Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Clintons' Foes In Lying Big Media Should Wrap Their Lying Opinions In Toily-Paper
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Now and then, something happens that causes our esteemed Washington press corps to exhibit its collective posterior to a wondering nation.
Such an event was the publication of Bill Clinton’s biographical memoir, "My Life." Following the extended funeral rites for former President Ronald Reagan, Clinton’s humongous Bildungsroman left pundits scrambling madly to master a new collective script. "Bildungsroman" is professor-speak for "10 pounds of ego in a 5-pound sack." Nobody writes an autobiography without a big ego. Not even St. Augustine.
But what was Clinton’s real motive? Speaking on "NBC Nightly News," Andrea Mitchell (Mrs. Alan Greenspan) thought she new. "All Clinton may want to do," she opined, "is outsell his wife’s book, which sold almost three million copies worldwide." Time’s Margaret Carlson echoed her on CNN’s "Capital Gang." Where do they find them? Write a 972-page book to show up your wife? In my experience, when people pontificate about the motives of people they scarcely know, it’s their own motives they display.
Apart from horses and high school guidance counselors, it’d be hard to find an equivalent group as consumed with status anxiety as the Washington punditocracy.
Every news article and TV feature I saw regarding Clinton’s book featured the quote from Michiko Kakutani’s frontpage New York Times review, "sloppy, self-indulgent and often eye-crossingly dull." Positive reviews by "Lonesome Dove" author Larry McMurtry and Ben Franklin biographer Walter Isaacson got little play.
Interestingly, the Times’ review neglected to mention that Clinton spent many pages deconstructing its own dreadfully bad Whitewater reporting. Reading it, he wrote, "felt like an outof-body experience." Regarding the Times’ The Washington Post’s and everybody else’s failure to disclose the contents of the Pillsbury Report, the eight-volume study by a Republican law firm that exonerated the Clintons of Whitewater wrongdoing in December 1995—years before independent counsel Kenneth Starr—Clinton quoted my friend Lars-Erik Nelson, the late New York Daily News columnist. Nelson spent years in Moscow covering the Soviet Union. "The secret verdict is in," he wrote. "There was nothing for the Clintons to hide.... [I] n a bizarre reversal of those Stalin-era trials in which innocent people were convicted in secret, the President and the First Lady have been publicly charged and secretly found innocent."
Yet Kakutani charges Clinton with "lies" about "real estate." Challenged by Salon’s Eric Boehlert to stipulate any, he says she never called back. Times editor Bill Keller alibied that the Independent counsel’s Whitewater report mentioned "inaccurate statements."
But if inaccurate statements are lies, the Times printed even more lies about Whitewater than "weapons of mass destruction." Indeed, had editors heeded problems with its "investigative" reporting during Clinton’s first term when some of us started calling attention to them, they might have spared themselves a lot of trouble. Judith Miller’s bad reporting about Iraq and Jeff Gerth’s about Arkansas had certain basic similarities: Both reporters went to places they knew little about, put themselves into the hands of con men with axes to grind and suppressed dissenting voices eventually proved correct.
As George Seldes observed, however, "the most sacred cow of the press is the press itself." Hence, The Washington Post, too, editorialized that Clinton’s memoir "veers from the nonfiction category" regarding Whitewater, adding: "The tangled real estate investments... merited investigation, and the inquiry produced numerous convictions."
But in fact the Clintons made exactly one real estate investment
involving roughly $200,000, repaid the loans in full and lost about $50,000. None of the convictions Starr obtained involved transactions to which they were a party.
Most had no relationship to their investment whatsoever.
Starr himself, apparently one of the unreliable sources from whom reporters took dictation, blandly assured a PBS interviewer that "very few individuals who are caught up in the process of criminal justice...walk out saying how much I love the prosecutor." Cute, but Clinton’s beef is more pointed. He produces a list of persons, such as Kathleen Willey, whom he says Starr rewarded for lying, and a list of others like Susan Mc-Dougal who he says got indicted for refusing to lie.
Self-serving? Maybe. But a Little Rock jury acquitted McDougal, and a Virginia jury failed to convict Julie Hiatt Steele on Willey’s say-so. Unfortunately, Clinton’s book overlooks one of Starr’s most stunning transgressions: convicting Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker on the basis of a repealed statute. Yes, you read correctly. Starr destroyed the career of Tucker (a Clinton rival, incidentally, to whom he says he apologized for not having pardoned him) by using an expired tax law. It took Tucker five years of costly appeals to prove it, and it opens to further appeal a second conviction of Tucker that Starr obtained through the testimony of convicted embezzler David Hale. But the courtiers of the Washington press have no time for such trivialities.
Speculating about the Clintons’ marriage makes better entertainment.
• Free-lance columnist Gene Lyons is a Little Rock author and recipient of the National Magazine Award.
A Political "Hand-Job" For The Mendacious Chimp_junta Means: NOTHING BUT LIES!
THE DAILY MIS-LEAD
BUSH MISLEADS ABOUT TRANSFER OF POWER IN IRAQ
Speaking at the NATO conference in Turkey yesterday, President Bush said, "15 months after the liberation of Iraq...the world witnessed the arrival of a free and sovereign Iraqi government."  The reality, however, is much different.
The same day that U.S. administrator Paul Bremer officially ended the occupation, U.S. prosecutors refused to abide by an Iraqi judge's order acquitting Iraqi citizen Iyad Akmush Kanum of attempted murder of coalition troops.  Instead, the prosecutors returned Kanum to the infamous Abu Ghraib prison, claiming that "they were not bound by Iraqi law."
In the days leading up to his departure, Bremer "issued a raft of edicts" in an effort to "exert U.S. control over the country after the transfer of political authority." Specifically, Bremer empowered a seven-member appointed commission "to disqualify political parties and any of the candidates they support." Bremer also "appointed Iraqis handpicked by his aides to influential positions in the interim government" with multi-year terms to "promote his concepts of governance" after the handover.
Iraq remains plagued by violence and "the primary military responsibility for fighting the insurgency remains as much in American hands as it did yesterday." As a result, the New York Times concludes it is "ludicrous for administration officials to suggest that America's occupation of Iraq has now somehow ended."
1. "Remarks by President Bush and Prime Minister Blair," Whitehouse.gov, 6/28/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=42686.
2. "Prisoner 27075 learns limits of sovereignty, Financial Times, 6/29/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=42687
3. "U.S. Edicts Curb Power Of Iraq's Leadership," Washington Post, 6/27/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=42688"
4. "A Secretive Transfer in Iraq," New York Times, 6/29/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=42689
GOPper Fuckers Feel Better After Saying "Fuck You Leahy." Maybe They Just Need Hard Dicks?
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Butcher of Falluja Brig Gen Mark Kimmitt Still Killing Innocents?
By James Conachy
29 June 2004
There are indications that the US military is preparing another massacre in Fallujah, where over 1,000 Iraqis were killed during the American siege of the city in April. The number of US troops in the surrounding province of al-Anbar is being increased and a campaign is underway in the US and international media to demonize Fallujah as the headquarters of Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi—the Jordanian Islamic extremist in whose name a series of provocative killings have been carried out in Iraq, including last week’s bombings across the country and the murders of Nick Berg and Korean national Kim Sun-il.
The US Marine Corp is bringing in new forces which could provide the vanguard for an assault within a matter of weeks. Some 2,200 fresh marines, including the Third Battalion of the First Marine Regiment, are currently being rushed from California to the Fallujah area to reinforce the units that were involved in the heavy fighting in April. In a departure from normal procedure, the newly-arriving troops are reportedly not going to be given any time to acclimatize in Kuwait to the burning heat of an Iraqi summer, but deployed immediately. A total of 5,000 extra marines are being brought by the beginning of August.
Since June 19, three US air strikes have been carried out on Fallujah homes, sending tensions in the city to a fever pitch. US spokesmen have claimed that the targeted buildings were “safe houses” for Tawhid wa al-Jihad—the organization allegedly headed by Zarqawi. Fallujah leaders and members of the US-armed and paid Fallujah Brigade militia have categorically rejected the US accusation that Zarqawi and his shadowy organization are in the city. Al Jazeerah has carried interviews with locals, testifying that those killed by the American air strikes were Iraqi civilians.
Last Thursday, American tanks and marines advanced to the fringes of the city’s eastern suburb of al-Askeri, provoking a battle with the resistance fighters who have defended Fallujah from the occupation forces. In an indication of the intensity of the combat, Air Force and Navy aircraft were called in 10 times by marine commanders to drop 500-pound laser-guided bombs on alleged insurgent positions.
The real motive for the US vendetta against Fallujah is not that the city is a haven for terrorists, but that it is a focus of the popular Iraqi national opposition to the presence of US and foreign troops in the country. With a predominantly Sunni Muslim population of some 300,000, it has been a center of armed struggle against the occupation since Iraq was invaded. Well-organized resistance groups have held off a number of US military attempts to “pacify” the city. From April 5 to April 9, Fallujah’s defenders withstood a murderous assault by US marines, following the killing of four American mercenaries in the city on March 30.
At the end of April, shaken by the Shiite uprising across southern Iraq, the Bush administration sanctioned a deal to withdraw American troops from Fallujah and hand over control to the Fallujah Brigade, a militia formed by former Iraqi Army officers and recruited from the very insurgents who had been fighting the US forces. The deal constituted a temporary US acceptance that Fallujah would be controlled by the resistance and was a devastating setback to the political and military authority of the occupation.
In the weeks since, there have been numerous criticisms of the Bush administration for making the deal and calls in the American political establishment and media for Fallujah to be brought to heel. The situation in the city was the subject of intense discussion during the visit to Iraq by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz earlier this month. A US official in Iraq told the New York Times last week that the military was now actively considering “the kinetic option”—a major assault—to impose American control. “Keeping the city quiet is not sufficient”, the official stated.
There are good reasons to believe that a decision has been taken by the Bush administration and military planners to hold off on a major attack until after the sovereignty over Iraq was transferred to the US-installed interim Iraqi government. It wants to be able to portray a bloodbath against the people of Fallujah as taking place at the request of a sovereign Iraqi government, rather than at the orders of the White House.
The Iraqi defense minister, Hazim al-Shalaan, issued statements last week that indicate the new regime is prepared to allow a US assault to unfold in its name. Shalaan repeated that the interim government intends to use its powers to declare martial law in areas of the country, with the justification it is necessary to eliminate “foreign” terrorists. He stated Friday that “an urgent plan” has been drawn up to impose security in Baghdad and certain provinces. Fallujah and al-Anbar province stand out as the most likely targets.
In a video statement released on Friday, Fallujah resistance fighters directly accused the US and interim government of using false claims that Zarqawi is in the city as the cover for an attack. The statement declared: “We know that this talk about Zarqawi and the fighters is a game the American invader forces are playing to strike Islam and Muslims in the city of mosques, steadfast Fallujah.”
Whoever makes up the “Zarqawi network”, they act, and are viewed in Iraq, as agent provocateurs for the US occupation. Indiscriminate bombings and the murder of civilians serves only to confuse and alienate the tens of millions of people around the globe who sympathize with the Iraqi resistance to the American takeover of their country. The killing of Kim Sun-il and the bombings in Iraq last week in Zarqawi’s name, which killed scores of Iraqi civilians, have been condemned by leaders of both the Sunni and Shiite wings of the Iraqi resistance.
The American media, however, is functioning as nothing more than a propaganda agency for the Pentagon. As if on cue, the major television networks and newspapers are pouring out the accusation that Fallujah is a hotbed for Zarqawi’s terrorist activities and censoring the testimony to the contrary being made by Iraqis and in the Arab media.
In one of the more shameless examples, the media has universally reported the unsubstantiated US military claim that the third air strike on Fallujah, on a house in al-Askeri, killed between 15 and 25 members of Zarqawi’s organisation. According to the Al Jazeerah correspondents who reported from the site, the precision-guided bomb hit only a vacant house and wounded four people in a neighboring home.
The mayor of al-Askeri showed an Associated Press correspondent the bombed-out house the next day and stated it was owned by Youssef Kanash, who had moved his family out of the area due to the prospect of major fighting in eastern Fallujah.
The only evidence of casualties was a dead rabbit on the front lawn. The mayor told AP: “If this animal is a member of the al-Zarqawi group, then I congratulate the Americans on their victory.”
According to an Iraqi correspondent for the British Telegraph, the city is girding itself for an attack. Members of the US-armed Fallujah Brigade and the Iraqi police were seen alongside resistance groups, coordinating the preparation of defensive positions in the eastern suburbs.
World Socialist Web Site
All rights reserved
Howdy Doody "handover"
By Bill Van Auken
29 June 2004
Confronting the threat of massive attacks by the Iraqi resistance, the Bush administration pushed ahead by 48 hours a ceremony it billed as the formal “transfer of sovereignty” to an unelected interim government dominated by former Iraqi exiles and agents of Washington.
Both the Bush administration and officials in the new US puppet regime tried to put a brave face on the hasty ceremony, claiming that it was the Iraqis’ decision to move up the schedule. “It’s a sign of confidence,” President George W. Bush said, after the so-called handover was announced at the NATO summit in Istanbul, Turkey. “It’s a sign that we’re ready to go.”
This improbable claim was belied by the furtive nature of the ceremony itself. Held behind the walls of Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, the headquarters of the US occupation authority, the ceremony was preceded by no public announcement and attended by only a handful of Iraqis. Television networks were prohibited from broadcasting it live, and reporters’ cell phones were confiscated at the door.
For the Bush administration, the event was a debacle. The attempt by the White House to deceive the American people into thinking that some fundamental shift was taking place leading to the end of the US colonial adventure in Iraqi was undercut by the clandestine character of the “handover.”
US officials were forced to conclude that the sharply deteriorating security situation outweighed Bush’s need for a “good news” story from Iraq. In the days before the ceremony, over 100 people had been killed and hundreds more wounded—including several US occupation troops—in attacks staged throughout the country. Even more spectacular strikes were expected to take place on June 30, the date that had been set for formally dissolving the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and activating the interim government.
Washington’s occupation chief in Iraq, Paul Bremer, boarded a C-130 transport plane and flew out of the country within two hours of the Green Zone ceremony. His planned departure was also kept secret.
Just a day earlier, an Australian transport plane took ground fire shortly after takeoff, fatally wounding an American passenger and forcing pilots to abort the flight. Thus, after 13 months as the all-powerful US proconsul in Baghdad, Bremer’s exit had all the dignity of a rat fleeing a sinking ship.
The Iraqi people learned of their new-found “sovereignty” only after it was announced at the NATO summit meeting in Turkey. There were no reports from Iraq of public celebrations. On the contrary, most reporters in the country indicated that the population’s mood was one of skepticism and hostility. For millions of Iraqis, it is self-evident that no regime resting on the armed power of an occupation army of nearly 140,000 US troops is either sovereign or independent.
The interim government enjoys no popular legitimacy. The US-installed prime minister, Ayad Allawi, has no base of support outside of Washington and London and is widely seen—with ample justification—as a US agent. A former Baathist who broke with the Saddam Hussein regime in the 1970s, he became an “asset” first of British intelligence, and then of the US Central Intelligence Agency. According to CIA officials interviewed by the New York Times, his organization, the Iraqi National Accord, worked with the agency in the 1990s, organizing car bombings in Baghdad in a bid to destabilize Iraq.
Placing Allawi at the head of what is essentially a powerless puppet regime appears to serve two purposes for Washington. It will put an Iraqi face on an escalation of counterinsurgency operations aimed at crushing popular resistance to the US occupation. At the same time, as an ex-Baathist, Allawi is expected to reach out to remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime in an attempt to reconstruct its secret police apparatus.
This project was signaled in an opinion piece by Allawi published in the Washington Post June 27, in which he announced that his regime was intent on “building counterterrorism and intelligence capabilities,” and added that “the honor of decent Iraqi ex-officials including military and police should be restored.”
The New York Times Monday reported that Bush administration officials had confidence in Allawi “because they regard him as a battle-hardened, politically adept and perhaps even ruthless politician who understands the meaning of force in Iraq’s rough terrain.”
There is little to distinguish this appraisal from those made by the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations of Saddam Hussein in the years before the ousted leader seized Kuwait’s oil fields and fell afoul of US interests.
At his press conference in Turkey Monday, George W. Bush described Allawi and his cohorts as “gutsy” and “as we say in Texas, stand-up guys.” For an administration based on criminality, the attraction of Allawi is entirely understandable.
An article by Seymour Hersh published in the New Yorker last week quoted an unnamed US “cabinet-level Middle East diplomat” as saying that Allawi, a former agent of Baghdad’s intelligence agency, the Mukhabarat, participated in a “hit team” that hunted down and assassinated Baathist dissenters in Europe in the 1970s.
Thus the puppet regime that Bush proclaims a bulwark of democracy and anti-terrorism is headed by a former Iraqi secret police thug, who went on to organize terrorist attacks at the behest of the CIA.
Bush and other officials declared Monday that US troops will remain in Iraq as long as it takes to impose “stability.” Under a United Nations resolution passed earlier this month, the puppet regime has the formal authority to order a withdrawal of occupation forces. But there is no danger that an entity headed by an American agent and totally dependent on the US military for protection from a hostile population will even contemplate such a decision.
At the same time, Washington has firmly installed a colonial-style regime that is to exercise real power behind the façade of the interim government. Officials of the officially disbanded CPA will carry out the same functions as before, while assuming new titles at a US embassy in Baghdad—the largest ever established by any country anywhere in the world. John Negroponte, the former US representative at the United Nations, who played a key role in organizing the US covert war against Nicaragua in the 1980s, will oversee the operation as the American ambassador and new proconsul.
US controllers have been assigned to every Iraqi ministry, where they will make all substantive decisions. In addition, before quitting his post, US occupation chief Bremer “appointed at least two dozen Iraqis to government jobs with multi-year terms in an attempt to promote his concepts of government long after the planned handover of political authority,” the Washington Post reported Sunday.
The newspaper reported that an edict issued by Bremer mandates that whomever Allawi selects as his national security adviser and national intelligence chief will have five-year terms. The obvious intent is that no matter what the results of any eventual election, the CIA and US military will retain control of Iraq’s apparatus of state repression.
Handpicked Iraqis, for the most part drawn from the exile groups closest to Washington, have likewise been installed as inspectors-general in every Iraqi ministry, also for five years. This is designed to give Washington a lever to control these agencies, no matter who is elected.
In another edict issued on the eve of his departure, Bremer imposed a new election law governing the vote for a 275-member national assembly that supposedly is to be held early next year. It declares that no party participating in the election can be associated with a militia. Given that virtually every existing party in Iraq has some form of armed organization, the regulation is widely seen as a pretext for banning whatever party Washington opposes.
Earlier this month, Bremer also issued an order that severely limits the freedom of the press, essentially outlawing any published opinion opposed to the occupation and its native stooges. It “prohibits Iraqi media organizations from broadcasting or publishing material that would seriously undermine security and civil order in Iraq.” The order provides for the immediate shutdown and seizure of any newspaper or broadcast outlet found in violation and the jailing of its owners for up to one year.
As the Post points out, the constitution dictated by US occupation authorities makes it virtually impossible for the so-called interim government to overturn any of the 97 edicts issued by Bremer, defined by the CPA as “binding instructions or directives to the Iraqi people.” Reversing any of these orders requires the support of the president, both vice-presidents, the prime minister and the majority of Allawi’s cabinet. Given the subservience of these figures to Washington, such a rebellion is exceedingly unlikely.
In addition to barring the new government from altering any of the laws imposed by the occupation authorities, the interim constitution precludes its passing new laws.
Finally, Washington has taken a series of actions designed to render the interim government totally dependent on the US for its funding, and to leave Iraqi oil resources securely in American hands. In a June 18 order, Bremer established a “Program Review Board” empowered to “identify, integrate and prioritize funding requirements for relief and recovery activities in Iraq, and develop funding plans that propose allocations of resources available to meet these requirements.”
The board, which Washington controls, essentially seized control of Iraq’s finances and diverted them to enrich US-based corporations like Halliburton. It recently ordered $2.5 billion that had accumulated in the UN-sanctioned Development Fund for Iraq—based on oil revenues—diverted to pay for reconstruction contracts, the costs of which had already been more than covered by US Congressional appropriations.
Iraq Revenue Watch, an outgrowth of billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Institute, issued a recent report warning that the actions of the board “will have serious consequences for the ability of the interim government and the subsequent elected government—which are meant to exercise autonomy—to choose how to spend their money.”
Describing the occupation authority’s use of the funds as a “last-minute spending spree,” the report asked: “Why are such large amounts of discretionary cash being committed to programs prior to establishing mechanisms for implementing them? And why are these spending obligations being introduced at the last minute rather than allowing the in-coming government to make such decisions?”
To ask these questions is to answer them. Washington is seeking to guarantee the interim government’s complete subservience by denying it any possibility of obtaining an independent source of funding. At the same time, it is overseeing the looting of Iraqi wealth and resources and the diversion of billions into the pockets of the Bush administration’s big business cronies.
The principal resources available to Iraq remain the $24 billion that the US Congress has approved for Iraqi reconstruction over the past two years, a vast source of profits for US-based companies. According to some estimates, the costs run up by these firms are at least 10 times what it would take for Iraqis themselves to do the same work.
Meanwhile, two new reports have raised serious questions about Washington’s handling of some $20 billion in Iraq’s oil revenues generated since the US occupation began last year.
The humanitarian relief organization Christian Aid and the British Liberal-Democratic Party both charge that the US occupation authority failed to account for how it spent some $20 billion in Iraqi oil revenues, raising suspicions of outright US theft.
The Liberal Democrats cited an apparent $3.7 billion discrepancy between the amount Iraq earned from oil exports and the sum that the occupation authority paid into the development fund. Christian Aid pointed out that, while there have been four separate audits connected with the use of reconstruction funds appropriated by the US Congress, no audit was carried out on the use Iraqi oil revenues until last April. Its completion is not expected until July, more than a month after the CPA, which spent the money, will have been formally dissolved.
World Socialist Web Site
The Incredible Failures of "Bush Doctrine" Sound Taps For Chimp_junta
"There's already been a retreat from the radicalism in Bush administration foreign policy," said Walter Russell Mead, a Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow. "You have a feeling that even Bush isn't saying, 'Hey, that was great. Let's do it again.' "
Some analysts, including Republicans, suggest that another casualty of Iraq is the neoconservative approach that inspired a zealous agenda to tackle security threats in the Middle East and transform the region politically.
"Neoconservatism has been replaced by neorealism, even within the Bush White House," Kemp said. "The best evidence is the administration's extraordinary recent reliance on [U.N. Secretary General] Kofi Annan and [U.N. envoy] Lakhdar Brahimi. The neoconservatives are clearly much less credible than they were a year ago."
BBC NEWS | Mickey Mouse Becomes Leader of Iraq And Says Chimp_junta is in the Club!!!
Who's the leader of the club
That's made for you and me
M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-EHey! there, Hi! there, Ho! there
You're as welcome as can be
Forever let us hold our banner
High! High! High! High!
Come along and sing a song
And join the jamboree!
Mickey Mouse club
We'll have fun
We'll be new faces
High! High! High! High!
We'll do things and
We'll go places
All around the world
We'll go marching
Who's the leader of the club
That's made for you and me
Hey! there, Hi! there, Ho! there
You're as welcome as can be
Forever let us hold our banner
High! High! High! High!
Come along and sing a song
And join the jamboree!
Monday, June 28, 2004
"M I S S I O N____A C C O M P L I S H E D ! ! !" Version 1.18
Chimper runs for election, but he should be running for his life. Election? How 'bout war criminal trials in the ICC in the Hague, followed by ELECTROCUTION.
ELECTROCUTION, NOT ELECTION. bush/dick 04
Coward Rumsfeld Fakes His Torture Policy - Hood Him - Lock Him Up
By Tom Malinowski
Sunday, June 27, 2004; Page B07
"I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to four hours?"
So reads a note scrawled by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on a memo released by the Pentagon this week, in which he approved for Guantanamo interrogations techniques such as forcing them to stand, stripping detainees nude and threatening them with dogs.
With his characteristic cut-through-the-bull bluntness, Rumsfeld raised a valid question. If interrogators can use methods designed to inflict pain on prisoners, why should they be made to stop before the pain becomes difficult to bear? After all, forcing a prisoner to stand, so long as it's only for a short time, is a bit like allowing the use of hot irons, so long as they're only slightly above room temperature. The contradiction Rumsfeld noticed may help us understand how decisions made by senior officials and military commanders led to the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib.
The policymakers apparently tried to have it both ways, approving highly coercive interrogation techniques, but with limits designed to assuage their consciences and satisfy their lawyers. They authorized or proposed painful "stress positions," but said that no one position could be used for more than 45 minutes. They allowed forced standing, but only for four hours; sleep deprivation, but only for 72 hours; exposure to heat and cold, but with medical monitoring; hooding, but not in a way that limits breathing; and nudity, but not the stacking of nude bodies.
Once these methods were applied in the field on prisoners considered to be hardened terrorists, however, interrogators did not respect the lawyers' boundaries. Indeed, they could not have respected them while still achieving their aim of forcing information from detainees. For by definition, these methods, euphemistically known as "stress and duress," can work only when applied beyond the limits of a prisoner's tolerance. Torture works only (if ever) when it truly feels like torture.
Perhaps one reason these stress and duress techniques were approved at all is that they sound innocuous. But as anyone who has worked with torture victims knows, they are the stock in trade of brutal regimes around the world. For example, the Washington Times recently reported that "[s]ome of the most feared forms of torture cited" by survivors of the North Korean gulag "were surprisingly mundane: Guards would force inmates to stand perfectly still for hours at a time, or make them perform exhausting repetitive exercises such as standing up and sitting down until they collapsed from fatigue."
Binding prisoners in painful positions is a torture technique widely used in countries such as China and Burma, and repeatedly condemned by the United States. Stripping Muslim prisoners nude to humiliate them was a common practice of the Soviet military when it occupied Afghanistan. As for sleep deprivation, consider former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin's account of experiencing it in a Soviet prison in the 1940s:
"In the head of the interrogated prisoner a haze begins to form. His spirit is wearied to death, his legs are unsteady, and he has one sole desire: to sleep, to sleep just a little, not to get up, to lie, to rest, to forget. . . . Anyone who has experienced this desire knows that not even hunger or thirst are comparable with it. . . . I came across prisoners who signed what they were ordered to sign, only to get what the interrogator promised them. He did not promise them their liberty. He promised them -- if they signed -- uninterrupted sleep!"
Rumsfeld eventually rescinded his approval of these cruel methods for Guantanamo. But they still ended up being authorized by commanders and used on prisoners throughout Afghanistan and Iraq. Former detainees report being forced to stand, sit or crouch for many hours, often in contorted positions, deprived of sleep for nights on end, held nude, doused with cold water and exposed to extreme heat.
It's not likely anyone was holding a stopwatch during this treatment or making sure that only "mild" pain and suffering resulted. Why would they have? For the limits that might have made the treatment more humane would also have rendered it ineffective in the eyes of interrogators.
Stress and duress interrogation techniques were invented in the dungeons of the world's most brutal regimes for only one purpose -- to cause pain, distress and humiliation, without physical scars. When Bush administration officials and military commanders told soldiers to use methods designed for that purpose, while still treating detainees "humanely," they were being naive at best and dishonest at worst. They should have known that once the purpose of inflicting pain is legitimized, those charged with the care and interrogation of prisoners will take it to its logical conclusion.
(The writer is Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch.)
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
Sunday, June 27, 2004
Fucking Bush Asks World Leaders To Clean Up His Shit Pile In Iraq (?) Would You?
'Fahrenheit' Changes Hearts of Undecided Voters--To Toss Out Bush Cabal
"DES PERES, Mo. — Before the movie started, Leslie Hanser prayed.
"I prayed the Lord would open my eyes," she said.
For months, her son Joshua, a college student, had been drawing her into political debate. He'd tell her she shouldn't trust President Bush. He'd tell her the Iraq war was wrong. Hanser, a 41-year-old homemaker, pushed back. She defended the president, supported him fiercely
But Joshua kept at her, until she prayed for help understanding her son's fervor.
(LA Times Requires Free Registration)
Bye Bye Ralph. We Thought We Knew Ye Well, You Mother of All Political Disasters
LA Times' Hard Look At "Bush Doctrine" Delivers Depressing Assessment
"In its scale and intent, President Bush's war against Iraq was something new and radical: a premeditated decision to invade, occupy and topple the government of a country that was no imminent threat to the United States. This was not a handful of GIs sent to overthrow Panamanian thug Manuel Noriega or to oust a new Marxist government in tiny Grenada. It was the dispatch of more than 100,000 U.S. troops to implement Bush's post-Sept. 11 doctrine of preemption, one whose dangers President John Quincy Adams understood when he said the United States "goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy."
(LA Times Requires Free Registration)
Philadelphia Has Drought of Fahrenheit Theatres: Bush Owns Theatre Owners
(Now this crap has got to stop...)
Saturday, June 26, 2004
TV Crews Find Bush Without a Dick
But still see a BIGTIME ass hole.
One of The Best Lines In Political History by Kerry In Ohio
""If you think Dick Cheney is cursing today, wait until you hear what he says on Nov. 2," he said."
(LA Times requires free registration)
Chimp_junta's Worst Nightmare: Michael Moore--Fahrenheit 9-11 Sells Out!!
Fahrenheit 9-11 Movie Fills Theatres (Video)
Chimp Finds Irish Do Not Like Him--But Love America
"ENNIS, Ireland President George W. Bush was set to arrive at the heavily guarded Dromoland Castle in County Clare on Friday night as the authorities braced for what were expected to be large demonstrations across Ireland against the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
In contrast to the jubilant welcomes accorded to Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy, Bush's reception was already developing as frosty, if not outright hostile. Widespread opposition to the Iraq war and revulsion at the Abu Ghraib prison scandal have turned a large portion of Irish popular opinion against him.
Big protests were expected in Dublin and in Shannon, where Air Force One was to land before Bush headed to the EU-U.S. summit at Dromoland Castle. Smaller protests were expected for the cities of Galway, Sligo, Waterford and Tralee in County Kerry.
"Fury and fear as town is turned into a fortress," said the headline in the Irish Examiner. The newspaper quoted the mayor of Shannon as saying that the town's residents were being made into potential targets for a terrorist attack.
Mary O'Rourke, leader of the Irish Senate, refused to attend a recent dinner in celebration of Bush's impending visit at the home of the American ambassador, James Kenny, out of objections to American prison policy at Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, and for going to war with Iraq, she said.
"Nobody denies we have an affinity with the United States, but that is a different matter from having an affinity with the president," O'Rourke said in the Irish Parliament this week.
But the centrist Irish Independent said in an editorial Friday that while Bush's trip would be the equivalent for the protesters of "a visit from the Devil Incarnate," the demonstrations "seem a bit out of touch."
The newspaper added that with the planned transfer of power from the United States to the Iraqis on June 30, Ireland was "now tantalizingly close to the big step that the Americans have been promising all along."
It was unclear if Bush would even see the protestors, who were to be kept back at least one and a half kilometers from the castle.
But the president got a taste of his reception during a contentious television interview broadcast here Thursday night on RTE, the Irish state broadcaster. The reporter, Carole Coleman, began the interview by asking Bush how it felt to come to Ireland knowing that the majority of the Irish did not want him in their country.
"I hope the Irish people understand the great values of our country, and if they think a few soldiers represent the entire of America, they don't really understand America," Bush replied, referring to the prison scandal.
When Coleman observed that the world is a more dangerous place, Bush replied, "I do think the world is a better place."
Often, when Bush paused, Coleman started another question, and Bush held up his hands defensively and said "let me finish," perhaps a half-dozen times."
BUSH, ARE YOU PROUD? Uniter-Nada-Divider Has United All of Iraq AGAINST AMERICA
"BAGHDAD — As this week's coordinated violence demonstrates, Iraq's insurgent movement is increasingly potent, riding a wave of anti-U.S. nationalism and religious extremism. Just days before an Iraqi government takes control of the country, experts and some commanders fear it may be too late to turn back the militant tide."
(Fucking Bush has single-handedly murdered thousands of people, nearly a thousand American troops, maimed and slaughtered tens of thousands--FOR WHAT?? FOR WHAT??
Bush you fucking traitor, you lied to take America into war and drag the good name of the United States through the blood, guts, feces of Abu Ghraib--created the most sensationally destructive shock and awe of a peaceful nation that did not threaten America.
Now, you, GEORGE WALKER BUSH unelected fraud, and your entire cabal of murderous war criminals, and your English poodle, Tony Blair, must pay. You must be frog-walked out of OUR White House, taken to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, and if found guilty, FACE A FIRING SQUAD.
Every stinking one of you must pay for what you have done.)
Posted by Hello
Friday, June 25, 2004
NYT's Bob Herbert Discovers elChimpo lying about Medical Insurance Costs to Benefit Big Insurance Co's. Surprised?!?
(Insurance Industry writes the chimp_junta insurance industry language. Fucking bastards.)
NYT's Paul Krugman: Bush Gets "Enhanced" Terror Report WRONG...So What? Bush doesn't like the books, he cooks 'em!
Chimp_junta Giant Info Demolishing Party, as Environment's Websites Are Torn Down
President Bush regularly talks about the need for other countries to display "transparency" and create an open system that allows citizens to see what their government is doing. But, according to a new report, the Bush administration is hiding thousands of previously public documents to "undercut the public's right to know about contamination of the environment, transport of hazardous materials, pipeline routes, and more."
The Working Group on Community Right-to-Know this week reports that, under the guise of "national security," more than "six thousand public documents have been removed from the web sites of over a dozen government agencies." The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for example, has removed from its website parts of once-public Risk Management Plans -- documents that helped communities identify nearby chemical hazards. The Department of Energy has taken down environmental impact statements related to nuclear power plants and hazardous materials transport information. The Department of Transportation removed from its web site much of the national pipeline mapping data that allowed communities to find hazardous pipeline routes.
According to the report, President Bush has also issued executive orders that broaden the authority of agencies to withhold information from the public. May 2002's Executive Order 12958 gave the EPA Administrator authority to designate documents "Secret" or "Confidential," two of the three highest possible security classifications. The White House has even reduced the public's access to unclassified information, passing bills allowing agencies to withhold "sensitive but unclassified" information from the public.
For more, see the report at www.Bushgreenwatch.org.
1. Presidental Remarks , WhiteHouse.gov, 6/22/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=41869.
2. "Bush Administration Secrecy Imperils Environment and Public Health", Bushgreenwatch.org, 6/23/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=41870.
3. "Secrecy in the Bush Administration Obstructs Communities' Right-to-Know", Working Group on Community Right to Know (crtk.org), 6/23/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=41871.
Visit www.misleader.org for more about Bush Administration distortion. »
HEY HEY, HOORAY! HOW MANY DIED FOR BUSH TODAY? (Anti-War Music Video)
Anti-War Music Video: Is this what we have become?
** Warning ** Contains Graphic Images Of War
Windows media http://www.darkwingbird.com/bombs-away4.wmv
(File is over 9 MB. Downloads in 90 seconds on Broadband. May take 20 minutes on dial up)
Chimp_junta's Best Bud, Gruesome Fat Rushbo Limbaa, The Only Voice our Soldiers Hear In Iraq?!? And YOU PAY for it.
By Mike Farrell
"Do the right thing." These were Secretary of State Colin Powell's words of advice to the Wake Forest University class of 2004 in his May 17 commencement address. Then Powell issued an incontrovertible condemnation of the actions of U.S. soldiers' abuse of Iraqi prisoners: "Our nation is now going through a period of deep disappointment, a period of deep pain over some of our soldiers not doing the right thing at a place called Abu Ghraib…. All Americans deplored what happened there."
Well, perhaps not all Americans. There's at least one American who has publicly praised, condoned, trivialized and joked about the abuse, torture, rape and possible murder of Iraqi prisoners. This American does not appear to be going through "a period of deep pain." This American has instead called the abuse "a brilliant maneuver" and compared it to a college fraternity prank: "This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation," he said.
He excused the actions of our soldiers this way: "You know, these people are being fired at every day. I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You ever heard of need to blow some steam off?"
Who is this American so unlike "all Americans," as Powell described us? Rush Limbaugh, host of the nationally syndicated radio program, "The Rush Limbaugh Show."
Limbaugh, of course, is entitled to express his views, however bizarre, ill considered and offensive. I would never dream of telling him what he should or shouldn't say. But that doesn't mean that radio stations have to pick him up. Just as he can speak his mind, they can choose to air his show or not.
That's why I was stunned to learn that one full hour of "The Rush Limbaugh Show" is broadcast every weekday directly to our soldiers in Iraq and around the world — to nearly 1 million U.S. troops in more than 175 countries and U.S. territories. Moreover, it is the only hourlong partisan political talk show broadcast daily to the troops.
Limbaugh's show is broadcast by the Department of Defense's American Forces Radio and Television Service, or AFRTS. According to its website, "The AFRTS mission is to communicate Department of Defense policies, priorities, programs, goals and initiatives. AFRTS provides stateside radio and television programming, 'a touch of home' to U.S. service men and women, DoD civilians and their families" outside the continental United States.
Why should American taxpayers pay for the broadcasting of such inexcusable views to U.S. troops? Why, at a combustible moment like this one, would we be funneling Limbaugh's trivializations to our men and women at the front? Does Limbaugh's pro-torture propaganda really qualify as "a touch of home"?
On CNN on June 2, Pentagon official Allison Barber defended the continued broadcasting of Limbaugh, saying broadcast decisions are "based on popularity here in the States." But Barber also acknowledged that AFRTS based its programming decisions not only on ratings but on content too. Barber explained that AFRTS did not carry Howard Stern's radio show — which draws more than 8 million listeners a week, but which has also recently been the target of massive FCC fines for "indecency" — because "his issue is one of content that is not appropriate." AFRTS carries programming from National Public Radio, but only news and features. It does not carry any partisan political talk show other than Limbaugh's.
By choosing the Limbaugh show over any other, even in the wake of Limbaugh's recent remarks, the Pentagon and indeed Congress, which holds AFRTS' purse strings, deems his content to be "appropriate." I disagree, and along with 30,000 other Americans I signed a petition at the website mediamatters.org calling for Limbaugh's removal from AFRTS.
In general, I believe all reasonable views should be aired. Quite aside from the Abu Ghraib controversy, I'd like to see AFRTS broadcast a fuller range of political views to our troops rather than giving Limbaugh a monopoly at the microphone — and I applaud the Senate for approving an amendment to the defense authorization bill offered by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) that calls on AFRTS to provide political balance in its news and public affairs programming. But in this case, nothing short of removing Limbaugh will suffice. The issue goes beyond ideological balance — this is an issue of national security and national unity.
Limbaugh's comments, and their tacit endorsement by the U.S. government, send a message to U.S. servicemen and servicewomen that torture is not a subject to be taken seriously and that these are actions that can be excused. Nothing could be more wrong than that.
Mike Farrell is an actor, human rights activist and former Marine.
Cheney Goes Fucking Nuts In Senate!
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Dick Cheney blurted out the "Fuck word" at Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont during a heated exchange on the Senate floor, congressional aides said on Thursday.
The incident occurred on Tuesday in a terse discussion between the two that touched on politics, religion and money, with Cheney finally telling Leahy to "FUCK off" or "go FUCK yourself," the aides said.
Also in the Washington Post <---Click Link or Paste this http://tinyurl.com/2nym7 and see what the Original Big-Time Asshole, Dick of Dicks, had to say!
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Pinch Your Nose: The Stench Of Shit In Abu Ghraib Permeates White House Document Dump
By Bill Van Auken
24 June 2004
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In an effort to shield itself from the deepening crisis over US torture and murder of prisoners captured in Bush’s global “war on terrorism,” the Bush administration released a limited selection of White House, Pentagon and Justice Department documents Tuesday.
The collection of previously secret memos was cast by the administration as showing that the US president did not order the atrocities that have been carried out at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the Guantanamo detention camp in Cuba and numerous other clandestine facilities run by the military and the CIA across the globe.
Some of the media has accepted the administration’s transparent attempt at damage control as good coin. Most notable was a cringing article that appeared in the New York Times Wednesday headlined “White House Says Prisoner Policy Set Humane Tone.” It chose to highlight a hypocritical statement contained in a February 2002 memo from Bush that US “values ... call for us to treat detainees humanely.” This vague assertion was tacked onto a declaration that the US would not be bound by the Geneva Conventions in its treatment of any of those it captured in Afghanistan, but the Times treated that as a secondary matter.
Despite the claims of the administration, the documents offer further glimpses into the inner workings of a government organized on the basis of criminal conspiracies and committed to the use of unrestrained violence and brutality in pursuit of the US ruling elite’s interests.
They spell out that the administration was actively preparing a defense against potential war crimes charges, and that US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had specifically authorized many of the barbaric methods that were depicted in the photographs that came out of Abu Ghraib.
The released documents were selected with the aim of exonerating the president and his top aides of responsibility for the widely publicized instances of torture in Iraq. They did not include most of the memos that the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy, requested earlier this month. None of them dealt with current policy in Iraq.
However, for an administration characterized by extreme secrecy and an insistence that withholding public information is a matter of executive privilege, the release of even this material is an indication of mounting crisis and apprehension in the Bush White House.
Appearing before the press Tuesday, Bush declared, “I have never ordered torture. I will never order torture.” Not since Richard Nixon, in the midst of the Watergate crisis, declared to the nation, “I am not a crook,” has a US president been placed in such a position. Within months, Nixon was forced to resign.
The release of the documents coincides with the opening of legal proceedings against some of the low-ranking reservists who have been criminally charged in connection with the torture, abuse and sexual humiliation of prisoners held at Abu Ghraib.
In a June 21 hearing, a military judge dealt a blow to the administration’s attempt to pass off the outrages at the prison as the work of a handful of “rogue” prison guards. He ruled that defense attorneys were entitled to call as witnesses senior US commanders, including the Central Command chief, Gen. John Abizaid, and the commander of US forces in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez.
At least some of the reservists’ lawyers have indicated they will demand that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Bush himself be called to the stand in an attempt to prove that torture was a US policy that originated in the White House.
Meanwhile, the military judge ruled that the Abu Ghraib prison was a crime scene and therefore could not be destroyed, making Bush’s vow to level the facility in the name of “democracy” look like a ham-fisted cover-up and obstruction of justice.
The administration’s release of the documents was in large part a preemptive reaction to the developments in the military court in Baghdad. The reservists’ attorneys had obtained many of the same memos and intended to use them to show that their clients’ depraved actions were carried out in the execution of a criminal policy set at the top.
Much of the material released on Tuesday stems from an active discussion within the administration over how it could carry out torture against those held by US forces and on what legal grounds it could claim immunity from international law and charges of war crimes.
Among the most controversial of the released documents was an Aug. 1, 2002 memo drafted by Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee at the request of the White House counsel. It narrowly defined torture as acts of violence committed against prisoners had to inflict pain equivalent to that accompanying “organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.”
The memo, which was leaked to the press earlier this month, elaborated a legal argument for the right of the US president and the US military to ignore and violate basic international and US statutes barring torture. While asserting unrestrained presidential power in wartime to use any methods, including the torture and murder of prisoners, it included as well a series of legal defenses that could be used if Bush or other top officials were charged with war crimes.
Administration officials dismissed the document as “academic” and “over-broad and irrelevant,” claiming that it was being redrafted. They failed to explain, however, why the memo’s author, far from being ostracized for drafting a brief for torture, was rewarded with an appointment as a federal appeals court judge.
Another document released Tuesday—also drafted by Bybee in January 2002—makes essentially the same argument. It affirms that the president and the military are not subject to either international law, including the Geneva Conventions, or the US War Crimes Act, in the treatment of individuals captured during the American intervention in Afghanistan.
“The customary international law does not bind the President or the US Armed Forces in their decisions concerning the detention conditions” of these prisoners, the document asserts.
In his own memo issued the following month, Bush explicitly embraced this interpretation that he is empowered to abrogate the Geneva Conventions at will. He claimed that he was not doing so in Afghanistan. At the same time, however, he adopted the position that all those opposing the US intervention were “enemy combatants” and therefore not covered by the Geneva accords, a position that has no basis in international law.
Rumsfeld spelled out the meaning of this presidential ruling when asked in early 2002 about the fate of Afghans transported to the prison camp at Guantanamo. “Unlawful combatants do not have any rights under the Geneva Conventions,” he said.
Why it was necessary to deny the protections of the Geneva Conventions to prisoners if there was an intent to treat them humanely is never explained by any of the released documents.
The answer, however, is graphically indicated in one of the memos, issued in December 2002 by Rumsfeld. It authorized the use of a series of “aggressive interrogation techniques” by military intelligence at Guantanamo.
The methods approved by Rumsfeld were in some cases defining features of the infamous pictures that came out of Abu Ghraib. These included forcing the prisoners to go naked and with hoods over their heads, the use of attack dogs against them and forcing them to undergo prolonged “stress positions.” The directive allowed “physical contact, such as grabbing, poking in the chest with the finger, and light pushing.”
The memo approved holding detainees in complete isolation for 30 days, and even longer if approved by the supervising intelligence officer. Subjecting prisoners to sensory deprivation and 20-hour interrogation sessions was also authorized by the Defense Secretary.
A subsequent memo rescinded blanket authorization for the use of these techniques, requiring that interrogators obtain permission from the Pentagon before utilizing these and other “aggressive” measures. Administration officials gave no indication, however, of how many such requests were received and how many times they were approved. Officials likewise refused to specify what methods of interrogation are presently allowed.
No document has appeared as yet proving that Bush personally ordered the acts of brutality that have been inflicted upon prisoners in Afghanistan, Guantanamo, Iraq and elsewhere. Given the extensive discussion within the administration over how methods that constitute war crimes could be defended both in international and US courts, it is hardly likely that even Bush would be stupid enough to put his name on an order to beat, sexually assault and otherwise torture prisoners.
But for that matter, nearly 60 years after the fall of the Third Reich, no written orders for the extermination of European Jews have surfaced with Adolf Hitler’s signature on them. Others who were prosecuted for war crimes at Nuremberg were convicted without written documents proving that they had ordered underlings to carry out the atrocities of the Nazi regime.
The documents released by the Bush administration provide further substantive proof that this is a government composed of war criminals. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and others deserve to be tried and punished for conspiring to wage a war of aggression and to utilize barbaric methods of torture that are in violation of the most basic statutes of international law.
It is noteworthy that the day after the release of these memos, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry issued a statement “on building international support for our mission in Iraq” that made no mention whatsoever of the administration’s deepening crisis over the torture revelations at Abu Ghraib. Instead, he argued for increased US pressure for the deployment of NATO troops in the occupied country.
The Democratic Party, no less than the Republican, is unequivocally committed to a continued repressive war against the Iraqi people, with all its brutal consequences, including torture.
World Socialist Web Site
Chimp_junta Gets Medievil On Movie "Fahrenheit 9/11" trying to bring multiple lawsuits
Stopping freedom of speech can be time-consuming! But the fucking Bush cabal wastes no time getting down and dirty. Or, down-er and dirtier.
Court Won't Make Cheney Energy Papers Public
Why the fuck do you think the bastard doesn't want anyone to see them?
Fat Shady and his buds were carving up the Iraq oil fields and trying to figure out how to create some kind of 'Pearl Harbor' scenario to get our military in there.
They were concocting the stories they could use (ie. WMD, Terrorist connections, Gas, Anthrax, whathefuck?!?)
And what do you know? It worked!
That's why they won't tell you.
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
500 Law Professors and Educators Statement: Chimp_junta Resign From Office
"As members of university faculties in law, international relations, diplomacy, and public policy, we write to register our objection to the systematic violation of human rights practiced or permitted by authorities of the United States within occupied Iraq during recent months: we request Congressional action to ensure accountability for such violations and to safeguard against such egregious abuses in the future. Current circumstances require that all transcend partisan politics or considerations. Action by Congress is necessary to promote a rule of law produced and enforced through a democratic process and to protect the physical and psychological integrity of all people consistent with the traditions of our nation."
Arianna Opens Fire On Bush Cowardice With Both Barrels Blazing
Bush Ducks for Cover as NRA Opens Fire on Assault Weapons Ban
By Arianna Huffington
June 23, 2004
Attention al-Qaida sleeper cells, domestic terrorists, school shooters, David Koresh wannabes and bloodthirsty lunatics everywhere: Be sure to mark Sept. 13 in your day planners because — thanks to President Bush and his GOP pals in Congress — your murderous missions are about to get a whole lot easier.
You see, that's the day the 10-year old federal ban on assault weapons is set to expire, making it perfectly legal to buy, sell and own a whole new line of domestically produced rapid-fire killing machines.
You heard me right: Unless something changes in a hurry, combat-ready weapons like the AK-47, the Uzi and the TEC-9 assault pistol — weaponry designed to mow down large numbers of people as efficiently as possible — could once again be flooding the American market. And thanks to the gaping loopholes in our gun laws, everyone from disgruntled teens to Osama bin Laden's henchmen will be able to legally obtain this kind of ferocious firepower at gun shows without even having to undergo a background check. It could be cash-and-carry mayhem.
After the U.S. Army toppled the Taliban, our soldiers found an al-Qaida training manual that included an entire section lauding the ease with which prospective terrorists in the United States could legally stock up on assault weapons, "preferably an AK-47 or variations."
It was "Jihad for Dummies" — but it's our leaders who are acting like idiots.
Bowing to the demented demands of the no-gun-law-is-a-good-gun-law crowd at the National Rifle Association, Republican congressional leaders have steadfastly refused to bring to a vote legislation that would extend the assault weapons ban. And the president has failed to put any pressure on Congress to do so. This despite the fact that, during the 2000 campaign, he said, "It makes no sense for assault weapons to be around our society," and just last year White House spokesman Scott McClellan unequivocally affirmed that the president "supports reauthorization of the current law."
Given his much-touted commitment to keeping us safe, you'd think that the renewal of the assault weapons ban would be a high priority for the president. Especially in an election year.
After all, recent polls show that over 70 percent of Americans support keeping the ban on the books. So does every major police organization in the country. Even 64 percent of gun owners support the ban, realizing that outlawing weapons that feature flash suppressors, silencers, folding stocks, bayonet mounts and large-capacity ammo magazines is not an attack on the Second Amendment — it's self-preservation.
But instead of using his bully pulpit to push for the ban's renewal, Bush is feigning support for the measure while effectively ensuring its demise. The reason is as simple as it is craven: It's all about placating the NRA, which has promised to withhold its presidential endorsement until after the assault weapons ban has expired.
What a profound failure of leadership.
By playing politics with our safety, the president has shown where he really stands on his signature issue of national security. If keeping Americans out of harm's way were truly his top priority, he'd stand up to the gun lobby and demand that Congress do everything in its power to keep assault weapons out of the hands of criminals, drug dealers and terrorists.
At the very least, he should pressure House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to put the ban to a vote and force our elected representatives to choose publicly between appeasing that most special of special interests, the NRA, or acting in the public interest.
Gun control advocates, including those at the Brady campaign, are teaming with law-enforcement officials to make a last-ditch attempt at shaming Bush into doing the right thing. But time is running short: Factoring in Congress' summer recess, there are fewer than two dozen legislative days left for lawmakers to renew the ban.
How the president responds could prove to be a deciding factor in November.
Voters who have had their toenail clippers confiscated at airport safety checks before being allowed to head out on their summer vacations may not look kindly on a leader who, for no other reason than political expediency, makes it easier for the real bad guys to arm themselves with weapons of massive destruction.
The NRA has promised to deny its coveted "A" rating — and the millions it contributes to those who receive it — to any candidate who votes for extending the assault weapons ban.
We should make it crystal clear to those running for office that, if they fail to keep these killing machines off the streets, we will withhold something even more powerful. Our votes.
Time Has Come For **C H E N E Y** to Put Up Or Shut Up--Call For His Resignation NOW
Vice President Dick Cheney is at it again. From the earliest moments after the tragedy of 9/11, Mr. Cheney has sought to convince the American public that Saddam Hussein's Iraq was linked to Al Qaida. As the echo chamber of the right wing media picked up the message, the public bought it to the degree that large majorities believed that Iraq was behind the 9/11 attack itself. Second only to the now disproved claims of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the Iraq - Al Qaida story was and still is essential to justifying our invasion of Iraq.
So far, all the evidence goes the other direction, yet Mr. Cheney keeps pushing his tale. And now he indicates that he has evidence not previously revealed to the 9/11 commission. If he does, he should reveal it immediately and let the experts and the public judge it. Frankly, in other times, withholding such evidence would be grounds for impeachment. If he does not have such evidence, he should stop making it up and resign.
In the absence of evidence, Mr. Cheney falls back on the old ploy of simply attacking the press for questioning his unsupported claims and contradictions. This is conduct unbecoming a vice president.
Immediately after the 9/11 Commission issued a staff report stating that they found "no credible evidence" that Iraq was involved in the September 11 terrorist attacks and that there was "no collaborative relationship" between Iraq and Osama bin Laden, Vice President Cheney immediately went on the attack and accused the media of being "irresponsible" in its reporting of the 9/11 Commission's findings and claimed that the evidence is "overwhelming" that Al-Qaida had a relationship with Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. He also continued the charade by going so far as to answer "we don't know" when asked in a CNBC interview if Iraq was involved in 9/11, even when he knows there is no evidence, circumstantial or otherwise, of such a relationship. He also said that he "probably" knows information about this that the 9/11 Commission does not.
Call to action
Urge Vice President Dick Cheney to either provide any evidence he has that would show material links and coordination between Al Qaida and Iraq under Saddam Hussein to the 9/11 Commission or, if he doesn't have such evidence, to resign.
Click here to take action! http://act.actforchange.com/cgi-bin7/DM/y/eZoO0Eqtcn0LYT0n4f0A6
Lies Lies Bush Lies Lies -- How Chimp Goes Negative on Kerry Using More Lies -- Bush: "I approved this ad."
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Everybody says American politics were dramatically changed by the 9/ll attacks, bringing an era of accountability and moral seriousness. Sometimes I wonder what everybody’s been smoking.
In my travels to promote "The Hunting of the President," the documentary film based upon Joe Conason’s and my book of the same name, people ask the same two questions: Did failing to remove President Bill Clinton from office teach Republicans anything about the "politics of personal destruction," and how should Democrats respond? The short answer is that the operatives who put together the most successful Republican dirty-tricks campaign ever don’t think they failed. Who ended up running the country? If Clinton’s acquittal on impeachment charges denied his antagonists the joy of taking him down, it spared the GOP nominee’s having to run in 2000 against an aroused electorate and an incumbent President Al Gore. Then there’s the press. Seemingly frustrated by their inability to topple Clinton, the same organizations that promoted Kenneth Starr’s sham Whitewater investigation spent 2000 publicizing nonsensical tales about Gore, like the ridiculous claim that he bragged about "inventing the Internet." Candidate George W. Bush, meanwhile, received a virtual free pass. His preposterous budget numbers, to cite only one example, went largely unexamined.
What the GOP learned from the anti-Clinton crusade is that given a compliant news media and an easily distracted public, lowdown personal attacks work. So far, Bush’s campaign against Democratic Sen. John Kerry has consisted of little else.
Bush has already spent $85 million on a series of TV ads attacking Kerry’s character. An incumbent president going negative so early hints at desperation. But what’s really noteworthy about the GOP ads is their contempt for the truth, not to mention for the gullible masses in TV land to whom they’re addressed.
Bush approved the message that Kerry voted for higher taxes more than 350 times. Bush’s spokesmen repeat the claim incessantly. It’s pure hokum. OK, maybe Kerry takes exaggerated credit for his vote approving Clinton’s budget-balancing 1993 tax bill. (All 51 Senate votes were equally critical.) But for sheer disingenuousness, the Bush ad takes the prize.
According to Brooks Jackson of FactCheck. org, among the 350 votes cited were many in which Kerry merely voted against repealing existing taxes. In 1987, for example, he opposed dropping a "windfall profits" tax on oil. No increase. Seventy-one times, Kerry voted for the smaller of two tax cuts. "Thus," notes Jackson, "the Bush campaign counts some votes for tax cuts as votes for ‘higher taxes. ’"
The real question, of course, is how the government pays for its obligationsnot something Bush wants voters thinking about.
Then there’s Kerry’s supposedly "troubling" record on national defense, dramatized by another bogus ad about votes to limit weapons funding. So guess who sponsored the cuts Kerry backed. President George H. W. Bush, after the Soviet threat vanished. Poppy’s secretary of defense was Dick Cheney. According to The New York Times, in 1990, "Cheney’s first budget canceled, among other things, production of the M-1 tank and the Bradley fighting vehicle, and made big cuts in the F-18 fighter"—the very weapons George W. Bush’s ads chide Kerry about.
But just because the Republicans are dealing off the bottom of the deck in broad daylight doesn’t mean they’re neglecting secretive smears. Remember Alexandra Polier, the Associate Press" intern" falsely labeled Kerry’s mistress in the "Drudge Report"? Writing in New York magazine, Polier said the rumor originated with" a woman whom Drudge had called my ‘ close friend’ [who] worked for a Republican lobbyist—Bill Jarrell, who runs a firm called Washington Strategies, gives money to Bush and had been a top aide to [House majority leader] Tom DeLay. "
Then there’s the lowest blow of all: an outfit called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Backed by Merrie Spaeth, a Texas political operative who, among other duties, helped rehearse Starr for his Clinton impeachment testimony, its job is to discredit Kerry’s Vietnam war record. Private eyes have been trolling among his former shipmates looking for dirt. Yesterday, I talked to Fred Short of Little Rock, who served under Kerry in Vietnam. Short doesn’t recognize the individuals now questioning his commander’s valor. But he was there when Kerry plunged their boat into a hail of enemy fire and took shrapnel, using his uninjured arm to haul a wounded soldier aboard. The action earned Kerry one of his three Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star for valor. (He also earned the Silver Star.) Short recalls the boat deck slick with Kerry’s blood, and resents bitterly those who question his honor—less on Kerry’s behalf than for" some very good friends of ours whose names are on the [Vietnam Memorial] wall who can’t speak for themselves. " Short shows Democrats how it’s done: Speak the truth—hard.
• Free-lance columnist Gene Lyons is a Little Rock author and recipient of the National Magazine Award.
The beheadings of Paul Johnson and Kim Sun-il: Who Really Gains the Most?
By Barry Grey
23 June 2004
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The beheadings of two hostages by Islamic jihadist terrorists within the space of five days are depraved actions that underscore the deeply reactionary nature of all those groups that associate themselves with Al Qaeda. The brutal and inhuman methods of these organizations bespeak not liberation, but provocation.
The killing of American contractor Paul M. Johnson Jr. in Saudi Arabia on June 18 and the murder of South Korean translator Kim Sun-il in Iraq on June 22 have this in common: these slayings were carried out in utter disregard for the sentiments not only of the victims’ family members, who pleaded for mercy to no avail, but of millions of ordinary people in both the US and South Korea who oppose the militaristic policies of their respective governments and wish to see an end to the repression and violence inflicted on the peoples of the Middle East by the war cabal in Washington.
The fact that Johnson was employed by the US military contractor Lockheed Martin and worked on Apache helicopter systems for the Saudi monarchy, and Kim Sun-il worked for a South Korean firm that supplies goods to the US army, in no way justifies their murder, not to mention the gruesome manner in which the killings were carried out. In both cases, the killers proclaimed the murders to be retribution against the American and South Korean people as a whole, making no distinction between ordinary working people and the governments and ruling elites that oppress them.
On the same day that the Jama’at al-Tawhid and Jihad group, said to be led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, butchered the 33-year-old South Korean in Fallujah, the victim’s countrymen marched in demonstrations across South Korea to denounce the policies of their government and demand the withdrawal of all South Korean troops from Iraq.
The killers themselves could not be unaware that the cruel and arbitrary murder of a young man could only sow revulsion and confusion in the ranks of the broad mass of people opposed to the war in Iraq and the other crimes of US imperialism. The struggle against imperialism is an international question, and actions that alienate working people around the world can only strengthen the hand of the imperialists.
Nor could they be oblivious to the immense crisis of the Bush administration, which is reeling from revelations of US torture, the exposure of all the lies it employed to generate support for the war, and the mounting toll of both American and Iraqi casualties. The murder of Kim Sun-il occurred on the very day a new Washington Post poll was released showing a clear majority of Americans opposed to the war and a further erosion in Bush’s approval rating. The beheading of the young Korean, who the day before was shown on national television pleading for his life, could only provide the Bush administration with a much-needed opportunity to pose as a defender of “human civilization.”
The direct political service provided by the killers of Kim Sun-il to the Bush administration is further underscored by the site and timing of the deed. It took place in Fallujah, a center of Iraqi resistance to the American occupation, and the target in recent days of US bombings of civilian targets that have killed 25 Iraqis. Washington has justified these attacks as “precision strikes” against “safe houses” used by supporters of Zarqawi.
Tuesday’s atrocity, carried out in the name of Zarqawi’s organization, provides the Bush administration with a two-fold benefit: it serves to discredit the Iraqi resistance in the eyes of world public opinion, and diverts attention from the atrocities being carried out the US military in Fallujah.
The actions of the Zarqawi group take place within the context of a genuine movement of mass resistance against the US occupation of Iraq. They stand out not as expressions of this movement, but rather as provocations that cut across its consolidation and expansion.
Last February, for example, amid signs that the majority Shiite population was on the verge of joining the armed resistance being fought mainly in Sunni Muslim areas, a letter was made public, authored, according to the US, by Zarqawi, calling for Sunnis to provoke a civil war against the Shiites. The Bush administration seized on this letter to argue that the US occupation was the only thing preventing a bloody descent into communal warfare in Iraq.
Several weeks later, on March 2, suicide bombings occurred at Shiite mosques in Karbala and Baghdad, killing scores of worshippers. Washington immediately blamed the atrocities on the “Zarqawi network.”
Then in mid-May, as the scandal over torture at Abu Ghraib prison was breaking over the heads of Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney and company, hooded terrorists claiming allegiance to Zarqawi carried out the beheading of Nick Berg, providing the US government a desperately needed pretext for a propaganda counter-offensive. This murder took place under highly suspicious and still unexplained circumstances that suggest collaboration at some level between US authorities and those claiming to be followers of Zarqawi. Berg had been detained by US authorities in northern Iraq and was released on April 6. He then traveled to Baghdad, only to disappear, evidently falling into the hands of his ultimate killers, just 72 hours after he had been released by American officials.
As with the Zarqawi group, the methods of Paul Johnson’s killers, who call themselves Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, are indicative of the organization’s outlook and aims. The beheading of the Lockheed employee and broadcast of pictures of his bloodied head on a jihadist web site were aimed at terrorizing American expatriates employed by the Saudi regime and the oil companies, and driving them out of the country. The goal is to undermine the dominant forces in the Saudi regime. But what perspective underlies this endeavor?
It is, in fact, far removed from that of social revolution. Rather, it is a variant of the nationalist perspective that seeks to replace one faction of the ruling elite with another.
In a recent analysis by Stratfor, a think tank with close ties to the American military and intelligence establishment, the authors spell out the fundamentally bourgeois perspective of Al Qaeda-linked groups in Saudi Arabia. Entitled “Al Qaeda’s Strategic Goals,” the article states that the aim of these groups is to “position leaders among the kingdom’s tribal sheiks, business elite and senior military officers—as well as some members of the ruling House of Saud—who are sympathetic to Al Qaeda’s world view and willing to support Al Qaeda’s long-term goal.”
The article goes on to say: “Al Qaeda does not want to trigger a US invasion or any other serious political backlash like a full-scale revolution or a fracturing of the country that would restrict Riyadh’s political reach. If it can find a cooperative branch or a support base within the royal family, then the ‘regime’ could persist—at least in name—even as Riyadh’s political orientation shifts.”
Involved are not simply religious and political motives, but definite economic ones. As Stratfor states: “Ousting Westerners also opens thousands of positions in the energy and defense industries, positions Al Qaeda will hope to see filled with Saudis or other Muslims sympathetic to its world view.”
The article goes on to cite a recent taped speech in which the speaker, believed to be Osama bin Laden, calls for the establishment of a new political leadership to replace the current Arab governments—one consisting of “honest...dignitaries, notables and merchants.”
That the actions of those responsible for the beheadings of Paul Johnson and Kim Sun-il play into the hands of imperialism and cut across the development of a politically conscious and international movement against war, as well as the liberation of the Saudi and Iraqi people, is neither accidental nor peculiar to these specific groups. Long historical experience has demonstrated that the methods of terrorist outrage, assassination and exemplary killings only perpetuate a political environment that facilitates mass violence by American imperialism against the peoples of Central Asia and the Middle East.
Moreover, by their very nature, such organizations are subject to massive infiltration and manipulation by intelligence agencies, both foreign and domestic. It is impossible to determine where, within the ranks of such groups, reactionary politics leave off and direct provocation begins.
In the end, Al Qaeda and similar groups represent the interests, not of the working class and oppressed masses, but rather the ambitions and strivings of disaffected factions within the bourgeois ruling elites in the Arab and Muslim world. That is why they are organically hostile to the development of a revolutionary mass movement against imperialism and capitalism.
That said, it is necessary to deal with the response of the Bush administration to these outrages. The US president seized on both killings to denounce the perpetrators as “barbarians” and cite their deeds as justification for the so-called “war on terrorism,” including the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Here it is appropriate to cite the aphorism: “It takes one to know one.” Bush makes his sanctimonious statements even as the revelations of US torture in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo and elsewhere pile up, and news reports emerge in bits and pieces of, in the words of Al Gore, an “American Gulag,” consisting of secret concentration camps spread across the world. This self-appointed guardian of “the civilized world” refuses even to make an accounting of the tens of thousands of Iraqis killed in the course the American subjugation of Iraq.
How is it possible for the supposed guarantor of human values to engender such indignation and hatred among the oppressed peoples of the Middle East as to create a pool of dispossessed youth open to the preachments of the likes of Osama bin Laden? Mr. Bush does not say.
There is another relevant issue on which Bush and the US media are silent. The barbaric methods employed by the killers of Paul Johnson, Kim Sun-il, Nick Berg, Daniel Pearl and others are not the invention of Al Qaeda. The practice of beheading both criminals and political opponents has for decades been employed by Washington’s long-time ally in the Middle East, the Saudi monarchy. Where were the cries of indignation from American politicians and oil magnates when the lucrative profits of US oil companies were secured through the cutting off of fingers, hands and heads by the Saudi royal family?
Then there is Bush’s personal role in overseeing the execution of well over a hundred prisoners during his tenure as governor of Texas.
It is difficult to conceive of anything more false and reactionary than the spectacle of this sadist, installed in office by the most predatory sections of the American ruling elite, posing as the spokesman of morality.
World Socialist Web Site
Butcher of Falluja, Brigadeer General Mark Kimmitt--Shit-Covered War Criminal--Kills more Families with Helicopter Gunships
(The little dirt huts in Falluja continue to become home to blood and guts, and skin and bone particles as heavy armament is used to blast them to smithereens. A family's little girls, with long hair, were blasted in this horrible report with the only remains of the whole family being the little girl's hair.
Although not a single 'insurgent' or 'terrorist' has been claimed among the slaughtered, Kimmitt still snarls into the camera that he has hit a 'safe house.'
We can only hope he puts his own cowardly fucking ass in one of those 'safe' houses ASAP. They don't sound too safe to me, you stinking bastard.)
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Still The Worst Attorney General In The History OF The Office--With NO Challengers: AssKrak
(I)n April 2003, John Ashcroft's Justice Department disrupted what appears to have been a horrifying terrorist plot. In the small town of Noonday, Tex., F.B.I. agents discovered a weapons cache containing fully automatic machine guns, remote-controlled explosive devices disguised as briefcases, 60 pipe bombs and a chemical weapon — a cyanide bomb — big enough to kill everyone in a 30,000-square-foot building.
Strangely, though, the attorney general didn't call a press conference to announce the discovery of the weapons cache, or the arrest of William Krar, its owner. He didn't even issue a press release. This was, to say the least, out of character. Jose Padilla, the accused "dirty bomber," didn't have any bomb-making material or even a plausible way to acquire such material, yet Mr. Ashcroft put him on front pages around the world. Mr. Krar was caught with an actual chemical bomb, yet Mr. Ashcroft acted as if nothing had happened.
Incidentally, if Mr. Ashcroft's intention was to keep the case low-profile, the media have been highly cooperative. To this day, the Noonday conspiracy has received little national coverage.
At this point, I have the usual problem. Writing about John Ashcroft poses the same difficulties as writing about the Bush administration in general, only more so: the truth about his malfeasance is so extreme that it's hard to avoid sounding shrill.
In this case, it sounds over the top to accuse Mr. Ashcroft of trying to bury news about terrorists who don't fit his preferred story line. Yet it's hard to believe that William Krar wouldn't have become a household name if he had been a Muslim, or even a leftist. Was Mr. Ashcroft, who once gave an interview with Southern Partisan magazine in which he praised "Southern patriots" like Jefferson Davis, reluctant to publicize the case of a terrorist who happened to be a white supremacist?
More important, is Mr. Ashcroft neglecting real threats to the public because of his ideological biases?
Mr. Krar's arrest was the result not of a determined law enforcement effort against domestic terrorists, but of a fluke: when he sent a package containing counterfeit U.N. and Defense Intelligence Agency credentials to an associate in New Jersey, it was delivered to the wrong address. Luckily, the recipient opened the package and contacted the F.B.I. But for that fluke, we might well have found ourselves facing another Oklahoma City-type atrocity.
The discovery of the Texas cyanide bomb should have served as a wake-up call: 9/11 has focused our attention on the threat from Islamic radicals, but murderous right-wing fanatics are still out there. The concerns of the Justice Department, however, appear to lie elsewhere. Two weeks ago a representative of the F.B.I. appealed to an industry group for help in combating what, he told the audience, the F.B.I. regards as the country's leading domestic terrorist threat: ecological and animal rights extremists.
Even in the fight against foreign terrorists, Mr. Ashcroft's political leanings have distorted policy. Mr. Ashcroft is very close to the gun lobby — and these ties evidently trump public protection. After 9/11, he ordered that all government lists — including voter registration, immigration and driver's license lists — be checked for links to terrorists. All government lists, that is, except one: he specifically prohibited the F.B.I. from examining background checks on gun purchasers.
Mr. Ashcroft told Congress that the law prohibits the use of those background checks for other purposes — but he didn't tell Congress that his own staff had concluded that no such prohibition exists. Mr. Ashcroft issued a directive, later put into law, requiring that records of background checks on gun buyers be destroyed after only one business day.
And we needn't imagine that Mr. Ashcroft was deeply concerned about protecting the public's privacy. After all, a few months ago he took the unprecedented step of subpoenaing the hospital records of women who have had late-term abortions.
After my last piece on Mr. Ashcroft, some readers questioned whether he is really the worst attorney general ever. It's true that he has some stiff competition from the likes of John Mitchell, who served under Richard Nixon. But once the full record of his misdeeds in office is revealed, I think Mr. Ashcroft will stand head and shoulders below the rest.
HOW MANY FUCKING LIES FROM BUSH AND CHENEY WILL AMERICANS ACCEPT?
LATEST IRAQ-AL QAEDA "EVIDENCE" PROVES FALSE
Just days after the bipartisan 9/11 Commission acknowledged that there was "no credible evidence" to support the White House's pre-war assertions of an Iraq-al Qaeda connection, the Bush administration is now putting out "new evidence" that supposedly proves the claim. But as reported by newspapers around the country, senior U.S. intelligence officials say this "evidence" is false.
Days after Vice President Dick Cheney claimed he "probably" had more evidence than the 9/11 Commission to prove an Iraq-al Qaeda connection, Republican commissioner John Lehman said he was given "new intelligence" showing that "at least one officer of Saddam's Fedayeen, a lieutenant colonel, was a very prominent member of al Qaeda." But according to U.S. officials, intelligence experts are "highly skeptical that the Iraqi officer had any connection to al-Qaida." Newsday noted that the CIA concluded "a long time ago" that the individual in question "was not an officer in Saddam Hussein's army."
President Bush and Vice President Cheney have both continued to insist on an Iraq-al Qaeda connection, despite "senior U.S. officials now saying there never was any evidence that Saddam's secular police state and Osama bin Laden's Islamic terrorism network were in league." Members of the 9/11 Commission are formally calling on Cheney to provide any shred of proof to support his assertion last week that "the evidence is overwhelming" that the Iraqi government had a relationship with al Qaeda.
1. "9-11 panel finds 'no credible evidence' of link between al-Qaida and Iraq", The Seattle Times, 6/17/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=41725.
2. Presidential Remarks, WhiteHouse.gov, 9/17/2003, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=41726.
3. "Al Qaeda Link To Iraq May Be Confusion Over Names", Washington Post, 6/22/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=41727.
4. "Al-Qaida, Fedayeen militia tie disputed", AZCentral.com, 6/22/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=41728.
5. "Iraqi officer tied to al Qaeda", Reuters UK, 6/20/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=41729
6. "Intelligence experts cast doubt on ties between Iraq, al-Qaida", Knight Ridder, 6/21/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=41730.
7. "CIA: No Iraqi officer link in al-Qaida meeting", Newsday, 6/22/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=41731
8. "Doubts Cast on Efforts to Link Saddam, al-Qaida", Common Dreams News Center, 3/03/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=41732.
9. "Sept. 11 Panel Asks Cheney for Saddam-Al Qaeda Evidence", NPR: All Things Considered, 6/20/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=41733.
10. "Al-Qaida, Fedayeen militia tie disputed", AZCentral.com, 6/22/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=41728.
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