You are hereMedia
Published on Friday, July 8, 2005 by Dawn, Pakistan's leading English-speaking newspaper.
by Huck Gutman
The writer is a professor at the University of Vermont in the US.
Bush is quite likely the worst president in the 200-year history of the United States. This has enormous implications for the international community, since his country is not a small republic like the Maldives or Andorra, but a global behemoth.
His power as the most powerful man on earth derives not from a particular intelligence or set of talents, but by virtue of his position as the leader of the dominant military and economic nation on our planet.
I recently had the opportunity to conduct a quick e-mail interview with Cindy Sheehan, co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace. Cindy and the GSFP were present in Washington on June 15, 2005, to meet with Rep. John Conyers and other members of Congress to demand a Resolution of Inquiry into the Downing Street Memo and related documents.
Cindy says that "the mission of GSFP is to stop the war so other families won't have to suffer as we are." The organization's web site states a dual purpose: To bring an end to the occupation of Iraq, and to be a support group for Gold Star Families.
News & Record (Greensboro, NC)
BY KATHE LATHAM
I was stunned yet again by the media's coverage of the president's speech on the war in Iraq and wondered anew just how far we have wandered from practicing true democracy. In a democratic society, our communication systems should reflect a diverse participation and representation in the framing and articulation of major issues that so deeply effect us all. Recent polls show that more than 51 percent of the American people now believe this war is wrong. We are now clear that most of what we were told to be the reasons for rushing to war, against world opinion, are now false. There were no weapons of mass destruction, no depleted uranium, and there is no connection between Sept. 11 and the war in Iraq. The recent Downing Street memo confirms our worst suspicions - that the administration wanted to go to war so badly in Iraq that the intelligence was fixed to fit the policy.
July 6, 2005 Wednesday
This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.
The use of anonymous sources is certainly in the news this week between the case of Judith Miller and Matt Cooper and the publication of Bob Woodward's book about Deep Throat. We'll talk with Woodward tomorrow. Right now, we're going to hear the story of how an anonymous source leaked the so-called Downing Street Memo to my guest, Michael Smith. He is a reporter for the Sunday Times of London. That now famous memo was one of several that were leaked to Smith. Six memos were leaked to him in September 2004 when he was working for The Daily Telegraph.
Deceits enervate an Iraq exit
By DOUG BANDOW, CATO Institute
WASHINGTON -- President George W. Bush's latest attempt to justify his Iraq policy with a televised address to America comes as more evidence emerges that the invasion of Iraq was a war of choice. In arguing that the United States must persevere because Iraq has become "a central front in the war on terror," he sounds like the man who kills his parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court for being an orphan.
It has long been evident that leading administration officials desired war against Iraq long before Sept. 11, 2001. A series of leaked British government documents demonstrate that the lengthy "debate" over Iraq was Kabuki theater, irrelevant to the preordained result.
By David T. Pyne (07/07/05)
An increasing percentage of the American people and U.S. congressional and military leaders are coming to the conclusion that the United States is losing the counterinsurgency war in Iraq. Car bombings and attacks by insurgents killed 80 U.S. troops in May. An additional 47 U.S. soldiers were killed during the first half of June. A total of 1,730 of our troops have died in Iraq thus far and at least 13,000 have been wounded, many very seriously, according to Pentagon figures with no end to the war or the carnage in sight. These casualty numbers resemble the U.S. military casualty count during the first four to five years of the Vietnam war between 1961 and early 1966.
The Daily Republic
By Kelvin Wade
"Why, of course, the people don't want war, (but) the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
- Hermann Goering, April 18, 1946
There's a reason why President Bush's speech on Iraq last week went unheard by most Americans and hasn't changed his sagging poll numbers. He and his administration have a credibility problem that Democrats and Independents have seen for some time and some Republicans are starting to acknowledge.
By David Sirota
Media Matters points out that Fox News' top anchorman, Brit Hume, gave us a glimpse into just how cynical, greedy and disgusting the right-wing's outlook on the world is:
"My first thought when I heard - just on a personal basis, when I heard there had been this attack and I saw the futures this morning, which were really in the tank, I thought, 'Hmmm, time to buy.'"
- Fox News's Brit Hume, 7/7/05
That's right - his first thought wasn't "how tragic," or "let's say a prayer for the dead," or "how can I help the victims" - his first thought was, there was a terrorist attack, how can I personally profit off it? In fact, his impulse to use the bloodshed to make himself money was so intense, he actually voiced it on national television (FYI - in case you'd like to voice your displeasure, Brit's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and his office number is 202-824-6300).
By Brad Blog
And the Bush Administration Continues to Lie About It...
As London erupts, and Bush tells us "the war on terror goes on", Eric Brewer, BTCNews.com's man in the White House has a timely posting today on the Administration's continued...
As London erupts, and Bush tells us "the war on terror goes on", Eric Brewer, BTCNews.com's man in the White House has a timely posting today on the Administration's continued fudging of numbers in their Terrorism Reports.
The number of terror incidents continue to rise, even as the Administration attempts to downplay, fudge, obfuscate the numbers in various statements and annual reports wherever possible.
By Tom Hayden
So much for Tony Blair's hope to "put Iraq behind us." The dustbin now awaits George Bush's argument that "we must take the fight to the enemy over there so we don't have to fight them at home." Imperial fantasies, as shattered as the London transit system. The G-8 leaders feign innocence while the innocents die.
At first we may see the militarist impulse. As the pompous Robert Kaplan has written, "in a world of tribes and thugs, manliness goes a long way." (imperial hubris, 240).
But reality will quickly sink in. Already Denmark and Italy are warned that they are next. The "coalition of the willing" has dwindled from 34 to 20, and will continue to disintegrate, leaving the US with 20,000 stateless mercenaries subsidized by America's taxpayers as the largest ally in Iraq.
By David Corn
July 07, 2005
David Corn writes The Loyal Opposition twice a month for TomPaine.com. Corn is also the Washington editor of The Nation and is the author of The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception (Crown Publishers).
As Judith Miller of The New York Times sits in jail for refusing to reveal a source to Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor investigating the Bush administration leak that identified CIA officer Valerie Wilson (nee Plame), the question remains, why is Robert Novak, the conservative columnist who published the original leak, enjoying his freedom?
From Editor & Publisher, July 5, 2005
By Bill Israel
In 99.9 percent of cases I know, journalists must not break the bonds of appropriate confidentiality, to protect their ability to report, and to defend the First Amendment. I’ve testified in court to that end, and would do so again.
But the Valerie Plame-CIA case that threatens jail time for reporters from Time and The New York Times this week is the exception that shatters the rule. In this case, journalists as a community have been played for patsies by the president’s chief strategist, Karl Rove, and are enabling him to abuse the First Amendment, by their invoking it.
By Tom Hayden
I am distracted from the trials of Judith Miller and Matt Cooper because of the larger shadow of Robert Novak, whose apparent immunity from prosecution is unexplainable. Is Novak the protected asset of one of our intelligence agencies?
It may be that his musings over the past 45 years merely parallels the inner world of the intelligence community, but his present protected status is eerie.
He's not really a journalist, nor is he a party liner. But over the years there has been a pattern.
I remember in the civil rights movement when he wrote 1963 columns alleging infiltration of the movement by "far left" elements (as recalled in his own recollections, May 15, 2003). Who were his sources?
The Impeachment Question
By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Wednesday, July 6, 2005; 1:24 PM
More than four in 10 Americans, according to a recent Zogby poll, say that if President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment.
But you wouldn't know it from following the news. Only three mainstream outlets that I can find made even cursory mention of the poll last week when it came out.
You also wouldn't know it judging from the political discourse in Washington, but that makes a little more sense. After all, impeachment is for all practical purposes a political act, not a legal one. So with a Republican-controlled Congress that doesn't even like to perform basic White House oversight, it's basically a moot point.
"One float was the Downing Street Memo-mobile, complete with three dummies in the back seat eating Doritos that represented Tony Blair, George Bush and Saddam Hussein."
West Athens celebrates alternative 4th
'Heaven' theme makes for eclectic town parade
WEST ATHENS - It was heaven Monday in West Athens, albeit a wacky, irreverent, alternative version.
More than 500 people poured into this tiny town for the 32nd or 33rd (no one can really remember) annual Fourth of July parade and play, which this year was titled "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," a who-gets-in and who-doesn't kind of story.
By GENE LYONS
Ask Karl Rove for an apology? Not me. Apologies are appropriate for foolish remarks made in the heat of argument. Rove read from a script. The White House handed out copies. Besides, what would an apology from that flabby little apparatchik be worth? He's the human equivalent of a fear-biting dog: His Master's Voice.
"Conservatives," Rove said, "saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. In the wake of 9/11, conservatives believed it was time to unleash the might and power of the United States military against the Taliban; in the wake of 9/11, liberals believed it was time to submit a petition. I am not joking."
Mom, Who Lost Son In Iraq, Talks About 'Disgusting' White House Private Meeting With Bush; Claims He Was Arrogant, 'Totally Detached From Humanity' And Didn't Even Know Her Name
Founder of peace group to stop senseless murder of our children, Cindy Sheehan wants parents to 'wake up' to the illegal nature of the war and Bush's corrupt motives meriting impeachment. She tells parents to advise their children not to fight, saying it's better 'to spend a year in jail instead of an eternity in a coffin.'
July 5, 2005
Cindy Sheehan has already had her heart ripped into a million pieces by the illegal Iraqi war, losing the son she loved more than life itself only five days after he arrived in Baghdad in April 2004.
An interview with the creator of Independent World Television
BuzzFlash: I want the BuzzFlash readers to know what you anticipate doing is not just news, but a full-fledged broadcast schedule. The news is one part of it, but there's so much more going on. But I want to get your response as to just how you would see your network handling the Downing Street memo, as compared to what has happened. As soon as it appeared in the Times of London, we had it up on BuzzFlash. Several readers sent that to us, and it was our headline story all that Sunday. The Washington Post didn't run a story for twelve days on the Downing Street memo. Walter Pincus, one of their writers, wrote a piece, which ran on page 18 of the front section, almost two weeks after it appeared in Britain. And most papers in the United States just didn't cover it. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune recently ran a piece by their ombudsman that tried to explain why they didn't cover it. He said we didn't know about it until about a few days later, when a reader of BuzzFlash -- and they mentioned BuzzFlash by name -- wrote to him, the ombudsman, and said I'm reading all these stories about the Downing Street Memo on BuzzFlash.com. How come you're not covering it? And so the guy went to BuzzFlash.com. And the ombudsman for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune said, oh, gee, you know, how come we don't know about this?
By Daniel Ellsberg
President Bush's explanation Tuesday night for staying the course in Iraq evoked in me a sense of familiarity, but not nostalgia. I had heard virtually all of his themes before, almost word for word, in speeches delivered by three presidents I worked for: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon. Not with pride, I recognized that I had proposed some of those very words myself.
Drafting a speech on the Vietnam War for Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara in July 1965, I had the same task as Bush's speechwriters in June 2005: how to rationalize and motivate continued public support for a hopelessly stalemated, unnecessary war our president had lied us into.
Caught Between Rock And Hard Place With No Answers
A majority of Americans believe President misled country into war. Congress one step closer to formal investigation as 52 members file Freedom of Information Act request, seeking needed documents and witnesses. Further complicating a White House response, Tony Blair confirmed authenticity of minutes of Downing Street war meeting.
July 4, 2005
By Greg Szymanski
The infamous Downing Street Memo has suddenly grown wings in Washington, slowly floating through town like a feather in the wind during a two month media blackout but finally landing like a lead balloon on President Bush’s desk.
By David Michael Green
One thing you can say about us Americans, we support our troops. Or do we?
It seems like we must, since there are magnetic ribbons saying so affixed to the back of every other SUV tooling down the highway. But what does it really mean - we might ask ourselves on this Fourth of July - to support our troops?
It doesn't seem to mean signing up to go fight along side them and relieving them of the burden they're carrying. Despite our saying that these 130,000-some Americans are fighting in Iraq for the freedom and security of our country, the remaining 300 million of us seem fairly content to let them do all the heavy lifting. Nor does the president dare institute a draft for his unpopular war, though doing so would spread out its costs far more equitably.
Zogby Polls on the I Word
Even the pollster couldn't believe his eyes. "It was much higher than I expected," John Zogby said of the 42 percent of voters who said they would support impeaching President Bush if it were established that he lied about his reasons for the Iraq war. The Zogby International poll was released Thursday and showed Bush's job approval rating at 43 percent.
By comparison, in October 1998, as the House moved to impeach President Bill Clinton over the Monica S. Lewinsky scandal, a Zogby poll found that 39 percent of voters supported the House action, while 56 percent opposed it.
His decision to play it cagey in the Plame case is helping no one.
Los Angeles Times
By Jonathan Turley
Jonathan Turley is a professor at George Washington University Law School and has represented individuals asserting the journalistic privilege.
July 1, 2005
Columnist Robert Novak has made a career for himself as a human flamethrower for conservative causes. Yet, even Novak appears surprised at the mounting cost of his disclosure in 2003 of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame.
It was classic Novak: a hatchet job directed not at Plame, but at her husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. The firestorm that erupted has consumed millions of dollars in investigation and litigation costs and has wreaked havoc with the career not just of Plame (who had to leave the CIA) but of two reporters who were hauled into court and threatened with prison.
Toronto Star, Canada
If clear evidence emerged showing George W. Bush had written in his diary that he had lied to the American people to justify his invasion of Iraq, would the U.S. media even consider that a story?
I'm not sure any more. To an astonishing extent, the U.S. media have avoided scrutinizing this U.S. president, even after it became clear he'd launched a war in the name of disarming Iraq of weapons that didn't exist.
The Bush administration and the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee blamed this on "faulty intelligence," an explanation the media have largely parroted.
The Baltimore Sun
Public Editor: Paul Moore
June 26, 2005
On June 15, The Sun's Opinion/Commentary page published a two-part package on the Downing Street Memo, a British government document that suggests the Bush administration was not forthcoming about the timing and circumstance of its decision to invade Iraq.
Reports on the memo in the British media - including its publication in the Sunday Times of London on May 1 - cost Prime Minister Tony Blair political support in recent parliamentary elections and have fueled a journalistic debate in this country.
The first Sun op-ed piece maintained that the memo, the official minutes of a secret July 23, 2002, meeting about Iraq with Blair and his inner circle, contradicts the Bush administration claims that it invaded as a last resort and that intelligence about weapons of mass destruction was honestly presented.
Tomgram: The Immoral Relativists of the Bush Administration
a project of the Nation Institute
compiled and edited by Tom Engelhardt
This post can be found at http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=4027
And Other Distractions of the Age of Bush
By Tom Engelhardt
"At a breakfast meeting with reporters, Wolfowitz said he hasn't read the [Downing Street] memos because he doesn't want to be ‘distracted' by ‘history' from his new job as head of the world's leading development bank. He returned this weekend from a tour of four African nations.
“Not only can they not find WMD in Iraq,
Iraq Combat Veterans describe occupation of Iraq as a “runaway train.