4/18/2006

Bush KNOWINGLY lied on 2003 State of the Union address - State Department Memo: "16 Words" Were False

Is anyone surprised ? -- law
On January 12, 2003, the State Department expressed concerns to the CIA that the documents pertaining to the Iraq-Niger deal were forgeries," the memo dated July 7, 2003, says.


Sixteen days before President Bush's January 28, 2003, State of the Union address in which he said that the US learned from British intelligence that Iraq had attempted to acquire uranium from Africa - an explosive claim that helped pave the way to war - the State Department told the CIA that the intelligence the uranium claims were based upon were forgeries, according to a newly declassified State Department memo.

The revelation of the warning from the closely guarded State Department memo is the first piece of hard evidence and the strongest to date that the Bush administration manipulated and ignored documents information in their zeal to win public support for invading Iraq.

On January 12, 2003, the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) "expressed concerns to the CIA that the documents pertaining to the Iraq-Niger deal were forgeries," the memo dated July 7, 2003, says.

Moreover, the memo says that the State Department's doubts about the veracity of the uranium claims may have been expressed to the intelligence community even earlier.

Those concerns, according to the memo, are the reason that former Secretary of State Colin Powell refused to cite the uranium claims when he appeared before the United Nations in February 5, 2003 - one week after Bush's State of the Union address - to try to win support for a possible strike against Iraq.

"After considerable back and forth between the CIA, the (State) Department, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Association), and the British, Secretary Powell's briefing to the UN Security Council did not mention attempted Iraqi procurement of uranium due to CIA concerns raised during the coordination regarding the veracity of the information on the alleged Iraq-Niger agreement," the memo further states.

Iraq's interest in the yellowcake caught the attention of Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Association. ElBaradei read a copy of the National Intelligence Estimate and personally contacted the State Department and the National Security Council in hopes of obtaining evidence so his agency could look into it.

ElBaradei sent a letter to the White House and the National Security Council (NSC) in December 2002, warning senior officials he thought the documents were forgeries and should not be cited by the administration as evidence that Iraq was actively trying to obtain WMDs.

ElBaradei said he never received a written response to his letter, despite repeated follow-up calls he made to the White House, the NSC and the State Department.

Vice President Dick Cheney, who made the rounds on the cable news shows that month, tried to discredit ElBaradei's conclusion that the documents were forged.

"I think Mr. ElBaradei frankly is wrong," Cheney said. "[The IAEA] has consistently underestimated or missed what it was Saddam Hussein was doing. I don't have any reason to believe they're any more valid this time than they've been in the past."

As it turns out, ElBaradei was correct, the declassified State Department memo now shows.

State Department Memo: "16 Words" Were False

4/17/2006

You go BlogMother: MSO on the Wapo - The Left, Online and Outraged

The Left, Online and Outraged
Liberal Blogger Finds an Outlet and a Community

By David Finkel
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 15, 2006; Page A01

SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. -- In the angry life of Maryscott O'Connor, the rage begins as soon as she opens her eyes and realizes that her president is still George W. Bush. The sun has yet to rise and her family is asleep, but no matter; as soon as the realization kicks in, O'Connor, 37, is out of bed and heading toward her computer.

Out there, awaiting her building fury: the Angry Left, where O'Connor's reputation is as one of the angriest of all. "One long, sustained scream" is how she describes the writing she does for various Web logs, as she wonders what she should scream about this day....

WAKE THE [expletive] UP," she writes next, and this time, instead of pausing, she keeps going, typing harder and harder on a keyboard that is surrounded by a pack of cigarettes, a dirty ashtray, a can of nonalcoholic beer, an album with photos of her dead father and a taped-up note -- staring at her -- on which she has scrawled "Why am I/you here?"

Outspoken and Uncensored

These are mean times.

"I just want to see these [expletive] swinging from their heels in the public square," reads a recent comment from someone named Dave in a discussion about the Bush administration on a Web site called Eschaton...

What's notable about this isn't only the level of anger but the direction from which it is coming. Not that long ago, it was the right that was angry and the left that was, at least comparatively, polite. But after years of being the targets of inflammatory rhetoric, not only from fringe groups but also from such mainstream conservative politicians as Newt Gingrich, the left has gone on the attack. And with Republicans in control of Washington, they have much more to be angry about.

"Powerlessness" is O'Connor's explanation. "This is born of powerlessness."

To what, effect, though? Do the hundreds of thousands of daily visitors to Daily Kos, who sign their comments with phrases such as "Anger is energy," accomplish anything other than talking among themselves? The founder of Daily Kos, Markos Moulitsas, may have a wide enough reputation at this point to consult regularly with Democrats on Capitol Hill, but what about the heart and soul of Daily Kos, the other visitors, whose presence extends no further than what they read and write on the site?

How about the 125,000 or so daily visitors to Eschaton? Or the thousands who visit Rude Pundit, the Smirking Chimp or My Left Wing, which is O'Connor's Web site?

Put another way, can one person sitting alone in a living room, typing her fingertips numb on a keyboard, make a difference?

"Rage, rage against the Lying of the Right" is the subtitle of O'Connor's Web site.

"If I can't rant, I don't want to be part of your revolution" is how she signs her comments, in the place other people might write "Sincerely."

"I was not like this before," she says. "I was riddled with empathy for everyone suffering in the world. Classic bleeding-heart liberal.".. She signed petitions. She boycotted veal. She canvassed for Greenpeace. She donated to Planned Parenthood. She read the Nation, the New Yorker, the Utne Reader and Mother Jones. She agonized over low wages for overseas workers every time she bought a $40 leather purse.

Then George W. Bush was elected. Then came 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, the Patriot Act, secret prisons, domestic eavesdropping, the revamping of the Supreme Court, and the thought "It has come to the point where the worst people on Earth are running the Earth." And now, "I have become one of those people with all the bumper stickers on their car," she says. "I am this close to being one of those muttering people pushing a cart.

"I'm insane with rage and grief.

"But I also feel more connected than I ever have."

Angry Together

The people she's connected to include Shanikka, who decides one day to post on O'Connor's Web site a 737-word "open letter to President George W. Bush" that says in part: "You can't hide from the truth, Dubbya. You also can't hide from yourself. And it is YOU, Mr. President, that you need to run from. Because you are the problem. You destroy everything you touch professionally when you're left to do what you want. Everything."

To which another of O'Connor's connections, Bill, responds, "A most excelentest rant, shanikka, but don't you think you should distill this down to twenty-five words or less if you want [Bush] to read it? Or have it read to him. I'm sure he has ADD."

To which Nite74 responds, "ADD implies that some attention span is already present to be deficient."

To which Linnaeus responds, "I might say, though, that saying he has ADD is an insult to those who actually have it."

To which Bill, responding to his responders, writes, "It was rather though[t]less of me to compare the most asinine, brutal, criminal, disgusting, enraging, felonious, gross, horrendous, incompetent, jaundiced, kleptocratic, lazy, malicious, nefarious, objectional, psychopathic, quarrelsome, repulsive, sanctimonious, treasonous, unfit, vindictive, wasteful, xenophobic, yahooish, zealotic piece of [expletive] inhabiting the White House and the planet to persons suffering with a neurobiological disorder."

And on it goes, every day, around the clock, on Web site after Web site. Since its debut last July, My Left Wing has had some 450,000 visits and is now averaging about 3,000 visits and 14,000 page views a day. At any given moment, several dozen people are looking at the site, and user data shows that they are all over the world -- mostly from the United States, occasionally from overseas and often from Washington, D.C., where the log-on addresses sometimes end in senate.gov or house.gov.

All of which O'Connor finds remarkable, especially when she considers her route to this point...

The Left, Online and Outraged

4/11/2006

Muhamad my friend, it's time to tell the world, we both know it was a girl, back in Bethlehem

Tori Amos lyrics - Muhammad My Friend - 1996

Muhammad my friend
it’s time to tell the world
we both know it was a girl back in Bethlehem
and on that fateful day
when she was crucified
she wore Shiseido Red UN orange and we drank tea
by her side

sweet sweet sweet
used to be so sweet to me

Muhammad my friend
I’m getting very scared
teach me how to love my brothers
who don’t know the law

and what about the deal...

and Moses I know
I know you’ve seen fire
but you’ve never seen fire

until you’ve seen Pele blow
and I’ve never seen light
but I sure have seen gold
and Gladys save a place for me
on your grapevine
till I get my own TV show

ashre ashre ashre ashre
and if I lose my Cracker Jacks at the
tidal wave I got a place
in the Pope’s rubber robe
Muhammad my friend
it’s time to tell the world
we both know it was a girl
back in Bethlehem

My Left Wing :: If they knew... In Memory of Rachel Corrie

Daily Kos: In Memory of Rachel Corrie: Remembering ghosts from the past

4/10/2006

If they knew... In memory of Rachel Corrie

When I leave for school or work I can be relatively certain that there will not be a heavily armed soldier waiting.. at a checkpoint, a soldier with the power to decide whether I can go about my business, and whether I can get home again when I'm done. So, if I feel outrage at arriving and entering briefly and incompletely into the world in which these children exist, I wonder conversely about how it would be for them to arrive in my world.

They know that children in the United States don't usually have their parents shot and they know they sometimes get to see the ocean. But once you have seen the ocean and lived in a silent place, where water is taken for granted and not stolen in the night by bulldozers, and once you have spent an evening when you haven&'t wondered if the walls of your home might suddenly fall inward waking you from your sleep, and once you've met people who have never lost anyone-- once you have experienced the reality of a world that isn't surrounded by murderous towers, tanks, armed "settlements" and now a giant metal wall, I wonder if you can forgive the world for all the years of your childhood spent existing--just existing--in resistance to the constant stranglehold of the world's fourth largest military--backed by the world's only superpower--in it's attempt to erase you from your home. That is something I wonder about these children. I wonder what would happen if they really knew.

Rachel Corrie: email to her mother, February 28 2003:

Rachel Corrie Memorial Website

4/09/2006

Bush's "Party of ROTTEN Ideas" | Democrats.com

.Bush may be right and the Republicans may indeed be the "party of ideas" Too bad those ideas are ruining our country, destroying our world standing and imperiling the next generation


Says Democrats.com:

The party of ideas? ... the only Republican ideas I've seen in the last five years (are) * Doctoring evidence used to start a war ... * Being fully supportive of holding prisoners without charge..Oh, yeah, the GOP leadership thinks it's acceptable to torture people too. * Consistently lying to the American people about everything from the rationale for war, through Hurricane Katrina response to domestic spying. * And speaking of Katrina, how many people might have lived had the Republicans not gutted the Federal Emergency Management Agency and exiled it under the Department of Homeland Security? Incompetence kills. Heck of a job, Brownie.

And speaking of domestic spying, the Republican party stands for eavesdropping on all of us, without required court orders and in express violation of the law. * Politicizing to the extreme the heart-wrenching Terri Schiavo situation - including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist making a magical "diagnosis" of her condition from the Senate floor that, as it turns out, was wrong anyway.

* Being the party of Tom DeLay, Jack Abramoff and Duke Cunningham..enough said. * Disclosing the identity of covert CIA agent, Valerie Plame as retaliation .. The GOP: Where treason becomes fashionable. * Seeding the media with right-wing propaganda disguised as legitimate news, including having former prostitute Jeff Gannon sitting front and center in the White House briefing room to throw softball questions at Scottie "The Lyin' King" McClellan.

* Embarrassing the American people by making a macho vow to get Osama bin Laden- you remember, the guy who actually did attack us on September 11? - then letting him roam completely free for almost five years, while allowing al Qaeda to continue operating in at least 60 countries. * Cutting taxes for other rich Republicans time after time, while running up the biggest budget deficit in U.S. history. * Making our Statue of Liberty at least temporarily irrelevant by trying to kick 12 million immigrants out of the country, while branding them felons.

* Decimating social programs including Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare while forcing a disastrous drug program on the nation's elderly. * Refusing to raise the minimum wage and only funding the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program for a fraction of the approved budget and at the end of the winter. * Giving the American version of the Taliban - our very own religious extremists - a front-row seat in governing our country.

* Fighting at every turn, attempts by Congressional Democrats to support homeland security -such as providing funds for port protection and first-responders - while rejecting almost every Democratic effort to fund Veterans programs. * Trying to turn over security of our major ports to a country with known ties to the terrorist attacks of 2001. * Leading the effort to turn back the clock in our society and outlaw a woman's right to reproductive choice

.Whew! That took me a whole 10 minutes.Bush may be right and the Republicans may indeed be the "party of ideas" Too bad those ideas are ruining our country, destroying our world standing and imperiling the next generation.

Read more at www.democrats.com/node/...

Make Them Accountable: Bush leaking smells foul

Carolyn Kay: I've been thinking that something didn’t seem right about Bush’s supposed involvement in the Plame leak. That’s not a compliment to the man, nor is it meant to excuse any of his awful behavior, but nothing that I’ve ever read about Bush makes me think he’s involved in anything the administration does at any level of detail. Cheney may have said, “Hey, I’m going to crush Joe Wilson,� and Bush said, “Yeah, okay.� But maybe he didn’t even do that.


Remember the reports that Bush was angry with Cheney when he realized Libby (and perhaps Karl Rove) would be indicted (New York Daily News, “Bushies feeling the boss' wrath�, October 24, 2005; Capitol Hill Blue, “Bush's Increasing Mental Lapses and Temper Tantrums Worry White House Aides�, November 2, 2005)?Cheney could have misled Libby as to the level of Bush's involvement.

Why? I don’t know, because Cheney, as he has told us, has the same power Bush has to declassify information. The executive order giving Cheney the presidential power to declassify, according to the copy archived by the Federation of American Scientists, was issued on March 25, 2003, six days after the invasion of Iraq. By that time, they must have known for sure that they weren’t going to find anything they could even pretend to call weapons of mass destruction. But it wasn’t until May that Joe Wilson started talking about the shakiness of the Niger uranium story.Were the plans born that early to use any and all methods to discredit anyone who tried to point out the administration’s massaging and manipulation of evidence so as to lead us into an unprovoked war? Had they already decided that Cheney would be the leaker?

Why would Cheney tell Libby that Bush was involved at all if he, Cheney, had the right to declassify the information?

Does it even matter? I don't know, but it makes me think we're not yet close to a complete understanding of this operation and its coverup - Caro]

Read more at makethemaccountable.com...

WYYFP with Bush speak ?

What is your freakin problem with Bush speak ? If he did it is not a leak. If he said it it's not a lie. If he committted it's not a crime... Simple! (Scottie at WH press briefing, if he ever spoke the truth) -- law





Read more at makethemaccountable.com...

MTA: On leakers and forgers

This is a rather murkily written story:The Times, U.K.April 09, 2006'Forgers' of key Iraq war contract namedMichael SmithTWO employees of the Niger embassy in Rome were responsible for the forgery of a notorious set of documents used to help justify the Iraq war, an official investigation has allegedly found.According to Nato sources, the investigation has evidence that Niger’s consul and its ambassador’s personal assistant faked a contract to show Saddam Hussein had bought uranium ore from the impoverished west African country.The documents, which emerged in 2002, were used in a US State Department fact sheet on Iraq’s weapons programme to build the case for war. They were denounced as forgeries by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) shortly before the 2003 invasion…[If I understand this roundabout article, the contract was forged, but a letter purporting to be from an Iraqi official talking about a visit to Niger to discuss obtaining yellowcake uranium was found to be credible, and it was on the basis of the LETTER that Bush claimed in the 2003 State of the Union address that “the British had ‘learnt that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa’”, as per the story above. This would seem to vindicate Bush somewhat, since Bush didn’t say that Niger had AGREED to sell the uranium. But bear in mind that the Times is a conservative newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch.—Caro]Buck Fush

Read more at makethemaccountable.com...

Blah3 - I Think I See What We're Looking At, Here... Sy Hersh's Bush-Nukes Story,

Monkeyfister, brilliant -- lawCondi's speciality is in “Soviet Relations,” and Cold War Diplomacy. Seemed odd that she should rise in this New World Order. One would think she'd be teaching LAte 20th Century History, somewhere... But, then, I remembered the rest of Senior BushCo. All of these Dinosaurs are left-overs from the Cold War... And they have a new COLD WAR Plan... Cylons, take note...The Cold War Nuclear Threat scared the shit out of ALL of us ... What BushCo. is trying to create is a TERRAFYING NEW Cold War... only this time, the enemy is them turbin-wearin' Brown People. The “nice” thing to know about the Sino-Russian-West Cold War was that it was basically symetrical, most of the time, China was rarely factored into the equation. The concept of "Mutually Assured Destruction" (MAD) was firmly in place. Now? George has unilaterally unplugged us from SO many Nuclear-Related Treaties, that all agreements are now under question... THIS is where the real issue lies, and THIS is the source for REAL fear inre: George's Foreign Policies...What's that mean? Here it is:This crew wants to spark a similar TERRA!!!!!!-- Oriented Cold War, only with an ASYMETRICAL, unpredictable, “unknowable” enemy call it, Cold War^2. We're FUCT.Cold War SQUARED... Maybe CUBED. With constant (controlled[???]) Real War thrown in to keep us on-point.THAT is the end goal. It's good for business, donchaknow. Follow the money. Apply Occam's Razor.

Read more at www.blah3.com/article.p...

4/07/2006

Libby: It was Bush that Outed Plame. Bushies: Yawn... Say, what's for lunch ?

NOW I understand why Fitz could not go after the leaker. The Prez is above the law as it turns out. Bush disclosing top secrets for petty reasons is "no crime". What a bunch of weasels the GOP turned into -- law LIVE FROM...Court Filing: Scooter Libby Testifies Bush Authorized Intel Leak; Immigration Bill Close; Representative Cynthia McKinney ApologizesAired April 6, 2006 - 13:58 ETTHIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Let's get an update now on a developing story. It involves the long-running controversy over U.S. intelligence leaks on Iraq. Court papers made public today revealed that a former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney testified that Cheney told him he was authorized by President Bush to leak sensitive intelligence information.The former aide, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff. Libby has since been charged with perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to FBI agents who were investigating the 2003 disclosure of a CIA agent's identity. That CIA agent is married to a prominent critic of White House intelligence claims used to justify the war in Iraq.Let's take a moment now to examine the political fallout of this developing story. Our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider, joins me now from Washington.Good to see you, Bill.WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Good to see you, Fred.WHITFIELD: All right. So we heard from Jeffrey Toobin earlier, our legal analyst, telling us that this really is less of a legal issue and more of a political one; namely, because the president is authorized to declassify information whenever he wants. So if that's the case, why in the world have we gotten to this point of Scooter Libby in court, testifying before the grand jury, facing perjury and other charges.SCHNEIDER: Well, Scooter Libby obviously was trying to get off the hook by saying it was the president himself who authorized the leak of this information, which means he declassified the information, passed the word to the vice president that he wanted it leaked to the press just before Mr. Libby met with a "New York Times" reporter.That's not a crime if the president has declassified the information, again, according to the legal experts. But it does raise some serious political questions, and that question is about the president's political credibility.You may remember, a year after the meeting with "The New York Times" reporter, the president -- this was in June 2004 -- the president said he would fire anyone in his administration shown to have leaked information about the identity of that CIA agent.Now, I hasten to add, there's no indication from the testimony summarized by the special prosecutor that the name of the CIA agent was ever leaked, but the president said he would fire anyone involved in that leak. And then later he amended that statement the next year and said, "If someone committed a crime they will no longer work in my administration."And, of course, legal experts have said that the president's declassification amounted to -- the president's authorization amounted to a declassification, so it wasn't a crime. But it is a real question about political credibility; namely, when is a leak not a leak?WHITFIELD: Right. So if no crime -- and the prosecutor is even indicating that -- well, is not really saying whether a crime or whether no crime was committed, but we've heard it from the legal analysts, no crime, as you put it. So what does the president owe the American public, if anything, in terms of an explanation of how we have even gotten to this point and what does this mean from this day forward for his presidency or for his credibility? SCHNEIDER: I think is it very damaging for the president to be seen here to have come out after his political enemies by authorizing -- no crime -- by authorizing the leak of classified information from the National Intelligence Estimate.Again, we don't know what classified information that was, it's only described in the special prosecutor's report as certain information, key judgments of the National Intelligence Estimate, relevant portions that were aimed at discrediting the published views of Ambassador Wilson, who criticized the administration's intelligence-gathering efforts.He was out to get his political enemy, to discredit Joe Wilson. And he did it by authorizing intelligence information to be leaked. I think most Americans would say that's a very dangerous and very foolish thing to do.WHITFIELD: So, the old issue of legality was a topic of conversation, or at least exchange, on Capitol Hill with U.S. Attorney General Gonzales and New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler. Your President is guilty of outing a top agent. For political reasons. High Treason, the one they send lesser mortals to a firing squad. Yet you do nothing bushwhacked GOPpies... Sigh... I give up, you can have whatever is left of the America you destroyed -- law

Read more at transcripts.cnn.com/TRA...

4/04/2006

Common Cause Blog :: Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

What group claims to represent more than one million consumers, but is actually backed by the telephone industry? What fancy-named organization looks and acts like a think tank, but employs no staff and is actually a "project" of a PR firm with telecom clients? What industry trade association is spending $16 million on a web-based "consumer" campaign that really only represents the corporate interests?Find out in Common Cause's latest research report: "Wolves in Sheep's Clothing." We expose nine Astroturf organizations and industry-backed think tanks that are misleading citizens and lawmakers.

Read more at www.commonblog.com/stor...