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Activists scout anti-war referendum

State Green Party officials hope to put question on local ballots
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

As President Bush encourages support for the Iraq war, Wisconsin activists and elected officials are in the midst of their own efforts to hasten the withdrawal of American troops there, in opposition to administration policy and in the face of continuing bloodshed.

The state Green Party and allied peace groups have begun a campaign to have the question of the Iraq war placed as an advisory referendum on local ballots in spring elections.

At its convention June 11 in Oshkosh, the state Democratic Party became the second state party nationally to call for the impeachment of the president and Vice President Cheney because of what the party views as mishandling of the war.

So What's New?

The Downing Street Memo

After the leak of the Downing Street memo, the smoke has been wafting through the air from the barrel of the proverbial incriminating gun obliterating any remaining doubts that President Bush committed premeditated murder. The contents of the Downing Street memo should squelch all doubts about whether President Bush was determined to go to war against Iraq now that the highest members of the British government have acknowledged the authenticity of the memo although the debate over its content rages on. There is nothing shocking or surprising about the contents of the "Downing Street memo". That is not to say that it doesn't reveal that President Bush was planning to execute a plan for regime change long before his administration undertook any thoughtful analysis based on accurate intelligence. My contention is that President Bush's conduct is not an aberration but part of a foreign policy paradigm which applies to the conduct of all presidents at least since World War II

Where's the Washington Post?

Public pressure forced the Washington Post to run a front page article after editorializing that the Downing Street Minutes weren't news. But since that article, the Post has done no follow up.

Send a polite note to National editor Michael Abramowitz:

And to Assistant managing editor, reporter Bob Woodward:

The Post's Ombudsman, Michael Getler, is the readers' representative within the newspaper. E-mail him at or call 202-334-7582.

Media Ignoring Zogby Poll

A Zogby poll released on June 30 finds 42 percent of Americans — including 25 percent of Republicans - say that "if it is found that President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should hold him accountable through impeachment." According to Zogby, in Eastern and Western states supporters of impeachment outnumber opponents.

The only mention of this by a major media outlet was by Keith Olbermann on MSNBC.

Where is the rest of the media?

Contact the other networks:

Speakers Available

David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at and and works for the online activist organization Contact him at david at

Support for Bush Impeachment Now Higher Than Was for Clinton Impeachment

This poll finding 42 percent of Americans favoring impeachment of Bush if he did not tell the truth about the reasons for war, puts support significantly higher than it was for impeachment of President Clinton.

average support for impeachment and removal was 27% (11 polls)
average support for impeachment hearings was 36% (6 polls)

Implausible denial

By Evan Derkacz
Posted on June 30, 2005, Printed on July 1, 2005

Conservatives are loathe to accept the information contained within the Downing Street Memo's brief contents and I don't blame them. It would change things and they would no longer be good conservatives. It's right there in the word, see.

But I am entertained.

Cries of a hoax didn't take and the ho-hum response -- standard in more sophisticated circles -- that "everybody already knew this stuff," was quickly abandoned by all but the frontal lobe challenged.

Two things happened Wednesday, both concerning Tony Blair.

A record of deception

The Boston Globe
By Scot Lehigh | July 1, 2005

HERE'S THE question President Bush's Tuesday address to the nation raises.

Having framed the Iraq war in a dishonest way, can the president really expect the informed public to believe his presentation about how the stabilization effort is going?

Certainly Bush's speech started on a highly deceptive note, portraying the grinding conflict in Iraq as a necessary response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

More than a year ago, the 9/11 Commission reported that there was no "collaborative relationship" between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

Still, implications that Iraq was complicit in Sept. 11 and claims that Saddam had ties to Al Qaeda worked well for the Republicans in the 2004 campaign. They used the former tactic to deftly duplicitous effect at their national convention. In other venues, both Bush and Vice President Cheney insisted there was a relationship -- ''a whole series of contacts, high-level contacts," Cheney claimed -- between Al Qaeda and Saddam's regime.

Web Special: A Story At Last

How public pressure helped propel the long-ignored Downing Street memo into the news
American Journalism Review
By Kim Hart
Hart is an AJR editorial assistant.

Foreign news outlets jumped on it, bloggers ate it up and half a dozen liberal Web sites campaigned to get it prominent coverage. But until the past few weeks, the Downing Street memo managed to keep a low profile in the media, getting more attention for being ignored by American journalists than for existing in the first place.

Editors, reporters and producers have been deluged with hundreds--even thousands--of e-mails and phone calls from readers and partisan activists demanding more exposure for the secret memo, which recounts a July 2002 meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top aides. The memo, first reported by the London Sunday Times on May 1, reflects the view of Britain's top intelligence official that the Bush administration was intent on going to war in Iraq nearly eight months before doing so, and that the administration was manipulating intelligence information to support that decision.

Occupation Watch

Occupation Watch June 29-30 News Bulletin

Contrary to the notions of those who might have thought that the crafting of the Bush administration PR strategy on Iraq involved heavy use of a ouija board and frequent calls to psychic hotlines, Peter Baker and Dan Balz report in the Post that it is, in fact, being shaped by "one of the nation's top academic experts on public opinion during wartime." Duke political scientist Peter Feaver and his colleague Christopher Gelpi have concluded, on the basis of focus group polling, that the most important issue in determining public support is not the level of American casualties but perception on whether the war is winnable.

Deja vu in Iraq

Boston Globe
By Derrick Z. Jackson | July 1, 2005

AT FORT BRAGG, in front of soldiers and their generals, the president of the United States said, ''Terrorists can strike and can kill without warning before the forces of order can throw them back. And now he has struck again. At this very hour, a second wave of terrorists is striking the cities. Our forces are ready. I know they will acquit themselves, as they always have, however tough the battle becomes. There has never been a finer fighting force wearing the American uniform than you."

The president reasserted that each soldier represents America's will and commitment at a time that our nation's security and the freedom of an oppressed nation ''is facing a deadly challenge. Men who have never been elected to anything are threatening an elected government and the painfully achieved institutions of democracy."

They Died for Their Country

By Paul Rogat Loeb

"They died for their country," read the white granite memorial in the Concord, Massachusetts town square, honoring local men who died in the Civil War. Newer headstones mourned Concord men who gave their lives in other wars -- practically every war America has fought -- belying the recent baiting of quintessentially blue-state Massachusetts as a place whose citizens lack patriotism. I was in town, on the first anniversary of Sept 11, speaking at a local church that had lost one of its most active members on a hijacked plane, a man named Al Filipov. It was clear then -- and clearer now -- that these honored dead would not be our nation's last. I thought of Concord when George Bush urged us, this past Memorial Day, to redeem the sacrifices of our soldiers in Iraq by "completing the mission for which they gave their lives." But what if this mission (which will, of course, claim more lives) itself is questionable, and founded on a basis of lies? Forty-eight Concord men died in the Civil War, which the memorial called "the War of the Rebellion." They indeed died for their country, turning the tide at battles like Gettysburg and helping end the brutal oppression of slavery. The World War II vets, listed on a nearby plaque, helped preserve the freedom of America -- and the world. We owe a profound debt to the farmers and artisans who won our freedom in America's Revolution, and whose sacrifices were marked, a few miles away, with an exhibit on the battles of Lexington and Concord. It's easy for those who have lived through too many dubious wars to forget the power of their sacrifices.

MSNBC's Pro-Bush "Town Meeting"

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
Media analysis, critiques and activism
ACTION ALERT: June 29, 2005

After George W. Bush's June 28 speech about Iraq, MSNBC's Hardball presented viewers with a decidedly skewed "town meeting" featuring a panel dominated by Iraq war boosters.

The two-hour coverage, hosted by Chris Matthews, was anchored by a panel discussion that featured MSNBC reporter Norah O'Donnell, Islam scholar Reza Aslan, and four conservative Bush supporters: Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, MSNBC host Tucker Carlson, Bobbie Patray of the Eagle Forum of Tennessee and Jerry Sutton, pastor of the Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, where the event was held.

Blair Again Denies One of the Several Startling Revelations in the Downing Street Documents

LONDON (AP) - British Prime Minister Tony Blair wants the world to know that the Iraq war was not predetermined by the United States.

Blair tells The Associated Press that the "Downing Street Memo," which was leaked to the media, paints a distorted picture.

The memo suggested that the White House viewed the war with Iraq as inevitable, and that the Bush administration was looking for ways to justify that war, through the use of intelligence about weapons of mass destruction.

Blair says "the decision was not already taken." And he says he's "a bit astonished" at the intense coverage the memo has gotten in the U-S.

But Is It Playing in Peoria? The Downing Street Memo and Our Hometown Papers

Published on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 by
By Cynthia Bogard

Jefferson Morley, a staff writer at, suggested recently that the Downing Street Memo (DSM) story continues to spread because it represents two stories, "an emerging alternative history of how the United States came to attack Iraq and a story of how the New Media has usurped some of the Old Media's power to set the agenda."

The "New Media" --the blogosphere and alternative news and views websites such as,, and, especially pertinent to this story, deserve a lot of credit. On-line complaints about Old Media's neglect of the story have had a major impact. So has the "letters to the editors" campaign started by the original site that has deluged newspapers around the nation with reader demands for DSM coverage. Old Media--television and the major daily newspapers, The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and perhaps the L.A. Times and Chicago Tribune--finally have begun to get the message that the DSM story is not going to go away because New Media is not going to let it.

Democracy Now! A News Report With, You Know, Actual NEWS in it

* Amy Goodman on CNN's News Night with Aaron Brown 6/28/05 *

Please thank CNN for having Amy Goodman on the program News Night with Aaron
Brown last night after the Pres. Bush speech.

Click here for the form to submit the comment:

Here is a link to the video:

Listen to the mp3 here:

* Read transcript posted below

= = = = = = = = =

NEW FEATURE: Democracy Now!'s daily news summaries are now available in
Read Wednesday, June 29, 2005:

Bush's Speech: Let's Count the Lies

By David Swanson,

In the coming free 30 minutes of uninterrupted airtime that ABC News and the Disney Corporation will no doubt give to a spokesperson for the majority of Americans who believe that the war on Iraq was a mistake, I expect we'll see some of the following points made about the speech that Bush just gave.

First, it was curious to see Bush adopt usage of the French language, in particular his repeated usage of the word "oui." At one point, he said "Oui, accept these burdens." Some viewers supposed he meant "We accept these burdens," but no one has been able to identify a single burden that Bush has accepted, leading to the consensus that the French word must have been the one on the teleprompters.

CNN Chatter Misses Point

If the Downing Street Documents didn't make the important points that they do (Bush had decided on war, had decided to lie about WMD and 9/11, had actually started the war early) then citizens would not have forced them down the media's throat, yet what the media says the documents are about never quite gets it right:

SCHNEIDER: There is evidence in today's ABC News-"Washington Post" poll. For the first time, a majority of Americans, 52 percent, told that poll that the Bush administration, in their view, intentionally misled the public in making the case for war. Now, that could be the impact of the Downing Street Memo, which was the recently released British government document suggesting that the Bush administration manipulated the facts in order to make the case for war.

Memo requires investigation

Akron Beacon Journal
June 29, 2005

The media coverage of Watergate has been extensive since Mark Felt identified himself as Deep Throat. Granted, it's an intriguing story and definitely should not be forgotten, but is it worth all the ink when we have a looming scandal of perhaps equal significance in a memo that almost cost British Prime Minister Tony Blair his bid for re-election? The so-called ''Downing Street memo,'' the top-secret minutes from a Blair Cabinet meeting concerning a previous meeting in Washington, D.C., between top British and American security officials, was leaked to the London Times and subsequently published May 1. Among the more disturbing statements in it was this: ''Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.''

Charles Rangel and Alan Colmes Debunk Bush On The Iraq War

By News Hounds

For those who think Democrats can't do well on FOX News, check out how Congressman Charles Rangel, on Hannity & Colmes no less, managed to drive home his point that Bush planned to attack Iraq before 9/11. Democrats should study how he was able to turn around Hannity's "questions" and use them for his own talking points. He was never intimidated by Hannity and he never got angry.

Sean Hannity opened the discussion with this "fair and balanced" question: President Bush promised that the United States would stay the course in bringing freedom to the people of Iraq but some Democrats are advocating for the troops to come home now before the job is done... It's very predictable from the Democratic party. I have heard the president called a liar repeatedly by the leaders of your party... Howard Dean says Republicans are evil, brain-dead corrupt... so we should, I guess, anticipate that your Democratic friends didn't like the speech tonight? (Comment: I think we can anticipate that Sean Hannity didn't like the speech tonight, either, because he said very little about it.)

Bush Tries to Quell Waning Support of War, But is it Too Little Too Late?

By: Monica Lewis,

"We will stay in the fight until the fight is won."

Those were the words of President George W. Bush, determined not to let his critics or the rising number of U.S. military dead deter his plans to continue the conflict in Iraq.

Despite the apropos setting of the Fort Bragg military base, Bush’s words, spoken during a primetime address Tuesday evening, did little to change the minds of people like Ron Walters, the noted University of Maryland political scientist. Walters told that Bush did nothing more than give a speech, failing to send a clear message as to how and when the conflict will be resolved.

Corp. Media's Failure to Cover Downing St Memos

Corp. Media's Failure to Cover Downing St Memos
Wednesday, 29 June 2005, 2:53 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 June 27, 2005
Progressive Activists and Legislators Challenge Corporate Media's Failure to Cover Downing Street Memo

- Interview with Danny Schechter, journalist and filmmaker, conducted by Scott Harris

Listen in RealAudio:
(Needs RealOne player or RealPlayer)

Can Bush Be Believed on Iraq?

Reuters, in a story on an ABC News/Washington Post poll, reports: "For the first time, a majority of Americans said the administration 'intentionally misled' the public in going to war."

The following are available for interviews:

Lessin is co-founder of Military Families Speak Out. For a list of
their members from around the country available for interviews, see the
group's web page.

Currently in the D.C. area, Sheehan is co-founder of Gold Star

Iraq Realities Force Bush to Respond

By Jefferson Morley Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 28, 2005; 10:00 AM

Once again, the Sunday Times scooped the U.S. press on a big Iraq war story. "U.S. in Talks with Iraq Rebels," the London newspaper reported this weekend.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld quickly confirmed the story and downplayed it, suggesting it should not be surprising that U.S. officials were secretly negotiating with battlefield enemies. Rumsfeld and U.S. commander in Iraq Gen. George W. Casey Jr. made an important distinction: The U.S. was talking to Sunnis violently opposed to the occupation, not foreign fighters linked to Abu Musab Zarqawi.

Occupation Watch News Bulletin

Occupation Watch News Bulletin June 27, 2005

The World Tribunal on Iraq concluded its final session, held in Istanbul, Turkey, today. A self-appointed citizen activist effort, it was designed, not to provide a full hearing on the question of possible U.S. and U.K. war crimes and crimes against humanity relating to Iraq, but rather, like a grand jury, to present the case for the prosecution and to call for a real investigation and trial.

Testimony was heard from a wide variety of former U.N. officials, journalists, academics, lawyers, and Iraqi eyewitnesses, and the final press conference was attended by roughly 200 media sources from around the world. A LEXIS-NEXIS search showed not a single major U.S. newspaper that has picked up the story, although the Associated Press, AFP, and Reuters filed reports. More coverage is available from

Bush's First Post-Downing Street Speech on Iraq

By Ralph Nader and Kevin Zeese
June 27, 2005

President Bush will be addressing the nation about Iraq on Tuesday night. This is the first time he will be speaking to the country on the U.S. occupation of Iraq since the Downing Street Memos have been released. As ten senators pointed out in a letter on Friday, June 24 "at a time the White House was promising Congress and the American people that war would be their last resort, that they believed military action against Iraq was 'inevitable.'"

Thus, the President was telling the public he was seeking a peaceful resolution when in fact he was planning an invasion. He told Americans there were unmanned Iraqi aircraft that could drop bombs over our cities. His own intelligence agencies told him this was inaccurate. He tied Saddam to Al Qaeda and Bin Laden - there was no evidence of that. Indeed, the two - one secular, one fundamentalist - were mortal foes. He talked about Saddam being able to launch a strike on the United States in 45 minutes - there was no evidence Iraq was capable of such an attack. He talked about the potential of a mushroom cloud over the United States - a nuclear attack by Saddam - when there was no evidence that a weakened, surrounded and embargoed Saddam had any nuclear capability. When he was going to the U.N. it was not to seek peace but to try and make an illegal invasion legal by tricking Saddam into a misstep. For month after month, it now seems evident, President Bush and his minions misled the nation, repeating the fabrications and manipulations about weapons of mass destruction, over and over and over in a drum beat to war.

Stay The Crooked Course
By Ray McGovern
June 28, 2005

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C. Now retired, he is a 27-year veteran of the analysis division of the CIA, and more recently co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Forget the documentary evidence (the Downing Street minutes) that the war on Iraq was fraudulent from the outset. Forget that the United States and Britain started pulverizing Iraq with stepped-up bombing months before the president or prime minister breathed a word to Congress or Parliament. Forget that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and his merry men—his co-opted military brass—have no clue regarding what U.S. forces are up against in Iraq. Get ready to hear President George W. Bush tell us this evening that we "have to stay the course."

57 Percent Say Bush Administration Intentionally Exaggerated Evidence

Majority of Americans believe Bush administration misled public on Iraq: poll Tue Jun 28, 2:14 AM ET

Most Americans now believe that President George W. Bush's administration "intentionally misled" the public in going to war in Iraq, according to a poll.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll came on the eve of a key speech in which Bush will seek public support for the war, which 53 percent of Americans who were surveyed said was not worth fighting.

A record 57 percent say the Bush administration "intentionally exaggerated its evidence that pre-war Iraq possessed nuclear, chemical or biological weapons," according to the poll.

Iraq memo has serious implications about war

Oregon Daily Emerald
By Emerald editorial board
June 28, 2005

Earlier this month, a piece of documentation relating to the war in Iraq was uncovered: The Downing Street memo; it is the most convincing proof yet that military action in Iraq was based on faulty, possibly nonexistent intelligence. Worst of all, the memo makes it perfectly clear that the lack of concrete information pertaining to Saddam Hussein’s possession of weapons of mass destruction was no secret to President Bush.

The memo details British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s report on a political talk involving President Bush. The most poignant line of the memo, dated eight months prior to the United States’ invasion of Iraq, reads:

U.K. media keeps pressure on Bush

Edward M. Gomez, special to SF Gate,
Tuesday, June 28, 2005

As President Bush gets ready to deliver another carefully stage-managed televised speech to the nation from an army base in North Carolina tonight, commentators and news analysts in the British press are cutting through the White House's rhetoric to ask, in language that often sounds much stronger than that of their counterparts in the United States, some hard questions about the Republicans' Iraq-war policy and the future of the post-Saddam crisis.

"U.S. public opinion on the Iraq war dips with every dead soldier and plummets at the first sniff of defeat," commentator Gary Younge writes in The Guardian. Citing a recent Gallup poll of Americans, Younge notes that "[m]ore than half [of those surveyed] believe the war has not made them safer, and 40 percent believe it has striking similarities to the experience in Vietnam." (A separate CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll conducted June 16-19 shows that 59 percent of adult Americans nationwide are now opposed to the war. (


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