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July 21, 2005
Investigative reporter and essayist Russ Baker is a longtime contributor to TomPaine.com. A contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review, he is the founder of the Real News Project, a new organization dedicated to revitalizing investigative journalism. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It would be a great understatement to say that The New York Times is in a difficult position when it comes to reporting on the case of Judith Miller, the paper's reporter who is currently in jail for refusing to identify sources in the Valerie Plame Wilson leak investigation. No one wants to see a journalist in jail—much less one who labors on behalf of the same news organization.
Institute for Public Accuracy
On Saturday, July 23, over 300 events organized by the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition and Rep. John Conyers will mark the three-year anniversary of the meeting at No. 10 Downing Street in London that was recorded in the now infamous minutes known as the "Downing Street memo." Members of Congress will be hosting some of the events, including ones in Detroit, Inglewood, Calif., Seattle, Oakland, Calif., and New York City.
BOB FERTIK, http://www.afterdowningstreet.org Fertik is co-founder of the group After Downing Street. He said today: "The invasion of Iraq was a war crime based on lies. A recent Zogby poll found that 42 percent of Americans believe George Bush should be impeached if he lied about Iraq, and the Downing Street minutes prove that Bush lied." [This Saturday from 2-4 p.m. Bob Fertik will moderate an event at the New York Society for Ethical Culture that includes Rep. Maurice Hinchey and former Rep. Liz Holtzman.]
By COLIN SHEA
Prague, Czech Republic
This is an open letter to U.S. Rep. Jeb Bradley.
Documentary evidence of presidential high crimes and misdemeanors has been in full public view for six weeks now and you have been shamefully silent. Seven citizens of New Hampshire are dead for no reason, yet you continue to participate in the disgusting charade of the Iraq war. This must end. Serious discussion of impeachment must finally take place in the House of Representatives.
On May 1, a British newspaper published a secret memorandum from August 2002 from the very highest levels of the British government. It shows conclusively that the Bush administration had already decided at that time to attack and occupy Iraq. This was eight months before hostilities commenced, and three months before the release of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on the Iraq threat — the purported basis for war.
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Bernie Weiner, The Crisis Papers
At long last, Plamegate -- the scandal surrounding the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson by two "senior administration officials" -- has exploded out of the D.C. beltway to become a major national news story.
It would appear that this scandal goes way beyond Karl Rove and who said what to whom when about Ms. Plame. It certainly is true, though, that turning over that slimy Rove-Plame rock was the way into the larger issues upon which Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald and his grand jury apparently are focusing.
From Downing Street to Tavistock Square: How will a Terror Attack in London Change British and World Policy toward Iraq? (Recorded Wednesday, July 20)
Norman Birnbaum, author and Georgetown University Law Professor
David Swanson, co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org
Bill Fletcher, President, TransAfrica Forum
Moderator: John Cavanagh, Director, IPS
By Molly Ivins
Now it's getting funnier and funnier. The entire Republican Party is shocked (!) anyone would think that Karl Rove (!!) would leak a story to damage a political opponent. Oh, the horror.
Attacking an opponent's wife is standard operating procedure for Rove. Have Republicans actually convinced themselves that he wouldn't do such a thing? People, sometimes party loyalty asks too much.
Actually, we are missing the point here. The point being that there are by now innumerable pieces of evidence that this administration lied about why we went to war in Iraq. After they got done lying about weapons of mass destruction and about connections to Al Qaeda, they switched to the stomach-churning pretense that we had done it all for democracy. Urp.
Karl Rove's alibi would be easier to believe if he hadn't hidden it from FBI investigators in 2003.
By Murray Waas
American Prospect Web Exclusive: 07.19.05
White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove did not disclose that he had ever discussed CIA officer Valerie Plame with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper during Rove’s first interview with the FBI, according to legal sources with firsthand knowledge of the matter.
The omission by Rove created doubt for federal investigators, almost from the inception of their criminal probe into who leaked Plame's name to columnist Robert Novak, as to whether Rove was withholding crucial information from them, and perhaps even misleading or lying to them, the sources said.
Ph.D, Lt. Col. USAF (ret.)
Dott Clarke Koch: Dr./Lt. Col. Kwiatkowski, you are admired and respected the world over for bringing out facts about clandestine fabrications devised in the Pentagon preceding the preemptive military strike on the Middle Eastern sovereign country of Iraq. When you observed, firsthand, those false bullet points being constructed and then passed on to the media -- bullet points that today are resulting in massive deaths in Iraq, you reacted negatively. Was it your commitment to the U.S. Constitution, trampled on by the Pentagon-Few, that enabled you to remain loyal to America?
By Geov Parrish
It's something of a stretch to proclaim Karl Rove, the Machiavellian political adviser to President Bush, innocent. But in this case, he just might be. And there's been something positively unseemly about the transparent glee with which many Democrats have been calling for Rove to be frog-marched out of the White House.
That glee is a form of tribute, really. It's an acknowledgment of just how successful (and ruthless) Rove has been—as a political strategist, in building Bush's political empire, and in forging a solid Republican majority in Congress.
So why would he be so stupid as to leak Valerie Plame's professional identity?
Fauquier Times Democrat (Virginia)
By Linda W. Swanson, Warrenton
This Saturday, July 23, is an important anniversary. Over 300 events are being planned nationwide to recognize it, one right here in Warrenton.
If you don't know what happened on July 23, 2002, you are not alone.
Most of our media have not reported fully on the secret meeting held that day at Number 10 Downing Street, London, the Prime Minister's residence. The minutes of that meeting about the United States' involvement in Iraq (which were leaked to The Sunday Times of London and printed on May 1, 2005) have become known as the "Downing Street Minutes (or Memo.")
By: Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- Americans have growing doubts about President Bush's honesty and his effectiveness, according to a poll taken at a time people are uneasy with the war in Iraq, uncertain about the economy and nervous about the terrorist threat.
Half of those in the poll taken by the Pew Research Center, 49 percent, said they believe the president is trustworthy, while almost as many, 46 percent said he is not. Bush was at 62 percent on this measure in a September 2003 Pew poll and at 56 percent in a Gallup poll in April. One of Bush's strong suits throughout his presidency has been the perception by a majority of people that he is honest.
Do you want to see video evidence of what they said two years ago, side by side with what they said last week? Do you want to see the Rove Scandal painted clearly with no punches pulled? This is a brilliant DVD. It's been mailed, for free, to everyone who signed up to host an event on July 23rd (courtesy of TakeBacktheMedia, which is providing the DVDs, and AfterDowningStreet volunteer Ben Slade who is paying for the postage). You can get a copy by making a donation to TakeBackTheMedia. You can do that and watch a preview here.
On July 20, from 12:00 - 1:30, Rep. John Conyers (invited), Norman Birnbaum, David Swanson, Bill Fletcher, and John Cavanagh will tape a radio show before a live audience at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.
The Charles Goyette show this morning aired a dramatic recreation of the meeting at #10 Downing Street on July 23, 2002, and an interview with After Downing Street Dot org Co-Founder David Swanson. Listen here.
The following program will play this Saturday, July 23. The program contains an introduction by David Barsamian, explaining that it was taped on the same date as the now infamous Downing Street Memo meeting that occurred July 23, 2002.
Scott Ritter: Why War Against Iraq is Wrong
Former U.S. Marine and UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter exposes deceit used by the Bush Administration in manufacturing its case for war against Iraq. This speech was recorded on the same date of the now infamous Downing Street Memo meeting that occurred July 23, 2002. The Downing Street Memo confirms arguments made by Ritter and many others who opposed the war. Introduction by David Barsamian from Alternative Radio.
By Michael H. Cottman
In the new issue of Time magazine, reporter Matthew Cooper writes that he testified before a federal grand jury last week -- a panel that was predominantly black and overwhelmingly female.
"Grand juries are in the business of handing out indictments, and their docility is infamous," Cooper writes. "A grand jury, the old maxim goes, will indict a ham sandwich if a prosecutor asks it of them.
"But I didn't get that sense from this group of grand jurors. They somewhat reflected the demographics of the District of Columbia," he wrote. "The majority were African-American and were disproportionately women. ... These grand jurors did not seem the types to passively indict a ham sandwich. I would say one-third of my 2-1/2 hours of testimony was spent answering their questions, not the prosecutor's."
By E&P Press
NEW YORK -- It was another difficult press briefing for White House spokesman Scott McClellan today as reporters pounced on what appeared to be a changing presidential standard on what would prompt dismissal of Karl Rove or any other deputy: mere involvement in the Plame scandal or the committing of a crime? And if the latter, would an indictment be enough or would it take a conviction?
And why doesn't President Bush just walk down the hall and ask Rove for a full accounting?
Here's today's transcript of the relevant banter:
Q Scott, the President seemed to raise the bar and add a qualifier today when discussing whether or not anybody would be dismissed for -- in the leak of a CIA officer's name, in which he said that he would -- if someone is found to have committed a crime, they would no longer work in this administration. That's never been part of the standard before, why is that added now?
Most Say Rove Should Lose Job if He Leaked Classified Information
By Gary Langer
Jul. 18, 2005 - Just a quarter of Americans think the White House is fully cooperating in the federal investigation of the leak of a CIA operative's identity, a number that's declined sharply since the investigation began. And three-quarters say that if presidential adviser Karl Rove was responsible for leaking classified information, it should cost him his job.
Skepticism about the administration's cooperation has jumped. As the initial investigation began in September 2003, nearly half the public, 47 percent, believed the White House was fully cooperating. That fell to 39 percent a few weeks later, and it's lower still, 25 percent, in this new ABC News poll.
Inter Press Service
By Jim Lobe
WASHINGTON, Jul 18 (IPS) - While to people living outside the Washington
Bush and Blair's Orgy of Carnage
By MIKE WHITNEY
"Does anyone doubt that 10,000 bin Ladens have been created by the events of the past two and a half years? If they do, they have their head in the sand."
George Galloway; British Parliament, 7-7-05
America has never been involved in a war more clearly immoral than Iraq. From the phony pretext of weapons of mass destruction to the sadistic treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, the conflict has been a sickening chronicle of butchery and deception. Now, the victims of that massive crime are striking back in London and Madrid while the Bush press-corps regurgitates the same stale theories about radicals and Islam.
GREAT BARRINGTON -- John C. Bonifaz, a constitutional and public interest lawyer, will be speaking on Friday, July 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of the First Congregational Church, 251 Main St. The subject of his talk will be "The Downing Street minutes and the Iraq war: Has the President committed impeachable offenses?"
Bonifaz is a 1992 cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. In February and March 2003, he served as plaintiffs' lead counsel in John Doe I vs. President Bush, a constitutional challenge to President Bush's authority to wage war against Iraq absent a congressional declaration of war or equivalent action. Bonifaz represented a coalition of U.S. soldiers, parents of U.S. soldiers, and members of Congress, arguing that the president's planned first-strike invasion of Iraq violated the War Powers Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The Sounds of Hope
by Cindy Sheehan
Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan, KIA in Iraq 04/04/04
Have you ever heard the sound of a mother screaming for her son?
The torrential rains of a mother's weeping will never be done.
They call him a hero, you should be glad he's one, but,
Have you ever heard the sound of a mother screaming for her son?
Have you ever heard the sound of a father holding back his cries?
They say he must be brave because his boy died for another mans lies.
The only thing he allows himself are long, deep sighs.
Have you ever heard the sound of a father holding back his cries?
By Kevin Drum
July 18, 2005
NUKES AND THE BASE....Step back from Plamegate for a moment and ask yourself a broader question: why did the White House react so violently to Joe Wilson's suggestion that the story about Saddam Hussein trying to procure uranium from Niger was false? After all, as conservative apologists never tire of pointing out, Wilson didn't really debunk George Bush's words in the 2003 State of the Union address. Bush said only that Saddam "sought" uranium from Africa, while Wilson merely provided evidence that no uranium ever changed hands. The fact is, Wilson's report didn't invalidate Bush's statement.
By Mark Shields
WASHINGTON (Creators Syndicate) -- In my line of work, you get lied to a lot.
There are the generally forgettable fibs, like a senator who's making his seventh political trip to New Hampshire since the first of the year insisting he has made no decision about a White House run.
The falsehoods you remember are bold and brassy. I will never forget President George H.W. Bush stating with a straight face that the nominee's race had never even crossed his mind when he picked Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court.
Presidential candidate Bill Clinton demonstrated early his flair for fiction by contradicting all his campaign's previous statements on his non-service in the military when he admitted that, yes, during the Vietnam War he actually had received a draft notice calling him to military service.
By Jim Mullins
The Bush administration and much of the major media either ignored or gave little publicity to the revelations in the "Downing Street Memo" when it was leaked and published in London's Sunday Times close to two months ago. Now the leak has become a flood of memos written by British cabinet ministers that affirm and substantiate its damning statement that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
British officials in intelligence, legal and military leadership had expressed great misgivings about the invasion's legality, American claims of quick military success and the lack of US plans to govern Iraq and secure the peace. Its legality was particularly troubling to the legal and military oficials who saw themselves as liable for Nuremberg style war crime trials in the International Criminal Court to which they were bound by treaty. A treaty signed by President Clinton but not given senatorial ratification at President Bush's insistence.
By Ray McGovern
July 18, 2005
Ray McGovern works at Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washingon, DC. He had a 27-year career as an analyst at CIA.
The significance of the Plame affair is not about former U.S. ambassador Joseph Wilson; or his wife, Valerie Plame; or Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby; or even President George W. Bush's alter ego, Karl Rove. White House v. Wilsons is about Iraq, where our sons and daughters—and many others—are daily meeting violent death. And it's about manipulation.
By PETE YOST
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - Time magazine's Matthew Cooper says a 2003 phone call with White House political adviser Karl Rove was the first he heard about the wife of Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson apparently working for the CIA.
Giving a first-person account of his role in a case that nearly landed him in jail, the reporter recalled that Rove told him, ``I've already said too much'' after revealing that the wife of the former ambassador apparently was with the CIA.
Cooper speculated in the piece, released Sunday, that Rove could have been ``worried about being indiscreet, or it could have meant he was late for a meeting or something else.''
Listen to an hour on the Downing Street Minutes, with After Downing Street Co-Founder David Swanson on the Brad Show:
in the 7/16/05 show, HOUR 2.
Sacramento Bee (California)
By Pete McCloskey
The eerie parallels between the Richard Nixon and George W. Bush administrations continue.
Once again the famous words of Lord Acton in 1887 come to mind: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Both Nixon in 1972 and Bush in 2004 won re-election to a second term. Both had impressive agendas for domestic reform, but both were at war - Nixon in Vietnam, Bush in Iraq. Both faced what they felt was disloyal, if not treasonous, conduct by former federal employees. Marine veteran Daniel Ellsberg had given the then top secret Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in 1971, and the Times risked prosecution for publishing excerpts, among which was the damning statement by Assistant Secretary of Defense John McNaughton that 70 percent of the reason for fighting the war was to save American face. The Nixon White House was desperate to discredit Ellsberg to preserve dwindling public support for the war - to allow a "decent interval" to elapse before South Vietnam fell to the North, in Henry Kissinger's words.
New York Times
By FRANK RICH
"I am saying that if anyone was involved in that type of activity which I referred to, they would not be working here."
- Ron Ziegler, press secretary to Richard Nixon, defending the presidential aide Dwight Chapin on Oct. 18, 1972. Chapin was convicted in April 1974 of perjury in connection with his relationship to the political saboteur Donald Segretti.
"Any individual who works here at the White House has the confidence of the president. They wouldn't be working here at the White House if they didn't have the president's confidence."
- Scott McClellan, press secretary to George W. Bush, defending Karl Rove on Tuesday.