Downing Street Document Summaries Plus Original
First, my two cents...Either you want to know if you've been lied to, or you don't..
I read a very true statement earlier which said Whether you've always opposed Iraq or recently reached that conclusion, Team Bush thinks you're irrelevant
The above statements should be a slap in the face to all Americans as we shout WAKE UP! It is exceedingly ironic...during the presidential race, Kerry was lambasted repeatedly because he voted in favor of the war in Iraq, last week the White House belittled John Conyers' after he was forced by the Republican controlled House to hold the DSM forum in a basement because he had voted in opposition to the Iraq offensive. It does appear that however someone might have voted on Iraq makes no difference whatsoever. If you are not allied with Bush, you do not matter and your two cents is not needed or allowed.
I meant to get to the other Downing Street information earlier but had a game to play...you know...when an idiot tries the distractions and then attempts to insult you in order to make you feel unsure of yourself with the sole purpose of silencing you.. I was finally asked "are you going to remove this "After Downing Street" thing?", to which I emphatically replied that I had no intention. *grin*
The Rest Of The Downing Street Document summaries are below along with the first one published by the Sunday London Times. Let us not forget that between June 2002 and March 20, 2003 when the ground war began in Iraq, the "allies had already flown 21,736 sorties (air raids) over Southern Iraq, attacking over 345 targets. The Bush administration started the war before ever going to Congress or the UN in the attempts of weakening Iraq's forces in preparation for a ground assault. This action was illegal because there is no justification for it especially if Bush was telling us he had no plans for a military assault before taking it to Congress. How much destruction did we cause and how many people lost their lives in unauthorized and illegal military actions we will never know. BTW...the destruction and death were witnessed and reported by UN humanitarian personnel on the ground in Iraq and reported every 3 months to the UN, UK and US...and not all the targets were in the "no fly zone".
March 8, 2002 - Iraq: Legal Background - Written by Legal advisors of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
"In the UK's view a violation of Iraq's obligations which undermines the basis of the cease-fire [...] can revive the authorization to use force [...]. The US [...] maintains that the assessment of breach is for individual member States. We are not aware of any other State which supports this view."
March 8, 2002 - Iraq Options Summary - Written by Overseas and Defense Secretariat, Cabinet Office
"Continue to make clear (without overtly espousing regime change) our view that Iraq would be better off without Saddam. We could trail the rosy future for Iraq without him in a 'Contract with the Iraqi people'..."
March 14, 2002 - Memo writting by David Manning, Foriegn Policy Advisor to Blair after meeting with Condi Rice.
I touched on this previosly.
Condi [Rice]'s enthusiasm for regime change is undimmed."
"Bush has yet to find the answers to the big questions: 1) how to persuade international opinion that military action against Iraq is necessary and justified 2) what value to put on the exiled Iraqi opposition 3) how to coordinate US/allied military campaign with internal opposition (assuming there is any) 4) what happens on the morning after?"
I think there is a real risk that the Administration underestimates the difficulties.They may agree that failure is not an option but that does not mean that they will avoid it.
This memo to Blair also raises the questions of whether Bush will send enough troops to get the job done and what will happen if it becomes an Urban War (which it has). It also questions what if "Iraqi troops don't conveniently collapse into a heap as Richard Perle and others confidently predict" Apparently the US overlooked the concerns from the UK because we did not have enough troops to succeed in the first place, it has become and urban war and the Iraqis made a liar out of Perle and his cohorts, there never were any plans for the morning after or any exit plan ever made...and there is no end in sight.
March 18, 2002 - Memo written by Christopher Meyer, British Embassy, Washington, the day after having lunch with Paul Wolfowitz
On Iraq I opened by sticking very closely to the script that you used with Condi Rice last week. We backed regime change, but the plan had to be clever and failure was not an option. It would be a tough sell for us domestically, and probably tougher elsewhere in Europe. The US could go it alone if it wanted to. But if it wanted to act with partners, there had to be a strategy for building support for military action against Saddam. I then went through the need to wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors and the UN SCRs and the critical importance of the MEPP as an intrgal part of the anti-Saddam strategy. If all this could be accomplished skillfully, we were fairly confident that a number of countries would come on board.
In discussion, Meyer concluded that Wolfowitz was pro-IRC (exiled Iraqi National Congress) and that he was opposed to any other faction taking control of Iraq. They discussed Chalabi and how US intelligence had little use for him. That kind of makes you wonder...if the CIA had little use for Chalabi in early March of 2002, how did it come to pass that Chalabi sold us on his fabricated stories unless the intelligence and facts were being fixed around policy of the Bush administration as the minutes of the July 2002 memo stated? This memo.sets the stage for the July memo that states that intel and facts were being molded to the Bush policy.
March 22, 2002 - Memo written by Peter Rickets (Political Director)
This I have touched on but I shall reiterate the prime message in more detail.
By broad support for the objective brings two real problems that need discussing.
First, the THREAT. The truth is that what has changed is not the pace of Saddam Hussein's WMD programs, but the tolerance of them post-11 September. This is not something we need to be defensive about, but attempts to claim otherwise publically will increase skepticism about our case. I am relieved that you decided to postpone publication of the unclassified document. My meeting yesterday showed that there is more work to do to ensure that the figures are accurate and consistent with those of the US. But even the best survey of Iraq's WMD programmes will not show much advance in recent years on the nuclear, missile or CW/BWfronts: the programmes are extremely worrying but have not, as far as we know, been stepped up.
US scrambling to establish a link between Iraq and Al Quada is so far frankly unconvincing. To get public and Parlaimentary support for military operations, we have to be convincing that:
- the threat is so serious/imminent that it is worth sending our troops to die for
- it is qualitatively different than the threat posed by other proliferators who are closer to achieving nuclear capability (including Iran).
We can make the case on qualitative difference (only Iraq has attacked a neighbor, used CW and fired missiles against Israel). The overall strategy needs to include re-doubled efforts to tackle other proliferators, including Iran, in other ways (the UK/French ideas on greater IAEA activity are helpful here). But we are still left with a problem of bringing public opinion to accept the imminence of a threat from Iraq. This is something the Prime Minister and the President need to have a frank discussion about.
The second problem is the END STATE. Military operations need clear and compelling military objectives. For Kosovo it was: Serbs out, Kosovars back/peacekeepers in. For Afghanistan, destroying the Taliban and Al Quada military capability. For Iraq, "regime change" does not stack up. It sounds like a grudge between Bush and Saddam. Much better, as you have suggested, to make the objective ending the threat to the international community from Iraqi WMD before Saddam uses it or gives it to terrorists. This is at once easier to justify in terms of international law but also more demanding. Regime change that produced another Sunni General still in charge of an active Iraqi WMD programme would be a bad outcome (not least because it would be almost impossible to maintain UN sanctions to a new leader who came in promising a fresh start). As with the fight against UBL, Bush would do well to de-personalise the objective, focus on elimination of WMD and show that he is serious about UN inspectors as the first choice means of achieving that (it is win/win for him: either Saddam against all the odds allows Inspectors to operate freely in which case we can further hobble his WMD programmes, or he blocks/hinders, and we are on stronger ground for switching to other methods).
It is rather clear that regime change was what the US had to go on and it took the UK to fill in the blanks with better reasoning. It is also clear that the UK did not want unclassified documents published until they could match theirs with the US documents in detail (which did not match to this point). Another clear picture is that the UK/US wanted to have a certain amount of control over who Iraq's new leadership would be, therefore denying the Iraqi people of electing their choices and only allowing them US/UK sponsored choices. Don't you just love selective democrasy! It is also crystal clear that the idea was to pressure Saddam into doing the wrong thing (possibly denying UN Inspectors) to give us a valid reason for military action since no valid reason existed. Saddam was no imminent threat and it was known. He could not be pressured or goaded into war so when the time came, Bush denied the UN Inspectors the time they needed and plunged us into war. If he would have allowed the inspectors to do their job, no WMD would have been found and no war would have taken place. This memo was marked as: IRAQ: ADVICE TO THE PRIME MINISTER.
March 25. 2002 - Memo written by Jack Straw (Foriegn and Commonwealth Office)
In this memo to Blair, Straw brings up how 9/11 plays a big role in the US wanting to use military action against Iraq, the same history that Iraq has used WMD in the past and threatened it's neighbors (as a basis for Iraq being more of a threat than Iran and Korea, acknowleges no viable links between Saddam, AQ and 9/11, and the idea that UN Inspectors should be allowed unfettered access to help make it legal. He also mentions that a new UN mandate may be necessary but the US would most likely not be agreeable to it. The excerpt I am posting here makes a very strong statement.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF ANY MILITARY ACTION
A legal justification is a necessary but far from sufficient pre-condition for militart action. We have also to answer the big question - what will this action achieve? There seems to be a larger hole in this than on anything. Most of the assessments from the US have assumed regime change as a means of eliminating Iraq's WMD threat. But none has satisfactorily answered how that regime change is to be secured, and how there can be any certainty that the replacement regime will be better.
It is quite obvious that while the UK fussed over how to make the war legal, the Bush administration had no plans at all other than to remove Saddam...and it appears that they did not care about much else unless you take into account later meetings Cheney had with big oil (dividing up Iraqi oil fields on a map) or Bush's meetings with different big oil execs with a plan to privatize and sell off all of Iraq's oil (which the oil industry would not agree to).
July 23, 2002 - The Minutes of the meeting with Blair at his Downing Street residence, recorded by Foriegn Policy Aide MATTHEW RYCROFT
This is the big one that was published by the Sunday (London) Times on May 1, 2005 that started it all. Being such, I will post it again. ("C" is the UK equivalent to our CIA Director)
SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL - UK EYES ONLY
From: Matthew Rycroft
Date: 23 July 2002
S 195 /02
cc: Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Attorney-General, Sir Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards, CDS, C, Jonathan Powell, Sally Morgan, Alastair Campbell
IRAQ: PRIME MINISTER'S MEETING, 23 JULY
Copy addressees and you met the Prime Minister on 23 July to discuss Iraq.
This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents.
John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment. Saddam's regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action. Saddam was worried and expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was not convinced that it would be immediate or overwhelming. His regime expected their neighbours to line up with the US. Saddam knew that regular army morale was poor. Real support for Saddam among the public was probably narrowly based.
C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. 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. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.
CDS said that military planners would brief CENTCOM on 1-2 August, Rumsfeld on 3 August and Bush on 4 August.
The two broad US options were:
(a) Generated Start. A slow build-up of 250,000 US troops, a short (72 hour) air campaign, then a move up to Baghdad from the south. Lead time of 90 days (30 days preparation plus 60 days deployment to Kuwait).
(b) Running Start. Use forces already in theatre (3 x 6,000), continuous air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus belli. Total lead time of 60 days with the air campaign beginning even earlier. A hazardous option.
The US saw the UK (and Kuwait) as essential, with basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus critical for either option. Turkey and other Gulf states were also important, but less vital. The three main options for UK involvement were:
(i) Basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus, plus three SF squadrons.
(ii) As above, with maritime and air assets in addition.
(iii) As above, plus a land contribution of up to 40,000, perhaps with a discrete role in Northern Iraq entering from Turkey, tying down two Iraqi divisions.
The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.
The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear 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. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.
The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action. There were three possible legal bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case. Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult. The situation might of course change.
The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors. Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD. There were different strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran. If the political context were right, people would support regime change. The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.
On the first, CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battleplan was workable. The military were continuing to ask lots of questions.
For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.
The Foreign Secretary thought the US would not go ahead with a military plan unless convinced that it was a winning strategy. On this, US and UK interests converged. But on the political strategy, there could be US/UK differences. Despite US resistance, we should explore discreetly the ultimatum. Saddam would continue to play hard-ball with the UN.
John Scarlett assessed that Saddam would allow the inspectors back in only when he thought the threat of military action was real.
The Defence Secretary said that if the Prime Minister wanted UK military involvement, he would need to decide this early. He cautioned that many in the US did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route. It would be important for the Prime Minister to set out the political context to Bush.
(a) We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action. But we needed a fuller picture of US planning before we could take any firm decisions. CDS should tell the US military that we were considering a range of options.
(b) The Prime Minister would revert on the question of whether funds could be spent in preparation for this operation.
(c) CDS would send the Prime Minister full details of the proposed military campaign and possible UK contributions by the end of the week.
(d) The Foreign Secretary would send the Prime Minister the background on the UN inspectors, and discreetly work up the ultimatum to Saddam.
He would also send the Prime Minister advice on the positions of countries in the region especially Turkey, and of the key EU member states.
(e) John Scarlett would send the Prime Minister a full intelligence update.
(f) We must not ignore the legal issues: the Attorney-General would consider legal advice with FCO/MOD legal advisers.
(I have written separately to commission this follow-up work.)
Terrorism Expertise Not Required - Apply FBI...
Terror expertise not priority at FBI
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In sworn testimony that contrasts with their promises to the public, the FBI managers who crafted the post-Sept. 11 fight against terrorism say expertise about the Mideast or terrorism was not important in choosing the agents they promoted to top jobs.
And they still do not believe such experience is necessary today even as terrorist acts occur across the globe.
Does anyone see a problem with this other than me?
The FBI's current terror-fighting chief, Executive Assistant Director Gary Bald, said his first terrorism training came "on the job" when he moved to headquarters to oversee anti-terrorism strategy two years ago.
Asked about his grasp of Middle Eastern culture and history, Bald responded: "I wish that I had it. It would be nice."
"You need leadership. You don't need subject matter expertise," Bald testified in an ongoing FBI employment case. "It is certainly not what I look for in selecting an official for a position in a counterterrorism position."
WHOA HERE! If you do not need subject matter expertise it would seem you could realistically schedule an appointment with your local mechanic in order to have a heart bypass...same logic...yes it is rather ludacrous.
In a development that has escaped public attention, FBI agent Bassem Youssef has questioned under oath many of the FBI's top leaders, including Director Robert Mueller and his predecessor, Louis Freeh, in an effort to show he was passed over for top terrorism jobs despite his expertise. Testimony from his lawsuit was recently sent to Congress.
Those who have held the bureau's top terrorism-fighting jobs since Sept. 11 often said in their testimony that they - and many they have promoted since - had no significant terrorism or Middle East experience. Some could not even explain the difference between Sunnis and Shiites, the two primary groups of Muslims.
Let's see, we have a highly qualified person with great background and expertise in terrorism matters that can not serve the public in the way most beneficial for OUR SAFETY because the new makeup of the FBI (post 9/11) under Bush does not feel that expertise and understanding of the subject matter is important.
Does anyone still wonder why bin Laden is still at large?
Hell...even I can tell the difference between Sunni and Shiite.
The hundreds of pages of testimony obtained by The Associated Press contrast with assurances Mueller repeatedly has given Congress that he was building a new FBI, from top to bottom, with experts able to stop terrorist attacks before they occurred, not solve them afterward.
"The FBI's shift toward terrorism prevention necessitates the building of a national level expertise and body of knowledge," Mueller told Congress a year after the suicide hijackings, as lawmakers approved billions of new dollars to fight terrorism.
Daniel Byman, a national security expert who worked on both congressional and presidential investigations of terrorism and intelligence failures, reviewed the Youssef case for the court. Byman concluded the spurned agent is one of the government's most-skilled terrorism fighters and that the FBI overall remains weak in expertise on the Middle East, terrorism and intelligence liaison.
"Many of its officers - including those quite skilled in other aspects of the bureau's work, lack the skills to work with foreign governments or even their U.S. counterparts," Byman concluded.
"Knowing about counterterrorism would help a supervisor ensure a proper investigation and avoid missing important aspects of the case," he said.
Watson, who oversaw the first two years of transformation, testified he could not recall a single meeting in the aftermath of Sept. 11 in which FBI leaders discussed the type of skills or training needed for counterterrorism.
I do not have to add anything at all for the point to be made, do I?
When asked if he had any formal terrorism training that justified his appointment as the No. 3 FBI official, Bald said, "It would have been on-the-job in the counterterrorism division." Bald entered the counterterrorism division in 2003 after leading the FBI's Baltimore office during the Washington sniper case.
The assistant Bald brought in to run the division last year gave a similar account.
"It's a tremendous learning experience, the seat that I'm sitting in. You learn every single day about this," Deputy Assistant Director John Lewis testified.
When asked whether he, as the FBI's former counterterrorism chief, could describe the differences between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, Watson answered, "Not technically, no."
He also said that his assertion a few years ago that bin Laden had been killed - a declaration that conflicted with CIA assessments and fresh video evidence - was not based on fact. "It's my gut instinct," he answered.
This is so disturbing that I can not stomach any more...you can read it yourself from the link provided at the top.
Is it any wonder that we are vulnerable? This proves that Bush has NOT MADE AMERICA SAFER. His has stacked all the cards against the people of this country. Those who led us to war have no experience in war, only avoiding it. Those assigned to protect us from the terrorists that may try to harm us have no knowledge or understanding of the subject matter while those who do are squeezed out.
"...tremendous learning experience..." my ass...
I would not want my auto mechanic to do heart surgery on me and it is insulting to every American citizen that the Bush administration loads our intelligence leaders with people without any experience in what they are doing.
Is that the reason we got hit on 9/11...because Bush appointees really did not have a clue of what they were doing? If so, Bush is, at least in part, responsible for almost 3000 innocent people losing their life. Then he fabricated a connection to Saddam and helped cause tens of thousand more deaths.
This is our lives at stake, damn it!
US Used Napalm On Iraq...
Every time I want to get to the other memos from Britain, I find more about ghastly behavior from the Bush administration that we were lied to about...apparently so were the British.
US lied to Britain over use of napalm in Iraq war
American officials lied to British ministers over the use of "internationally reviled" napalm-type firebombs in Iraq.
Yesterday's disclosure led to calls by MPs for a full statement to the Commons and opened ministers to allegations that they held back the facts until after the general election.
Despite persistent rumours of injuries among Iraqis consistent with the use of incendiary weapons such as napalm, Adam Ingram, the Defence minister, assured Labour MPs in January that US forces had not used a new generation of incendiary weapons, codenamed MK77, in Iraq.
But Mr Ingram admitted to the Labour MP Harry Cohen in a private letter obtained by The Independent that he had inadvertently misled Parliament because he had been misinformed by the US. "The US confirmed to my officials that they had not used MK77s in Iraq at any time and this was the basis of my response to you," he told Mr Cohen. "I regret to say that I have since discovered that this is not the case and must now correct the position."
Now, the story is that the new napalm was not used around civilians but I do not see how they can possibly defend that argument since...
1. The weapons are The MK77 bombs, an evolution of the napalm used in Vietnam and Korea, carry kerosene-based jet fuel and polystyrene so that, like napalm, the gel sticks to structures and to its victims. The bombs lack stabilising fins, making them far from precise.
2. Witnesses in Iraq, including several doctors, have reported wounds that could only be decribed as chemical burns...this includes the aftermath of Fallujah.
So, not only are we contaminating the country and people (including our people) with Depleted Uranium but we have also been using chemical weapons that are anything but precise to subjegate the Iraqi people. To top it off, we lied to our partners in crime about what we were doing.
For anyone who does not remember Vietnam, I suggest you researh and find pictures of what our napalm did to the civilian population then. Our press had a spine back then and showed us what effect these outlawed chemical weapons had.
There is one particular picture that comes to mind...two children running down the road after their village was napalmed...one of them was a little girl whose body was burning from the napalm that stuck to her skin as she ran screaming down the road.
There is now proof that we have also done the same to Iraqis.
After the docomentation that we have seen from all of the Downing Street Memos and this new revelation, I do not understand how any reasonable citizen can not be ashamed of the immorality in our Oval office.
I was always offended by the line ...
Napalm Sticks To Kids
Apparently Bush and his cohorts do not mind.
Additions to address comments posted here
LOL Some people will make all excuses they can think of just to justify this whole mess...sad.
Napalm is a mixture of benzene (21%), gasoline (33%), and polystyrene (46%). Benzene is a normal component of gasoline (about 2%).
Heated polystyrene softens at about 185 F. At higher temperatures it turns back into styrene, the chemical from which it was made. Styrene has been tested as toxic to rats. In air, polystyrene melts and burns with a yellow, sooty flame. Styrene itself has a sharp, unpleasant smell that is easy to recognize.
If polystyrene turns back into the chemical it was made from when it aquires enough heat (as when it explodes and burns hot enough to melt a person), how can you say it can't be classified as using chemicals?
Do not mind bursting your bubble here but NAPALM IS CLASSIFIED AS A CHEMICAL WEAPON. Look it up...Wikipedia Encyclopedia
As far as the Brit report being false...no, not false. It happened earlier and we are just now hearing about it. You can find the same denials from the US all over the place...example
The Mk 77 Mod 5 firebombs are incendiary devices with a function indentical to earlier Mk 77 napalm weapons. Instead of the gasoline and benzene fuel, the Mk 77 Mod 5 firebomb uses kerosene-based jet fuel, which has a smaller concentration of benzene. Prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom, hundreds of partially loaded Mk77 Mod5 firebombs were stored on pre-positioned ammunition ships overseas. Those ships were unloaded in Kuwait during the weeks preceding the war.
There was a report on Al-Jazeera on December, 14, 2001 that the US was using napalm at Tora Bora in Afghanistan. In response, General Tommy Franks said "We're not using -- we're not using the old napalm in Tora Bora."
The US Department of Defense denied the use of napalm during Operation Iraqi Freedom. A rebuttal letter from the US Department of Defense had been in fact sent to the Australian Sydney Morning Herald newspaper which had claimed that napalm had been used in Iraq.
The comment about White Phosphorous not being a chemical weapon...you should look something up before declaring your views beause it takes on the classification as a chemical weapon when used in the MK-77 Dirty Bomb.
So YES WE ARE USING CHEMICAL WEAPONS after denying it and it has been banned by every civilized country on the planet.
Depleted Uranium caused the same kind of contamination as Enriched Uranium if used in massive amounts (unlike EU), which we have done. Does Hiroshima ring a bell? Nagasaki? When we lit up those cities we caused rodioactive contamination that still has effect on the residents today. During the years I lived in Japan I saw some of the after effects and learned a good deal more than I wanted to know...cancer rates, contamination of water and soil. Radiation contamination pollutes all it touches.
If you believe it not harmful, let them put some in your back yard so your kids can discover the wonderful effect of DU.
BTW...where is your evidence that Saddam used DU weapons...I would like to read it?
Looks like we are the ones who are not too awfully civilized.
Making excuses and trying to justify this administration of the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis will not wash...no matter how you slice it.
Downing Street Memo - Forum with Sen. Conyers
For the first time some in our government have taken the Downing Street Memo(s) seriously and this afternoon there was a forum in DC about it. We even made CNN
The Conyers hearings will be re-broadcast on C-SPAN 3 at 8pm tonight and on C-SPAN 2 at 8pm tomorrow night for those of you who want to watch.
There are some Senators and Representatives in the government that we can be proud of because they want to find out exactly how we were led into this mess. I should have written it all down but I was to busy paying attention. There were serious and pertinent questions raised by those who attended and it appeared that this forum is only the first. It was over 2 hours that I would gladly sit through again because the purpose of it was for our country, all of us, and it was not partisan, even though it will be called so.
Not one Republican showed. It was their choice to play partisan party line or to try and do their job of investigation the manipulation of America...they chose George over us, our soldiers who have been lost and our country.
Let it not be forgotten that there appeared to be all manner of obstruction thrown out in order to make the hearing difficult from the start.
The forum, which should have been a formal hearing to begin with, was held in a small room in a basement in the Capital. Conyers, being the ranking Democrat of the House Judiciary Committee was told that he would not be allowed to use a room in his office building so he arranged the forum in a basement. Looks like the ranking Republican did not believe Conyers had a right to hold the meeting and try to get to the truth of it all.
If the room thing wasn't enough, the Republican controlled House decided to schedule an unprecedented 11 votes today. Since one vote a day is not really commonplace in the Senate you can assume that it was by design in order to interfere with the forum over the Downing Street Memo...and you would be right.
Even so, there was standing room only with at least five camera's (broadcast news) in the back.
Thank goodness some of the media still does right by us!
If the Republicans that control the Senate block or interfere in our efforts to find the whole truth of whether or not the Bush Administration did, indeed, fix the facts around policy...America will have her own duty to perform. All we want is the truth.
Any elected official who would block or interfere in the investigations into the Downing Street Memo(s) puts themselves in the position of not doing their Constitutional duty and breaking their sworn oath of office to defend the United States of America.
Any person in DC that would do that deserves to lose his/her job in 2006 and be replaced by someone who WILL do the job.
Giving Iraqi Oil To Israel?
U.S. checking possibility of pumping oil from northern Iraq to Haifa, via Jordan
The United States has asked Israel to check the possibility of pumping oil from Iraq to the oil refineries in Haifa. The request came in a telegram last week from a senior Pentagon official to a top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem.
The Prime Minister's Office, which views the pipeline to Haifa as a "bonus" the U.S. could give to Israel in return for its unequivocal support for the American-led campaign in Iraq, had asked the Americans for the official telegram.
Should anybody be surprised?
WARNING! DANGER WILL ROBINSON!
Apparently none of the bone heads that came up with this idea are thinking about the repercussions. With the animosity that most Arab states have for Israel, how damning will it look for the US to go out of their way to give Israel any of Iraq's oil?
No matter why they have broached this issue, they will cause more hatred for the US...any way you slice it...
GOP Targets International Red Cross...
GOP Committee Targets International Red Cross
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans are calling on the Bush administration to reassess U.S. financial support for the International Committee of the Red Cross, charging that the group is using American funds to lobby against U.S. interests.
The Senate Republican Policy Committee, which advances the views of the GOP Senate majority, said in a report that the international humanitarian organization had "lost its way" and veered from the impartiality on which its reputation was based. The Republican policy group titled its report: "Are American Interests Being Disserved by the International Committee of the Red Cross?"
Who could have been surprised by this move? The Bush Administration seems to like having these agencies around so he can use them to inflate himself or his policies but when they do not tote the official Bush propaganda they are deemed an enemy.
Again..."if you aren't with us, you are against us.
The congressional criticism follows reports by the Swiss-based group that have faulted U.S. treatment of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A spokeswoman at its Geneva headquarters said the organization was reviewing the report and would not comment, in accordance with its policy of keeping its dealings with governments confidential.
Two Bush administration officials declined in interviews to endorse the findings of the report but said the administration had had "concerns" about some positions taken by the ICRC since the U.S.-led invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003.
It is very well know by now that the US HAS UNDOUBTEDLY VIOLATED THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS IN THE TREATMENT OF PRISONERS. I believe the pictures from Abu Graib and the Army's own reports prove that without a doubt. According to Bush and Co., we have been unfairly accused of the violations.
The ICRC is the only organization mandated by international treaty to monitor the observance of the Geneva Convention governing the treatment of prisoners, and it has the right to visit prisoners. But the GOP report charges that the group has exceeded the bounds of its mission by trying to "reinterpret and expand international law" in favor of terrorists and insurgents; lobbying for arms-control issues that are not within its mandate, such as a ban on the use of land mines; and "inaccurately and unfairly" accusing U.S. officials of not adhering to the Geneva Convention.
What kind of drugs are these people on I wonder? Lobbying for arms control would stop people from being poisoned with Depleted Uranium if successful and trying to ban land mines is a serious no brainer. How about we let the children of the GOP run out to play where there have been mines planted. DUH!
The Senate aide denied that the report, released Monday, was motivated by a desire to punish the ICRC for embarrassing the United States on its treatment of prisoners. In the aftermath of the prison abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib in Iraq and elsewhere, the role of the ICRC has grown in importance, some experts said.
The more they say it ain't so...the more it seems to be.
To attempt to punish the ICRC would be doing a major disservice to the world...and that means us as well.
"For U.S. military commanders, the ICRC is crucial as their feedback loop," said Ruth Wedgwood, a specialist in international law at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. "That's how a commander knows what's happening down in their ranks — even on the night shift. We really do need that function. That's why we pay them a lot of money — not just to assist on tsunamis."
The GOP need to get over it...the American Empire is crumbling. The US is crumbling. Trying to control everything in the world with threats of less funding when they disagree with us is obvious to the world.
The GOP has turned the US into a laughing stock of arrogant stupidity.
From Downing Street...6 More Memos.
Six new British memos have been released, This post will cite two of them...
This memorandum, written by Blair political director Peter Ricketts and dated Mar. 22, 2002, indicates the challenges an Iraq war would face.
The truth is that what has changed is not the pace of Saddam Hussein’s WMD programmes, but our tolerance of them post-11 September.
It gets worse...
The second problem is the END STATE. Military operations need clear and compelling military objectives. For Kosovo it was: Serbs out, Kosovars back peace-keepers in. For Afghanistan, destroying the Taleban and Al Qaida military capability. For Iraq, “regime change” does not stack up. It sounds like a grudge between Bush and Saddam. Much better, as you have suggested, to make the objective ending the threat to the international community from Iraq WMD before Saddam uses it or gives it to terrorists. This is at once easier to justify in terms of international law but also more demanding.
So it was Blair who suggested to Bush that he should use the WMD angle and keep us in a constant state of fear. I never bought into Cheney's mushroom cloud scenarios but it made America afraid. Keeping the country in fear was a way for Bush to get a blank check for whatever he wanted.
Another document released, written by Blair foreign policy advisor David Manning, the following document asserts now-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was committed to "regime change" as early as March 2002. It also outlines problems a postwar Iraq might face ("will they be willing to take the sort of casualties that the Republican Guard may inflict on them if it turns out to be an urban war?"); and indicates how seriously the British cabinet took New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh.
Condi’s enthusiasm for regime change is undimmed. But there were some signs, since we last spoke, of greater awareness of the practical difficulties and political risks. (See the attached piece by Seymour Hersh which Christopher Meyer (Cabinet member, British Parlaiment) says gives a pretty accurate picture of the uncertain state of the debate in Washington.)
From what she said, Bush has yet to find the answers to the big questions:
how to persuade international opinion that military action against Iraq is necessary and justified;
what value to put on the exiled Iraqi opposition;
how to coordinate a US/allied military campaign with internal opposition (assuming there is any);
what happens on the morning after?
It is too bad the Brits were concerned for Hersh's accuracy but America blew him off. Guess this mention somewhat vindicates him and his reporting. You go, Seymour...
After reading all of the other four documents released, I will add them to this blog as well. America is being bombarded with evidence now. The Bush administration was PLANNING the invasion of Iraq for more than a year before the actual event. Any and all speculation that this was the case is now proven. Most of that year he was telling all of us that he had no plans to use force...more proof that he did, in fact lie to the American people and Congress.
It is also a proven fact that the excuses Bush made for invading Iraq were purposely fabricated in order for Bush's goal of regime change to be carried out.
For all the blood spilled, for all the lives lost, for the sake of two countries...Iraq and America...that have been devastated by an unprincipled,immoral, war mongering and greedy administration, it is past time. Impeachment and charges for war crimes are past due.
It is time to pay the bill, George.
Look For The Draft In The Future...
One headline from Aljazeera reads what many of us had feared...
Ephraim Halevy, the former chief of Israel's Mossad intelligence service and the current national security adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, says plans have been made for a substantial U.S. military presence in the Middle East lasting decades.
The June 11 article goes on to quote his statements in an Israeli publication...
"The U.S. campaign in Iraq was perceived [in the Middle East and Washington] as a signal of long-term American commitment to do whatever is required and to 'stay in the neighbourhood' for as long as needed," Halevy stated in a lengthy op-ed column in the April 24 issue of Ha'aretz.
High-ranking U.S. policymakers have "raised the idea of establishing an American trusteeship regime in the areas of the Palestinian Authority, if it should turn out that the Palestinians are not ripe for self-rule. That arrangement would require an American operational military presence along Israel's border with the Palestinian territories."
Looks like the Bush supporters who thought this situation would be temporary are in for their own shock and awe.
We have also been told time and again by the Bush administration that there will be no draft...
No draft? Guess again...
According to Mr Halevy there is a real possibility of a draft...and you really would be foolish not to expect it given the Bush administrations propensity for causing chaos.
"In [an early April '05] visit to the United States," comments Halevy, "I was told by several well-informed observers that should one of the more severe scenarios come to pass, the United States will have no choice but to deepen its presence in the Middle East. To that end, it will have to renew the draft, to ensure that there are enough forces to deal with developing situations in countries like Saudi Arabia."
I took a look at this Isreali publication, just to see what sort of news they had on their site. Within a few seconds I found an article that verified a previous Aljazeera article (posted) about Israel selling US weapon technology to China and that the Israeli goverment figured it would just blow over like just about everything else they have done to us.
The controversy erupted over a deal Israel made to sell its Harpy Killer UAVs to China. The U.S. claims that the deal was made behind its back and against its express wishes.
This is contrary to the Israeli assumption that the crisis would blow over with the departure of the officials with whom the argument had erupted. These include Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, who already left for the World Bank, Feith and Undersecretary of Defense for Technology, Security Policy and Counterproliferation Lisa Bronson. Feith and Bronson are soon to end their tenures in the defense department.
Think I'll read it more often...news that our government gives them but will not give us...
Downing Street Memo #2 Sensibility Slap..."Significant Plans"
For a change, the White House is quickly responding to another British memo leaked to the London Times, this one on July 12, 2005 This article has recieved attention from the Washington Post and mainly talked about the lack of planning for the aftermath of the Iraq invasion by the Bush administration.
In the Reuters article the Bush admininistration resonded quickly saying that "Some things we prepared for did not happen, like large numbers of refugees needing humanitarian assistance," Almacy said. "And others we did not expect, such as large numbers of regime elements fleeing the battlefield only to return later."
According to available reports, humaniterian aid is desperately needed, disease is spreading at tremendous rates especially among children (such as typhoid and cholera) from lack of sanitation, $8 billion just DISAPPEARED under Paul Bremer's nose because nobody was practicing accounting responsibility, weapons and parts for making chemical weapons and bombs were looted from various sites while Iraq was under total US control...this does not sound like planning, significant or not.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Sunday there was "significant" postwar planning for Iraq and disputed the characterization of a memo produced for British Prime Minister Tony Blair eight months before the invasion that expressed concerns about a long occupation.
The briefing paper concluded that the U.S. military was not preparing adequately for what the memo predicted would be a "protracted and costly" postwar occupation of Iraq, The Washington Post reported in Sunday's editions.
"We disagree with the characterization. There was significant postwar planning," David Almacy, a White House spokesman, said.
"More importantly, the memo in question was written eight months before the war began -- there was significant postwar planning in the time that elapsed," he said.
What is strange here, though, is that there is no denial that plans to invade Iraq were being developed as early as July 2002 while we were being told that there was no plans for military action. LYING TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
The latest British memo states that that since regime change was illegal it was “necessary to create the conditions” which would make it legal....there was also no denial of this.
Together with the Downing Street Memo, both documents (that have been confirmed as authentic by the Washington Post) state that the justifications for the Iraq invasion were manufactured.
Of course, we have had a couple of people trying to take us all for imbiciles by saying the meaning of some statements are different in the British English translation. I hate to burst the Far Right bubble here but in Britain if you fix the facts around policy you will get the same reaction as you would in the US because the meaning is the same over there.
The silence from the White House is deafening.
Downing Street Documents Confirmed By British
Memo: U.S. Lacked Full Postwar Iraq PlanI have never been so thankful for the British as I am now. More information is surfacing that validates the fact that the Bush administration had no plan for the aftermath of the Iraq invasion, thus proving what Bush critics have been saying all along.
A briefing paper prepared for British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top advisers eight months before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq concluded that the U.S. military was not preparing adequately for what the British memo predicted would be a "protracted and costly" postwar occupation of that country.
The eight-page memo, written in advance of a July 23, 2002, Downing Street meeting on Iraq, provides new insights into how senior British officials saw a Bush administration decision to go to war as inevitable, and realized more clearly than their American counterparts the potential for the post-invasion instability that continues to plague Iraq.
In its introduction, the memo "Iraq: Conditions for Military Action" notes that U.S. "military planning for action against Iraq is proceeding apace," but adds that "little thought" has been given to, among other things, "the aftermath and how to shape it."
This document was produced two days before the Downing Street memo and provides us more validity that the Bush administration did not give much, if any, thought to the devastating impact of their actions.
Apparently the Brits saw Iraq becoming the quagmire we see today but Bush and his war crew (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Ashcroft, Rice, Powell and others) either were incompetent in their plans or else they did not care. It seems that Iraq's oil was the ONLY concern. I say this because there have been admissions from big oil execs (publisized) that Bush had asked them to figure out the best way to privatize all of Iraq's oil, to which they were not willing...they make more money if the oil is NOT privatized. Bush had to redesign his plans after two different execs from the oil industry turned him down.
Now, disclosure of the memo written in advance of that meeting (Downing Street memo) -- and other British documents recently made public -- show that Blair's aides were not just concerned about Washington's justifications for invasion but also believed the Bush team lacked understanding of what could happen in the aftermath.
In a section titled "Benefits/Risks," the July 21 memo states, "Even with a legal base and a viable military plan, we would still need to ensure that the benefits of action outweigh the risks."
Saying that "we need to be sure that the outcome of the military action would match our objective," the memo's authors point out, "A post-war occupation of Iraq could lead to a protracted and costly nation-building exercise." The authors add, "As already made clear, the U.S. military plans are virtually silent on this point. Washington could look to us to share a disproportionate share of the burden."
That memo and other internal British government documents were originally obtained by Michael Smith, who writes for the London Sunday Times. Excerpts were made available to The Washington Post, and the material was confirmed as authentic by British sources who sought anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the matter.
Here you have it after weeks of wondering...
the material was confirmed as authentic by British sources
Bush and his war mongering bully administration has lied to the American people. He has caused tens of thousands of deaths and is responsible for the devastation of a country that we had no reason to attack. He is resposnsible for a massive National debt for no other reason than to line the pockets of a choice few in his attempt to extend the American Empire.
To love your country is to impeach Bush and his crew and bring them up on charges for their war crimes. Any American who does not hold him accountable is not worthy of being an American and shares the same blood on their hands.
The Bush administration, every single one of them, are enemy combatants to the United State of America.
Downing Street Accountability...
The ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee has scheduled hearings on the 2002 minutes between senior British and American officials which asserted that intelligence was "being fixed" to support the case for war in Iraq.
It has begun!
“We expect to release new documents that corroborate the Downing Street memo," a Judiciary aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, told RAW STORY Thursday afternoon. "None of the documents are as earth-shattering as the Downing Street minutes but all of them corroborate the accuracy of what it says.”
I guess there is somethin to it after all...contrary to what loyalists and nationalists have been saying. *grin*
Directly following the hearing, Rep. Conyers, Members of Congress, and concerned citizens plan to hand deliver to the White House the petition and signatures of over a half million Americans that have joined Rep. Conyers in demanding that President Bush answer questions about his secret plan for the Iraq war.
I have said that if people acted in numbers they could start the ball rolling.
Finally...the sleeping giant awakens.
Bush's Latest Crime Against The American People...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Justice Department has decided that most health care employees can't be prosecuted for stealing personal data under a privacy law intended to protect medical information.
The ruling could jeopardize the lone conviction obtained under medical privacy rules that took effect in 2003 and could stop federal prosecutors from pursuing some of the more than 13,000 complaints that have been filed alleging violations of those rules.
The health care industry has long sought to limit the effect of the rules and the 1996 privacy law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, on which they are based, although officials at several industry trade groups said Tuesday they did not lobby the Justice Department on this topic.
Hospitals, insurers, doctors and other health care providers that bill for their services are subject to criminal prosecution under the law, according to the June 1 memo signed by Steven G. Bradbury, the Justice lawyer who heads the office of legal counsel.
But a hospital clerk, for example, and other employees cannot face criminal penalties because the law doesn't apply to them, Bradbury wrote.
The memo was the subject of extensive internal debate within the Bush administration, with at least one federal prosecutor voicing opposition to its conclusion.
''As prosecutors in the field, we're disappointed with the opinion,'' said Emily Langlie, spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney John McKay in Seattle.
Last August, McKay's office obtained a guilty plea from a technician at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Richard W. Gibson was sentenced to 16 months in prison after admitting that he stole the identity of a cancer patient and used the information to obtain credit cards in the patient's name. Gibson bought $9,100 worth of jewelry, video games and a barbecue grill using the cards. Article
This issue has been bantered about in the White House with only one voice opposing? The case of Mr. Gibson mentioned above is a good example of what will not happen next time a clerk or other staff member commits identity theft or fraud such as this. Gibson could still withdraw his plea and has the possibility to walk away from any charges after this ruling was made. It is something the Health Care Industry has been pushing for a long time.
What the Bush administration has done in this instance is to exempt many people who have access to a person's medical information, which includes social security numbers, etc. from having to face prosecution in the event they steal identities or commit fraud on or against a patient.
Isn't it nice...the Bush administration sides again with big companies and gives them carte blanche to screw the American people yet again, in a way that could land them with endless bills, no way to pay for them and miles of red tape that still will not make the crook pay for their crimes.
Add another crime perpetrated on the American People by George Bush.
Downing Street Denial
"There's nothing farther from the truth." Gorge W. Bush regarding the Downing Street Memo June 7, 2005. New York Times article
It has taken Bush more than a month to make a comment regaring this and then he did so only with Tony Blair in attendance.
If, indeed, there was "no need" to respond to the question of validity over the Downing Street Memo as Scott McClellen stated to the New York Times on 5/19/05, then why did Bush bother to say anything about it at all? If there was no truth to this official British document, why did Bush not speak out before now? Why would Bush need to wait until he could stand with Tony Blair before he would announce this?
"Look, both of us didn't want to use our military," Mr. Bush added. "Nobody wants to commit military into combat. It's the last option."
Could it be that we are being lied to again (this time only to save his backside)? This is obvious considering the facts that follow at the end of this same article...
The White House has always insisted that Mr. Bush did not make the decision to invade Iraq until after Secretary of State Colin L. Powell presented the administration's case to the United Nations Security Council on Feb. 5, 2003, which relied heavily on claims, now discredited, that Iraq had illicit weapons. But as early as Nov. 21, 2001, Mr. Bush directed Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to begin a review of what could be done to oust Mr. Hussein.
There is more contradiction in Bush's statements regarding the Downing Street Memo...
In his comments at the news conference, Mr. Bush noted of the memorandum that "they dropped it out in the middle of his race," indicating that he thought it had been made public last month to hurt Mr. Blair's chances for re-election.
When in fact (in the same article)...
Mr. Blair, who spoke frequently about the memorandum during his campaign, said it was written before the United States and Britain went to the United Nations seeking a resolution to justify military action in Iraq.
Essentially, Blair has stated to his own people that the memo (minutes) was written before the UK and US went to the UN over Saddam. When the memo was released, Blair's Parlaiment responded as saying it was "nothing new" but not until now has anyone claimed that it was not valid. The document (minutes of a high level Parlaiment meeting) was written by Matthew Rycroft, a top aide to Mr. Blair.
Now they say it isn't true?
What about the air raids that the US and UK were doing in and out of the no fly zone in an attempt to provoke Saddam into firing back? These attempts were to goad Saddam into giving us and the UK an excuse to go to war (we could call it self defense). These air raids were witnessed and even documented by UN personnel on the ground at least two months before we went to the UN and as many as six months prior.
There was substantial devastation and loss of life in those air raids. We had no legal right to fire on anything outside the no fly zone but we did. More indiscriminate killing with no validity...more war crimes of the Bush administration.
I have heard people defend Bush over this and it is striking how Nationalism, one of the beginnings of fascism, has replaced patriotism in such a way that some are not concerned that their elected officials might devastate our country and others, cause countless loss of life, corrupt our government and subvert our Constituion while trampling our Bill of Rights into the ground.
The same ones who would accuse those who do not follow the official Republican line of being Un-American are, in fact, the same ones who are in no way patriotic but instead are selfish, inhumane and immoral.
It is not difficult to see that those who push for the American Empire are not interested in America, only their own pettiness...what better examples of Un-American can you get than a blatent traitors to the United Staes of America?
I give you the Bush Administration
Rumsfeld again blames others, shifting responsibility.
Is it not sad how the bad policies of the Bush administration and the incompetence of Donald Rumsfeld are always blamed on others in order to get out of any and all responsibility? Rumsfeld is good at it...he does it so often...
US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has alleged that Aljazeera is encouraging armed Islamist groups by broadcasting beheadings of foreign hostages in Iraq.
I have tried to pay close attention on this one because I never did believe all the rhetoric about Aljazeera. It is odd that I (nor anyone else I know) has ever seen any kind of video or even pictures of a beheading on Aljazeera's website
Aljazeera's media spokesman, Jihad Ballout, said.."Aljazeera has never ever shown a beheading of any hostage."
Article from Aljazeera
I have to side with the media on this one. I challenge anyone to show me footage of a beheading that was broadcast by Aljazeera. I do not believe you will find even one instance to support Rumsfeld.
What is encouraging insurgents in Iraq is the brutal occupation of their country, lack of basic necessities, unemployment as high as 50%, lack of promised reconstruction and lies, just to start a list.
Rumsfeld was one of those mentioned as having a part in fixing facts around policy and it seems obvious that he would rather take the coward's way out and blame others than take responsibility for his own actions.
States Have No More Rights...
...and the vote of the American people no longer count for anything, not just general elections.
Again, we see that the so called "conservatives" who supposedly stand for less government are once again interfering with a State's right to make and enforce their own legislation...Reuters Article
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The federal government has the power to prevent sick patients from smoking home-grown marijuana that a doctor recommended to relieve their chronic pain, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday in a setback for the medical marijuana movement.
The high court ruled that a federal law outlawing marijuana applied to two seriously ill California women, even though California is one of at least nine states that allow medical use of marijuana.
Justice John Paul Stevens said for the court majority that the federal law, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, was a valid exercise of federal power by the Congress "even as applied to the troubling facts of this case."
First, it was the tragic case of Terri Shaivo that Bush and his Republican bullies thought to interfere with. Even after every judge declined to overturn the State of Florida's judiciary, Jeb Bush had the audacity to spit on the judges' orders and send state troopers to the hospice to collect Terri...against judges' orders! That is showing severe contempt for the laws of this country. Attempting to overrule a State's judiciary by the Federal government is also a breach of State's right as spelled out within US law and is also unconstitutional, not to mention that writing legislation that only benefits one family (the Shindler's) out of the hundreds of millions of citizens of the United States could be construed as a bit off..
Michael Shaivo was demonized in the press by all with the exception of one small article in the Washinton Post that made us aware that he was the darling son in law of the Shindlers' until he refused to share the money a judge awarded him after Terri's heart attack...that's when the Shindlers started the campaign to take custody of Terri...only after they did not get money from Terri's settlement.
Sad how all the loudest voices in that one seemed to have a motive...Delay wanted to distract attention from his bad press, Bush wanted to distract from real business, Frist makes a medical prognosis from a video tape on a person he has never seen, in a field of medicine alien to him (I'd be afraid to have someone like that as my doctor) and the man who took his son to protest and allowed his son to be arrested is actually a registered sex offender. Remember the Republican memo that said Terri's case would be a boon for the Evangelical vote and all those who desperately tried to spin it as bogus? It wasn't bogus after all was it?
Now the Bush administration has sought to overturn a law passed in Californis (and other states) that allows for the strict use of marijuana for severly ill patients. Some of these patients have had their homes raided and been threatened with jail time. Does this do justice for any of us? Not in the real world. Just like the Shaivo intervention, this is meant to play to the extremist Christian Right and it does not hold the needs, wants or desires of any other American to light. Bush has no problem sending our family and friends to die in his war-of-choice but he will not allowed embryos slated for disposal to be used to find CURES for awful diseases, either...another cause most Americans approve of.
The ruling was a victory for the Bush administration, which appealed to the Supreme Court after a federal appeals court in California said that marijuana used for medical purposes was different from drug trafficking.
Justice O'Conner nailed it, supported by Clarence Thomas and Rehnquist, himself...
Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Clarence Thomas dissented.
"This case exemplifies the role of states as laboratories," O'Connor wrote.
"Relying on Congress' abstract assertions, the court has endorsed making it a federal crime to grow small amounts of marijuana in one's own home for one's own medicinal use," she said. "This overreaching stifles an express choice by some states ... to regulate medical marijuana differently."
Is Israel A U.S. Allie...I think not...
Just a day after Defence Department official Larry Franklin was arrested on charges of passing classified information in the service of Israel, America's Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte was the guest at a pro-Israel event, where he praised Israel as an American ally.
Such is the degree of America's blindness to Israel's espionage activities in the United States.
Had this occurred in the USSR during the Cold War, diplomats would have been declared persona non grata. Even when long-term American ally France was caught in commercial espionage, the public repercussions were greater.
The silence about this case of Israeli espionage was so deafening that even The Jerusalem Post noted: "The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) seems to be breathing a sigh of relief and is expecting Washington to go about business as usual."
And, in fact, that is what has happened. AIPAC, the Israeli lobbying organisation alleged to have taken the documents from Franklin, is holding a conference on 22-24 May 2005 and politicians of every political stripe will be speaking to assure the Israelis that they remain solidly behind them.
Article from Al Jazeera
Before anybody gets discriminatory ad naseum...Al Jazeera has been demonized for no other reason than it did not tow the Bush party line. I have watched and read and see nothing that makes me believe the White House rhetoric that they demonize the US to inspire hate. They just print stories, no different to US media. By listing the source of the link, nobody can say I was deceptive. If you do not like the fact that I read from Al Jazeera, it means two things...
1. I am most likely more informed than you believe yourself to be and
2. You have the same underwear to get happy in.
I have to wonder...what is it that makes it possible for Israel to spy on the US time and again with no repercussions whatsoever? They have done it repeatedly during my lifetime.
Why is it that Israel can sell China information on US Patriot Missiles, which they have recently done, and nobody is held accountable for it? Talk about a loophole in National Security... If an American did this...BOOM...Federal prison and never seeing sunshine again. Why is it that no other country in the world could spy on us or sell our secrets and be allowed to slide?
I did a few searches for Israeli Espionage and I was stunned. A Google search brought up more than 237,000 items.Yahoo search gave me 150,888 items. Ask Jeeves seach bowled me over with a whopping 63,100 items. There are cases of Israel spying on us that date back 40 years and longer!
With all the evidence out there, the latest flab and knowing that Israel sold our military secrets to China, why is Israel treated with such honor considering their dishonorable behavior to the US...supposedly their closest ally?
Appears that the terrorist of choice program also runs along the same lines as spies of choice.
Almost 40 years ago, the USS Liberty came under Israeli attack in which 34 American sailors were killed and 172 wounded. It was brushed off as a case of mistaken identity by the US government and the investigation was stopped. Ward Boston, Jr., Captain, JAGC, USN (Ret.), Senior Counsel to the USS Liberty Court of Inquiry, has given a public declaration as of January 09, 2004, claiming that the official story of the USS Liberty was twisted and/or whitewashed and that he and Admiral Isaac Kidd believed the attack on the US vessel was deliberate. US soldiers died horribly and after seeing what he believed was the rewriting of history and the coverup of a deliberate attack, Boston could not, in good conscience keep silent any longer. With the evidence at hand, he and Kidd, along with the surviving sailors, believed this to be an intentional attack on an American Naval ship, meant to have no survivors.
Bush Loves To Change The Rules...
We have seen how the Bush administration and the Republican controlled Congress like to change the rules in order to get their way...changing ethics rules to cover Tom Delay and then stacking the panel with Delay's backers and trying to assert the failed nuclear option just to name two. Now it seems, Bush is rearranging things again.
Our government has a set of rules for just about everything. We have a Chain of Command for every top post for the simple reason that if the people at the top become incapacitated, their job will fall on the shoulders of the person in the next highest seat. For instance if Bush could not perform his duties in the Oval Office, Cheney would fill his shoes...*shudder at the thought*.
We have a break in that Chain when it comes to the position of Secretary of Defense. Rumsfeld holds the top position even though he seems terribly unqualified, he is not realistic and he deferred out of any chance to serve our country when he had the chance and has no inkling about what war entails on a personal basis. Even so, he holds the top position. When Wolfowitz (another inexperienced proponent of war) left his position as Rumsfeld's deputy, it left a break in the Chain of Commend. If anything should happen to Rumsfeld there would have been no back up for his job.
Until rules get changed...
The presidential executive order spelling out the line of succession to act as defense secretary says no one in that line can become the acting secretary if he holds his own position in an "acting" capacity.
With this in mind, it seems a bit odd that Bush would, in fact, seek to install the acting Navy Secretary, Gordon England, to the post instead of finding someone who could put all of their efforts into the Deputy position.
The only way England could assume the job with Rumsfeld travelling abroad is by having Bush change the rules...and that is exactly what he did.
Bush alters Pentagon line of succession
I have to wonder, yet again, when is the United States going to stop the Bush administration from remaking the whole of our government into their own old boys' club? Why is it that other officials have had to follow the rules but Bush and his bullies do not, instead they just reform our government in their own image.
We stopped the nuclear option for now, thank goodness. My opinion of Frist is not at all rosy. When, as his constituent, I have voiced my concerns he has done little more than ignore my concerns in lieu of giving me the Bush line and how Bush deserves this, etc. My concerns are thrown down the toilet for the official paty line. His allegience should be more to the people who vote than to Bush but I can personally witness that this is not the case.
Maybe we have to crumble and have the American Empire fall before America wakes up...too bad.
Forgotten Headlines Are Open Wounds In Fallujah
We can expect to see more pictures and even video of the abuses and torture at Abu Graib now that the ACLU has won it's latest FOIA lawsuit with the Army. The court gave the Army 3 months to produce the evidence.
It seems a bit oxy-moronic, though, for the government attorny to claim that producing the evidence would violate the Geneva Conventions. Letting America know the truth about what our people have done is not violating the Geneva Conventions, exposing the truth is being transparent. The violations of the Geneva Conventions happened when those in charge of this war-for-choice put out policies that allowed Americans to mistreat other human beings, then tried to cover it up and then refused to acknowledge it was policy, prosecuting only those at the bottom of the totem pole. It will see more headlines considering there are so many pictures and enough videotape to show it is a systematic occurance and not just a few rogue soldiers.
Fallujah - The fat Lady hasn't Even Cleared Her Throat Yet...
Here's another topic that has faded from the headlines. I would bet that most Americans have no idea that there is still fighting going on in this once thriving city. Dahr Jamail writes his Iraqi Dispatches as an unembedded reporter from inside Iraq and is an American reporter, born and raised in the USA. If you want a true visual of what is going on, this would be a good place to start. His latest story is dated June 03, 2005 and gives a much different picture of Fallujah than what we have been told...
"There are daily war crimes being committed in Fallujah, even now," said Mohammed Abdulla, the executive director of the Study Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Fallujah (SCHRDF). His organization works within the destruction of Fallujah, trying to monitor the plight of residents, bring them reconstruction aid, and document the war crimes and illegal weapons that were used during the November siege.
"Now we have none of the rebuilding which was promised, which people need so desperately in order to get their lives back in order," said Abdulla during a recent interview with Asia Times Online in Amman.
Doctors working inside the city continue to complain of US and Iraqi security forces impeding their medical care. Along with the continuance of strict US military checkpoints, residents in the city say the treatment they receive from both the US military and Iraqi security forces operating inside Fallujah is both degrading and humiliating. This treatment is also being perceived by most as intentional.
"The checkpoints are too obstructive," said Dr Amer Ani, who volunteers at Fallujah General Hospital. "Fighting has resumed inside the city, because in the last two weeks there have been man-to-man clashes in different districts of the city. This has caused ambulances to have difficulty entering and exiting the city, especially the main hospital.
"I work in the refugee camp on the border, and because of the checkpoint on the outskirts of the city, no patients from that camp can enter the city," said Ani. "Thus, they are forced to go to another clinic 14 kilometers from them, whereas the closest treatment in the city is less than one kilometer from them."
Ani went on to add that the main hospital and several primary health clinics in the city need rebuilding, but the building materials are being prevented from entering by US forces.
Dr Riyad al-Obeidy, who works in Ramadi, is also currently volunteering inside Fallujah. "Previously, the Ministry of Health was delivering aid into the city, but now this is prohibited, for unknown reasons," he said. "Thus, now there are shortages of external fixators, surgical sets for operations, and trauma equipment. There is really a humanitarian health problem. People are living as refugees inside their city, living in tents - so we have lack of clean water and hygiene, so there is rampant spreading of typhoid. With summer coming, this will all get worse."
It is estimated that roughly 80% of Fallujah's residents have returned, 60% of the houses and buildings inside the city sustained enough damage to make them inhabitable, so they either live in tents or amid the rubble of what once was their homes. 2/3 of the city has no power, medical aid is being hampered and reconstruction is not happening unless the residents do it themselves. There is an estimated $6 million worth of damage and the US Army seems to think that offering someone $500 should be sufficient to rebuild their lives...some "adventure".
The Army has taken over seven of the primary schools so children get their schooling in tents if they get it at all.
"There are plenty of women in Fallujah who have testified they were raped by American soldiers," said Abdulla. "They are nearby the secondary school for girls inside Fallujah. When people came back to Fallujah the first time they found so many girls who were totally naked and they had been killed."
Would you be angry if a foriegn government and soldiers did this to your people?
Dr Fawzi, who is also reporting to the SCHRDF, expressed concern about the number of people missing from Fallujah. "For deaths, we counted over 750 at first," he commented. "There are so many missing people and it is so difficult to have the figures of dead and detained, even though we know so many more were killed. People are afraid to admit their son might be detained because the Americans might arrest or retaliate against the rest of the family."
Thus, the suffering of the residents of Fallujah continues as fighting simmers once again within the devastated city and the drastic heat of summer approaches.
"The Americans have committed a very big massacre to the people of Fallujah. The crime of Fallujah is the greatest crime ever," Abdulla said sternly. "This will remain as a black spot in American history forever. Whatever the American people will do, even if they get rid of those liars who are in their government, they will need a long time for people to forget what they have done in Iraq and in Fallujah in order for us to deal with them as a civilized people who have humanity."
Abdulla, like residents of the city, wondered why the US military will not let unembedded media into Fallujah. "Why have they not let the media inside Fallujah," he asked. "If America says she is right, then why did she stop two UN investigators from getting inside Fallujah?"
With the initial justification for the siege of Fallujah being that the military operation was conducted in order to bring security and stability for the elections of January 30, it is clear that this goal was not obtained. Scores of Iraqis died on that day alone, and the situation throughout Iraq has only continued to deteriorate since.
Now they have the new offensive being put in place throughout Baghdad and the residents are on edge about it. We have distroyed most of what we have touched in Iraq.
The actions of the US in Fallujah have caused great resentment, anger and frustration that has spread thoughout Iraq. It is not going to get better...it can only get worse.
The Blame Game, Iraqi or Foriegn?
One of the lines that we are being fed is that most, if not all, of the suicide bombers in Iraq these days are foriegners and not Iraqi...Official White House line. It seems amazing in light of the Official line that Iraqi officials, along with US personnel actually in Iraq, say that the majority of the suicide bombers are most likely home grown...Iraqis fighting against the occupation.
Suicide Attacks Rising Rapidly
Saad Obeidi, a retired Iraqi major general and security expert, suggested that President Bush had invited Islamic extremists to bring their fight against America here.
"One aim of the U.S. military once it invaded Iraq was to lure all insurgents and terrorists from all over the world to confront them here," he said.
The first suicide bombings of the insurgency were attributed to foreign infiltrators, mostly Palestinians, Yemenis, Syrians and Saudis. But Obeidi believes that has changed.
Some U.S. officials agree.
"There's a kind of axiom out there that says Iraqis aren't suicide bombers," Gen. George W. Casey, commander of multinational forces in Iraq, told reporters in Baghdad this year. "I'm not sure that's the case. I believe there are Iraqi Islamic extremists - that are very capable of getting into cars and blowing themselves up."
Other U.S. officials say they still believe that foreign fighters are responsible for most of the suicide attacks, which have increasingly targeted Iraqis.
"There is no evidence this is being done by Iraqis," said U.S. Maj. Gen. John DeFreitas III, intelligence chief for the multinational mission that has about 150,000 troops in Iraq. "In every case we've seen, the driver has been a foreigner."
Coalition officials acknowledge, however, that the numbers show an Iraqi-dominated insurgency. Fewer than 5% of those killed or captured were foreigners, one official noted. He also described the influx from abroad as making up a "very, very small part" of the estimated 12,000 to 20,000 insurgents.
A General IN Iraq that sees what's going on states he believes Iraqis are capable and doing it. A Maj. General NOT in Iraq and who does not see what actually goes on in Iraq says it has to be foriegners.
Are we still expected to believe that most, if not all, Iraqis are glad that we have occupied their country and that they would be throwing flowers at our soldiers' feet...if it were not for foriegn suicide bombers, that is?
The article states how witnesses have claimed bombers to be Iraqi, both by the way they spoke and their appearance. It is disheartening when so many who have no clue, be it experience in combat or ever being in a war zone, will follow someone else's suggested rhetoric without having any personal knowledge or understanding at all.
The people who brought us this war lead the way of no idea.
The Difference 4 Days Can Make...
Bush Says Pleased With Progress In Iraq
``I believe that the Iraqi government's going to be plenty capable of dealing with them (insurgents), and our job is to help train them so that they can,'' Bush said.
In just four (4) days, how can he go from being so pleased about the progress to them actually asking for more support and stating that we have backed too far out? Could it be that Bush really does wear the proverbial rose colored glasses in order to make everything look rosy or is he attempting to save face in front of America by flat out fabricating how things really are...or he could be assuming that all of us are stupid since some decided to vote for him in November.
I believe he thinks the masses are stupid...
Foreign Minister Zebari warns that the United States has withdrawn too much, leaving the new government struggling to cope and endangering the long-term prospects for Iraq's success.
In general, Zebari said the United States has pulled back too much in Iraq, after what many Iraqis considered heavy-handed leadership during the 14-month U.S. rule of Iraq. "There is something between too much and not enough," Zebari said. Washington, he said, now needs to be "more focused and more engaged" and not say "this is yours, hands off." Failing to meet established deadlines for the democratic transition would be "the end of trying to transform Iraq," he warned.
So...they can handle it? Sounds as if the Iraqi government is not as capable as Mr. Bush wants the citizens of the US to believe...but then again we have not been told the truth in many instances according to information and evidence that has surfaced of late so we should not be surprised..
Zebari also asked the United States for additional staff and resources to accelerate the creation of a new Iraqi army and police force, particularly with insurgent attacks increasingly targeting the new Iraqi security forces.
Finally, the Iraqi government asked Washington to speed up the confirmation of its new ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad. Iraq has been without a top U.S. envoy since John D. Negroponte returned to Washington in mid-March to become the administration's new director of national intelligence.
The US leaves them WITHOUT an ambassador for two month...slick move...
Then we have the ultimate admission from one of our own former CIA analysts...
"We're in a dilemma. We want it to appear that the Iraqis are making all the decisions -- and pretty much they are. As long as U.S. interests are not directly at stake, we've allowed Iraqis to run the show and make their own mistakes and be responsible. The problem is when there aren't results, we're blamed," said Judith Yaphe, a former CIA analyst now at the National Defense University.
As long as U.S. interests are not directly at stake, we've allowed Iraqis to run the show
For the first time we get honesty and transparency...IF our interests are not at stakes, we will LET another country's government run their own show.
Who says the Bush administration is not striving for total dominance for their American Empire...maybe arguing that it is not true makes one look more idiotic than those trying to pull it off.