Stop the war.
U.S. casualties steadily mount in Iraq, another toll is rising rapidly
on the home front: The Army's divorce rate has soared in the past three
years, most notably for officers, as longer and more frequent war zone
deployments place extra strain on couples. "We've seen nothing like
this before," said Col. Glen Bloomstrom, a chaplain who oversees
Between 2001 and 2004, divorces
among active-duty Army officers and enlisted personnel nearly doubled,
from 5,658 to 10,477, even though total troop strength remained
Martha Rudd, an Army spokeswoman, attributed the
recent surge in divorces to the stress and uncertainty caused by a
stepped-up deployment cycle. "An awful lot of people are going back to
Iraq for a second tour — that must be hard to take," she said. "You can
get through one tour, but then you think, 'Please, no more.'"...
Kidd, director of family programs for the private Association of the
U.S. Army, urges military couples to seek help when needed but fears
many spouses are too isolated....Kidd said the divorce problem could
get even worse, as long the campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan and
elsewhere require frequent deployments. "All kinds of couples have
problems, but they don't necessarily break up," Kidd said. "When you
add the additional stress of these separations, it's the straw that
breaks the camel's back."
For those who don't know, the Washington Post wrote in respones to the Downing Street Minutes that they were not
news because everyone already knew everything they
contained--importantly, though the WP carefully avoided mention, the
DSM proving that Bush had decided to go to war prior to figuring out a
reason and also that he in fact began that war prior to recieving
This is bullshit. First of all, Secondly it is
certainly not something "everyone" knew, and certainly not something the
news was reporting on. Thirdly, I think perhaps the largest shocker of
all: this is
proof--positive evidence and not mere speculation. It implies the Washington Post knew the war was a fraud from the very start and probably before but pretended it was legitimate.
That, if true, would be treason so far as I'm concerned. In the real definition of the word.
We've at least become sophisticates of our own bamboozlement, I guess.
there is the group of us (we) that have seen through the bamboozlement
from the start. The feeling I've heard over and over hasn't been
sophistication, so much as chagrin...over the fact that Bush could
bamboozle everybody else (despite our protests).
the mainstream press, for whom the Downing Street Memos are old news.
Although they appeared to have been bamboozled, they now say they knew
the truth all along (i.e. they are just as sophisticated as "we"
were). It's just that they didn't care to share their insights with
the American people (thereby facilitating the bamboozlement).
there's the group that have been bamboozled on a consistent basis,
until perhaps recently. But Toto has pulled the curtain aside, forcing
Bush to frantically tell them to pay no attention to the man behind the
This group, I think, will proceed slowly down the
path of opposition to White House policy. Nobody likes to admit that
they had been bamboozed, after all.
But at least it's good to see that the press is now (finally) holding their hand along that journey.
The Empire's New Clothes The
cost of the war in Iraq is almost beyond imagining. But as it comes
into focus, it’s no wonder that the public is turning against it.
This is a bull's-eye of a column by Christopher Dickey of Newsweek:
clear head and a calculator will tell you very quickly that the costs
of this conflict in Iraq are on a scale far beyond whatever benefits it
was supposed to bring. If Saddam had been behind 9/11, OK. But he
wasn’t. If he’d really posed a clear and present danger to the United
States with weapons of mass destruction, then the invasion would have
been justifiable. But he didn’t, and it wasn’t. Bringing freedom
and democracy to the Iraqi people is a laudable goal, but not one for
which the administration made any worthwhile preparations—which is why
the occupation has been so ugly, bloody and costly. Tabloids may
amuse their readers with snapshots of Saddam in his skivvies, but it’s
the Bush administration’s threadbare rationales for postmodern
imperialism that have been exposed.
"Some may disagree with my decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power," the president suggested in his weekly radio address last weekend,"but all of us can agree that the world's terrorists have now made Iraq a central front in the war on terror". . . . Our troops are fighting these terrorists in Iraq so you will not have to face them here at home."
Wait a minute. Who disagreed about Saddam?Do you know anybody anywhere, who said, "Hey, the Butcher of Baghdad is a stand-up guy, let’s keep him around"? The problem was always what or who might come after.
What skeptics said was, "Occupying Iraq is a dangerous idea because 1)
it will cost an enormous amount of blood and money, 2) it's an
open-ended commitment that has no defining moment of victory or
scenario for departure and 3) zealous terrorists will thrive there under foreign occupation, then spread anti-American violence far and wide.
. . . If we're safer, it’s largely because the war in Afghanistan and
covert operations in Pakistan managed to round up or kill most of the
key organizers of 9/11 by the spring of 2003. What we’re facing today are new dangers from new terrorists—-and new dangers we are likely to bring on ourselves.
That's exactly it. When Dubya says, "world's terrorists have now made Iraq a central front," etc., he's not giving us a reason to support his policies -- he's admitting that they've failed.
The price of a barrel of crude oil is flirting with $60; a Chinese state-controlled oil company has made an $18.5 billion bid for the American oil firm, Unocal -- ExxonMobil has quietly issued a
report, The Outlook for Energy: A 2030 View, predicting that the moment of "peak oil" is only a five-year hop-skip-and-a-pump away; "Oil Shockwave,"
a "war game" recently conducted by top ex-government officials in
Washington, including two former directors of the CIA, found the United
States "all but powerless to protect the American economy in the face
of a catastrophic disruption of oil markets."
Well, hold your hats, folks. Below Michael Klare, discusses a new bombshell book by oil industry insider Matthew Simmons,
and his unsettling news that everything you've heard about those
inexhaustible supplies of Saudi oil, which are supposed to keep the
world floating for decades, simply isn't so. This is real news and
absorbing its implications is no small matter.
For those oil enthusiasts who believe that petroleum will remain
abundant for decades to come -- among them, the President, the Vice
President, and their many friends in the oil industry -- any talk of an
imminent "peak" in global oil production and an ensuing decline can be
easily countered with a simple mantra: "Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia,
Saudi Arabia." Not only will the Saudis pump extra oil now to alleviate
global shortages, it is claimed, but they will keep pumping more in the
years ahead to quench our insatiable thirst for energy. And when the
kingdom's existing fields run dry, lo, they will begin pumping from
other fields that are just waiting to be exploited.
In a newly-released book, investment banker Matthew R. Simmons
convincingly demonstrates that, far from being capable of increasing
its output, Saudi Arabia is about to face the exhaustion of its giant
fields and, in the relatively near future, will probably experience a
sharp decline in output. "There is only a small probability that Saudi
Arabia will ever deliver the quantities of petroleum that are assigned
to it in all the major forecasts of world oil production and
consumption," he writes in Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy. "
It is not surprising, then, that the Department of Energy and the Saudi
government have been very nervous about the recent expressions of doubt
about the Saudi capacity to boost its future oil output. These doubts
were first aired in a front-page story by Jeff Gerth in the New York Times
on February 25, 2004. Relying, to some degree, on information provided
by Matthew Simmons, Gerth reported that Saudi Arabia's oil fields "are
in decline, prompting industry and government officials to raise
serious questions about whether the kingdom will be able to satisfy the
world's thirst for oil in coming years."
Essentially, Simmons argument boils down to four major points: (1) most
of Saudi Arabia's oil output is generated by a few giant fields, of
which Ghawar -- the world's largest -- is the most prolific; (2) these
giant fields were first developed 40 to 50 years ago, and have since
given up much of their easily-extracted petroleum; (3) to maintain high
levels of production in these fields, the Saudis have come to rely
increasingly on the use of water injection and other secondary recovery
methods to compensate for the drop in natural field pressure; and (4)
as time goes on, the ratio of water to oil in these underground fields
rises to the point where further oil extraction becomes difficult, if
not impossible. To top it all off, there is very little reason to
assume that future Saudi exploration will result in the discovery of
new fields to replace those now in decline.
This being the case, it would be the height of folly to assume that the Saudis are capable of doubling
their petroleum output in the years ahead, as projected by the
Department of Energy. Indeed, it will be a minor miracle if they raise
their output by a million or two barrels per day and sustain that level
for more than a year or so. Eventually, in the not-too-distant future,
Saudi production will begin a sharp decline from which there is no
escape. And when that happens, the world will face an energy crisis of
The moment that Saudi production goes into permanent decline, the Petroleum Age as we know it will draw to a
Oil will still be available on international markets, but not in
the abundance to which we have become accustomed and not at a price
that many of us will be able to afford. Transportation, and everything
it effects -- which is to say, virtually the entire world economy --
will be much, much more costly. The cost of food will also rise, as
modern agriculture relies to an extraordinary extent on petroleum
products for tilling, harvesting, pest protection, processing, and
delivery. Many other products made with petroleum -- paints, plastics,
lubricants, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and so forth -- will also prove
far more costly. Under these circumstances, a global economic
contraction -- with all the individual pain and hardship that would
surely produce -- appears nearly inevitable.
Through his scrupulous research, Simmons has convincingly demonstrated
that -- because all is not well with Saudi Arabia's giant oilfields --
the global energy situation can only go downhill from here. From now
on, those who believe that oil will remain abundant indefinitely are
the ones who must produce irrefutable evidence that Saudi Arabia's
fields are, in fact, capable of achieving higher levels of output.
The Downing Street Memo and related documents returned this summer to
tell us this: the Bush Administration tells the British government a
"truth" that it will not tell the American people or the rest of the
world. Not only will the Bushies not tell Americans what they tell the
British government, they tell Americans almost the opposite.
Things haven't changed. It apparently is happening right now:
BRITAIN is coming under sustained pressure from American military
chiefs to keep thousands of troops in Iraq - while going ahead with
plans to boost the front line against a return to "civil war" in
Tony Blair was warned that war-torn Iraq remains on the brink of disaster- more than two years after the removal of Saddam Hussein - during his
summit with President Bush in Washington earlier this month.
Scotland on Sunday revealed last month that Blair is preparing to rush
thousands more British troops to Afghanistan in a bid to stop the
country sliding towards civil war, amid warnings the coalition faces a
"complete strategic failure" in the effort to rebuild the nation.
"The Prime Minister was given a pretty depressing run-down of the
prognosis for Iraq while he was in Washington," one senior Ministry of
Defence source said last night. "The Americans are pushing for at least
a maintenance of the troop numbers we have there now. Our latest
intention is to reduce by at least half the number of our troops in
Iraq within a year.
So the Bush Administration tells Blair that Iraq remains on the
brink of disaster. Not could be. Not is sliding towards. REMAINS ON THE
BRINK OF DISASTER.
But this is what we get from the Bush Administration when they speak to America:
"We will succeed in Iraq, just like we did in Afghanistan. We will
stand up a new government under an Iraqi-drafted constitution. We will
defeat that insurgency, and, in fact, it will be an enormous success
Cheney compared the current situation in Iraq to the last months of
World War II, when Germans launched a desperate offensive in the Battle
of the Bulge and the Japanese offered stiff resistance on Okinawa.
said the insurgents will "do everything they can to disrupt" the
process of building an Iraqi government, "but I think we're strong
enough to defeat them."
Sound the same to you as what The Scotsman reported that the Bush Administration told Blair?
So, I would say this to the U.S. news media: Find out how The
Scotsman came up with this information. And find out why this kind of
information isn't being shared with America.
Italian Payback for Extraordinary Rendition and Segrena/Calipari Betrayal
ROME - An Italian judge on Friday ordered the arrests of 13 CIA
officers for secretly transporting a Muslim preacher from Italy to
Egypt as part of U.S. anti-terrorism efforts — a rare public objection
to the practice by a close American ally.
The Egyptian was spirited away in 2003, purportedly as part of the
CIA's "extraordinary rendition" program in which terror suspects are
transferred to third countries without court approval, subjecting them
to possible torture.
The arrest warrants were announced Friday by the Milan prosecutor's
office, which has called the disappearance a kidnapping and a blow to a
terrorism investigation in Italy. The office said the imam was believed
to belong to an Islamic terrorist group.
The 13 are accused of seizing Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, known as
Abu Omar, on a Milan street on Feb. 17, 2003, and sending him to Egypt,
where he reportedly was tortured, Milan prosecutor Manlio Claudio
Minale said in a statement.
The U.S. Embassy in Rome and the CIA in Washington declined to comment.
The prosecutor's statement did not name the suspects, give their
nationalities or mention the CIA by name. But an Italian official
familiar with the investigation confirmed newspaper reports Friday that
the suspects worked for the CIA.
The official also said there was no evidence Italians were involved
or knew about the operation. He asked that his name not be used because
official comment was limited to the prosecutor's statement.
Minale said the suspects remain at large and Italian authorities
will ask the United States and Egypt for assistance in the case.
The prosecutor's office said Nasr was released by the Egyptians after his interrogation but was arrested again later.
The statement said Nasr was seized by two people as he was walking
from his home toward a mosque and bundled into a white van. He was
taken to Aviano, a joint U.S.-Italian base north of Venice, and flown
to a U.S. air base in Ramstein, Germany, before being taken to Cairo.
It said investigators had confirmed the abduction through an
eyewitness account and other, unidentified witnesses as well as through
an analysis of cell phone traffic.
In March 2003, "U.S. authorities" told Italian police Nasr had been
taken to the Balkans, the statement said. A year later, in April-May
2004, Nasr phoned his wife and another unidentified Egyptian citizen
and told them he had been subjected to violent treatment by
interrogators in Egypt, the statement said.
Italian newspapers have reported that Nasr, 42, said in the wiretapped calls that he was tortured with electric shocks.
On Friday, the Milan daily Corriere della Sera cited another
Milan-based imam as telling Italian authorities Nasr was tortured after
refusing to work in Italy as an informer. According to the testimony,
he was hanged upside down and subjected to extreme temperatures and
loud noise that damaged his hearing, Corriere reported.
Minale said the judge rejected a request for six more arrest
warrants for suspects believed to have helped prepare the operation. Judge Chiara Nobile ordered the arrests after investigators traced
the agents through Milan hotels and Italian cell phones, said reports
in Corriere and another daily, Il Giorno. Il Giorno said all the agents were American and three were women.
Minale said a judge also issued a separate arrest warrant for Nasr
on terrorism charges. In that warrant, Judge Guido Salvini said Nasr's
seizure violated Italian sovereignty, according to Italian news agency
Nasr was believed to have fought in Afghanistan
and Bosnia and prosecutors were seeking evidence against him before his
disappearance, according to a report in La Repubblica newspaper, which
cited intelligence officials.
Corriere said Italian police picked up details, including cover
names, photos, credit card information and U.S. addresses the agents
gave to five-star hotels in Milan around the time of Nasr's alleged
abduction. It said investigators also found the prepaid highway passes
the agents used for the journey from Milan to the air base.
The report said investigations showed the agents incurred
$144,984 in hotel bills in Milan, and that two pairs of agents took
holidays in northern Italy after delivering Nasr to Aviano.
Italian-U.S. relations were strained after American soldiers killed an
Italian intelligence agent near Baghdad airport in March. He was
escorting a kidnapped Italian journalist after he had secured her
release from Iraqi captors.
Germano Dottori, a political analyst at the Center for
Strategic Studies in Rome, said it is not unusual for intelligence
agencies to have squabbles with allied countries but that he could not
recall prosecutors directly involved in investigating or apprehending
"At some point the Americans will begin to think they can't trust the Italians," Dottori said.
Well, extraordinary rendition from the US is a-ok with Abu Gonzales,
but it looks like Italy doesn't much like it from their soil.
Cell phone usage was mentioned. So it's probable that the agents used
their cover names while on the phone with each other, suggesting their
conversations were being monitored by the Italians, and further
suggesting the possibility of a strong case against them. Hopefully,
the Italians are taking a firm stand over the kidnapping in the pure
interest of upholding law and order for everyone. It would be so
refreshing to know that the law still means something somewhere and
that "Texas cancer" hasn't engulfed the entire world yet.
"At some point the Americans will begin to think they can't trust the Italians," Dottori said.
But isn't it maybe about time the U.S. started worrying about the fact that the Italians, along with a number of others, already evidently no longer trust the Americans?
"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart
people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." -
a post with details from various stories of this incident. Read
all three stories to get the full picture. Each one has details
the others don't, and you need to read them all to get a feel for
what's going on. Nobody expects any of the CIA officers to be turned
over to the Italians, of course, but the big question still remaining
is what happens next: will the Italians treat this like a shot across
the bow and let the case die out, or will they use it to embarrass the
American government as fully as they can? Stay tuned.
Besides, you get to live kinda fine on the public dime for torturin' people:
In hotel bills alone, the group ran up a tab of $150,000, the court papers indicate.
... Once the rendition was completed, several of the agents traveled to
Venice for a celebration, also at a luxurious five-star hotel, the
court papers say. Four others took a vacation along the picturesque
Mediterranean coast north of Tuscany.
Is this a great country or what! The first rule of covert operations: The agent can't pretend he is James Bond while staying at Motel 6.
And I would
think US soldiers have to worry about people shooting at them and
blowing up RDX bombs from material we forgot to secure. Not Dick
Durbin. Oh, and Sen. Durbin, your apology means jack shit. They will
hammer you anyway.
"Liberals saw what happened to us and said we must understand our enemies."
He's right. We want to understand.
want to understand why Osama Bin Laden hasn't been captured? Why did
the administration take its eyes off Al Qaida to invade Iraq? I mean,
Al Qaida is the enemy Rove himself said we had to defeat. But we
Instead of defeating our enemies, we went to war
against an impotent enemy -- Saddam. And yes, we want to understand.
Like, why did they lie to go to war in Iraq? Why is that war still
going, unabated? Why are we no closer to victory now, than we were in
when Bush declared "mission accomplished"? Why don't our troops have
proper ammo? Why aren't there enough boots on the ground in Iraq? Why
are we still dying in Afghanistan?
He's right. I want to
understand. I don't understand why the administration hasn't called for
sacrifice. Why won't war supporters enlist? Why won't they encourage
their circle of influence to enlist? Why won't they level with the
American people, and give an honest assessment of what's going on in
Iraq and Afghanistan?
I don't understand how our nation, always
the good guys, is now perceived as the "bad guy" the world over. I
don't understand how torture has become a commonplace occurance inside
facilities that bear the stars and stripes.
It seems conservatives send other people to
die in a war they didn't really understand how to fight, much less win.
Funny, I remember liberals supporting them at the time.
It's pretty clear now
that this was a set up orchestrated by the White House in order to
deflect attention away from the disaster that is the war in Iraq, Bush's plumetting polls, and the Downing Street Memos revelations about Bush's lies in the runup to the Iraq war.
President Bush thinks
57% of Americans are traitors who hate America, want to kill our
military, and love Osama bin Laden. 57% of Americans are apparently
happy, or at least not outraged, by the murder of nearly 3,000 people
in NY, VA and PA.
The Democratic Party had better realize that
these people declared war today in a big way. We do not let this issue
go until Karl Rove resigns. There IS no other issue in town, until Karl
If Ken Mehlman wants to have a public debate about
who's a bigger man, then "Bring It On". And we'll start by talking
about the President who just killed 1700 Americans in Iraq for a lie,
and still hasn't bothered to attend a single funeral of one of the
soldiers he killed.
Sign the petition to fire Rove here.
The Transportation Security Agency decided to
disseminate a bunch of personal passenger information to private
companies, in violation of a Congressional edict and their own
promises.The issue was naturally brought up at the libertarian magazine Reason's
weblog,prompting this lightning-quick response from somebody who sees
this subterfuge as essential to his not dying a fiery, horrible death:
Who cares? Why does someone's irrational concern about privacy
trump the rest of the passengers being more confident that their plane
will not be used as a human cruise missile by terrorists?
It's part of an
age-old struggle wherein we who are not criminals are constantly called
upon to explain what we're so worried about "If we have nothing to hide."
Sadly, this is what passes for a eulogy at the wake of the Fourth
Amendment(putting aside the lying to Congress, separation of powers,
and completely ineffective airline safety policy).
-- mandatory drug testing for junior high students (Who cares?The
right of your 12-year-old not to pee in a cup outweighs the need to
pacify panicky parents who worry about juiced intrascholalistic chess
-- the ability of cops to basically tear apart your car based on a
busted taillight, or to randomly stop cars for DUI testing on no
probable cause at all (Who cares?Does your quaint addiction to privacy
trumps the confidence by simpletons that the Drug War is being won, two
ounces of weed at a time?).
-- the ability of the FBI to check the reading lists
of library patrons, a power recently rescinded by the House, but it's
not one that they were using anyway, except that they were (Who cares?
What.. you don't want your wife to find out that you've been reading Nancy Drew Mysteries for their erotic passages?)
-- maybe somebody can stop people with forged papers from accessing nuclear weapons plants
first.Or we can continue bask in the feeling of absolute security that
can only come from Grandma having to remove her orthopedic shoes before
flying to Atlanta for Jimmy's graduation.
I dont know about you guys, but I feel much safer when the government
tucks me in at night...always watching out for me. I just love living in a zero-tolerance society where all problems
are magically solved. There aren't any problems, right?
On the other hand, how will my being treated like a suspicious
criminal prevent another terrorist attack? Based upon news reports I've
gather that the TSA flunkies will be so busy inspecting my shoelaces
and underwear and looking for plastic explosive in my toothpaste
that they won't have time to check and make sure there are no bombs or
bioweapons in the cargo hold.
Terrorist Mastermind Convicted of manslaughter. So if Bin Laden was somehow, miraculously nailed tomorrow, and brought
before the bar, and was only convicted of felony manslaughter because
he never actually flew any planes into any buildings. How would you
feel about that?
Today shows, when you cut through all of the rhetoric, the elemental
difference between the GOP and the Democratic Party and why, for all of
its faults, it is so fucking easy for me to say proudly thatI am a Democrat.
Why, for a person of conscience, there's really no contest. It's not even close.
Because unlike the Republicans, my party does not court and cultivate and lay out the fucking welcome mat for monsters.
Party hasn't sold its immortal soul to hate-mongering theocrats like
Jerry Falwell and James Dobson, who, in every word and deed,
aggressively seek to annihilate the very principles for which my Party
In my Party, the worst and basest impulses of the American heart do not find a happy home and a well-laid table.
my Party, a sickening number of senior members did not need to duck for
cowardly anonymity and cover when it comes to something as simple as
In my Party, we look on the Reign of Terror
that the Klan conducted while wearing a judge's robe and a cop's
uniform as despicable. As one of the darkest and most shameful chapters
in American history. We do not look on it with fucking nostalgia. And some Lyncher's Happy Days, where Jesse "the Fonz" Helms is idolized as a cool-kid role model.
You "Moderates Republicans" want to talk? You want to discuss Social Security and Medicare? National debt and tax reform?
Fine. But first kick the gargoyles that run your Party the hell out of your Party.
Because unlike the GOP, my Party does not negotiate with terrorists...or with those that aid and comfort and admire them.
Fallujah: Napalm By Any Other Name
Napalm = "Mark 77" or "Mark of the Beast."
In August last year, the United States admitted dropping the
internationally-banned incendiary weapon of napalm on Iraq, despite
earlier denials by the Pentagon that the "horrible" weapon had not been
used in the three-week invasion of Iraq.
The Pentagon said it had not tried to deceive. It drew a distinction
between traditional napalm, first invented in 1942, and the weapons
dropped in Iraq, which it calls Mark 77 firebombs. They weigh 510lbs,
and consist of 44lbs of polystyrene-like gel and 63 gallons of jet fuel.
Officials said that if journalists had asked about the firebombs their
use would have been confirmed. A spokesman admitted they were
"remarkably similar" to napalm but said they caused less environmental
But John Pike, director of the military studies group
GlobalSecurity.Org, said: *"You can call it something other than napalm
but it is still napalm. It has been reformulated in the sense that they
now use a different petroleum distillate, but that is it. The US is the
only country that has used napalm for a long time. I am not aware of
any other country that uses it." Marines returning from Iraq chose to
call the firebombs "napalm".
Mr Musil said the Pentagon's effort to draw a distinction between the
weapons was outrageous. He said: "It's Orwellian. They do not want the
public to know. It's a lie."
In an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune, Marine Corps Maj-Gen
Jim Amos confirmed that napalm was used on several occasions in the war.
More word games at the Pentagon. They've recently denied reports that
they used napalm against troops in Iraq. Reporters have claimed they
did and so to have Air Force pilots We napalmed both those bridge
approaches said one.
Turns out the weapons used were "remarkably similar" to napalm, the
firebombing agent used extensively during the Vietnam War. Those
burning Vietnamese kids running from giant orange balls of fire in the
classic pictures were being "napalmed." Highly controversial, it was
banned by a United Nations convention in 1980 that the United States
refused to sign. The U.S. did claim to have destroyed its napalm
arsenal two years ago but here it is napalming Iraqi troops.
When is napalm not napalm? When you switch gasoline for for jet fuel
apparently. The new not-napalm has the happy name of "Mark 77," which
sounds more like the latest boy band than the latest firebombing agent.
Marine spokesperson Col. Michael Daily explained the difference between
the gasoline of napalm and jet fuel of Mark 77 in a recent email:
This additive has significantly less of an impact on the environment.
Nice to know the Pentagon is environmentally-senstive when it's roasting people alive.
Rice Says; The American People Were Told About The Generational Commitment to Iraq
That's not true. To build support for the war the administration told
the American people that the conflict in Iraq will be short and
In war, truth is the first casualty. This bit of ancient wisdom means
that many a soldier and civilian died because politicians lied. The War
in Iraq is certainly no exception. In fact, this bloody war may well be
the poster child for war on truth.
We were told Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and posed an imminent
threat to US security. It did not. We were told war was the last
resort. It was not. We were told, some 1500 American lives ago, that
the mission was accomplished. It is not, and the carnage continues.
Revelations of some hard truths in the past month alone prove that this
ugly war was predetermined many months before the invasion; that
intelligence was fixed to justify an invasion; that a massive air
assault against Iraq occurred well before the invasion; and that
napalm-like weaponry was used against the Iraqi people during the
The only WMDs are the weapons of mass deception emanating from The
White House. We once had a President named George who could not tell a
lie. Now we have one who cannot tell the truth.
As Republican Senators publicly proclaim that the situation if Iraq is
eroding, we learn that there is no "exit strategy" because no exit is
Not strictly a lie, just a new reality. They told us a long time ago
that they would change reality whenever they wanted to change it. The "Enduring Bases" are designed for an occupancy of at least thirty years OR til Iraq runs out of oil.
Neo-con Dynasty--puts me in mind of a poem that is especially bitter, given that this is father's day:
A Dead Statesman
I could not dig, I dared not rob, And so I lied to please the mob. Now all my lies are proved untrue, And I must face the men I slew. What tale will serve me here among Mine angry and defrauded young?
British Sources Say "FIXED" -- Means "Manipulated" or "Cooked"
Conservatives have attempted to dismiss the Downing Street memo,
a secret British intelligence document indicating that intelligence
officials there believed that the Bush administration was manipulating
intelligence to support its case for war in Iraq by insisting that the
term "fixed" has a different meaning in British English than in the
United States. The memo describes Sir Richard Dearlove, head of the
British foreign intelligence agency MI6, stating that in Washington,
"the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." In
fact, British reports -- including one that quoted the memo itself six
weeks before the British Sunday Times published its full text on May 1 -- refute the notion that "fixed" means anything different in British parlance.
Robin Niblett, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, claimed
that "'Fixed around' in British English means 'bolted on' rather than
altered to fit the policy." In an exclusive interview with Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice on the June 15 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, Rice eagerly agreed
with Matthews's suggestion that in Britain the word "fixed" really
"means just put things together." In the June 20 issue of the
conservative Weekly Standard, contributing editor Tod Lindberg wrote
of the memo: "'Fix' here is clearly meant in its traditional sense, in
the sort of English spoken by Oxbridge dons and MI6 directors -- to
make fast, to set in order, to arrange."
Other conservatives questioned the meaning of "fixed" without
explicitly suggesting transatlantic miscommunication. On the June 10
edition of PBS' NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, National Review editor Rich Lowry claimed
"it was meant in the sense that the intelligence is supporting the
policy asking questions like what will a post-invasion Iraq look like
and questions of that nature." National Review Online contributing
editor James S. Robbins also doubted the meaning of "fixed around the
policy" in a June 6 column and in a June 16 article on the conservative website CNSNews.com. The June 14 edition of CNN's Inside Politics cited a commentary making this argument by the conservative blog Dean's World.
But British sources contradict these claims. In a British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) documentary from March, which quoted the Downing Street Memo more than a month before the Sunday Times
published it, BBC reporter John Ware explained: "By 'fixed' the MI6
chief meant that the Americans were trawling for evidence to reinforce
their claim that Saddam was a threat." The headline of a Sunday Timespreview
of the documentary -- "MI6 chief told PM: Americans 'fixed' case for
war" -- also makes it clear how the British understand "fixed."
Similarly, Sunday Times reporter Michael Smith, who first
disclosed the memo on May 1, ridiculed the notion that "fixed" has a
different meaning in Britain in a Washington Postonline chat:
SMITH: There are number of people asking about fixed and its meaning. This is a real joke. I
do not know anyone in the UK who took it to mean anything other than
fixed as in fixed a race, fixed an election, fixed the intelligence. If
you fix something, you make it the way you want it.The
intelligence was fixed and as for the reports that said this was one
British official. Pleeeaaassee! This was the head of MI6. How much
authority do you want the man to have? He has just been to Washington,
he has just talked to George Tenet. He said the intelligence and facts
were being fixed around the policy. That translates in clearer terms as
the intelligence was being cooked to match what the administration
wanted it to say to justify invading Iraq. Fixed means the same here as
it does there.
Moreover, when the Sunday Times first disclosed
the memo on May 1, it noted the Bush administration's attempt "to link
Saddam to the 9/11 attacks" as an example of "fixing" the intelligence
around the policy:
The Americans had been trying to link Saddam to the 9/11 attacks;
but the British knew the evidence was flimsy or non-existent. Dearlove
warned the meeting that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed
around the policy".
In a May 2 column in London's Daily Mail, political editor
David Hughes argued that the meeting detailed in the Downing Street
memo "led inexorably to the publication of the 'sexed-up' Iraq weapons
dossier two months later," referring to a now-famous 2003 report by BBC
reporter Andrew Gilligan alleging that a British dossier on Iraq had
been "sexed up" to hype the Iraqi threat. Gilligan's report became the
subject of intense controversy
when British weapons expert Dr. David Kelley committed suicide
following the revelation that he was a key source for that report. An official inquiry into Kelley's suicide criticized Gilligan, his report, and the BBC, which prompted claims that the inquiry was a whitewash.
BOISE, Idaho -- A Kansas preacher and gay rights foe whose
congregation is protesting military funerals around the country said
he's coming to Idaho tomorrow to picket the memorial for an Idaho
National Guard soldier killed in Iraq.
A flier on the Web site of Pastor Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist
Church claims God killed Cpl. Carrie French with an improvised
explosive device in retaliation against the United States for a bombing
at Phelps' church six years ago.
"We're coming," Phelps said yesterday.
Westboro Baptist either has protested or is planning protests of
other public funerals of soldiers from Michigan, Alabama, Minnesota,
Virginia and Colorado. A protest is planned for July 11 at Dover Air
Force Base, the military base where war dead are transported before
being sent on to their home states.
Phelps gained national notoriety in 1998 when he picketed the
funeral of Matthew Shepard, the gay college student beaten to death in
Since then, Phelps said his church has been the target of hateful words and actions, including a bomb attack six years ago.
Phelps' church has picketed the funerals of AIDS victims for more than a decade.
French, 19, was a Caldwell High School graduate and varsity
cheerleader. She was killed June 5 in the northern city of Kirkuk.
French served as an ammunition specialist with the 116th Brigade Combat
Team's 145th Support Battalion.
Phelps said the fact that French led an all-American life gives him all the more reason to picket her final public tribute.
"An all-American girl from a society of all-American heretics," he said.
"Our attitude toward what's happening with the war is the Lord is
punishing this evil nation for abandoning all moral imperatives that
are worth a dime," Phelps said.
Caldwell Police Chief Bob Sobba said he cannot bar Phelps from going
to the public funeral, which is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Albertson
College of Idaho in that city.
"While we respect Mr. Phelps' right to protest, we would hope that
he would respect the family and friends of this young person by not
disrupting the memorial," Sobba said.
Idaho Air National Guard Lt. Tony Vincelli, acting as spokesman for
French's family, said there were no plans to change the funeral
The Rev. Brian Fischer, pastor of Boise's Community Church of the
Valley, and himself a past target of protest by the Westboro Baptist
Church, decried Phelps' plan.
"What Phelps is doing is a reprehensible thing, to take a funeral and turn it into a photo op for his hate cause," Fischer said.
"We hope everyone will ignore Phelps' group."
In 2003, Phelps demanded that he be allowed to erect an anti-gay
monument in a Boise public park. To avoid a lawsuit from his group,
city officials voted in 2004 that a Ten Commandments monument be moved
out of the park.
Ugh...These are the assholes at godhatesfags.com. What kind of sick
bastard even becomes involved with this "ministry"? What a perversion.
What a mess. How disgusting. It makes me sick.
That deafening silence is Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney
not attacking Pastor Phelps for a failure to "support our troops".
Possible Undeclared Motives for the Invasion of Iraq
The general idea was that sanctions would not work in the long term.
Saddam could play a cat-and-mouse game with the USA indefinitely. Given
his past record, he would be likely to acquire a stockpile of WMD,
particularly nuclear weapons that could threaten other countries in the
region as well as the USA.
Fair enough. This is certainly a reasonable argument. But there is a
problem with this hypothesis: if this was indeed the motive " a long
term threat" then what was the hurry? Saddam was in no position in
March 2003 to threaten any regional country or the United States. Could
the administration have given itself a little bit more time to plan the
There is almost universal agreement now that the post-invasion phase
was poorly planned. The reason most people accept for that poor
planning was that haste! But why was there so much haste? Lack of
proper preparation, lack of proper planning, disasters that led to the
loss of countless lives, Iraqi and America; chaos, lawlessness, poor
decisions that led to America being viewed as an enemy by ordinary
What would have happened if the invasion was delayed for some six
months, or even a year to prepare better?Wouldn't this have led to
some life saving? If all those criminal mistakes were not made,
couldn't that have possibly led to the success in this campaign instead
of resulting in a humiliating failure?
Even the plans put forward by the numerous committees set up by the
State Department were hurriedly and unceremoniously discarded! Why?
This theory does not explain the great urgency with which the
campaign was conducted or the great incompetence in its implementation.
If long term dangers were the main motive, then surely the long term
effects of chaos in Iraq and the already-volatile region would also be
equally threatening to the USA and to world peace and would have
warranted some consideration?
1. The timing was dictated by "short-term" domestic US political
considerations, for re-election purposes, which did not leave
sufficient time to plan for the campaign properly, and to exploit
public sentiment that allowed that "thin" evidence to be sufficient
justification for the war;
2. A level of (political and administrative) incompetence that no amount of planning could improve.
The implications, in either case, for the integrity of the
administration or its capability to run the affairs of America, are
self evidently disastrous!
In summary, there may have been a case for Saddam being regarded as
a long-term threat to the USA for that factor to be considered a motive
for the invasion. But if that is accepted, then the conclusions of
either criminal incompetence or recklessness and lack of sufficient
consideration for loss of American (or other) lives or for creating
more long-term grave dangers on the part of the administration must be
accepted by advocates of this theory.
Steve Soto over at The Left Coaster suggests that Conyers focus on three issues at the DSM hearing and call these
individuals as possible witnesses next week in his efforts to build a
case that the decision had already been made in the summer of 2002.
First and most damaging to me, as we first reported back in October 2003,
why would the White House see a need to build a strategic information
campaign using White House staff to manipulate media coverage in favor
of a war months in advance of going to the UN, Congress, and the
American people if the issue and decision had not already been made?
Retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner wrote a little-noticed but never disputed paper
that outlined the steps the Bush Administration took to build what in
essence was a strategic influence and disinformation campaign to
manipulate the media and sway public opinion in favor of a war that
Bush says he hadn't yet decided upon. These efforts started with the
creation of the Coalition Information Office by none other than Karen
Hughes at about the same time the Downing Street Memo said that Bush
had made up his mind. Colonel Gardiner feels that the organization was
in fact put together at the time of the memo, and that the
"marketing" of the war began in September when Congress returned from
summer recess. Since his study came out, Colonel Gardiner has received
confirmation from a number of sources including sources inside the Bush
Administration that almost all of his initial conclusions were correct.
Even though the whole study is chilling, pay particular attention to
his material from Page 50 onward to see how the Downing Street Memo can
be supported with Gardiner's work. Perhaps Congressman Conyers can call Colonel Gardiner as a witness next week
to lay out the involvement of the White House and outside GOP public
relations firms in selling a war to the Congress and the American
people through an intimidated and spoon-fed media, a campaign that
actually commenced around the same time that the Downing Street Memo
indicated a decision had already been made. And yes, I've talked with
Gardiner today, and Colonel Gardiner is willing to share his information with Conyers.
Second, none other than Bob Woodward himself in his wet-kiss book "Bush at War" reported that Bush
authorized Rumsfeld to move approximately $700 million from Afghanistan
reconstruction to the establishment of a logistical infrastructure to
support an Iraq invasion, without the required congressional notice and
authority. When did this happen, as Woodward notes with a great
deal of risk of legal problems for the White House? It happened in July
2002, at about the same time as the Downing Street Memo was written
saying the decision had already been made by Bush, within a month of the Downing Street Memo.
Perhaps Conyers can call Bob Woodward as a witness to testify about
what he found in researching his book on this
congressionally-unauthorized transfer of funds from Afghan
reconstruction to Iraq war planning during the Summer of 2002.Also
remember that the one physical piece of evidence we had was the
aluminum tubes. They were also attempts to get documents that said Iraq
was seeking uranium, but the only physical evidence we had was the
is why the uranium documents became so critical. Tubes + uranium would
be a vastly stronger argument. This is why even after being told not to
use the Niger story they did. This is why even though the Niger
documents were transparent forgeries, they still used them.
And lastly, it has been reported that Bush dropped in on a White House meeting in Condi Rice's office in March 2002, and blurted to the three startled US senators Rice was meeting with "Fuck Saddam, we're going to take him out." Perhaps Conyers can call the three senators as well as Michael Elliott and James Carney of Time Magazine to confirm what Bush said and did, three months before the Downing Street Memo said that a decision had already been made.
Again, the key for Conyers is not to get trapped into building his
case primarily upon the fixed intelligence claim in the memo, but to
build also a circumstantial case as well that supports the bigger claim
that the decision had already been made by the White House to go to war
in the Summer of 2002, despite what was being told to Congress and the
There is no pathetic out for the betrayal of trust: He said he
didn't make up his mind about invading, and this memo, along with the
testimony of Col. Gardiner, along with other pieces of evidence that
can be pilled on: The Richard Clarke account, the Paul O'Neil account,
the Bush ghost writers account, the Woodward thing, the implementation
of the strategic information campaign to influence the media, and other
things all can show how this likely was a lie and betrayal of our trust
and that in fact they wanted to go to war from the getgo. If Saddam had
cooperated, if inspectors had continued and found nothing...he would of
still gone to war. This is counter to his words that 'war was a last
Maybe the best approach is to get the repugs to counter the DSM by
getting them to try to prove that what they are claiming is true - i.e.
that war was the last option.
Perhaps we can take a leaf out of the democracts.com playbook and
offer $1000 to the person who 'leaks' an internal repug memo which best
proves that they really were fighting for peace. That should be pretty
easy right? If war really was the last option, then there should be a
mile-long paper trail of all their noble efforts.
Let's challenge any bush insiders to leak the smoking gun memo
which proves that their Dear Leader is actually a peacemonger who had
exhausted all other options.
As Bendover commented: I don't mind being lied to. The president is my moral and intellectual
superior so if he says he must kill tens of thousands of men, women and
children to erase his oedipal obsession, that's good enough for me. Well it's NOT good enough for me.
the Downing Street memo was blond and missing?
Subject: Aruba girl getting 10 times
the coverage of Downing Street memo.
I think I've found my own personal hellish media "Jump the Shark"
moment: this spate of Missing White Women stories trumping everything.
(Really, it's worse than when Dave and Maddie hooked up.)
According to Nexis, it's even worse than I thought.
To the unaware, having exhausted our infatuation with the runaway bride
Jennifer Wilbank and getting all the mileage out of Supermodel Tsunami
Survivor Petra Nemcova (who recently received an hour on "Larry King
Live"), the cable channels are currently showcasing the story of
Natalee Holloway, a blonde Alabama high school senior vacationing in
Aruba who has been missing for a week now.
Squeaming readers may want to stop reading here. Really.
quick Nexis search this morning of news transcripts for the past week
shows that Natalee Holloway has been featured in 231 stories, while the
Downing Street memo only 20. Yes, It's even crept into the refreshingly
informative CNN International Hour.
If that sort of attention makes the Downing Street memo "famous" -- as
Eric Boehlert noted in Salon -- what astronomic level of celebrity is
reserved for these missing women of the week?
The entire thing is designed to make
well-off white girls paranoid so they'll watch TV, as if news was a
soap opera, as if these are the problems of the world. And then, having
blanketed us with coverage from day one, some anchor will describe the
story as having "captivated the attention of the nation." Well, how
could it do otherwise, since you've done nothing but shove it at us for
And in these neverending sagas of the trivial, some really bad
journalism gets committed out of the need to have a fresh angle every
day. Honestly, the other night some git on ABC News referred to
spring/summer trips as "rites of passage for young adults."
Rites of Passage? Man, whatever happened to losing your virginity, or drinking your first beer, or joining a cult? Double plus bonus coverage for damsel embryo-Americans!
The Freeway Blogger continues to do excellent work, day in and out to raise public
awareness in California of Bush administration atrocities. If
you've never been to freewayblogger.com, do yourself a
favor and check out some of the fabulous past
to CBS news, on 9/11 the building of the case for war began:
At 9:53 a.m., just 15
minutes after the hijacked plane had hit
the Pentagon, and while Rumsfeld was still outside
helping with the injured, the National Security
Agency, which monitors communications worldwide,
a phone call from one of Osama bin
Laden's operatives in Afghanistan to a phone number
in the former Soviet Republic of
The caller said he had "heard good news" and that another target was still to
come; an indication he knew another
one that eventually crashed in Pennsylvania, was at
that very moment zeroing in on Washington. It was 12:05 p.m. when
the director of Central Intelligence told Rumsfeld about the
Rumsfeld felt it
was "vague," that it "might not mean something," and that there was "no good basis for hanging hat." In other
words, the evidence was not clear-cut enough to
justify military action against bin Laden.
But later that afternoon,
the CIA reported the passenger manifests for
the hijacked airliners showed three of the
were suspected al Qaeda
operatives. "One guy is associate of Cole bomber," the notes say, a reference to the October
2000 suicide boat attack on the USS Cole in Yemen,
which had also been the work of bin Laden.
With the intelligence all
pointing toward bin Laden, Rumsfeld ordered
the military to begin working on strike plans. And
at 2:40 p.m., the notes quote Rumsfeld as saying he
wanted "best info fast. Judge whether good enough
meaning Saddam Hussein "at same time. Not only UBL" the initials used to identify
Osama bin Laden.
Now, nearly one year
later, there is still very little evidence Iraq
was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks. But if these
notes are accurate, that didn't matter to
"Go massive,"the notes quote him as saying. "Sweep it all up. Things related and not."
I think these things might be clues to the
truth, and how and when the case for war was built.
And what it was built on, but, no -- nobody got a blowjob -- or did
While you're visiting the Poor Man, read this too. A couple of times. Then print it out and pass it around.
This is a very significant
post - the realization that words can actually hurt the right wing is
an insight I have not seen before.
On the whole, progressives try to deal with "reality", and pride
ourselves on making a conscious effort not to be tricked by orwellian
language. As a result, perhaps, we have not understood the crucial
importance of this same orwellian language to the right wing. We have
attacked what we think is their "reality" problem, but the right wing
isn't listening because we're not dealing directly with the pseudonyms
and talking points through which they can quell any vestige of
uneasiness about what they are actually doing.
Offensive, unjustified and unprovoked war becomes "the Bush doctrine".
Dissing Arafat becomes "they hate our freedom"
Bugging the security council becomes "reforming the UN"
Intolerant creationist bible worship becomes "intelligent design".
Threatening judges and picketing hospitals becomes "culture of life".
Demonizing gay people becomes "protecting the sancity of marriage."
In fact, by instantly transforming a discussion of the way the right
way transforms discussions of grotesque, systematic acts of torture
into a discussion of the words like Gulags used to describe that torture, Bush and the Right
pulled off quite a nifty post-modern hat-trick that only reinforces The
Poor Man's point.
People are being BEATEN TO DEATH in our name,
by our government, on a scale and with a brazenness that boggles the
mind.That is THE discussion. Those are the words we should be
repeating PERIOD. That question of the status of the detainees has to be taken to what
the conventions call a competent tribunal to determine whether or not
they are POW's or instead, as we claim, enemy combatants. And, in fact,
no such competent tribunal has ever ruled on these detainees' status. Not a point missed or scum left unscathed.
Maybe your best, and thats saying something. Damn, would I like to hear
this for the opening statement at the upcoming Hague trials. I think
Abu Ghraib is the worst of all because they knew damn well they weren't
terrorists in Iraq. The invasion and occupation of Iraq never did and
still doesn't have anything to do with the war on terror. To quote Mark
Twain "We should remove the Stars and Stripes and put up the Skull and
UPDATE: Driftglass has more details about "willful blindness" and the mind-fuck done on the GOP/Fundie stooge mindset.
Most of these people are not Nazis, but they are the perfect raw
material for our own, homegrown American Rightwing Demagogues;
obedient, stupid, bigoted and easily frightened.
everything - their very souls - rest on the foundation of the
infallibility of Dear Leader, they'll happily kill anyone in any
numbers who might force them to face up to the fact that Dear Leader is
a duplicitous, lying sleazebag who has played on their fear and
ignorance and patriotism to turn them out like $2 crack whores.
Well, the Bush-Nazi comparisons are deja-done, so of course now we have to move on. Seen on the MARC
commuter train (between Baltimore and DC) today, this picture pretty
much sums up the new "National Security:
That is so Soviet as to be erie.
I swear they ripped off a Soviet
poster down to the color of the people's shirts. If memory serves
correct, it was a Olympics poster even.
Wonder if it's real or guerrilla art. If it's real, I still wonder if maybe the designer is pulling a fast on on his employers.
Although this style is often associated with 1930s communism. It was
also very popular in the U.S. Look at much of the WPA era art work at
your local historic library or post office. It's collectivist, sure.
But there was a time in America where that was considered a good thing
(before we all ran off to our voucher-funded schools and gated
Perhaps the artist was working within the bounds of the assignment to
say, sotto voce, "Holy crap, are we in a police state now or what?"
Ha ha, that's great, I love it. Wait for the "I heart The Patriot Act" posters coming soon.
But while the tone might well be Stalinist/Maoist/Fascist (oh hell,
might as well just say totalitarian), the actual art is Deco, not
Granted the style of that poster isn't exactly "Socialist Realism,"
it's the combination of the vaguely-socialist realism style and the
"Watch, Ride, Report!" motto that jars.
Reporting left-behind parcels, OK. Reporting other passengers who
are behaving oddly, I'm not so keen on. Define "behaving oddly." Thanks
to the munificence of our social services, there are a *lot* of
clinically crazy people on the streets, and mass transit is a perfect
place to involuntarily meet them. I hate to think of some poor schizo,
who already has problems with mysterious voices and paranoia, getting
hauled in on a security sweep.
If You're Desperate And You Know It, Send The Twins[The Iraq War Song]
[Sung to the tune of 'If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands']
If you cannot get recruits, send the twins. High school parents are a drama, send the twins.
If insurgents are looking frisky, Syria is testing scuds, North Korea is too risky, send the twins!
If we have no allies with us, send the twins. If we think that Amnesty International has dissed us, send the twins. So to hell with calls for peace Let's look tough for posterity Follow your own lead, Mr. Bush, and send the twins.
If you believe your own bs, send the twins. If oil is really worth it, send the twins. If they've got people that hate us, and that's good enough for you, The Downing Street Memo, is not true? Send the twins!
If you never were elected, send the twins. Your poll numbers have gone down, send the twins. If you think your mission's just, c'mon now, WTF? Send the twins!
If your corporate fraud is growing, send the twins. If your ties to it are showing, send the twins. If your politics are sleazy, and hiding ain't that easy, And your manhood's getting queasy, send the twins!
What's good for the goose is good for the gander, send the twins. For our might knows not our borders, send the twins. Disagree? We'll call it treason, Let's make war not love this season, Even if we have no reason, send the twins!
John Kerry announced Thursday that he intends to present Congress with The Downing Street Memo, reported last month by the London Times.
The memo purports to include minutes from a July 2002 meeting with Tony
Blair, in which Blair allegedly said that President Bush's
administration "fixed" intelligence on Iraq in order to justify the
The Downing Street Memo is the leaked secret British document that
details the minutes of a 2002 meeting between top-level British and
American government officials. The memo states that George Bush "was
determined" to attack Iraq long before going to Congress with the
matter, and that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around
So far neither government has disputed the accuracy of the memo.
The memo caused an uproar in Britain and made a significant impact
in the British national elections, but has recieved little attention in
The Boston Globe published an article by Ralph Nader,
Tuesday, in which Nader also called for President Bush's impeachment.
The story is being carried on Michael Moore's website and the
Failed presidential candidate Kerry advised that he will begin the
presentation of his case for President Bush's impeachment to Congress,
Kerry said of the memo: "When I go back [to Washington] on Monday, I
am going to raise the issue. I think it's a stunning, unbelievably
simple and understandable statement of the truth and a profoundly
important document that raises stunning issues here at home. And it's
amazing to me the way it escaped major media discussion. It's not being
missed on the Internet, I can tell you that."
He questioned Americans' understanding of the war and the idea that
criticism equals disloyalty, saying, "Do you think that Americans if
they really understood it would feel that way knowing that on Election
Day, 77 percent of Americans who voted for Bush believed that weapons
of mass destruction had been found and 77 percent believe Saddam did
9/11? Is there a way for this to break through, ever?"
House Representative John Conyers has written to the President regarding the memo:
"...a debate has raged in the United States over the last year and
one half about whether the obviously flawed intelligence that falsely
stated that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction was a mere
'failure' or the result of intentional manipulation to reach
foreordained conclusions supporting the case for war. The memo appears
to close the case on that issue stating that in the United States the
intelligence and facts were being 'fixed' around the decision to go to
There is a growing movement on the internet and in Congress for a
"Resolution of Inquiry" into issues surrounding the planning and
execution of the Iraq war, especially in regard to the Administration's
handling of intelligence.
John Dean, a key Watergate figure, wrote in a June 2003 column for a
legal website, that, "To put it bluntly, if Bush has taken Congress and
the nation into war based on bogus information, he is cooked...
Manipulation or deliberate misuse of national security intelligence
data, if proven, could be a 'high crime' under the Constitution's
However, in practical terms impeachment in the U.S. Senate requires
a 2/3 majority for conviction, which is unlikely given that 55 out of
100 Senators are Republican.
When asked about the Downing Street Memo on May 23, White House
spokesman Scott McClellan said: "If anyone wants to know how the
intelligence was used by the administration, all they have to do is go
back and look at all the public comments over the course of the lead-up
to the war in Iraq, and that's all very public information. Everybody
who was there could see how we used that intelligence.
"And in terms of the intelligence, it was wrong, and we are taking
steps to correct that and make sure that in the future we have the best
possible intelligence, because it's critical in this post-September
11th age, that the executive branch has the best intelligence possible."
Media exists for the purposes of the corporate and government elites.
These purposes include preventing ordinary Americans from having any
say in their own government. The Media survives as a business only
because ordinary Americans give them their money. We are the base of
the pyramid, holding it all up.
pay them to destroy our country. We are like crack addicts. We pay them
for some vapid thrills, and our lives and the lives of our children are
forfeit. Think: 40 million cable subscribers at say $50 a month. 1
million people cutting the chains of cable times $50 a month times
12 months means a loss of $600 million a year to cable. With 2, 3, 5
million, we could force the breakup of the cable cartels in a very
Same goes for newspapers, magazines, network shows
(through advertisers), PBS, NPR, etc etc. Given the real purpose of
Media--to keep us out--can you think of anything more effective in
changing their policies than removing their income, and telling them we want a media that informs us?
If we had a free press we would have seen something like this weeks ago:
regards to what John Conyers over the weekend reportedly described as
"the smoking bullet in the smoking gun", a letter has just been sent to
Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, asking questions about the
recent reports that the U.S. and U.K. stepped up their air attacks in
the Iraqi "No-Fly-Zone" prior to the war in "an attempt to provoke
Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war."
A draft version of Conyers' letter was published over the holiday weekend by RAW STORY.
latest information on the covert way in which the Bush Administration
may have pushed the world towards war is based on a new report from
Rupert Murdoch's London Times which reported over the weekend that
"despite the lack of an Iraqi reaction, the air war began anyway in
September [of 2002] with a 100-plane raid."
In fact, the
original Downing Street Memo/Minutes mention that "The Defence
Secretary said that the US had already begun 'spikes of activity' to
put pressure on the regime."
Concerning the latest report, Conyers writes in his letter to Rumsfeld today:
true, these assertions indicate that not only had the Administration
secretly and perhaps illegally agreed to go to war by the summer of
2002, but it also took specific and tangible military actions before
asking Congress or the United Nations for authority, and absent an
actual or imminent threat.
Thus, while there is considerable
doubt as to whether the U.S. had authority to invade Iraq, given, among
other things, the failure of the U.N. to issue a follow-up resolution
to the November 8, 2002, Resolution 1441, it would seem that the act of
engaging in military action via stepped up bombing raids that were not
in response to an actual or imminent threat before our government asked
for military authority would be even more problematic from a legal as
well as a moral perspective.
...He then goes on to ask Rumsfeld
for a response to the following questions, along with a request for
"any memorandum, notes, minutes, documents, phone and other records,
e-mails, computer files (including back-up records) or other material
of any kind or nature concerning or relating thereto which are in the
possession of or accessible by the Department of Defense."
the RAF and the United States military increase the rate that they were
dropping bombs in Iraq in 2002? If so, what was the extent and timing
of the increase?
What was the
justification for any such increase in the rate of bombing in Iraq at
this time? Was this justification reviewed by legal authorities in the
To the best of your
knowledge, was there any agreement with any representative of the
British government to engage in military action in Iraq before
authority was sought from the Congress or the U.N.? If so, what was the
nature of the agreement?
Conyers, along with 88
members of Congress recently sent a letter to George W. Bush asking for
information concerning the now-infamous Downing Street Memo (actually
Minutes, not a Memo) which was also first reported by Murdoch's paper.
That document -- written a full eight months prior to the war --
revealed, amongst other things, that "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."
also goes on to say that "Bush had made up his mind to take military
action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin.
Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was
less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."
The members of
Congress have yet to receive a response from the White House, though
neither the Bush nor Blair Administrations have disputed the
authenticity of the information contained within the minutes.
alliance of citizens groups has recently been formed at
AfterDowningStreet.org to petition congress to launch a "Resolution of
Inquiry" into the matter. A congressional "Resolution of Inquiry" is
considered the first step towards Presidential Impeachment. (Both The
BRAD BLOG and Velvet Revolution, which we helped to co-found, are
members of that alliance.)
Conyers also has asked citizens to
sign the same letter they sent to Bush, and has promised to
hand-deliver it to the White House once he receives at least 100,000
Sign the letter here.Write to your Congresspeople here.
the rapid decline of global oil supplies, the United States is heading
for an economic crash unlike anything since the 1930s. And the collapse
of the dollar will affect every nation on earth.
is the chilling warning from academic Richard Heinberg of the New
College of California. Heinberg is in Cape Town, South Africa, this
week to share his views on what governments and societies need to do to
mitigate the imminent global crisis after world oil production peaks.
too late to maintain a 'business as usual' attitude. What is required
is to manage the change that peak oil will bring in a way that causes
the fewest casualties. This must be done at an economic and
geopolitical level, to fend off resource wars. The US invasion of Iraq
is clearly a resource war," Heinberg said on Monday.
Global oil discovery peaked in the 1960s and oil production is likely to peak as soon as 2007. With a world economy based on fossil fuel, the economic and social consequences will be dire.
In his most recent book, Power Down: options and actions for a post-carbon world, Heinberg describes the options available to avoid catastrophe.
a T-shirt that read: "Wake up! You are here," with an arrow pointing to
a graph of a peak in oil production, Heinberg said world governments
were aware of the pending crisis. The United States department of
energy had commissioned a report on the probable impacts of "peak oil",
the point at which global oil production will no longer meet demand,
which was released in February.
"The report was compiled
mainly by ex-CIA people. The CIA has always kept a close watch on
resources. They found that peak oil would provide the US and the world
with an 'unprecedented risk and management problem'.
"They say if they have 10 years to prepare, the economic and social chaos could be minimised. But
if it's less, the US will face a serious problem and the government
will have to manage it without public input. For that, read martial law. The report found oil price volatility will increase to unprecedented levels," Heinberg said.
US response is not to cut oil consumption by making major lifestyle
changes, and scale back on economic activity, but to use the military
to maintain control over oil in the Middle East.
"The long-range plan is for the West to control the Middle East by the military so it can control the price of oil."
was formalised as far back as 1979 by former US president Jimmy Carter,
in what became known as the Carter Doctrine, which stated that America
would use the military to maintain access to the oil reserves in the
Clearly we need to find substitutes for oil, says Heinberg, but the available energy alternatives are not reassuring.
gas extraction will peak a few years after oil, extraction rates for
coal will peak in decades, nuclear energy is dogged by unresolved
problems of waste disposal and solar and wind energy will have to
undergo rapid expansion if they are to replace even a fraction of the
energy shortfall from oil. And the enthusiasm about a hydrogen economy
comes from politics rather than science, he said.
"Our real problem is that we are trapped in a perpetual growth machine.
As long as modern societies need economic growth to stave off collapse
(given existing debt-and-interest-based national currencies), we will
continue to require ever more resources yearly. But the Earth has limited resources.
energy conundrum is thus intimately tied to the fact that we anticipate
perpetual growth within a finite system," Heinberg said.
He sketches four main options available in response:
Following the US leadership in competing for remaining resources through wars;
Wishful thinking that the market or science will come to the rescue;
Assuming that we are already in the early
stages of disintegration, devoting our energies to preserving the most
worthwhile cultural achievements of the past few centuries.
"Powering down" - reducing
energy resource use drastically through economic sacrifice, reducing
the population size and developing alternative energy sources.
"The sooner we choose wisely, the better off we and our descendants will be," Heinberg said.