Sunday, June 19, 2005

VIDEO: Conyers' Downing Street Hearing

VIDEO: Conyers' Downing Street Hearing
You can see the video of last Thursday's meeting on the Downing Street memos, led by Congressman John Conyers, here.

Britain: Preoccupied with Finding Legal Case Against Iraq for an Entire Year Before War

Britain: Preoccupied with Finding Legal Case Against Iraq for an Entire Year Before War

Warren P. Strobel of Knight Ridder reports that Britain spent at least a year on its preoccupation with finding a legal justification for a preventive war on Iraq.

Blair's advisers repeatedly expressed concern that the case against Saddam had been weak all along and that the White House wasn't giving nearly enough attention to what would happen after he was toppled.

Neither the U.S. government nor the British government has disputed the Downing Street memos' authenticity.

If these revelations do nothing more, they will surely provide a lot of public support for Republicans like Congressman Walter Jones of North Carolina, who is calling for a timetable on U.S. withdrawl from Iraq. See his statement.

Father's Day

Father's Day

I dedicate this to the man who taught me the importance of independent thinking and who guided me by his example of truth and honesty. Truth is a great asset when it's in fashion, but when it runs against our own convenience, it can be tempting to cast it aside.

My father taught me that either there are or there are not moral and basic truths, and if you're going to stand tall and firm, you can always expect to run into instances where you may become quite unpopular...perhaps even unaccepted.

Popular or not, I'll always have my father's spirit and gentle guidance deep inside of my heart and mind. I've learned that it is only from the truth that conscience takes its value..and I have found that my conscience is my path to finding self-satisfaction (dare I say happiness?)

I'll always love the game of baseball, too, because of the time he took to teach to me to swing and explain the rules of the game. As a child, I recall how much I looked forward to him coming home from work so we could head out to the back yard to practice.

To the most honest and decent man I have ever known
(and the most die-hard Yankee fan):

Happy Father's Day, Dad.

British bombing raids were illegal, says Foreign Office

US and British bombing raids were illegal, says Foreign Office

Here is some new information from Michael Smith, who the American Right, with all their might, is trying to discredit.

"A sharp increase in British and American bombing raids on Iraq in the run-up to war “to put pressure on the regime” was illegal under international law, according to leaked Foreign Office legal advice."
Given the recent turn of events, where Right blogs are trying very hard to decrease the effect of the impact of this story, I have a question. Why would the Right blogs wish to defend the President, even when the hard evidence is presented to them that the President ignored the Rule of Law? On what kind of value-system are these blind supporters operating? We are Americans first - before party. At least, we should be. Doesn't this blind type of defense, in the face of hard truth, give many Right bloggers the appearance of throwing away their honor and respect for the rule of law - all for partisan "gotcha" game-playing?

What is true patriotism, in this case? Does showing patriotism include those who would defend a political party blindly? Or - does patriotism include those who would want to see America cleared of the dishonor that is making her appear weak (and wrong) to the world? "Strong and wrong" has been claimed to be a preference over "weak and right." We are becoming "weak" and "wrong" - and that's a deadly combination for an allegedly free and democratic nation.

Right Blogs Try to Turn Downing Street into A Rathergate

Right Blogs Try to Turn Downing Street into A Rathergate
It's all smoke and mirror defense from the Right - the contents of the British documents are already part of the government's official record

The Right blogs are hoping they can turn the Downing Street documents into a case of Rathergate-style forgery. This time, the Associated Press is the target of the Right's hoped-for scandal.

I think there are just to many pieces of information coming forward to discredit the information held in the documents, regardless of who typed them - or re-typed them - on a typewriter or a computer). This isn't a case of a journalist producing what turns out to be false evidence to "sell" a story. The parties who were responsible for much of the information in the British memos are quite real, quite official, still alive, and we may see more information coming from them in the near future.

Most importantly, Prime Minister Tony Blair has never denied the British documents' existence, and neither has any British official.

The Butler Committee, a UK commission looking into WMD, has quoted the documents and accepted their authenticity, along with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. It is undeniable that this information is an inseparable part of the official record.

At the popular Right blog Captain's Quarters, concerned citizens are accused of "fixating on one sentence of one memo," but that is not true. The contents of all the British documents, when reviewed and analyzed, serve to give us a comprehensive view of the intent of the United States. It's clear - perfectly clear - that it was the Bush administration's intent to remove Saddam Hussein from power by force as early as summer, 2002 - and likely well before that time.

What value is lost by the Right claiming the documents were re-typed?

Americans can make up their own minds. They can review all the statements that were fed to them by the Bush administration in the lead-up to this war -and they can measure them up to the fact that the President had made his mind to make optional war (with no post-war plan) political-light-years beforehand. The American people are smart enough to decide, for themselves, whether or not they believe the President violated their trust.

John Conyers has written to the UK's former MI6 chief Dearlove, asking him to say whether or not it was accurate that he believed the intelligence was being “fixed” around the policy. He has also asked precisely when Bush and Blair had agreed to invade Iraq and whether it is true they agreed to “manufacture” the UN ultimatum in order to justify the war.

These facts are going to come out - out of real, live mouths. What's next? Will the Right accuse the Democrats of using talking mannequins?

Quote of the Day: Frank Rich

Quote of the Day: Frank Rich

"Once a story line becomes incredible, it's hard to get the audience to fall for it again."

- Frank Rich, Two Top Guns Shoot Blanks

Sarcastic Cheer For "Media Abundance" on Conyers Hearing

Sarcastic Cheer For "Media Abundance" on Conyers Hearing
"I watched Congressman Conyers' Downing Street Memo hearings on Cspan 3. Comcast, my cable provider, doesn't carry Cspan 3 in my Los Angeles neighborhood, so I had to watch it on my laptop. I did a spin of the channels on my television to see if anyone else was showing the hearing. None of the broadcast channels, and none of the cable channels. But three of the 24-hour national cable news channels were giving blanket coverage to an LA freeway chase, which had also taken over several local LA stations.

This splendid situation is what the Republican-dominated FCC calls the age of media abundance."

- Marty Kaplan/Huffington Post

Fox News Sunday Snubs the Story Everyone's Talking About

Fox News Sunday Snubs the Story Everyone's Talking About

What a loser of a "news" network.

Chris Wallace had Condoleeza Rice engaged in dialogue this morning, and he failed to forward one word of inquiry into the Downing Street Memo scandal.

Managing editor Brit Hume and his panel discussed Dick Durbin and Terry Schiavo and deliberately ignored the story of the British memos that was showcased in the Syracuse newspaper's 'Washington' section this morning, and which is showing up in most other American newspapers. (See the 6-page online story at the Boston Globe, for an example).

The disconnect is absolutely stunning - even for Fox News.

Brit Hume and Fox News are losers for fearing to say a word about the Downing Street Memo because they prove (as if we don't already know) that they are nothing but unquestioning apologists for the Bush administration.

I'm waiting to see if Tim Russert has any guts. He's got John McCain on Meet The Press this morning.

UPDATE: Tim Russert's Meet The Press interview with John McCain was little more than Tim panting like a trained puppy for McCain. No hard questions. Easy. Breezy. Cheesy. Not a word about the larger questions for which the emergence of the Downing Street memo has begged. Sleazy.

We have some disgusting creatures in the mainstream media. It's no wonder that American citizens are so deluded.

DSM: News Breakthrough

See Daily Kos for details

See These News Stories:

Is 'Downing Street Memo' a smoking gun? - Christian Science Monitor

'Downing Street' documents renew debate over U.S. motives

President must answer to Downing Street Memo at Palm Springs Desert Sun

Answers needed on Downing Street memo
at Detroit Free Press

What's the Deal With the Downing Street Memo?
at Village Voice

Think Again: The Memo Springs to Life
- Center For American Progress

Leaked Files Show Bush Rushed War
at Detroit Free Press

Secret British Government Memos Show That Britain Was Concerned U.S.
Was Rushing to War in Iraq


Conyers vs. The Post
Yahoo News

Excerpts From the Downing Street Memos
Yahoo News

Memos: Postwar Iraq a Concern in Britain
Yahoo News

U.S. War Plans Much-Discussed in Memos
Yahoo News

2002 Memos Undercut British WMD Claims
Yahoo News

Memos Show British Fretting Over Iraq War
Yahoo News

Downing Street Secrets
at Boston Globe

The Pentagon Papers of Our Time?
at Editor and Publisher

• FAIR: On the Media Justifying the Silence on Downing Street Memos
"The truth is that the Downing Street Memo is a reminder of how poorly the media served the public before the war-- which might explain their reluctance to take it seriously."

Bush Has Lied & GOP Continues to Cover For Him

"You can’t just say the President is lying." - Elizabeth Bumiller

"Like hell, you can't." - Iddybud

Bush Has Lied & GOP Continues to Cover For Him

It's shameful. With the news spreading about the Downing Street Memo revelations, the White House continues to mock the memo. Worse, there is still no Republican who will seriously acknowledge what millions of people are talking about, more and more each day, in America and around the world.

Ask yourself: Why wasn’t there a vote on the 2nd UN Security Council Resolution in 2003, before we made an unnecessary and illegal "preventive" war on Iraq?

Colin Powell, then Secretary of State, had gone before the UN to ’make a case’ (cough) for a 2nd UN Resolution authorizing war, and the Security Council vote on the Resolution never happened. President Bush swore to us Americans that Saddam Hussein possessed the most lethal weapons known to man, and apparently, all the while he knew it was a lie.

Lying to American citizens may not be a crime, but lying to Congress to start a war, if it's proven that Bush did, could be a case of treason. In July 2002, the Bush administration needed $700 million to build runways and pipelines - and for making all the preparations in Kuwait necessary to make war on Iraq possible. The president approved the money without the knowledge of Congress. The money came from a supplemental appropriation for the Afghanistan war, which Congress had previously approved. The Constitution says that no money will be drawn from the Treasury unless appropriated by Congress...and Congress was never made aware of how this money was being used. In April, 2004, blogger Steve Soto asked:
"Have we become so jaded as a country that a $700 million unauthorized redirection to a secret war effort by this cabal is not shocking anymore?"

On February 24, 2003 Newsweek published a leaked transcript of Iraqi defector Hussein Kamel (Saddam's son-in-law) testifying that all Iraq’s weapons had been destroyed - yet in August 2002, Dick Cheney lied, through his teeth, in a speech to the VFW, saying that Kamel had told us the exact opposite.

Within a short time after the Newsweek expose (which the media walked away from as if the story had leprosy), the Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency testified before the UN Security Council that Bush’s "uranium from Niger" claim was a forgery (which John Bolton helped to try to pass off as legit).

Soon after that, the belligerent George W. Bush (who'd had his mind made up about Iraq a long time with no post-war plan) and the naive Tony Blair (who thought he could be the bridge to get Europe to embrace the idea of war) pulled the 2nd UN Security Council Resolution as if it was clear to them that they would lose embarassingly if it did come to a vote. Without the UN Security Council's approval, Bush and Blair never had legal grounds for preventive war on Iraq. The United States had set itself and, by extension, the ‘coalition of the willing’, apart from international law, and had set its own law and policy - unilaterally.

Republicans in Congress are apparently not concerned now, nor have they ever shown concern about the rule of law when George W Bush fails to uphold it. We see Republicans ignoring the Downing Street memo, which will forever be used as a 'primary source' by historians and will forever beg the question: "How could Americans have FAILED to have questioned their government after learning the facts from this official document?" ...unless we act now.

The Republicans in Congress apparently believe in ignoring the concerns of American citizens when the concern is about George W. Bush. Congress, with a power-grabbing/non-compromising Republican majority, currently has about a 19% approval rating with the American people. If you ask a Republican Congressman or Senator (the ones with control over the majority and the political capital, mind you) why that approval might be so low, I guarantee they will tell you it's all the Democrats' fault. They think they are fooling the public, and that Fox New network will create enough propaganda to convince citizens that their obfuscations are true.

They are wrong.


"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."
- Theodore Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star, 149 May 7, 1918

Nancy Pelosi Creates a Diary at Daily Kos

Nancy Pelosi Creates a Diary at Daily Kos

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has joined the ranks of Daily Kos diarists. I wish her a warm welcome and hope to see (and read) her often.
She appeals to you to Become a Citizen Co-Sponsor of the Pelosi Amendment.