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Who's Paying for Our Patriotism?

By Uwe E. Reinhardt
The Washington Post

President Bush assures us that the ongoing twin wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are worth the sacrifices they entail. Editorialists around the nation agree and say that a steadfast American public was willing to stay the course.

Should anyone be surprised by this national resolve, given that these wars visit no sacrifice of any sort -- neither blood nor angst nor taxes -- on well over 95 percent of the American people?

At most, 500,000 American troops are at risk of being deployed to these war theaters at some time. Assume that for each of them some 20 members of the wider family sweat with fear when they hear that a helicopter crashed in Afghanistan or that X number of soldiers or Marines were killed or seriously wounded in Iraq. It implies that no more than 10 million Americans have any real emotional connection to these wars.

A Picture Worth a Thousand Words

...although that's more words than the U.S. media has yet devoted to the topic.

Lie to Congress, Become U.N. Ambassador

Bush Appoints Bolton as U.N. Envoy, Bypassing Senate
NY TIMES
By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS
Published: August 1, 2005
President Bush bypassed the Senate confirmation process today and appointed John R. Bolton as the new United States ambassador to the United Nations.

At the White House, President Bush announced his decision today with John R. Bolton at his side.
The appointment, while Congress is in recess, ends a months-long standoff between the White House and Senate Democrats who deem Mr. Bolton unfit for the job and have been holding up his confirmation.

"I chose John because of his vast experience in foreign policy, his integrity and his willingness to confront difficult problems head on," Mr. Bush said in making the announcement at the White House.

Mark Schmitt: Constitutional Crisis

Mark Schmitt: Constitutional Crisis
LINK TO ORIGINAL

I'm grateful to Steve for inviting me to fill in at The Washington Note. I've been encouraging Steve for a few weeks to make the leap across the thin barrier that separates the Bolton nomination from the Rove-Plame scandal. Being a very responsible, seasoned foreign policy professional, however, Steve hesitates to go further than the available information justifies. And while I admire that restraint, I'm glad Steve has allowed his blog to be temporarily held hostage by people like me with a little more penchant for speculation.

Turd Blossom 2

The Big Story Missing from "The Big Story"

By NewsHounds

Why would a news channel have a show called "The Big Story" and leave out the big story of Karl Rove and Traitorgate? Because it's Fox News following the GOP game plan of misdirection.

"The Big Story" on Wednesday (July 27, 2005) avoided mentioning the grand jury investigation into Rove's involvement in revealing the identity of a CIA agent. The outing was in retaliation for her husband's op-ed piece disproving the administration's claim that Saddam Hussein was trying to buy uranium to build a nuclear bomb.

The White House has been trying to divert attention from the scandal, even moving up its announcement of a Supreme Court nominee by ten days to get the press looking in another direction.

Terror Suspect Gives First Account of London Attack

By Tony Thompson, Mark Townsend, Martin Bright and Barbara McMahon Rome
The Observer UK

One of the men accused of taking part in the failed terror attacks in London on 21 July has claimed the bomb plot was directly inspired by Britain's involvement in the Iraq war.

In a remarkable insight into the motives behind the alleged would-be bombers, Hussain Osman, arrested in Rome on Friday, has revealed how the suspects watched hours of TV footage showing grief-stricken Iraqi widows and children alongside images of civilians killed in the conflict. He is alleged to have told prosecutors that after watching the footage: 'There was a feeling of hatred and a conviction that it was necessary to give a signal - to do something.'

Terror Attacks are Response to Military Actions

Toronto Star
By Linda McQuaig

In the official, mainstream view of terrorism — the view trumpeted by western governments, think tanks and media commentators — terrorists are freedom-loathing zealots with an irrational hatred of our western lifestyle and culture.

But another view, polls suggest, is gaining ground with the public: Terrorism is actually a response to military interventions perpetrated by western governments.

These sharply diverging views are central to the question of how to deal with terrorism. Under the "irrational hatred" view, there's not much we can do other than ratchet up our security and hunker down for a long fight with a bunch of lunatics.

First ignore the messenger, then bury him

Baltimore Sun
By C. Fraser Smith

IF YOU leave aside the war in Iraq and the spread of terrorism, this thing about leaks and presidential adviser Karl Rove is just another inside-the-beltway story.

It's the usual slashing and burning told in the obscure language of Washington politics. Lives and limbs are hanging in the balance, along with the nation's good name, but that's just collateral damage.

News stories about leaked information and reporters protecting sources and special prosecutors float out to the rest of the nation on a turbid sea fathomable only by the wily inside players.

John Bonifaz on the Downing Street Memo

By Carl Doerner
http://www.dissidentvoice.org

Each time I encounter constitutional attorney John Bonifaz I am more impressed with his grasp of contemporary political problems and historical analysis and with his ability to crisply articulate the issues before us. On Saturday afternoon he addressed 160 of us packed tightly into the meeting room of the Media Education Foundation in Northampton, MA. This was one of 350 such July 23 meetings throughout the country, marking the third anniversary of preparation of what is referred to in infrequent media accounts as the Downing Street Memo.

Turd Blossom

Judy Miller: How Deep Do Her Connections Run?

The Huffington Post
By Arianna Huffington

The more I'm reading about Judy Miller and her actions leading up to and during the early days of the war, and then through the unfolding Plame-Rove-Libby-Gonzalez-Card scandal, the more I’m struck by the special access and relationships she enjoyed with many of the key players in the Iraq debacle (which, at the end of the day, is really what Plamegate is all about).

For starters, of course, we have her still unfolding involvement in the Plame leak. Earlier this month, Howard Kurtz reported that Miller and Libby spoke a few days before Novak outed Plame -- and I’m hearing that the Libby/Miller conversation occurred over breakfast in Washington. Did Valerie Plame come up -- and, if so, who brought her up? There is no question that Miller was angry at Joe Wilson… and continues to be. A social acquaintance of Miller told me that, once, when she spoke of Wilson, it was with “a passionate and heated disgust that went beyond the political and included an irrelevant bit of deeply personal innuendo about him, her mouth twisting in hatred.

Asleep at the Wheel

The media’s perplexing performance on the Downing Street memo
American Journalism Review
By Rem Rieder
Rem Rieder is AJR's Editor and Senior Vice President.

Back before I became obsessed with journalism, I was obsessed with drag racing.

I loved nothing more than heading to South Jersey–-there were no drag strips in Philadelphia–-to Atco or Vineland, to see just how quickly my '60 Chevy (the one with the spray-painted gold wheels and Sun tach and lakes pipes) could navigate the quarter mile.

It was my good fortune to do this on a number of occasions with the Untouchables, a car club based in Philly's western suburbs whose members' red shirts featured an embroidered roller skate enhanced by a huge, souped-up engine.

Thoughts of a Concerned Citizen

A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
by Daniel Patrick Schamle

Recently in my local Kansas paper, a man wrote a Letter to the Editor deriding Democrats for, "carping, whining, crying and having much gnashing of teeth about nothing." (Lawrence Journal World - Public Forum, Friday, July 22, 2005). With a mischievous grin towards former President Clinton, I would respond that this depends on what your definition of "nothing" is.

This man, and others like him, would have us believe that an Iraq war, based on lies, is "nothing." Perhaps you too remember statements such as, "We know exactly where these Weapons of Mass Destruction are." The threat of nuclear mushroom clouds, springing forth over American cities, was trumpeted by President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld, National Security Advisor Rice and others. The Downing Street Minutes show clearly that these were known lies. This Administration lied to the United States Congress, but more importantly they lied to the American People. And yet, the cry echoing throughout our land from a large part of the media is usually something like, "Have you noticed how weird Michael Jackson is?" or "Oh my God, look, it's the Runaway Bride!!"

Questioning the Next War Before it Starts

Reporters are questioning dubious claims that could be being employed for the purpose of launching the next war, and they are doing so BEFORE the war kills tens of thousands of people. This is a sign of MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT! Don't let up now!

Today at the White House:

Q On another matter, does the White House have an update on the investigation into Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's role in the Iran hostage crisis?

MR. McCLELLAN: Sure. A couple of things. One, it is something that we have been looking into. In terms of the President, we've looked into the allegations that were made, and -- about his involvement in the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. We know he was a leader of the student movement that organized the attack on the embassy and the taking of American hostages. However, we are still looking into whether or not he was actually one of the hostage-takers. That's something we continue to look into.

Video of Rep. Maxine Waters Speaking at Rally in Los Angeles

Downing Street Memo Teach-In
Part VI | Rep. Maxine Waters:
Stand for Justice -- 07.29.05
http://www.truthout.org/multimedia.htm

Video of Rev. James Lawson at Los Angeles Rally

Downing Street Memo Teach-In
Part V | Reverend James Lawson: Slaying the Monster -- 07.28.05
http://www.truthout.org/multimedia.htm

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A war by any other name

Los Angeles Times
By Juliette Kayyem

It was President Bush himself who insisted on calling it a global war on terror. He wanted to indicate that this was not just another piddling law enforcement action, but an all-out, full-scale military response to Sept. 11 that would involve U.S. troops around the globe.

"A war between good and evil," he called it. A war "to save the world."

But now, apparently, a decision has been made that the language of war isn't working for him anymore. So in recent days, the "global war on terror" — which had been conveniently shortened to GWOT in bureaucrat-speak — has been shelved in favor of the "global struggle against violent extremism."

War on Terror Remake?

This column was written by CBS News Early Show Co-Anchor Harry Smith.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't know if you noticed, but the "War On Terror" is over. That ubiquitous catchall phrase that the administration so liberally used to help draw support for the War In Iraq has been deemed unfit for public consumption. From now on, it is "The Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism."

You think I'm making this up?

Well Donald Rumsfeld seems to have dropped the War On Terror in favor of the clunkier "Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism," and Monday at the National Press Club, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers said he objected to the old phrase. Said Myers, "Because if you call it a war, then you think of people in uniform being the solution."

Soldier Who Refused Iraq Duty Faces Charge

Associated Press
By Russ Bynum

FORT STEWART, Georgia -- Sgt. Kevin Benderman turned his back on war, but he insists he never deserted the Army whose uniform he continues to wear six months after refusing to deploy to Iraq for a second tour.

Benderman served in Iraq during the 2003 invasion, but says he decided he could no longer be a part of the destruction he witnessed, even if that meant choosing his conscience over his commitment to his fellow troops

He faces a general court-martial Thursday on charges of desertion.

"I went to war. I never ran from it," Benderman said Wednesday. "I experienced it and I realized it's not what I should be doing. In my opinion, it's not what anybody should be doing in the modern world."

Oil and Blood

New York Times
By Bob Herbert

It is now generally understood that the U.S.-led war in Iraq has become a debacle. Nevertheless, Iraqis are supposed to have their constitution ratified and a permanent government elected by the end of the year. It's a logical escape hatch for George W. Bush. He could declare victory, as a senator once suggested to Lyndon Johnson in the early years of Vietnam, and bring the troops home as quickly as possible.

His mantra would be: There's a government in place. We won. We're out of there.

But don't count on it. The Bush administration has no plans to bring the troops home from this misguided war, which has taken a fearful toll in lives and injuries while at the same time weakening the military, damaging the international reputation of the United States, serving as a world-class recruiting tool for terrorist groups and blowing a hole the size of Baghdad in Washington's budget.

Gold Star Mother Has it Right on Iraq

Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Bby Robert Sargent

When Cindy Sheehan talks one listens carefully as I did in Blue Hill recently. This co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace has been there. She's got "skin in the game," a term Cindy has learned which refers to all who are directly affected by any situation. In Cindy's case, it describes those whose family members have died or been wounded in the war in Iraq or are in harm's way there. Cindy's son Casey was killed in an ambush in Iraq five days after arriving there on assignment with the Army's First Cavalry Division.

Cindy's message is simple. She calls for immediate and unconditional withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. For Cindy, every passing day harbors risk for American sons and daughters in Iraq and for the Iraqi people. She is frustrated and, yes, angry that U.S. policy decisions on the war are being made by people who have no "skin in the game."

Judy Miller: Do We Want To Know Everything or Don't We?

By Arianna Huffington

Not everyone in the Times building is on the same page when it comes to Judy Miller. The official story the paper is sticking to is that Miller is a heroic martyr, sacrificing her freedom in the name of journalistic integrity.

But a very different scenario is being floated in the halls. Here it is: It's July 6, 2003, and Joe Wilson's now famous op-ed piece appears in the Times, raising the idea that the Bush administration has "manipulate[d]" and "twisted" intelligence "to exaggerate the Iraqi threat." Miller, who has been pushing this manipulated, twisted, and exaggerated intel in the Times for months, goes ballistic. Someone is using the pages of her own paper to call into question the justification for the war -- and, indirectly, much of her reporting. The idea that intelligence was being fixed goes to the heart of Miller's credibility. So she calls her friends in the intelligence community and asks, Who is this guy? She finds out he's married to a CIA agent. She then passes on the info about Mrs. Wilson to Scooter Libby (Newsday has identified a meeting Miller had on July 8 in Washington with an "unnamed government official"). Maybe Miller tells Rove too -- or Libby does. The White House hatchet men turn around and tell Novak and Cooper. The story gets out.

Naples Daily News Bans Local Citizen from Writing to Paper

Open Letter to All Anti-War Supports:

Another example of how the media is being controlled!

I have been banned from my local news paper, The Naples Daily News, from writing any more letters to the editor.

To date, I have had four, very successful and powerful anti-war and anti-Bush letters published. Yesterday, the editor of the paper banned me from any more letters.

His entirely feeble excuse was that I used excerpts from a web blog within my letter, to further my own thoughts and ideas and therefore failed to credit the author.

The failed component in his flawed reasoning is that I had FULL permission to use the quotes without credit or copyright violation. In short, it was public domain information from a "talking points" memo that may be freely used by anyone!

Mother seeking support cursed at for questioning war

It's "Old News" and thus not news worthy to point out that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9-11, yet when military families point that out, the results can be pretty ugly:

One mother's war: Mother seeking support cursed at for questioning war; Son escaped suicide bomb
By John Byrne
RAW STORY
LINK

Editorial: CIA & Iraq/An effort to shift the blame

Minneapolis Star Tribune

In addition to potentially indicting one or more people in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame in the literal sense, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald could very well figuratively indict the Bush administration's case for going to war in Iraq, plus its cynical behavior when that case began to unravel. He could also expose just how badly columnist Robert Novak behaved in all this.

The Washington Post's Walter Pincus is the gold standard in trustworthy, hard-nosed reporting these days, and he, with Jim VandeHei, put together a powerful report for Wednesday's Post that illuminates several aspects of the Plame affair.

Getting Americans To Spend Minutes On The Minutes

By Mark Drolette

I was heartened by the reaction a group of about fifty of us received the other day when, prior to attending a Downing Street Minutes (DSM) House Party, we all stood at a busy Sacramento intersection for an hour or so displaying signs and banners emblazoned with messages about the leaked highly classified British government papers that prove the Bushies cooked the Iraq war books. Honks of support a-sounded, and I personally had only one official bird sighting. It was encouraging, but there’s obviously a very long way to go before the millions of Americans who are still unaware of the documents finally learn of their existence.

A White House Bent On Misleading Public Over Iraq

SCOOP
Thursday, 28 July 2005, 2:46 pm
Article: Between The Lines

Between the Lines Q&A
A weekly column featuring progressive viewpoints
on national and international issues
under-reported in mainstream media
for release July 26, 2005
http://www.btlonline.org/btl072905.html

The Downing Street Memos and Valerie Plame-Karl Rove Scandal Reveal a White House Bent on Misleading Public on Rationale for Iraq War

- Interview with John Bonifaz, constitutional attorney, conducted by Scott Harris

Listen in RealAudio:
http://www.btlonline.org/btl072905.ram

(Needs RealOne player or RealPlayer)

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