a few days, because I did not hear from Casey who was stationed at Ft. Hood on that day and his base went into lock-down and he was too busy to call. Even though we mourn with our fellow Americans, the loss of over 3000 innocent people and the pain their families have had to deal with, the attacks of 9-11 have touched every American.
There are several ways to look at 9-11:
- 9-11 was planned and executed by the US government.
Iran’s Road Less Traveled to Nukes
By Ray McGovern
Thomas Fingar, the U.S. government’s top intelligence analyst, in a public speech on Sept. 4, repeated the intelligence community’s key judgment that Iran’s work on the “weaponization portion” of its nuclear development program “was suspended” in 2003.
Not that the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) has exactly trumpeted this important conclusion. One has to read down to paragraph 16 of an article titled “Reduced Dominance Is Predicted for the U.S.”, but there it is, right there on an inside page of September 10’s Washington Post. The New York Times did not consider Fingar’s remarks fit to print.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) says he won't cease his efforts to hold the president and his administration accountable for their alleged abuses of power just because George W. Bush will be returning to his Texas ranch come January.
Kucinich says he wants Congress to create a "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" to examine what really went on within the Bush White House in the aftermath of 9/11 and the lead up to the Iraq war. He says only an independent body with truth-seeking as its goal -- rather than "fake political unity" -- can repair divisions that have emerged in an increasingly polarized nation.
Kucinich Announces New Effort
Grassroots Leaders, 2 Million Supporters, Rally Behind Impeachment
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 10, 2008) -- On the day before the observance of 9/11, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who has led Impeachment efforts in Congress over the past two years, will announce a new effort toward establishing a process of national truth and reconciliation.
WHEN: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 1:00 -1:30 P.M
WHERE: Room 2456 of the Rayburn House Office Building
"Before the Congress adjourns, I will bring forth a new proposal for the establishment of a National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation, which will have the power to compel testimony and gather official documents to reveal to the American people not only the underlying deception which has divided us, but in that process of truth-seeking set our nation on a path of reconciliation.
US Military Combat & Non-Combat Casualty Report for Week Ending Sept. 9, 2008
Compiled by Michael Munk | www.michaelmunk.com
US military occupation forces in Iraq suffered 68 combat casualties casualties in the week ending September 9 as the official casualty total climbed to at least 68,321. It includes 34,011 dead and wounded by what the Pentagon classifies as "hostile" causes and more than 34,310 dead and medically evacuated (as of August 2) because of "non-hostile" causes. The number of wounded is updated weekly (usually Tuesdays) by the Pentagon.
The actual total is over 88,000 because the Pentagon chooses not to count as "Iraq casualties" the approximately 20,000 casualties reported only after they returned from Iraq - mainly brain trauma from explosions.
Veterans groups and Sen. Barack Obama say government officials are obscuring the actual number of wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars by leaving out of some public documents troops who suffer non-combat injuries.
From the Pentagon Web site to press materials handed out at the opening of an amputee center in Texas last week, the number of wounded in the wars often circulated publicly is around 23,000.
That number only accounts for those wounded in combat. When troops from those wars who were wounded in other ways are counted, the number more than doubles, to about 53,000.
September 10, 2008
Today, September 10, 2008, at 1 p.m. ET, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D., Ohio) will hold a press conference in Room 2456 in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C., to discuss his delivery today to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of petitions calling for the immediate commencement of impeachment hearings, and a new proposal for a national truth and reconciliation commission.
David Swanson, Cofounder of AfterDowningStreet.org and Washington Director of Democrats.com will join Kucinich at the event, along with representatives of several allied organizations, including Susan Serpa and Ralph Lopez of Northeast Impeachment Coalition, Linda Boyd of Washington For Impeachment, Sandra Marshall of Progressive Democrats of San Luis Obispo, CA, Cynthia Papermaster of National Impeachment Network, Gael Murphy of CODEPINK: Women for Peace, and John Heuer of North Carolina Grassroots Impeachment Movement.
By Nick Langewis and David Edwards, Raw Story
Congressman Jim McDermott, representing Washington's 7th district, stood up on the House floor to give his official support to efforts to impeach President Bush.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008, at 1:00 p.m. in room 2456 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
By Jason Leopold, The Public Record
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and groups supporting the impeachment of President George W. Bush will hold a press conference Wednesday announcing the results of a continuing grassroots campaign to gather signatures in support of Kucinich’s impeachment resolution which calls for the president to be held accountable for taking the country to war against Iraq based on lies.
Kucinich has collected 150,000 signatures, 100,000 of which have already been filed. On Wednesday, the day before 9/11, about 50,000 additional signatures will be filed with the Speaker through the Clerk of the House. Kucinich's office said the effort is ongoing.
Wednesday's news conference is entitled “The day before the world changed, a day to change the world!” It will focus on Kucinich's ongoing efforts to hold impeachment hearings against Bush.
Activists who refuse to give up on their country are spending these next two weeks on Capitol Hill lobbying for impeachment. They've even created new fact sheets for the effort:
"Guide to Impeachment and Contempt of Congress" General reference, not about Bush. 12 pages. [PDF].
These and many other resources are IN THE RESOURCE CENTER.
“We Need to Remind People that You Cannot Trample the Bill of Rights” – Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Calls for Impeachment
A day after Ted Kennedy addressed the Democratic convention in Denver, the Kennedys gathered at the historic Brown Palace Hotel in Denver to remember another Kennedy, Ted’s brother, Robert F. Kennedy. He was assassinated forty years ago, the night he won the Los Angeles Democratic primary. After the event, I sat down with Robert F. Kennedy’s son, environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. He spoke about torture, impeachment and the most poignant memories of his father.
You can use Oil Change USA's tools to educate, activate and engage people coming to your website and blog by:
- launching an email campaign that links our tool to your recipients, telling them exactly how much oil or coal money their representatives or candidates have taken from the oil or coal industries, and how often they vote for Big Oil (see the attached image of our email mash-up campaign with True Majority);
- posting or embedding our Oily Mystery flash video that integrates all of our tools within a story about Big Oil's influence in politics;
- linking to our tools on your blog or website;
- distributing our oil dollar bills (see the attached McCain dollar bill) at local events; and
- using our tools as a research tool on your key candidates and members of Congress.
Lawsuit to Ask That Cheney's Papers Be Made Public
By Christopher Lee | WashingtonPost.com
Months before the Bush administration ends, historians and open-government advocates are concerned that Vice President Cheney, who has long bristled at requirements to disclose his records, will destroy or withhold key documents that illustrate his role in forming U.S. policy for the past 7 1/2 years.
In a preemptive move, several of them have agreed to join the advocacy group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington in asking a federal judge to declare that Cheney's records are covered by the Presidential Records Act of 1978 and cannot be destroyed, taken or withheld without proper review.
MSNBC said Sunday it is replacing Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews as co-anchors of political night coverage with David Gregory, and will use the two newsmen as commentators.
The change reflects tensions between the freewheeling, opinionated MSNBC and the impartial newsgatherers at NBC News. Throughout the primaries and summer, MSNBC argued that Olbermann and Matthews could serve as dispassionate anchors on political news nights and that viewers would accept them in that role, but things fell apart during the conventions.
Gregory, the veteran Washington hand, will anchor MSNBC's coverage of the presidential and vice presidential debates and election night, said Jeremy Gaines, network spokesman. The change was first reported by The New York Times.
The tipping point appears to have come during the Republican convention when Olbermann, after the network aired a Sept. 11-themed video prepared by the Republicans, said that MSNBC should not have shown it.
Justice Department Moves Toward Charges Against Contractors in Iraq Shooting
By Del Quentin Wilber and Karen DeYoung | WashingtonPost.com
Federal prosecutors have sent target letters to six Blackwater Worldwide security guards involved in a September shooting that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead, indicating a high likelihood the Justice Department will seek to indict at least some of the men, according to three sources close to the case.
The guards, all former US military personnel, were working as security contractors for the State Department, assigned to protect US diplomats and other non-military officials in Iraq. The shooting occurred when their convoy arrived at a busy square in central Baghdad and guards tried to stop traffic.
One of America's biggest military contractors is being sued by a Nepali labourer and the families of a dozen other employees who say they were taken against their will to work in Iraq. All but one of the Nepalese workers were subsequently kidnapped and murdered.
According to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, the Nepalese workers were recruited in 2004 in their home country by KBR and its Jordanian contractors, Daoud & Partners, to work as kitchen staff in a luxury hotel in Amman. Once they reached the Jordanian capital, however, their passports were taken from them and they were sent to Iraq. While travelling in an unprotected convoy, the Nepalis were kidnapped and later executed.
Join us in giving Cheney an UNWELCOMING reception when he visits Rome!
Monday, September 8, 5-7pm
Piazza di San Marco (Piazza Venezia)
One of the primary architects of Bush administration policy, Richard B. Cheney has approved and supported:
- unlawful detention and torture
- the illegal occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan
- crimes against humanity
- war-privatization and war-profiteering
- threats of aggression against Iran
- the dissemination of propaganda
- violations of the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 14th amendments of the United States Constitution
- violations of the Nuremberg Principles and Geneva Conventions
- indefinite and discretionary detention of US and non-US citizens
- ...just to name a few.
Please join us on Monday and stand with us against war crimes and war criminals!!
U.S. Citizens for Peace and Justice - Rome
Frederick Douglass said it best. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Stated another way, Experience is the best teacher. To understand the political mechanics of this country, a person must have been involved in political struggle. Dr. Leonard Jeffries says it requires knowledge of systems analysis. A political system ensures the maintenance of the status quo. Similarly, this is also the objective of economic and legal systems.
AGENDA FOR THE “JUSTICE ROBERT H. JACKSON CONFERENCE”: PLANNING FOR THE PROSECUTION OF HIGH LEVEL AMERICAN WAR CRIMINALS
Join Us in Andover, Mass., to Plan Prosecution of Bush, Cheney, et alia
AGENDA FOR THE “JUSTICE ROBERT H. JACKSON CONFERENCE”: PLANNING FOR THE PROSECUTION OF HIGH LEVEL AMERICAN WAR CRIMINALS
September 13 – 14, 2008
Registration details available at: http://war-crimes.info
“The common sense of mankind demands that law shall not stop with the punishment of petty crimes by little people. It must also reach men who possess themselves of great power and make deliberate and concerted use of it to set in motion evils which leave no home in the world untouched.”
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“The Charter of this Tribunal evidences a faith that the law is not only to govern the conduct of little men, but that even rulers are, as Lord Chief Justice Coke put it to King James, ‘under God and the law.’”
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Although Americans have access to the greatest selection of information sources in the world, including books, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, cable, and the Internet, the frequency of the news cycle has increased to the point where we have forgotten that our president and vice president have committed horrendous war crimes, or we may have missed the fact as it flashed by.