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It's imperialism, stupid

BY NOAM CHOMSKY
4 July 2005

IN his June 28 speech, President Bush asserted that the invasion of Iraq was undertaken as part of "a global war against terror" that the United States is waging. In reality, as anticipated, the invasion increased the threat of terror, perhaps significantly.

Half-truths, misinformation and hidden agendas have characterised official pronouncements about US war motives in Iraq from the very beginning. The recent revelations about the rush to war in Iraq stand out all the more starkly amid the chaos that ravages the country and threatens the region and indeed the world.

Schumer demands Rove speak up about leak

WASHINGTON, July 3 (UPI) -- Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, called Sunday for Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove to personally deny leaking the name of a CIA official.

Saturday, Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin told The Washington Post Rove had not disclosed the name of Valerie Plame to Newsweek in a 2003 interview.

Sunday, Schumer, who led the push for a Congressional inquiry into the leak, issued a challenge for Rove to speak for himself.

"We've heard it from his lawyer, but it would be nice to hear it directly from Mr. Rove that he didn't leak the identity of Valerie Plame, and that he didn't direct anyone else to do such a dastardly thing," Schumer said in a statement. "I have said from the first day ... whoever leaked the classified information should be punished to the full extent of the law."

The Treasonous Lies of Bob Novak and Karl Rove

By Cheryl Seal

I watched "Meet the Press" on Sunday (Oct 5), a show that more accurately should be called the "Tim Russert Kiss-ass Hour" (or TRKA - which, appropriately, sounds like the title of one of the more knuckle-dragging species of college fraternities). The show's sole purpose for being is to allow Bush administration officials and other darlings of the rightwing to drop by for coffee-and-camera time each Sunday morning and present their slanted version of the latest outrage they have committed on America while Russert smiles, nods and simpers.

As the saying goes, you cannot serve two masters. Bob Novak and Karl Rove, representing the most arms of America most subverted by the NeoCon regime - the White House and the media - are making it emminently clear who they serve, and it isn't the American public.

Update on Rove

By Lawrence O'Donnell

On Friday, I broke the story that the e-mails that Time turned over to the prosecutor that day reveal that Karl Rove is the source Matt Cooper is protecting. That provoked Rove’s lawyer, Robert Luskin, to interrupt his holiday weekend to do a little defense work with Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times. On Saturday, Luskin decided to reveal that Rove did have at least one conversation with Cooper, but Luskin told the Times he would not “characterize the substance of the conversation.

Interview With Ray McGovern

One-On-One Interview With Ray McGovern, Former CIA Senior Analyst, Who Warns U.S. Headed Down A Fascist Road And Highly Critical Of President Bush and Neo Con Explanations OF WMD, 9/11 And Manipulation of Intelligence Gathering
McGovern says back in the 'old days' he told it straight,' an integrity trait sorely lacking at the CIA under the dogmatic Bush administration.
July 2, 2005

By Greg Szymanski

Ray McGovern’s Irish eyes were smiling the moment he joined the CIA as a young, principled and energetic analyst during the Kennedy administration.

The Fordham College graduate, born in the Bronx, went on to have an illustrious career, spanning seven Presidents and dealing with top Russian intelligence issues, saying he always "told it straight," an integrity trait he claims sorely missing under the dogmatic Bush administration.

Downing Street Memo 2

The Real News
ZNet | Iraq
By David Edwards; July 02, 2005

We have to admit that our attention was elsewhere when Michael Smith published his Sunday Times article on the Downing Street memo on May 1. We were busy focusing on our own pre-election Media Alerts and then immediately moved on to the task of completing the first Media Lens book: Guardians Of Power - The Myth of The Liberal Media (forthcoming, Pluto Press, January 2006).

Our understanding of the story was based solely on what we had gleaned from a few newspaper and TV reports. According to the media accounts we saw, the main revelation appeared to centre around comments made by Sir Richard Dearlove, then head of MI6:

50 FALSE STORIES PLANTED

America's Ministry of Propaganda Exposed
By Gar Smith / The-Edge
Part One

A Strategy of Lies: How the White House Fed the Public a Steady Diet of Falsehoods

Colonel Sam Gardiner (USAF, Ret.) has identified 50 false news stories created and leaked by a secretive White House propaganda apparatus. Bush administration officials are probably having second thoughts about their decision to play hardball with former US Ambassador Joseph Wilson. Joe Wilson is a contender. When you play hardball with Joe, you better be prepared to deal with some serious rebound.

After Wilson wrote a critically timed New York Times essay exposing as false George W. Bush's claim that Iraq had purchased uranium from Niger, high officials in the White House contacted several Washington reporters and leaked the news that Wilson's wife was a CIA agent.

MSNBC Analyst and a Newsweek Reporter Say Karl Rove Named in Matt Cooper Documents

Editor and Publisher
By Greg Mitchell

NEW YORK Now that Time Inc. has turned over documents to a federal judge, revealing who its reporter, Matt Cooper, identified as his source or sources in the Valerie Plame/CIA case, speculation runs rampant. Lawrence O'Donnell, senior MSNBC political analyst, now claims that at least two authoritative sources have confirmed that one name is top White House mastermind Karl Rove.

This afternoon, Newsweek's Michael Isikoff confirmed that Cooper did indeed talk to Rove for his story, but Rove's lawyer denied he was the key leaker in the case.

"The e-mails surrendered by Time Inc., which are largely between Cooper and his editors, show that one of Cooper's sources was White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, according to two lawyers who asked not to be identified because they are representing witnesses sympathetic to the White House," Isikoff writes on the Newsweek web site. "Cooper and a Time spokeswoman declined to comment. But in an interview with Newsweek, Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, confirmed that Rove had been interviewed by Cooper for the article. It is unclear, however, what passed between Cooper and Rove."

Rove Blew CIA Agent's Cover

Huffington Post
By Lawrence O'Donnell

I revealed in yesterday's taping of the McLaughlin Group that Time magazine's emails will reveal that Karl Rove was Matt Cooper's source. I have known this for months but didn't want to say it at a time that would risk me getting dragged into the grand jury.

McLaughlin is seen in some markets on Friday night, so some websites have picked it up, including Drudge, but I don't expect it to have much impact because McLaughlin is not considered a news show and it will be pre-empted in the big markets on Sunday because of tennis.

MSNBC Says Karl Rove Leaked Valerie Plame Info

MSNBC Analyst Says Cooper Documents Reveal Karl Rove as Source in Plame Case
Editor and Publisher
By E&P Staff

NEW YORK Now that Time Inc. has turned over documents to federal court, presumably revealing who its reporter, Matt Cooper, identified as his source in the Valerie Plame/CIA case, speculation runs rampant on the name of that source, and what might happen to him or her. Tonight, on the syndicated McLaughlin Group political talk show, Lawrence O'Donnell, senior MSNBC political analyst, claimed to know that name--and it is, according to him, top White House mastermind Karl Rove.

President's Letter to Congress

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 19, 2003

Presidential Letter
Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate

March 18, 2003

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Consistent with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), and based on information available to me, including that in the enclosed document, I determine that:

(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither (A) adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq nor (B) likely lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and

The architect of the war is its weakest defender

The Star-Ledger, NJ
by John Farmer
Friday, July 01, 2005

Dick Cheney is by far the most fascinating figure in the Bush administration, the force behind its hard-right ideology and the principal proponent and defender of the war in Iraq. So when his office called the other day I was, naturally, intrigued.

Seems the veep had a beef. Something I wrote about reports that he and his staff hounded CIA analysts to provide intelligence supporting the claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Not true, said a spokeswoman in Cheney's office, who cited the Silberman-Robb Commission report as having pronounced the administration clean as a hound's tooth. And, in truth, it found no evidence that analysts were pressured by the administration.

Bush May Have Kidnapped and Tortured in Failed Attempt to Find Saddam - 9-11 Link

More Questions on Missing Imam
If the CIA did abduct Abu Omar in Italy, the timing suggests his rendition was connected to the upcoming war in Iraq.
By Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball
Newsweek

June 29 - A radical imam allegedly abducted by CIA agents in Italy shortly before the U.S. invasion of Iraq was identified as a key figure in a jihadi network supplying foreign fighters for Ansar Al-Islam—a terror group that the Bush administration was then seeking to link to Saddam Hussein’s government, according to Italian court records.

The court records laying out the Italian case against Egyptian-born cleric Mostafa Hassan Nasr Osama, or Abu Omar, suggest possible motives for an otherwise puzzling CIA operation that has created new tensions between U.S. and European counterterrorism officials. An Italian judge last week ordered the arrest of 13 purported CIA operatives on kidnapping charges and requested that Interpol, the international police agency, provide assistance in tracking them down.

Did Bush lie to Congress about use of force?

U.S. changed Iraq policy to begin airstrikes months before war
RawStory.com
By John Byrne

Did Bush lie to Congress about use of force?

The U.S. quietly shifted policy towards Iraq to allow for surgical, pre-emptive airstrikes months before any attempt to seek UN or Congressional approval for the use of force, RAW STORY can reveal.

The discovery, made by investigative blogger Ron Brynaert, raises questions of whether Britain and the United States violated a UN resolution to provide for the security of Iraqi citizenry in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War.

The change meant that the U.S. began systematically bombing air defense systems and other buildings, even beyond the No-Fly Zones established in the wake of the Gulf War. The U.S. justified these pre-emptive airstrikes under a 1991 UN Security Council resolution which says that Iraq must "remove the threat to international peace and security in the region."

Prime Minister Tony Blair Confirms Authenticity of Downing Street Memo

SAN STEFFAN / WESTMINSTER
DATGANIAD I'R WASG PLAID CYMRU THE PARTY OF WALES PRESS RELEASE
Wednesday 29 June 2005 - for immediate release

The Prime Minister has confirmed the authenticity of a Downing Street memo in which Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, tells Mr Blair that the Bush administration was "fixing" the intelligence and facts about Saddam Hussein's regime to back up a decision that had been taken to invade Iraq as early as July 2002.

The Downing Street memo which was leaked to the Sunday Times newspaper in May 2005 has become a critical issue in the US. Senators Kennedy and Kerry have joined the escalating debate by writing to the President asking whether or not the memo was authentic and accurate. Downing Street has previously refused to comment on the memo's authenticity, but challenged for the first time on the floor of the House of Commons the Prime Minister has finally confirmed its authenticity.

Blair Evades More Questions; Declines to Call Dearlove Mistaken or Dishonest

LONDON, England (AP) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Wednesday defended the war in Iraq, and brushed off a new question about a government memo that suggested Washington was determined to justify the invasion.

"I was glad that we took the action we did," Blair told the House of Commons when asked about the so-called Downing Street memo.

According to the leaked minutes of a July 23, 2002, meeting between Blair and top government officials at his Downing Street office, Sir Richard Dearlove, then chief of Britain's intelligence service, said the White House viewed military action against Saddam Hussein as inevitable.

The Downing Street Memo - Part 1

ZNet | Iraq
by Dave Edwards; Media Lens; June 28, 2005

At the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal in 1946, Nazi leaders like Goering, von Ribbentrop, Jodl and Streicher were sentenced to death by hanging for "Crimes against Peace: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a Common Plan or Conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing." (Article 6, Charter of the International Military Tribunal, August 8, 1945)

What Did Scott Ridder Say on Same Day as Downing Street Meeting?

Scott Ritter, at Suffolk University Law School, Boston, MA, July 23 2002

Link to info on video.

Thank you very much for coming. We live in very interesting times, times that find our nation, particularly those who lead us, talking more and more about war, war with Iraq; and I’d like to emphasize right at the start of this presentation that I’m not a pacifist, I’m not someone who is afraid of war, I’ve been to war, I’m a veteran of the US Marine Corps and I’d go to war again if required to defend my country. But I would say it’s never something to be undertaken lightly, war is never something to be trivialized, and I’m fearful that’s what happening in the debate and the discourse in the US today in regards to the war on terror and also in regards to the possibility of war against Iraq we have trivialized the subject of war, it is something that I believe the American people are taking lightly. War is not a game, war is not something that we might think it is, it is not a video cursor on a grainy black & white image following a building while a silver shaped object comes in and blows up the building, war is about death, it’s about destruction, plain and simple, and I think we should understand that when we talk about war, the reality of war.

The US war with Iran has already begun

By Scott Ritter

06/19/05 "Aljazeera" - - Americans, along with the rest of the world, are starting to wake up to the uncomfortable fact that President George Bush not only lied to them about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (the ostensible excuse for the March 2003 invasion and occupation of that country by US forces), but also about the very process that led to war.

On 16 October 2002, President Bush told the American people that "I have not ordered the use of force. I hope that the use of force will not become necessary."

We know now that this statement was itself a lie, that the president, by late August 2002, had, in fact, signed off on the 'execute' orders authorising the US military to begin active military operations inside Iraq, and that these orders were being implemented as early as September 2002, when the US Air Force, assisted by the British Royal Air Force, began expanding its bombardment of targets inside and outside the so-called no-fly zone in Iraq.

U.S., Britain led massive secret bombing campaign

The unofficial war: U.S., Britain led massive secret bombing campaign before Iraq war was declared
By Larisa Alexandrovna and John Byrne, Raw Story

A U.S. general who commanded the U.S. allied air forces in Iraq has confirmed that the U.S. and Britain conducted a massive secret bombing campaign before the U.S. actually declared war on Iraq.

The quote, passed from RAW STORY to the London Sunday Times last week, raises troubling questions of whether President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair engaged in an illegal war before seeking a UN resolution or congressional approval.

World Tribunal on Iraq Preliminary Declaration

WTI: PRELIMINARY DECLARATION OF THE JURY OF CONSCIENCE WORLD

In February 2003, weeks before war was declared on Iraq, millions of people protested in the streets of the world. That call went unheeded. No international institution had the courage or conscience to stand up to the aggression of the US and UK governments. No one could stop them. It is two years later now. Iraq has been invaded, occupied, and devastated. The attack on Iraq is an attack on justice, on liberty, on our safety, on our future, on us all. We the people of conscience decided to stand up. We formed the World Tribunal on Iraq, to demand justice and a peaceful future.

'Spikes of Activity' In The DSM

By Why Are We Back in Iraq?
http://www.whyareweback.blogspot.com

UPDATE: At the end of this post, I've added excerpts from a Department of Defense briefing with Gen. Peter Pace, Vice-Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld from September 16th, 2002. Shockingly (or not so shockingly), Rumsfeld made light of the war before the war, and many members of the press laughed about it with him.

(Updated with excerpts from Michael Smith's articles from 2002, and his latest Sunday Times article...even more updates...this article will remain at the top of my blog and I will continue to add to it over the next few days.)

How the leaked documents questioning war emerged from 'Britain's Deep Throat'

Sunday Times
June 26, 2005
By Michael Smith

It started with a phone call and has now swept across America: Michael Smith tells the tale of his 'Downing Street memo' scoop

It began with a phone call from a friend nearly 10 months ago — somebody well-placed who had given me a few stories before. But he wasn’t really a journalistic source, though he has now been dubbed "the British Deep Throat" by some of the US press.

He was just a friend. So I had no great expectations of the meeting we arranged in a quiet West End bar. I was just expecting a convivial drink, with the usual exchange of gossip, the catching-up on how our lives were going.

Testimony given to the World Tribunal on Iraq

Published on Saturday, June 25, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
The Conduct of the UN Before and After the 2003 Invasion
by Hans Von Sponeck
June 24, 2005

In discussing UN involvement before and after the 2003 invasion of US, UK and other coalition forces into Iraq, a clear distinction has to be made between the policy makers and the civil servants expected to carry out the policies, i.e., between member governments in the UN Security Council and the UN Secretariat.
If this is done, it quickly becomes clear that primary responsibility for the human catastrophe in Iraq lies with the political UN, with those member governments in the UN Security Council who had the power to make a difference. The failure of the Council to make a humanitarian, ethical and legal difference is much more monumental than is commonly known. There is not only the betrayal of the Iraqi people but also the betrayal of the UN Charter and the betrayal of the international conscience.

The Ever Changing Definition of "Mission" In Iraq

From ThinkProgress

A headline in the Washington Post today declares “Bush Defends Strategy In Iraq, Pledges to ‘Complete the Mission’.

Fixing To Fix “Fixed

By Ray McGovern

The Downing Street papers are proving a formidable challenge to the White House PR machine as it desperately tries—in often-ludicrous ways—to slow down a train that has already left the station. And interest continues to build. The leaked British documents are now on the top-ten list of Google queries.

One huge fly in the ointment for the administration was British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s early decision that it would be a fool’s errand to challenge the authenticity of the papers. Why? Because there is still a relatively free Fourth Estate in the U.K. together with patriotic whistleblowers willing to risk jail for exposing government dishonesty.

The War Before The War

By John Prados
June 24, 2005
http://www.TomPaine.com
John Prados is a senior fellow with the National Security Archive in Washington, D.C. He is author of Hoodwinked: The Documents That Reveal How Bush Sold Us a War (The New Press).

The now-notorious Downing Street memos make it necessary to reframe the story of the aerial operations that took place before the war, with significant new conclusions emerging. It now appears that the United States, dragging a reluctant Great Britain behind it, executed a deliberate, purposeful bombing campaign against Saddam Hussein's Iraq beginning in May 2002. Among the Downing Street memos are British government legal briefs written immediately before May 2002 finding that these air operations had no basis in international law and constituted aggressive acts.

Downing Street Memos Explained in Plain English

By Carmen Yarrusso

The Bush and Blair administrations have dismissed the leaked British memos (including the so-called Downing Street Memo) that provide details of what top British officials believed about the case for war in the months leading up to the Iraq invasion. Both administrations have characterized the memos as “nothing new

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