Tuesday, July 08, 2003



Iranian twins Laleh and Ladan Bijani were joined at the head for 29 years.
I was deeply saddened to learn they did not survive the brave attempt to
become separated...to have missed an opportunity to look one another in the eye for
the first time...and to pursue individual paths.


Like the brave men on the path,
Wash off your hand from this copper-like existence,
So that one day you gain the alchemy of love
And become gold. -Hafiz

Truth Is Strongest Weapon In War
by Jimmy Breslin

June 15, 2003

I was around when Watergate was being called a third-rate burglary. Brilliant minds in Washington said congressional hearings would be ludicrous, cheap and unpatriotic. Then, Sen. Sam Ervin of North Carolina arrived with a lance to start cross-examining White House people, and we were off into history. I don't think he went three days when the first murmurs of impeachment were heard.

Therefore, on Friday I looked through my notebooks and files about the deaths in Iraq of two Marines, Cpl. Marcus Rodriguez and Sgt. Riayan Tejeda.

Rodriguez's funeral was at Blessed Sacrament Church in Cypress Hills. His mother passed out on the sidewalk after the Mass.

Tejeda was buried out of St. Elizabeth's in Washington Heights. After the service, the mother, bent in pain, had to be helped through a crush of grief on the sidewalk.

Today, the two dead Marines are the symbol for everybody who died in a war that was started because of a series of coordinated lies in Washington that said that Iraq had nuclear bombs. "Weapons of Mass Destruction." The Bush administration used the term so much that it turned into initials, WMD.

I use here a 100-page report from "Defense and the National Interest," a publication respected in war colleges and put out by Charles Spinney, a retired Air Force officer who actually put his reports out while working in the Pentagon since 1975. It is now on the Internet -- with whistle-blowers enthusiastically sending him reports.

Here is just one significant part of his 100-page release:

The State Department said on Sept. 12, 2002, "A new report released on September 9th from the International Institute for Strategic Studies -- an independent research organization -- concludes that Saddam Hussein could build a nuclear bomb within months if he were able to obtain fissile material."

In October 2002, the CIA said, "If Baghdad acquires sufficient weapons grade fissile material from abroad, it could make a nuclear weapon within a year. Without such material from abroad, Iraq probably would not be able to make a weapon until the last half of the decade."

It will either rain or it will not rain tomorrow.

The Defense and the National Interest Report states that more than 90 percent of the entire Manhattan Project budget went to fissile materials, less than 4 percent went to the weapons laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M.

A bomb with fissile material or no bomb at all.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said that there were no claims of Iraq actually attempting to import fissile material since 1991, and the known fissile material inside Iraq prior to that date has been fully accounted for by the atomic energy agency. In 1981, Iraq tried to import uranium or "yellowcake" from Niger. Twenty-two years later, Niger today cannot export yellowcake without the consent of its three partners, France, Japan and Spain. It has not happened.

The British then excitedly came out with a document with the forged names of half the government of the country Niger, stating that Iraq was buying uranium. One of the signatures was of a dead man. The forgery was sold to an Italian intelligence agent. There was no uranium moved anywhere. Intelligence agencies all over the place are saying that they knew about the forgery.

And then on Jan. 20, George W. Bush announced in his State of the Union address something that had been known to be fraudulent for months and yet he told his country:

"The International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon, and was working on five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb. The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently bought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide."

That's what Bush said. Why he said it is the question. And why Cheney and Rumsfeld kept trying to justify the war with cries of "WMD" must be questioned by today's Sam Ervin. Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Rumsfeld and Powell loved aluminum tubes. If Saddam has them, he's ready to fire. The tubes turn out to be suitable for short-distance missiles and useless for nuclear manufacture.

One reason for your government operating this way could be that the small closed group in the White House sees what they want to see and proceeds from there, even if it is plainly delusional to anybody looking in from outside.

The only one who takes on George W. Bush over the weapons is Sen. Bob Graham of Florida. Graham compared Bush to Richard Nixon. He says the Republican closed-door hearings are shameful and a dangerous display of secrecy.

Aside from delusion, the other reason for scaring the country about nuclear bombs is lying. There is the lie being told that is false but which the teller has taken to be true. They give the president a speech that is a lie and he gives it. Then there is the lie that tells the opposite of what the teller knows to be true.

It leaps out that the reason given to Americans for going into Iraq -- to stop them from blowing us up with nuclear weapons -- was an outright lie. It was told to America by President George W. Bush. And people died because of it. What kind of a lie and why it was told is something that only a full investigation by Congress, full and on television, can tell the public and tell us who lied and why.

And tell the families of these two Marines we lost in Iraq and who stand for all the others who died for a lie.

Copyright © 2003, Newsday, Inc.
___________ ________________

Is Bush's admission of "error" enough to get him out of a detailed investigation?
I imagine he hopes so.
Then again, there's the business of over 200 dead U.S. troops and the messiest war since Viet Nam.
How much does America care about being lied to in light of the grievous consequences?

White House Backs Off Claim on Iraqi Buy

Cloud Cuckoo Land

Cloud Cuckoo Land

Time out for a shameless plug.
My friend Lisa Borders has written a knock-out of a first novel.
It's titled "Cloud Cuckoo Land".

Everyone should read it.

Pat Conroy, author of "The Prince of Tides", has said of the book:
"Cloud Cuckoo Land is an absolute original by a fresh new voice in fiction."

Bret Lott, author of "Jewel", has said:
"...Cloud Cuckoo Land is remarkable for its scope, style, and wonderfully big heart."

Not so coincidentally, a new official fan club for the rock group "Counting Crows" has just been given a name
chosen by the band members themselves... "CloudCuckooLand".
Lisa has many fans....read her and find out why!